Spring 2020 - EASC 103 D100

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs (3)

Class Number: 1284

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We, Fr 3:30 PM – 4:50 PM
    AQ 3005, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Robbie Donald
    1 778 782-4925
    Office: TASC 1 Room 7223



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. Dinosaur fossils – body fossils and trace fossils.
3. The geologic time scale – a record that goes back 4.56 billion years!
4. Dinosaur ancestry and biological classification; dinosaur anatomy.
5. The rise of dinosaurs – the earliest dinosaurs appear in the Triassic.
6. The big theropod meat-eaters.
7. The feathered theropods and the dinosaur-bird connection.
8. The long-necked sauropods.
9. The ornithopods – iguanondontids and the ‘duck bills’ (hadrosaurs & lambeoaurs).
10. Thyreophora – the ‘armoured dinosaurs’ (stegosaurs and ankylosaurs).
11. Marginocephalia – the ‘thick-headed’ dinosaurs (ceratopsians and pachycephalosaurs).
12. The fall of the dinosaurs – the K/Pg Extinction Event.

Course Organization:
Two 90-minute lectures per week. Some Friday lectures will be replaced with a visit the Earth Sciences lab for a ‘Dinos in the Lab’ day. Students complete a pre-lab assignment to turn in at the lab. During the ‘lab’ students will complete an exercise. In addition, participation marks will come from in-class group ‘Quick Writes’, documentary assignments (as homework) and an on-campus ‘field trip’. Examinations include a geologic time scale quiz and 3 non-cumulative tests. Test format includes multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, matching, labeling, drawing and short-answer questions.


  • In-Lecture Quick Writes & homework assignments 10%
  • 'Dinos in the Lab' pre-lab assignments & in-lab exercises 10%
  • Geologic Time Scale Quiz 5%
  • Test 1 25%
  • Test 2 25%
  • Test 3 25%


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.  
ISBN: 9780231173117

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/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