All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
/2012
11 12, 2012

Census show Mixed Results for Science and Maths in English Schools

By | December 11th, 2012|Educational Activities, Teaching|0 Comments

U.S. Research Suggest English School Children doing Better in Maths but Slipping When it Comes to Science

In today’s busy world where UK based businesses are having to compete in a truly global market place, governments and educational institutions are eager to see how their country’s pupils fare when compared to students from other nations.  There are a number of studies undertaken, most are published either annually or every two years.  In research published by U.S. based academics, pupils from England are showing signs of improving in mathematics, but their national ranking in the sciences is falling.

The research, compiled by academics at Boston College in the United States covers the results from two influential studies, the four-yearly trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, known by the acronym TIMSS and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).  The American research team have compared the results in key subjects from pupils in over sixty countries.  Northern Ireland is doing particularly well when the attainments of primary school children are examined, whilst England is still in the top ten countries for primary and secondary mathematics.

The highest rankings in this global education league table have been taken by Asian countries and reflect the growing emphasis on the education of children in rapidly growing economies.  The UK Census from 2011, may show that more citizens of the United Kingdom have a degree than ever before but when the efforts of younger pupils are analysed it is the students from Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea that take the honours when it comes to doing best at maths.

England remains in the global top ten for mathematics, 9th for primary school aged pupils and 10th when it comes to secondary aged students.  The study highlights England as being one of the most improved countries in terms of mathematics over the last fifteen years or so, however, the outlook for the sciences is nowhere near as rosy.

English school pupils fall from 7th place (ranking in 2007) to 15th amongst primary aged school pupils (ten-year-olds) for science.  In secondary aged pupils this trend was also seen, with fourteen-year-olds falling from 5th down to 9th over the same five year period.

The Top Ranked Countries for Attainment in Primary School Science

  1. South Korea
  2. Singapore
  3. Finland
  4. Japan
  5. Russian Federation
  6. Taiwan
  7. United States of America
  8. Czech Republic
  9. Hong Kong
  10. Hungary

15.  England (down from 7th place)

Report author and Boston College professor, Michael Martin commented that the best-performing countries in these league tables are a reflection of the long-term investments in education made by governments.

Professor Martin stated:

“One thing you can learn from these is what’s possible.  That comes as a shock sometimes, what students in other countries can actually do and the gap sometimes between what your students are achieving and what students in other countries are achieving”.

England ranks relatively highly, despite slipping in science, it is pleasing to see the ranking in mathematics is still holding up when one considers the rapid globalisation and development in other countries, particularly those in the Far East.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur, one of the teachers in the company who helps write lesson plans for primary school education providers stated:

“It is important to praise the efforts of the teachers, the teaching assistants and administrators who work extremely hard to deliver excellent teaching schemes helping to inspire and motivate the next generation of scientists.”

Everything Dinosaur team members committed to helping fellow teachers.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A good grounding in maths and science subjects is very important for school pupils, especially when one considers the future jobs market.  Helping young children learn about science principles such as observation, investigation and evaluation through their fascination with dinosaurs is a key aim of Everything Dinosaur’s teaching staff.

Today, Everything Dinosaur team members provided information on swimming dinosaurs, fact sheets, discussed Plesiosaurs, the evolution of the Dinosauria – just some of the range of subjects covered when contacted by school teachers, museum staff etc.   All in a days work!

 

10 12, 2012

Schleich Make Stop Motion Movie Featuring “World of History” Range

By | December 10th, 2012|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos|0 Comments

Schleich Dinosaurs and Quetzalcoatlus Model get a Brief Movie Role

Schleich the German based model and figure manufacturer have created a short (fifty second), stop motion film featuring the ten models from the World of History Model range.

The Schleich World of History Film

Video Credit: Schleich

The first ten models introduced by the company are featured in this very creative video.  The dinosaurs do what dinosaurs do best and the Azhdarchid Pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus soars overhead.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of “World of History” prehistoric animal models: Schleich World of History Prehistoric Animals

This series of not to scale prehistoric animal models was introduced in the early part of 2012 and will replace the larger, scale model “Saurus” range.  The Velociraptor, Allosaurus, Giganotosaurus, Spinosaurus and the  T. rex in this model series all have articulated lower jaws, so the model can be posed with the mouth open or closed.

