Happy Halloween from Everything Dinosaur

Happy Halloween from Everything Dinosaur – Gargoyleosaurus

This time of year children go out “trick or treating” an American custom that seems to have taken hold this side of the Atlantic.  In palaeontology, the United Kingdom does not always follow where America leads.  For example, the spelling of palaeontologist, the Americanised paleontologist is a “bone” of contention with Everything Dinosaur office staff, but we content ourselves with the thought that a number of dinosaur families were first identified from fossil remains discovered in the British Isles.  The United States may have iconic dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex and Brontosaurus, but the United Kingdom had named and described its first meat-eating dinosaur and what was eventually to become known as a Sauropod many years before the likes of T. rex and Brontosaurus were discovered.

With Halloween, we turn our attention to Gargoyleosaurus (G. parkpinorum), whose fossilised remains come from Albany County, Wyoming (United States).  It seems appropriate to discuss “Gargoyle lizard” at this time of year.  This four metre long armoured dinosaur which once roamed the western United States some 150 million years ago, has been classified as member of the Ankylosauria clade.  It is one of the earliest examples known of an Ankylosaur.

The Late Jurassic Armoured Dinosaur Gargoyleosaurus parkpinorum

An early member of the Ankylosauria clade.

An early member of the Ankylosauria clade.

Specifically, cladistic analysis (Thompson et al 2012 and Chen et al 2013) have assigned the Gargoyleosaurus genus to the polacanthids.  The first member of the Polacanthidae family was named and described back in 1865 (Polacanthus foxii) from fossils found on the Isle of Wight.  Gargoyleosaurus was first named and described back in 1998, (Ken Carpenter, Clifford Miles and Karen Cloward), some 133 years after the first member of the polacanthid family was established.

When the subsequent paper describing a well-preserved skull and post cranial elements was first published (in the journal Nature), this dinosaur was named Gargoyleosaurus parkpini.  The holotype material had been found by J. Parker and Tyler Pinegar and the species name honoured them.  However, the specific (trivial) name had to be changed as it broke the rules for binomial classification under ICZN (International Code of Zoological Nomenclature) guidelines.  The singular Latin suffix “i” is not allowed to be used if it honours a number of people.  As a result the trivial name of this dinosaur was changed in 2001 to G. parkpinorum.

Gargoyleosaurus (pronounced gar-goy-lee-oh-sore-us) and other members of the Polacanthidae are discussed in depth in a newly published book by the very talented William T. Blows entitled “British Polacanthid Dinosaurs”

British Polacanthid Dinosaurs by William T. Blows

Written by William T. Blows.

Written by William T. Blows.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

To order a copy and for further details on “British Polacanthid Dinosaurs” visit: Siri Scientific Press

Update on the Last Recommended Posting Dates for Christmas 2015

Update on the Last Recommended Posting Dates for Christmas 2015

October is drawing to a close, and although most of our customers will be concerning themselves with the festivities associated with “All Hallows Eve” it is worth noting just how quickly October seems to have sped by and that Christmas is rapidly approaching.  As a mail order company, Everything Dinosaur does all it can to help customers get their gifts in time for the big day.  The warehouse team will once again be putting in the long hours of dedicated service to make sure that parcels are packed and despatched as quickly as possible.  In addition, we have begun packing and sending out orders on Saturday mornings to help keep up with the amount of orders we are now receiving.

Royal Mail in conjunction with the Post Office, have produced a handy guide which provides details of the last safe, recommended posting dates for Christmas parcels and other mail sent overseas and around the United Kingdom.  The table we have created below summarises these dates.

A Table Illustrating the Last Safe Posting Dates for Christmas 2015

Recommended last posting dates for Christmas.

Recommended last posting dates for Christmas.

Credit: Everything Dinosaur and Royal Mail

 A table reproduced above provides details of the recommended posting dates by geographical region.   Our best advice is, as always, please post early.

Please note:

On the Everything Dinosaur website (Delivery Policy page) we have provided the following information about International Surface Mail posting options:

“A number of international delivery and postal options are offered by Everything Dinosaur, including Airmail, International Surface Mail and International Parcel Force.  Whilst Everything Dinosaur does all it can to ensure a rapid despatch, customers should note that International Surface Mail, often the cheapest international postage option is a relatively slow service and deliveries can take many weeks to arrive dependent on destination country.”

