Paleo-Knowledge Bowl Sample Questions

Teams of 3 contestants each from schools throughout the region compete in the Paleo-Knowledge Bowl’s 3 rounds of questions on paleontology, and especially about dinosaurs. Here are some actual questions. How would you have done? (Answers below.)

Question 1. Which of the following is not a dinosaur?


Question 2. Archaeopteryx is the earliest fossil that most paleontologists agree is a bird. Fossils of Archaeopteryx show feather impressions, but the bony skeleton shares many features with theropod dinosaurs. Name one feature found in both theropod dinosaurs and Archaeopteryx that is not found in modern birds.

Question 3. Vertebrates are animals with backbones, such as frogs, snakes, elephants and humans. What kind of animals were the earliest vertebrates?

Question 4. What group of animals was the first to successfully inhabit the land masses of the world?

Question 5. About how old is the earth?

Question 6. About how old is the first evidence of life on earth that has been found?

Question 7. Paleontologists believe some dinosaurs may have migrated from place to place. Even if this were true, a herd of dinosaurs in Montana could not have migrated to Connecticut. What geographic feature would have prevented this?

Question 8. What famous duck-billed dinosaur found in Montana is the state fossil of Montana?

Question 9. When the supercontinent of Pangaea began to break apart in the Triassic, it first broke into two parts. The northern part, which became North America, Europe and Asia, is called Laurasia. What is the name given to the southern part, which became South America, Africa, Australia and Antarctica?

Question 10. Name the 2 Connecticut dinosaurs known from skeletons that were discovered in a Manchester sandstone quarry in the late 1800s.



Question 1. Ichthyosaurus

Question 2. Any of the following is correct:

  • Teeth
  • Hand with clawed fingers
  • Long, bony tail

Question 3. Fish

Question 4. Insects (arthropods)

Question 5. 4.5 billion years old

Question 6. 3.5 billion years old

Question 7. An inland sea

Question 8. Maiasaura

Question 9. Gondwana, or Gondwanaland

Question 10. Anchisaurus and Ammosaurus

Illustration © by Armand Morgan. All rights reserved.