1001 Writing Prompts About Fossils

1001 Writing Prompts About Fossils

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Professional authors say that if you have nothing that inspires you to write, you should try to learn more about topics that you would not normally include in your stories. For example, if you aren’t familiar with fossils, you should consider researching them. 

Believe it or not, the preserved remains, or trace of remains, of ancient organisms has plenty of potential. With the right plot, you could easily use it to create an adventure series with a similar vibe to Indiana Jones or a children’s story like Finding Esme by Suzanne Crowley.   

Speaking of the right plot, below are some writing prompts about fossils that you might find helpful:

  • You’ve just found an important fossil. Your friend asks to borrow it.
  • You find a fossil of what seems to be a strange mix of two dinosaurs’ parts.
  • Your child finds fossils and you want to get him excited.
  • Reincarnation gave you a second chance. You could either be born a viking, elf, medieval king, savage etcetera, or you could be reincarnated as a dinosaur. What kind of dinosaur would you reincarnate into if you went for the first choice?
  • An Inuit folktale tells of when the Earth was a foreign planet.
  • You find a fossil that appears to be from your favorite dinosaur species but it is not.
  • You and your friend found a fossil. You wonder if it belongs in the natural science museum or the art museum.
  • Two people – a 7 year old girl and a 65 year old man – describe the same dinosaur fossil.
  • You’ve been asked to describe the habits and behavior of a dinosaur you spent a week carefully observing.
  • You were hired to carve the Mount Rushmore of this era. Which creatures would you feature?
  • You’re searching for fossils. What would determine where you go looking for fossils? Why?
  • You’re transporting a giant fossil to the Berlin/Dresden museum – you also have a thief onboard the train.
  • Navigate this game of three-dimensional tic-tac-toe to hunt for prehistoric bones with the dinosaur family.
  • You found a lost treasure…smack-dab in the middle of a forest….and they’re looking for it.
  • A time machine arrives. What promises would you make in order to get on board?
  • You found a fossil primate that has more signs of intelligence than most humans.
  • Describe an alternative history in which the extinction of the dinosaurs did not happen.
  • A dinosaur fossil turns out to be a fake.
  • Someone has stolen a slab of stone from your school. It has a fossil imprinted on it — what’s your first reaction?
  • You’re a paleontologist. You’re studying what caused the dinosaurs to become extinct. What would the evidence be in favor of each hypothesis?
  • You built a stable for the hyper-evolved dinosaurs of the future.
  • You are an expert in ancient art. Detectives are asking for your help in determining the age of a cave painting through fossils.
  • What was your most important fossil find?
  • You’ve discovered some fossils. Name all the dinosaurs scientists have theorized they came from.
  • Describe a dinosaur that is smarter than scientists claim dinosaurs were.
  • Write a story about a time where homo sapiens encounter a dinosaur.
  • Aquatic archaeology is strangely similar to underwater paleontology.
  • A dinosaur fossil hatches.
  • A paleontologist digs up a fossil with bacteria on it. What could he or she use the fossil to discover?
  • You discover a severed hand on the beach. Could it belong to a missing fossil hunter?
  • The Iron Man is wielding a samurai sword and struggling against a pterodactyl. What’s his backstory?
  • A person discovers a fossil.
  • The news has posted about a new discovery that changes everything we know about dinosaurs.
  • After your cat died, you discovered a fossilized kitty tooth.
  • Name an extinct animal that you would rather be than a human.
  • If you could bring back one extinct animal, what would it be?
  • What would happen if a time traveler bought something from the future and presented it to you. What would you do?
  • What would life be like twenty-five million years from now?
  • While out geocaching or hiking, you find a piece of a yet unknown fossil.
  • You’re a student of ancient languages. Your job is to translate the writing in a fossil.
  • A group is petitioning to build a giant petrochemical refinery near a national park. As a member of the park board, you are asked to comment on the request. What scientific proof do you feel is necessary to convince yourself and other board members that the potential benefits of this investment outweigh the risk that the refinery will pollute the air and water?
  • Imagine you could go back in time and convince a wooly mammoth to not go in front of Amebelodon.
  • An art gallery sells replicas of a dinosaur skeleton. The real fossil was destroyed when the museum was damaged in a fire. Do you buy one?
  • You found a fossil, but can’t remember where.
  • The local natural history museum is constructing a life-size dinosaur model. Using the Internet, you discover a published paper on small theropods and suggest that the museum include those mini dinosaurs within the exhibit.
  • An archaeologist finds a note in the fossil of an ancient human.
  • What would you name a new dinosaur species?
  • You just found a new fossil in your backyard. What is it?
  • You find a fossil that has segments that were all laid down at the same time.
  • Black and White, the detective agency, takes on a new case at a museum.
  • You discover a living fossil.
  • What would happen to the human race if dinosaurs were still alive?
  • An archeologist claims to have found a Bible in a fossil.
  • Your professor presents a scientific paper claiming that she has found what she believes to be the original Zygote. She would like you to write the paper to which she will attach her name.
  • You’re a paleontologist collecting fossils. Describe how you would prepare for a fossil dig. A human or Neanderthal fossil has been discovered. What was the cause of death?
  • You’re a paleontologist working on a dig. Your partner comes up to you and tells you the fossils you’ve collected this day has turned out to be an ancient treasure map.
  • It’s late at night while you are working at the museum and you fall deadly ill. You begin to slip into unconsciousness as the last thing you see is a strange carnivore stalking you.
  • You found the fossil of a dinosaur never before discovered.
  • A new fossil discovery helps to change the face of paleontology forever.
  • Your ossuary has been burglarized. You just realized that the missing bones belong to a minor figure from the Bible.
  • A young boy finds a fossil.
  • Your college is building a new laboratory, and you get to decide who gets the fossil/materials donated to the college.
  • You’re an archaeologist, right at the moment you’re about to discover random. Think of what random fossil you would discover.
  • A customer says they can’t seem to find the fossils they’re supposed to dig for. You and your friends soon discover why.
  • How did a new type of dinosaur evolve?
  • You discover a fossil in the attic of an old house.
  • You are an apprentice fossil collector. What sorts of fossils should you look for?
  • You win a tour of a paleontology field site. You get to stay at the digs for 1 week. Your spouse wants to come, too.
  • A scientist has developed a theory about dinosaurs based on a strange fossil.
  • You’re an ancient biogeographer. Where did the modern species who make the fossil come from?
  • Make a time turner necklace out of a large fossil.
  • Unusual fossils are being found during an archeological dig.
  • What research would you do before you decided to name it something new?
  • You found a specimen that may not be a dinosaur, but your partner is insisting it has to be a dinosaur. What do you do?
  • Does your significant other know that your “gift” is really just a rock?
  • Someone has gone missing and you’re following a trail of clues.
  • You’re a forensic scientist who has been asked to compare a skeleton to a drawing of a particular species that has been found as a fossil. What similarities and differences would you see?
  • Your parents are palaeontologists. You sneak into their office without them knowing, and discover a pile of fossils they’ve discovered. Pick one and write a short description on it.
  • Fossils have been collected for as long as humans have been on this earth, and as long as there have been museums. What types of people collected them? What kind of problems have they faced?
  • Write about a material you would like to dig up in a human fossil farm.
  • A high school child wants to become a paleontologist because of your kids’ book series.
  • What would you do with the fossil after you sold it?
  • You have the opportunity to meet the last living dinosaur. The creature is now a pet and only survives because of regular care and feeding. What are your plans for him/her?
  • You find an unusual pattern in a fossil made of hard, transparent material.
  • The world is devastated by an Erupting Global Warming. Tell how it affects the world and how it’s resolved.
  • You wrote an article about all the prominent fossil digs, leaving out as many details as possible to prevent anyone else from digging there.
  • A friend wants to dig for dinosaurs on your property.
  • You’re the designer of a new natural history museum. What do you include in the exhibits from the fossil hall?
  • One moonlit night you dug up a strange looking fossilized skull. It appears to have been damaged, drag marks scar the earth. From the marks, it seems that this fossilized skull did not belong to its former owner.
  • You are an expert in paleontology. A buddy of yours invites you to his sister’s wedding on the moon. Preparations for the wedding require that you go back in time to the days of the dinosaurs to retrieve cake ingredients.
  • A space probe returns with a rock containing a fossil.
  • A scientist falsely predicts that fossils found by a team are of a new species.
  • A collection of lost fossils are found squashed flat.
  • Scientists attempted to recreate a prehistoric animal out of the bones of several dozen other prehistoric animals.
  • You decide to search for a fossil at your cousin’s house, only to find that your cousin has already found it.
  • Describe a fictional fossil. What does it look like? What is it an example of? What flora and fauna are part of the fossil site?
  • A treasure hunter believes he has found an enormous dinosaur bone–but the rest of the world doesn’t believe him.
  • Fossils reveal a time when the continents were joined together. Now all you have to do is find them!
  • You’re a paleontologist and need to convince someone that fossils are more than just petrified bones.
  • Scientists discover evidence that prehistoric creatures had begun to evolve into modern animals, like humans.
  • You found a fossil that tells the truth because of a legendary reptile.
  • A friend asks you to use your dinosaur expertise to help him fall asleep.
  • You’ve been hired to write a report about a newly discovered fossil.
  • You’re a scientist working as a geologist examining earthquake sites. You discovered a jawbone from a dinosaur.
  • Your favorite storybook writer got rid of the dragons and now uses dinosaurs instead. What species of dinosaurs do they use?
  • The scientists in your story discover a species that has never been seen before. How do they react to this discovery?
  • A scientist suffers from her unusual hobby.
  • You’re a paleontologist discovering an amazing fossil. Tell us what you find.
  • A robot is caught “stealing” fossils.
  • Scientists have been using magic to bring the 100,000 year old woolly mammoth back to life. How do they do it?
  • What do you do when a new fossil shows up causing scientists to question their belief system about the previous fossil discoveries?
  • A strange fossil accidentally brings the past to life.
  • A new fossil discovery runs completely against the accepted theory of that dinosaur’s diet.
  • Two paleontologists have different opinions about their find.
  • A palm tree sprouts from a bone.
  • You just met your soulmate, who happens to work for the largest fossil collection in the world.
  • You’ve always been fascinated by fossils.
  • You discover a fossil of an orphaned dinosaur that would have been a breeding adult during the dinosaur extinction.
  • Artists create representations of prehistoric creatures that they imagine based on fossils and evidence like footprints.
  • You receive a fossil from a rich benefactor. They are asking for it back, but you know it is just an average dinosaur fossil.
  • You discover an unusual fossil that you don’t know what it is. It contains some colors that you’ve never seen before and is soft and bendable.
  • You find a fossil of an animal. However, everyone you seek an opinion for tells you it’s impossible that the animal was what it appears to be, even though it seems to have their feet somewhere.