The last recommended posting dates for Surface Mail to many different parts of the world have already passed.

Seven Tips for a Happy Mailing Christmas

1).  Remember to include the house number or house name with the delivery address information.

2).  Check postcode/zip code details carefully.

3).  Check delivery address details on orders to Everything Dinosaur, try checking twice.

4). Remember, with PayPal and our own website’s ordering process, customers can include a message to us in the order message box.  You can write in confirmation of delivery address or any specific, relevant information required to help ensure a speedy delivery.

5).  If you want to specify a different delivery address to your billing address, our website allows you to do this easily and without fuss.

6).  If you want to send an item to your work address, please ensure that you include the company name in the delivery address information.  Make sure that the work reception team are informed and try for a delivery during the working week, especially if  on Saturday/Sunday your premises are shut.

7). Take note of the recommended last posting dates for Christmas, and please, please, please post early.

If you have a query about Christmas deliveries, or indeed any aspect of Everything Dinosaur’s delivery service please feel free to contact us: Email Everything Dinosaur

To view the Everything Dinosaur website: Everything Dinosaur’s Website

In a Flap over an “Ostrich Mimics” Feathers

A Densely Feathered Ornithomimid from Dinosaur Provincial Park

Published in the scientific journal “Cretaceous Research”, why is everybody so excited about the discovery of yet another fossil of a Theropod that shows feathers (at least integumental structures which include feathers)?  Lots of media coverage on this fossil discovery, so why such a flap?

The answer is fairly straight forward, the fossil (UALVP 52531), represents an Ornithomimus, a type of Theropod dinosaur which had a small head perched on top of a long, slender neck, long legs and a very long tail.  Think of Ornithomimus and its kin, the Ornithomimidae, as being very similar to a modern Ostrich (Struthio camelus), but with a tail of course.  It is only the third Ornithomimus fossil to indicate that these Late Cretaceous dinosaurs had feathers and the first ornithomimid specimen to preserve a tail which shows extensive plumes, feathers which are longer than those present on the remainder of the body.

To read about the discovery of the first feathered ornithomimid dinosaur to be found in the Western Hemisphere, an article published by Everything Dinosaur in 2012: Canadian Researchers Find Evidence of Feathers in Ornithomimus

The Fossil Material (UALVP 52531)

The feathered fossil.

The feathered fossil.

Picture Credit: University of Alberta/”Cretaceous Research”

The specimen, pictured above had been collected during a 2009 expedition to the Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation of Alberta (Canada).  It had been identified as an Ornithomimus, but as the head and forelimbs were missing it had largely been ignored.  Aaron van der Reest, a palaeontology student at the University of Alberta was given the task of preparing the specimen, carefully removing the matrix to reveal more of the leg bones which can be seen in the lower portion of the photograph.

Within twenty minutes of working on the tail section, he came across some blackened impressions, these turned out to be feathers.  What started out as an undergraduate project has catapulted Mr van der Reest into the world of published academia.

After two years of careful preparation, this specimen has shed new light on the integumentary coverings of ornithomimids.  It will help scientists to understand more about the different types of feathers and feathery structures that existed amongst the Dinosauria.

Commenting on the seventy-five million year old specimen (Campanian faunal stage of the Late Cretaceous), David Evans, curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto) stated:

“It’s drop-dead gorgeous.  It is the most complete feathered dinosaur specimen found in North America to date.”

The partial, articulated specimen is the first ornithomimid to preserve a tail with extensive feathers.  These tail feathers are slightly longer than those present on the rest of the body.  Intriguingly, the underside of the tail and the hind limb distal to the middle of the femur appear to have no feathers at all.  This plumage pattern mapped out on the preserved Ornithomimus is very similar to that seen in an extant Ostrich (Struthio camelus).  The configuration of body feathers in Ostriches and other Palaeognaths (the Cassowary, Emu, Rhea and so forth), aids thermoregulation.  The feather pattern seen in this Ornithomimus specimen probably served the same function, further evidence that this Theropod dinosaur was endothermic (warm-blooded).

