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Dinosaur Ecosystems

New Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Dinosaur Ecosystems

Life and Planetary Evolution | February 8, 2017

Ever wondered what it would be like to live in the world of dinosaurs? 

The Department of Earth Sciences is pleased to introduce a global adventure to learn how palaeontologists use animal and plant fossils as well as living forms to reconstruct dinosaur ecosystems at the MOOC learning platform, This free HKU online course started on February 8th 2017 and is undertaken by students from over 100 countries.

About this course 
Using the Late Cretaceous fossil site of Erlian, China as an example, we bring you to the Gobi desert, as well as leading international museums and institutions to find out how we reconstruct dinosaur ecosystems. 

This biology and life science course will focus on the knowledge we can gain from studying animals and plants. You will learn about a dinosaur’s biology including their appearance, classification and diet. We will take a close look at the mostly meat eating theropod dinosaurs, as well as the main plant eating dinosaurs, the sauropodomorphs and ornithischians. At the end of the course, you will learn how palaeontologists use fossil and modern evidence to reconstruct dinosaurs and their ecosystems. 

The course is brought to life with the help of award-winning palaeoartist Julius T. Csotonyi and is led by HKU DES’s vertebrate palaeontologist Dr Michael Pittman in collaboration with his esteemed colleague Professor Xu Xing of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Beijing. A range of guests from around the World will also share their expertise during the course.

What you'll learn
•    Dinosaur biology
•    How palaeontologists reconstruct ancient ecosystems using fossil and modern evidence
•    The traits and significance of a Late Cretaceous dinosaur ecosystem  

For more information and to register for the course, please visit: 

We hope you will enjoy the course and look forward to seeing you online.