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Dinosaur Discoveries

Season 2

Episode 201: Dinosaur Big City (Part I)/Dinosaur Big City (Part II)

Dinosaur Big City (Part I)
Buddy and the Pteranodon family begin their journey on the Dinosaur Train, gathering all their Theropod friends together to travel to a really big Theropod Club Convention which is being held in Laramidia, the “Dinosaur Big City”!

Fun Fact: Laramidia was an island continent that existed during the Late Cretaceous period, when the Western Interior Seaway split the continent of North America in two.

Dinosaur Big City (Part II)
The Pteranodon family continues their journey to the Theropod Convention in Laramidia, the Dinosaur Big City! Among the Theropod dinosaurs that ride the Train with them is King Cryolophosaurus, who sings his songs “Big Ol’ Whistle-Stop Rock-n-Roll Dinosaur Tour” and “Whole Lotta Theropods”!

Fun Fact: Theropods were a large classification of carnivorous dinosaurs that had three-toed feet, lots of teeth, a long tail for balancing, and a great sense of smell!

Episode 202: Dinosaur Big City (Part III)/Dinosaur Big City (Part IV)

Dinosaur Big City (Part III)
The Dinosaur Train arrives in Laramidia, the Dinosaur Big City, and Buddy and the Pteranodon family explore the crowded “dinosaur metropolis.” At the Theropod Convention, our kids reunite with Annie Tyrannosaurus and her parents Dolores and Boris, and they all meet the multi-horned mayor, Mayor Kosmoceratops!

Fun Fact: Kosmoceratops is a genus of herbivorous dinosaurs which lived during the Late Cretaceous period on the island continent Laramidia that is now Utah, United States. Kosmoceratops is distinguished by an ornate skull – 15 horns – the most ornate of any known dinosaur.

Dinosaur Big City (Part IV)
Buddy and Tiny help King Cryolophosaurus overcome his fear of performing in front of his biggest audience ever, and he wows a large dinosaur audience when he sings his new song, “Whole Lotta Theropods” at the Theropod Convention in Laramidia, the Dinosaur Big City.

Fun Fact: Laramidia, the island continent that existed during the Late Cretaceous period, when the Western Interior Seaway split the continent of North America in two, was home to a very diverse number of dinosaur species, including many theropods.

Episode 203: Stargazing on the Night Train/Get Into Nature!

Stargazing on the Night Train
The Pteranodon family rides a special ‘Night Train” to another part of the Cretaceous Time Period, where they meet a Troodontid “cousin” of the Conductor’s, Sidney Sinovenator, who knows more about the stars than anyone. Sidney takes the family up to his favorite stargazing spot, “Starry Hill,” and teaches the kids why the stars seem to move across the night sky.

Fun Fact: The stars we see in the night sky are actually suns like our own sun, but they appear to us as tiny pinpoints of light because they are so far away from us. The stars we see in the night sky change over the course of the night, because the earth rotates as it travels around the sun.

Get Into Nature!
When the kids build their own version of a nest on the beach, below their actual family nest up on the cliff, they get the idea to turn their beach nest into a clubhouse. Shiny thinks that a clubhouse needs a club, and “the Nature Trackers” club is born! The kids decide to make their club about getting outside, getting into nature, and making new discoveries. The only problem is: which kid is in charge of the club?

Fun Fact: The kids learn more about exploration: we see them exploring their native place, asking lots of questions, and mulling over answers. Making collections of the things you find is a part of that nature exploration.

Episode 204: Shiny and Snakes/Tiny Loves Flowers

Shiny and Snakes
Shiny gets over her fear of snakes when Tiny challenges the Nature Trackers to meet the ultimate snake: the Sanajeh, a huge Cretaceous snake from what is now India. Dad takes the kids on the Dinosaur Train to find Sana Sanajeh, who may be huge, but turns out to be quite friendly. Once Shiny and Sana become friends, Shiny returns home with the knowledge that snakes aren’t scary – they’re just another part of nature!

Fun Fact: Many children (and adults) are afraid of any and all snakes, and even think of them as “evil” creatures. This episode teaches that most snakes are not harmful to us — and even do many things to help the natural world.

Tiny Loves Flowers
Tiny is horrified when her favorite buttercups all wilt, so Mom takes her and the family to the Big Pond, where she remembers seeing a whole lot of buttercups in bloom. On the way there, the Conductor gives the kids a visual lesson in “Nature’s Life Cycle,” explaining how a flower grows, blossoms, then wilts, and returns its seeds to the ground, to start the cycle all over again. Tiny finds her flowers at the Big Pond, both blooming and wilting, and can see nature’s life cycle in action.