An Illustration of a Feathered Ornithomimus

Feathered Ornithomimus illustration.

Feathered Ornithomimus illustration.

Picture Credit: Julius Csotonyi

The fossil also shows the body outline around the legs, including skin patches in front of the femur, the authors of the scientific paper on this specimen suggest that the resting position of the femur was positioned more anteroventrally in ornithomimids than in most other Theropoda, and as a result may have been transitional to the situation in extant birds.   The research team conclude that whilst UALVP 52531 is not the first feathered ornithomimid dinosaur known from North America, the quality and extent of the feather and skin preservation is without equal.  It is from this specimen that much more can be learned about the likely function of the integumentary covering in Ornithomimus and non-avian Theropods in general.

So, that’s why there has been such a flap.

Working on Stegosaurus

Revising Stegosaurus

Stegosaurus might be one of the best known and very recognisable dinosaurs but a recent revision of the fossil material ascribed to the genus has led to a shuffling of the Stegosaurus fossil collection.  Team members at Everything Dinosaur have let the palaeontological dust settle and then re-visited their own dinosaur database to ensure that what information they carry approximates to the recent changes in this genus.

A Model of the “Classic” Stegosaurus

The "classic" Stegosaurus.

The “classic” Stegosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Although more than a dozen stegosaurids have been named, the history of the actual Stegosaurus genus and the species that are included within that genus is a little muddled.  The first Stegosaurus was named and described at the height of the great American Marsh and Cope bone wars.  It was Othniel Charles Marsh who actually named the first Stegosaurus and erected the genus, this was back in 1877.  All the fossils, (so far as we at Everything Dinosaur know), that are ascribed to the Stegosaurus genus, come from various stratigraphic layers that make up the famous Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of the western United States.

However, the first confusion with this genus, followed a couple of years later when Marsh’s rival named another stegosaurid Hypsirhophus from fossil material retrieved from the upper most layers of the Morrison Formation in Colorado.  The validity of the Hypsirhophus genus has been challenged, the fossils ascribed consist of fragmentary pieces of vertebrae and some authors have suggested that these fossils represent a dinosaur referred to as Stegosaurus armatus, itself a nomen dubium.  Other palaeontologists have agreed with Cope’s original assessment that the Colorado fossils represent a different genus.

In the late 1870’s and early 1880’s a number of species of Stegosaurus were described.  However, recent revisions, (the last one was 2013), have led to a number of these species also being declared nomen dubium (not valid) or regarded as being junior or senior synonyms of other better known species.  Currently, only three species are recognised, but work is ongoing and we expect further revisions to the genus in the future.

  • Stegosaurus ungulatus – the largest species currently recognised and known from Wyoming (Upper Jurassic, highest stratigraphic zones of the Morrison Formation).
  • Stegosaurus stenops – this species has the most complete fossil record, with more than sixty specimens ascribed, including the remarkably well preserved “Sophie” currently being researched by the London Natural History Museum.
  • Stegosaurus sulcatus – named by Marsh in 1887 and distinguished from other Stegosaurs by having such robust bases to its tail spikes. The largest spikes thought to come from the tail, may not be tail spikes at all but some form of spiky shoulder armour such as that found in related Thyreophora such as Miragaia.

Stegosaurus is Often Featured in Teaching About Dinosaurs in Schools

A very colourful pink plant-eating dinosaur.

A very colourful pink plant-eating dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Enan

Stegosaurus may be extremely well known to members of the public, but we still have a lot to learn about these “roofed lizards”,

The Meaning of the Stegosaur Species Names

S. stenops = “narrow-faced roof lizard”

S. ungulatus = “hoofed roof lizard”

S. armatus (nomen dubium) = “armoured roof lizard”

S. sulcatus =  “furrowed roof lizard”

To view a range of Stegosaurus models in various sizes: Stegosaurus Dinosaur Models

Spinosaurus Drawing from Everything Dinosaur

Spinosaurus Illustration (2014)

With the imminent arrival of the new CollectA Spinosaurus replicas (1:40 Deluxe, Walking and Swimming dinosaur models), team members at Everything Dinosaur have been preparing a new illustration of this fearsome Theropod dinosaur.  Following a review of the fossil data carried out by Ibrahim et al in 2014, Spinosaurus (S. aegyptiacus) is now depicted as a quadruped (walking on all four legs).  Although this view is not accepted by all palaeontologists, the writers of the academic paper (published September 2014), portrayed the dinosaur widely regarded as the largest meat-eating dinosaur known to science, as an aquatic animal very much at home in the water.

