All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
//February
28 02, 2014

Win, Win, Win with Everything Dinosaur

By | February 28th, 2014|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Press Releases|0 Comments

Win a Fantastic 1:40 Scale Carcharodontosaurus Dinosaur Model with Everything Dinosaur

Win, win, win with Everything Dinosaur! (Please note this competition is now closed)

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have been busy helping to prepare for all the new dinosaur and prehistoric animal models that will be coming into the company’s warehouse this spring.  To celebrate all the new dinosaur model additions to our range we are giving one lucky reader the chance to win their very own, rather special Collecta 1:40 scale replica of the fearsome, meat-eating dinosaur known as Carcharodontosaurus.  Everything Dinosaur will give away our very first replica of this huge predator to one lucky reader who is picked out from the competition entrants, all you have to do is to visit Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page, give our Facebook page a like, leave a comment on the Carcharodontosaurus picture that has been posted up and you too could be in with chance of winning this fantastic prize.

Click the Carcharodontosaurus Picture Below and “Like” the Everything Dinosaur Facebook Page

Win me by "liking" Everything Dinosaur's Facebook Page!

Win me by “liking” Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook Page!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

All you have to do is “Like” Everything Dinosaur’s FACEBOOK page, then comment on the picture of the Carcharodontosaurus.  He’s big, measuring a whopping 32cm long and brilliantly painted just like the rest of the Collecta Deluxe prehistoric animal models.

Don’t forget, to enter, just visit Everything Dinosaur on FACEBOOK  and “like” our page and leave a comment on the Carcharodontosaurus picture.

Everything Dinosaur on Facebook

Click the logo to visit our Facebook page and to give our page a "like".

Click the logo to visit our Facebook page and to give our page a “like”.

Everything Dinosaur on FACEBOOK: “LIKE” Our Facebook Page and Enter Competition

We will draw the lucky winner at random and the name caption competition closes on Friday 14th March 2014.  Good luck!

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Collecta scale model dinosaurs and prehistoric animals click on the picture below:

Part of the Collecta Range of Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Models

Interesting Pose of this Tyrannosaur dinosaur model

Click on the picture to see the Collecta Deluxe dinosaur model range.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Terms and Conditions of Carcharodontosaurus Dinosaur Competition

Automated entries are not permitted and will be excluded from the draw.

Only one entry per person.

The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered.

The Everything Dinosaur name a dinosaur caption competition runs until Friday 14th March 2014.

Winner will be notified by private message on Facebook.

Prize includes postage and packing.

For full terms and conditions contact: Contact Everything Dinosaur

Please note this competition is now closed.

28 02, 2014

A Review of the Wild Safari Dinosaurs Suchomimus Dinosaur Model

By | February 28th, 2014|Everything Dinosaur Products, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Suchomimus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

A new addition to the Wild Safari Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life model series is an updated replica of the East African Spinosaurid known as Suchomimus.  The name means “crocodile mimic” as the long, narrow jaws of this predatory dinosaur reminded palaeontologists of the jaws of Nile Crocodiles, however, the design team of Safari Ltd have carried the crocodile analogy further by giving their model typical crocodilian skin texture.  Perhaps this is appropriate, as although skin impressions are not known for this genus, Suchomimus probably did spend a lot of its time in and around water just like today’s crocodiles.

The first fossils of this dinosaur , a two-thirds complete specimen with substantial skull material was discovered by an expedition to the Tegama Group Beds of the Elrhaz Formation of Niger in 1997.  In the 1970s, in the same region, fragmentary fossils of the jaws and claw of a large dinosaur had been discovered.  These fossils, now part of the collection of the Natural History Museum of Paris, probably relate to Suchomimus as well.

The design team at Safari Ltd have taken care to accurately reflect the fossil material, from what is one of the better known  of all the Spinosaurs.  For example,  the lower dorsal and sacral vertebrae (vertebrae over the hips) had extended neural spines, so this dinosaur probably had a raised hump over its lower back.  This can be seen in the model with a raised area over the hips.

A Picture of the Wild Safari Dinosaurs Suchomimus

Suchomimus Dinosaur Model.

Suchomimus Dinosaur Model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Safari Ltd

The shoulder blade and the arm bones of Suchomimus are particularly well-developed.  Muscle attachment scars preserved on these bones suggest that this dinosaur had very strong, powerful arms and shoulders.  This replica mirrors the fossil evidence, the arms are indeed big and robust, however,  when the three fingered claws are examined, the first digit claw is not noticeably bigger than the other two.  Many palaeontologists believe that in common with other Spinosaurids the first claw, the thumb claw, was larger than the other two claws on each hand.