9 12, 2012

Quick Notes on Deinotherium – Preparing for a Fact Sheet

By | December 9th, 2012|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates|1 Comment

Making Preparations for the Arrival of the Collecta Deinotherium Model in 2013

With new prehistoric animal models being introduced by a number of replica and figure manufacturers next year, team members at Everything Dinosaur have started to research and write fact sheets to accompany these additions.

One of the first fact sheets to be prepared is one on the extinct elephant Deinotherium (Deinotherium giganteum).  Collecta will be making a model of this huge prehistoric mammal, it will be available in the late spring of 2013 and will form part of the company’s “prehistoric life” model series.

The New Collecta Deinotherium Model

Available in late spring 2013

 

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We were telephoned the other day by a customer, they requested a Deinotherium fact sheet and we had to explain that at the moment, the fact sheet was still being prepared, h0wever, here is a quick potted history of the Deinotherium genera with a focus on the largest known member – D. giganteum.

Deinotherium was a member of the elephant family, but it is not closely related to modern elephants or Mammoths.  It is likely that the ancestors of Deinotherium diverged from other forms of primitive elephant very early in the evolutionary history of the group.  It had relatively long legs and a long, low skull, rather than the domed skull of more modern elephants.  The front part of the lower jaw was turned downwards and Deinotheres possessed two over-sized, tusk-like incisors that curved downwards in a hook-like configuration.  The trunk was shorter than those of living elephants.  It is likely that these prehistoric elephants first evolved in Africa and a number of species of Deinotherium are known, the largest of which lived in Europe.  The Deinotherium genus was established in the mid 19th Century, however, many fossils had been found in Early Pliocene aged deposits in western Germany and added to the natural history collection of the Hessian State Museum in the nearby town of Darmstadt.  The first species of Deinotherium was scientifically named and described in 1829 by the German naturalist Johann Jakob Kaup.  Unfortunately, when Kaup prepared a reconstruction of the complete fossil for a museum exhibit, he first posed the tusks of the lower jaw pointing upwards.  With the discovery of a complete skull in 1836, this initial mistake was corrected.

The name Deinotherium means “terrible beasts” and European specimens suggest that some of these prehistoric elephants were amongst the largest land living creatures of the Late Miocene epoch.   A fully grown, male Deinotherium giganteum could have weighed as much as fourteen tonnes and been over four metres high at the shoulder.  Deinotherium fossils are associated with hominid fossil bearing strata of Africa it is likely that Australopithecines and other early hominids would have been very familiar with these strange, tusked elephants.

The exact purpose of the downward pointing incisors in the lower jaw that formed the tusks remains an area of debate amongst palaeontologists.  Some scientists have suggested that these extinct elephants used their tusks to scrape bark from trees whilst others state that the curved tusks could have been used to hook branches and pull them down so that this large herbivore could feed on the leaves.  Studies of the teeth of Deinotherium species suggest that these elephants were adapted to living in forests rather than open savannah based environments.  The very last Deinotheres survived into the early Pleistocene epoch.  Fossils have been found in Africa indicating that a species of Deinotherium was around approximately one million years ago.  These fossils have been found in western Kenya (Kanjara Formation) and indicate that one species of Deinotherium (D. bozasi) was present in east Africa until relatively recent times.

Prepared for Sandra, Akash, Simon, Ashley, Colin and all the other Deinotherium fans we have encountered recently.

8 12, 2012

A Review of the Papo Smilodon (Sabre-Tooth Cat Replica)

By | December 8th, 2012|Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|2 Comments

Papo Smilodon Model Reviewed

One of the most common prehistoric animal model replicas is that of a Sabre-Toothed Cat.  Most figure and model manufacturers, if they have a prehistoric life model range, will include a replica of this iconic Ice Age predator at some time or other.

Papo, the French based model maker introduced a Sabre-Tooth Cat (Smilodon) in mid 2011, it has proved to be a popular item with prehistoric animal fans and model collectors.  It is one of the more detailed models available and it is much larger than the recently retired Sabre-Tooth Cat that was manufactured by Schleich of Germany.

