Caden Commander’s Dinosaur and Paleontology Page

Caden Commander’s Dinosaur and Paleontology Page

Stay tuned for the next weekend I set up my travel museum-can’t wait to share more dinosaur facts!


That Raptor isn't a Raptor

Most of the time when people hear the word raptor, they either think of large carnivorous birds like eagles or hawks, or in this case, when many people think of raptors as dinosaurs they think of something related to the large six-foot-tall, sickled clawed, scaly velociraptor from Jurassic park. However, the velociraptor was only around two feet tall and had feathers. Also, not every dinosaur with a raptor in its name is a "raptor" or dromaeosaur( the scientific name for the family the velociraptor is placed in). For example, the megaraptor is often mistaken as a raptor not only because of its name but also because its history is confusing. It was actually thought to be a dromaeosaur, but it turned out that what they thought was its toe claw turned out to be a hand probably used for fishing! The megaraptor is actually a member of the megalosaurs family. Another one that can get confusing is the oviraptor that's actually an oviraptorid. So, next time you hear the word raptor, double-check where it is on the dinosaur family tree because it might not be a "raptor" at all!

Picture of megaraptor.

Photos from Caden Commander’s Dinosaur and Paleontology Page's post 02/06/2023

Here are some pictures from the last three days-two days digging and one day of lab work. I found a nanotyrannus tooth, which is more rare than a t-Rex tooth, a chip of the end of a t-Rex tooth, triceratops spinner teeth, a fragment of a triceratops frill, some turtle shell, some “Bobs” (broken old bones), turtle leg, and a triceratops shoulder blade fragment. Mom helped me with the shoulder blade fragment! I also found an ornithischian bone that I helped plaster so Mr. Walter could work on it more in the lab. He kept it for science. Mom found two t-Rex teeth, one almost completely intact! She also found some turtle shell fragments an edmontosaurus fragment, a raptor tooth (they had to keep for science) and some Bobs. Dad found an Edmontosaurus teeth, some tendons, shell fragments, a Thescelosaurus toe (kept for science) and some Bobs, aka UFB (unidentified fossil bones). Atte (my grandma) and Trip (my uncle) found an ornithischian bone and Bobs. We also found some gar scale and fish bones. Today we worked in the lab to clean it all up!

Photos from Caden Commander’s Dinosaur and Paleontology Page's post 30/05/2023

Here are some pictures from Sunday to Monday. In the past 2 days, we explored Wind Cave National Park, a mammoth dig site, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, and Deadwood. At Mount Rushmore, we saw the chair the sculptors dangled in to carve the faces. In Deadwood, we saw where Wild Bill Hickok was killed and where he and Calamity Jane were buried. At Crazy Horse Memorial, we saw where they were carving the finger that will be presented to the public later in June. Finally, at Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park we saw prairie dogs, pronghorns, bison, elk, magpies, mule deer, donkeys, a mountain goat, turkeys, and a coyote.

Photos from Caden Commander’s Dinosaur and Paleontology Page's post 27/05/2023

Today we stopped at Ashfall Fossil National Park. Inside the Rhino Barn, we saw several skeletons of animals that were killed by a supervolcano that hit in Idaho, causing the ash to cover a large area, reaching into parts of Nebraska. The animals breathed in the ash, causing them to become sick and die. They have found several rhinos, wild horses, and camels in this location. There were also fossils of carnivorous dogs. I got to hold a little bit of the ash-it shines in the sunlight!


I can now say I was sitting in two places at one time! The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge was pretty cool, and I got to sit in Iowa and Nebraska at the same time! Today is a travel day, but I think my mom has a special stop planned on the way at some fossil beds so stay tuned!


The baby elephant, Mopani, was a highlight of the day-born March 2, 2023!


We had fun watching the sea lions swim by!


Check out this silly gorilla-it came right on top of Mom and me in the bubble!

Photos from Caden Commander’s Dinosaur and Paleontology Page's post 26/05/2023

Here are just a few favorites from what we saw today! We got to see a baby giraffe and a baby elephant. The baby giraffe was born March 19, 2023, and the baby elephant, named Mopani, was born March 2,2023!


I got to feed a banded archer fish today. You might have noticed that it squirted water at my hand! This is because it shoots water from its mouth to knock insects off of leaves or limbs into the water so it can eat them-in this case it shot it out of my hand!


First stop of the day: Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha! Can’t wait to share more about my day later!


