Photograph courtesy Atlantic Productions and ZOO
National Geographic Entertainment’s Flying Monsters 3D sets out to uncover the truth about the dinosaur cousin, the pterosaur, with a wingspan of approximately 12 meters (40 feet) and equal to that of a modern-day jet plane. Flying Monsters 3D features one of the greatest mysteries in paleontology: how and why did pterosaurs fly? How did creatures the size of giraffes defy gravity and soar through prehistoric skies?
The education resources on this page invite you to connect biology and Earth science instruction with pterosaur species investigations using film clips, illustrations, and hands-on activities. Flying Monsters 3D, in theaters now, will inspire and intrigue, sparking students’ imaginations and showing that science is dynamic and happening not too far from our own backyards.
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Activities for Grades 9-12
Students differentiate between observations and hypotheses in an article about pterosaurs. They then consider how challenging and further testing hypotheses is part of the nature of science.
Students group vertebrates and share their reasoning in classifying them. They compare their approach to Linnaean and modern systems in order to explore evolutionary relationships and the dynamic nature of classification.
Students examine animals that are examples of convergent evolution. They then analyze wings of bats, birds, and pterosaurs to see why these animals are not closely related.
Learn more about paleontology, the study of ancient life on Earth, through reference content such as encyclopedic entries and collections.
Paleontology is the study of the history of life on Earth as based on fossils. Fossils are the remains of plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, and single-celled living things that have been replaced by rock material or impressions of organisms preserved in rock.