Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dino Digestion

Herbivorous dinosaurs could not chew their food as they did not have molar teeth. 

So, instead they swallowed stones known as 'gastroliths' which bumped and jumped around in their stomach!  Scientists know this because dinosaur fossils have been discovered with the small stones where their stomach would have been!

Herbivores ripped and swallowed plants and leaves, which then mixed with the gastroliths.  As the dinosaurs moved around, their food got churned up and was easier to digest.

Today we did a little experiment to investigate this...

First you find a tub with a lid, put in some small stones and add some plant material (eg lettuce).

Close the lid.  Secure it with tape and then give it a good shake!

Quite quickly you end up with DINOSAUR MUSH!   How lovely!!!

We didn't lose any and yet there is not much mushy mess in the box.

Meanwhile in 4G...
Gastroliths at the ready, another leaf-turns-to-soup operation was underway:

Plant-eating dinosaurs would have had to have eaten all day to get enough food to satisfy their hunger and generate enough energy to move their big bodies. And without the gastroliths they might have had a bad case of dino-indigestion!


  1. i think that it is very disgusting but it is very funny.

    from matias

  2. Very good practical class. The children have learnt the dino digestion in a very funny way.

  3. This is great. I love this experiment but I'm glad that I didn't look at the pictures of the mushed up lettuce before my breakfast. Yuck!

  4. Hi Year 4,
    This is a really good way to learn about what is going on in a herbivorous dinosaur’s tummy! I saw your equation on Mrs Baldwin’s board (lettuce + stones = mess) and it made me smile.
    Miss Ash

  5. I loved shaking the box especially when we saw the mess inside.

    1. Me too!!! This activity was funnnn.

  6. I loved the part when we looked inside. I can't imagine how we would look like if we where Dinosaurs!