The Papo Smilodon Model

Excellent model of a Sabre-Toothed Cat.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Although members of the cat family (Felidae), Sabre-Toothed Cats, sometimes referred to as Sabre-Toothed Tigers are not closely related to extant Tigers.  They belong to the Machairodontinae family and the Smilodon genus is represented by at least four species.  The first of the Machairodontinae cats evolved during the Pliocene epoch, but these apex predators had their heyday during the later Pleistocene.  Their geographical distribution was extensive with fossils of these creatures being found in both North and South America as well as Europe and parts of Asia.  The largest specimens were over 1.7 metres in length and weighed twice as much as a modern African lion (Panthero leo).

The Papo Smilodon figure is probably based on Smilodon fatalis.  A predator synonymous with the Ice Age.  The model measures a fraction over sixteen centimetres in length, making this replica approximately 1:10 scale.  Smilodons probably were ambush predators, and not capable of sustained periods of running in pursuit of prey.  The powerful arms and shoulders are well depicted on the model and the paws are particularly well painted with the individual pads on the paws able to be made out.  The mouth is open and the large Sabre teeth that these cats are famous for are prominently displayed.  The Papo Sabre-Toothed Cat is painted a sandy, brown colour with flashes of white on the muzzle and on the underside.  There are flecks of a darker brown paint on the ears and on the very tip of the short, stubby tail.

The model is posed as if the animal is stalking prey, perhaps preparing to jump out and ambush some herbivore that it has spotted.  The clever design team have even managed to give their replica a fearsome, snarling expression.  The Papo Smilodon model works well when posed with the range of Woolly Mammoth models also made by Papo.

To watch a short video review made by Everything Dinosaur of the Papo Smilodon model: A Video Review of the Papo Smilodon Model

This is a popular Sabre-Toothed Cat model and one that fits in well with the rest of the Papo “prehistory” model range.  One tip for would-be purchasers, before buying check the condition of the Sabre-Teeth, sometimes the large teeth can get cracked and then they are easily broken off when handled.

7 12, 2012

What are Coelacanths?

By | December 7th, 2012|Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates|0 Comments

Fishy poser sent to Everything Dinosaur

At Everything Dinosaur we get sent lots of pictures and drawings from young dinosaur fans.  In addition, we get emails asking us various questions about dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.  We do our best to try to answer each one that we receive.

The other day we got a question about Coelacanths, the emailer wanted to know when these strange fish first evolved and what the word “Coelacanth” means.

Coelacanths are members of an ancient class of fish called the Sarcopterygians (lobe-finned fishes).  These fish have muscles and large bones at the base of their fins and it was once thought that Coelacanths used their fleshy fins to “walk” on the seabed, providing scientists with a link to those vertebrates that were the first back-boned animals to walk on land.  This theory, once very popular amongst palaeontologists has now been largely disregarded and Coelacanths are not thought to be closely related to the terrestrial vertebrates.  The first fossils of Coelacanths can be found in Mid-Devonian aged rocks, indicating that this particular type of fish evolved around 380 million years ago.

A Model of a Coelacanth (Safari Ltd)

Coelacanths - often described as "living fossils".

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Safari Ltd

Coelacanths were thought to have become extinct approximately 65 million years ago, however, in 1938, a trawler fishing off the Chalumna river estuary (South Africa) caught a strange looking fish and once this fish had been returned to port, Marjorie Coutney-Latimer, the curator of the nearby East London museum was notified and it was from her sketches and information that led to this specimen being identified as a Coelacanth.  It was not until 1952 that a second Coelacanth specimen was caught.  In 1997, a second species of Coelacanth was identified.  This Pacific species was discovered living in deep water off the islands of Indonesia.

The word Coelacanth means “hollow spines” a reference to the spines that support this primitive bony fish’s fleshy fins.  Extant specimens closely  resemble a genus of prehistoric Coelacanth called Macropoma which became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period, at around the same time the dinosaurs died out.  This extinction took place approximately sixty-five million years ago.