Fun Fact: Tiny and the kids learn about the plant life cycle and what flowers needs to survive – how they take energy from their environment and change it from one form to another; how they convert sunlight, water, and nutrients in the dirt into something beautiful to look at and smell.

Episode 205: Buddy Explores the Tyrannosaurs/Rainy Day Fight

Buddy Explores the Tyrannosaurs
Buddy, an adopted T. rex, wishes he knew more about his T. rex ancestors. So, Dad takes him and Tiny on the Dinosaur Train back to the early Cretaceous, to visit an ancestor: an earlier version of Tyrannosaurus rex called Raptorex. Rodney Raptorex is a kid who won’t grow up to be as big as Buddy will, but the two boys find that they not only have a lot of differences, they have a lot in common, too.

Fun Fact: There were many other types of tyrannosaurs that came before T. rex. And many of these species died out before Buddy’s time. The giant T. rex evolved from ancestors that were small-bodied, long-armed, covered with feathers, and not much bigger than Velociraptor.

Rainy Day Fight
The kids are stuck cooped up in the nest for a long, rainy spell which leads to them fighting. Mom tells them that the rain has stopped enough that they can leave the nest – but she gives them an assignment: to go find their own “calm space,” where they can calm down enough to get along with each other again. It works – each kid finds something in nature that helps him or her to calm down and be friends again.

Fun Fact: After the kids have a fight, Mom sends each kid out (into nature of course) to find their calm space, and in doing so, make observations about nature that increases their connection to nature. The kids model fun ways that children can go outside and interact with nature. This story clearly makes the connection between nature exploration and emotional well-being.

Episode 206: That’s Not a Dinosaur/Tiny’s Garden

That’s Not a Dinosaur
The kids visit the Big Pond to attend the Biome Block Party. While attempting to win the leaf-necklace contest, Keenan Chirostemotes claims the Pteranodon sibs can’t compete for the prize for “dinosaur” with the most leaves because they are not dinosaurs. This launches the kids into a song called “That’s Not a Dinosaur”, as all the non-dinosaurs sing their piece. In the end, the game rules are changed to include all creatures, even non-dinosaurs, in all the contests!

Fun Fact: Too often, kids and adults focus only on the big, obvious inhabitants of any ecosystem. The goal of this episode is to concentrate on the diverse categories of animals—reptiles, amphibians, mammals, fish, insects, arachnids (spiders), etc. that lived in the Mesozoic alongside the huge dinosaurs.

Tiny’s Garden
The Nature Trackers go on a visit to the Big Pond, where Tiny hopes to see her favorite flowers. The Conductor tells her that if the kids gather seeds at the pond, they can bring them home and plant a garden full of those same flowers at the family nest! The kids all get into it, gathering seeds and bringing them home, where they plant a garden, and meet its new inhabitants, including Sammy, a friendly slug, who explains that slugs, spiders, and butterflies all help to make a garden complete.

Fun Fact: Life loves diversity! Successful ecosystems are diverse, with lots of different plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria. All the diverse parts act like a web, supporting each other. We show “diversity” in the garden – and show how insects are attracted to flowers, and how flowers provides food for various herbivores, etc.

Episode 207: The Earthquake/Nursery Car

The Earthquake
Mom takes the kids on a playdate with Tank Triceratops to the desert, where they meet a distant relative of Tank’s, an early Ceratopsian named Penelope Protoceratops. The Conductor points out that Penelope lives in a part of the world that gets a lot of earthquakes, and sure enough, the kids experience their first quake with Penelope. Mom and the Conductor have prepared the kids with excellent advice about what to do in an earthquake, so everyone does fine.

Fun Fact: Protoceratops belongs to one of the major groups of plant-eating dinosaurs, called ceratopsians, which also included Triceratops and Protoceratops. The surface of the earth is divided up into big chunks, called “plates,” that move around, carrying the continents with them. So the world we see today is very different from the world the dinosaurs lived in.

Nursery Car
When the family rides the Dinosaur Train, they learn that a new car has been added – a Nursery Car, with dozens of eggs in little, padded nests, attended by their expectant moms and dads. The kids watch the eggs hatch, and try to guess which hatchling goes with which dinosaur parent.

