Finn (12) completes university course on dinosaur biology

Lots of boys his age have no idea what they want to do when they leave school, but that is not a problem for Finn McKellar.

Budding palaeontologist Finn McKellar with his university certificate and fossil collection

Dinosaur-mad Finn is so keen on palaeontology he has just completed an online course run by the University of Alberta in Canada – which he started while still at primary school.

Having finished the Dino 101 course, Finn (12), who lives in Craigmarloch and recently started attending Our Lady’s High School, is now embarking on his next university module in addition to his schoolwork.

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Dad Matthew said: “Finn really wants to go to university and become a palaeontologist. As well as his online work he has built up a nice collection of fossils. He also attends the Kelvingrove young archaeologists’ club – we’re not sure if he’ll be Indiana Jones or Dr Grant from Jurassic Park!”

Finn is also building a website where he intends to raise awareness on the Subject of dinosaurs having feathers.

Led by Professor Phil Currie, Dino 101 is Alberta’s first Massive Open Online Course on the topic of palaeobiology. The twelve-week course consists of instructional videos, with brief lectures given from museums, fossil preparation sites and digs.

The course includes questions and a unit test at the end of each session. It also includes mid-term and end-of-course examinations which count towards university credit, although Finn is too young to qualify for this.

Alberta is one of the most famous areas in palaeontology, particularly at Dinosaur Provincial Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over 1,000 fossil specimens have been recovered from this location, resulting in the discovery of 40 dinosaur species.