  • Rachel Grant of The Creative Penn discusses 100% procrastiworking , a system in which procrastinators write a short paragraph or story every morning — even when the muse doesn’t show up with killer ideas on the to-do list. This is an excellent way to loosen up the artistic mind — and journaling is a happy side effect.
  • You’re an archaeologist digging through a site full of fossilized dinosaur bones. Everyone knew the dinosaurs died out. What do you do?
  • An illegal fossil market has been uncovered near your community.
  • You found a dinosaur fossil and you want to donate it to a museum. Which museum do you donate it to?
  • A fossil reveals an unknown creature.
  • Your friends want to go fossil hunting. You have experience and have found good fossils before. Will they find anything?
  • A rainforest ecosystem sprung up around a house.
  • What would be the name for a newly discovered type of dinosaur?
  • How would you describe a fossil discovery to a young child?
  • Someone discovered the top of the World Trade Center in New York which was thought to be destroyed when the two buildings collapsed.
  • What does your city/state/province/country/planet look like when it was 10,000 years younger or older?
  • A man’s plans to visit a relative in another country get sidetracked. In a strange museum, he sees a familiar figure.
  • Explain how the different theories of fossilization might have proven themselves true over time as paleontologists discover new specimens and readjust their theories.
  • You lost your favorite pet. You’re certain you heard her crying in the garden. You find a huge fossil of what you believe to be your pet. Sadly, upon further examination, you realise it isn’t her.
  • A scientist said her work will prove her certain theories in regards to how the world is today. Will the proof support her theories?
  • The Petting Zoo
  • You just stumbled upon the most priceless fossil ever.
  • Discover the biggest dinosaur ever!
  • A paleontologist discovers a modern animal that looks just like a long extinct animal.
  • You need to rename a dinosaur. What does it look like?
  • You find the fossil of an animal thought to have been extinct millions of years ago.
  • DNA evidence reveals some surprising things about dinosaurs.
  • What challenges would you face in excavating a fossil from a fossil rich area—challenges political, physical, or otherwise?
  • A rare fossil is worth a lot of money. How would you sell it?
  • Accompany a paleontologist on an expedition to excavate fossils.
  • You found a fossil that challenges Darwin’s theory of evolution.
  • A Neurotic , a lesser predator from the late Cretaceous era, is aware of an odd sensation within itself. It’s about to hibernate for winter, but after ingesting a few more kilograms of bone and fur——-
  • ABC News wants to interview you about a recent fossil discovery you made.
  • You’ve just discovered a prehistoric graveyard. What do they look like? What do the skeletons look like? Where are they found? What is the space between them like?
  • A paleontologist working in the badlands finds a dinosaur in amber.
  • What effect do laws about removing fossils from public land have on cryptozoology?
  • You’ve just shown a friend a certain dinosaur fossil piece, and you wonder what you should be looking for next.
  • A man discovered a fossil. What does he do with it?
  • By telescope, you notice a far-off world that seems very Earth-like.
  • You found what appears to be the fossil of an ancient humanoid that could revolutionize what we know about a historical period.
  • The fossilized remains of a bizarre old creature are discovered. Scientists come to your town to examine it.
  • You’re doing a report about an interesting fossil find. Now you just have to find the fossil.
  • You turn up a complete specimen of one of the most magnificent, yet puzzling, prehistoric creatures.
  • You’re predicting the end of the world. Where will it be the end? Life as we know it will end in the… Part of Your Neighborhood Part of the Planet Earth The Universe
  • The Lost World is discovered! Explain how dinosaurs live there.
  • When you let go of fossils, it starts running around your house.
  • Dinosaurs have been extinct for 65 million years. In honor of their legacy, the scientist leading the team that discovered the oldest T-Rex fossil says, “Wade in the water.” What happened next?
  • In a museum, you discovered a fossil containing what appeared to be the remnants of something inside it!
  • What is your favourite dinosaur? Describe a similar dino that isn’t famous.
  • How do you name a new species you’ve discovered? Do you need detective skills?
  • What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever found while fossil hunting?
  • An antique fossil is still gaining value.
  • You’re a paleontologist who specializes in geology. Which field would you be most interested in?
  • Describe a fictitious dinosaur created in honour of your favourite subject.
  • What thoughts, feelings, and memories does a fossil trigger in your character?
  • The fossilized remains of a giant reptile have been discovered and construction workers are trying to retrieve them. How will they try to pluck the bones from the rock?
  • You come across a fossil that could be fake or real.
  • You’re the science teacher at a local elementary school. You’re making a collection of kids’ opinions on the topic of evolution.
  • You work as a fossil courier, and found a bone you suspect isn’t legal can be smuggled in your shoes.
  • Your cat just dug up a fossil in your backyard. What kind of fossil was it and is it real?
  • The fossils in Africa aren’t what people have always thought they were.
  • An urban legend claims that before the dinosaurs, there was a race of giant birds the size of 747s. The legend says that dragonflies had six-foot wingspans, crocodiles grew to the size of dinosaurs, and birds flew as tall as 50-story buildings. It sounds crazy, but how could something like this happen?
  • How would you get the best price on the black market for a particularly valuable fossil?
  • A man has been found buried with treasure. He hasn’t been in the ground long enough for the treasure to have rotted. What happened to him?
  • A fossil is displayed in a museum. For what other animal does it fit?
  • Your town is threatened by a volcanic eruption, but you have to take a time out from evacuations to show your family a special dinosaur ancestor.
  • One of your old high school teachers wants to borrow one of your fossils.
  • A man tells you he’s found an unusual fossil. Is he telling the truth?
  • A research scientist conducts experiments of recreating extinct organisms from DNA. You discover that X has been genetically recreated. What do you do? A man steals a rare fossil from a museum to prevent the museum from closing. Cito uses thile comment form below to let us know about any interesting writing prompts, new fiction, or fiction contests you find.
  • Describe the scene the first time dinosaurs walked the earth.
  • Anthropologists discover an entire room full of bones at a hidden site. There are fossils of every type of animal, from every timeline.
  • You’re looking for a missing person. What fossil might you use to tell if the person wandered too close to a dinosaur nesting site?
  • You stumbled across an archaeological dig. What was found there, and how will it affect history when they are round?
  • You’re on a paleontological expedition!
  • Write about the life of a fossil.
  • You find a notebook in an old chest at a historic site. It’s entries reveal the author to be a pioneer searching for the legendary Atlantis.
  • On a recent trip to the museum, you noticed a strange fossil among the displays. Do you tell an adult?
  • You can bring three items from the contemporary world into a prehistoric human community for a month with you. What three items would you bring?
  • What fossils, if any, do you think were deliberately planted or maligned in the legends or depictions of dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures?
  • Two fossils were found in the same location. One of them was from a known dinosaur and the other wasn’t. However, there’s only enough for a partial fossil. Who would you reconstruct it to look like and why?
  • You’re a paleontologist. Unfortunately, you have just found a fossil in the shape of a human finger bone.
  • A scientist finds a strange fossil in a remote location. It appears to be an organ that shouldn’t exist.
  • A child discovers a fossil.
  • The professor’s new fossil destroys his  life work and is received with bitter rejection from the academic community.
  • A tree has been growing out of a fossil for millions of years without harming it.
  • You are traveling in time and find dinosaur bones. You are unsure of the date so you return to your time and ask your history teacher.
  • You have sold the only fossil from a newly discovered dinosaur that could make your career.
  • The ruins of an ancient city have been found. Among them are prehistoric remains from a race of creatures that disappeared entirely from the face of the earth.
  • A young paleontologist majoring in geology, geophysics, or paleobotany.
  • You worked on a dig.
  • You’re exploring a coral reef for the first time. What do you find?
  • You’re a scientist who believes humans and dinosaurs lived together. Could you prove your theory?
  • A fossil fuels addiction. A very bizarre addiction to fossil fuels.
  • What would it be, and what would it tell you about the creature that it belonged to?
  • A pet food company destroyed an entire site of fossils and petrified wood.
  • The museum director wants to create a display that is fun for kids. You’ve been told to make sure it includes a lot of interactive modes. What do you come up with?
  • A scientist or grad student has discovered a dinosaur-like fossil. What do you think it is?
  • You follow a hunch and discover a new dinosaur.
  • Some archaeologist just found your fossil and is taking credit for your find.
  • The fossil is your prehistoric ancestor – well yours and the scientist’s.
  • A new species was discovered. Can dogs/cats/monkeys be genetically altered into humans?
  • The police have apprehended a fossil smuggler.
  • An artist finds inspiration in the beauty of fossils.
  • A time bubble has warped you back in time and you found yourself in a prehistoric jungle. A T-rex is trying to eat you, what do you do?
  • You came across an old diary that has you thinking. Can you figure out the mystery behind it?
  • You live in a small town and all you can do is look for fossils.
  • You’re taking a test where you’re tasked with sorting 25 fossils into their families.
  • Explain why mis-reading the fossil record is a problem.
  • You’d like to move away from the hustle and bustle of home. Where would you choose to move?
  • A scientist studies x-rays of thousands of different fossils. She later becomes famous for her theories about the relationship between dinosaurs and humans.
  • Your friend has discovered the largest dinosaur ever discovered. How will you introduce it to the world?
  • Your friend examines a fossil he found on a dig, and shows you the inside. You see something you never thought was possible.
  • You’re the editor of a science magazine, and have been sent a paper about a dinosaur fossil unlike any ever discovered. What do you do?
  • You found a fossil and, after cleaning it, noticed it appears to be moving slightly.
  • You’re planning a road trip. The car in front of you stopped suddenly for what appears to be fossilized tracks. Where are you and what is the geology of your area?
  • You came back from a hike with your friends and found a prehistoric fossil buried near where you parked.
  • You served with a military unit that was forced to evacuate, leaving their base camp, equipment, and supplies behind. After fleeing the base, they find their escape route is blocked by hazardous terrain, forcing them to proceed back to the camp. Along the way, the unit stumbles into a series of caves. Inside, they encounter hundreds and hundreds of skeletons. Do you try to keep your find a secret?
  • Your parents are geologists, and they have an unconventional theory about rock layers. It seems simple to you, but to anyone else, their theory is completely incomprehensible.
  • Fossil remains of a new species have been discovered. Write a blog post about it.
  • When a well-preserved Pleistocene elephant skeleton is uncovered, what/which theories about the cause of the end of the Ice Age do you support?
  • You’re on an excavation site in the woods. What do you find?
  • Nova Scotia has an exhibit on dinosaurs. You are offered a chance to answer a few questions about fossils for a newspaper quiz. What is your first choice for what you will tell the reporter?
  • You have found a fossil and are certain it’s a dinosaur.
  • The past’s greatest mysteries are solved through a time-warping telescope that sends scientists back to famous fossil sites.
  • You find a fossil from an animal that lived in a place no extinct animal lived.
  • What do you do with a fossil that has a similarity to a modern human illness?
  • A professor discovers that their laser could be used to petrified animals. However, it isn’t an experiment, it is an unscheduled test that went horribly wrong.