Fun Fact: Aftershocks are small earthquakes that occur following a major earthquake. They happen when the Earth’s crust adjusts to the effects of the main shock. Even giant dinosaurs hatched from relatively small eggs, but egg size is limited by restrictions on shell thickness. The shell must be thin enough to allow air to pass through tiny holes in the shell called “pores.”

Episode 208: The Forest Fire/The Lost Bird

The Forest Fire
When a forest fire comes to woods not far from the family nest at Pteranodon Terrace, the family takes the Dinosaur Train to visit a nearby area where a fire has already been, and the Conductor leads the kids on a Nature Tracker hike through the woods to see how new life is growing back – even after the forest fire’s devastation.

Fun Fact: Forest fires play a role in helping to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Fires can help the ecosystem of forests by reducing overpopulation of trees – allowing existing trees to grow larger; and cause some seeds to sprout – the seeds of lodgepole pines, for example (found in Yellowstone) will only open after they are exposed to fire.

The Lost Bird
Buddy and Tiny ride the Dinosaur Train for a playdate with their old friend Petey Peteinosaurus, and learn that the train has added a new Aviary Car, for their various flying passengers. Suddenly, they are joined by a lost bird named Judy Jehelornis, who was displaced by the recent forest fires, and can’t remember where her home is. Buddy, Tiny, and Petey act as detectives to figure out from clues where Judy’s home is, and the Conductor makes sure she’s brought safely home on the train.

Fun Fact: Jeholornis was a very primitive Mesozoic bird from the Early Cretaceous, found in what is now China. It was the size of a turkey, and scientists believe Jeholornis had pretty muscular wings but probably couldn’t flap them, speculating that the bird was a very strong glider!

Episode 209: Dry Times at Pteranodon Terrace/Big Misty Sea Fishing Contest

Dry Times at Pteranodon Terrace
When the weather has been extremely dry for several weeks, all the water holes at Pteranodon Terrace dry up. The Lambeosaurus family decides to move away in search of water, which upsets the kids. Dad and Mom decide to take the kids to the Big Pond on a camping trip, where they will wait out the drought and return home when it rains again. Don doesn’t want to leave his home, even temporarily, and decides to perfect a “rain dance” that will make the rain return.

Fun Fact: Weather changes from year to year, sometimes getting hotter and drier, sometimes colder and wetter. Drought is an extended period (months or years) with minimal rain that makes it very tough for the plants and animals of a given region. Some animals, like insects, do just fine during droughts because they require less water.

Big Misty Sea Fishing Contest
Dad learns that he’s been chosen to compete in the big annual Fishing Contest at the Big Misty Sea, and is one of three contestants. The whole family rides there on the Dinosaur Train to cheer Dad on. They learn that the contestants are Dad, the Old Spinosaurus, and Dad’s childhood friend and rival, a huge raptor named Marco Megaraptor. The three all end up fighting over Chester, the legendary biggest fish in the Big Misty Sea.

Fun Fact: Big carnivorous animals use a variety of specialized features and behavioral strategies to catch their prey. We contrast these different strategies between different dinosaurs as they each attempt to catch the biggest fish.

Episode 210: Hurricane at Pteranodon Terrace/ Rafting the Cretaceous

Hurricane at Pteranodon Terrace
The long-awaited rains finally return to Pteranodon Terrace, but grow into a huge rainstorm that grows even bigger – into a hurricane! Dad hasn’t seen it blow like this since he was a kid. They seek shelter, and Don discovers an entrance to a cave below their nest, where not only the Pteranodons, but also their other neighbors, the Lambeorsaurus family and Cindy Cimolestes, all take shelter for the night. In the morning, the storm has passed, but everyone must pitch in to rebuild their various nests.

Fun Fact: Hurricanes are powerful storms that start over warm (tropical) ocean water but can move inland, causing high winds, torrential rains, flooding, and much damage.

Rafting the Cretaceous
The family is cleaning up the mess left over from the hurricane, and discover that a raft of logs has washed up two refugees from across the Western Interior Sea – a turtle named Aidan Adocus, and a small mammal named Tommy Ptilodus. Our family learns of their adventure, crossing the sea in the storm, and washing up at Pteranodon Terrace. They decide to take their new friends to the Dinosaur Train, and ride back with them to their home in Appalachia.

Fun Fact: Land animals occasionally, and accidentally, move between landmasses across large stretches of ocean. Sometimes their descendants manage to survive in the new home, forever changing the make-up of the animals living there. Scientists use the concept of “rafting” to explain how some animals are transported over water from one location to another.