Spinosaurus Illustration by Everything Dinosaur

The 2014 interpretation of Spinosaurus.

The 2014 interpretation of Spinosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Much controversy surrounds this new interpretation, it certainly is a very intriguing concept, a Theropod dinosaur that evolved into a quadruped and took up an niche in the swampy, equatorial environment of Cretaceous northern Africa, that of a super-sized crocodilian.

To view the CollectA Deluxe Spinosaurus at Everything Dinosaur: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Models

To view the not to scale Spinosaurus models from CollectA: CollectA Dinosaurs

The “Spinosaurus Re-boot” as it has been called, is going to be the focus of debate amongst vertebrate palaeontologists for some years to come, in the meantime, we can marvel at the new CollectA dinosaur models.

The full title of the autumn 2014 paper is “Semi-aquatic Adaptations in a Giant Predatory Dinosaur”, it was published in the academic journal “Science”.

List of authors: Nizar Ibrahim, Paul C. Sereno, Cristiano Dal Sasso, Simone Maganuco, Matteo Fabbri, David M. Martill, Samir Zouhri, Dawid A. Iurino and Nathan Myhrvold

Whatever the appearance and habits of Spinosaurus, it remains an extremely popular dinosaur amongst model collectors and dinosaur fans, peaking at number 2 in the annual Everything Dinosaur survey of the most popular prehistoric animals (2013 data).  It has featured in the top ten most popular prehistoric animals list as compiled by Everything Dinosaur for many years.

Everything Dinosaur Prepares for Christmas

Everything Dinosaur Prepares for Christmas

It’s that time of year, yes, we know that Halloween is approaching fast, but no sooner have we put away our pumpkins then team members will be looking ahead to Christmas and putting in place plans to help our customers have a worry free time when it comes to shopping on line.  Everything Dinosaur will be switching soon to seven-day packing and order preparation, this means that in addition to our already “dinotastic” customer service, we will pack and prepare orders on a Saturday and Sunday to make sure they get on their way as soon as the working week starts.

Naturally, we will be available to deal with emails and other enquiries, but at this time of year with the increased amount of orders that we receive, we think that it is important to dedicate more resources in order to ensure that every single one of our customers and their precious parcels get looked after to the best of our ability.

Don’t forget to check out the recommended posting dates for sending/receiving parcels overseas, we don’t want any gifts missing on the big day.

Here is a helpful article that summarises posting advice: Last Recommended Posting Dates for Christmas 2015

Additional Helpful Hints Provided By Everything Dinosaur

1).  Remember to include the house name or house number with the delivery address information that you provide with your order.

2).  Check the zip code/postcode with care.

3).  Before clicking the “submit” button to send an order to Everything Dinosaur, it is a good idea to check the delivery address for one last time.

4). Remember, with PayPal and our own website’s ordering process, customers can include a message to Everything Dinosaur in the order message box.  You can write in confirmation of delivery address or any specific, relevant information required to help ensure a speedy despatch and a rapid, worry free delivery.

5).  Everything Dinosaur’s website makes it easy for you to specify a different delivery address to your billing address, perhaps you want to send to a relative or even to work.

6).  If you do decide to send an item to your work address, please ensure that you include the company name in the delivery address information, do not forget to check the postcode or zip code.

7).  If you think it will help, you can always specify a neighbour’s address where the parcel can be delivered to if you will be out at work when the delivery is likely to take place.

If you have a query about Christmas deliveries, or indeed any aspect of Everything Dinosaur’s delivery service please feel free to email: Email Everything Dinosaur

To view Everything Dinosaur’s website: Dinosaur Toys and Games

We want all our customers to enjoy their on line shopping experience, Everything Dinosaur team members are available and on hand to assist you.

