Fall 2022 - EASC 103 D100

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs (3)

Class Number: 1932

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, Fr 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    AQ 3159, Burnaby

    We 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
    AQ 3159, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Cindy Hansen
    1 778 782-8518
    Office: TASC 1 Room 7009



Dinosaurs ruled our planet for nearly 150 million years until the abrupt extinction of all non-avian (non-bird) dinosaurs, approximately 66 million years ago. We examine geologic time, fossils and biological classification, and investigate the rise and fall of the theropods, sauropods, ornithopods, stegosaurs, ankylosaurs, ceratopsians, and pachycephalosaurs. Breadth-Science.


The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is an introductory course with focus on the Mesozoic Earth. We will examine the ‘Age of Reptiles’ and gain insights into a world ruled by dinosaurs. We begin with a broad look at fossils, geologic time and biological classification, and spend most of our time looking at the different groups of dinosaurs. The course ends with the extinction of the (non-avian) dinosaurs.

Course Topics:
1. An introduction to dinosaurs, fossils, geologic time and biological classification
2. Dinosaur ancestry and anatomy
3. The rise of dinosaurs: the Triassic dinosaurs
4. Theropod classification and diversity
5. Sauropods: the long-necks
6. Ornithopods: iguanondontids and the ‘duck bills’
7. Thyreophora: plated dinos and the armoured tanks
8. Marginocephalia: horned dinos and the dome-heads
9. The fall of the dinosaurs: the K/Pg Extinction Event

Course Organization: Three 50-minute lectures per week.

Course Details:

  • The course is organized with 3 tests (no final exam). Attendance at each lecture is expected. At the end of the lecture students work in small groups to complete a ‘quick write’ exercise and a short post-lecture homework exercise is handed out. The homework is due at the start of the following lecture.
  • Some weeks the Friday lecture will be replaced with a ‘Dinos in the Lab’ day – a museum-like visit to our Earth Sciences lab where students will visit dinosaur displays and complete a short exercise. A sign-up sheet will be posted in which students will select a one-hour block to visit the lab between 9:30 and 3:30 for each of the four ‘Dinos in the Lab’ days.


Students successfully completing this course will be able to:

  • Understand fossil preservation and types.
  • Know the geologic time scale and key events in biological evolution.
  • Know dinosaur classification.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the key evolutionary novelties for dinosaur clades.
  • Provide examples for each of the dinosaur clades.
  • Understand the Cretaceous-Paleogene Mass Extinction Event.


  • Quick Writes (lecture participation) 10%
  • Post-Lecture Homework (short exercises due each lecture day) 10%
  • Dinos in the Lab Exercises (participation) 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).



Access to Canvas


Course E-Text: Dinosaurs: the Textbook, 6th edition by Spencer G. Lucas, 2016.

If available, an online version of the textbook will be linked through the SFU Library.
ISBN: 9780231541848


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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.

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