How Do Scientists Know That?

When scientists tell us what dinosaurs looked like, how can they be certain? How do they know that reveals these and other secrets.

By: The OpenLearn team (Programme and web teams)

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Our landscape detective Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University

As we look around the natural world that surrounds us, it is pretty obvious that it is amazing. But to understand the true wonder of our natural world you need to take a closer look and delve into the mysteries that scientists have discovered over the centuries. From investigating the impact of invasive species to piecing together the life story of a dinosaur, the work of scientists sheds a whole new light on the world that surrounds us.

But how can a scientist know what a T-Rex looked like, how do they work out the way that continents have moved throughout the millenia, and how can something as simple as a garden plant unleash chaos on entire ecosystems?

So join with us as we ask How Do They Know That?
Explore the nature of the Earth itself in Dynamic Earth.
Unearth the hidden history the can be found in Fossils.
Find out how scientists turn into detectives when they uncover the secrets that fossils have kept hidden for millennia in Palaeobiology.
Unpick the complex interactions between organisms that makes up Ecology.
Learn how the tiniest creature can cause catastrophic consequences when it turns up in the wrong location in Invaders.
Explore the ways in which we can put right damage done to our natural landscape, in Restoring Habitats.

British Isles - A User's Guide To Natural History in more depth:

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