The largest specimens of Coelacanths living today can reach lengths in excess of five feet and these deep bodied fish with their large scales can weigh more than eighty kilogrammes, about as much as a man.  It is thought that these sluggish creatures feed mostly at night, sucking into their large mouths crabs, lobsters, shrimps, jellyfish and small fish.

6 12, 2012

The Collecta Therizinosaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

By | December 6th, 2012|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

A Review of the Collecta Therizinosaurus

Introduced in early 2012, Collecta added a not to scale model of the bizarre Theropod dinosaur known as Therizinosaurus to their prehistoric animal model range.  Regarded by palaeontologists as one of the more unusual groups of dinosaurs, the Therizinosaurs have only really become established as a clade over the last thirty years or so, after the discovery of a number Therizinosaur fossils in Asia and North America.  This exclusively Cretaceous clade, is still under going revision, the Collecta model of Therizinosaurus, the largest of this type of dinosaur discovered to date, may represent an entirely different family from the rest of the Therizinosaurids.

The Collecta model represents Therizinosaurus (T. cheloniformis), by far the biggest of these “Scythe” lizards known to science.  The first fossils ascribed to this genus were found in 1948, the Soviet team given the responsibility of piecing together this prehistoric animal from a few flattened ribs, elements from the arms and those enormous claws were unsure of what sort of reptile this was.  At first the ribs were thought to belong to a huge, extinct turtle.  This misleading idea is reflected in the species name that was erected (from Chelonia the Order of reptiles to which tortoises, terrapins and turtles belong).

The Collecta Therizinosaurus Dinosaur Model

An excellent model of a "Scythe" lizard.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Although T. cheloniformis is still very poorly known due to the lack of fossils found, it has been reconstructed based on the remains of similar and better known Therizinosaur-like dinosaurs such as Beipiaosaurus from the Early Cretaceous of China.  Most Therizinosaurs are depicted as being covered in downy feathers, as there is evidence to suggest that these dinosaurs sported coats of simple proto-feathers, although no feather fossils have been found in association with T. cheloniformis material.

The Collecta model is supplied with a clear plastic base and supporting strap which enables the model to stand upright, although most replicas we have handled can stand unsupported.  The dumpy, squat body is well depicted and the neck is raised as if this animal is alarmed at some disturbance.  The three fingered hands with their huge claws (the largest of which would have been over a metre in length), are placed down by the animal’s side and the tail is held off the ground.  The replica shows the texture of feathers on its body and tail, the rear portion of the head has a crest of blue/green feathers with a similar crest on the back between the impressive shoulder blades.  The forearms have tufts of feathers on them, perhaps helping this large dinosaur to display.  The colouration is interesting, with a battleship grey underneath giving way to a mottled sandy brown with flashes of subtle shading, as if to indicate this dinosaur was covered in a long, shaggy feathery coat.

A Close up of the Impressively Painted Head and Neck of the Collecta Therizinosaurus

A very well painted replica of the dinosaur Therizinosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

It is pleasing to note that the four-toed hind feet have been accurately depicted with this particular Therizinosaur model.    All in all, a very well made and thoughtfully designed replica of a very unusual example of the Dinosauria.

To view the Collecta range of dinosaur models, including Therizinosaurus available from Everything Dinosaur: Collecta Dinosaur Models

Customer Comments about this Therizinosaur Model

“Everything is perfect in this model, from the head (at the same time bird-like and reptile-like) to the proto-feathers (mix of colours).”

“At long last, a good quality sculpt. of this very strange beast.”

5 12, 2012

Putting Back the Date of Dinosaur Evolution – The Oldest Dinosaur?

By | December 5th, 2012|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories|0 Comments

Nyasasaurus parringtoni – A Contender for the Earliest Dinosaur Known to Science

Very little fossil evidence has been found to suggest when the first dinosaurs evolved.  Palaeontologists have unearthed a number of dinosaur specimens from the southern continents, most notably South America, these date from the Late Triassic (Carnian faunal stage).  However, by the Late Triassic some 225 million years ago, there is evidence to suggest that the three great lineages of the Dinosauria – Theropoda, Sauropoda and the Ornithischian (bird-hipped dinosaurs) were already evolving.  This suggests that the Dinosauria may have undergone rapid diversification during the Late Triassic, or these groups of dinosaurs may share a common ancestor that existed much earlier, the Dinosauria having evolved sometime in the Middle Triassic.