In addition, starting next month, we will include a free set of dinosaur stickers with every order we receive until Christmas!  Just part of our customer commitment to you, our customers.

Starting Soon Free Dinosaur Stickers From Everything Dinosaur!

A set of free dinosaur stickers included with every order from now until Christmas 2015.

A set of free dinosaur stickers included with every order from now until Christmas 2015.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

So for all your dinosaur toys and games, you know who to visit…

Dinosaur Fan Sends in Dinosaur Drawing

Everything Dinosaur Keeps Its Promises

Social media is a great way for customers to reach out and contact Everything Dinosaur.  We have a fairly active profile on Facebook, Pinterest and other social media platforms such as Twitter and Youtube.  Our team members do try to respond to all the questions, queries and enquires we get.  There are lots and lots each day, too many for us to count.  However, when Clare Hart, contacted us a few weeks ago to tell us all about her son and his fascination for dinosaurs we made a promise, if her son sent in a drawing of a dinosaur to us, we would post it up for him.

Sure enough, Clare has provided Everything Dinosaur with a lovely drawing of a meat-eating dinosaur created by her son Brandon.

Brandon’s Excellent Illustration of a Theropod Dinosaur

An interesting perspective and great care has been taken over the drawing.

An interesting perspective and great care has been taken over the drawing.

Picture Credit: Brandon Hart (age 12)

The illustration above shows an unusual view of a meat-eating dinosaur.  The picture gives the impression that the drawing has been made by looking from the side of the head back down the Theropod’s body.  Great care has been taken to show the different type of skin patterns that have been seen in fossil Theropods.  The large fenestra (opening) in front of the eye socket has been depicted and from the overall appearance and those crests over the orbit (eye socket), we would suggest that this drawing represents a member of the Superfamily Allosauroidea.  There are a lot of dinosaurs within this particularly Superfamily, but this could be a drawing of an Allosaurus (Allosaurus fragilis), nicknamed by many palaeontologists as the “lion of the Jurassic”.

A Typical Model of an Allosaurus

A Papo Allosaurus dinosaur model.

A Papo Allosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Allosaurus was a formidable predator, amongst the largest known from rocks that date from the Upper Jurassic. Brandon’s dinosaur has a row of dermal spines running down the animal’s “s-shaped” neck, this type of ornamentation is seen in a number of illustrations of this meat-eating dinosaur.

Commenting on the artwork of twelve year-old Brandon, a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“This is an excellent piece of artwork, a wonderful drawing of a carnivorous dinosaur.  The illustration shows lots of detail and obviously a great deal of care has been taken by young Brandon.”

Ironically, in this digital age when a mobile phone can incorporate a camera capable of taking exquisitely detailed photographs, scientific illustration remains very important.  Tutors used to tell us that the best way to get to know a fossil is to draw it.  Pencil sketches can help to reveal details and minute features not immediately obvious.  Recently, Everything Dinosaur team members have been looking at drawings from the 19th Century that illustrate fossil finds from southern England.  It seems that with Brandon’s carefully drawn dinosaur, the future of scientific illustration is in safe hands.

We made a promise that if Clare sent us a drawing done by her son we would post it up.  We like to keep our promises.

Well done, Brandon!

Unmistakably Ella The Dinosaur Fan

Ella’s Thank You Letter to Everything Dinosaur

Whilst going through some correspondence in the Everything Dinosaur office today, we came across a letter that we had received from a young dinosaur fan at Southglade Primary in Nottinghamshire (England).  The letter had been replied to and indeed Everything Dinosaur team members posted up a blog article all about the dinosaur workshop that we had conducted with the Year 3 class,  but this one particular letter had been put aside from all the others.

We had been discussing how lead authors and co-authors are cited in academic texts.   A colleague had remembered a thank you letter written by a enthusiastic dinosaur fan Ella, from the way that Ella had written her letter, it was clear who had been the author.

Ella’s Thank You Letter to Everything Dinosaur

Ella was definitely the author of this letter!

Ella was definitely the author of this letter!

