JurassicCollectables Reviews “Winston” Rebor Velociraptor Replica

A Video Review of the Rebor “Winston” Velociraptor Replica

JurassicCollectables have produced a video review of the Rebor 1:18 scale, coloured Velociraptor called  “Winston” and what a wonderful opportunity to view this new Rebor model close up it is.  The Velociraptor figure has been introduced to pay tribute to Stan Winston, the special effects wizard behind the dinosaurs in the first three “Jurassic Park” films.  It is these films that really cemented the “raptor” amongst dinosaur fans as one of the most dangerous dinosaurs of all.  The Velociraptors in the movies may have been depicted much larger than they would have been back in the Late Cretaceous, but since “Jurassic Park” came out (1993), palaeontologists have identified a number of large dromaeosaurids, links to articles about some of these discoveries are provided at the end of the article, but without further ado, let’s look at the video.

The “Winton” Velociraptor Unboxing Video Review by Jurassic Collectables

Video Credit: Jurassic Collectables

Velociraptor Replica Reviewed

In the brief video, (it lasts a little over six and a half minutes), the narrator guides the viewer through the details that can be seen on this carefully sculpted model.  The replica stays true to the non-feathered principles of the first “Jurassic Park” offerings and the viewer is guided around the dinosaur with a special focus on the beautifully crafted, articulated lower jaw.  A comparison is made between this figure and the Scout series Velociraptor “Stan” introduced by Rebor earlier this year.  The “Stan” and “Winston” figures are united in a special, limited edition (1,000 made), bronze effect replica set, JurassicCollectables will be reviewing this figure once Everything Dinosaur has sent out a set to them.

JurassicCollectables have a brilliant YouTube channel “ram packed” full of dinosaur model reviews and other very informative videos.

Visit the YouTube channel of Jurassic Collectables here: JurassicCollectables on YouTube , don’t forget to subscribe to the JurassicCollectables channel.

The Rebor Velociraptor Figure “Winston”

The Rebor Winston replica.

The Rebor Winston Velociraptor dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows the Rebor Velociraptor dinosaur model “Winston” as it comes out of the box, it is worth noting that the forelimbs are articulated too, one of several points made by the narrator in the highly informative JurassicCollectables video review.

To purchase “Winston” the spectacular Velociraptor model by Rebor and the rest of the Rebor range at Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

JurassicCollectables conclude that this is an exquisite “raptor” figure, one that would fit in well with any dinosaur model collection.

We can’t wait to report on the bronze effect, limited edition “Winston” and “Stan” replica set once the talented folks at JurassicCollectables have published their video review.

As Promised, Dromaeosaurid Related Articles

Below are some articles from this blog site that provide further information on recent “raptor” discoveries.

The fearsome Dakotaraptor: Dakotaraptor A Giant Raptor

Dakotaraptor compared to Utahraptor: Dakotaraptor and Utahraptor Compared

One big rock and potentially six plus Utahraptors: A Nine Tonne Block and the Utahraptor Fossils It Contains

New species of Velociraptor-like dinosaur described: Boreonykus certekorum A New Type of “Raptor” from the Far North

JurassicCollectables Video Review of the Rebor Scout Series “Stan”: A Review of the Rebor Scout Series Baby Velociraptor Model

New Rebor “Raptors” in Stock

Rebor Winston and “Father and Son” Replicas in Stock

The Rebor Winston Velociraptor replica and the beautiful, limited edition, bronze effect “Father and Son” Velociraptor set are in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  The latest additions to the Rebor scale model range arrived a few hours ago and we have had time to admire these skilfully crafted dinosaur models.  Inspired by Stan Winston, the special effects pioneer who worked on the first three films in the “Jurassic Park” franchise, the models depict Velociraptors as they were envisaged in the famous movies.  Hence the names “Winston” and “Stan”

The Delightful Rebor Velociraptor Replica “Winston”

The Rebor Winston replica.

The Rebor Winston Velociraptor dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows the coloured version of “Winston”.  It is beautifully painted and if you compare it with the picture below, you should be able to note another feature of this particular Rebor replica, one that is shared by the bronze effect “Winston” in the “Father and Son” Velociraptor model set.

