Prehistoric Trees Add Authenticity to Dinosaur Scenes

As well as producing a range of prehistoric animals, the manufacturer known as Collecta have added a number of models of prehistoric plants to their model range.  One of the biggest prehistoric trees that the company makes is the thirty centimetre tall replica of a Cycad.

Cycads are a group of plants that  many palaeobotanists (scientists who specialise in studying ancient plant life), believe first evolved in the Permian geological period.  Indeed, the first proto-cycads may have had their origins in the swampy environments of Carboniferous forests.  The paucity of the plant fossil record makes determining the exact age of this group extremely difficult.  Scientists remain unsure of how the Cycad group may be phylogenetically related to other primitive and now extinct groups of plants such as the Pteridosperms and the Bennettitales.  Cycads were abundant during the Mesozoic and they have survived to the present day although there are three extant families still represented today.  These plants can be found in the Americas, Central and Southern Africa, Asia and Australia.   Their fragmented distribution today indicates that the modern species are the remnants of a plant group which was once very widespread.  The geographical distribution of the Cycad-type plants has been used in the past to support the theory of continental drift.

The Collecta Cycad Prehistoric Tree Model

Adding authenticity to dinosaur scenes.

Adding authenticity to dinosaur scenes.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Collecta Cycad prehistoric tree model, stands approximately thirty centimetres tall.  It is supplied as  5 piece model that simply slots together.  The trunk supports several rosettes of fern-like leaves and these are simply slotted together to form this impressive prehistoric tree replica.

The tree is well painted and the trunk in particular shows lots of detail.  The model is supplied with a small base (it forms a single piece with the trunk), this base is painted a sandy brown/grey colour and it is very unobtrusive.  Extant Cycads generally tend to be relatively squat with whorls of evergreen fronds cascading out of the crown.  However, the Cycads of the Mesozoic varied considerably and some of these ancient genera formed extensive tree cover with individual specimens growing to more than ten metres high.  The Collecta 12″ high Cycad tree works well with 1:40 scale prehistoric animal replicas.  It can also be used with smaller not-to-scale dinosaur models, the replica tree in this case would simply represent a larger Cycad specimen.

The Collecta Cycad Model with its Box

A welcome addition to the Collecta model range.

A welcome addition to the Collecta model range.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

At the central point on the highest rosette of fern-like leaves, a number of bright orange objects can be seen.  These are cones and possibly indicate that the model represents a male Cycad.  Plants are either male or female, the male plants producing pollen from specialised cone-like structures.  In many modern species of Cycad, the male cones are bright orange, the design team at Collecta have clearly been influenced by this as their model shows very bright orange cone-like structures.

To view the Collecta models available from Everything Dinosaur: Collecta prehistoric life range of models

It is always a pleasure to see prehistoric plants represented in a model range.  This Collecta Cycad prehistoric tree is very detailed and the design team at Collecta have clearly taken care to ensure that their model is botanically accurate.  This replica will prove popular with dinosaur fans and model makers alike.  The Cycad replica being ideal for use when creating authentic and realistic prehistoric scenes.

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