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Pick a choice and write a discussion board with two replies

Choice 1: Fossil Show and Tell!

While fossilization is a rare process, so much life has lived on Earth for so long that there is a huge variety of fossils that have been discovered. Browse a few online galleries of fossils and choose one to describe to the rest of the class.

Go to one of these websites with museum or study collections of fossils:

African Fossils (needs Flash, 3D models): (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

The Burgess Shale: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

The Virtual Fossil Museum: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Browse the site until you find a fossil you want to show the class. Then, write your post:

Initial Post

Answer all of the following questions.

  1. What is the web address for your fossil?
  2. What are common and scientific names of this organism (if mentioned)?
  3. What type of organism is it? If an unfamiliar name is given (e.g., Polychaete), search online for a common name (“bristle worm”).
  4. Where and which time period is it from? For named periods (e.g., “Early Cambrian”), search online for how many years ago it was.
  5. Why did you choose this fossil?

The initial post should be at least 200 words.


A full score will be given to a post and replies that address all of the required points. The breakdown of the assigned score are:

  • Initial Post (6 points)
  1. Thorough answer to the question (4 points)
  2. College-level use of spelling and grammar (2 points)
  • Replies (4 points)
  1. At least two replies that demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the initial post (4 points)

Choice 2: Learning About Prehistoric Primates

I wager that you have never really thought about prehistoric primates before! Even though thousands of specimens have been found, the primate fossil record is spottier than what we have for other life forms. The picture that this puzzle shows so far has a lot of tantalizing information about how our branch of the family tree came about.

Initial Post

Answer these questions:

  1. What fact or idea you have learned this week about prehistoric primates intrigued you the most? Why did it get your attention?

The initial post should be at least 200 words.

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