The fossil evidence for a much earlier evolution of the Dinosauria  has yet to be unearthed, but a team of international scientists have reported on the analysis of some fragmentary bones that intriguingly, may suggest that the first dinosaurs evolved some 240 million years ago, much earlier than many palaeontologists previously thought.

Published in the scientific journal “Biology Letters”, a research team consisting of scientists from the Natural History Museum (London), the University of California and the University of Washington describe the fragmentary fossils of a small, bipedal reptile that show anatomical characteristics ascribed to the Dinosauria.  These fossils could represent the oldest known dinosaur discovered to date, or it could be a fossil from another Archosaur clade, closely related to the true dinosaurs.

An Illustration of Nyasasaurus (Tanzania 240 million years ago)

Tanzania in the Middle Triassic.

Picture Credit: M Witton/NHM

The fossils were found in the layer of rocks known as the Lifua Member of the Manda Beds, Ruhuhu Basin, southern Tanzania by Francis Rex Parrington in the mid 1930s and donated to the Natural History Museum (London) about twenty years later.  Using biostratigraphic analysis, (studying fossils of other animals found in the same layer of rock), this part of the Manda Beds formation of Tanzania has been dated to approximately 242 – 240 million years ago (Anisian faunal stage of the Middle Triassic).   The material had laid in storage, but the Anglo/American research team analysed the fossils, which consist of an upper arm bone from the right arm (humerus), three partial pre sacral vertebrae (back bones from in front of the hip region) and three sacral vertebrae, fused back bones over the hip joints.  These fossils do show anatomical and morphological traits that have been recognised in known dinosaur genera.  This could suggest that the fossils represent a basal form of the dinosaurs, referred to as a dinosauriform.

Fossils Provide Evidence of a Dinosaur?

Fossil material and close up of cross section of humerus showing signs of rapid bone growth.

Picture Credit: Biology Letters

The picture above shows the fossil bones and scientific drawings made.  Also included are close ups of dyed section of slide material taken from the cross section analysis of the humerus.  This revealed rapid bone growth associated with an active animal, similar histology has been recorded in dinosaur bone studies.

The animal has been named Nyasasaurus parringtoni, as the fossils were discovered close to Lake Nyasa (also known as Lake Malawi), whilst the species name honours F. R. Parrington who found the holotype material.  Living amongst other types of reptiles such as the Rhynchosaurs, Cynodonts and Dicynodonts N. parringtoni was probably around 2-3 metres long, with most of its length being made up of a long, thin tail.  It was most probably bipedal and highly cursorial.  It is not known whether this reptile was carnivorous.

Following the Permian mass extinction event that marked the end of the Palaeozoic, there were a number of different types of reptile that diversified to fill the niches left by the huge number of terrestrial genera that had became extinct.  Scientists have speculated that the ancestors of the Dinosauria were just one such group, part of a larger grouping of reptiles known as the Archosaurs.  The anatomy of the ankle bones of dinosaurs are different from most other Archosaurs, they have a straight-hinge joint  between the ankle and the metatarsals of the foot.  This is known as a “mesotarsal ankle”.  It is this arrangement of bones that may have given the Dinosauria an advantage over other Triassic reptiles as it seems to provide a basis for faster locomotion on land.  It could be suggested that the earliest true dinosaurs were fleet footed, agile runners and gradually, being slightly better adapted to move rapidly on land, these animals with their “specific ankle bone arrangement” diversified and evolved into a myriad of forms – giving rise to the Theropoda, the Sauropods and the bird-hipped Ornithischians.

The humerus (upper arm bone), has a flange of bone which served as an anchor point for strong pectoral (chest) muscles.  This feature known as a deltopectoral crest; extends down the side of the bone for nearly a third of the humerus’s length.  This is an anatomical characteristic seen in phylogenies related to the Dinosauria.  The front tip of this crest is pushed out sideways a feature of the humerus bone seen only in certain dinosaurs such as the Late Triassic Heterodontosaurus.

