I had a really, really good time, and I want to go again!
We went to a dinosaur park in Germany. Auntie Katrin found it for us. There was lots to do, and lots to see. We saw lots and lots of dinosaurs, and real dinosaur tracks, because the park is where they found real dinosaur tracks.
This is a track of footprints. This is exactly where it was found, and real experts are still looking all the time to find new things. They are working in the park. I've got my foot on a dinosaur footprint in the picture below - can you see?
These are giant squids, but they walk on land, they are a bit like an elephant. But they're not real. In the park, there is a hall where they show creatures what they might look like in millions of years, like in five million years.
This is me excavating a dinosaur head. It's a copy of a real head. The dinosaur was an eoraptor. It grew about as tall as Mummy's knee, so it was a small kind. It was in a block of plaster, and I had to be super careful so it doesn't break. There wasn't an eoraptor in the park, but we found a picture of one (taken from http://www.dinosauriens.info/dinosaures/dinosaure_eoraptor.php)
I found a fish head in this rock. They were real fossils, but it was like a surprise, like our surprise fossils. You had to split and split the stone to see what you could find - and we all found something. Auntie Katrin found a fish scale, and Mummy found coprolite, and I found a fish head. We'll take some pictures and show you.
This is me painting a dinosaur skull. It was like a 3d picture, and it was made of plaster.
I had a really, really good time, and I want to go again!
Martin Whyte is an expert in dinosaur footprints, and he showed us some. Sometimes they are very hard to see, and you have to be an expert to find them. I'm going to be a fossil expert when I grow up. I need to find a lobster and put it in a special potion, too!
Martin also had a big dinosaur footprint. It was from a sauropod. Sauropods are what you call the group of the biggest dinosaurs, and they all ate plants. They had to eat plants nearly the whole, whole day, just to have enough energy for their big bodies. Martin said that experts estimate how big a dinosaur is by looking at the footprint, and then they say it was about four times as big as that!! I wanted my own big dinosaur footprint, so we took a photo of a drawing with a scale that said how big it was, and Mummy drew a grid on paper and then a larger grid and made it big, and then we cut it out and put it on cardboard and traced it, and Mummy cut it with a special super-sharp knife. It even folds in half, just like Martin's!!
I said I was going to tell you about the fossils that Martin gave me as a present, and here they are. One is a trilobite eye - it is special because you can see all the tiny, tiny dots that make up the eye - it is so old, and you can still see them all! It looks a bit like an eye from a fly or dragonfly! You can see more of the fossil on my Bought Fossils page, although we need to change that name, because these we didn't buy!!
Martin also gave me two corals - they are called rugosa corals, and they grew 'solitary', that means one by one. They look like ice cream cones! They can be in different sizes, and we took a picture of the top of one, because it has a pattern - you can see the whole corals on the other page.
AND he gave me a sea urchin. He showed me a real dead sea urchin, and it was all light, but this one was all heavy, because it got filled up with stuff and then it all fossilised, and now it is made from chalk. That's what I use to write on my blackboard, but I won't write with this one!
I still need to tell you all about the dinosaur footprints!!
Today, we met Dr Martin Whyte. He works at the University of Sheffield, and he said he would look at my collection of stones where I don't know if they're fossils. We have learnt lots and we can't write it all at once, so we'll do it a bit at a time. We took this stone, and Martin said it's not a fossil, it is a bryozoan. It is an animal that digs itself into the rock, and then it grows and it can't get out. There are lots of bryozoans, here is a picture - they are 'moss animals':
We also learnt about brachiopods. They are not the same as bivalves, they are different. They have two shells, but they are symmetrical different to bivalves.
And he said that our vertebrae was probably from a plesiosaur. We love that we found that!
Now, another day I'm going to tell you about fossils I got as a present from Martin!!! And we looked at some dinosaur footprints, too, and we're still looking at pictures of them on the internet, and we're going to make a massive dinosaur footprint pattern like Martin had. And he had a lobster in a special potion that was not a fossil, but it wasn't alive, but we forgot to take a photo. It was brilliant that Martin had time for us and told us lots and gave me fossils. When I grow up, I want to be a fossil expert working for a university!!
Today Mummy, Daddy and I visited Creswell Crags. First we were inside where we saw a fossilised dragonfly. Only four fossilised dragonflies have ever been found in England, and two of them at Creswell Crags. We also saw some bones from the caves. There were bones of hyenas, lions, horses, rhinoceros and mammoth. There was even a hippopotamus! We didn't know all these animals ever lived in England, but now we do!
We then had a walk and looked at all the caves but we couldn't go in them and have a proper look around.
On the way out we bought a fossil surprise bag. We sat on a rock outside and opened it. Inside there were two fossilised shells and some shark teeth. The fossilised shells were from the Jurassic period, about 190 million years old.
Hello, my name is Toby. I am five years old, and I want to be a palaeontologist. I really like fossils, so I'm writing down everything I do with fossils! My Mummy is doing the typing until I'm a bit older, but she writes everything I say.