All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
31 05, 2007

Everything Dinosaur’s Prehistoric Animal Survey and Things to Do

By | May 31st, 2007|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Another Busy Day at Everything Dinosaur

The start of another busy day, but I am able to listen to the radio this morning, currently I am listening to “One Foot in the Grave” on BBC7.  This is one of my favourite stations, it plays old radio plays and comedy shows.  I alternate my listening between BBC7 and Radio Five Live for the sports coverage.  One of the pleasures of the summer is the Test cricket commentary, it starts again on June 6th I think, third test against the West Indies at Old Trafford (weather permitting).

But back to the business…  Today I have to make some phone calls and check on the Maize maze activities that Everything Dinosaur gets involved with.  Many farmers and growers have diversified by sowing maize into patterns and when it grows it forms a fantastic maze.  They then open their fields to the tourists and they make fine summer attractions.  This is a good way to diversify for local farmers and boosts their incomes.  We get involved providing educational materials, merchandise and advising on the dinosaur information.

Some schools to contact as well in preparation for summer fayres and events.  We have a number of schools that have already booked us.  Most fayres are taking place the last week of June or the first two weekends of July, so we are in danger of getting double booked or even treble booked if we are not careful.  Quite a few phone calls to make to potential customers as well, a museum on the Isle of Wight, a cafe owner in Dublin.  We do get some very unusual requests.

Plus I must contact the gentleman who is supposed to be supplying us with dinosaur replica teeth and claws.  We want some items from his range, mainly dinosaurs but would probably want to add the Smilodon (Sabre-Tooth cat) claw as well.

For some reason, sabre-tooth cats are often called sabre-tooth tigers.  We use this phrase ourselves from time to time, but actually these cats, although members of the feline family are not closely related to tigers.  In fact the Sabre-tooths belong to the machairodonts a sub-family of the feline group and not a direct ancestral line to modern cats such as leopards, tigers or lions.

Sabre teeth are an example of “parallel evolution” the independent evolution of similar traits.  A number of extinct animals developed sabre-like teeth to help them despatch prey, an example being Gorgonops a Therapsid reptile from the late Permian which had elongated canines just like a Sabre-toothed cat.  These types of teeth probably evolved in predators as it gave them an advantage in despatching their prey.  Teeth like these could crush or sever the windpipe on their unfortunate victim and lead to a swift kill with less chance of the predator getting hurt in the struggle.  No doubt other sabre-tooth forms may evolve in the future, so our world will once again have sabre-tooths in it.

Everything Dinosaur sells some prehistoric animal items, including Sabre-tooth cats (Smilodon), we even have a fact sheet on these animals.  Recently we introduced a range of soft toy prehistoric mammals – here is a link to them:

Prehistoric animal soft toys: Dinosaur Stuffed Animals

The Smilodon has proved very popular this year with our customers and the schools that we have worked with.  Each year we conduct a survey on the most popular prehistoric animals and dinosaurs.  We review all the product sales we have made, which pages were most popular on our website and the feedback from our outreach work.  We are then able to produce a top-ten favourite prehistoric animals.  This is a bit of fun and it gives us the chance to send out some press releases as well as to learn which animals are popular so that we can reflect this in our product development.

This is the top ten of 2006/2007

Everything Dinosaur’s Top Ten Prehistoric Animals Chart

1).  Tyrannosaurus rex

2).  Velociraptor

3).  Triceratops (very popular with girls)

4).  Stegosaurus (another girls favourite)

5).  Allosaurus

6).  Sabre-Tooth Cat (see, I told you they were popular)

7).  Brachiosaurus

8).  Diplodocus

9).  Woolly Mammoth

10).  Spinosaurus (Jurassic Park III fame)

Now back to work, already part of the way through day 670.

 

30 05, 2007

To Manufacture or not to Manufacture – that is the question

By | May 30th, 2007|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur – Updates the Blog Site

Day 669 of Everything Dinosaur’s existence and like most people who run their own company there never seems to be enough time in the day to do everything we would like to do.  We have lots of projects on the go at the moment, but we just can’t get round to them all.  One of things that I find fascinating is that even when we work virtually every hour per day we don’t get everything completed as we would like.  There is always more to do, whether its sorting out some dinosaur models for a customer, or putting more dinosaur toys into our warehouse.

