Friday, October 4, 2013

Paleo-cookies, Fossil skeletons, and Casts and Molds

This paleo-cookie idea is from Robert Krampf. It helps demonstrate the difficulty of identifying and assembling fossils into skeletons. First, you break up a cookie into a few pieces. Then you try to reassemble it.
It's pretty simple at first, but you can make it successively harder. You can break each piece into two pieces, and then eat a couple of the pieces. Can you reassemble the cookie then? Next, try getting out another cookie and breaking it into pieces also. Mix the pieces of the two cookies together. Now can you reassemble each cookie into its original form? A paleontologist's work is trying to do this on a much larger and more complex scale!

For a variation on the same theme, use this pdf and script that has you assemble paper fossil bones into a skeleton. You don't know what kind of animal it is, and you have to just guess based on the few bones you have!

We also did this simple model of a cast and a mold. Press a shell into some playdough. The indentation you create is the mold. Fill the mold with white glue and let it dry.

When the glue is dry, peel it off. It should be formed into the same shape as the original shell you used. This is the cast, formed from the mold. Fossils can be formed by both of these methods.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...