Straight Out of the Box – The Rebor “Winston” Velociraptor Dinosaur Model

A 1:18 scale Velociraptor dinosaur model (Rebor Winston).

Straight out of the box! A Rebor Velociraptor model (1:18 scale model).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Can You Spot The Difference?

The two pictures above show the Velociraptor replica, they have been taken with the ties still on the model but there is a difference between the two photographs, can you spot it?  Yes, that’s right the forelimbs in the pictures are in different positions.  Both the “Winston” and the “Father” replicas have articulated arms.  This enables collectors to position their “raptors” in different poses.  The lower jaws in both models are also articulated.

To purchase the Rebor Winston Velociraptor Model: Rebor 1:18 Scale Velociraptor Model “Winston”

 Pins to Secure and Support the Model

Rebor have striven to give the new Velociraptor replicas a dynamic pose and the design team have certainly achieved a wonderful effect.  Discreet pins in the base fit securely into sockets under the feet, this helps to stabilise the model as it balances on those delicately crafted Velociraptor toes.

Little Pins in the Base of the Model

Rebor replica "Winston" a Velociraptor model

The red arrow points to the discrete pin that helps to secure the Velociraptor model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

When the model is secured to the base the pins cannot be seen.

“Winston and Stan” Limited Edition Model Set

The bronze effect, limited edition Velociraptor model set, nick-named “Father and Son”, consists of a “Winston” accompanied by “Stan”, the baby Velociraptor introduced recently into the Rebor “Scout” model series.  The adult dinosaur in this set also has articulated front limbs and an articulated lower jaw.  The bronze effect paint work has been very well done and the models have an almost pewter-like quality to them.

The Rebor “Father and Son” Limited Edition Velociraptor Model Set

The bronze effect Velociraptor replicas from Rebor.

The bronze effect Velociraptor dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To purchase the limited edition Velociraptor model set (whilst stocks last), check out Everything Dinosaur’s Rebor model section: Rebor Models and Replicas.

Only one thousand of these bronze effect sets have been made, those collectors lucky to get hold of one will have something really special to add to their dinosaur model collection.

It Has Been An Olympic Effort

Congratulations to Rio et al

Today’s blog post is dedicated to all those hard-working, dedicated people who made the 2016 Olympic games in Rio such an amazing success.  We pay tribute to the organisers, the administrators, the game-makers, team members, technicians, broadcasters and fans, it has been a fantastic two weeks of sport and we hope that the Olympic ideals will continue to inspire people around the world – “Citius, Altius, Fortius”!

A special mention to team GB who enjoyed their most successful Games in terms of medals since 1908.

Back in 1996, when the summer Olympics was held in Atlanta, Georgia (USA), Great Britain achieved at total of fifteen medals, with only one gold*.  Twenty years later and it is a very different story.  From finishing thirty-sixth in the medal table two decades ago, Great Britain in Rio won a total of sixty-seven medals, twenty-seven of them gold.  Team GB certainly did a nation proud, finishing second in the medal table for the first time in 108 years.  Team GB were the first team to increase its medal count in five successive Games and we are the only host nation to go on to win more medals at the following Olympics.

So how do we at Everything Dinosaur mark this achievement?  With dinosaurs of course.

Celebrating Success at the Olympic Games (Rio 2016)

Celebrating Olympic success with dinosaurs.

Tyrannosaurids celebrate success at the Olympic Games (Rio 2016).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Link Between the Olympics and the Dinosauria

Whilst it might look a little strange to place dinosaurs onto a podium and to link a nation’s sporting success to the Dinosauria, some parallels between the medal table at the end of the Rio Olympics and the study of dinosaurs can be drawn.  For example, in the early days of this particular branch of vertebrate palaeontology, Great Britain led the way with a number of eminent scientists making important dinosaur discoveries.  After all, the first three types of dinosaur to be scientifically described were described from fossils found in England.  Great Britain had a lot of early success in the first of the modern Olympic Games to be held.  However, countries like China and the United States gradually became more and more dominant – just as with the Dinosauria with many more different types of dinosaurs now known from America and the Peoples Republic of China.

To have Team GB finish above China in second place in 2016 is quite remarkable.  Perhaps the Chinese can take solace in the fact that now, great institutions such as those encompassed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have amassed far more fossilised bones of dinosaurs than any other country.  When it comes to new dinosaur discoveries and their frequency, it could be argued that China leads the way.

