Australian Dinosaur Story

Student Activity 2 ~ Science
Create your own geological timeline


What you need:

  • A roll of thick toilet paper or paper towel.
  • A measuring tape.
  • Plenty of room — a hall or passageway would be good.

What to do:

  • Roll out the paper until it is at least 15 metres long.
  • Rule a line across the paper near one end. Label this line zero. This will become the present time on your timeline.
  • Starting from zero, use your measuring tape to mark out each metre until you get to 15. At each metre point, rule a line from top to bottom on your paper.
  • Each metre will represent 10 million years on our timeline. Label your timeline in millions of years, for example, the first metre mark will be 10 million, the second one 20 million etc, all the way to the 15 metre mark, which will be 150 million years.

Question: How much time would be represented by 10 cm on your timeline?

It is now time to mark some events on our timeline.

  • Draw a line on your timeline to show where the Cretaceous Period started.
  • Draw another line to show the end of the Cretaceous Period. Label this section as Cretaceous. (Your lines should be at the 14.5 and 6.5 metre positions.)
  • Label the section that represents the Jurassic Period.
  • Label the section that represents the Cenozoic Era.
  • Mark the point of the 'mass extinction' when scientists believe the dinosaurs died out.
  • Mark the point when Australia began to separate from Antarctica.
  • Mark the point when the dinosaur stampede happened at Lark Quarry.
  • Mark the point that the Eromanga Sea covered large parts of the Australian continent.

    Feel free to label some significant events of our own on your timeline.

    Here is an alternative activity that can be done outside:

    Use a measuring tape, mark out 150 metres. Using this scale, each metre represents 1 million years. You can then 'walk' through time, starting from 150 million years ago and moving to the present.

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