Introduction to the AMNH labs

The dinosaur halls at the AMNH are arranged cladistically. The purpose of Labs 7 - 10 is to identify the synapomorphic and autapomorphic characters for the various genera on display. Navigate your way around the exhibits using the AMNH book (by Dingus), and use Lucas and last week’s lab handouts as a guide to the anatomy. You need to go into considerably more detail in this lab than in the general class trip, but keep it clear and relatively simple.

There will be no formal weekly lab meeting for these labs. These labs will be due at the end of the semester; however it is strongly suggested that you discuss your work with the TAs between now and the end of semester. Do not put off doing these labs until the last week; they are VERY time-consuming!

Lab 6’s cladogram provides the relationships between the various groups of dinosaurs we are going to look at. The cladograms provided in this and the following labs follow the AMNH classification; this will sometimes be different to what we learn in class. For the purpose of the labs, follow the AMNH classification; for the exams however you only need to learn the classification given in lectures.

The basic instructions and format are the same for each lab. They are given in detail below; you may need to refer back to this lab for the complete instructions.


In this part we will look at the Thyreophora and Marginocephalia; cladograms are provided below for these groups. These cladograms are also in the exhibits.

For each of the 2 cladograms:


Part II

In this second part we will look at the Ornithopoda (= Euornithopoda of AMNH). Cladograms are provided for the ornithopods and hadrosaurs. These cladograms are also in the exhibits.
For each of the 2 cladograms: