Growing Paulownia Trees in Australia

Emperor Flowering Tree

The Paulownia Tree has a lot to offer, whether the grower is a serious investor or a hobby farmer. Paulownia products include:

  • especially formulated Organic Fertiliser
  • honey made from Paulownia flowers
  • Paulownia timber and timber products
  • Paulownia root-stock and seedlings
  • Paulownia plantations in Australia.

The Paulownia tree is very fast growing and produces good quality timber in a very short period of time. Here is some helpful, well-researched information for you about this wonderful tree.

Paulownia Tree Growing Requirements

Not enough has been said about growing these plants successfully. If the Paulownia is being grown for timber, it is essential to grow straight long ‘Poles’ in the first growing season. Deep rip the area chosen for the plot, and then rotary hoe it.

The use of raised beds is optional. The main advantage of raised beds is improved drainage, increased soil depth and warming of soil in early spring.

Growers who have dry, well-drained soil in a warm area prefer not to use raised beds. Simply plant directly into the plot.

Plant young Paulownia no less than 1 metre apart in straight rows. The ideal time for planting is after the last frost in October-November.

Just before planting, all trays should be saturated with water. Water is critically important in getting plants up and growing. The easiest way to water plants is through an irrigation system. A product called T-tape is readily available in shops, is easy to set up and very cheap to buy.

Plants need constant attention with watering. They prefer once a day for the first few weeks. Large soaking is generally better for the growth of the plant than short frequent watering.

When establishing your own nursery site, it is important to have well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight. Additionally, Paulownia like to grow in a sheltered area protected from the strong winds.

Fertilising Paulownia

Young Paulownia tree plantation

Fertilising the young plants has been one of the least publicised issues, in the past, for many growers. The first years take off is very important. If you fail to get tall straight first year poles, I would suggest you have a good look at the way you fertilised your trees.

From the very beginning in the summer months when young poles are growing rapidly, their food intake is enormous. I have experimented with all sorts of fertiliser in the past and I got so confused and frustrated that I had to look for help.

I found an American Doctor who was willing to experiment with a Paulownia Plant fertiliser and came up with some great results. After many tests I am proud to announce that it works, and works well.

Australian Trees and Plantations is the sole supplier of the one and only, especially made, Fertiliser for Paulownias. It is an all-organic liquid mix, especially designed to give maximum growth for Paulownias.

It is in liquid form and this enables it to be mixed easily with water. If you only have a few plants you can water the trees with a watering can or you can put fertiliser through your irrigation system and the job is done in no time at all.

By doing this very simple program of fertilising twice a month during the growing season you will find your trees will have healthy, lush, deep green leaves throughout the entire growing season and also a strong root system. Using Complete Paulownia Fertiliser it is not uncommon to have Paulownia growing up to 2 feet a week, given the right growing conditions. 

Complete Paulownia Fertiliser is a combination of nitrogen, phosphorous, Potash, Trace Minerals, Biological Enzymes and Natural Growth Regulators. Apply to the root zone of each tree diluted in water or injected in tree irrigation systems.

Complete Paulownia Fertiliser comes in 20 litre containers which are very easy to handle and transport anywhere in the world. It is very cheap and simple to use so contact us and we will organise Complete Organic Paulownia Fertiliser for you to try out.


Weeding can become a full time job depending on the size of the nursery. Constant attention should be made to weeding the plants. If not weeded regularly, weeds can become a big problem.

Keep the plot weed free through hoeing or hand weeding. Some growers use Round Up for killing weeds around young plants. I do not. However, you will be relieved to know that the water and fertiliser requirements of Paulownia in subsequent years will not be as high as the first year.

Controlling Pests

In spring and early summer, there are bugs that attack Paulownias, the main one being caterpillars. They attack young soft leaves and can damage young plants severely if they get to the very top of the young plant. This will cause deformation of the plant.

Spray against them with Carbaryl Liquid Insecticide or similar. You can help spray to stick on more effectively by mixing it up with water and very small amount of dishwashing liquid.

When growing plants for the purpose of timber, a straight trunk is achieved by pinching out lateral branches as they emerge. Care must be taken not to remove large leaves.

By understanding these few important steps correctly, there is nothing stopping you from growing tall straight Pole’s of which you can justly feel proud. Obviously, the more effort you put into it in your first year, the better results you will achieve in years to come.

Pole Planting

In winter, all Paulownlia’s Trees lose their leaves and become dormant. This is the time for transplanting your Poles into the permanent site. Whether you dig up your plants by hand or machine, try to preserve as much of the root system as possible.

Remove the soil clinging to and between the root system until   they are exposed. Trim the roots and get rid of all the broken parts of   the root system.

It is important again that the permanent site is well draining and   the water table is below 1.5M. Deep rip well the rows you are planting, because the looser the ground, the better the growth.

When growing Paulownlias for the timber, trees can be planted in many different spacings. Basically, the more sunlight Paulownia gets, the better. I have seen Paulownias growing from 60 trees per acre to 200 trees per acre. I myself,  grow them in rows of 6M by 4M. If trees are grown for shade or fodder, trees should be grown at least 8 to 10M apart to ensure a large canopy for maximum leaf drop.

Watering and fertilising is important again during spring and summer, but not as frequently as first year. I use T-tape for irrigation and use it on both sides of the tree. During summer in high rainfall areas, there is no need for irrigation at all, unless it is used for liquid fertilising. By implementing these simple  methods correctly, there is no reason why you should not collect  1 cubic metre of millable timber per tree in 8-1 0 years.

I have written these few words to provide the potential grower   with some background about Paulownia Tree growing, and assist you to get your first trees up,  growing and off to a robust start.

Wishing you very happy Paulownia growing.

History of Paulownia Tree

Paulownia tree is native to China. According to both legends and records, dating back 2600 years, people in ancient times used Paulownia Trees for various purposes. In the work Zhung Tze, it is recorded  “Phoenix flew from the south sea to the north sea without perching on trees other than Paulownia and without eating anything but bamboo fruit”.