The model measures officially about twenty centimetres in length, although as both the neck and tail are curved the model measures nearly 23cm when these features are taken into account.  It is not really possible to give a scale for this replica, as the only significant fossil material found to date represents an individual dinosaur who although around 11 metres in length was not fully grown.  Scientists are not sure how big this Spinosaur could grow to, but maximum size estimates of around 14 metres have been proposed.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s stock of Wild Safari Dinosaurs: Dinosaur Models including Wild Safari Dinos

This Wild Safari Dinos Suchomimus has been very well painted.  The topside and limbs have been coloured dark green, which contrasts nicely with the sandy coloured flanks, jaws and underside.  This updated version of a member of the Spinosauridae is a wonderful addition to the Wild Safari Dinosaurs model range.

27 02, 2014

Everything Dinosaur Publishes Blog Article Number 2,500

By | February 27th, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Press Releases|0 Comments

2,500 Blog Articles On Line With Everything Dinosaur

This is post number 2,500 on the Everything Dinosaur web log and we have commemorated our blog reaching this landmark by creating a special image that is being shared across our social media sites including Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Google plus.  This blog site was started back in May 2007 and since then the team members at Everything Dinosaur have tried to publish a news story featuring dinosaurs, Earth sciences, fossil discoveries, product updates dinosaur model reviews and such like every day.

Celebrating 2,500 Blog Articles with Everything Dinosaur

Celebrating with Everything Dinosaur.

Celebrating with Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: 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 dinosaur models, providing information, quizzes and all sorts of items to do with extinct animals and other amazing creatures.

When this blog site was set up back in late May 2007 we set out a number of purposes and aims for it:

  • 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 report on new dinosaur and fossil discoveries.
  • To inform our readers about new research articles and prehistoric animal studies.
  • To perhaps, through our scribblings and notes here to help encourage others to set up their own little businesses doing things that they enjoy too.

Our humble blog has been read by thousands and thousands of people, we have been listed as one of the top ten palaeontological blogs around and we have received an accolade with regards to our use of English and our writing style.  The Everything Dinosaur blog has been used as an example of the proper use of modern English to Chinese students, our posts have been shared, commented upon, used in schools and in other educational establishments, we have simply lost track as our web log has grown over the last seven years or so.

A very big thank you to all our readers and contributors, we really appreciate all your input and feedback.

26 02, 2014

A Review of the Wild Safari Dinos Pachyrhinosaurus Dinosaur Model

By | February 26th, 2014|Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|2 Comments

Wild Safari Dinos Pachyrhinosaurus Gets Reviewed

Safari Ltd are keeping up their trend of introducing at least one new  model of a horned dinosaur every year with the introduction of this Pachyrhinosaurus replica into the highly rated Wild Safari Dinosaurs model range.   Last year for example, we had Diabloceratops and the year before that we had the beautiful Vagaceratops dinosaur model.  Pachyrhinosaurs have gained a lot of attention recently since they starred in the “Walking with Dinosaurs in 3-D” movie and it is great to see a high quality replica added to the Safari Ltd “Wild Safari Dinosaurs”.

Pachyrhinosaurus gets its name (thick-nosed lizard) from the thick ridge of bone found between the eyes on the dinosaur’s muzzle.  Palaeontologists are unsure whether this thick pad supported a horn lacking a bony core, perhaps the horn, if it ever existed, was  made out of keratin.  This type of horn would not fossilise easily and the only evidence of its presence would be the facial pad (known as the boss), preserved on the skull.  The design team at Safari Ltd have chosen to reflect the consensus of scientific opinion and have not fitted their dinosaur replica with a substantial nose horn.

The Wild Safari Dinosaurs Pachyrhinosaurus Dinosaur Model
Horned dinosaur model.

Horned dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd/Everything Dinosaur

Currently, three species of Pachyrhinosaurus are recognised, we at Everything Dinosaur think that this Wild Safari Dinos replica is based on fossils of the first of the Pachyrhinosaurs to be described Pachyrhinosaurus canadensis.

The skin texture is quite remarkable and a lot of very fine detail is shown on this brown and sandy coloured dinosaur model.   Safari Ltd are to be congratulated for the fine job done on the painting.  The model accurately reflects the known Pachyrhinosaur fossil evidence and larger, circular dermal scales have even been picked out on the flanks and at the top of the limbs.