Global Tyrannosaurids

One other point to note.  Standing on the podium in their respective positions are three types of tyrannosaurid.  China is represented by Yutyrannus huali, whose fossils come from Liaoning Province.  In the silver medal position is Eotyrannus lengi a member of the Tyrannosaur family whose fossils are associated with the Isle of Wight (Great Britain), sitting on top, is perhaps the most famous dinosaur of all Tyrannosaurus rex.  Yes, we know that Tyrannosaurus rex is also associated with Canada and Mexico, but as it is mostly known from fossil material excavated from the Hell Creek Formation of Montana, we thought that using T. rex to represent the United States would be appropriate.  The term “Olympic Family” is often used to represent nations coming together.  The Rio Olympics has been a truly global event and when it comes to dinosaurs such as the tyrannosaurids, these animals too seem to have had an almost global distribution.  We also note from our sales, that dinosaur models, toys and games have a world-wide appeal.

Thus ends our tribute to everyone involved in the Games, we look forward to Tokyo in 2020.  We have four years to learn all about Japanese dinosaurs.

gold* – Matthew Pinsent and Steve Redgrave — Rowing, Men’s Coxless Pair (both of which were later knighted).

Learning Life Skills – The Achievosaurs

The Achievosaurs Soft Toys

Teachers and teaching assistants all round the country are busy finalising their schemes of work in readiness for the new term and Everything Dinosaur team members have been helping.  Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) children have been benefiting from an innovative use of dinosaur and prehistoric animal soft toys – the Achievosaurs and Everything Dinosaur has been busy supplying schools and other educational establishments with fluffy and soft prehistoric animal plush in preparation for the start of the autumn term.

“Askaraptor” One of the Achievosaurs from Everything Dinosaur

A Utahraptor dinosaur soft and cuddly toy.

“Askaraptor” – a Utahraptor dinosaur soft toy.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For children in Foundation Stage classes (Nursery and Reception), the start of a new term can be quite daunting.  However, teaching teams are tasked with introducing key learning skills at a young age.  The “Achievosaurs”, a group of soft toy prehistoric animals can help children to develop these key skills.  In essence, the Achievosaurs, or as they are sometimes called “the Achieveosaurs”, with the extra “e”, aims to teach children about positive ways in which they can improve their ability to learn.  These qualities include being prepared to ask questions, to share ideas and thoughts and to persevere.  To help reinforce learning the children are incentivised by being able to look after the dinosaur soft toy which epitomises the learning skill that they have demonstrated.

Adopting the Achievosaurs Learning Concept

A large number of schools have adopted the Achievosaurs learning concept across the EYFS cohort and into Year 1.  The dinosaur soft toys often link with a term topic whereby the children study dinosaurs and fossils, for example “the Jurassic Forest” scheme of work.

Achievosaurs Helping to Reinforce Life-Long Learning Skills

Achievosaur soft toy dinosaurs

Helping to reinforce life-long learning skills.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To purchase dinosaur soft toys to make up your own learning skills Achievosaurs set: Itsy Bitsy Soft Toy Dinosaur for Achievosaurs

Here is a list of some of the key learning skills that can be reinforced through the use of the Achievosaurs teaching concept:

ASKARAPTOR – I can use my imagination and ask interesting questions (based on a “raptor” dinosaur such as Velociraptor or Utahraptor regarded as some of the more intelligent and agile of all the dinosaurs).

EXPLORASOR – I like to explore ideas and I enjoy new experiences.

SOLVEOSAURUS REX – I can solve problems and improve (based on T. rex the most famous dinosaur of all).

STICKASAURUS – I stick at tasks and persevere (based on Stegosaurus a popular, plant eating dinosaur with plates on its back).

THINKODOCUS – I think carefully about what I learn (based on the big, plant-eating dinosaur called Diplodocus).

TRYCERATOPS – I try new things, don’t give up and work really hard (based on Triceratops, a very well known horned dinosaur with three horns).

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“One of the great things about the Achievosaurs learning concept is that you can create your own Achievosaurs to suit the particular needs of each class.  For example, we were informed by a Nursery teacher that one of her charges, an only child, had difficulty integrating into the class and found it hard to share things with the other children.  The teaching assistant created “Shareosaurus”, so that this child could be rewarded when they shared items with their classmates.”