The Chinese have been planting Paulownia Trees for many centuries around their dwellings in order to bring good luck and to attract the Phoenix.  

At present in China, intercropping with Paulownia is being carried out on some 1,300,000 hectares of land throughout the whole country. 

Some other countries have also established forestry research institutes and experimental stations to conduct research on Paulownia Trees. In Australia, almost all the research has been carried out by a few individuals. 

In real terms, the Paulownia Tree is really the tree of the future. It is still in the infancy stage of its development here in Australia. Interest has been slowly developing since the late 80’s. The 90’s has seen more people interested in growing these trees, mainly because of its unique growth rate.

Facts About the Paulownia Tree

Firstly, I would like to mention that I have experienced tremendous satisfaction in growing Paulownia Trees.

The more you look after them, the more they thrive and grow. It is fascinating to observe a young Paulownia seedling grow into a tall ‘pole’ in just a few short months. 

In the summer months, given good growing conditions, the plant can reach up to 6 metres or 20 feet  high and sometimes higher, depending on the Paulownia Tree species used. It is a known fact, that the tree can reach its fully mature stage in just 8-10 years and can produce up to 1 cubic metre of timber in that time.

Paulownia is light in weight and colour, yet it is strong, dries easily, has a beautiful grain, does not warp, crack or deform easily. The wood is easy to work with and suitable for the 
manufacture of furniture, plywood, moldings, doors and many other uses.

The leaves and flowers are rich in nitrogen and therefore serve as good fertiliser and fodder. The flowers are colourful and beautiful in spring and the trees are green and shady in summer. Paulownia species are therefore very suitable for beautifying and enriching the environment. They are also equally suitable for landscaping of urban and industrial areas.

Paulownias can adapt to a wide range of temperatures. All species in Australia are known to withstand temperatures of -10o to +40o centigrade.

Making Honey

Your Paulownia Tree has got many uses. Making honey is just one!

After dormancy, all Paulownia trees come to life. It is exciting to see new big, green leaves and beautiful flowers spring to life.

Mature Paulownia tree has thousands of petal shaped flowers. Different species vary in colour of flower. Note the spectacles to give you some idea of the size of petals.

My favourite, colour: Your whole plantation will come alive to the wonderful colours exploding around you.

Paulownia honey is sweet and light and there is no other honey quite like it. Like in flowers, different species of Paulownia vary the taste of honey.

Spring time, and the air is sweet with the perfume of Paulownia in full blossom. You will enjoy these wonderful blooms for over a month each year and coupled with a few hives around the plantation you will enjoy fresh honey all year round.

Are Paulownia Trees Invasive in Australia?

The original species of Paulownia, including Paulownia tomentosa (also known as the Empress Tree or Princess Tree), can be invasive. The rapid growth rate of individual trees, combined with an ability to regenerate from cuttings and produce numerous seeds, contributes to this status.

However, hybrid Paulownias, which are crosses between different species or varieties of Paulownia, are generally not as fertile as the original species. Due to reduced fertility, their seed production and potential for natural spread is limited.

If you’re keen on growing Paulownias, it’s essential to take responsible action. That means choosing a suitable variety and/or implementing proper management practices to prevent these trees from running amok and causing harm to our beautiful Aussie environment.

Dinosaur and Paleontology Resources

Media technology.

Discover the world of paleontology with these great resources. From an app that provides info on all known and characterized dinosaurs, to books covering various topics in the field, learn more about these ancient creatures.

Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs is an app containing info on all known and characterized dinosaurs. The format makes the app suitable for all ages, from primary school to adult. Information includes the family type, geological era, size, location, name meaning, type of fossils, comments, and species list. It has a built-in dictionary. The information can be browsed, or accessed by name, country of origin, size or geological time period, or searched by individual words or from an extensive index.

So You Want to Become a Paleontologist? A Career in Paleontology. Academic Invest receives requests for advice on how to become a paleontologist and which colleges offer programs in paleontology. Rather than have potential paleontologists write to the list and list members recreate answers with each new inquiry, the authors of this page hope that what has been assembled here will simplify the process for potential paleontologists seeking information on pursuing such a career. The authors welcome expansion of this site if anyone would like to contribute information about undergraduate or graduate school paleontology programs… READ MORE

Dinosaur Books

Books are still a more important resource and the best one for dinosaur information. I recommend the following:

Currie, P.J., and K. Padian, (eds.), 1997, “Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs,” Academic Press, 869 pages. This book is a good encyclopedia of information, current ideas on dinosaurs in one encyclopedia. Topics are short but at least give you information on many ideas and information that current for the field of dinosaur study.

Glut, Donald, 1997, “DINOSAURS: THE ENCYCLOPEDIA,” McFarland,1076 pp. Of the three listed this book is number one in my collection because it contains information about every dinosaur known as of 1997. So if you are looking for information on a well known or an obscure dinosaur for your research then this book should be number one on your list of references to check! This is probably the biggest number of questions I am asked. Teachers and students alike: I will not do this kind of research for you, you need to find a source for this book yourselves. While I would love to have the time to provide some of the data found in this book you do not learn something if I type it in for you. If you can afford it (it is $150) I recommend you add it to your own personal library. If not perhaps you can get your local public library to purchase a copy – this should be the number one dinosaur reference in their collection.

Farlow, J.O., and M.K. Brett-Surman, (eds.), 1997, “The Complete Dinosaur“, Indiana University Press, 752 pages. Next to the second reference above this is a must in your own reference collection. This is a well written book at the general level that covers all current topics and areas of knowledge in the dinosaur field of science and what is known about the various groups of dinosaurs.

