A

Albertosaurus

a theropod in the family Tyrannosauridae. Fossils from the late Cretaceous Period have been found in Alberta.

Allosaurus

a large theropod dinosaur from the late Jurassic Period. Fossils have been found in the western United States.

Ankylosaur

Armoured dinosaurs that walked on four feet and ate plants. Different types of ankylosaurs have been found from the late Jurassic to the end of the Cretaceous.

Anticline

an upward bend in a geologic layer, forming an arch-like shape.

Archaeopteryx

one of the early fossil dinosaurs found with feathers. The first specimen, found in Germany, helped to establish dinosaurs as the ancestors of modern birds.

B

Birds

warm-blooded vertebrate animals with feathers, descended from theropod dinosaurs.

Body fossil

when all or part of the organism itself, like a bone, becomes a fossil.

Borealopelta

a nodosaur-type ankylosaur from the Cretaceous Period. A very well-preserved fossil was found in Alberta in 2011.

Brachiosaurus

a large sauropod from the late Jurassic Period with longer front legs than back legs. Fossils have been found in the western United States.

Brontosaurus

a large sauropod up to 22 metres long from the late Jurassic Period. Fossils have been found in the western United States.

C

Corythosaurus

a crested hadrosaur known from the late Cretaceous Period in North America.

Cresentic

shaped like a crescent, or half-moon.

Cretaceous Period

A span of time from 145 to 66 million years ago. The dinosaurs went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period, except for the ancestors of modern birds.

D

Diplodocus

a large sauropod (up to 26m long) from the late Jurassic Period with a very long tail. Fossils have been found in mid-western North America.

F

Fossil

an organism, or a trace of an organism, that has become preserved as stone in the Earth’s crust.

G

GPS

Global Positioning System, which uses satellites to pinpoint a location on Earth using latitude and longitude.

H

Herbivore

an animal that only eats plants.

I

In situ

a Latin phrase meaning “in its original place”. If fossils are left in situ, we can learn more about them from the surrounding environment.

J

Jurassic Period

a span of time from 201 to 145 million years ago. The first birds are known from the Jurassic Period.

L

Lambeosaurus

a crested hadrosaur that lived about 75 million years ago. The University of British Columbia has a full Lambeosaurus skeleton on display in the Pacific Museum of Earth.

Lumposaur

Lisa and Richard’s name for the types of dinosaurs that made lumpy footprints that are difficult to identify.

M

Morphology

the shape of an organism, or the shape of part of an organism.

N

Nodosaur

a type of ankylosaur that didn’t have a club at the end of its tail.

O

Omnivore

an animal that eats both meat and plants.

Ornisthician

a group of plant-eating dinosaurs whose name means “bird-hipped”.

P

Paleontologist

a scientist who studies ancient life through fossils.

Predation

when one animal eats another animal for food.

S

Sauropod

the largest of the dinosaurs, sauropods had long necks with small heads, long tails, and walked on four strong legs.

Stegosaurus

a plant-eating dinosaur with upright plates along its back, from the late Jurassic Period

Syncline

a downward bend in a geologic layer, forming a U-shape.

T

Therizinosaur

an unusual plant-eating theropod with very long claws and four-toed footprints.

Theropod

mostly meat-eating dinosaurs that walked on two legs. Theropods are the group that gave rise to modern birds.

Trace fossil

when a mark made by an organism, such as a footprint, becomes a fossil.

Triassic Period

a span of time from 252 to 201 million years ago. The first dinosaurs are from the Triassic Period.

Triceratops

a plant-eating dinosaur with three horns on its head, found in the late Cretaceous Period.

Tubercle

a rounded projection of the skin, such as those seen in detailed skin impressions of dinosaur feet.

Tyrannosaur

a family of many different large meat-eating theropod dinosaurs from the Cretaceous Period.

Tyrannosaurus rex

a very large (up to 12-metre long) theropod that lived in what is now North America at the end of the Cretaceous Period.

U

Ungulate

a four-footed mammal, usually with hooves, like a deer.