Based on this evidence, N. parringtoni may represent the earliest known dinosaur discovered to date.  However, the scientists responsible for this research stop short at declaring this material as definitively belonging to an early member of the Dinosauria.  The fossil material is fragmentary and more fossils from the Nyasasaurus genera will need to be found before this specimen can be ascribed to a basal member of the dinosaurs.

The paucity of the vertebrate fossil record from the Middle Triassic prevents palaeontologists from building up a more complete picture of the evolutionary development of the Dinosauria.  From the evidence discovered to date, it does seem that the dinosaurs evolved in the southern hemisphere but which of the various forms of Archosaur are the direct ancestors of the Dinosauria is very difficult to assess.  A closely related, sister taxon to the Dinosauria known as the Silesauridae share a number of anatomical characteristics with true dinosaurs and these animals may have had a common ancestor.  Examples of Silesaurids have been found in the same region of Tanzania as the fossils of N. parringtoni, indeed, given the fragmentary nature of the holotype material; palaeontologists cannot rule out the possibility that N. parringtoni may be a member of the Silesauridae and not a basal member of the Dinosauria.

It is also possible that cursorial reptiles living in the same environment could have evolved characteristics that we now associate with the Dinosauria, independently.  This would be an example of convergent evolution.  Clearly, more fossil evidence is required before palaeontologists can confidently back date the Dinosauria to the Middle Triassic of southern Africa.

To read a blog article on Silesaurid discoveries in Tanzania: Possible Evidence of the Earliest Dinosaurs

4 12, 2012

Dinosaur Skull Seized by U.S. Officials

By | December 4th, 2012|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories|0 Comments

House in Wyoming Raided and Dinosaur Skull Seized

The skull of a Tyrannosaur known as a Tarbosaurus (Tarbosaurus bataar) has been seized by agents of the federal Homeland Security Department (United States), as part of an on-going investigation into the smuggling of dinosaur fossils out of Asia.

The fossil is estimated to be worth around £250,000 and it has been seized as part of a wider investigation into the illegal trade in fossils and other materials which are taken from Mongolia.  Speaking on behalf of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation Team, Louis Martinez was unable to release further details as enquiries were still continuing.

Tarbosaurus was a large Tyrannosaur, closely related to Tyrannosaurus rex.  It lived during the Late Cretaceous around seventy million years ago and its fossils have been found in Mongolia.  In May, an eight metre long, mounted specimen of a Tarbosaurus was sold at auction.  It fetched over £600,000 but this exhibit was later seized by Government officials who suspected that this specimen had been smuggled out of Mongolia, where it has been illegal to ship fossils for over fifty years.

An Illustration of the Late Cretaceous Theropod Tarbosaurus

Federal Officials Seize Dinosaur Skull.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

It is not known at this stage what the skull seizure has to do with the Tarbosaurus fossils sold at auction but it is likely that this seizure is linked to the Tarbosaurus sold at auction in New York.  A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that such actions can only help to highlight the illegal trade of fossils from countries such as Mongolia.  A more prominent role by U.S. Customs could help deter would-be smugglers in future.

To read an article about the Tarbosaurus specimen sold at auction in New  York (May 2012): Dinosaur Fossil Sold at Auction

3 12, 2012

Collecta Tsintaosaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

By | December 3rd, 2012|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Colourful Collecta Tsintaosaurus – The Dinosaur that Looks like a Unicorn

Introduced into the Collecta Prehistoric Life series of prehistoric animal models in 2010 the Tsintaosaurus replica represents one of the most bizarre looking of all the known duck-billed dinosaurs.  Although the model is not to scale, it measures seventeen centimetres in length and the bright orange coloured bony crest that this dinosaur model sports, certainly makes it one of the most eye-catching replicas on any model display.

