Print Page

Dinos and Beasts

Full Day
Book Program
Year Levels


Dinosaurs lived between 245 and 66 million years ago, during the Mesozic Era, and their remains have been found on every continent on Earth. Despite their abundance elsewhere, less discoveries have been made in Australia because of the geology. Australia has been subject to 30 million years of erosion and weathering, therefore paleontologists have smaller areas of suitable exposed rocks to look at when searching for fossils.

Given Australia’s geographic isolation many of Australia’s dinosaurs evolved as unique species adapted to extreme conditions. Dinosaur fossils have been found mainly in the eastern half of Australia (Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria). These fossils give us insight into what they might have looked like and how they may have lived.

Victoria may have had one of the world’s most diverse array of small ornithopod dinosaurs, which had a surprisingly hardy ability to survive at least three months of winter darkness annually. These ornithopods moved around on two legs, ate plants, lived together in herds for safety, and included unique features such as large eyes for the gloomy light.

Prior Knowledge

No prior knowledge required.

Key Learning Question

How do palaeontologists use evidence to learn about the types of dinosaurs that once lived in Australia?

Learning Intentions

In this program students will:

  • Discover various dinosaurs from Victoria and other parts of Australia
  • Compare and contrast the size, shape, diet and other features of various dinosaurs of Australia
  • Learn about the dinosaur life cycle
  • Learn how paleontologists identify Australian dinosaurs using fossil evidence
  • Examine the features of dinosaurs to determine whether the animal moved on land, air or water


Students will:

  • Compare and contrast between various dinosaurs of Australia
  • Create a model of an Australian dinosaur using plasticine, concentrating on its features
  • Draw an Australian dinosaur in its habitat and label the features
  • Make a rotating dinosaur life cycle wheel
  • Become part of a palaeontology team that uncovers dinosaur fossils


  • Maximum 75 students per day

Victorian Curriculum

Science – Science as a human endeavour

  • People use science in their daily lives (VCSSU041)

Science – Biological Science

  • Living things have a variety of external features and live in different places where their basic needs, including food, water and shelter, are met (VCSSU042)
  • Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (VCSSU043)