The model measures approximately 17cm long, based on an adult Pachyrhinosaurus measuring around 7 metres in length it is estimated that this Wild Safari Dinos model is in  around the 1:40 scale mark or thereabouts.  It even has the correct number of digits (manuals and pedals) on the limbs.

The ornamentation, consisting of a number of bony processes around the head and those famous epoccipitals, has been very carefully portrayed by the designers, this replica is a really good representation of Pachyrhinosaurus.  Let’s hope that although Pachyrhinosaurus was one of the last of the great North American horned dinosaurs to evolve, this model is around for a very long time.

To view Everything Dinosaurs range of dinosaur models including Wild Safari Dinosaurs: Carnegie Collectibles and Wild Safari Dinosaur Models

This is an exciting addition to the Wild Safari Dinosaurs model range made by Safari Ltd and it is always a pleasure to see a North American horned dinosaur interpreted as a prehistoric animal replica.  The detail and the quality of the painting of this Pachyrhinosaurus is bound to make it a popular model choice amongst collectors.

25 02, 2014

Earth was Cool A Lot Earlier than Previously Thought

By | February 25th, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Geology|0 Comments

Australian Zircon Suggests Earth Cooled Around 4.4 Billion Years Ago

An international team of scientists led by Professor John Valley (University of Wisconsin-Madison) have found evidence that our planet cooled much earlier than previously thought.  A cooler Earth could perhaps have led to an earlier start for life on our planet.

Our solar system is believed to be somewhere around 4.56 billion years old.  It was formed from an enormous cloud of gas and dust (the solar nebula) that started to collapse in on itself under the force of gravity.  As this collapse occurred the mass of dust and gas flattened into an ever-faster spinning disc of debris.  It bulged at the centre, becoming extremely hot and this formed our sun.  Orbiting debris went on to form the rocky inner planets (including Earth), as well as the gas giants, the dwarf Pluto and the asteroid belt.

Analysis of a tiny fragment of zircon, excavated from a remote outcrop of rock in Australia has helped the researchers to form a picture of how Earth may have become able to sustain life around 4.4 billion years ago, just 160  million years or so, after the planet first formed.

Writing in the academic journal “Nature Geoscience”, Professor Valley, a renowned geochemist, stated that the study of this tiny zircon, a fragment of the Earth’s crust from that time, confirms that the Earth cooled and became habitable, this research not only has implications for the study of life on Earth, but it may also provide scientists with a better understanding of how other habitable planets may form.

Building on previous lead isotope analysis that proved the zircons extracted from rocky exposures in Western Australia’s Jack Hills region were the oldest known bits of Earth’s crust, the microscopic zircon used in this study has been confirmed as the oldest known material of any kind on our planet.

Commenting on the implications, Professor Valley said:

“This strengthens the theory of a cool early Earth, where temperatures were low enough for liquid water, oceans and a hydrosphere to form not long after the planet’s crust congealed from a sea of molten rock  This study reinforces our conclusion that Earth had a hydrosphere before 4.3 billion years ago and possibly life not long after.”

A new technique was used in the analysis of the zircon sample, a technique called atom-probe tomography, that when used in combination with ion mass spectrometry allowed the scientists to establish with great accuracy the age and thermal history of the material.  The mass of individual atoms of lead was calculated in the sample.  Instead of being distributed in a random fashion it was discovered that the lead atoms in the zircon had clumped together “like raisins in a pudding”.  The clusters of lead atoms formed around one billion years after the crystallisation of the zircon material, by which time radioactive decay of uranium-235 had formed the lead atoms that formed clumps as the zircon was re-heated.  The re-heating took place around 3.4 billion years ago, this concentrated the lead atoms together and this formation allowed the research team to plot the thermal history of the zircon through deep time.

An Example of a Zircon Used in the Study

4.4 billion year old zircon crystals provide evidence of Earth cooling.

4.4 billion year old zircon crystals provide evidence of Earth cooling.

Picture Credit: Professor John Valley

Radioactive elements such as uranium decay from the moment of their formation at a steady, uniform rate.  The decay occurs when negatively charged particles present in each atom (electrons) are lost.  This results in the creation of a series of “daughter atoms” known as isotopes such as uranium-235 decaying into lead-207.  As the decay takes place at a regular, consistent rate it is like setting a clock in motion.  Scientists can measure the relative proportions of the isotopes and determine the amount of time that has passed since the material was formed.  Although the clumps of lead are microscopic (less than fifty atoms in diameter), the isotopes and their clumping provides a reliable record of the age and the history of the material.

