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Learning objects Colossal fossils: jaw analysis

TLF ID L2013

Analyse a fossil jaw and work out which large extinct animal it came from. Measure the jaw's length and height, and estimate the body size of the animal. Examine the type of teeth and their arrangement. Decide whether the animal was adapted to eat plants, insects, other animals or a combination. Identify an extinct animal by matching the estimated body size and type of diet. This learning object is one in a series of three learning objects.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students analyse a megafauna jaw fossil and identify its species.
  • Students relate the structure of teeth and jaws to their functions and body size.
  • Students systematically record observations and use them to make deductions.
Educational value
  • Demonstrates how palaeontologists analyse physical characteristics of fossils to identify species.
  • Illustrates relationships between dentition and diet.
  • Illustrates morphology of extinct Australian megafauna and its relation to functions.
  • Supports repeated use by randomly generating a fossil to analyse and identify.
  • Includes an interactive notebook to record observations.
  • Provides species descriptions for several large extinct animals.
Year level


Learning area
  • science
  • Science/Science understanding
    • Science/Animals
    • Science/Food
    • Science/Fossils
    • Science/Evidence
    • Science/Scientific techniques
    • Knowledge;
    • Comprehension;
    • Application;
    • Analysis
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Experiment;
    • Analysis;
    • Modelling
    Learning design
    • Experiential learning;
    • Independent learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    • Script writer
    • Name: Nik Bambrick
    • Organisation: Verve Interactive Pty Ltd
    • Address: North Bondi NSW 2026 Australia
    • Subject matter expert
    • Name: Andrew Inglis
    • Organisation: The University of Western Australia
    • Address: Nedlands WA 6907 Australia
    • URL:
    • Technical implementer
    • Organisation: The University of Western Australia; The Centre for Learning Technology
    • Address: Nedlands WA 6907 Australia
    • URL:
    • Publisher
    Access profile
    • Colour independence
    • Device independence
    • Hearing independence
    Learning resource type
    • Interactive Resource
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 6.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 7.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: 2.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 2.0 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: X
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: 2000 - maximum version: XP
    • © Curriculum Corporation, 2009, except where indicated under Acknowledgements