Fastovsky, D. E. and D. B. Weishampel, 2005, second edition, “The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs,” Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 0521811724, 512 p. This recent book is written in an easy to understand style, basically an entry level college course type book so any dinosaur enthusiast should find this book quite educational. Makes an excellent companion book on your shelf to the more technical Dinosauria listed above . Book presents in a condensed and simpler manner the general info in dinosaurs found in Dinosauria, but with new thinking and ideas of scientists that has come to light since the publication of Dinosauria. This is a definite “must have” on your bookshelf! Other reviews (of 2nd edition) Written for non-specialists, this detailed survey of dinosaur origins, diversity, and extinction is designed as a series of successive essays covering important and timely topics in dinosaur paleobiology, such as “warm-bloodedness,” birds as living dinosaurs, the new, non-flying feathered dinosaurs, dinosaur functional morphology, and cladistic methods in systematics. Its explicitly phylogenetic approach to the group is that taken by dinosaur specialists. The book is not an edited compilation of the works of many individuals, but a unique, cohesive perspective on Dinosauria. Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of new, specially commissioned illustrations by John Sibbick, world-famous illustrator of dinosaurs, the volume includes multi-page drawings as well as sketches and diagrams. First edition Hb (1996): 0-521-44496-9

Weishampel, D.B., P. Dodson, and H. Osmolska (eds.), 2004, “The Dinosauria,” University of California Press: Berkeley. 861p. Simply put, the definitive text on dinosaurs. Now out in a second edition (December 2004) this is probably your most important reference and a must have. When the The Dinosauria was first published more than a decade ago, it was hailed as “the best scholarly reference work available on dinosaurs” and “an historically unparalleled compendium of information.” This second, fully revised edition continues in the same vein as the first but encompasses the recent spectacular discoveries that have continued to revolutionize the field. A state-of-the-science view of current world research, the volume includes comprehensive coverage of dinosaur systematics, reproduction, and life history strategies, biogeography, taphonomy, paleoecology, thermoregulation, and extinction. Its internationally renowned authors-forty-four specialists on the various members of the Dinosauria-contribute definitive descriptions and illustrations of these magnificent Mesozoic beasts. The first section of The Dinosauria begins with the origin of the great clade of these fascinating reptiles, followed by separate coverage of each major dinosaur taxon, including the Mesozoic radiation of birds. The second part of the volume navigates through broad areas of interest. Here we find comprehensive documentation of dinosaur distribution through time and space, discussion of the interface between geology and biology, and the paleoecological inferences that can be made through this link. Illustrations: 330 line illustrations, 28 tables. Available from click here.

Dinosaur Images and Names Collection

This collection is always under construction so the listing is not complete. It contains some of the better dinosaur images collected, along with the species name.

While the material here is not unique to this site, it is being provided freely as a service to those who find it difficult to make connections with other sites. We’re always on the lookout for additional images so feel free to email them to me or point out where I can find more images. Thanks!

Allosaurus versus Camptosaurus.
Allosaurus versus Camptosaurus
Tarbosaurus bataar.
Tarbosaurus bataar

SPECIAL NOTE: Use of these images

Unless otherwise noted these images are ones freely available on the web. In the spirit of offering free educational material on the internet, Dino Russ offers these images for your personal use. However, Dino Russ does not hold the copyright on any of these images (unless noted) and thus cannot give you permission in any way, shape or form, to use these images in any publication, either electronic or hardcopy.

If you are wanting to use any of these images you will need to track down the original source in order to seek permission for use. In order to avoid any possibility of infringing upon the person or organization holding the copyright, we request that you seek out the original copyright holder and give them credit for any of these images which they allow you to use. Please do not give us credit for images which others made! Even if you cannot find the original holder of the copyright for a given image we do not want to take or be given credit for such images.

If the source of the image is known I have indicated where the image was found. You will need to start there to seek permission to use these images in publications. Some of these images came from other web collections and had no indication of their original source.

Thylacoleo (marsupial lion), South Australia.
Thylacoleo (marsupial lion), Australia

Dinosaur Digs

Guided Tours in Australia to Dig Up Dinosaur Bones

There are a number of guided tours available in Australia where you can participate in paleontological field work and search for dinosaur bones. These tours are typically led by experienced palaeontologists who can provide guidance and instruction on how to properly excavate and identify fossil specimens.

Dinosaur Stampede National Monument Dig, Queensland

Dinosaur Stampede Monument Dig in outback Queensland

One popular tour is the “Dinosaur Stampede National Monument Dig” in Queensland, which offers the opportunity to search for fossils from the Cretaceous period, including the footprints of dinosaurs that once roamed the area. Participants on this tour can join palaeontologists in the field as they excavate and study fossil specimens, and learn about the geological and biological history of the region.

Dinosaur Dreaming tour, Victoria

Another option is the “Dinosaur Dreaming” tour in Victoria, which allows participants to join a team of palaeontologists in the field as they search for fossils from the Cretaceous period. The tour includes hands-on excavation experience and the opportunity to learn about the scientific techniques used to study and understand the fossil record.

It’s important to note that these types of tours can be physically demanding, as they often involve hiking and working in rugged terrain. They may also require a degree of endurance and stamina, as participants may be required to work long hours in the field.

Overall, these types of tours offer a unique and immersive experience for individuals interested in paleontology and the history of life on Earth. They provide the opportunity to learn from experts in the field and make meaningful contributions to scientific research.

Skorpiovenator. Dinosaur Dig “Virtual” Tours and Information

Inverloch, Australia

Dinosaur Dreaming – MONASH UNIVERSITY Dinosaur/VP PALEO SITE. The Australian university has an on-line paleo site where you can learn about its ‘Dinosaur Dreaming’ expeditions. Dinosaur Dreaming is part of a successful project between Museum Victoria and Monash University, the Dinosaur Dreaming fossil excavations at Inverloch over the last 12 years have yielded not only fascinating insights to the life and times of Australia’s Dinosaurs, but also highly significant and intriguing fossil mammals. Inverloch: Home of Dinosaur Dreaming is the Victorian coastal town near which the Dinosaur Dreaming site is located. About 145 kilometres (ninety minutes drive) from Melbourne, Inverloch is a very civilised place from which to do field research.The site is a rocky shore platform called Flat Rocks, about five minutes’ drive from the township on a stretch of coast favoured by surfers and fishing enthusiasts. This is where the Cretaceous mammal, Ausktribosphenos nyktos, was found in March 1997.