Preparations for Later on in Life

These important skills can help prepare children for learning later on in life.  Teachers and teaching assistants can come up with their on variants and new additions, however, the trouble is, identifying soft toys that represent the likes of Diplodocus and Tyrannosaurus rex.  The experts at Everything Dinosaur can help.

With the support of Everything Dinosaur’s trained specialists, teachers can utilise a child’s fascination with dinosaurs to help reinforce important life lessons.  Enthusing and motivating children to learn by using dinosaur soft toys in school.

Team members from the company also visit schools to delivery practical, lively and very kinaesthetic dinosaur themed workshops:

To read more about Everything Dinosaur’s school workshops: Contact Everything Dinosaur to Enquire About Dinosaur Themed School Workshops

New Species of Ancient Dolphin Hiding in a Museum Collection

Arktocara yakataga – May Hold Key to Freshwater Dolphin Evolution

Back in the early fifties, when geologist Donald J. Miller (United States Geological Survey), was mapping the area of Alaska that would eventually become Yakutat City, he came across an ancient skull of a whale. The snout had been broken off and lost but the preserved cranium led to the conclusion that the cranial material and associated teeth belonged to an ancient dolphin.  The fossils were despatched to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where they remained until a newly published study revealed their significance.

A New Species of Prehistoric Dolphin

The fossils represent a new species of prehistoric dolphin, an animal that lived around twenty-five million years ago and it represents the most northerly specimen of this type of toothed whale ever found.  The genus name translates from the Latin as “Face of the North” a reference to the high latitude location of the fossil discovery and the fact that the skull has been designated the holotype.

A Line Drawing (A) and a View of the Fossil Skull (B)

Arktocara skull.

A dorsal view of the skull of Arktocara (right) and associated line drawing (left)

Picture Credit: James Di Loreto, Smithsonian Institute

Published in the academic journal “PeerJ”, palaeontologists Nicholas Pyenson and Alexandra Boersma describe the fossils and place it within the toothed-whale group, specifically the Platanistoidea.  Ironically, the only extant members of this group are confined to freshwater river systems, but the fossil record indicates that these types of dolphins evolved in marine environments.  The scientists hope that this new fossil discovery, a specimen that had languished in the Smithsonian fossil collection for more than half a Century, will help to shed light on the phylogeny of the Platanistoidea as well as assisting in the research to determine how these particular toothed whales evolved.

Alex Boersma, currently based at the California State University, commented:

“It’s a lovely skull, which is probably the first thing I noticed about it”.

The Skull and Other Fossil Elements

Arktocara Fossil Material

The fossil Arktocara yakataga (resting on an 1875 ethnographic map of Alaska) belonged to a dolphin that swam in subarctic marine waters around 25 million years ago.

Picture Credit: James Di Loreto, Smithsonian Institute

The researchers are confident that more strange Cetacean skulls may be awaiting discovery in northern latitudes and Alex is sure that this specimen “could answer questions about how this once cosmopolitan group dating back over twenty million years dwindled down to just a few freshwater species.”

The Poul Creek Formation

The fossil comes from the Poul Creek Formation, but the exact location remains unknown, however, the scientists estimate that the fossil dates from between 29 and 24 million years ago, an important period in the history of whale evolution as the two main groups the toothed-whales “Odontoceti” and the baleen whales “Mysticeti” were diversifying and radiating into a number of new genera.

Measuring a little under two and a half metres in length, Arktocara yakataga was about the size of a modern Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).  Although the scientists cannot be absolutely certain where the animal died, after all, bones can be transported considerable distances prior to burial and fossilisation, it seems reasonable to assume that this mammal did live in a marine environment.  The research team stress that many other types of important fossil may be lingering within the collections of museums, their significance having not yet been realised due to incorrect labelling or inaccurate classification.

An Illustration of Arktocara yakataga

Arktocara illustrated.

An illustration of Arktocara.

