Glen Oaks' Students Skype Paleontologist
They put a good deal of time into preparing their questions and couldn't wait to ask them.
"How big are dinosaurs?" asked one second grader.
"When were the first dinosaur fossils found?" asked a fifth grader.
Stephanie, the Paleontologist from Illinois who now lives and works in Snowmass Village, CO., was quick with the answers.
"Dinosaurs were as small as chickens and grew as large as 24 feet tall. "The first fossils actually found AND described by scientists date back to 1824."
The exchange took place via Skype between paleontologist and students in grades second through fifth took place inside the school's ,media center and was coordinated by Christine Pulgar.
Stephanie told the students that most fossils come to the surface through soil erosion, although some fossils have been uncovered 40 feet below the ground. She offered one really interesting piece of information when she said that not all dinosaurs are extinct. "Birds are dinosaurs," she said.
She said one way of differentiating between a fossil and a rock is that a fossil takes the shape of a bone or a plant. Color, shape and texture also help differentiate the two.
Stephanie told the students that while she has found bones from T-Rex and Triceratops dinosaurs, she specializes in the study of mammal fossils. She added that finding "complete fossil skeletons" is nearly impossible.
Most of the fossils she has found were discovered during digs in Montana and North Dakota and South Dakota. Stephanie said dinosaurs lives on every continent of the world.
She told the students that she knew she wanted to be a paleontologist from the time she was 8. She worked hard in school, especially in the areas of math and science and volunteered through high school at the Field Museum in Chicago. She studies geology in college and received a masters degree in paleontology.