In addition, Professor Valley and his team measured oxygen isotope ratios in a bid to gain further evidence of a stabilisation of conditions on Earth,

The Professor explained:

“The Earth was assembled from a lot of heterogeneous material from the solar system, the Earth also experienced an intense bombardment by meteors, including a collision with a Mars-sized object about 4.5 billion years ago, that formed our moon [probably] and melted and homogenised the Earth.  Our samples formed after the magma cooled and prove that these events were very early.”

Earth is unique amongst the known planets in that it has abundant surface water and H2O can be present in its three forms, as water vapour, as a liquid and as a solid – ice.  The presence of water would have acted as a catalyst to the start of life and zircon grains have been found that  were deposited by water some 4 billion years ago. Pillow lavas from western Greenland, formed by volcanic activity underwater have been dated to 3.8 billion years ago. When detectable life on Earth formed is still open to debate.  Whatever form this early life took, it was most probably tough, microscopic archaebacteria or eubacteria.  Evidence for single celled organisms have been found in Archean rocks dated between 3.49 and 3.43 billion years of age.

Placing the Jack Hills Material into a Timeline of Deep Geological Time

A simplified timeline showing where the 4.4 billion year old crystal fits.

A simplified timeline showing where the 4.4 billion year old crystal fits.

Picture Credit: Andree Valley

24 02, 2014

Dinosaurs Visit a Liverpool School

By | February 24th, 2014|Educational Activities, Teaching|0 Comments

Year Two Pupils at Anfield Infant and Early Years School Get to Grips with Dinosaurs

Year Two pupils returning to school after the half-term holiday started a new topic today.  For the next few weeks the children will be learning all about dinosaurs, fossils and other prehistoric animals.  A team member from Everything Dinosaur was invited to visit the school to help launch the topic and to meet all the budding young palaeontologists.  Whizz Kids, High Flyers and Bright Sparks  were very enthusiastic and there were some  wonderful questions asked, such as how did dinosaurs get their name?  How big were the teeth of dinosaurs?  Why did the dinosaurs go extinct?

All the questions asked on the day were answered.  It was great to see how much prior knowledge many of the children had and we are looking forward to seeing examples of their creative writing and reading through the questions that they will prepare over the next couple of weeks and send in to us either by email or by letter.

High Flyers along with Miss Ross and Miss Colebourne created a giant picture of a meat-eating dinosaur, as it had three fingers on its hand, we did not think this was a Tyrannosaurus rex, with its three-fingered hand perhaps it could have been a Giganotosaurus!

Impressive Artwork Created by Year Two Pupils

A splendid meat-eating dinosaur.

A splendid meat-eating dinosaur.

Picture Credit: High Flyers/Everything Dinosaur

Teaching about dinosaurs in school can be a very rewarding experience.  Dinosaurs as a term topic can help children to become passionate readers, develop vocabularies and can give them an outline of some simple scientific principles such as evaluating information and formulating ideas.  There is some wonderful artwork on display around the school to help inspire the pupils, including an amazing 3-D dinosaur scene featuring several beautifully painted prehistoric animals, even a flying reptile (Pteranodon).

Anfield Infants and Early Years School Dinosaur Artwork

Fantastic dinosaur artwork.

Fantastic dinosaur artwork.

Picture Credit: Anfield Infant and Early Years School

What super artwork!  We will have to post up some more pictures onto the Everything Dinosaur Facebook page so that our Facebook fans can see these pictures too.  It seems that when it comes to teaching about dinosaurs in school, here is one set of teachers with their support team who have made it a “roaring” success.

23 02, 2014

Wild Safari Dinosaurs Monolophosaurus Reviewed

By | February 23rd, 2014|Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos|0 Comments

A Video Review of the Wild Safari Dinos Monolophosaurus Dinosaur Model

As promised, a short (5:49 minutes) video review of the new Wild Safari Dinosaurs Monolophosaurus dinosaur model (Safari Ltd).  In this short review, we discuss how this new for 2014 replica mirrors the known fossil material and we discuss how this dinosaur lost its tail.

