Dinosaurs – Science Topic

Year 1 and Reception Enjoy Learning About Dinosaurs

Children at Hambleton C of E Primary School had an exciting day learning all about dinosaurs and fossils as one of our dinosaur experts visited their school.  Year 1 have been studying dinosaurs for their science topic this term and the budding young palaeontologists had prepared a list of questions.  Answers were provided during the dinosaur workshop.  Questions asked included how did the dinosaurs become extinct?  What colour were dinosaurs?  Which was the biggest dinosaur of all?

Year 1 Had Prepared Questions all About Dinosaurs

Preparing questions about dinosaurs.

Preparing questions about dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Hambleton C of E Primary/Everything Dinosaur

The children wanted to know all about Tyrannosaurus rex, Finlay asked how long did T. rex live for?  That’s an excellent question and one that was that not answered during the morning of dinosaur and fossil themed activities.  Like most animals, few Tyrannosaurs made it into adulthood.  Predation, disease, parasites, starvation and injuries would have all placed a heavy toll on a given population of these meat-eating, Theropods.  However, if a T. rex did survive into adulthood, then we estimate that it might have lived for some thirty years or so.  Calculating just how long a Tyrannosaurus rex lived is quite a tricky task, however, a number of studies have been published looking into the growth rates and potential life spans of the Dinosauria.

Here is a link to an article we published a few years ago that compared the growth rates of Tyrannosaurs and their potential prey (duck-billed dinosaurs): Duck-Billed Dinosaurs Grew Up Fast to Avoid Being Eaten

We certainly had some amazing questions from the Year 1 children.

Reception Has a Dinosaur Day

The enthusiastic prehistoric animal fans in Reception class had a dinosaur day to coincide with Everything Dinosaur’s visit.  Mrs Parkin and Mrs Bingham had prepared lots of themed activities and some of the children had brought in dinosaur toys from home. Whilst the Reception class waited for a “dinosaur egg” to hatch they set about building their very own prehistoric playground for the dinosaurs.  Our expert was shown where the dinosaurs could hide in the cave and where the river was so that the dinosaurs could have a drink and go for a swim if they wanted to.  It was great to see such imaginative, creative play.  The children were certainly engaged with the topic.

Reception Class Build a Playground for their Dinosaurs

A habitat for dinosaurs.

A habitat for dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Hambleton C of E Primary/Everything Dinosaur

We explored some of the vocabulary associated with animals and what they ate.  In addition, whilst building the dinosaur habitat, the children were learning about the resources that living things require to keep them alive.  One of the favourite parts of the dinosaur workshop was when the children got the chance to engage in role play, reproducing behaviours and pretending to be huge, herbivores.

Class Two Study Dinosaurs

Learning All About Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals with Class Two

A very busy morning with the Year 2 class at St Malachy’s R.C. Primary who have been studying dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.  The children had been learning all about when the dinosaurs lived, where they lived and how they became extinct.  Miss Butterfield and Mrs Parker had been teaching the children all about continents and countries and a most impressive map had been created which showed where in the world some dinosaurs lived.

Mapping the Dinosaurs

Where did dinosaurs live?

Where did dinosaurs live?

Picture Credit: Class 2

Can you spot a spelling mistake?  We wonder if any of the children have spotted the mistake, we think this is the teacher’s very clever way of encouraging the children to be observant.

As part of the ICT element of the curriculum for the spring term, the children had been making some dinosaur posters and learning how to copy and paste material from the internet.  Some lovely examples of posters were on display on the classroom wall and outside in the corridor.  They certainly brightened up the corridor.  Our dinosaur expert set the class some challenges, one of which was to come up with some science posters based on the information provided.  In addition, the children demonstrated their use of adjectives and we had some wonderful examples, especially when it came to describing the fossil teeth.

To cater for the design/technology (DT) and art elements of the curriculum, teacher Miss Butterfield, aided by Mrs Parker (teaching assistant) had been helping the children to design and create different prehistoric animal models, including a super sculpture of a fearsome Velociraptor.

A Wonderful Sculpture of a Velociraptor

On guard in the classroom.

On guard in the classroom.

Picture Credit: Class 2

The children had to think carefully about which materials to choose and they had been challenged to use different media to create their prehistoric animal pictures.  We saw some lovely examples of artwork including a dinosaur called “Spike-0-saurus”, a very spiky dinosaur, hence his name.