Picture Credit: Linocut print art by Alexandra Boersma

To read a recently published article about the origin of high frequency hearing in whales: How High Frequency Hearing in Whales May Have Evolved

How the Marsupial Lion Got To Grips With Its Prey

Unique Elbows of Thylacoleo Hints at Hunting Strategy

The fearsome Thylacoleo (Thylacoleo carnifex), commonly referred to as the “Marsupial Lion” may have had a unique hunting strategy.  The anatomy of the limbs indicate that this native of Australia up until around 46,000 years or so ago, had very robust front legs, but it was not a fast runner.  It was probably an ambush specialist, but how did this 100 kilogramme mammal despatch its prey?  After all, it did not have the teeth typical of a carnivore.  For example, Thylacoleo lacked canines in the lower jaw and although they were present in the upper jaw, they were extremely small (a feature no doubt noted by Richard Owen, later Sir Richard Owen, who named and described this genus back in 1859).

The Fearsome Thylacoleo – but How Did it Hunt and Kill?

The fearsome Thylacoleo (Marsupial Lion)

Capable of climbing trees and with strong forelimbs for despatching prey.

Picture Credit: Peter Trusler/Australian Post

In a new paper, published in the academic journal “Paleobiology”, scientists from the University of Málaga (Spain), in collaboration with colleagues from Bristol University conclude that Thylacoleo used its big but blunt incisors to grab prey before carrying out the “coup de grâce” with a swipes from its powerful paws which possessed a formidable set of claws including a super-sized claw on its first digit, (the equivalent digit in our species being the thumb).

Comparing Elbows

How was this conclusion made?  It’s relatively simple really, the scientists studied the fossilised elbows of Thylacoleo and compared them to a number of living mammals (placental as well as marsupial).  It turns out that this pouched predator had a unique elbow joint amongst carnivorous mammals.

One of the authors of the newly published paper, Christine Janis (Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, currently on a leave of absence from a professorship at Brown University, United States), explained that this study indicates that there is a strong association between the anatomy of the humerus where it articulates with the ulna and radius (the elbow) and the way in which animals move about.

The Fossilised Remains of a Marsupial Lion

Marsupial Lion (Thylacoleo) remains.

The fossilised bones of a Marsupial Lion (Australia).

Specialised runners like canids (dogs) have an elbow joint indicating movement restricted to a back and forwards motion, helping to stabilise their bodies on the ground, great for running, whilst mammals that are confident climbers, monkeys for example, have an elbow joint that allows for rotation of the hand.  Felidae (cats), have an elbow joint of intermediate shape, as they use their forelimbs to wrestle prey and many types of cat are adroit when it comes to climbing.

In contrast, the unique elbow joint of Thylacoleo permitted extensive rotation of the hand but it also possessed features not seen in extant mammals that permitted the elbow to stabilise the limb when the animal was on the ground.  The “Marsupial Lion” has long been thought to have been at home in the trees, an animal capable of an arboreal existence, although ironically a number of the most complete and best preserved Thylacoleo fossils have been found in limestone caves in the Nullabor Plain region of Australia (Nullabor loosely translates as “no trees”).

Christine Janis stated:

“If Thylacoleo had hunted like a lion using its forelimbs to manipulate its prey, then its elbow joint should have been lion-like.  But, surprisingly, it had a unique elbow-joint among living predatory mammals , one that suggested a great deal of rotational capacity of the hand, like an arboreal mammal, but also features not seen in living climbers, that would have stabilised the limb on the ground (suggesting that it was not simply a climber).”

Christine and her colleagues group Thylacoleo with living animals that have an extreme amount of forelimb manoeuvrability, animals such as primates, sloths and anteaters.  The analysis showed that it had a greater degree of manoeuvrability than any living, meat-eating placental mammal and the team concludes that Thylacoleo was mainly terrestrial but with some climbing abilities and the forelimbs were used to overpower prey.

The African lion (Panthera leo) does not possess such flexible forelimbs and when the unique elbow joint is considered in conjunction with that over sized first digit claw, the researchers hypothesise that the “Marsupial Lion” used its claws to kill.  The big, but blunt incisors in the jaws were probably used to clamp down on prey and then with the large and retractable claw on the semi-opposable thumb (the dew claw), Thylacoleo could have slashed at its victims.

The First Human Inhabitants of Australia Knew All About the Marsupial Lion

However, it hunted, Thylacoleo was one creature that you would not want to have encountered in the outback.   The first Australians, the ancestors of the today’s aboriginal people, would have known Thylacoleo and probably they were wise enough to give it a wide berth.

