Dinosaur lovers everywhere rejoice. The University of Alberta is opening its online doors to unveil a course designed to answer all your roaring questions about the fascinating animals that once walked the earth.
Dino 101 will provide the opportunity to learn from one of the world's foremost dinosaur experts, Philip Currie, and registration is now open. The course requirements? An internet connection and a sense of adventure.
“The University of Alberta has an international reputation for research excellence in paleontology,” said the university's Faculty of Science Dean Jonathan Schaeffer in a statement.
“There are limited opportunities for students around the world to study paleontology.
"We're excited to share the grandeur of these larger than life ambassadors from our past with millions of people around the world."
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Working together, a pair of Carcharodontosaurus saharicus, one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs, steal away a juvenile Paralititan stromeri from its family herd. Paralititans were swamp-dwellers that grew to be one of the largest creatures to ever roam the Earth. Mixed media, 2011.
A 36-foot-long Pliosaurus attacks the plesiosaur Cryptoclidus, a marine reptile from the Late Jurassic Period. Also shown: the fish Pachycormus, a shoal of the belemnite Belemnoteuthis, and the ammonite Pectinatites. Acrylic Painting, 2008.
Rugops Primus Environmental Scene
The scavenger Rugops, a dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous that lived in what is now Africa, driving a trio of the pterosaur Tupuxuara from the corpse of the sail-backed iguanadontid Ouranosaurus. The crocodylomorphs, relatives of the modern crocodile, are the 'boar-croc' Kaprosuchus.
Ammonites, so called after the Egyptian god Ammon, were carnivorous squidlike animals that could be over 3 feet in diameter. Here, several ammonites decay on the sea floor. Material: Gouache, 2011. Based on a prepared slab in Ulster Museum. Courtesy of A. Cowap.
Reaper In Paradise
The giant crocodile, Deinosuchus riograndensis, attacks an Albertosaurs, a smaller relative of the Tyrannosaurus, in Late Cretaceous North America, 75 million years ago. Acrylic painting, 2003.
Mammoths And Saber-Toothed Cats
A pride of Smilodon fatalis, often called a saber-toothed cat, attacks a calf belonging to a herd of mammoths while the mother moves to protect her offspring. Digital painting
Aucasaurus Attacking Titanosaur Nests
During the Late Cretaceous (85 million years ago) Aucasaurus, a pack-hunting dinosaur, attacks a group of startled titanosaurs in Argentina. Pushing past the adults guarding their nests, the Aucasauruses snap up the babies as they hatch. From National Geographic, March 2003, 'Dinosaurs - Flesh & Bone'
Gallimimus Bullatus & Tarbosaurus Bataarm
Tarbosaurus, a predatory reptile that lived 70 million years ago in parts of Asia, chases two Gallimimuses, ostrich-like dinosaurs that could grow nearly 30 feet long. Digital Art, 2010.
One Split Second: Triceratops Vs. Tyrannosaurus Rex
The T-Rex probably preyed on Triceratops, because their territories overlapped 65 million years ago. While the T-Rex had its famous bite to use for a weapon, triceratops' powerful horns were a formidable defense. Digital Painting/photographic composite. 2011. From the Golden Book of Dinosaurs, by Robert Baker/Rey.
Ambush In The Late Miocene Of Florida
This scene shows a prehistoric rhino struggling to escape the sharp claws of two saber-toothed cats. From left to right: Aelurodon, Teleoceras (rhino), Barbourofelis (saber-tooth), Neohipparion (horse), Aepycamelus (giraffe-like camels), Synthetoceras.
Smilodon & Paramylodon
A Smilodon, or saber-toothed cat, dispatches a ground sloth trapped in tar during the Ice Age in North America. Digital painting.
A huge toad from the late Cretaceous of Madagascar that may have grown to over 16 inches long and could have weighed up to 9 pounds. It was certainly big enough to eat baby dinosaurs. Acrylics on illustration board, 2007.
Cretaceous Rodeo (Aka T-Rex Family Life)
The Tyrannosaurus rex was one of the most formidable predators of all the dinosaurs. The 40-foot-long carnivore had teeth up to twelve inches long. However, there is a debate among paleontologists over whether the T-Rex was an apex predator or a scavenger. Acrylics & ink on cardboard, 2004.
Devourer Of Giants
Five million years ago, several Anacus - a straight-tusked member of the elephant family - have been caught in a flash flood and drowned. Washed out to sea, they attract two adult and a juvenile mega-shark named Carcharodon megalodon - at around 60 feet, probably the largest shark known. Acrylic painting, 2000.
Pristichampsus Attacking Early Horses
Pristichampsus is an extinct crocodile relative that could grow up to 10 feet long. The armored reptile lived mostly on land, and fed on land mammals like these early horses. Detail from composite scene for the TV show Animal Planet. Gouache
Megantereon Attacking Bushbuck
Megantereon, an early saber-toothed cat, may have eaten young rhinos, elephants, and horses. The felines probably bit their prey on the neck to kill them, and then let them bleed to death, like the bushbuck pictured here. Kromdraai A, Early Pleistocene of South Africa. Colored pencils, from Evolving Eden (Columbia University Press)
Photos courtesy Titan Books
Developed in partnership with Coursera, an online education hub that hosts students from around the world, the course also has a free version.
Students will learn about how dinosaurs lived, what they ate and how they fought, as well as their origins and extinction.
The course has Jurassic perks, says the university, with lessons being delivered from museums, fossil preparation labs and dig sites.
Interactive elements include a 3D fossil file of real scanned dino bones and a history of time tool to explore exactly when the species roamed the earth.
The course capitalizes on the rich collection of paleontological resources in Alberta, says the university.
"We're excited to be partnering with the University of Alberta to offer a course that will ignite imaginations and engage people of all ages to learn about a subject as fascinating as dinosaurs,” said Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller.
“Dino 101 will be engaging for individuals, families and community members to share in the learning experience of the scientific method through the inspirational world of dinosaurs,” said Schaeffer. "It will also help highlight the best of Alberta’s rich dinosaur assets.”
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