Episode 211: Haunted Roundhouse/Big Pond Pumpkin Patch

Haunted Roundhouse
Dad takes the kids on a special Night Train to Troodon Town, where the Troodons have decorated their Roundhouse into a “haunted house” for a spooky party. The kids end up meeting a strange new nocturnal creature – a mammal named Vlad Volaticotherium, who was hiding in the roundhouse trying to get some sleep.

Fun Fact: There were many small, nocturnal mammals with great hearing, like Volaticotherium, that lived alongside dinosaurs. Volaticotherium was an egg-laying, flying squirrel-like critter.

Big Pond Pumpkin Patch
The Pteranodon family learns more about the customs of their neighbors, the Lambeosaurus family, when they are invited for the first time to accompany them to the Big Pond to celebrate “Gourd Day” – a kind of Mesozoic Halloween. The kids see their first pumpkins, and Larry Lambeosaurus even shows our family how to hollow them out and carve faces into them.

Fun Fact: A gourd has seeds in the middle, and is a fruit, not a vegetable. We learn about the Autumn Moon, a very full moon that occurs around the time of the Autumnal Equinox, a 24 hour period when day and night last approximately an equal amount of time.

Episode 212: Don’s Winter Wish/Festival of Lights

Don’s Winter Wish
When the Pteranodon family travels back to the North Pole, Don declares that it’s his “winter wish” to see snow fall again. When a big blizzard comes, and even the Dinosaur Train gets snowed in, Don worries that his wish brought the blizzard. He’s especially worried for his new friend, Soren Sauronitholestes, who is sitting on a nest of her eggs, out in the blizzard. But everything turns out all right: Dad explains that wishing for something doesn’t make it happen, and the well-adapted, warm-blooded, feather-covered Soren successfully hatches her babies.

Fun Fact: The Sauronitholestes is a warm-blooded dinosaur. It’s covered with feathers, and gets additional energy and warmth from eating plenty of food. That warmth helps when such creatures sit on their unhatched eggs. All birds and mammals, and some dinosaurs, including Troodons are warm-blooded!

Festival of Lights
While visiting the North Pole, the Conductor suggests that the family stop off at Aurora Borealis Station on an enormous frozen lake to see the Aurora Borealis, where the Northern Troodons celebrate a “Festival of Lights.” While the kids wait for night to fall and view the Aurora Borealis, they work up an ice-skating show to entertain Mom and Dad. Everyone joins in to sing “Solstice Time is Here” and skate under the lights!

Fun Fact: The northern lights, or Aurora Borealis, is a natural light show in the sky caused by the clash of charged particles directed by the earth’s magnetic field.

Episode 213: Dinosaur Train Submarine: Otto Opthalmosaurus/King Meets Crystal

Dinosaur Train Submarine: Otto Opthalmosaurus
When the Pteranodon family takes the Dinosaur Train under the sea to visit their friend Elmer Elasmosaurus, they learn that the Elasmosaurus family is going away from the station to follow their food, the fish. Buddy wants to follow, but the train tunnel doesn’t go that way – so the Conductor decides to take the family in a brand-new invention, the Dinosaur Train Submarine! On their journey, they meet a marine reptile called Otto Opthalmosaurus, who guides the submarine deeper than it’s ever been, and even helps them find their way out of a sea cave.

Fun Fact: Opthalmosaurus was a large, sleek-bodied, dolphin-shaped underwater creature from the Jurassic Time Period. Its large eyes helped it hunt in deep, dark waters, and its particular streamlined shape made it a very fast swimmer.

King Meets Crystal
During a day at Troodon Town Music Festival, the Pteranodon family and King Cryolophosaurus hear a wonderful singer named Crystal Cryolophosaurus. King is very interested in becoming friends with Crystal, another dinosaur of his species, but he gets very nervous when trying to talk to her. Tiny and Buddy help King overcome his nervousness, and he and Crystal end up friends who happily sing together.

Fun Fact: We further emphasize that creatures with crests used them to show off to, and attract, others in their species. Scientists think that male Cryolophosaurus used their crests to show off, much like male peacocks use their colorful feathers.