The scientific paper: “Ecomorphological determinations in the absence of living analogues: the predatory behaviour of the marsupial lion (Thylacoleo carnifex) as revealed by elbow joint morphology”

To read an earlier article which examined the link between scratches made on cave walls and the climbing abilities of the Marsupial Lion: Don’t Climb a Tree to Avoid a Thylacoleo!

Getting Excited About Paleo-Creatures

A Short Video of the Paleo-Creatures Replicas

Team members at Everything Dinosaur are getting very excited at the imminent arrival of the first of the Paleo-Creatures prehistoric animal models.  Stocks of Xenacanthus, Tullimonstrum (Tully’s monster) and Atopodentatus (A. unicus) et al,  will soon be filling our warehouse shelves and we can’t wait for the shipment to arrive.  Everything Dinosaur announced recently that they would be stocking the Paleo-Creatures line of high quality, polyurethane resin replicas.

The Paleo-Creatures range of hand-crafted, scale model prehistoric animals has been created by talented Spanish artist and designer Jesús Toledo.  He very kindly sent Everything Dinosaur a link to a short video showing the models that we had ordered laid out ready for packing before they were despatched to our warehouse.  In this short video (one minute forty-five seconds), viewers get the chance to see up close for themselves just how gorgeous these models are.  Check out the video in this link: Paleo-Creatures Video

Video Credit: Jesús Toledo (Jetoar’s Collectables)

A Row of Torvosaurus Models from Paleo-Creatures

Paleo-Creatures Torvosaurus

A row of Paleo-Creatures Torvosaurus.

Picture Credit: Jesús Toledo (Jetoar’s Collectables)

 The picture above is from the short video that was sent to Everything Dinosaur.  The video shows some of the models lined up ready for packing prior to their despatch to our warehouse.   The model in the middle is the beautiful Paleo-Creatures Torvosaurus replica.  What a fantastic dinosaur model this is!  Just behind Torvosaurus some Paleo-Creatures Tullimonstrum (T. gregarium) can be seen.  Lining up in front of the fearsome Torvosaurus are some Kosmoceratops models, perhaps being just in front of a hungry Torvosaurus, especially a model with an articulated lower jaw, is quite a dangerous place for a horned dinosaur model to be.

Aegirocassis and Koolasuchus Replicas (Paleo-Creatures)

Paleo-Creatures models.

The Aegirocassis replicas (foreground), Koolasuchus models (background).

Picture Credit: Jesús Toledo (Jetoar’s Collectables)

The splendid Aegirocassis (anomalocaridids, also referred to as anomalocarids) are lined up ready to be packed, these are wonderful models of the giant Ordovician filter-feeder.  In the background, some of the Koolasuchus replicas are awaiting their turn to be packed.  They too, are very beautiful and highly detailed, hand-crafted models.

To read a press release announcing that Everything Dinosaur would be stocking the Paleo-Creatures model range: Paleo-Creatures Coming to Everything Dinosaur

A Close Up of the Paleo-Creatures Concavenator

The Paleo-Creatures Concavenator.

A close up view of the Paleo-Creatures Concavenator.

Picture Credit: Jesús Toledo (Jetoar’s Collectables)

The fine detailing on these models can really be made out, both in these still pictures and from the video that was kindly sent in to us.

Eotyrannus (E. lengi) Model from Paleo-Creatures

Paleo-Creatures Eotyrannus model.

The Paleo-Creatures Eotyrannus ready for shipping.

Picture Credit: Jesús Toledo (Jetoar’s Collectables)

A New Brazilian Titanosaur (Most Likely)

“Sousatitan” from North-eastern Brazil

All eyes might be on the likes of Usain Bolt, Jason Kenny, Nicola Adams et al at the Rio Olympic Games, but today, Everything Dinosaur turns its attention to another part of Brazil, an area some two thousand kilometres (1,200 miles) further north.  The discovery of a single dinosaur leg bone has provided scientists with an insight into the growth and development of the biggest type of land animal to ever have lived – a Titanosaur.

An Illustration of a Group of Titanosaurs

Titanosaurs illustrated.

An illustration of a group of Titanosaurs.