  • You work in a department store dealing with antiques and relics. You find a fossil. What do you do with it?
  • You’ve just inherited a mysterious trunk that belonged to your grandma. When you open it, what do you find inside?
  • You are in an ocean with a hypodermic needle in your arm. You can save either your cell phone or your notebook from being lost, but not both. Choose.
  • You found an amazing fossil! However, someone stole it, so why not write about something else to get over it?
  • The dinosaur had been “fossilized” when the sand suddenly burst open and rolled the creature into a deep pit.
  • You answer a phone survey that mostly focuses around your fossil collection.
  • You have to make a dinosaur out of dino jazz!. What kind and how do you do?
  • Fossils have been found in Alberta, Canada. How do you think it got there?
  • A dragon is seeking the fragments of a fossil that’s said to be the key to prolonging life.
  • Fossilized dinosaurs have been found in a number of places. For example, in rock formations in China, Tanzania, and Brazil. How did dinosaurs spread across the world? Write a plot about an apatosaurus.
  • You stumbled upon a fossil of something you’ve never seen before. Describe the skeleton and speculate on what the creature might be like.
  • Someone has faked a fossil. How do you prove or disprove it’s a fake?
  • When an archaeologist finds a fossil of a kind unknown to science, what do they do with it?
  • What type of dinosaur do you think your fascinating fossil came from?
  • You’re writing a time travel story. How do you get a fossil to show up in a different time?
  • To help with the study of rise and fall of species, ecology, and evolution, you mix some living neoplasms with the fossils of your ancestors and research the resulting animals over geologic time.
  • NASA builds a starship using only technology from the Stone Age. What advice would you give?
  • Where do you think your best find is?
  • You’re a paleontologist and have just uncovered a fossil that challenges the accepted theory that all life on earth came from the ocean. Alternately, you’re a paleontologist who has published a thesis that is quickly being picked apart by other paleontologists. What do you do?
  • What would something look like if it existed before the dinosaurs?
  • What would be the worst possible response you could receive if you went into a room and asked everyone else what they thought you were?
  • You are doing an oral history about your family. Your family has been fossil collectors for generations. You interview your chemist grandfather about the importance of fossil collecting to his life.
  • While exploring through a cave you come across a fossil-like artifact.
  • When did people begin to study fossils?
  • Which fossil comes back to life first?
  • There’s a local legend of a tooth with three roots with ivory at the top.
  • A scientist finds a fossil that stuns and confuses his colleagues.
  • The remains of an armored dinosaur is found, except the soft tissue isn’t intact. What dinosaur did it belong to?
  • You must choose which fossil to keep and which to sell. What fossil do you keep and why?
  • You found a strange fossil, but it looks suspiciously similar to a known one.
  • A paleontologist goes on a dig and uncovers a fossil that reveals a completely different type of dinosaur.
  • A fossil indicates that a strange new species of dinosaur lives in the current day.
  • Someone has invented time travel and is going back in time to import a dinosaur. What dinosaur would you import?
  • You are convincing your congressperson to set aside a quarter of a million dollars for your dinosaur dig. Plot what you would say to convince her.
  • Explain how you will discover what creature it is.
  • A fossil fuels debate has begun in your state or community.
  • You’re the paleontologist on a space mission. Stop the asteroid from wiping out all the dinosaurs by killing a T. rex.
  • Someone you love died in a car accident, and now the only thing that comforts you is your favorite fossil.
  • Your friend doesn’t believe in dinosaurs. How would you prove to them that dinosaurs really existed?
  • How do someone’s religious beliefs affect their appreciation of fossils
  • The contents of a fortune-telling ceramic capsule are excavated in a long-abandoned building.
  • Which five separate things are necessary for a fossil to be created?
  • You find a fossil believed to be of something new, what do you name it?
  • How do you prepare and preserve a fossil?
  • A fragment of a radioactive meteor vaporizes a prehistoric animal.
  • You found a big fossil all by yourself! It doesn’t fit any existing dinosaur… what should you do?
  • What do you do when you discover a new type of original dinosaur?
  • You’ve discovered a so-called “missing link” between apes and humans. How do you know for sure?
  • A film crew is following what it claims is a real life dinosaur and they point their camera at the public. How do you react?
  • The bones of several dead creatures were uncovered in your backyard. You can only remove one of these bones, which one would you choose to keep? What would you do with it?
  • What would happen if dinosaurs were suddenly brought back into existence?
  • Your science teacher thinks you faked a fossil you found. How do you prove that you didn’t forge it?
  • A schoolkid accidently trips over a dinosaur fossil.
  • Your palaeontology friend has been getting strange phone calls.
  • You and your friends discover a new species of dinosaur. What was the most interesting aspect of it? Did this discovery make national headlines?
  • You have to haul away a house filled with old stuff. What do you save and what do you throw out? Perhaps you can even include some fossils and mention what type of dinosaur they came from.
  • An artist finds a fossil and makes a sculpture out of it.
  • Describe a complete and accurate fossil record for one year. What would it look like?
  • A team of paleontologists discover an alien spaceship. What do they find inside?
  • What’s the weirdest fossil you’ve ever discovered?
  • What would you name a newly discovered extinct species?
  • A scientist finds fossil evidence of a lesser known part of the dinosaur skeleton.
  • You own a fossil that you were given. How do you deal with it?
  • A fossil is found somewhere odd and no one knows what it is.
  • You’re trapped inside a cave-in. Digging is your only way out. Watch the following TED-Ed talk about fossils.
  • What does a 7-year old know about fossils that an adult doesn’t?
  • What’s the weirdest fossil you’ve found?
  • Your grades in school have slipped as a result of a sudden interest in fossils. Do you put it before everything else in your life?
  • You’re trapped in a cave. What sorts of fossils would you hope you’d run across?
  • The creature who made this footprint was 60% bigger than a normal deer.
  • The ground around the school is revealing new fossils. If your school has a science fair, you may want to use this for an entry topic.
  • The remains of a terrible beast have been uncovered by archaeologists.
  • Fossils of ancient animals can tell us about ancient plants and climate.
  • You’re going on an archaeological dig. What dinosaur are you hoping to find?
  • A famous, worldwide-known researcher has begun a new study and has requested you to send over fossils. She lives by this rule, “If it isn’t documented, it never happened.”
  • Monsters begin appearing in the fossil record. Maybe it’s just a philosophical shift or maybe it’s literal, but different museums in different countries all report similar abnormalities.
  • A week of rain has unearthed a cache of fossils along a highway.
  • A paleontologist finds an odd combination of dinosaur bones.
  • What factors do you think played the most significant roles or influenced the most important parts of the dinosaur world?
  • How do fossils form?
  • You’re the director of the fossil evidence for evolution department at a museum that is having budgetary problems. Which of your department’s programs must be cut?
  • You find a giant egg.
  • The police discover the fossil of an unknown species.
  • You and a friend were camping in the mountains when you saw something creeping from the bushes. Now, you’re the only one left alive. Does the beast have you?
  • A paleontologist discovers a fossilized handprint. What kind of creature made it? Who made it?
  • Scientists in a search team making a plaster cast of a dinosaur track.
  • An ancient weapon was found in a fossilized arm.
  • Why didn’t a gigantic dinosaur species use all its height and weight as a weapon to destroy its enemies?
  • To become a paleontologist, what dinosaurs have you studied?
  • You need to forcibly enter a sprawling estate, but it’s full of vicious guard dogs. Suggest a way to get past them and their compound/areas.
  • During museum renovation, a fossil was welded to the bottom of the floor, hidden for decades.
  • You discover your pet rock is actually a dinosaur egg—it hatches.
  • You weren’t supposed to discover a particular fossil, but you did. What are the consequences?
  • You find a fossilized tooth and start trying to guess what species it belongs to.
  • You discover a fossilized cell phone.
  • A flying dinosaur turns out to be a scaly bird with a beak.
  • You’ve learned a previously unknown breed of dinosaur is living near your small town. What do you do? That concludes this post on dinosaur fossils. Hopefully if you’re writing about many settings, you can find these prompts useful.
  • While hiking, you meet an archaeologist who needs your help.
  • You’ve just received an invitation to join a group of fossils who are organizing a revolution. What’s going to happen?
  • You’re a paleontologist. You’ve discovered a new kind of dinosaur. What’s its name?
  • You’re a scientist who accidentally creates the perfect dinosaur.
  • There’s a legend that says a prehistoric sea monster comes to life and causes chaos once a year. In your story, the legend becomes a reality.
  • How can you identify imaginary dinosaurs?
  • While exploring a jungle, you notice some new type of fruit that looks interesting. As you reach towards it, you’re face to face with a terrifying dinosaur! What do you do?
  • You’re making a fossilized animal, but lack certain necessary information. Tell what you determine and how it fits into the Fossil Record.
  • A new kind of sediment is discovered that could rewrite existing theories about how the climate changed long ago.
  • What do you do if you find a broken fossil at your campsite?
  • If you are studying geology, you find a rock with a fossil of what appears to be a device. What may the item be?
  • A super-rich fossil hunter discovers an elephant skull.
  • A mysterious fossil is found under the ice shelf surrounding the North Pole.
  • Do you have a favorite novel or story that involved prehistoric organisms? Discuss how the author approached their description.
  • A prehistoric recipe is found in a cookbook.
  • Haydn is scheduled to travel to Germany to see a museum. For his personal observations, identify at least three things he would see in the museum to support your statement.
  • You’re excavating at a homestead. You find a rock that sure looks like a fossil.
  • You’ve been hired to write the back of wrappers for fossil bracelets. Your prime target audience is 8–12, but you don’t have plot lines for 12 types of fossils. When you make up your eight, what do you do?
  • So you want to become a paleontologist. How can you get more involved or prepare yourself?
  • You’re exploring a strange new world and discover a fossil you’re certain no earthly creature ever boasted.
  • A badger called Nimrod uncovers a hole in a bedroom wall. He sniffs a whiff of rat that comes from underground, and promptly embarks on an impromptu archaeological excavation. Can you help him protect his discovery?
  • You come across a very special fossil while exploring the Grand Canyon.
  • You make a discovery that changes the way archaeologists think of prehistoric life on Earth.
  • It’s your job to determine, based on evidence found in the fossil, what the dinosaur ate. Tell about how many meals the dinosaur had in a day, where the dinosaur did most of its hunting, and what the dinosaur was most likely sleeping on.
  • What would the first human ask the T-Rex if it ever found a skeleton?
  • You discover a living fossil in a museum. What do you do with it?
  • You have moved to a new city and want to join a community project. Where do you volunteer?
  • A “modern” animal has been discovered as a result of a slow fossilisation process, e.g. buried too deep underground for tens of thousands of years.
  • A fossil you found turns out to be a hoax.
  • You’re an ancient dragon. You can raise the largest, deadliest army, but there is only one of you. What will you raise?
  • During a dig, you find a fossil of a living animal.
  • Someone left you an undelivered package. When you open it, you find an old, neglected fossil.