Dinosaur Model Review (Monolophosaurus)

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The fossilised skull of this Jurassic Theropod was so well preserved it has been heralded by palaeontologists as one of the most important Saurischian dinosaur fossils ever found.  In the video, we explain a little more about the strange crest on the muzzle that give this dinosaur its name (single-crested lizard).  In addition, the taxonomic relationship between the superficially similar Dilophosaurus and Monolophosaurus is highlighted.  We use a Dilophosaurus dinosaur model to point out the differences between these very different genera.

To view Safari Ltd dinosaur models at Everything Dinosaur: Carnegie Collectibles and Wild Safari Dinosaurs

22 02, 2014

Dinosaur Footprint Stolen in Utah

By | February 22nd, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Dinosaur Footprint Vanishes from a Site near Moab (eastern Utah)

Bureau of Land Management officials responsible for dinosaur tracks to be found on an adventure trail called Hell’s Revenge near Moab in Utah, have reported the theft of a three-toed, Theropod footprint from the site.  The area is renowned for a number of dinosaur tracks and footprints that have been preserved in the 190 million year old sediments.  At least three different types of dinosaur footprint have been identified by ichnologists (an ichnologist specialises in studying footprints and trackways), the prints were made by dinosaurs as they crossed damp sand and this location is one of just a handful known in the world where Early Jurassic trace fossils of dinosaurs have been discovered.

A Picture of the Dinosaur Track that has Been Stolen

The stolen dinosaur footprint (from Bureau of Land Management files).

The stolen dinosaur footprint (from Bureau of Land Management files).

Picture Credit: Bureau of Land Management

The three-toed print, which measures around twenty-five centimetres in length, was most probably made by a Theropod dinosaur.  The Hell’s Revenge trail has about twenty different dinosaur tracks and footprints preserved, it seems that a person or persons unknown chiselled the print out of its surrounding sandstone, the fossil may have been stolen to order, ending up in the hands of a private collector or the fossil could have been pinched in the hope of making a lot of money as dinosaur fossils can sell for thousands of dollars.  Another possibility is that this footprint was stolen by a fossil collector with no intention to sell, merely to keep the specimen in their own collection.

Sadly, such thefts are all too common.  Bureau of Land Management staff have reported a number of fossil and other thefts from public land over the last few years.  In 2012, Everything Dinosaur reported the theft (and eventual recovery) of a set of dinosaur footprints that were removed from an exposure on the Bristol Channel.  In this case, the thief offered the fossils for sale on Ebay and also to a fossil dealer in Lyme Regis.  Thanks in part to the publicity generated by sites such as this blog, the fossils were recovered, but sadly they are now deemed to precious to be returned to their original location.  Instead, these fossil prints are stored in a secure location under lock and key.

To read more about this fossil theft: Dinosaur Footprints Stolen from the Vale of Glamorgan

Commenting on the Utah theft, palaeontologist with the Bureau of Land Management Field Office in Moab, Rebecca Hunt-Foster said:

“They’re priceless to us, you can’t replace them.”

Visitors to the area, instead of seeing a pristine three-toed (tridactyl) dinosaur footprint, can now see an ugly triangular scar left in the sandstone where a section of rock containing the print was removed.

Such thefts are becoming more commonplace, a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated that fossil thefts of this nature were probably fuelled by the high prices such specimens can fetch on the black market.  Bureau of Land  Management staff have found that a number archaeological artefacts as well as fossils are taken from public lands each year.  When it comes to dinosaur footprints, some visitors attempt to create their own casts using latex or silicon to make moulds, this can often damage the tracks and Everything Dinosaur team members would strongly discourage anyone from attempting to cast their own print.  In the light of the fossil theft, Bureau of Land Management staff have proposed putting up signs to inform visitors about the tracks and to warn them not to damage or deface them.

Dinosaur Tracks and Footprints Provide Information about Prehistoric Animals that Fossil Bones Can’t

A dinosaur walked this way.

A dinosaur walked this way.

Picture Credit: Nancy Stevens (Ohio University, Athens)

The United States has some of the strictest national laws to protect fossils and other ancient relics on public land, taking any such items from public land is an offence and offenders can face a possible prison sentence.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur said:

“It is so very sad to hear of this fossil theft and we urge all our readers to be vigil and to keep a look out on auction sites to see if this specimen is offered for sale.  Let’s hope that this dinosaur track can be recovered and returned to the Hell’s Revenge trail.”