Morrison Formation

Dig It! The world renowned Jurassic Morrison Formation covers more than 350 square miles from Canada to New Mexico and contains every conceivable environment from dry deserts to swamps. Join Paleontologist and Education Specialist Peter Laraba on this two-day e-field trip as he takes an expedition to Colorado and Utah to explore the Morrison Formation by sampling two of its many environments. On September 28th, they explored a working dinosaur quarry in Grand Junction, Colorado, joining scientists and volunteers in the discovery and excavation process. We got into the “trenches”, working with Utah State paleontologist Dr. James Kirkland, the discoverer of the first Utahraptor skeleton, to uncover the secrets of a Jurassic watering hole. On September 29th, they went to the world famous Dinosaur National Monument. Although still in the Morrison Formation, the environment of deposition along the banks of a large river system is very different from the watering hole of the previous day. National Park paleontologist Dan Chute will be your guide through the rich history of the area and reveal some of the treasures yet to be discovered in this unique park. NOTE: The Technology Required – QuickTime 4.0. An internet browser, version 4.0 or higher. Recommend a 56K Internet connection or greater. Originally webcast September 28 & 29, 1999 live on ALI QuickTime TV. Watch this archived version any time! Intended for grades K – 9… READ MORE

Dinosaur Digs – Field Experience that you can join

  • Are you interested in participating in a real dinosaur dig?
  • Do you want to learn more about the discovery of new specimens?
  • Do you want to share in the thrill of discovery of fossil treasures?
  • Are you interested in the techniques employed by vertebrate paleontologists to remove dinosaurs and other vertebrate fossils from the field?
  • Do you like outdoor work?
  • Do you like strenuous conditions as well as painstaking and tedious work?

If you do, you have a chance to participate in a real dinosaur dig. You can find information how you can join a dig, such as excavating a stegosaur bone bed with 4 or more individuals represented. Stegosaurs are very rare, usually found as only one single individual.

Brought to you by SN Science Toys and Equipment.

Benefits to Kids from Learning About Dinosaurs


Learning about dinosaurs can be a way to teach your kids much than the fact that these prehistoric monsters once existed. It can open up a world of scientific learning and discovery.


Young boys and girls don’t always want to have to “learn.” Motivating your kids to be educated in subjects that at first sound a bit bland can be tricky. The idea of having to learn about science can make many youth balk. By making it something fun, you’ll secretly be informing your kids while they have a ball.

Fascination with Dinosaurs

One thing that always seems to astound us — young or old — is the subject of dinosaurs. Something about these ancient creatures just inspires awe in people. Much has been written about dinosaurs, with plenty of TV shows and movies created as well (some more accurate than others) about them.

Should your kids be interested in dinosaurs, there is a lot you can tie-in with a variety of subjects in the field of science. Through teaching your young children about Dinosaurs, you will give them a solid science background they can utilize throughout their years of school.

Different Classes of Animals

In nature, there are carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. Dinosaurs made-up all three of these categories, with their own complex and varying food chains.

If you have a child, probably a boy, who loves to talk about big meat-eaters, discuss with them how a carnivorous dino would have possibly hunted in packs, solo, or even been a scavenger. Talk about herbivores and the theories about their group behavior.

You can use this discussion to lead into further talk about how different species adapted for assorted needs. A Dinosaur with a long neck could easily pick the leaves out of tall-trees, just as a small carnivore would have been able to squeeze into all sorts of tight-spots to catch fleeing prey.

Earth’s History and Evolution Theory

Incorporate the history of Earth as well, discussing how our planet looks a lot different now than it did millions of years ago. You can cover how areas that now are frozen-over may have once held tropical rain forests, and vice-versa.

This discussion of ancient Earth could easily incorporate more complex concepts in science such as dinosaur paleontology and evolution. Kids will love to hear how the dinosaurs of the past arguably didn’t fully go extinct so much as many evolved into an assortment of creatures we now see everyday. Many popular birds that clearly draw aspects of their body-features from ancient dinosaurs.

Engage Young Minds

Once your kids have gained some knowledge of dinosaurs, find fun ways to put it to test and provide engaging lessons. Perhaps watch a popular movie featuring dinosaurs and work with them to point-out what is and isn’t accurate in the movie — “Hey, shouldn’t some of these dinos have feathers?”

Also, as they hopefully gain a further thirst for knowledge in the field of science, find ways to tie their initial interest in dinosaurs to other loosely related subjects. Discussions of theories regarding how dinosaurs went extinct can incorporate talk of greenhouse gasses, volcanic winters, and other atmospheric concepts theorized to have greatly contributed to the demise of many dinosaur species. And don’t forget astronomical theories — e.g. an asteroid hit Earth and killed off much of life.

Dinosaurs can be a great point-of-entry into discussing a wide range of science subjects thanks to their being so fascinating and fun. Plus, who knows, you might learn some cool dino-facts yourself too!

University Courses on Paleontology and Dinosaurs

Paleontology university courses

Interested in a career in paleontology? Paleontology is the study of past life on earth, their origin and their extinction, as seen through fossil records. There are many branches in the study of paleontology, such as vertebrate paleontology or the study of fossils of animals with backbones, paleobotany or the study of fossils of plants, and paleoecology, the study of past ecosystems, their origins and extinction.

A career in paleontology is one of the most interesting careers one can have in the sciences. It can take you all over the world, facilitate new discoveries about buried animals and flora, and can open up a new understanding of worlds that were previously not known. Aside from being an interesting professional occupation, the path towards a professional degree as a paleontologist or fossil hunter can also be very diverse.

University Courses

Undergraduate courses that focus on biology or geology are ideal starting points if you want a career in paleontology. It’s important that you have a strong science education from school and have maintained an interest in the sciences. You will be studying science at an advanced level and most of your classmates will be scientifically literate.

