Spring 2018 - EASC 103 D100

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs (3)

Class Number: 1973

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM
    WMC 3260, Burnaby

    Fr 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM
    SSCK 9500, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 23, 2018
    8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
    SWH 10041, Burnaby



Class Dinosauria and how our understanding of this extinct group continues to evolve in the light of new discoveries. Topics include the rise of the dinosaurs, criteria for the recognition of the different groups, fossil data regarding dinosaur metabolism, evidence of dinosaur behavior, possible evolutionary relationships with birds, and theories of dinosaur extinction. Students may not take EASC 103 for credit towards EASC major or minor program requirements. Students with credit for EASC 103W may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Science.


The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is an introductory course with focus on the evolution, dominance, and extinction of (non-avian) dinosaurs. We will examine the Mesozoic Earth during the ‘Age of Reptiles’ and gain insights into a world ruled by the dinosaurs.

Course Topics:
1. What is and isn’t a dinosaur?
2. The geologic time scale – a record that goes back 4.56 billion years!
3. The fossil record, biological classification, and evolution.
4. The ‘Rise’ of dinosaurs – dinosaur ancestry.
5. Dinosaur classification – identification of the Saurischian and Ornithischian groups; highlighted with examples and recent discoveries.
6. Dinosaur appearance and behavior – modern ideas and evidence from the fossil record.
7. Dinosaur Earth – What was the climate and paleogeography during the Mesozoic? What plants and animals existed during the dinosaur’s reign? What dinosaur groups co-existed?
8. Dinosaur metabolism – warm- or cold-blooded?
9. “Feathered” dinosaurs and the evolution of birds.
10. The ‘Fall’ of the dinosaurs. What happened 66 million years ago to suddenly end the long reign of the non-avian dinosaurs?

Course Organization: Two 90-minute lectures per week. Course grades are mainly based on the results of two midterm exams and a final exam


  • Geologic Time Scale Quize 5%
  • Participation (Including 2 or 3 'dinos in the lab' visits to the Earth Sciences Lab) 5%
  • Midterm 1 20%
  • Midterm 2 20%
  • Final Exam 50%


This course fulfills Breadth-Science (B-Sci) requirements with successful completion (C- letter grade or better).



Dinosaurs: the Textbook, 6th edition by Spencer G. Lucas, 2016.

Note: a number of copies of the textbook will be placed on library reserve.
ISBN: 9780231173117

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html