21 02, 2014

Huge Pachyrhinosaurus Skull Discovered in Alberta

By | February 21st, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories|0 Comments

Huge Pachyrhinosaurus Dinosaur Skull Discovered in Alberta

Many different types of horned dinosaur are known from Upper Cretaceous deposits of Canada and the United States, one of the best represented of all the Ceratopsian genera in Canada is Pachyrhinosaurus, a member of the Centrosaurine group.  Despite a lot of fossil discoveries over the last seventy years or so, finding cranial fossil material from a Pachyrhinosaur is still a significant event.  A team of researchers from the University of Calgary have reported finding an enormous skull of an old, mature Pachyrhinosaurus, this fossil material might represent the largest skull specimen of a Pachyrhinosaurus discovered to date.

The specimen was found back in October 2013, close to the town of Drumheller, a part of Alberta, that team members at Everything Dinosaur know very well.  Assistant Professor Darla Zelenitsky, a leading vertebrate palaeontologist, was conducting a routine survey of one of the very many fossil deposits in the area when the discovery was made.  What at first glance looked like an outcrop of rock, was actually the partially exposed remains of a dinosaur’s skull.  The skull is believed to measure around two metres in length.

Commenting on the importance of the University’s fossil find, Assistant Professor Zelenitsky stated:

“Based on our preliminary estimates, the dinosaur’s head would have been well over two metres long and was likely of a mature or older individual.  The skull of this animal has an enormous bony structure over the snout that would have made for a very strange looking individual.”

The Assistant Professor from the University’s department of Geosciences went on to add:

“It is very rare to find such a complete skull specimen of this size and type in the region.”

Currently, three species of Pachyrhinosaur have been assigned to the Pachyrhinosaurus genus, at this stage Everything Dinosaur team members have proposed that as this material comes from the famous Horseshoe Canyon Formation, it is likely to represent a Pachyrhinosaurus canadensis, although if the fossil material is from a older component of this formation it could be a skull from the species which was described in 2008 and known as Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai.

The Pachyrhinosaurs were one of the last of the great horned dinosaurs to evolve, P. canadensis for example is known fossil bearing strata that has been dated to around seventy million years ago.  Growing to lengths in excess of six metres and perhaps weighing as much as three tonnes, these herbivores were sizeable dinosaurs.

Palaeontologist Darla Zelenitsky with the Newly Discovered Pachyrhinosaur Fossil Material

Darla with the dinosaur skull.

Darla with the dinosaur skull.

Picture Credit: University of Calgary

The picture shows Darla with part of the skull exposed and the remainder still sitting in its jacket of burlap.  Behind the fossil is an illustration of a Pachyrhinosaurus (artwork by Julius Csotonyi).  After the initial discovery, the research team with the help of a number of field staff removed several thousand kilogrammes of surrounding rock to extract the skull material.  The skull has spent the last four months or so in a laboratory at the University being carefully prepared for study.

Explaining the preparation work that had been undertaken, Darla stated:

“So far, the upper part of the skull has been exposed and the skull will be flipped over to prepare the lower part, including the jaws.  There are still many months of work necessary in order to clean the entire skull.”

It has also been suggested that this Pachyrhinosaur material could represent a new species, further examination will be required before any conclusions can be drawn.  Pachyrhinosaurus is already the most speciose of the Centrosaurine genera and the problem with horned dinosaurs is that as these animals grew and matured, so their skull morphology and its ornamentation changed.  Combine this with any subtle distortion that may have occurred during the fossilisation process and determining a new species, even from an 85% complete skull will be no mean feat.

An Illustration of a Pair of Pachyrhinosaurs

Two adult Pachyrhinosaurs

Two adult Pachyrhinosaurs

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks/Everything Dinosaur

Associate Professor Zelenitsky outlined the team’s next steps:

“Our initial goal will be to determine if this specimen represents a new species.  Following that, the specimen will be measured and scanned to help document how the skull of Pachyrhinosaurs changed during growth, particularly in the later stages of life.  A discovery of this nature will certainly add to our understanding of the biology of Pachyrhinosaurs.”

Pachyrhinosaurs have recently been very much in the spotlight when it comes to horned dinosaurs.  A herd of Pachyrhinosaurs were the stars of the recent film “Walking with Dinosaurs in 3-D” in addition, Pachyrhinosaurus was named the ninth most popular prehistoric animal in Everything Dinosaur’s annual survey of prehistoric animal popularity.  Safari Ltd have recently introduced a highly acclaimed model of a Pachyrhinosaurus (believed to represent P. canadensis) into the popular Wild Safari Dinosaurs model range.