Students commonly opt for a double major for full undergraduate training in biology and geology, giving you careers options in biology and other fields. Preparatory undergraduate programs may also require exposure to liberal arts courses especially languages (French, Russian, German, Latin) as well as a full year focusing on the hard sciences like chemistry, physics and calculus.

University courses that are recommended for this career include evolutionary biology, genetics, mineralogy, invertebrate paleontology, invertebrate zoology, ecology, among others. Professors may recommend an introduction to statistical analysis since this is essential in modern paleontology.

Graduate School

Graduate school is necessary for a professional career in paleontology. If you feel you’re ready to make the challenging transition to grad school, choose schools that have strong paleontology programs that are taught by paleontologists that are active in research and publishing. Stumped as to what these schools are? Look through various paleontology journals like Palaios, Geology, Journal of Paleontology to see who their authors are and where they teach.

What if I just want to learn for fun?

There are various free online courses designed to introduce weekend hobbyists to the world of paleontology and dinosaurs. Platforms like Coursera, Classcentral and the Museum of Natural History offer free online courses that range from simple presentations to more detailed programs designed to supplement actual classes. Doing online classes isn’t always easy, so follow these excellent study tips from Lerna Courses to help you get through.

For example, the University of Alberta offers multiple online courses on paleontology, including an online course on ancient marine reptiles, theropod dinosaurs, and the origin of birds. Leiden University offers “Evolution Today”, an introduction to evolution that takes just two hours to complete. The Museum of Natural History also offers “Evolution: A Course for Educators” that introduces learners to evolutionary relationships, population and artificial selection.

Cornell University is ranked among the top 20 universities in the world. It’s Online Learning Department offers high school courses such as “Paleontology, EAS 1109: Dinosaurs” and “ANTHR 1300 Human Evolution”.

Want to learn the basics of fossil hunting? You can also check out “Fossil Hunting 101” at, showing how dinosaur digs are done.

All these courses and resources are 100% online and offer flexible deadlines, making them perfect for virtually any type of student, from the college student who wants a good foundation in paleontology to the hobbyist who just wants to learn more about evolution.

Whether you are a high school student exploring your options before going to university or someone who wants to study fossils after work or on the weekends, these online courses can help you get started.

Were Dinosaurs Warm-Blooded?


The terms ‘warm-blooded’ and ‘cold-blooded’ are used for simplicity throughout this essay. In fact these terms are something of an over-simplification. Virtually all animals, if examined at the proper time, will appear to be ‘warm-blooded’ – i.e. their internal body temperatures will be about the same.

What’s more important is the mechanism by which body temperature is maintained (thermoregulation). Here’s a quick science lesson. The terms endothermic and ectothermic are relevant here. An ectothermic animal relies on heat from the outside i.e. the environment, to maintain body temperature, whereas an endothermic animal relies on heat generated within its own body by metabolic processes, and will therefore have a higher metabolic rate. There are even more precise technical terms for processes intermediate between full endothermy and full ectothermy which will not be discussed here.

Once it was thought that all dinosaurs were cold-blooded. Now many suggest that at least some were warm-blooded, which would help to explain why they became so plentiful and dominant for so long. If we examine today’s fauna, we find no large land predators that are cold-blooded, except for crocodiles that occupy only one very specific ecological niche and are basically water dwellers. The same is true of the entire Cenozoic era. Virtually all large predators were warm-blooded.

The reason is not difficult to find. The position of top predator is a very competitive one. The ability to control body temperature and maintain it at a constant value (i.e. warm-blooded) is a very large advantage. Not only does it mean that the animal is not dependent on the environmental temperature but can hunt at any time of the day (or night), or in any season, but it also means operating at maximum efficiency. All creatures, whether warm- or cold-blooded, use the same basic biochemical processes to produce energy, with the same enzymes and substrates. The chemical reactions involved generally have a particular optimal temperature. For every drop of 10 degrees C, the process will be twice as slow. Hence, the sluggishness of cold-blooded animals in cold environments or at night. Evolutionary theory thus demands that, in any long term competitive situation, warm-blooded animals will always win over their cold-blooded competitors, and this is what the history of mammal development demonstrates. No large cold-blooded predators can develop against mammalian competition. Instead, they remain small and occupy ecologically specialized positions where they can hide for most of the time and only need to hunt for food occasionally when safe to do so.

There are, of course, attendant disadvantages to endothermy, not the least of which is the need for very much larger expenditure of energy to maintain elevated metabolic rates, and a commensurate increase in food requirements.

Given that mammals have such an enormous advantage, what are we to make of the Mesozoic era when, for 140 million years, dinosaurs reigned supreme and few mammals grew larger than a chicken. Mammals and dinosaurs evolved together. Dinosaur ancestors (thecodonts, particularly ornithosuchians) and mammal ancestors (therapsids, particularly cynodonts) were in direct competition in the late Triassic, with the therapsids initially appearing to have the upper hand. However, by the end of the Triassic the thecodonts were on top, dinosaurs assumed the roles of top predator and large herbivore, and all other roles down to the very small, which they left to the mammals and other reptiles. How did they manage to take over in the first place, and then keep the mammals subservient for so long if mammals had such a potent evolutionary advantage in being warm-blooded? The logical answer, of course, is that dinosaurs had to be warm-blooded as well! For those who believe that dinosaurs are just large reptiles this is an unacceptable view.

Given that all we have left are lifeless bones and footprints, is it possible to produce evidence in support of the warm-blooded dinosaur hypothesis? Surprisingly, perhaps, the answer is yes, although such evidence must be largely inferential.