The Colourful Collecta Tsintaosaurus Dinosaur Model

Colourful, Crested Dinosaur Model - Tsintaosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Tsintaosaurus is a member of the Lambeosaurine Hadrosaurids, a group of bird-hipped dinosaurs that have a variety of crests.  The majority of the crests of these dinosaurs are hollow, but the crest of Tsintaosaurus is very different in structure and shape when compared to the crests of other Lambeosaurines.   This herbivorous dinosaur had a long, bony strut projecting from the top of the skull.   This structure has often been referred to as a “unicorn” horn.  This strut seems to have been made up of solid bone and when first studied; this protrusion was thought to be part of a deformed skull bone that had been pushed upwards and away from the rest of the skull bones during the fossilisation process.  However, in 1993, the eminent French palaeontologist Eric Buffetaut made a detailed examination of a second Tsintaosaurus skull specimen and he declared that this dinosaur did indeed possess a horn that projected upwards from the skull from just in front of the animal’s eye sockets.  The crest does seem to be slightly curved, as if the dinosaur is carrying a large capital “C” around on its head, but scientists remain uncertain as to whether the horn curved forwards or was curved backwards over the back of the skull.

The purpose for this horn, which may have exceeded fifty centimetres in length, is unknown.  It could not have been used as a resonating chamber to help amplify the dinosaur’s calls as the structure appears to be solid.  The crest could have been a display structure and played a role in visual communication between Tsintaosaurs.    This probably explains why the designers at Collecta have given the crest on their model such a bright orange colour.  The crest clearly stands out and contrasts well with the muted green and mustard yellow markings on the rest of the replica.

From the few skull specimens and other bones found, scientists have been able to deduce that Tsintaosaurus had a broad muzzle.  This plant-eater was probably an unfussy browser feeding on a mixture of plants including angiosperms (flowering plants), as well as conifer needles, leaves, horsetails and ferns.  The Collecta model has been carefully moulded to give the impression of this dinosaur having a broad mouth.

A Close up of the Crest and the Broad Mouth of Tsintaosaurus

A broad muzzle and bizarre crest.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Fossils of this dinosaur have been found in Eastern China (Wangshi Formation).  Tsintaosaurus lived during the Late Cretaceous and mature adults may have been more than ten metres in length.  Recent studies of other duck-billed dinosaurs have indicated that these Ornithischians may have had deep, powerful tails.  The Collecta replica depicts this deep tail very well, giving the impression of a strong and powerful animal.  The model is well painted and shows lots of fine detail such as the individual toe claws and the relatively small eyes.

It is quite unusual to see a model of such a bizarre duck-billed dinosaur being added to a manufacturer’s model range.  Most firms produce replicas of better known duck-billed dinosaurs, animals such as Corythosaurus and Parasaurolophus for example and Collecta deserves praise for bringing out a Tsintaosaurus.  This model would be a colourful addition to any dinosaur fan’s collection.  Recommended.

To view the Collecta range of prehistoric animal models: Collecta Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models

2 12, 2012

Everything Dinosaur Preparing for Christmas

By | December 2nd, 2012|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Press Releases|0 Comments

Banners Up and Visuals Created for Website

With just twenty-three days left to the big day, team members at Everything Dinosaur have just finished the banners that are now up on the company’s website, part of the promotional activities for the festive season.  Staff have spent most of the day packing and despatching orders to help ensure that there is no back log of orders at the warehouse, however, time was still found to finalise the visuals for the various banners that they can be found at: Everything Dinosaur’s Website all in a day’s work for the team.

The Everything Dinosaur website’s home page can have as many banners as team members like, but for most of the time they limit the number so that the site’s navigation does not get too confusing.  Many of the banners have links associated with them.  These links can take visitors to various parts of the Everything Dinosaur website,  to specific articles on this blog or other company social media.

One of the Everything Dinosaur Banners on the Website

Team members preparing for Christmas.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Monday 3rd December (tomorrow), is predicted to be the busiest day of the year for on line retailers and time is running out for sending parcels overseas by Airmail to ensure they arrive in time for Christmas.  Each year, Royal Mail and a number of other postal services provide guidelines on the last appropriate posting day to send items overseas.  To view relevant postal information click the link below to be taken to an article written by our team members.

Information on Christmas Post: Christmas Posting Dates

For example, the last recommended posting date for Airmail parcels to the United States is Monday December 10th.

Everything Dinosaur Banner – Promoting Dinosaur Books for Christmas

Recommending dinosaur books for Christmas presents.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

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