  • Archaeologists are excavating a new ruin from your favorite fantasy game. How would the finding affect the game?
  • Fossils of flowering plants are ancient. What does it look like? Do you know how old you are?” What do the paleobotanists use to make guesses about how old a fossil is?”
  • You’ve discovered a fossilized tooth of one of your famous relatives.
  • You’ve devoted your life to finding fossils. One day you find the perfect specimen. The problem is it’s in a protected area. How will you get it out?
  • A person with Alzheimer’s wants to know more about their child’s fossil collection from when they were a kid.
  • A vegan is protesting this ogrish dinosaur T-shirt available in stores for children.
  • You found a meteorite that is extremely unusual for the area.
  • Your office is next to a museum. What kind of things do you overhear?
  • Have your students make dinosaurs for each category. Have them name each dinosaur, explain how he gets his food, what his friends and enemies are and why he is special. They can illustrate this page and include information on any interesting facts about their dinosaur.
  • An artifact belonging to an ancient culture is dug up in excavations.
  • You found a rug that was woven from the hair of the dinosaurs. What animal’s hair was it?
  • You won a gold medal for a fossil discovery.
  • You discover a fossil that’s lost its ability to reproduce, but still lives.
  • A utopia for dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures is created. What do you contribute?
  • A relic-hunting explorer in the jungle finds strange footprints.
  • Your son or daughter has found fossilized dinosaur bones.
  • You and your dog unearthed a prehistoric animal while digging in your backyard.
  • Someone has stolen specific fossils from museums in several cities but you can’t figure out why.
  • You don’t understand the evolution of an animal. What should you do?
  • You have returned safely to your home with an amazing fossil.
  • When it comes to science, myths about dinosaurs persist. Add to that list.
  • Tell a story set in the past in which dinosaurs and people coexist.
  • A dog-and-cat-lover mom gives her kids fossil skulls of their favorite animals for Christmas.
  • You arrive late to work and discover that someone has knocked all the fossils off the display case.
  • When a woman gets stranded on a deserted island, she starts collecting fossils, which protect her from attack on occasion.
  • You get a mysterious package delivered containing a bag filled with intriguing and unusual fossils.
  • You’ve discovered a giant footprint in the sand.
  • You’re on an expedition to discover a new species of dinosaur. What would you name it?
  • You suspect that a scientist’s research project on fossils is unscientific or non-scientific.
  • A meteor carrying microbes hits the Earth, destroying the dinosaurs.
  • What would you name a dinosaur discovered in the future?
  • You’re a paleontologist who’s excavating a new site. What are some of the most interesting finds you make?
  • Describe a new dinosaur species.
  • You’re a scientist studying a new species of reptile in New Guinea. You discover they have three genders. What’s the hardest part of your job?
  • You’re the ghost of an ancient dinosaur. What’s the best way to scare a tour guide through a museum?
  • Write about where you found a fossil versus a metal object.
  • Can any modern animal be cloned, and what will that animal look like?
  • You found out that the company you work for is destroying fossils in order to quarry rock. How do you stop them?
  • You’ve found a fossil that’s technologically advanced. It looks like a contemporary human invention.
  • Where do you collect fossils and why?
  • What kind of fossil was it? Where did you find it? How do you know it isn’t one of a species of dinosaur already known?
  • A paleontologist comes upon a dinosaur and is about to reveal it to the public. Moments later, you see the dinosaur move.
  • You found some strange rocks at the bottom of a river you’re exploring. You take it to a paleontologist. How could he identify if it had once been living?
  • A mysterious new species of dinosaur is discovered on an island that seems to be a fragment of an otherwise extinct volcano. What happened to the rest of the island, and how long will the new dinosaur survive?
  • You’ve discovered a dragon fossil, but you can’t seem to figure out exactly what it is.
  • You awake to see a dinosaur off in the distance.
  • Grab two, three, or four items which might be fossils. What could they be?
  • You encounter an unexplained event and document it later, in a diary. What happened?
  • The fossilized bark of an ancient tree can reveal a lot about what ancient forests were like.
  • The government discovers a mysterious fossil in the possession of a family that wants it returned.
  • Some teenagers break into a museum at night and accidentally set off the “alarm,” locking them inside. What might happen?
  • The Deep Space Nine crew discovers a tank-like animal in its beam on the planet.
  • Some scientists insist on worshiping a “dinosaur spirit creature.” Is it okay for people to use science to believe in what they call a “dinosaur”?
  • You’re a cop. Someone found a 100-year-old human bone and they want to know if it’s from a murder victim.
  • You’re an archaeologist digging in Montana.
  • What do you do if you are the last surviving person?
  • You find a fossil that proves something that everyone has long thought untrue.
  • Your character is tasked with excavating a specific dinosaur skeleton.
  • You are a palaeontologist, but you’re having trouble deciding what dinosaur you want to be when you grow up. What is the fossil you discovered that changed your mind?
  • An ameteur paleontologist is found dead, and police discover what appears to be a fossilized murder weapon.
  • What might be a plausible explanation for why something is a fossilized foot and not a full skeleton?
  • What would you do if you found a dinosaur fossil out in the wild while camping?
  • A young child finds a very small fossil in beautiful condition.
  • What would it be like if fossils could talk?
  • People have disagreements about how fossils should be used – some want them displayed, others want them destroyed.
  • A scientist claimed your fossil is a fake.
  • A team of paleontologists accidentally destroys a fossil when they accidentally damage a gunk which leaks out. They then clone it.
  • What would you do if your house were built over a dinosaur nest?
  • You were born with “Fossil” for an appearance.
  • You’re stranded on a volcanic island. What creature’s fossil would you most like to find?
  • What kind of things would you say to a man whose life depends on your knowledge of creatures that are extinct?
  • The fossil you found can revive a six-legged dog or a six-legged cat. Who or what do you bring back?
  • A fossil is discovered that proves that modern species dates back millions of years.
  • You’ve gone fossil hunting on a field trip. Find five fossils!
  • You have been hired to write a scary story about where the dinosaurs will return from.
  • If dinosaurs were alive today, what would they look like?
  • An ancient legend describes a great flood sent by the gods. Scientists suggest studying fossil beds on the floor of the Mediterranean Sea to see if a sudden change in sea level could have given rise to the legends.
  • You found a fossil in your backyard. Nothing unusual about it at all.
  • “Every living fossil is the prolongation of a ghost.” In your opinion, in what areas are scientists most guilty of prolonging ghosts?
  • Design a board game based entirely on dinosaurs
  • What would you put inside a time capsule if you could put anything in it?
  • Every year thousands of people jam Central Park looking for fossils.
  • A new fossil site was discovered. What were the creatures there and where were they from?
  • You’ve found a time capsule. It’s a small box containing notes to future generations throughout the next tens of thousands of years. Each note is dated 1,000 years from the date the capsule was sealed. What words of wisdom do you include in your note to the people of the year 30,000? Read More
  • What’s it? What’s it like?
  • Scientists have sequenced the genome of a Tyrannosaurus. Name something they could learn from it by comparing it to genomes from living animals. What can they tell about the ecology of the T-Rex? Finally, how do the conclusions of this research affect theories about intelligent life on other planets?
  • There’s a rumor of a mythical creature that lurks in a desert.
  • A school bully steals your fossil and breaks it.
  • An evil professor is trying to prove that the theory of evolution is invalid and that modern creatures are descended from dinosaurs.
  • Once you’ve generated ideas, you need to develop a plot and write an outline.
  • You discovered that the remains of a dinosaur you  just had described is actually something you dismissed as “just another skeleton” earlier in your career. What did you dismiss? Now what do you think about it?
  • As a paleontologist, what would be your professional opinion on the “giant skeleton” sighting in Utah?
  • What fossil will you find after you die?
  • What do you wish more people knew about fossils?
  • Describe the perfect day for someone who’s into paleontology.
  • You are a treasure hunter. What do you think is in the chest you’re digging up?
  • What do you hope to accomplish before you die?
  • You’re a scientist working on new cloning tech that combines DNA with fossils. What would the result look like?
  • Escape from the crystal plague.
  • A scientist names a new species of dinosaur, but none of the rest of the scientific community are aware of it.
  • You’re a government paleontologist tasked with keeping a discovery of monumental proportions a secret.
  • What do you do when you find a 200 million year old fossil with teeth in its tummy?
  • Your friend brings you a bag of fossils and you discover they come from an ancient ecosystem buried beneath your city.
  • Write in the point of view of a rock formation thousands of years ago, claiming to be the maker of fossils.
  • You’re a palaeontologist who’s competing for grant money. What additional fossils would you “discover” to make it more likely your team will get the grant money? Which one would you fake? A farmer creates a dinosaur exhibit and park inside his barn. What species would he showcase? After a volcanic eruption destroys a village, a horrifically mutated man emerges from his cocoon.
  • Someone’s bought a fossil on the black market. Were they right to?
  • You find a very unique fossil – one that hadn’t been seen on Earth in millions of years. What is it?
  • A famous meteor hit 19 years ago. Do you want to find the impact crater? Where will you search for it?
  • Someone has put together a dinosaur from different fossils. Could they have the right dinosaur?
  • A dig site is discovered in your backyard, what else do you find?
  • on an island with just plants and animals, how did you survive?
  • You write about ancient creatures in children’s books. Write a children’s story about a fossil.
  • An old legend tells of a legendary beast that lives at the bottom of a lake. Poachers have gone missing from that lake. Real or myth?
  • You lost your mom’s fossil rock collection when your family relocated to a new home.
  • A large number of fossils found in one area indicates they were the cause of a large disease that affected the population.
  • A powerful corporation is trying to disturb the peace of a national park to extract a dinosaur fossil.
  • You are watched by an archaeologist as you find a new fossil.
  • Several school children have gone missing. A horrible creature from your villagers’ darkest mythological tales is wandering the woods. Most villagers choose to flee, but unfortunately, your son has gone missing.
  • A new species of dinosaur is discovered, and it looks identical to one that already exists.
  • What did you plan to do about this discovered fossil?
  • What do you do when someone starts collecting on the land you live on?
  • You’re working on a fossil, and you find that a friend put part of it in his lunch box.
  • You need to write the resume of a scientist who’s applying for a job. What’s her name? Subject area? Last school, current job, research done, honors, awards, etc.
  • Someone took photographs of fossils before scientists had discovered them.
  • Carbon dating shows a piece of wood was made 1 million years ago.
  • One night while your parents are out, you hear the fossil you found in the backyard talk. It begs you not to return it to the ground.
  • The government doesn’t like that you own a dinosaur skull. The feeling is mutual.
  • You’re an expert in fossils and are asked to authenticate a claim.
  • A group of tourists on vacation discover a vast and previously unknown burial ground.
  • A museum is destroying priceless fossils to create new dinosaur robots. What do you do?
  • All mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish must be buried within rocks containing your favorite flower, bush, or tree.