Prior to setting up Everything Dinosaur, I used to work for someone else, (a proper job, you know one with a salary at the end of the month), I would be in work for around 8.30am and often wouldn’t leave until after 6pm so I am used to working long hours.  Sue is also the sort of person who doesn’t shy away from work – good job really, as if we don’t do it for Everything Dinosaur nobody else will.

As our company is made up of teachers, parents and dinosaur experts we try to find products that have an educational value.   We think there is nothing better for young people if they can learn through creative play.  Trouble is with dinosaurs there is an awful lot of items out there that simply are not accurate or correct.  For example, I have seen so called educational books entitled “Dinosaurs in the Sea”*, often we find posters and other items that have got facts confused, spelling mistakes or are simply wrong.  It makes me upset to think that parents are purchasing items to fuel their children’s fascination but some of the stuff they purchase is not educational at all and can be very misleading.  A history buff  friend of mine was telling me how upset she was when at an outdoor event she encountered a mock battle between Vikings and Romans.  The organisers may have had the best of intentions but this sort of stuff is simply wrong and doesn’t help anyone.

We try our best to help and advise where we can.  We know a little about dinosaurs, the Mesozoic and other prehistoric animals so we endeavour to make sure at least what we supply is reasonably accurate.  The fact sheets we provide for example are researched and checked very carefully.  Anyone can make a mistake but we pride ourselves in providing accurate and sensible information as well as educational prehistoric animal merchandise.

As Everything Dinosaur grows and evolves (well, we wouldn’t be scientists if we did not mention evolution), we receive feedback from many of our customers about products they would like us to supply.  We can’t source  from existing suppliers so we are thinking of manufacturing.   This is a big step, as for most firms like us it would take a lot of money to do so and we would most likely have to manufacture overseas to get the best deal possible.  We have done some research into this and no doubt more work is required in this area.  Trouble is, like most firms we are too busy doing our day-to-day jobs to focus on this important issue.  Sometimes I feel like a juggler in a circus!  so many balls in the air at once – must not drop any, afterall this is our company and if it all goes pear-shape then it is nobody’s fault but ours.

We will have to consider whether to manufacture or not very carefully..

Good news, I learn something new everyday – I think I have just set the “publish article” date and time to London GMT.  Before, everything was being published using the default Pacific time.  I know we work long hours but none of us were writing the blog at 3am in the morning.  However, stranger things have happened and knowing how we work at Everything Dinosaur, it would not surprise me if we did end up writing the blog at 3am.

Maybe we would make more sense.

All in all not a bad day.

PS

Dinosaurs in the Sea* – not a good title for an educational book on Dinosaurs as to the best of existing palaeontological knowledge dinosaurs were very much terrestial.  Like most animals they could swim but none of them actually evolved into fully marine animals comparable with the Pliosaurs, Mosasaurs and such like.  Dinosaurs were ideally suited to life on land with their erect posture just like mammals.  This ability to walk rather than “sprawl” probably gave them an edge over other Archosaurs, reptiles and para-mammals back in the Triassic.  Lets hear it for the upward projection on the astragulus (an ankle bone) and the open displacement of the femur permitting an upright stance.

29 05, 2007

Another Busy Day

By | May 29th, 2007|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Busy, Busy and even Busier

Today is Tuesday, the day after the late Spring Bank holiday in the UK and everyone is getting back to work after the long weekend.   Trouble, is when you run your own business you never really seem to get a break.  Still must not grumble, Sue wanted to go and see a film called Zodiac at the pictures and so off we went (I will try and post a review of this film on this blog shortly).  In the meantime, lots and lots to do what with checking the orders from over the weekend have been packed and sorting out some bits and pieces in the office.