The Wild Safari Dinosaurs Pachyrhinosaurus Dinosaur Model

Horned dinosaur model.

Horned dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd/Everything Dinosaur

 It is hoped that once the skull material has been fully prepared and cleaned it will be put on permanent display at Calgary University.  The Geosciences department have plans to explore the vicinity of the skull fossil find, in case other elements from the skeleton of this dinosaur can be found.

20 02, 2014

Happy Birthday to Dinosaurs

By | February 20th, 2014|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Famous Figures, Palaeontological articles, Press Releases|0 Comments

Dinosaurs Celebrate Their 190th Birthday

Today, marks the 190th anniversary of the meeting of the Geological Society in London when the first formal presentation regarding the fossilised bones of an animal that was later to be described as a dinosaur was made.  On the evening of February 24th, the Society’s President the Reverend William Buckland rose to address the assembled audience and described the fossilised remains of what had been termed the “Stonesfield Reptile”.   This was William Buckland’s first meeting as president and one that would contain not only his description of a dinosaur (now known as Megalosaurus), but Buckland’s friend the Reverend Conybeare also presented to the society the fossilised remains of a Plesiosaurus that had been collected and prepared by Mary Anning, after its discovery at Lyme Regis.

The arrangements to view the fossils brought to London for the Society’s delectation did not go as planned.  For a start, Mary Anning had carefully encased the near complete Plesiosaurus specimen in plaster, this was contained in a crate measuring ten feet by six feet.  It proved too large, for it to be manhandled up the stairs to the allotted meeting room.  As Conybeare later wrote, “the gentlemen of the Society were obliged to satisfy their curiosity by peering at the creature in a dark passage by candlelight.”

The Plesiosaurus was named Plesiosaurus giganteus, the specimen resides in the collection of the Natural History Museum although it has been taxonomically re-assigned (P. dolichodeirus).

Then it was the turn of the President of the Society, William Buckland to address the members and invited guests.  The fossils of the “Saurian” as it was called had been known about for several years.  They had been safely stored at the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford), and no doubt, Buckland would have got around to publishing a paper on them, but he may have been rushed into delivering his presentation as at the end of 1823, the discoveries of Gideon Mantell were gaining a lot of attention and Buckland wanted to be the first to present on this strange group of ancient reptiles.

The Reverend William Buckland – Dinosaurs Get Discussed at the Geological Society of London

The first person to scientifically describe a dinosaur.

The first person to scientifically describe a dinosaur.

As professor of Geology at Oxford University, the Reverend had been working on the fossils for about ten years.  Commencing his presentation, Buckland said:

“I am induced to lay before the Geological Society the representations of various portions of the skeleton of the fossil animal discovered at Stonesfield, in the hope that such persons as possess other parts of this extraordinary reptile may also transmit to the Society such further information as may lead to a more complete restoration of its osteology.”

Thus, in this way dinosaurs were introduced to the scientific world, although the term Dinosauria was not coined until the early 1840s.  The name of this dinosaur Megalosaurus (M. bucklandii) was formerly assigned in 1824, although the name had originally been used by another scientist James Parkinson when describing the fossilised jaw, other bones and teeth.

So, it is happy birthday to the dinosaurs, as on this evening 190 years ago the world was introduced to its first “terrible lizard”.  Happy birthday dinosaurs.

To commemorate this event Everything Dinosaur is giving one lucky person the chance to be the proud owner of the 1:40 scale Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur model, part of the Collecta Deluxe range of dinosaur models.

To have a chance to win this excellent thirty-two centimetre long model, the first off the production line, simply visit Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page, leave a comment on the Carcharodontosaurus competition image and give our page a “like”.

On Friday March 14th we will put all the entrants names into a hat and pull out one lucky winner who will receive the world’s first 1:40 scale Carchardontosaurus dinosaur model to mark the birthday of the dinosaurs.

Click on the Image Below to Enter Everything Dinosaur’s Competition

Win this Amazing dinosaur model.

Win this Amazing dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

 Simply click on the picture above to enter Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page or click the link below:

Everything Dinosaur on Facebook: Visit Our Facebook Page to Enter Dinosaur Give-Away Competition

Good luck!  Please note this competition has now closed.

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