Some of the evidence has already been presented above, in the comparison of dinosaurs with present day ecological structures. Other evidence comes from areas such as:

  • Bone structure and histology
  • Growth rates
  • Predator/prey ratios
  • Speed and agility
  • Rate of evolution
  • Similarities with birds
  • Parental Care
  • Bone Isotope Composition
  • Insulation
  • Arctic Faunas

All these lines of evidence and comparisons between dinosaurs, mammals and cold-blooded reptiles support the idea that dinosaurs were warm-blooded, or at very least had a much higher metabolic rate than conventional cold-blooded creatures. Not surprisingly, some counter arguments have been presented, such as:

The question is yet to be decided, but on balance the likely outcome seems to be heavily weighted in favour of at least partially warm-blooded dinosaurs. The tests for endothermy have also been applied to the mammal ancestors (the therapsids: cynodonts, dicynodonts) and thecodont dinosaur ancestors. In both cases the results suggest that they were more like warm-blooded than cold-blooded animals, and that endothermy may have developed in both lines at an early period (late Permian ?). In this scenario, dinosaurs would simply be one group in a line of succession of warm-blooded animals.

What does seem clear is that dinosaur physiology was different, and may even have been different in different types of dinosaurs. We can never know the answer by direct measurement, and as long as we are forced to rely on analogy we will probably never reach a consensus on this controversial topic. Endothermy is not an either/or proposition, as the large number of potential physiological mechanisms involved make a wide range of alternatives possible. The large size range of dinosaurs alone probably means that they did not all share a common physiology, nor use the same strategies and mechanisms to reach a particular physiological state.

Paleo Art and Fossil Replicas


The word “bizarre” is often used to describe dinosaurs, but Therizinosaurus is bizarre by even dinosaur standards. It has the long neck, small head and tiny, leaf-shaped teeth of a sauropod. However, it isn’t a sauropod but a theropod. Yet, unlike other theropods, it was a plant-eater! This dinosaur had other strange features, including a broad potbelly and incredibly long finger claws. Most paleontologists believe Therizinosaurus was the reptilian analog of the giant (extinct) ground sloth, and those huge claws were probably used to pull down leafy branches close to its mouth.

Originally a site for the promotion and illustration of dinosaur and vertebrate paleontology art (to view or for sale) this page now also features companies that sell fossil replicas. I have chosen to feature those companies who offer fine fossil reproductions for sale a practice I want to encourage so that the original specimens end up at institutions rather than in private collections where many of them become lost to research. Since this is a new addition to this page I would welcome any additional web sites where fine fossil replicas may be purchased from companies promoting the philosophy that significant vertebrate specimens end up in research institutions through the sale of these replicas. Enjoy! Dino Russ

Dinosaur Art

BERI’S DINOSAUR WORLD Presenting the Art of Berislav Krzic. Another interesting art site. Beri has some very nice images, also talks about how artists do their work (a nice source of info for those wanting to know more about this). Beri is also adding other links and info as time goes on. With many of the images are facts and information about the dinosaurs Beri draws. Makes this another good information site about the specific dinosaurs he has done in his art work.

Dinosaur Murals by Beverly Leesman. Watercolor artist Beverly Leesman who for the last fifteen years, Leesman has devoted her talents to the exploration of realistic watercolor based on her own photographs has now expanded into some dinosaur art in a mural that she is making for the Birthday Party Room at Gold Cup Gymnastics. Other than the famous Peabody Mural have not seen too many murals lately.

Chris Srnka , an illustrator living in Columbus, Ohio. He is a graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design. He will do a wide variety of freelance work, but dinosaurs are by far his favorite subjects. He currently designs billboards in Columbus, along with the freelance work. The dinosaur images were first sketched on paper, then scanned into his computer. He used Metacreation’s Painter 5.0 to paint the dinos. Painter emulates traditional media, allowing for a wide range of tools and styles. Although the art is digital, it is all hand drawn, using Painter and a pressure-sensitive drawing pad.

Dinohunter Info. For your Paleolife Illustrations and Research. Check this site out for the great art work by Tracy Lee Ford. Tracy is an artist, researcher and amateur paleontologist (she has named a few dinosaurs so she is also a paleontologist). Tracy has literally done over 1500 illustrations from famous dinosaurs to the obscure… GO TO SITE

Dinosaur Illustrations. Online collection of dinosaur art. This site’s purpose is to help you locate great illustrations of dinosaurs that have been posted on the Internet. It is intended as a shortcut from going site to site hoping to find the specific dinosaur your looking for. This searchable index contains more than 150 links to books and image galleries of and about dinosaurs. Each link connects you to a short description of the source of the art and a thumbnail image linked to a larger version of a pertinent image.

The Dinosauricon – Dinosaur Art. One of the better dinosaur information sites I have found. It still has one of the best collection of art I have yet seen in one place online that I am aware of. Authored and maintained by T. Michael Keesey this one should be in your bookmarks!

Doug Holgate. Douglas Holgate describes himself as a budding dinosaur illustrator fresh out of a post graduate degree in Illustration at Newcastle University, Australia. His major study in this year was the reconstruction and illustration of Australian dinosaurs and flying reptiles.

Jim Robins: Jim Robins has worked on a wide range of graphic art projects, but dinosaurs and other ancient beasts have always been a speciality. His work has appeared in numerous books and magazines, on television and in exhibitions worldwide. All his pictures are protected by copyright. They can only be reproduced with permission from the artist.

Joe Tucciarone’s Art Pages. Joe has some very excellent art. Joe Tucciarone is an artist whose subjects range from distant galaxies to the long-vanished dinosaurs. Visit one of his prehistoric animal galleries where you’ll see over fifty paintings depicting many of the best-known prehistoric beasts that have ever lived. The illustrations are accompanied by information about each animal including its physical size and weight, the geologic period during which it lived, the year it was discovered, and its diet.

JORDAN MALLON’S Paleoportfolio This website is devoted to the science and art of dinosaurs. It will be constantly updated as new illustrations and information are added. Illustrations & Information: Presented on the following pages, in alphabetical order, are a host of dinosaurian species. Each of these species is fully illustrated and accompanied by significant and up-to-date information.

