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Animal Features

Modern animals face many of the same survival challenges that dinosaurs did. In this memory matching game, students match a common characteristic shared by a dinosaur and a living animal.


  • Describe the similar features of dinosaurs and modern animals.


Key Questions

  • Why did dinosaurs have those features (feathers, claws, etc.)? Is it the same reason modern animals have those features? Can we ever knwo for sure?
  • Do the features look the same on modern and extinct animals? Why or why not? How could we know?

What To Do


  1. Print the card template below on card stock.
  2. Cut out the 24 cards


  1. Shuffle the cards.
  2. Place the cards face down on the table in a square. Place four rows of cards. Each row has six cards.
  3. Oldest student goes first.
  4. Student turns over two cards. If the titles of the cards match (for example, “Head gear for battles”), that student places those cards in a pile next to them. They have won that set of cards. That student can now try to find another pair of matching cards.
  5. If the cards do not match, both cards are flipped back face down and the other player takes their turn.
  6. Continue playing until all pairs have been found.
  7. The player with the most pairs is the winner.

Teacher Tip: Cut the ‘feature’ from the top of the cards to make a more challenging version of this game!


  • What keeps whales warm (since they don’t have fur or feathers)? blubber
  • What other animals are like the moose and have head gear for battles? deer, cattle, sheep
  • Why do cats have retractable claws? It keeps them sharp.
  • Stegosaurus had spikes on its tail to protect itself. What modern animals use spikes? blowfish, hedgehogs, many lizards

Other Resources

Science World | Animal Features Cards PDF