Making Dinosaur Models and Artwork Using Different Resources

Lots of colourful prehistoric animals on display.

Lots of colourful prehistoric animals on display.

Picture Credit: Class 2

So many different types of dinosaur model had been made that some had even been put on display outside in the corridor.  It made our dinosaur expert feel very happy as he passed lots of models of Stegosaurs on his way to the classroom.  The children compared parts of their bodies to the bodies of dinosaurs, some of the bones and casts that the children saw helped them to appreciate just how big some dinosaurs were.   It looks like Class 2 are having fun learning all about palaeontologists and life in the past.

Quick Video Preview of New 2015 Papo Models

Papo Young Apatosaurus and the Papo Tupuxuara Models

Here is a quick video that showcases two of the new for 2015 prehistoric animal models from Papo.  The video features the Young Apatosaurus replica, (dimensions confirmed as being 37cm long, 13cm high) and the excellent Pterosaur figure – a Tupuxuara.  In this short, (43 second video), we also compare these two models to the enormous Papo Brachiosaurus dinosaur model that was introduced in the autumn of 2012.  The Tupuxuara Pterosaur may be small but it is beautifully painted and the crest detail is superb.

Everything Dinosaur’s Video Preview of the Young Apatosaurus and the Tupuxuara Models (Papo)

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Papo models: Papo Prehistoric Animal Replicas and Models

The Papo Brachiosaurus measures a whopping 40cm in length, the head is some 32cm high.  We used this model to provide a scale to compare the two new additions to the Papo range.  The Young Apatosaurus, in our view, represents a sub-adult, think of this replica as representing a teenage dinosaur.

Both the Papo Tupuxuara and the Papo Young Apatosaurus models are expected to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur early March, although they could arrive a little earlier.  Check out this web log and Everything Dinosaur’s social media pages for updates.

The Papo Tupuxuara Pterosaur Model

Watch out, a Pterosaur is coming this way.

Watch out, a Pterosaur is coming this way.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Video Preview of the Schleich Kentrosaurus and Anhanguera Models

New from Schleich for 2015 (Video Preview)

As team members from Everything Dinosaur eagerly await the arrival of the first batch of new prehistoric animal products from Schleich, we took time out to shoot a quick video preview of the new Anhanguera and Kentrosaurus models.  These two replicas, part of the World of History model range will be part of the first set of new replicas to be released by Schleich this year.  We are expecting to have stocks by February, possibly even earlier.  Both models are beautifully painted and the Pterosaur has an articulated lower jaw.

Short Video Preview of New Schleich Models (2015)

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

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

Schleich have invested heavily in the development of their dinosaur model range.  The company sees these new additions as part of a three-cornered strategy to continue to grow the Schleich brand in 2015, Schleich refer to this strategy as the 3-Ds (one of the Ds stands for dinosaurs).  Just for the record, the other two Ds stand for dragons (big increase in fantasy dragon figures in 2015) and for D.C. Comics (Schleich will be marketing a set of figures inspired by characters created by the comic strip company (Justice League).  Two further dinosaur models, a Giganotosaurus and a Spinosaurus will be added to the World of History model range in July.

Quick Preview Video – Schleich Spinosaurus and Giganotosaurus

World of History Spinosaurus and Giganotosaurus (new for 2015)

Here is a quick preview of the new World of History dinosaur models that are coming out from Schleich in July 2015.    Joining the World of History series will be a Giganotosaurus dinosaur and a Spinosaurus.  We are looking forward to stocking these new, meat-eating dinosaur models, both of which have articulated jaws.

Quick Video Preview of the Schleich World of History Spinosaurus and Giganotosaurus

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view our current range of Schleich World of History prehistoric animal models: Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models

CollectA Guidraco Pterosaur Picture

Colourful Guidraco (Pterosaur)

The “Supreme Deluxe” Guidraco Pterosaur model (1:4 scale model of a flying reptile), has certainly caused a stir around Everything Dinosaur’s offices.  The Atlantic Puffin inspired colours are certainly very eye-catching on this new CollectA replica.  I see CollectA themselves are equally inspired by this feisty Pterosaur, as it features on the front cover of the company’s 2015 brochure.

A Pair of Guidraco Pterosaurs

A colourful pair of Guidraco Pterosaurs.

A colourful pair of Guidraco Pterosaurs.