Luis Rey, Site contains a number of dinosaur works by Luis (as well as other work of his). These are some nice artworks. Check them out. I especially love some of his recent work with the feathered dinosaurs!

JOHN SIBBICK DINOBASE, a dinosaur web-site of the University of Bristol, hosts a page featuring a large collection of illustrations by England’s premier paleolife artist, John Sibbick who specialises in restorations of dinosaurs and other prehistoric scenes, and his work has appeared in numerous books and magazines, on television and in exhibitions worldwide. All his pictures are protected by copyright. They can only be reproduced with permission from the artist.

Michael William Skrepnick is an established, award winning artist specializing in visual interpretations of dinosaurs and other extinct Mesozoic vertebrates within their natural environments. He also focuses on restorations and reconstructions of newly described dinosaurs with many of the world’s leading paleontologists and on imagery of popular dinosaurs for publication in books and magazines, museum murals, scientific journals and television documentaries. Michael works primarily in acrylic paint, as well as graphite and pen and ink. Original artworks are owned and housed in a number of public and private collections around the world. Michael lives and works in Alberta, Canada, close to some of the richest North American, Upper Cretaceous dinosaur fossil deposits in the world.

Paleo-Illustration By Frank DeNota. Another very excellent collection of images by the artist Frank DeNota.. I encourage you to check out his artwork!

Troodon Productions Inc. Dinosaur Story Books The combined talents of Phil Currie (Tyrell Museum), Jan Sovak (Illustrator), and Eric Felber create factual based story books that give you a glimpse into the ancient world of dinosaurs. Click here to see samples of some of Jan’s art!

The Raptor’s Lair. More images of dinosaurs catering to those of raptors, sketches done by Sharon Mossy (a.k.a. Velociraptor or just Raptor.).

The Age of Reptiles Mural at the Yale Peabody Museum. The vivid scene reproduced from Rudolph Zallinger’s famous dinosaur mural The Age of Reptiles, overlooking the Great Hall in Yale’s Peabody Museum, is far more than a magnificent work of art. It is also a scientific document transforming the knowledge, ideas, and thoughts of many scholars of ancient life into realistic and accurate images. The mural is one of the largest in the world, measuring 110 feet long by 16 feet high, and required more than four and a half years (1943-1947) to complete. It is at once a motion picture and a time machine, a menagerie and a botanical garden that portrays an almost unimaginable chapter of earth history spanning more than 300 million years. The animals and plants of this panorama — most never having been seen by human eyes — have been resurrected for our contemplation and wonderment. Here, the textbook names take on new meaning; our mind’s eye perceives the reality and magnificence of unfamiliar plants and communities of astonishing animals.

Models and Sculpture

Dinosaur Art and Modeling. This site provides graphics and information, as well as sources for paleoart, sculpture, and model kits. We routinely present review of recent works, as they become available.

Dino-More. Check out the work of Michael Monfils. He produces natural history sculpture, models and artwork for museum display and the private collector. Although dinosaurs are his particular field of interest and research, he can also produce sculptures and models of other natural history subjects, from insects to fish to amphibians to reptiles to birds and mammals.

Dino-Store currently offering a full line of Dinosaur Skeletons, Dinosaur Skulls, Dinosaur Finished Models, Dinosaur Pewter Models, Dinosaur Keychains, Dinosaur Pens, Dinosaur Magnets and Dinosaur Art. These amazing items are done with an extreme amount of detail and being offered at affordable prices. Excellent ideas for indoor activities to bring parents and children together. Click on Dino Store and check them out.

Lost World Studios. Lost World Studios is proud to present the most realistic dinosaur exhibits ever assembled! Lost World Studios is a company specializing in the construction and fabrication of prehistoric exhibits and related subjects. They have worked actively with fossil materials from around the world for more than 30 years. This experience has given them a special insight into the world of prehistoric animals and their environments. Whether you need a permanent or temporary display, Lost World Studios can bring the excitement of the prehistoric world to your institution. The owner, Guy Darrough is a self-taught and highly accomplished paleontologist, fossil preparation expert, and illustrator who has worked in paleontology and related areas for 40 years. His technical and artistic skills in fossil preparation meet the highest museum standards. Specimens from his own exceptional collection are routinely loaned to museums for exhibition and for scientific studies. Guy’s accomplishments include amassing a premiere collection of Missouri fossils, making significant discoveries in Paleontology (including the discovery of a wide variety of Cambrian and lower Ordovician fossil animals previously unknown to paleontologists).

MEGALANIA DINOSAUR MODELING PAGES Models of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals in resin, vinyl, styrene, or whatever other material the manufacturer can conjure up!

MENAGERIE PRODUCTIONS The dinosaur sculptures of San Francisco resident Tony McVey are viewable through the courtesy of Larry Dunn’s Megalania Review Page, along with Larry’s glowing commentary about them and the address for McVey’s Menagerie Productions.

Paleogarden. Paleogarden specializes in life-size anatomically correct 3D dinosaur reconstruction, and other ancient life sculpture. All our work is of the highest museum quality. We offer customized commission pieces to suit any budget, with everything from static resin castings, bronze, partially animated to fully bio-mechanically animated flesh restorations. We also have an expanding catalogue of material available for sale. Our in depth knowledge of evolutionary interrelationships and comparative anatomy ensure our pieces are the most accurate available. All of our dinosaur reconstructions are produced in close consultation with prominent paleontologists.