Picture Credit: Marcos Paulo

The Sousa region in Paraiba State is famous for its extensive dinosaur trackways, however, actual bones are few and far between in the so called “Valley of the Dinosaurs”.  Thanks to the sharp eyes of local resident Luiz Carlos Gomes, the fibula (part of the lower leg), of a giant long-necked dinosaur has been excavated and studied by an international team of scientists.  Luis spotted the pieces of bone eroding out of a rock face and posted a photograph of his find on line.  Palaeontologists were soon alerted and the fossil fragments were carefully removed and pieced together.

The bones most likely represent a new species of Titanosaur.  For the moment, the animal has been nick-named “Sousatitan”, but sadly, unless more fossils are found, it is likely that this single bone will not lead to a formal scientific description and the erection of a new species of Brazilian dinosaur.

The scientists including palaeontologist Aline Ghilardi (Federal University of Pernambuco), report in the journal “Cretaceous Research”, that the fossil find is the first dinosaur bone to be found in the Rio do Peixe basin complex and that the strata in which the bone was found dates from the Early Cretaceous, indicating that Titanosaurs roamed this part of north-eastern Brazil around 136 million years ago.  Extensive, wide- bodied trackways found in this region had been attributed to titanosaurids, but this fragmented lower leg bone is the first body fossil to indicate the presence of dinosaurs in this part of Gondwana.

Various Views of the Titanosaur Fibula

Various views of the lower leg bone of an indeterminate Titanosauriform.

“Sousatitan” fibula images.

The Earliest Stratigraphic Occurrence of Titanosauria in Brazil

“Sousatitan” represents the oldest Titanosaur bone found in Brazil and the scientists are hopeful that more material can be found to help them discover more about the sort of herbivorous dinosaurs that roamed central Gondwana during the Berriasian to the Valanginian faunal stages of the Early Cretaceous.  With the assistance of other researchers from the University of Cape Town, the team were able to establish that the leg bone came from a juvenile.  Analysis of the bone micro-structure taken from mid point in the fibula revealed that the bone came from a young animal, one that had been through a burst of growth but had not yet reached adult size.  The scientists estimate that this individual was around 5.7 metres in length and around 1.6 metres high at the hip when it died.  It is likely that as an adult, this dinosaur would have been much bigger.  Trace fossils (trackways) in the Sousa area suggest Titanosaurs more than sixteen metres long.

Size Comparison of Different South American Titanosaurs

Comparing the size of different Titanosaur.

Titanosaur size comparison chart (scale bar = 2 metres).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Palaeobiologist, Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan (University of Cape Town) analysed the well-preserved, fossilised bone micro-structure of the animal and was able to conclude that the bone was from a juvenile.

She commented: “When I studied the bone micro-structure under the microscope, it was clear that the bone belonged to a juvenile Titanosaur.   The bone structure had features that indicated that the animal was still a fast-growing young individual and that it had died before it had reached full body size.”

For the moment “Sousatitan” might not be quite as familiar to Brazilians as Usain Bolt, Mo Farah or even their own gold medal winner from the track, Thiago Braz da Silva, but perhaps one day in the future, more fossils will be found and this part of north-eastern Brazil will have a newly described Titanosaur to call their own.

Take Care Fossil Collecting Near Cliffs

Take Care Fossil Hunting Near Cliffs

It is the time of year in the UK when many families take to the seaside for a holiday and many of them will visit various coastal locations and indulge in a bit of fossil hunting.  Finding fossils on the beach can be a lot of fun.  It can certainly occupy and entertain the little ones and who knows, it might lead on to fossil collecting becoming a life time hobby.  However, we at Everything Dinosaur would like to take this opportunity to warn would-be fossil hunters of the dangers of getting too close to cliffs.

Land Slips and Rock Falls are Common Around Britain’s Coasts

A rockfall at Lyme Regis

Rock fall onto the Ammonite Pavement on Monmouth Beach.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows a recent rock fall on Monmouth Beach which is located just to the west of the historic town of Lyme Regis on England’s famous “Jurassic Coast”.  Finding fossils on the beach can be a lot of fun but remember to stay away from the cliffs.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It can be all too tempting to explore a cliff face looking for fossils, we have witnessed many such occasions when people have ignored sign posts and clambered onto the cliffs or explored a recent rock fall.   Sadly, we have had to report in our blog a number of fatalities as a result of people getting caught in landslides and rock falls.”