Picture Credit: Ella (definitely the lead author)

We could not mistake Ella as the writer of this letter.  When Everything Dinosaur conducts a dinosaurs and fossil workshop with Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children we encourage the teaching team to have the class compose thank you letters to us.  Very often, it can be a challenge for the teaching team to get pupils to practice their hand-writing and the composing of a thank you letter after a dinosaur workshop provides a wonderful excuse to put pen to paper.

To learn more about Everything Dinosaur’s work in schools and to contact the company: Contact Everything Dinosaur to Request Information about Dinosaur Workshops in School

Our team members provide a huge variety of extension ideas and activities, all linked to key components of the national curriculum.  For example, when working with Year 3 children exploring rocks and fossils, we build in links to the maths and literacy elements as well as introducing the concepts of scientific working and geological time.

We received a big pile of letters from Ella and her class mates, the children commented:

“Thank you for coming to our school and teaching us about dinosaurs”.

“I loved the part when I could hold the biggest jaw.”

“My best and favourite part was when you opened the big box.”

“Thank you for letting me hold the fossils.”

“I really liked all the dinosaur facts.”

You are most welcome, we are glad that Year 3 got so much out of our visit.  Some of the letters that we received even contained pictures of prehistoric animals.  One of the extinct creatures that was featured in the children’s illustrations was Tylosaurus.  We think this was because in the class there is a little boy called Tyler and we explained to him and his classmates all about this Late Cretaceous marine reptile.

To read the earlier blog article about Everything Dinosaur’s visit to Southglade Primary: Thank You Letters Received from Year Three

If the letters received by Everything Dinosaur are anything to go by then dinosaur workshops in school for Year 3 are a big success.

New 2016 Prehistoric Animal Models from Safari Ltd

New Prehistoric Animal Models (Safari Ltd) 2016

With the news that Safari Ltd had ended its twenty-eight year partnership with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, which broke in the spring, model collectors and dinosaur fans alike have been eagerly awaiting developments.  What prehistoric animal replicas would come out in 2016?  Everything Dinosaur can now reveal that information, the wait is over and enthusiasts of all things Dinosauria et al are not going to be disappointed.

Here are the new prehistoric animals:

  • Plesiosuchus
  • Iguanodon
  • Masiakasaurus
  • Shunosaurus
  • Carcharodontosaurus
  • Plus re-issues of previous Safari Ltd models, the baby Woolly Mammoth, the Megatherium (giant ground sloth), Amebelodon and the glyptodont Doedicurus.

Everything Dinosaur intends to stock all these items, we will do all we can to keep our customers and fellow prehistoric animal fans informed about deliveries into our warehouse.

There are a total of five new replicas, this is the same total as last year, the 1:10 scale Carnegie Collectibles Velociraptor, plus four not to scale models under the Wild Safari brand that has now become the flagship brand for prehistoric animal replicas the Florida-based company makes.

Let’s take a look at the new models in turn, firstly the Plesiosuchus model (marine crocodile).  This Late Jurassic carnivore was one of the super predators of the shallow seas that covered much of Europe.  It is estimated to have been around seven metres in length, approximately the size of the largest Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) found today.  Plesiosuchus means “near crocodile” and is pronounced Plee-see-oh-sook-us.  It was a member of the Metriorhynchoidea (pronounced Met-ri-oh-rink-oi-deer [A super family of the Crocodylomorpha]).  It is great to see a model of a metriorhynchid from Safari Ltd.

New for 2016 the Wild Safari Dinos Plesiosuchus

Available soon from Everything Dinosaur.

Available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd/Everything Dinosaur

The Plesiosuchus replica measures a fraction over seventeen centimetres and is around four and half centimetres tall (it’s the tail).

Now the Iguanodon model comes into focus.  It is great to see another Ornithopod in the Safari Ltd Prehistoric Life model collection.

New for 2016 the Wild Safari Dinos Iguanodon

Some very striking colours on this new replica.

Some very striking colours on this new replica.