Picture Credit: CollectA/Everything Dinosaur

 This feisty flying reptile was officially named and described in 2012.  The binomial name is Guidraco venator, the name is a combination of Chinese and Latin, it translates as “malicious ghost dragon hunter”.  With that rosette of pointy teeth this was very probably an agile predator that swooped down to snatch fish and other soft bodied creatures from the water.  A flock of these reptiles feeding would have been an awesome sight.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of CollectA scale models: Collecta Scale Prehistoric Animal Models

“Moles” at College Town Infant and Nursery School Write About Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs Helping Children Develop Their Writing Skills

Encouraging Year 1 children with their writing was one of the learning objectives that the dinosaur expert from Everything Dinosaur set out to achieve during a visit to College Town Infant and Nursery School last week.  The children were certainly very enthusiastic and keen to learn lots of facts about prehistoric animals.  There were some excellent describing words used when it came to handling the various fossils and a number of “pinkie palaeontologist challenges” were set for the classes.  The school has a three form entry for Year 1 children, the classes are called “Rabbit”, “Hedgehog” and “Mole”, Miss Tuck (teacher), asked her “Mole” class to write a thank you letter as part of the extension ideas that had been discussed.

One of the Thank You Letters from the “Moles” in Mole Class

Super thank you letter.

Super thank you letter.

Picture Credit: College Town Infant and Nursery School/Everything Dinosaur

Good use of capitals, very well spaced and formed letters, what a lovely thank you letter.  Well done Pavan.

Vinzen’s Fantastic Letter

Vinzen's fantastic dinosaur themed letter.

Vinzen’s fantastic dinosaur themed letter.

Picture Credit: College Town Infant and Nursery School/Everything Dinosaur

Miss Tuck was obviously very impressed by the thank you letters that the children composed.  Our team members have certainly enjoyed reading them.

Esther’s Thank You Letter

A great thank you letter from Esther.

A great thank you letter from Esther.

Picture Credit: College Town Infant and Nursery School/Everything Dinosaur

Well done, Esther and her classmates, lots of carefully written letters with good use of punctuation.  Good examples of use of adjectives to describe the activities that the children took part in.

Our dinosaur expert set a number of writing challenges for the children.  Fact sheets and scale drawings were emailed over to help inspire the children.  It looks like the visit has really helped and “Dinosaur Mike”, one of our team members commented:

“It was wonderful to see the letters written by the children, I have shown them to my colleagues and pinned up some of them onto our display wall in the warehouse.  These are wonderful examples and all the children in Moles class can be proud of what they have done”.

Everything Dinosaur Stocks Pegasus Hobbies Dinosaur Model Kits

Everything Dinosaur Stocks Pegasus Hobbies Dinosaur Model Kits to Range

Everything Dinosaur is now stocking all three of the superb 1:24 scale dinosaur models made by Pegasus Hobbies.  These kits, are for the avid dinosaur fan or model collector and once assembled and painted can become real show stoppers in a model collectors collection.  The range currently consists of a Tyrannosaurus rex (complete with captured baby Triceratops), an adult Triceratops and a huge Spinosaurus replica kit.  When completed and mounted on its base, the Spinosaurus kit measures an impressive fifty-one centimetres long.

New Additions to the Everything Dinosaur Product Range

Pegasus Hobbies Dinosaur model kits are available from Everything Dinosaur.

Pegasus Hobbies Dinosaur model kits are available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The company specialises in military kits, including planes, ships, armoured vehicles and figures but the PVC vinyl range has recently expanded to include three iconic dinosaur figures.

1:24 Scale Triceratops Dinosaur Figure

Great quality model kit to build and paint.

Great quality model kit to build and paint.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

All three of the PVC vinyl kits were sculpted by the very talented palaeo-sculptor Galileo Hernandez Nunez, who has built up a strong reputation for his work on prehistoric animal models.  The paintwork seen on the boxes is the work of the equally talented Shane Foulkes.  The kits are recommended for people who are fourteen or over and each kit consists of several pieces that have to be assembled and glued together to complete the piece.  Please note, as with many of these types of replica kits, there is no paint or glue provided in the box.

How To Build a Triceratops

Easy to follow guides.

Easy to follow guides.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The kit comes with a display base and in the case of the Tyrannosaurus rex and the Triceratops models, a name plate is provided.

To see the range of Pegasus Hobbies model kits at Everything Dinosaur: Pegasus Hobbies Dinosaur Model Kits

The Superb, Museum Quality T. rex Dinosaur Model

A model kit featuring the "Tyrant Lizard King".