The Fossil Collecting Code

Families would be well advised to take part in an organised fossil walk.  Local knowledge and expertise would be on hand to help visitors to make the most of an afternoon exploring our country’s prehistoric heritage.  At Lyme Regis there are a number of organised walks and tours, for further details: Lyme Regis Fossil Walks

Hunting for Fossils is a Great Summer Time Activity for Families

Looking for fossils at Lyme Regis.

Fossils can still be found on the shore.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To read Everything Dinosaur’s helpful hints and tips with regards to safe fossil hunting: The Fossil Collecting Code – Hints and Tips

We urge everyone to take care when visiting beaches with high cliffs, it is best to stay well away from them and we also wish everyone who goes fossil hunting every success, here’s hoping you find some amazing fossils.

Paleo-Creatures Coming to Everything Dinosaur

Paleo-Creatures Replicas Added to Everything Dinosaur’s Huge Model Range

Everything Dinosaur is pleased to announce that the UK based prehistoric animal model supplier will be stocking the Paleo-Creatures range of prehistoric animal replicas.  Paleo-Creatures are the brain-child of talented Spanish artist and model maker Jesús Toledo.  The first ten figures should be arriving at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse next week and then model fans will be able to purchase on line at Everything Dinosaur’s website Everything Dinosaur shortly afterwards.

Coming into Stock in the Next Few Days – Paleo-Creatures Prehistoric Animal Models

The Paleo-Creatures range

An assortment of prehistoric animal replicas in the Paleo-Creatures range.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Paleo-Creatures Replica Range

To start with, ten models are coming into stock.  The picture above shows the ten replicas, the top row shows Concavenator (C. corcovatus), the Koolasuchus (K. cleelandi) and the bizarre marine reptile Atopodentatus (A. unicus).  The middle section of the image showcases a further four Paleo-Creatures figures, on the left there is Aegirocassis (A. benmoulai), the giant filter-feeding anomalocaridid (anomalocarid) from the Ordovician.  The beautifully coloured Dilophosaurus (D. wetherilli), sits above a fantastic replica of the amazing Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium) and to the right of the image we have the Paleo-Creatures Kosmoceratops (K. richardsoni).

A spectacular Xenacanthus, an ancient genus of freshwater shark, joins the Paleo-Creatures Torvosaurus and an Eotyrannus (E. lengi) on the third row.  Creator Jesús Toledo has even provided the Eotyrannus and Torvosaurus replicas with articulated lower jaws.

Amazing Figures for the Discerning Model Collector

Paleo-Creatures Concavenator

The Paleo-Creatures Concavenator model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For further information about the Paleo-Creatures range and enquire about availability and prices: Email Everything Dinosaur

Hand-Crafted and Beautifully Painted Prehistoric Animal Replicas

The Paleo-Creatures range of prehistoric animal figures are superb quality polyurethane replicas hand-painted with high quality acrylic paints.  Each one makes a fantastic piece for any model collector, especially discerning collectors of prehistoric animal models.  These scale models are available exclusively to Everything Dinosaur customers within Everything Dinosaur’s main markets and to express an interest in obtaining a Paleo-Creatures replica simply drop Everything Dinosaur an email and our dedicated team will contact you with further information: Email Everything Dinosaur for Further Information about the Paleo-Creatures Line

Aimed at collectors aged fourteen and above, these replicas are top quality display items.

The Paleo-Creatures Koolasuchus Figure

The fantastic Paleo-Creatures Koolasuchus.

A Paleo-Creatures Koolasuchus figure.

Picture Credit: Paleo-Creatures/Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We like the individuality of these figures.  Each Paleo-Creatures replica is carefully crafted and hand-painted, they really are excellent quality and we love the fact that some of the more amazing and bizarre prehistoric animals are represented.  For example,  it’s great to see a really good model of Koolasuchus, along with an interpretation of the bizarre Triassic marine reptile Atopodentatus.  Of course, there are dinosaur models and terrific they are too, but for us the real stars are the truly weird Tully Monster and the giant filter feeder Aegirocassis.”

The first ten models in this exciting new series will be available from Everything Dinosaur, next week!

Staypressed theme by Themocracy