Dinosaur in the Dump

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

Dinosaur in the Dump

April 15, 2015

Digging for bonesDinosaur bones may be old, but you don’t have to be old to find one. 4-year-old Wylie Brys was out digging for fossils with his dad, who’s a zookeeper. Fossils are really old bones that have slowly turned to rock, and they hoped to dig up some fossilized sharks’ teeth, which you can find on land that used to be under the ocean millions of years ago. Instead, Wylie found a damp, purplish-gray lump that turned out to be a dinosaur bone that’s more than 100 million years old! Then just this week scientists found another bone like it in the same spot. They think the bones come from a Nodosaur, a short, wide tank-shaped dinosaur that ate plants. If we can find more leftover bones from this critter, we’ll know a lot more about how he looked, even if we can never meet a live one.

Wee ones: Are you older or younger than 4-year-old Wylie? 

Little kids: If Wylie keeps finding 1 bone a year, starting with this first one when he’s 4, how old will he be when he finds the 5th bone?  Bonus: Wylie and his dad found the first bone in August. How many months ago was that, if we’re now in April?

Big kids: We think dinosaurs died out completely about 65 million years ago. If this bone is 100 million years old, how long before the dinosaurs disappeared did this one show up?  Bonus: How many zeroes does the number 100 million have? How many times do you have to multiply by 10 to get there?




Wee ones: Different for everyone…take your age in years, and see if it’s bigger or smaller than 4 – or the same!

Little kids: He’ll be 8, since he will have found 4 more.  Bonus: 8 months ago.

Big kids: 35 million years earlier.  Bonus: 100 million has 8 zeroes (100,000,000). You have to multiply eight 10s to get that number: 10x10x10x10x10x10x10x10.

And thank you Ruth W. for alerting us to this story!

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking while still in diapers, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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