Hello there! I’m back, and I have good news! Now that school’s out, we’re on our summer vacation, and it’s a great one! So I thought, since we are going to some incredible places, I would post about them. For the next 1 1/2 week—starting yesterday—we’ll be exploring Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer’s State Park, some museums and caves, and to top it off, a private dinosaur dig in South Dakota. We’ll be digging for 2 days and in the prepping lab on the 3rd day, June 1, which just happens to be National Dinosaur Day! How lucky are we???? A prepping lab on National Dinosaur Day! Stay tuned for pictures and posts!

A Travel to Prehistoric Montana 21/02/2023

Take a trip with me back in time to meet the fiercest carnivore to ever live in North America and the gentle giants that roamed the plains. How will I escape a might T-Rex?! Who will save me from his powerful jaws?

A Travel to Prehistoric Montana Check out my page: Commander Museum of Paleontology and History!


Today I’m going to teach you more about dinosaurs.
Patagotitan: Patagotitan was the largest dinosaur ever. It was a herbivore that lived in South America. The Patagotitan was a titanosaur, a type of long neck.


I’m pausing the Dinosaurs of the Week for now because of being busy with activities like basketball, soccer, etc. I will post some different videos and articles about dinosaurs in the next few weeks. Please keep the questions coming!



This week's dinosaur of the week is Giganotosaurus, a gigantic, meat-eating dinosaur that was even bigger than the T-Rex! Check back in this week to learn more about this ferocious dinosaur!


:::Deinocheirus Recap:::

Diet: Omnivore
Length: 11 m (36 ft) long
Weight: 6.5 tons
Found in Mongolia
Name means "Terrible Hand"
Most notable features: bill, hump, and large front arms
Family: Ornithomimid
Main group: Therapod

See size comparison to humans below!


:::THE HUMP:::
Deinocheirus's hump made it one of the most majestic and bizarre of all dinosaurs. There isn't specific specimens of a hump, but the fossils that have been found have shown that the backbones slanted upward. An entire backbone has not been found, so scientists are not sure if it really did have a hump or not. Due to the evidence we do have, it gives us a pretty good picture of what he looked like, and he probably did have a hump! Scientists are still unsure of what it would be used for, if he did have one. Some guesses are that it would be used like a camel, storing fat. Others say it may have been for show, brightly displayed and covered in peacock-like feathers. Those are the two main theories.



Deinocheirus's gigantic claws were the first thing that was ever found of this behemoth. At the time, they thought it came from a tyrannosaur so they expected the Deinocheirus to be gigantic, even bigger than T-Rex because most T-Rex had short arms. To have short arms compared to your body size, you would have to be big, they thought. Later fossils were found and matched those of the arms from the Deinocheirus. It showed that instead of being a gigantic tyrannosaur, it was closely related to the Ornithomimus and had a bill and possibly a hump! For its size, its arms are rather big, and almost looked like they did not fit him. Scientists are not 100% sure of what the arms are used for, but here are some of their best guesses: 1) to catch fish by throwing them onto land where it would be easier to eat them; 2) to pull down trees in reach of its mouth; 3) to attack opponents, rival males, or carnivores; 4) or all three!


Here are a few facts about the deinocheirus and the answer to the question: how does it eat without any teeth?!


This week's Dinosaur of the Week is the Deinocheirus, one of the most bizarre dinosaurs with his hump, beak, and feathers. Did you know.......the deinocheirus doesn't have any teeth? How does it eat?! Watch my video that is coming a little later today to find out!


Happy New Year! I will start back up with our Dinosaur of the Week on Sunday! We have decided to post 3-4 times a week because of our busy schedule during the spring. Check back in on Sunday to learn more about the Deinocheirus!


Happy New Year! Looking forward to learning and sharing more about dinosaurs with you in 2023!

Photos from Caden Commander’s Dinosaur and Paleontology Page's post 31/12/2022

My mom has been wanting me to illustrate the next book I write so I thought I would give y’all a sneak peek at what I’ve been working on!


Sorry about not posting today-I had my Christmas music recital and did not get home until late. Will do my best to double up tomorrow!



Imagine if you saw this behemoth! What would you do? Would you run, hide, or interact with it?



The use of stegosaurus's plates is not 100% understood. Its spikes are more understood than its plates. Its spikes are thought to be used mainly for protection and have been for a while. While the plates were once thought to be for protection, later studies revealed they were actually fragile. Newer studies showed there were probably blood veins in the plates, which supports two other ideas: they could flush blood into their plates for show, and they could use them for body temperature. In other words, when they are out in the sun, the plates would absorb the heat and when the stegosaurus was in the shade, the plates would absorb the cool air. So when they are hot, the plates helped them cool off, and when it was cold, the plates helped them warm up. Another thought that has also been around for a long time is that they were used mainly for show. At the time, the idea of the stegosaurus flushing blood into its plates for show was very likely, newer pictures and studies actually show that they are probably more designed and colored for the males while the females would have been more camouflaged with fewer designs. What were they for? Some say the males would have used them for show in courtship. Others say they could have been used to scare off predators with big bold designs, like the wings of moths. Others say both ideas are valid. Today, these are the most likely ideas.