A model kit featuring the “Tyrant Lizard King”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“We have long been admirers of the work of Galileo Hernandez Nunez and Shane Foulkes. in our view, is one of the most talented artists and model makers around.  We are delighted to be able to offer Everything Dinosaur customers the opportunity to acquire and build these marvellous kits.”

The detail on the models is fantastic and as with the T. rex figure, the Spinosaurus is depicted hunting.  However, the Spinosaurus, regarded as a specialist fish hunter, is shown having caught a Xiphactinus.  Spinosaurus may be regarded as the largest land carnivore known to science but it would have done well to have caught such a fish.  Firstly, although Xiphactinus (a voracious predator in its own right), fossil material is known from the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia, as far as we are aware, no fossils of this giant predatory fish have been found in Africa (the home of the Spinosaurus genus).  In addition, the likes of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus had been extinct for some twenty-five million years before Xiphactinus evolved.

The Pegasus Hobbies 1:24 Scale Spinosaurus Model Kit

Spinosaurus catching a Xiphactinus fish?

Spinosaurus catching a Xiphactinus fish?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Spinosaurus replica is a terrific addition to the model series.  Yes, as our dinosaur experts point out, the Xiphactinus in a lacustrine or riverine environment is extremely unusual, as far as the known fossil record goes, these fish were entirely marine and highly nektonic with no likely need to venture close to shore or into fresh water. Putting this little quibble aside, all three models are terrific and Everything Dinosaur is delighted to able to add them to its range.

Spinosaurus Swimming into View

Pictures of the Swimming Spinosaurus from CollectA

In addition, to the Deluxe Spinosaurus replica due to be introduced by those clever people at CollectA, two other models of this iconic dinosaur are to be added this year.  2015 marks the centenary of the naming of Spinosaurus (S. aegyptiacus), and this event is being commemorated with a couple of new, not-to-scale figures showing Spinosaurus as a quadruped.  The first of these new additions to the CollectA “Prehistoric Life” range depicts Spinosaurus in, what many scientists believe to be its natural habitat – water.  Isotope analysis of fossilised remains conducted by a team of scientists, including Romain Amiot (University of Lyon), back in 2010, revealed that Spinosaurs may have spent a large portion of their lives in water.  The concept of aquatic dinosaurs had once again come into the limelight.

To read an article about a theory that proposes that all dinosaurs were aquatic: Aquatic Dinosaurs

The Swimming Spinosaurus Dinosaur Model

An aquatic dinosaur?

An aquatic dinosaur?

Picture Credit: CollectA/Everything Dinosaur

There is other evidence to suggest that Spinosaurus may have spent a great deal of time wadding and swimming in the lakes and rivers of its North African habitat.  For example, the Kem Kem region, where many Spinosaurus fossils have been found (Kem Kem Formation of Morocco), was a low-lying area close to the remnants of the mighty Tethys Ocean.  It was a wetland habitat, that some scientists have compared to Florida’s Everglades.  There were many large lakes and rivers and it is interesting to contemplate, that if one removes the possibility of substantial post mortem transportation of bodily remains, spinosaurid fossils are usually found in sediments that represent ancient lacustrine or riverine environments.

Another View of the CollectA Swimming Spinosaurus

Splashing about - Spinosaurus.

Splashing about – Spinosaurus.

Picture Credit: CollectA/Everything Dinosaur

The model, which measures around 26cm in length, does not stand up on its own.  A clear, plastic stand will be provided so that the replica can be displayed.  The model is based on the 2014 re-interpretation and review of Spinosaurus fossil remains.  Everything Dinosaur team members wrote an article about this new interpretation, on what is regarded as the largest carnivorous dinosaur known to science, back in September.

To read this article: Spinosaurus – Are Four Legs Better Than Two?

How Did Spinosaurus Swim?

The inference from one of the conclusions following the re-interpretation of Spinosaurus as a dinosaur very much at home in the water, is that Spinosaurus was a good swimmer.  When our dinosaur experts visit schools to conduct dinosaur themed workshops we often come across pictures of Plesiosaurs and Ichthyosaurs downloaded in all innocence by the teaching team from on line retailers of teaching resources, these are described as “swimming dinosaurs”.    Plesiosaurs and Ichthyosaurs are not members of the Dinosauria, and, as far as the fossil record shows, no member of the Dinosauria adapted to a marine environment.  However, like most vertebrates, it is suspected that dinosaurs, if forced to, could swim quite well.  There is even some evidence that those ungainly looking Pterosaurs could swim, bizarre though it may sound.

