How would you like a pet dinosaur too long to fit in your house? A few years back, a farmer in Argentina found some crazy-big bones that turned out to be dinosaur bones. Scientists named it the “titanosaur” since it’s so big: the thigh bone (top part of the leg) is 8 feet long! They strung together bones from 8 different titanosaurs to make one 122-foot-long skeleton. Now it hangs out in the Museum of Natural History in New York, where its body takes up 2 whole rooms — and still its tail has to stick out the door a few feet. Never mind that this dino stood about 46 feet tall, and the ceiling is only 19 feet high. Good thing it’s just the skeleton and not a whole live dino, or it might fall right through the floor!
Wee ones: The dino’s thigh bone (top part of the leg) stretched from your floor to your ceiling! Look at the thigh bone of your own leg. Which is longer, yours or the titanosaur’s?
Little kids: What numbers would you say to count up 8 titanosaurs? Bonus: If you kept a pet titanosaur, and it stretched from your bed to the farthest part of your home, how many steps from your room would it stretch? Walk from your bed to the farthest spot and count your steps!
Big kids: If the 19-foot ceiling were made twice as high, would the 46-foot dino be able to stand up straight? Bonus: The titanosaur is about 75 million years old! Can you “spell” that number in digits?
Wee ones: The dino’s bone is longer — by a lot.
Little kids: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Bonus: Different for everyone…no matter what, the titanosaur would probably stretch farther!
Big kids: Not quite! It would be only 38 feet, not enough for 46. Bonus: 75,000,000.
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 before she could walk, 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.