  • A person found a T.rex fossil in their backyard and wants to donate it to a natural history museum because there’s no way it belongs in that backyard.
  • A child’s toy turns out to be a fossil.
  • You’ve become trapped in a lab filled with monsters and must collect a series of fossils to escape. Create at least seven of your monsters.
  • What would happen if you were able to bring a real person from the prehistoric time into the present?
  • You can either take your rival student’s research project or study their topic. What do you choose, and why?
  • You’re a coroner. You have to determine if the fossil is a fake or the real thing.
  • A frozen monster from the ice age is discovered by a paleontologist.
  • You’ve been invited to appear on a televised audience game show. You are shown a dinosaur and you have to guess what kind of fossil you are looking at.
  • Archaeologists excavate a cave that you believe is home to the mythical dragon.
  • Pick a book. What was your favourite scene in the book dealing with fossils?
  • A crook tries to auction off a stolen fossil.
  • A paleontologist unearths a fossilized dinosaur egg which hatches into an adorable juvenile dinosaur in the year 2012. An, astonished which tried to kill the baby dino, sets in motion a hilarious series of events that results in times so getting back to normal.
  • The protagonist of your novel loves creating dinosaurs using the feathers of other animals.
  • You find a cave with fossilized remains from ancient humanoids.
  • You’re on a dig site and feel like something is watching you.
  • Scientists discover that humans are related to Tyrannosaurus Rex.
  • You’ve found a fossil. What will you do with it?
  • You’re an engineer on a space mission to Mars. You spot markings on the rocks of a nearby planet.
  • The dinosaurs want to scare you! Write a threat to humans from any type of dinosaur.
  • Your scientific publication gets a huge reaction from the public.
  • A celebrity was caught fossil-hunting and caused a scandal in the media.
  • You’re in a prehistoric fight to the death. Which prehistoric creature would you grow up to be?
  • You’re the chemist who discovered blood vessels in a dinosaur fossil.
  • You’ve been hired to write press releases about a dinosaur fossil discovery.
  • You find a fossilized bone in your backyard. Do you tell anyone? If so, what do you tell them? If not, what do you do with it?
  • A movie is being filmed in a natural history museum, when a great pterosaur swoops down from the clouds.
  • Nobody believes the story that you found on the side of a cliff. What will you do?
  • During excavation of an ancient city an interesting fossil is found. What happens to it?
  • Some scientists believe that animals like the T-Rex weren’t scary and mean, but actually nice. Write a short story about the nicest dinosaur.
  • A journalist is writing a story about your life. She wants to talk about your greatest achievements but you only have one, _____.
  • You’re a paleontologist. Where would you work? At home in your lab or out in the field?
  • What types of buildings survive the ravages of time better than others?
  • What miracle would you like to experience?
  • You discover a mysterious new species of hominid.
  • A young visitor notices a fossil of a fish interrupting the dinosaur collection. Outraged, the kid declares them fakes and storms out.
  • You’re a journalist dying for the interview of a lifetime. You find the oldest man to have ever lived, who claims that he was a participant of a prehistoric event.
  • A planned real estate development is discovered on a site full of fossils.
  • You’re hiking near a site where a giant fossil has been discovered. It’s obviously that of some ancient animal. What is your response?
  • You’re a paleontologist who recently discovered several new species. Which fossil is your favorite and why?
  • What is the best reason for someone digging up a fossil?
  • More examples can be found here .
  • What would happen if all the large fossils that had been dug up by paleontologists disappeared?
  • Fossils are never found in veins or clusters. They are always random finds in the flesh of the Earth.
  • You’ve discovered a new kind of fossilized plant.
  • You see your favorite actor on TV wearing a leather hip belt with an embedded fossil.
  • You discover a new species from a dig. What makes them special?
  • What do you think will happen to your fossil as it ages?
  • Find out information about a fossil – age, size, habitat, and so on. Write a report.
  • You’re the owner of an ancient bone. What would you do with it?
  • A dinosaur that scientists thought was extinct has just been seen. What dinosaur is it and where was it seen?
  • You label one fossil as a plant after botanists study it. They didn’t believe you. How would you convince them it is a fossil of a flower?
  • You want to give your dinosaur a name. Your starting point is his/her skeleton. What he/she looks like is up to you.
  • Fossil hunters stumble upon the remains of an animal not known to science.
  • You purchased a very rare fossil—and discovered something is missing.
  • Where would you look to find a fossil?
  • A futuristic person finds a fossil but the technology of the future can’t determine what the animal was, so they do a full body scan that brings it back to life in a virtual reality computer world as a hologram.
  • A competition would like to move a fossil to another location. What do they have to do?
  • Describe the most interesting fossil you have found.
  • An engineer found a new way to build a road or a building with fossils as the main building blocks.
  • A scientist found a fossil record that he believes is thousands of years in the making. He thinks the current theory about dinosaurs living 65 million years ago needs to be reconsidered. He cannot get his academic papers published and blames conspiracy by the scientific establishment to keep his research from getting published.
  • You have a chance to repay a favor to the town natural history historian. What do you ask her to do?
  • You see a fossil that fell off a person’s shelf. Do you think it was placed there intentionally?
  • If dinosaurs were still walking the Earth, what would be their role in society?
  • You discover the complete fossilized skeleton of a previously undiscovered dinosaur outside your town.
  • What is the coolest fact you learned about dinosaurs?
  • A new statue has been added to a museum depicting a very important historical figure.
  • You’re in prehistory. Your child has suffered an injury and you’re trying to help them, but all you have to help you are natural materials and time.
  • What is a “missing link,” and what qualifies as a link between humans and apes?
  • Ancient cave murals unexpectedly reveal the existence of giant clay golems. You discover a construction theropod instead of a predator. Despite his cries of “We’re going to need a bigger gun”, Prof. Nolan did not stop to find more evidence. What happened? Why is the theropod only partly fossilized? You are at a dig site and discover a fossil of an unknown species. What do you think it ate? What evidence do you have to support your theory? A new report announces that giant man-eating snakes once roamed the land. Take a shot at the marketing blurb for this research. Do you think they could survive today if they did? An excavation in the village of Sutton Hoo turns up a fascinating 800-year-old treasure. Much of the treasure is made of gold and silver, so it is naturally eye-catching. You notice that there is also a piece of wood partially buried which is near the treasure. What’s on the wood? Why was
  • Your best friend is getting married. She asks you to be a bridesmaid, but you think your dress clashes with the wedding because of one of the colors you’re wearing. Learn more about the writing prompts here . You can see what the prompts are worth in CARS points under the header “Writing Task – Number of Points.” Of course, even if you don’t use these prompts now, you never know what you might need later.
  • A student finds a fossil and discovers it’s still alive.
  • Show how your characters would react to living alongside dinosaurs from the Age of Reptiles.
  • You’re planning to vacation in Dubai. What fossil souvenirs would you seek out?
  • You’re a journalist who stumbles upon an exciting discovery…or what do you find?
  • You are about to throw an Ornithischian dinosaur bone out when a Stimson’s Current Archaeologist sees it and asks you not to do so.
  • Your best friend finds a super rare fossil, but doesn’t say anything. You swear you’ll tell no one, but the temptation is too great – you tell someone at school. You break your oath, but your friendship survives.
  • You have been transported to a primeval earth. You’ll be returned to your own time if you can find a fossil. What kind of fossil do you look for and why?
  • Fossils are real. Between now and a million years from when, they cannot replace part of the human body to repair yourself. Need a hand? No problem. Using inspiration from the fossil record, or by visiting a laboratory that specializes in designing similar parts, what parts would you give yourself with which you think you’ll be most satisfied?
  • A famous archaeologist is in trouble with the law. What’s he/she been accused of?
  • The mainland was destroyed by angry natives. In order to occupy a location next to the fossil beach I’ve taken control of an exotic island. It offers an escape from my former life and I’ve managed to defend my position from the natives thanks to my supplies and the fossil shore is a convenient source of new settlers.
  • In grade school, you took a field trip to a fossil site. Now you find out that there’s a new theory about whatever fossil you found. What’s your reaction?
  • An old man in a small town claims he has a treasure map, which is a fossil’s trail through the town sewer system.
  • Is the theory of evolution true, false, or incomplete?
  • Your house was built next to a Native-American burial ground. You were told to leave or to face the consequences. So you left, and moved really close to an old office building that uses part of a road as an emergency break room. Your cat started bringing the most unusual toys home.
  • You have contracted a rare disease and will die soon. Before your death, you have one last chance to do the one thing you’ve always dreamed of and have never done. What would you choose to do if you had to do it?
  • A scientist or other expert comments on the potential for fraud in the investigation of newly-found fossils.
  • A must-see sight on a road trip is a dinosaur skull.
  • A scientist criticizes the validity of your research.
  • You’re trapped in ancient times and a meteor containing rare fossilized material hits near you.
  • Please retweet and share On a Hawaiian beach, you find a rare fossil.
  • A bunch of fossilized eyes appear around the world. What’s causing it?
  • You discover that a team member in a dig site is stealing fossils, and you have evidence that he is smuggling them out of the country.
  • What paleontological fieldwork would you like to conduct and where?
  • What if your pet dinosaur is now worth a lot of money?
  • An archaeologist’s journal from two hundred thousand years ago uncovers past events.
  • You left your school behind the next day on a year-long tour to find more fossils in various parts of the world.
  • You’ve developed a time machine. What are the first things you’d visit?
  • Write about any of these prompts, manipulate them, or come up with completely new ones. Share your results in the comments below!
  • You have to hide a technical manual in something. You decided to put it in a fossil.
  • You are writing a letter to your younger self, and you want to include information about fossils that you discovered. What would you tell yourself about your life? Talk about what these discoveries have meant to you.
  • What do you say to someone who claims that today’s scientists are making up stories about millions of years of dinosaurs when all that really existed were people in walking suits and tanks, carrying flamethrowers advanced enough to melt into the ozone?
  • You’re a paleontologist working in the Cretaceous. What’s your life like?
  • You’ve just unearthed a fossil and a monkey is trying to steal the bones.
  • You have the chance to see a dinosaur up close.
  • You’ve gained fans for bringing in all sorts of fossils. Suddenly your favorite football team leads you to finding a mysterious and legendary fossil you’ll call “Roger.”
  • A forensics team needs your help to figure out what kind of dinosaur a certain stegosaurus fossil belonged to.
  • A new fossil discovery revolutionizes current theories of evolution.
  • Someone has vandalized the historical site at which you made your big fossil discovery. We need you to solve the crime.
  • What is the most popular thing to do with a fossil you’ve found?
  • You run across the same dinosaur fossil at each place you visit.
  • A new device has allowed species to be genetically cloned. What species would you like to clone and why?
  • You’re a palaeontologist investigating a fossil site.
  • A paleontologist is suspended because they stole bones from a dig site, they offer to give you those bones in exchange for breaking the news of their suspension to the department head. What does the fossil evidence suggest are the possible culprits?