Episode 214: Dinosaur Train Submarine: Shoshana Shonisaurus/All Kinds of Families

Dinosaur Train Submarine: Shoshana Shonisaurus
The Pteranodon family goes under the sea again, to ride the Dinosaur Train Submarine – this time they go to meet Shoshana Shonisaurus, an enormous marine reptile that’s something between a dolphin and a whale. Since Shoshana loves to dive down very deep, Shiny has a problem with following her down to the bottom of the sea. Shoshana kindly helps Shiny get over her fear of diving deep.

Fun Fact: Shonisaurus was a giant, slow marine animal that, like the modern whale, was an air-breather. Preschoolers love learning about huge, mighty whales and dolphins so learning about a comparable marine animal from the Mesozoic will be very exciting.

All Kinds Of Families
When Buddy expresses his feelings about being adopted to Tiny and Mrs. Pteranodon, they tell him that he will always be a part of the Pteranodon family. Mom takes Buddy and Tiny to meet another adopted dinosaur kid named Sonny Sauroposeidon, a huge tall creature, now a part of tiny Mikey Microraptor’s family. Buddy and Sonny bond over being adopted and knowing that they are both in adoptive families that are different species but still love and appreciate them.

Fun Fact: This episode teaches that Sauroposeidon had much in common with other sauropods—they were huge, four-legged, long-necked, tiny-headed plant-eaters. The Sauroposeidon was unique for having one of the longest necks ever of any dinosaur we know about today.

Episode 215: Dinos A to Z (Part I): The Big Idea/Dinos A to Z (Part II): Spread the Word

Dinos A to Z (Part I): The Big Idea
While riding the Dinosaur Train with Buddy and Mom, Tiny gets the idea to gather all the dinosaurs in the `Dinosaurs A to Z’ song for a picnic at Troodon Town. The Conductor agrees, and the Train starts picking up dinosaurs, as Tiny and Buddy help keep track of how many of the different species have come on board, and where they are on the dinosaur A to Z list.

This episode emphasizes the great diversity among the dinosaurs in the Mesozoic Era.

Dinos A to Z (Part II): Spread the Word
The Dinosaur Train continues traveling around the Mesozoic picking up more and more dinosaurs that are in the `Dinosaurs A to Z’ song, on the way to a picnic at Troodon Town. As more train cars are added, and the rest of the Pteranodon family comes on board, Tiny and Mrs. Conductor team up to help keep order on the increasingly crowded Train.

This episode emphasizes the great diversity among the dinosaurs in the Mesozoic Era.

Episode 216: Dinos A to Z (Part III): Classification/Dinos A to Z (Part IV): A to Z Picnic

Dinos A to Z (Part III): Classification
The Pteranodon family rides the Dinosaur Train – now with extra cars attached — as it continues picking up more dinosaurs that are in the `Dinosaurs A to Z’ song. The Pteranodon family reunites with some dinosaurs they’ve met before, and are introduced to species they’ve never met! The Pteranodon kids also learn about classification, and Don leads the way organizing the dinosaurs on the Train by their species, features, and size.

This episode stresses the idea of scientific classification – grouping diverse dinosaurs into categories by such specific things as species, features, size, time period they lived in, diet, etc.

Dinos A to Z (Part IV): A to Z Picnic
The Pteranodon family is on the Dinosaur Train, now very crowded with all 26 dinosaurs mentioned in the `Dinosaurs A to Z’ song. The Train has added more extra cars than it ever has, and there’s even an additional engine to help pull the Train to Troodon Town. At Troodon Town, all the dinosaurs have fun at a picnic, and then Tiny leads the 26 different `A to Z’ dinosaurs in a fun, rousing, and historic singing of the `Dinosaurs A to Z’ song!

This episode emphasizes the great diversity among the dinosaurs in the Mesozoic Era, and how classification is used by scientists (and our series’ kids).

Episode 217: Remember the Alamosaurus/Sunrise, Sunset

Remember the Alamosaurus
The Pteranodon kids and Dad get the idea to travel around on the Dinosaur Train and meet some of the biggest dinosaurs. They even sing a song, `The Biggest Dinosaurs’, before meeting Allie Alamosaurus, an enormous, long-necked, plant eating sauropod who is very friendly. Allie explains that her huge, strong legs hardly bend at all, but she can still have fun playing games with the kids, and teaching them some of her favorites!

Fun Fact: The huge Alamosaurus had vertical, column-like legs that they could hardly bend. The strong legs were necessary to support the massive bulk of Alamosaurus (similar to all other sauropods). Preschoolers will be encouraged to compare and contrast the size and locomotion of dinosaurs with animals alive today.

Sunrise, Sunset
Dad takes the Pteranodon kids on an overnight camping trip where they watch both a sunrise and sunset, learning that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The kids also find out more about nocturnal (night-active) animals, and diurnal (day-active) animals.

Fun Fact: The Earth is a big ball spinning around the Sun (which also spins, though not as fast). At any given time, half our planet is hit by the sun’s light; and the other half is covered in darkness. This episode also stresses that different kinds of animals are active during the day (“diurnal”), others are active at night (“nocturnal”), and others are most active during dawn and dusk (“crepuscular”).

Episode 218: A Heck of a Neck/Gilbert Visits the Nest

A Heck of a Neck
The Pteranodon kids have a Nature Trackers adventure when they meet Denise Diplodocus, a super-long, super big dinosaur. At first the kids mistake Denise’s neck for a snake, and tail as a bridge. Later, Denise amazes the kids, telling them how hard it is for her to raise up her long, heavy neck. Shiny and the others help her raise her neck higher than normal just once, but it feels better for Denise to keep closer to the ground and low-lying trees.

Fun Fact: Recent research suggests that the neck of the Diplodocus was composed of at least fifteen vertebrae and were generally held parallel to the ground and unable to have been elevated much past horizontal. This means that Diplodocus were restricted to foods within about 30 feet of the ground.

Gilbert Visits the Nest
Shiny is nervous about Gilbert’s impending visit to Pteranodon Terrace. She goes into a cleaning frenzy, wanting everything to look perfect, and her siblings to act perfectly. When Gilbert arrives, everyone starts having fun except Shiny who feels ignored. Soon Gilbert and the other kids persuade Shiny to join them, and they all eat, play, and laugh together.

Fun Fact: Sassafras is a tree that grows 30–59 feet tall, with many slender branches, and smooth, orange-brown bark. All parts of the tree are very fragrant. The young leaves and twigs produce a citrus-like scent when crushed. Sassafras trees can be found living today. The gastropod shell is a part of the body of a snail and is used for protection from predators.

Episode 219: An Apatosaurus Adventure/Nature Art

An Apatosaurus Adventure
The Pteranodon kids visit the Jurassic Time Period to meet Apollo Apatosaurus, a huge, long-necked, long-tailed dinosaur who likes adventure. Apollo loves to whip his long tail, and does so as he leads the kids on a pretend adventure to find a hard-to-reach tree with yummy, delicious leaves!

Fun Fact: Animals employ a variety of methods to protect themselves. Scientists believe that Apatosaurus may have defended itself by rearing up on its hind legs, and by using its whip-like tail as a weapon.

Nature Art
Mrs. Pteranodon cleans out the clutter from the family nest and the kids are amazed at the pile of stuff – leaves, flower petals, pieces of wood, and shells. Tiny stops Mom from throwing out all the stuff, determined that she and Buddy, Tiny, and Don will find a use for it all. And, they do– the Pteranodon kids have fun making nature art on the beach using the items from nest!

This episode demonstrates how to make Nature Art (following in the footsteps of nature artists, Zach Pine and Andy Goldsworthy). We will teach kids about making art from items found in nature— from spherical orbs of sand to sand-designs filled in with seaweed to stacked towers of balanced rocks. The natural items to make art (leaves, branches, rocks, dirt) are all kid-friendly and generally readily available natural materials.

Episode 220: Arnie Rides the Flatcar/Old Reliable

Arnie Rides the Flatcar
Buddy, Tiny, and Mom visit their very large sauropod friend, Arnie Argentinosaurus, and his dad. Arnie has grown bigger since our kids have seen him and is now too big to ride on the Dinosaur Train anymore. Tiny and Buddy arrange with Mr. Conductor for Arnie to be the first big dinosaur to ride on the newest Dinosaur Train car – the flatbed car!

Fun Fact: IScientists theorize that the plant-eating Argentinosaurus had a total body length of somewhere around 130-140 feet. It had an extremely long length and tail, and a small head. Argentinosaurus was almost 10 times bigger than the biggest meat-eating dinosaurs of the time. Because of its size, the Argentinosaurus probably spent a lot of its day seeking and eating plants, and had very few problems with predators.

Old Reliable
Mr. Pteranodon and Mr. Lambeosaurus take all the kids to see a field of geysers – holes in the ground that hot water shoots out from! At the same time, Mrs. Pteranodon and Mrs. Lambeosaurus are relaxing nearby in soothing pools of warm water, called hot springs. In the end, the kids love seeing the geysers and then joining the Moms in their hot springs, while accidentally surprising Mr. Conductor who is secretly trying to relax in his own private hot spring pool!