A herd of Sauropods could cross rivers and estuaries in search of food.  Once they had waded out of their depth, these giants could have quite happily paddled their way across.  There have even been trace fossils found that have been interpreted as being the scratches and marks made by a dinosaur as it swam across a body of water.  The marks being made on the river or lake bed as the reptile occasionally “touched down” only to push itself off again.

To read an article about one of these remarkable trace fossils: Evidence of Swimming Dinosaurs

Which swimming stroke the Spinosaurus preferred is very much open to debate.  The CollectA replica shows an animal swimming in an undulating, sideways motion, with propulsion provided by the long, strong tail.  This is reminiscent of the swimming motion of extant crocodilians.  In crocodiles, the limbs don’t really play a role in the swimming action.  In the absence, of much of the skeleton, what we do have, as investigated by the team of international scientists last year, may have come from very different sized individuals so limb proportions are conjectural to some extent.  Could Spinosaurus have adopted a sort of “doggy paddle” approach, swimming with all four limbs?  Perhaps, this super-sized dinosaur propelled itself along in the same way as one of the largest land carnivores around today does.  Polar bears (Ursus maritimus), technically a marine mammal considering the amount of time they spend on the sea ice, swim with a different motion.  They paddle themselves along just using their massive front paws, the back legs provide the steering, a sort of “rear wheel steer”.

We at Everything Dinosaur are not aware of any papers having been published with regards to the proposed swimming action of the Spinosauridae, perhaps one will be published soon.

“Wind Hunter” Rebor Announces New Replica

Utahraptor ostrommaysorum – “Wind Hunter” from Rebor

No sooner have we completed writing about the work to remove an enormous sandstone/mudstone block that may contain the remains of six Utahraptors, then it is time to release the first pictures of the new Utahraptor replica from those clever people at Rebor.  The next edition to the 1:35 scale replica series is going to be model of Utahraptor ostrommaysorum and what a beautiful sculpt it is.  Our team members have followed the “Utahraptor story”, since this enigmatic dinosaur was formally named and described back in 1993.  It is regarded as the largest of the “raptors” and we have speculated that a similar sized “raptor” may one day be discovered in Europe.

Coming Soon to Everything Dinosaur 1:35 scale Replica of Utahraptor

The largest known member of the Dromaeosauridae.

The largest known member of the Dromaeosauridae.

Picture Credit: Rebor/Everything Dinosaur

With its integumental covering of coarse “proto feathers” and quills on the forearms, this is indeed an intriguing interpretation of a carnivorous dinosaur.  We love the fact that the base has been painted a dark, red, sandstone colour, we suspect that this is in recognition of the work done on the Arches National Park Utahraptor concretion, that has been featured in the media very recently, but was actually first discovered back in 2004 (first bone from the site in 2001).  The Arches National Park, found to the north of the town of Moab (Utah), is famous for its sandstone arches and structures.  Parts of the Park, managed by the U.S. National Parks Service, are referred to as the “Red Rock Wonderland” due to the abundance sandstone geological features.

The Rebor 1:35 Scale Utahraptor Replica

Beautiful detail on this model.

Beautiful detail on this model.

Picture Credit: Rebor/Everything Dinosaur

Like the earlier releases Yutyrannus and T. rex, this replica has an articulated lower jaw.  The forelimbs also move, in recognition that these types of dinosaurs were “graspers and grabbers” as one of our colleagues frequently mentions whenever we get onto the subject of Early Cretaceous Theropods.

A Striking, Dynamic Pose for the Replica

Depicting an agile, active dinosaur.

Depicting an agile, active dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Rebor/Everything Dinosaur

The dinosaur can be removed from its base (can you spot the skull bones on the mount in the picture) and it is certainly a very dynamic and dramatic pose.  Made from a composite of PVC and polystone (like the Rebor Yutyrannus), this looks like to be another “must have” prehistoric animal replica for 2015.

Everything Dinosaur team members will post up more information soon, it will be added to our Rebor range later in the spring.

For further information and to see the current Rebor models: Rebor Prehistoric Animal Models

To contact Everything Dinosaur with a view to reserving one of these superb Rebor Utahraptor replicas: Email Everything Dinosaur

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