The art of the stegosaurus has changed along with the science behind this creature. The more we know about it, the better the pictures become. Scientists first thought the stegosaurus was bipedal and had spikes on its back instead of plates, with the plates only being on its tail. Then the depiction became more lizard-like with all four legs on the ground and two diagonal rows of plates with its tail dragging on the ground. Then studies showed that many dinosaurs didn't drag their tails, but instead walked upright. This meant that the pictures of the stegosaurus changed as well, with legs positioned under the body, its tail off the ground, and only four spikes on its tail. Then came Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, which showed the stegosaurus differently, with its head closer to the ground and hind legs bigger than its front legs. Their plates were brighter. Then came 2020 and an updated version emerged with a longer neck and bulkier body. Then it grew even more, gaining brighter and larger plates, bulkier bodies, and different behaviors never before seen in pictures of the stegosaurus. More pictures of parenting were shown, and the necks are shown to be longer, but still shorter than the first depictions.


I am feeling better and am excited about this week's Dinosaur of the Week: the Stegosaurus! We are not only going to learn about stegosaurus facts alone, but we will also dive into its history and art.


This is Lexi (Caden’s mom)-he wanted me to let everyone know that he is excited to share more about the stegosaurus with you as soon as he gets to feeling better. Please pray that will be soon! If you have any questions about the stegosaurus, he would love to answer them when he feels better!


This week’s dinosaur of the week is the stegosaurs, a mighty herbivore! Tune in this week to learn about the use of its plates, spikes, and more facts. What do you want to know about the Stegosaurus?


Fact Roundup:
Let’s recap some of what we’ve learned this week about the Alamosaurus!

Pronunciation: “AL-uh-moe-SORE-us”
Found in: Cretaceous rock layer of North America
Size: 8 meters (26.2 ft) tall and 20 meters (65.6 ft) long
Weighed: 50-70 tons
Named meaning: Alamo Lizard
Named after: Ojo Alamo Sandstone Formation, which is where it was first discovered in New Mexico
Found by: Charles W. Gilmore
Hip shape: saurischian (bird-hipped)
Migrating sauropod that lived in herds


::Fun Fact--Alamosaurus' Digestion::
Like many sauropods, Alamosaurus's teeth were only suited for stripping leaves off branches. So it had to swallow food whole without chewing well. This meant it needed a good digestive system to digest its food. Some scientists think it may have swallowed rocks (scientifically known as gastroliths) to help digest food! Even though sauropods have been found with these types of rocks in their stomach cavity, some scientists still say its a coincidence. What do you think?


What is your favorite museum? I have visited the Perot Museum in Dallas and the Houston Museum of Natural Science but I have a lot more on my bucket list.

Jurassic Forever: Tyrannosaurus Rex

(Above) Tyrannosaurus Rex on display at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

(Below) Tyrannosaurus Rex from Jurassic World: Dominion. Credit: Universal Studios



Fun Fact about the Alamosaurus: Even though Alamosaurus was humongous as an adult, its eggs and babies were only about the size of a rabbit or a medium-sized cat.

Facts about the Alamosaurus 30/11/2022

Want to hear some more facts about this week's dinosaur, the Alamosaurus? Check out this video! Let me know what questions you have and any suggestions you would like for future dinosaurs of the week!

Facts about the Alamosaurus


Where did the Alamosaurus get its name? Even though its name makes you think it was named after the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, it is actually named for where it was discovered in New Mexico. The name Alamosaurus comes from Ojo Alamo, the geologic formation in which it was found. The term "alamo" is a Spanish word meaning "poplar" and is used for the local subspecies of cottonwood tree. The term saurus is derived from saura, which is Greek for "lizard," so this is why Alamosaurus means "Ojo Alamo Lizard."

Want to see the amazing Alamosaurus? Head to Dallas and check out the Perot Museum, one of my favorite places!

Want your school to be the top-listed School/college?

Videos (show all)

The baby elephant, Mopani, was a highlight of the day-born March 2, 2023!
We had fun watching the sea lions swim by!
Check out this silly gorilla-it came right on top of Mom and me in the bubble!
I got to feed a banded archer fish today. You might have noticed that it squirted water at my hand! This is because it s...
Here are a few facts about the deinocheirus and the answer to the question: how does it eat without any teeth?!
Evolution of the Stegosaurus in Art