Fun Fact: We explain that much of the inside of the Earth is very hot and molten. When molten rock (magma) gets close to the Earth’s surface, it can warm up water, producing such phenomena as “hot springs” and “geysers.” Geysers occur when water is superheated by the magma and then violently forced to the surface along cracks in the rocks. We show that both geysers and hot springs are very much active in our modern world.

Episode 221: Tiny and the Crocodile/Meet the Grandparents

Tiny and the Crocodile
Team Pteranodon travels to Dienosuchas Swamp to meet Deanna Dienosuchas, a 40 foot crocodile with many big teeth, and a crabby attitude. Tiny leads the way to warm up Deanna who turns out to be more friendly and less scary than our kids imagined.

Fun Fact: Deinosuchus was a 40 foot crocodile that was a ferocious carnivore with a mighty tail measuring half its body length. Llike modern crocodiles and aligators, its tail probably helped it swim swiftly through the water, and could have been used as a defensive weapon.

Meet the Grandparents
The Pteranodon kids have special visitors – their Grandma and Grandpa! The kids delight in realizing they share similar traits with their grandparents (laughs, expressions, and interests), and love showing Grandma and Grandpa around the nest area and playing some games they all like.

Fun Fact: Many animals, such as Pteranodons, undertook annual long distance migrations.

Episode 222: The Egg Stealer?/To Grandparents’ Nest We Go!

The Egg Stealer?
Buddy and Don stumble upon a mystery when they find unhatched eggs on their beach, The mystery grows when some of the eggs are stolen. Don and Buddy become detectives and suspect that maybe Tiny, Shiny, or other friends may be stealing the eggs. They’re not. Soon, all the kids join in to solve the mystery, as they figure out that the eggs belong to an over-protective, caring mom named Olivia Oviraptor who is just trying to keep her eggs safe.

Fun Fact: The Oviraptor is famous because of fossils found with the mother on the nest of eggs, showing the arms (wings) wrapped around the outside—the same classic brooding posture used by birds. We draw parallels between how this Mesozoic creature was thought to have cared for their young much the way modern animals, such as birds, care for their babies.

To Grandparents’ Nest We Go!
Buddy, Tiny, Shiny, and Don have fun spending a special day with their retired Grandma and Grandpa at their cliffside nest. The kids get to see things from their Dad’s childhood nature collection, and afterwards they play games and fish with Grandma and Grandpa.

We emphasize geography – the Pteranodon grandparents live on the other (eastern) side of the Cretaceous Interior Seaway. The Pteranodon family lives on Laramidia, whereas the grandparents live on Appalachia.

Episode 223: Double-Crested Trouble/Erma and the Conductor

Double-Crested Trouble
While riding the Dinosaur Train, Buddy and Tiny meet Dylan and Devlin Dilophosaurus, twin brothers with amazing double-crests on their heads. Dylan and Devlin like to compete over everything from getting the best seat on the train, to being the best hunter. After Tiny and Buddy spend time with the brothers, they show them how working as a team can help them succeed while hunting!

Fun Fact: The unique double-crests of Dilophosaurus were used, like most creatures’ crests, to show-off and impress. This episode also stresses the predatory lifestyles of these dinosaurs, noting that most carnivores have to hunt and scavenge to “make a living,” using all their instincts, while taking advantage of whatever meat they can find.

Erma and the Conductor
The Pteranodon family is on the Dinosaur Train headed to the Big Pond for a special nighttime treat – watching a meteor shower in the sky! Mr. Conductor stops to pick up Erma Eoraptor, his best friend, whom he’s excited to spend time with that night. At the Big Pond, the Conductor and Erma are interrupted a few times while trying to be alone, but soon find the perfect spot back on the Train. They watch the meteor shower from there, as our Pteranodon family watches the amazing meteors from the Big Pond beach.

Fun Fact: There are stars in the night sky, of course, but also ice dust and bits of rock. When they shoot through the sky and get low to the Earth we call them “meteors.” When many meteors shoot across the sky and give off trails of bright lights, that’s a meteor shower. The showers often last most of the night.