  • Actively looking for fossils, you finally find one. How do you explain it to your rock sniffing friends?
  • You’ve discovered a previously unknown species of dinosaur.
  • A team of paleontologists discovers a site where humans and T Rexes lived at the same time.
  • An upcoming archaeological dig takes an unexpected turn, what happened?
  • You discovered a town where trilobites from millions of years ago are still alive!
  • Some bandits stole a gem from a local museum. It turns out that it was a dinosaur tooth. Where do you think he would most likely try to sell it? Why? What would you do?
  • You’ve stumbled across a widespread ancient theory about an animal and are about to start a major dig. What is it?
  • Write a story describing how an honest mistake in a museum leads to the discovery of a new dinosaur.
  • While swimming in a lake or spring, you find a fossil.
  • Someone has just announced the discovery of a Dead Neanderthal.
  • Your archaeologist father sends you to study prehistory. What do you imagine it would be like?
  • Put together a fossil display.
  • A dinosaur fossil proves to be the cover art of a rock band.
  • You stumble across the remains of a battle between two intelligent dinosaurs.
  • The company you work for has uncovered an ancient cemetery filled with fossilized bodies. They reveal they will soon start mining the site for the precious amethyst and quartz buried with the deceased.
  • What would you do if you found a fossil?
  • You spend your time searching for rare and beautiful bird feathers.
  • You’re writing a report for future paleontologists about a recently discovered fossil that you have prepared for display.
  • Are fossils sacred or profane?
  • You must record and present the details of your latest paleontological discovery.
  • You are an extraterrestrial who wants to study the native flora and fauna of your designated planet. Which organism do you choose and why?
  • A mineralogist finds that the fossils in his back yard have magical properties.
  • What do you call a fossil that is uncovered in a crop circle?
  • You’re a paleontologist, on a dig deep under the most recent Ice Age. Your tent floods in a burst water main. There is evidence that it isn’t the first time this has happened. What happened the last time?
  • You’re a paleontologist. You’re working in the field and have to run to the bathroom. You accidentally drop a piece of bone into the toilet. What does this say about you?
  • In science fiction, you’re a time-traveler with the ability to keep fossils from the past. After traveling back in time you discover a group of homo sapiens, how would you “erase” them?
  • What if the last ice age caused the extinction of Homo sapiens?
  • Fossils are literally washing out of the ground.
  • You found a fossilized finger that doesn’t match any known animal.
  • What would you say to the archaeologist at the beginning of Fredrick Darabee’s “Bones of the Beast” who believes that fossils are too inconsistent to conclude anything about the extinct animals they came from?
  • Reveal the age of an unknown fossil using scientific evidence.
  • A primitive woman discovers an odd-looking fossil at the beach. What does she name it?
  • You have just discovered living specimens of an ancient dinosaur.
  • A relative leaves you an ancient Egyptian figurine.
  • What if Paleontology were developed as a magical discipline in this fantastic pagan world? To what extent can spells be used to unlock information about extinct species? Is there a conflict between paleontologists who rely on studying existing species and practicing paleotectomancers who search for extinct ones?
  • You’re out fossil hunting with your brother when you find a mysterious fossil with no sign of how it got there.
  • A three year old nephew got their hands on your t-shirt, and now dinosaurs are on your chest. What species did they draw?
  • Find a newspaper article about a recent find. How has the story changed since it was printed?
  • Key Terms and Concepts A fossil is the preserved remains of an animal rather than a plant.
  • You have been kidnapped and are being forced to make a fake fossil that you keep denying is fake.
  • You found a fossil that does fit an existing dinosaur. Name it.
  • You’re the curator of a dinosaur museum. You’ve just been given a job promotion. What does this mean for the museum?
  • A team of paleontologists made a discovery that will change the way we understand pre history.
  • The world needs oil. You have to choose one region that won’t be impacted by drilling or mining. Would you destroy a pristine fossil field?
  • A student being tutored by a famous paleontologist uncovers a fossil in her backyard.
  • You discover a fossil in your backyard.
  • You’re going to name a new dinosaur. What’s its name and what’s its evolutionary history?
  • You’re volunteering at a migrating Canada Goose nest and find a small mammal fossil.
  • Your neighbor insists on keeping their dog outside overnight. One day you see that their backyard is transformed into a rock collecting site. Investigate and write the story of the fossil you find.
  • You discover human-sized remains that appear to have walked on two legs like a modern day human.
  • A high school band decides to add a dinosaur display as part of their concert.
  • Share a memory about the discovery of a fossil.
  • You’ve discovered the fossilised remains of an extinct species no one’s heard of before.
  • A local fossil hunter sometimes is spotted working on your property.
  • You became a famous adventurer because of a discovery you made of a new creature.
  • An ancient boy named David accidentally steps on a rare fossil.
  • You found a fossilized hand with a pentagram carved into it.
  • You go on a fossil hunt with your friends, but something goes horribly wrong!
  • You have three hours to make a smoothie. You can add any three ingredients, including one that resembles a fossil. What ingredients do you choose for your beverage?
  • You’re working as a paleontologist at a dig site. Unfortunately, your dog has been shut down for safety concerns and is no longer permitted because of botched bureaucracy.
  • You are a scientist and have recently discovered a fossilized skeleton complete with an intact brain. What does the brain look like?
  • An extraterrestrial android lands in your backyard. It seems to have been created by the same species who had given rise to the dinosaur. In order for the android to survive on your planet, you need to supply it with food and water. Unfortunately, there’s a complication. While the android is well equipped to handle certain types of sustenance, it is not equipped to handle the food and water you have on hand.
  • Find two or three large flat smooth surfaces. Watch an ant crawling along one of them. Then hold a fossil over the ant. Use it to describe the ant’s way of life. Repeat this with plants, mammals, birds, aquatic animals, reptiles and dinosaurs and mollusks.
  • You have an accurate and detailed record of what a living animal was doing at the exact moment a fossil was created, one hundred million years ago. Write like a paleontologist and tell that story.
  • A city built on a fossil has begun to sink into the ground.
  • Archaeologists discover footprints on the Isle of Skye in Scotland that are dated at over 65 million years old. How difficult will it be to prove that an organism made them?
  • You find a fossil, you just know it belongs to an unknown dinosaur. Will you be a scientist enough to prove you’re right?
  • What is the best way to organize dig sites so that fossils are kept safe?
  • You discovered that your teacher doesn’t believe in evolution. He wants you to convince him that it’s real. You have three days. What do you present to him?
  • You can only salvage one. Which fossil would you take?
  • You found a fossil belonging to a creature that we still meet in the present time.
  • You are an amateur paleontologist. What’s your specialty?
  • Recently uncovered fossils are being sold on eBay. What species do they belong to?
  • A million-year-old carbon-copy of your iPhone was found in a layer of stone. What would the Internet say?
  • Write about what would happen if you brought a T Rex or a Stegosaurus back to life via cloning.
  • You’ve found a cave with human fossils in it. How are they different from present-day humans?
  • Someone invented a teleportation machine. It doesn’t send whole objects. Instead, it sends pieces of objects. What would happen to someone who stepped through this machine in one place and came out somewhere else?
  • Write about an archaeologist who was searching in the ground. That farmer is looking at them. Write what they said to the archaeologist and what the scientist said to the farmer.
  • After you’ve collected a lot of fossils, you realize that they tend to come in certain types.
  • Your teacher has announced that the school will be putting on a prehistoric play with students as the stars. You’ve been chosen as a foam maker. What was your favorite dinosaur/dinosaur group to depict? Why?
  • To complete an experiment, a famous scientist needs a fossil with a certain characteristic.
  • A fictional society worships one or more different dinosaurs as a deity.
  • You have discovered a fossil in your backyard. What do you do with it?
  • What’s the most shocking thing you’ve ever found when fossil hunting?
  • You’re a paleontologist. What’s your favorite dinosaur? What do you like best about it? Your least favorite?
  • The ancient rock walls of a local cave tell the story of an ancient ancient city.
  • You’re a paleontologist and have discovered three fossilized tusks. However, the fossils appear to have been artificially fused together. What might have happened to make this happen?
  • A child asks you where dinosaurs came from.
  • You found a stone with markings that could be prehistoric writing.
  • You find a fossil so disturbing that it must be destroyed.
  • Ten-year-old Sally really wants a pet dinosaur for her birthday. What kind of dinosaur would you recommend to Sally’s parents, and why?
  • A highway crew is digging a hole for a poured concrete bridge. Along with the concrete, they discover pieces of fossils which they put into tarps. A huge flash flood hits the area. What might happen to the fossils during the flood?
  • You’re an intrepid paleontologist on a dig. Write about your experiences and feelings.
  • Your friend asked you about predicting the behavior of organisms. You bring up a case of a hypothetical extinct animal whose fossils were found in conjunction with both human artifacts and prey animals.’
  • In ancient times, a rare natural mutation allows someone to control the weather.
  • Your ancestors are visiting Earth and meeting people for the first time. Where would they go to learn the fate of Homo erectus? Make a list of things you’d tell them.
  • What practical purpose does it serve?
  • What do you think would happen if the largest dinosaur was ever found?
  • Someone who didn’t know what they were doing tried to collect a strange-looking fossil and then ruined it.
  • You’ve found a fossil that isn’t a dinosaur.
  • You use fossils to predict what animals might invade your town in the future.
  • You’re leading a dinosaur dig. What happened during a typical day at the dig?
  • A man has been stealing fossils from a famous Paleontologist.
  • A dinosaur has been found which was pixely rendered in your favorite game/comic/movie.
  • You’re the curator of a fossil museum. A fossil is discovered that causes a huge controversy.
  • A hominid fossil is found with a height of five feet. A second one is discovered a few days later.
  • You’re excavating a site and you find a fossil of a new species. What is it like? What does it eat? What does it look like?
  • What would you name your dinosaur that is made up completely of different kinds of dinosaur fossils?
  • While hiking through the countryside, you stumble upon an ancestral artifact.
  • Someone who has studied fossils more recently saw something in the specimen you collected.
  • You stumble across a fossilized tree.
  • You’re a paleontologist and have uncovered the fossil of a new dinosaur in the Amazon. How do you transport it back to the States?
  • Your pet finds a fossil.
  • The biggest and best preserved fossil ever found is stolen the night before it goes on display.
  • Write about dinosaurs or other ancient life on Earth.
  • You found the skeleton of a dinosaur that was attacked and partially eaten by another dinosaur. Who do you think was responsible for this attack and what should you do with the fossil?
  • You’re a fifteen-year-old who dug up part of a dinosaur fossil in your backyard. What did you do?
  • The newspaper reports that smog is softening the prehistoric fossilized remains.
  • A relic hunter makes a gruesome discovery.
  • What’s your favorite prehistoric animal, and why do you like it?
  • You discovered a fossil in a foreign country that tells the story of an ancient society.
  • There’s a new super fad in ghost towns, Bigfoot clones.