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd/Everything Dinosaur

Over the years, there have been a number of iguanodont models made, with the retirement of the Carnegie Collectibles Iguanodon replica, it is great to see this introduction.  Iguanodon is brought bang up to date, the bipedal pose of the earlier model, launched in 2007 and effectively a re-paint of an even earlier Carnegie replica, has been replaced by a walking on all four limbs approach.  The body proportions seem much more accurate and we love the thickened base of the tail.  These Ornithopods were powerful animals and indeed the base of the tail and pelvis were very robust.  The model has been given a striped colour scheme and we adore the flashes of purple, not a colour associated very often with dinosaur models.  It is a nice touch.  The model measures 18.5 cm by 7 cm.

New for 2016 – Shunosaurus

Available soon from Everything Dinosaur - Shunosaurus.

Available soon from Everything Dinosaur – Shunosaurus.

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd/Everything Dinosaur

The “Sauropod crossed with a Llama”, as an Everything Dinosaur member of staff termed this replica when trying to decipher the double page advert that showed a glimpse of this figure, turns out to be a Shunosaurus.  The colourful figure measures 16.5 cm in length and that detailed head stands around 7 cm high.  One of the best known of all the Chinese Dinosauria, certainly the best known Sauropod, thanks to the huge fossil assemblage excavated from the Dashanpu Quarry site (Sichuan Province).  This looks like an excellent interpretation of the extensive fossil material.  Well done Safari Ltd for bringing out such an interesting replica.

“Vicious Lizard” – Masiakasaurus

Available from Everything Dinosaur.

Available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd/Everything Dinosaur

A new fact sheet will be required for the fourth new prehistoric animal figure we are featuring here – Masiakasaurus, (the name means vicious lizard).  An agile Theropod that lived on the island of Madagascar in the Late Cretaceous.  The forward pointing teeth have been very well depicted in this new for 2016 replica.  We suspect that this is the first dinosaur model made by Safari Ltd, whose scientific name was inspired by a band member of Dire Straits.  The formal, binomial name for this two metre long terror is Masiakasaurus knopfleri.  It was the music of Dire Straits’s front man Mark Knopfler that inspired the field team behind this particular dinosaur fossil discovery.

The design team at Safari Ltd have taken into careful consideration details of this dinosaur’s known skeleton (about two-thirds of all the bones in the skeleton have been described to date).  Note the position of the hands and digits, although an abelisaurid, Masiakasaurus had proportionately much longer front limbs than other members of this Theropod dinosaur family.  It is an attractively painted model, the stripes and green markings are a good choice, it is likely that this dinosaur, required camouflage to help it avoid being spotted by larger meat-eaters that shared its floodplain environment.

The new Safari Ltd Masiakasaurus is around 18.5 cm in length and stands an impressive 8.25 cm tall.

New for 2016 – Carcharodontosaurus

Say hello to "shark-toothed lizard".

Say hello to “shark-toothed lizard”.

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd/Everything Dinosaur

One of the largest Theropods known, Carcharodontosaurus is a firm favourite amongst dinosaur fans and model collectors alike.  It is great to see this interpretation by Safari Ltd.  We had thought that the large, meat-eating dinosaur was going to be a Megalosaur, we got wrong but we are delighted to see this North African monster join the Safari Ltd “Prehistoric Life” fold.  At an impressive 22.75 cm long and standing 10.25 cm tall this is the biggest model dinosaur that Safari Ltd are bringing out next year.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s existing range of prehistoric animals from Safari Ltd: Safari Ltd Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models

Look out for announcements on Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page, Twitter feed and on this blog site.  More information including when they will be in stock will be posted up soon.

Check out Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page for pics of the prehistoric mammal models that are being re-introduced by Safari Ltd.

Find Everything Dinosaur on Facebook: Everything Dinosaur on Facebook

Volunteers Needed to Explore the Triassic

Volunteers Needed to Explore the Triassic

Yesterday, may have been “Back to the Future Day”, but here at Everything Dinosaur the emphasis is very much on the past, approximately 220 million years in the past, the Norian faunal stage of the Triassic to be precise.  We have been contacted by a student at Huddersfield University (England), who has asked for volunteers to help test a prehistoric virtual environment set at this pivotal time in vertebrate evolution.

Please Note – the request for volunteers has ended – no further volunteers required.