Episode 224: Dome-Headed Dinosaur/Treasure Hunt

Dome-Headed Dinosaur
The Pteranodon kids and their dome-headed friend Spikey Stygimoloch meet a brother and sister, Patrick and Pamela Pachycephalosaurus, two dinosaurs with enormous dome heads. Spikey bonds with the Pachycephalosaurus. Patrick and Pamela are athletes who invite our kids, Mom, and Spikey along to watch them use their impressive dome heads to play a volleyball type sport called, Dome Ball.

Fun Fact: Pachycephalosaurus used their thickened bony dome heads to butt against the sides of other pachycephalosaurs in order to figure out who was the biggest and strongest. Their thick, domed heads were also used for show – to help the species recognize others of its species and to compete for mates.

Treasure Hunt
Don has a large collection of things he’s found in nature, but he’s missing one hard-to-locate item – amber. On the Dinosaur Train, Don and the other Pteranodon kids find out that Gilbert is also looking for amber. At Amber Arroyo caves, Don and Gilbert separately search for and find amber, eventually bonding over their discoveries.

Fun Fact: When most preschoolers think of the word “fossil,” they think of ancient bones or footprints from the past. Many will be surprised to learn that a sticky substance that trees give off (resin), which functions to protect the plants from herbivores, fossilizes over millions of years and turns to amber. It often encases bits of organic material inside (insects or leaves), giving scientists an interesting window into the past.

Episode 225: Dinosaur Train Submarine: Maisie Mosasaurus/Date Night

Dinosaur Train Submarine: Maisie Mosasaurus
The Pteranodon family goes back underwater in the Dinosaur Train Submarine and meet Maisie and Marvin Mosasaurus, a daughter and father who are huge, fast-swimming lizards with flippers. Maisie and Shiny bond when they discover neither likes to go down deep in the water. The Pteranodons and Mosasaurus have a great time up near the ocean’s surface, each family showing the other how they hunt and catch fish to eat.

Fun Fact: This episode teaches that not all the big, scary predators during the “Age of Dinosaurs” were, in fact, dinosaurs. In the waters of the late Cretaceous Time Period, were a group of marine reptiles called mosasaurs – the largest of which was Mosasaurus – a giant, swift swimming, crocodile-like animal.

Date Night
When Mrs. Pteranodon announces that she and Mr. Pteranodon are going on a special anniversary date that night, and the Pteranodon kids will have their first babysitter ever, the kids are not very happy. The babysitter is Keira Chirostenotes, a responsible, patient teenager. Buddy, Tiny, Shiny, and Don each take almost the whole evening to warm up to her. While Mom and Dad are on their date on the Dinosaur Night Train, Mom is relaxed, but Dad really misses the kids and can’t stop thinking about them. In the end, Mom and Dad rush back to the nest to find all the kids and Keira having a great time!

Fun Fact: Chirostenotes was an omnivore. Scientists think that they ate both plants and animals, and there’s a good chance they ate a combination of small reptiles and mammals, as well as eggs, insects and plants.

Episode 226: Dinosaur Train Submarine: A Sea Turtle Tale/Rocket Train

Dinosaur Train Submarine: A Sea Turtle Tale
Our Pteranodon family is on the beach watching small eggs hatch and baby Archelon turtles emerge, and start to swim away. Our family and Mr. Conductor get into the Dinosaur Train Submarine and follow the baby Archelons who discover their own facts of nature – that their mother doesn’t stay with them after they’re born, and that they will grow up to be giant-sized sea turtles.

Fun Fact: Archelon was a giant sea turtle that came out onto the beach to lay its many (hundreds of) eggs, and then left the young to fend for themselves upon hatching.

Rocket Train
Tiny and Buddy find out that a newer train will be riding the same tracks as the Dinosaur Train. The new train is called the Rocket Train, and its conductor is named Thurston Troodon, who was a former classmate and rival of Mr. Conductor. Thurston is very confident and boasts that the Rocket Train is newer, better, and faster than the “old Dinosaur Train.” Mrs. Troodon, Thurston, and Mr. Conductor’s old teacher, suggests a friendly train race. With Tiny and Buddy on board, the “old” Dinosaur Train ends up helping out Thurston and the new Rocket Train after it breaks down.

Fun Fact: Proganochelys was a land-turtle from the Triassic Time Period with a strong beak, armor-covered feet and tail, and a bony shell made up of about 60 plates! The creature’s neck is covered with spikes, to protect itself from predators! Proganochelys cannot pull its neck into its shell. The Triassic Time Period was generally hot and dry, and populated by small dinosaurs and amazing reptiles!

Produced by: Support from:
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