This afternoon I have a meeting with an old school friend called Pam.  She is currently studying for her PhD but in between she goes into schools to provide curriculum support for history teachers.  Pam’s expertise is on Olde England and particularly the Saxons.  As a trained journalist she has put her communication skills to good use and made a small business out of her hobby.  I will be going along to pick her considerable brains about how to market Everything Dinosaur to schools to help support science and other parts of the school teaching syllabus.  It amazes me how much young people can remember about dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals and if our contribution is able to enthuse them and help them with their studies then this has to be a good thing, especially when we are developing further ideas for our dinosaur workshops in schools.

We have done various dinosaur themed activities, (no doubt we will publish some notes and pics of our adventures), even children as young as three come up to me with their favourite animal and then proceed to tell me all about it.  I recall meeting one particular young person who dazzled me with his knowledge of Dilophosaurus (his favourite dinosaur at the time) – good for him!  Great to see the benefits of teaching about fossils in schools.

Just for the record, Dilophosaurus is celebrating its 65th birthday this year.  The first fossils of this animal were discovered in 1942, by the Unversity of California when they sent an expedition to Arizona.  At first this animal was thought to be a close relative of Megalosaurus, it certainly was a large, carnivore, but now it has been classified as a member of the Ceratosauria.  The name Dilophosaurus means “double crested lizard” in recognition of the two bizarre thin crests on the top of its head.

Must get on, as there is lots to do today and we have been in existence for 668 days now so hopefully we will soon be able to see the wood for the trees.  I will try to get the film review up shortly, perhaps Sue could give me a hand.

28 05, 2007

Dodos in the 21st Century

By | May 28th, 2007|Animal News Stories, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

I want a Dodo!

Well it is different I suppose.  One extinct animal is as good as another, although I’m not sure where I can find one, I have never seen one in any shops or online, and don’t know if it is part of any range (or what range of animals it would belong to).  At Everything Dinosaur we specialise in dinosaur models and dinosaur toys and we do know the Wild Safari Dinos model range quite well.

Started by looking at our books and magazine articles on dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals to see if I could find a picture of a Dodo, and maybe a reference to it.  Found what I wanted in an old book – a reference to Doug Watson (a sculptor), who had made a Dodo model.  Now we just had to find it.

Contacted our American museum friends and found that they did have one that was part of a range called “Wings of the World”, covers a multitude of animals.  At least I now knew what range it belonged too.  One Dodo sourced, and one happy customer.

Fact file – Dodo – common name “nauseating bird”.  Apparently, because when sailors first encountered this bird on the island of Mauritius, and killed it for food, it was found to be so greasy and oily it made anyone eating it ill.

We find all sorts of models for our customers.

To see what other models we do – click on Dinosaur Toys for Girls and Boys – Prehistoric Animal Models

27 05, 2007

Everything Dinosaur – our Company Web Log

By | May 27th, 2007|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Welcome to the Everything Dinosaur Blog

Everything Dinosaur is a small, British company that was set up on 1st August 2005, we sell dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed games, dinosaur toys, models, posters and clothing to help young people learn more about science through their fascination with these creatures.

Here is a link to our company website: Everything Dinosaur

Our company is made up of parents, teachers and dinosaur enthusiasts and we spend our time helping to motivate young people to learn more about science as well as helping collectors source models, providing information, quizzes and all kinds of stuff to do with dinosaurs.

Everything Dinosaur is certainly a very unusual company, in the 665 days since we started the business we have learnt a lot, even having been nominated for a business award – Start up Business of the Year (we didn’t win but at least we were nominated).  As we are such a different organisation, after all there are not many people who can say they sell dinosaurs for a living, we have been asked to write a blog about our company and what we do.

Everything Dinosaur Team Members

Having fun with Everything Dinosaur

Having fun with Everything Dinosaur

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This blog has a number of purposes:

To provide a diary of our day-to-day activities – what we get up to running our unusual company.

To act as a source for more information and a forum on dinosaurs/prehistoric animals for our visitors, customers and such like.

To discuss/review new dinosaur models, dinosaur toys and other items being added to our product range.

To perhaps, through our scribblings and notes here to help encourage others to set up their own little businesses doing these that they enjoy too.

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