An Opportunity to Explore “Triassic World”

Which part of Pangea would you like to explore?

Which part of Pangaea would you like to explore?

Picture Credit: Daniel Carter

Time Travellers Needed

Student, Daniel Carter has been building a computer simulation that enables players to explore a series of Triassic environments set during the Norian faunal stage of the first geological period of the Mesozoic. Daniel has already benefited from the advice of Everything Dinosaur’s experts as he seeks to perfect the various habitats and make the flora and fauna as accurate as possible.  The objective of this educational game is for players to discover and learn about prehistoric animals and plants from this critical point in our planet’s history.

Players Can Explore a Variety of Triassic Ecosystems

The prehistoric environments are based on Late Triassic Lagerstätten.

The prehistoric environments are based on the Late Triassic .

Picture Credit: Daniel Carter

Daniel has carefully constructed three environments, all based on famous Lagerstätten. If you have ever felt the urge to get up close to the fauna represented by the famous Ghost Ranch sediments of New Mexico, now’s your chance.

The focus is very much on education.  When an explorer encounters a creature they can interact with it and discover more about it by accessing data files.  So if you come across a Coelophysis you can learn all about this Late Triassic dinosaur.  An inventory will be available to let players know what species they are looking for and gamers will be given clues which could lead to the location of the specific creatures.   You might even get the chance to encounter an ancestor of modern mammals.   Could you track them down?

Explorers Can Learn About the Animals and Plants They Encounter

Educational fact files are incorporated into the play.

Educational fact files are incorporated into the play.

Picture Credit: Daniel Carter

Part of a Masters Degree Project

Daniel, the creator of this virtual Triassic world disclosed that his intention is to inform and help educate and he needs dinosaur and fossil enthusiasts to help him perfect his prehistoric project.

Daniel explained:

“The game will feature an encyclopaedia which will list all the plants and animals in the game with a brief description, as well as some extra entries.  Each area will be fairly large in size and will include a number of different things for players to discover and explore.”

Fancy a Stroll Through a Triassic Forest?

Gamers will be able to explore a number of terrestrial environments.

Gamers will be able to explore a number of terrestrial environments.

Picture Credit: Daniel Carter

How You Can Help

Daniel needs volunteers to test the game for bugs and glitches.  He would welcome feedback and advice on the overall gaming experience.  Can you suggest additional plants and animals that should be included?

To help, email Everything Dinosaur and we will pass this information on to Daniel: Contact Everything Dinosaur – put the words Triassic World at the front of your email.

In order to help Daniel, we have suggested that interested parties should get in touch with Daniel by the 12th November 2015 (that’s three weeks).

To see one of the early fly through videos, showcasing Daniel’s creative talent: Triassic Oasis Fly Through

Meet the Inhabitants of Triassic World

Encounter giant amphibians in the Triassic landscape.

Encounter giant amphibians in the Triassic landscape.

Picture Credit: Daniel Carter

Please Note – the request for volunteers has ended – no further volunteers required.

The game has been created using the Unreal 4 game engine and Daniel would like to see his game used in schools and museums to help teach children about prehistoric life.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The Norian Age represents a real melting pot of vertebrate evolution.  The dinosaurs were diversifying and becoming more abundant but they shared the single landmass of Pangaea with a whole range of strange creatures.  Pterosaurs chased insects in the air, crocodile-like Phytosaurs hunted in the rivers and giant amphibians, relics from the Palaeozoic, could still be found.”  We congratulate Daniel for his hard work and we look forward to seeing the game once it has been completed.”

If you want to help build a Triassic exploration game, here’s that email again: Contact Everything Dinosaur  don’t forget to put the words Triassic World at the front of your email.

Don’t forget the 12th November deadline.

Have fun exploring!

Please Note – the request for volunteers has ended – no further volunteers required.

Update

After a very successful testing programme, Daniel wrote to Everything Dinosaur saying:

“I would just like to say thanks for going out of your way to help me with my project.  The blog post got my game quite a bit of attention, and the testers I had were very helpful.  Thanks to this my game has changed for the better, working upon the feedback and suggestions provided by the testers.”

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