  • Cryptids are the real animals behind a bunch of myths and legends.
  • A perfect fossil was discovered for your favorite dinosaur. What is it
  • What would happen if a new dinosaur was discovered?
  • On a trip to the national parks in Utah, you found a cave in which a new dinosaur once lived.
  • There is a creature that’s claimed by a tribe to be the god of the sea in your setting. You discover it’s a marine dinosaur fossil.
  • You’ve discovered a dinosaur fossil. What kind is it and how did you identify it?
  • How do you find out more about a fossil?
  • Fossilized human bones were recently discovered. Who owned the bones and how many were there?
  • What is the most common fossil? What is the rarest fossil?
  • You’re a paleontologist. Where would you search for dinosaur fossils?
  • When your plane goes down in the desert, you find a fossil.
  • Your child is studying fossils in school. Describe their report.
  • Scientists are digging for fossils in England. What kind of fossils do they hope to find?
  • You’ve discovered a fossil that you think might be an extinct animal.
  • You are an explorer and are on a mission to find dinosaur fossils. What quarry locations would you visit?
  • Your teacher read a fairy tale about a princess turning to fossils. Discuss the fossils real-life counterpart.
  • What do you think the first animal was?
  • You found an ancient fossil encased in stone.
  • You found a fossil but want to hide it from others.
  • You’ve invented a time machine. What time period would you go to first?
  • You are excavating an ant colony. Hundreds of ants are crawling around, carrying tiny pieces of food. Some of these ants have rock chunks stuck to their backs that you can’t see from the front. How would you figure out which rock chunks are fossils?
  • A scientist discovers a method to determine the age a certain tree was alive when it would turn to fossilized wood.
  • You found an impressive fossil that is causing a stir in the museum industry. You may be the key to their funding.
  • A documentary director and his crew are making a film about dinosaurs. He wants you to walk him across the outback. How do you react to this?
  • You became lost in the woods and discovered the fossilized remains of a large animal. You have to wait three days before you will be rescued, how do you survive?
  • Only one piece of a fossil remained in its matrix. How can you identify what kind of dinosaur it came from?
  • What ancient species do you wish existed?
  • A scientist changes organic material into a different material so that the original becomes fossilized.
  • You discover a new species of dinosaur.
  • Given a floor plan and a flashlight, you must sneak into a science lab that is home to a rare specimen. The specimen must be protected. ©2014. Ian Stewart. All rights reserved.
  • What fossil do you think doesn’t exist because it would be too amazing to exist?
  • What would you do if you found a fossil that supports your existing belief? Or disproves it? −
  • How would you react to finding out a loved one’s fossil is in the museum’s collection?
  • You’ve been given a lump of rock containing a fossil.
  • You’re looking for a unique birthday present for your friend. You discover an ancient fossil and bring it to a museum.
  • A cousin has convinced you that he found fossils. They’re petrified horse feces.
  • Private Detective and sister Emily Hayes are hired by the philanthropist Nigel Atlas to locate his missing daughter Jessa. Bones fossils that were stolen from the museum
  • You’re a paleontologist on Mars, and you’ve just discovered a fossil that strongly resembles a dinosaur.
  • You work for an excavation team. When your dinosaur bone find is revealed, your field methods are criticized and your tools questioned.
  • You’ve discovered something unbelievable about a fossil. Summon your courage.
  • You have an important meeting tomorrow and you can’t find your speech! Luckily, you remember that you have a copy of the speech in the same place you left all your other important documents. You rush to the burning building just in time.
  • You are a fossil collector. What are your three most prized specimens?
  • Someone gave you a fabulous fossil that was discovered on a remote island.
  • While jungle-trekking, you come across a strange, large rock. In the middle of it is a…
  • What would you name your fossil?
  • Pterodactyls are all the craze. One afternoon while you’re hunting for fossils in North Dakota, there’s a “flying debris” storm … your best friend is killed by falling pterodactyls … another pterodactyl saved your life, but now you’re stranded on an island with no way home … what happens next?
  • Write about a historical beast that still exists today.
  • You’ve found a fossil from an animal that died when a dinosaur stomped on it.
  • You have a chance to make a wish at a fossil wish fountain. What kind of fossil do you wish for?
  • An earthquake has created a crack in the side of a hill. What would you find in the fossil layers?
  • You discover the fossil remains of a previously unknown extinct animal. What are its characteristics? What is its scientific name?
  • What are the different types of fossils? What do they tell us about prehistoric life?
  • What questions would you ask an expert about a fossil you found?
  • You are hired by a developer to look at a piece of land he’d like to buy. You have discovered a very important fossil layer on the site. What do you do?
  • You found an ancient lost civilization. They might look old, but they’re actually fairly modern.
  • You’re a paleontologist looking for your next big project. What do you choose and why?
  • You’re the crew chief on the first mission to Mars.
  • What is the most important fossil you have ever found?
  • An ancient fossil was removed from the ground. Now researchers are determining how old it is.
  • You and your friend can’t agree about what you just found.
  • You’re the last survivor in a nuclear holocaust. You must save the last remaining citizens of your world…and you only have enough time and energy to save one species of life – all living humans, or all living dinosaurs. Which do you save? Use your answer as the inspiration for a story.
  • You find a diary from a person where they discovered a smaller object and you know that the fossil is hidden nearby.
  • A large dig site has been discovered in your hometown. You want to be the first to claim the artifact in this area. Which fossil would you hunt for?
  • An amateur paleontologist discovers the remains of a dinosaur.
  • You’re sitting on a beach during a vacation and you find a fossil shark tooth. What else do you find? Do you have enough to reconstruct the entire creature?
  • Someone at your school is trying to sell fossils that came from your hometown.
  • A piece of a fossil was found embedded in a prehistoric wall.
  • Discovering fossils has changed the battle in a war between two countries.
  • You’re helping a scientist excavate fossils on a dig site. What fossil did you find?
  • A new rock uncovered by a construction crew bore strange markings.
  • The first dinosaur was found to have feathers.
  • You’re an environmentalist. Will the fossil fuel shortages of the future be a problem for anyone?
  • You open a fortune cookie message that tells you your ancestor was a mastodon.
  • A scientist discovers a way to “bring back” prehistoric creatures. How could this backfire? How does it affect people socially?
  • Write a story about a family vacation to a fossil park.
  • You’re an efficient and knowledgeable paleontologist. You’ve found a fossil that has smaller fossilized creatures in it. How do you explain the smaller fossils?
  • When you study a fossil, how can you tell that the dinosaur is a real dinosaur?
  • One morning, while digging at a dinosaur fossil site, you discover that your hand is now part of a fossil handprint.
  • Why do you fossil hunt? Who do you do it with? What are your best finds?
  • You found a fossil that no one knows where it’s from.
  • If you could touch a real fossilized dinosaur, what would you ask?
  • You’re a paleontologist for a movie company shooting a film in your area.
  • The shark fossil museum was robbed. Make up the story to explain why they would want the shark fossils.
  • You’re writing your next report on the fossil collection you found.
  • You’ve discovered a new fossil in your backyard.
  • The allosaurus babysat some eggs that didn’t belong to her.
  • A fossil is being dug up in your town.
  • You discovered a dinosaur’s nest with fossilised eggs inside.
  • The bones you discovered in your backyard belong to the creature left over from a battle between two dinosaurs.
  • How would a non-scientist explain a taphonomic process?
  • When researching a fossil you accidentally find a living dinosaur.
  • If you were a geologist, what kind of fossils would you hope to discover?
  • You’ve been asked to report on a recent excavation, but in the process, you accidentally damage a fossil. How do you explain what happened?
  • After hearing news of a potential breakthrough that will change the face of paleontology forever, you and your colleagues are whisked away to a secret lab. When you arrive, the research team is missing.
  • The events of this story take place before any humans existed—it’s just dinosaurs. Which dinosaur is the main character? What is its personality like? Which dinosaur is its arch-rival? What happens between them in the story?
  • You need to convince people that your rare fossil is real.
  • You’re traveling through forests that you know see very little human interaction. You see a fragment of a sauropod’s tooth. What do you do?
  • You’re a palaeontologist for a TV show about fossils. What would you consider the best fossil discovery your TV show helped uncover?
  • Your friend asks for your help in naming a newly discovered type of dinosaur.
  • Government agents confiscate the fossils found in America’s national parks.
  • You’ve discovered that there’s a reliable way to recreate dinosaurs. How would you feel?
  • A museum’s most impressive fossil suddenly dissolves.
  • Someone tells you that your favorite prehistoric mo creatures used to be magical creatures.
  • Do you think that finding a fossil is exciting? Explain why or why not.
  • When you died you were fossilized. How did you die?
  • You discover a fossil that you feel strongly might have been made by intelligent design.
  • The discovery of a new, unusual dinosaur leads to a heated debate about its social and religious significance.
  • You have to start a collection over from scratch. What three items make the top of your list?
  • There are a series of mysterious disappearances in the fossil-hunting community.
  • A fossil shows some strange shapes. Explain how these shapes help figure out the dinosar’s shape and size.
  • You’ve been inside of a dinosaur’s egg before it hatched.
  • God appeared and told you to go find a holy relic, which turns out to be a fossil. What fossil did He tell you to look for?
  • If you could raise a dinosaur, which would you choose? Please explain.
  • You’re trapped on a deserted island with only 50 fossils. What would you choose to keep you sane?
  • Fossils helped confirm Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection
  • One day you discover a dragon egg that hatches. What would happen?
  • You want to name a new species of dinosaur. What would its name be?
  • You’re in charge of creating a dinosaur for a movie. Tell the director why your choice of dinosaur is the best.
  • A new fossil discovery led some to believe that dinosaurs were more intelligent than thought.
  • You want to report a fossil find to the closest museum. The problem is that you have no time to take out a pen and paper -what is your solution? Write a report about the fossil using semaphore or flags.
  • You’re a palaeontologist. What’s the weirdest or most interesting dinosaur fossil that you found?
  • You and your friends find a fossil.
  • A popular controversial fossil has been recovered by an archaeological dig.
  • You’re no expert, but a hiker needs your help determining if the bone they discovered is a dinosaur bone or something else entirely.
  • Have you ever taken a trip to a natural history museum?
  • You found a fossil from an undisclosed location in the lab.
  • A mist reveals then vanishes into thin air. A quick-witted adventurer sees what it is hiding……
  • Twenty years from now you’ve been hired by a museum to conserve a fossil. What do you do?
  • A stranger came to your laboratory and offered to pay you a lot of money for the rare fossil that you found.
  • How do you convince people that you’ve found an unknown dinosaur?
  • You’re writing a paper about natural selection. You must use at least 3 specific examples about animals, people or plants.
  • Fossil fuels are disappearing fast, but you think there are other sources of energy on Earth. What other sources of energy can you find and how do they work?
  • What was the most puzzling fossil that you found on your latest dig?