Raymond Persinger. Raymond was one of the first sculptors hired by Dinamation. During his time at Dinamation he personally sculpted and/or directred teams in the creation of more than 70 dinosaurs. These range in size from small scale models to a 50 foot T-rex. His work has been exhibited in museums around the world including the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. He was personally selected by National Geographic to sculpt a static flying Pteranodon for their permanent collection. Besides serving in an artistic capacity Raymond’s abilities as an inventive problem solver proved to be an invaluable asset to Dinamation. He helped develop robotics, inovative mold making and production techniques, create exhibits and interfaces with museums and the public as a field service specialist. Ray would be interested in creating work for museums and/or working directly with paleontologists in developing sculptural representations of their finds/theories.Check out his website and see examples of his work. There is also information on contacting Ray for your own museum exhibits and displays. Because of Raymond’s numerous accomplishments, Dinamation’s VP’s often referred to him as the “Merlin of Dinamation” and Science Director Robert Bakker stated that Dinamation would never have existed were it not for Raymond’s many contributions. Some very great work, I have seen many of the robotic dinosaurs at Fruita (at the former Dinamation museum, now Dinosaur Journey – Museum of Western Colorado)in past few years and other places. Some very nice work.

Watson Sculptures & Models A site where some nice bronze sculptures of dinosaurs by Doug Watson can be seen. Doug has worked for the National museums of Canada for 17 years, the last 12 exclusively for the Canadian Museum of Nature as a Model & Diorama specialist. Since 1981 he has also produced bronze sculptures, mainly of wildlife for sale to the public. Current dinosaur art includes a 1:24th scale and is 7.5″H x 19″L x 5″W Tyrannosaurus rex, and two new sculptures a 1:24th scale Triceratops and a 1:12th scale Utahraptor ostrommaysi.

General Art and Modeling Information A full-service dinosaur art studio, Walters & Kissinger combines the talents of two paleontological restoration illustrators, Robert F. Walters and Tess Kissinger, and two professional dinosaur sculptors, Paul Sorton and Bruce J. Mohn. Together, we offer the most complete and scientifically accurate dinosaur artwork available to museums, publishers, film and television… READ MORE

Dinosaur FotoImages. Photographic images of dinosaurs in “natural looking” settings. Check them out. These images are for your personal use, enjoyment and education. They may not be used for any commercial purpose including publication or redistribution for commercial gain.

Dinosaur Studio website is a showcase for the accurate, science-based dinosaur sculpture and products of noted paleoartist Dan LoRusso. With nearly a decade’s experience in the field of paleo-reconstruction, The Dinosaur Studio is respected worldwide as a supplier of realistic dinosaur sculpture to collectors and museums; clients include The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, Museo del Ricon Colorado, and Dinamation International.

Dinotreker. Within this site you will find a very unique and interesting view of dinosaurs and Paleo art. Featuring a showcase of dinosaurs and dinosaur art from some of the best Paleo Artists in the world today.

Paper Dinosaurs, 1824-1969. An Exhibition of Original Publications From the Collections of the Linda Hall Library The Linda Hall Library is now presenting an exhibition of original printed materials related to the history of dinosaur discovery. On view are most of the classic papers of dinosaur lore, including the original publications of Gideon Mantell, Richard Owen, Othniel Marsh, and a host of others. The focus of the exhibition is on images, both of discovery and of restoration. The exhibition runs from October 17, 1996 through April 30, 1997. What follows is a hypertext catalog of the exhibition. It proceeds through all forty-nine items of the exhibition, but includes links to thirty-five more works that could not be accommodated in the exhibition hall. There are 136 original images.

Prehistoric Times a publication for the Dinosaur collector and enthusiast. Its focus is primarily dinosaur/prehistoric animal collectibles, many articles involve paleo science and artwork of the highest scientific accuracy. “PT” is probably ‘lighter’ reading than most most locations on this site but I’m sure many would enjoy it. Artists like Donna Braginetz, Mark Hallett, James Gurney and more are highly involved with PT and they will be running interviews with paleontologists from time to time. PT is a magazine sold in stores and through subscription but people arriving at this site can see our beautiful full color covers and a table of contents for each issue.

Dinosaur Animation

The Dinosaur Project Just for fun, and since they have always been fascinated by Dinosaurs, M. Richard Associates Inc. decided to send their graphics and animation guys back to the Mesozoic. And this website was the result. This interesting site focuses on the animation of dinosaurs. Check it out!

Dinosaurs from Patagonia will take the viewers back to a 3D journey in the Patagonian region. Dinosaurs are amongst the most fascinating animals to have ever walked the Earth. We are captivated by their enormous size and intrigued by the fact that they disappeared millions of years ago. Dinosaurs from Patagonia 3D will take audiences on an unprecedented and unique 3D journey into the world of the largest known dinosaurs and, in the process, explore some of the great paleontological discoveries of modern time.Done in close collaboration with the foremost scientists of the domain, the movie will show never seen before computer generated footage of the Giganotosaurus and the Argentinosaurus to name a few.

Fossil Replicas

Gaston Design. Gaston Design has been producing highest-quality dinosaur fossil replicas for more than 20 years. We’re located in Fruita, Colorado, in the heart of the American Southwest’s famous Dinosaur Triangle. All of our casts are expertly designed and crafted, using state-of-the-art techniques. We consult with paleontologists to ensure that all Gaston Design skeletons are accurately reconstructed. All of our casts are hand-cast and colored in the United States. You won’t find better quality and attention to detail!

Paleoclones a new fossil casting organization offering over two hundred species of dinosaurs, mammals, trilobites and more. PaleoClones specimens range in size from tiny trilobites to a forty foot long life-size Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton! Each fossil replica is finely detailed to match the original specimen. PaleoClones’ ultimate mission is to increase natural history education in people of all ages and backgrounds. We are working closely with schools, museums and fossil clubs to this end.


Stygimoloch was a small pachycephalosaur whose thick skull bristled with bony knobs and spikes. It undoubtedly engaged in head-butting, either for defense or to establish a pecking order during mating, or perhaps both. Its name derives from the river Styx (“stygi”) and the name of a Semitic god, Moloch. In Greek mythology, the Styx was a mythical river flowing through the underworld near Hades (Hell). Stygimoloch’s remains were discovered in the Hell Creek formation of Montana and Wyoming. According to myth, children were fed to the god Moloch. However, even if there had been any youngsters around in the Cretaceous, they would have been in no danger of being eaten by Stygimoloch since it was a vegetarian.