  • You are in control of the New National Art Museum. They have agreed to place 14 unusual fossils on display. The choices are polar bear fossils, cat fossils, and snake fossils. What would you choose? How would you decorate the exhibit?
  • You open a package and find out you’ve been given a fossil of a creature from another world.
  • What was life like for a creature after becoming a fossil?
  • You’re in a different dimension and you accidentally step on a fossil belonging to a monster.
  • A child finds a fossil and wants to prove to his teacher and friends that prehistoric creatures existed.
  • You spotted a footprint in a rock. What did the creature who made it look like?
  • Pretend that you are a preserved fossil. What details of your life do you remember?
  • You found a fossil that appears to be identical to a friend’s fossil.
  • Your time-travelling watch breaks, and you’re dropped off in the past instead. What do you do with the extra time?
  • You’re the leading scientist on a team of scientists and students back in your lab, and you finally found the fossil you’ve been looking for all these years. Where did you find it? Your main rival is a part of the same team as you. What dinosaur did you find? Describe your thoughts when you get home.
  • You’re a dinosaur in your alternate life. What’s your job, and what’s your plan to make sure your species outlives humanity?
  • Find a fossil and create a museum out of the items you discover.
  • You have found a fossil of a creature that you believe is not extinct.
  • You’ve made an amazing discovery in a dinosaur bone bed.
  • You’ve discovered a pterodactyl egg. When the baby hatches, it’s befriended by a cat. Where do you keep the creature as it grows?
  • You discover a fossil that’s been modified by ancient civilizations.
  • You find a snake fossil. Forgetting it was your new-found pet, you suck on it. You knocked out a few teeth the next day. Do you sue? Were you imprudent?
  • You found a fossil measuring you or your peers. What does it show?
  • You uncovered a strange fossil in a nearby dry riverbed. Then you uncovered another and another.
  • Please add to the list in the comments below.
  • You’re studying fossils in prehistoric Australia. What area of the country do you plan on studying? Why did you choose that area?
  • You’ve completed a fossil, but don’t know what it was. What was its name?
  • You’ve visited several states to study their dinosaurs. Name the seven states you’ve visited.
  • You’ve found a fossil, but there’s no way to tell if it’s one animal or several different animals.
  • What was the first living thing you ever found? What was it, where did you find it and how did you know it was alive?
  • You work at a museum that brands coffins. What kind of motifs from the past would you have on them?
  • A paleontologist is encased in calcite. How do you save him or her?
  • You’re stranded on a desert island. You discover a fossil there. How do you keep it safe from harm until you’re rescued?
  • An unearthed fossil was identified as an unknown dinosaur species. Could it be a previously unearthed fossil that had been misidentified?
  • What do you keep as a pet—dinosaur, t-rex or something else?
  • Pandora’s box was found by a group of archeologists. What did they find?
  • A dinosaur fossil bears markings similar to a symbol on the side of a truck. What kind of dinosaur might it be?
  • Someone calls you crazy when you tell them what you think your latest fossil is. What do you say?
  • A treasure hunter orders a dinosaur skeleton for his museum. However, you’re in the same town where he’s building and he can’t decide what kind of skeleton to order.
  • An applied paleontologist is being forced to take easy jobs he doesn’t find interesting.
  • Where do royal families in your stories come from?
  • A paleontologist is having some reservations about the authenticity of a recently discovered fossil. What would their reservations be, and would it ultimately reveal that it was a forgery?
  • You just discovered the missing link between prehistoric pets and humans!
  • You’re naming all the fossils that have been identified. How would you name different types of fossils?
  • What life-forms might have existed before dinosaurs but no trace of them have been found?
  • A fossil site is found and a mining company comes in to extract it.
  • You’re exploring a cave. What would you do if you found a fossil?
  • You and your family go on a trip searching for fossils. In your story, describe one of the things you experience.
  • What do you think is the most exciting finding a paleontologist could make?
  • While visiting an area known for its fossils, you discover a cave. In the cave, you find a prehistoric egg.
  • You are hunting for fossils. You’re not exactly sure what kind of fossil you’re after, but you’ll know it when you see it. But now it’s nearly dark. Darkness Falls on Sentinel Island © Jim Woodring
  • You find a medallion in a crumbled cement slab. Research discovers that the items and stamp on it date back to the 1800’s. Your task is to travel back in time to discover what happened.
  • You moved from the more urban area in the city to the small secluded town.
  • You’ve found proof that dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures interacted with humans.
  • You’re an amateur archaeologist who finds a fossil in your backyard. You carry it into the house to clean it up, break it open, and discover that it’s the remains of dinner. What animal did it come from? What is the fossil? How well-done?
  • You’re collecting fossils to display in your family’s museum.
  • You come across a fossil of an animal you know only existed for a short time. How do you explain its presence?
  • Write about a fossil you would like to have.
  • A scientist invents a method to bring extinct animals back to life.
  • A fragment of an ancient book reveals a secret about your life.
  • A professional fossil hunter walks you through how he will make his biggest discovery.
  • You’ve found a piece of an ancient scroll that tells a riddle. It is missing one key word. What is that word and what is the location?
  • According to a friend, what shaped the planet Earth?
  • A science experiment unearths a skull or other remains from a prehistoric animal. Security and officials proclaim that a murder has been committed but you are convinced that something more mysterious is going on. Werecreatures aren’t known to have existed during that era, but you unearthed a fossil that belongs to one of them.
  • You’re a reporter for National Geographic.
  • An artist is commissioned to make a sculpture of an extinct animal for a museum. What does he choose to sculpt, and why?
  • A pair of thieves are robbing an archaeology museum. Your job is to search for them using the thermal views from three of the cameras.
  • Your friend just discovered a real fossil.
  • You’re in charge of organizing an exhibit about prehistoric life. You have to depict an imaginary animal that lived during the Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras.
  • You’re a paleontologist who has just discovered the fossilized remains of a small humanoid.
  • The New York Times announced that an asteroid struck Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs.
  • It’s your birthday! You want to spend the day doing something different this year. Your best friend suggests you go hunting for dinosaur fossils. Write about your day hunting for fossils. This is something I’ve suggested at a few of the writing workshops I’ve taught.
  • A film crew arrived to study a dinosaur you discovered. Describe how they prepare for their movie.
  • You overhear two boys claiming that you can grow fossils in your backyard. What do you say?
  • Why are Dinosaur and bird’s eggs so large compared to other animals’ eggs?
  • You have been sent on a mission to write a report on a famous fossil discovered by your country’s father of paleontology.
  • The find of a lifetime! Someone discovered a fossilized human toe bone that dates back thousands of years.
  • An eccentric billionaire privately preserves fantastical creatures while denying their existence publicly.
  • A documentary crew comes to document your life as a fossil hunter. The documentary is to become a cable TV show titled “Counseling Fossils,” in which people call in to your show to talk about their issues. What does their life look like? If you could design the set for a fictional “Counseling Fossils” show, what interior or exterior location would you choose, and why?
  • A fossil turns out to be a hoax.
  • A rough childhood left you eager to find comfort in the fossil record. Name some of your favorite fossils.
  • In what time period would you love to visit the most? Why?
  • Mummy bones were found in the basement of a house.
  • The question is, could this be the fossil of a mythical creature?
  • An expert found clues to a new dinosaur in a short story. Can you spot them?
  • In what period was the biggest extinction? What caused it?
  • What will be the most exotic fossil the human race will ever find?
  • What if your pet were a dinosaur? Or why not make your pet a dinosaur?
  • What is the most amazing fossil you ever found?
  • Some kid pranks three of your pets with a fake fossil.
  • A message to you from the future!
  • Earlier today, you received some bad news. You have terminal cancer. You only have six months to live. One week later, a strange woman appears before you and offers you one wish. What do you wish for?
  • You’re on an archeological dig. Your boss wants the biggest find. What do you find – and what do you do with it?
  • What do you think fossilized food from a prehistoric pet store would look like?
  • You find a fossil that is said to be a clue to how dinosaurs became birds.
  • What strange fossil would you like to see?
  • You have uncovered a secret cloning project at a university.
  • You’ve just discovered the fossil of a major prehistoric animal, but you tell only a few people. How do you unveil it to the public?
  • A nautilus fossil is dug up and scientists discover microorganisms in the digestive chamber. This raises many new evolutionary possibilities about dinosaurs. What are some of the issues with this finding?
  • Protesters want dinosaur bones to stop being displayed at a natural history museum.
  • You accidentally discovered a fossil…the first of a new species.
  • A scientist is fossil-hunting in Turkey, when he discovers an entire dead animal preserved in the earth!
  • Should scientists stop if the exact area they are looking for doesn’t precisely match the information from an old map?
  • You’re the bone-chemist in an ancient Chinese army. What kinds of chemical weapons might you employ?
  • You’re a paleontologist digging with students on a dig. Snake bones are found. What kind of snake do you think it was and why?
  • For either of the above topics, you have a theory on what made the skeleton/fossil.
  • What modern animal do you think they used to make the fossils of the dinosaurs in movies and books?
  • A fossil is discovered. It is only the fossil of a cell. But when scientists found it. . .
  • Your professor is forcing you to rewrite your lab report.
  • You’re an ally in a war – one side is prehistoric, one side is futuristic/modern – the fossil you found could be the one thing that makes all the difference.
  • You’re excavating a fossil. What do you already know about it?
  • The results of a recent poll have revealed the worst fossil in history.
  • What kind of fossil would you want to find?
  • How does living in dino time affect people in the present day?
  • You’ve discovered a new fossil that will revolutionize the community’s understanding of prehistoric life. You’re thinking of which friend to tell first.
  • Your town is being visited by a reputable naturalist who wants to give a speech at your school. She wants to include a fossil in her presentation. Which one would you choose and why?
  • There’s an explosion in an area that contains some fossils. What kind of fossils could be damaged by the explosion?
  • You’re an archeologist and the fossils you unearthed are a good match. What creatures do they belong to?
  • You discover a method to trap a dinosaur in the modern world.
  • What is the most interesting fossil you’ve ever found?
  • You’ve got to give a speech about your discovery at a conference.
  • Fossils are often found in rocks. What objects might your index finger fit into if you were to look for fossils in them, like a rock, a cloud, or a piece of chocolate fudge?
  • You found a fossil that could change history.
  • The bone of an  early human was dug up. What can you tell about this man from the fossil? What does it say about his behavior?
  • Describe the environment of a dinosaur during its lifetime.
  • What does a tabloid newspaper headline about strange fossils lead to?
  • You are on a dig and you uncover hidden treasures.
  • A child is trying to identify a fossil.
  • You found a fossil with human remains in it. What were they doing there?
  • You are online, looking at photos and videos of fossils. You stumble upon something uncommon, but what?
  • You’re asked to send last words for a doomed planet.
  • A piece of bone was discovered with grooves in it. What do you think caused those grooves?
  • You’re a student trying to help create a fossil replica. Tell about the fossil you chose and why you chose it for the activity.
  • Father Time is putting together a timeline of the prehistoric world.

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