Category: Book Reviews

A Review of Prehistoric Times (Issue 114)

Prehistoric Times (Issue 114 Summer 2015) Reviewed

An opportunity to unwind from our busy Summer Term schedule of dinosaur workshops, writing lesson plans for schools and so forth with the latest edition of the quarterly magazine Prehistoric Times, that dropped through our office letterbox earlier this week. The timing of this super magazine’s arrival could not have been better as next week our fieldwork and summer school commitments start, so let’s jump straight in.

Naturally the summer has been a very “dino heavy” one, what with the release of a certain film starring Chris Pratt et al.  Prehistoric Times does not disappoint, the editor Mike Fredericks, takes time out from his own busy schedule to provide a short review of “Jurassic World” and to discuss the huge range of collectibles and other merchandise that have flooded onto the market.  The focus is on the American market, but the article is well written and we loved his short, concise movie review:

“Plenty of dinosaurs and plenty of action.”

We could not have put it better ourselves,  just be careful, if you haven’t seen the film yet, the article does have a plot synopsis and therefore it contains a few spoilers.  With Universal Studios having announced a sequel, conveniently (at least until a better title comes along), entitled “Jurassic World 2″ scheduled for June 22nd 2018, or thereabouts, we can expect Mike to provide another merchandise overview but this time in issue PT#126!

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times (Issue 114)

Concavenator features (Sean Cooper)

Concavenator features (Sean Cooper)

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks/Prehistoric Times

The front cover features a spectacular model of Concavenator (C. corcovatus) created by the very talented Sean Cooper.  A lengthy interview provides an insight into Sean’s work and showcases some of his amazing dioramras (built/painted by Martin Garratt).  If you look carefully you can spot another Concavenator replica by Sean but with a different colour scheme inside the magazine.

Phil Hore provides part two (a sequel)? to his excellent series on the resurrected Brontosaurus and there is some wonderful reader’s artwork on display.   Special mentions to Kurt Miller, Julius Csotonyi and Russell J. Hawley for their contributions.  Tracy Lee Ford keeps us in the Morrison Formation as he explains how to tell the boys and girls apart when it comes to the Stegosauridae.  A very insightful article it is too.  He draws upon the recently published paper on Hesperosaurus, a summary of which you can find here: Did Boy Stegosaurs Have Bigger Plates Than The Girls? If you want to know the difference between different Stegosaur species this article is a great place to start.  Also, look out for a short review of Tracy’s “How to Draw Dinosaurs Volume 1″ in the book review section.

The enigmatic Auroch features, a prehistoric cow responsible for more human fatalities than the whole of the Dinosauria, no matter what you might see at the cinema.  Phil Hore does a great job in explaining what the Auroch was and reports on the potential to make this bovine “de-extinct”.  He even manages to squeeze a photograph in of a few Nazis, you have to subscribe to Prehistoric Times to learn about this historical connection.

Amongst all the dinosaur and fossil news, look out for Britain’s Mike Howgate and his feature on the Wisbech Museum and the story of perhaps the very first prehistoric animal models ever made.  Nice one Mike, keep flying the flag for those of us on this side of the Atlantic, after all, the word Dinosauria was first coined by a Lancastrian!

The National Geographic Channel’s recent documentary “T. rex Autopsy”, is featured with a very informative interview with palaeontologist Matthew T. Mossbrucker and look out for an imaginative and well-written story all about Tyrannosaurus rex – The Super Predator written by Mike Kelley.

Eagle-eyed fans of Everything Dinosaur will also be able to spot a number of familiar drawings of prehistoric animals in the What’s New in Review section.  These drawings are some of the illustrations that we commission editor Mike Fredericks to create for us to illustrate our exclusive range of prehistoric animal fact sheets.

Can you Spot the Rebor Utahraptor (Wind Hunter) Illustration

The illustration on the Everything Dinosaur Utahraptor fact sheet.

The illustration on the Everything Dinosaur Utahraptor fact sheet.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For further information on Prehistoric Times and to subscribe to this excellent magazine: Prehistoric Times Magazine

 As ever, this is a jam-packed edition with so many highlights.  Fans of Marx toy dinosaurs won’t be disappointed as will anyone with a passing interest in Acrocanthosaurus and a special mention to Allen A. Debus for his fascinating article on the first representations of evolution in the cinema and the legal spat between Willis O’Brien and Herbert M. Dawley, that occurred at a time when stop-motion triumphs such as the Lost World and King Kong had yet to be made.

All in all great stuff!

The Great Dinosaur Discoveries Reviewed

A Review of “The Great Dinosaur Discoveries” by Darren Naish

Everything Dinosaur team members were asked the other day to provide a list of what were, in their opinion, the best dinosaur books written since the turn of the Century.  One of the books listed was “The Great Dinosaur Discoveries”, written by Darren Naish and published back in 2009.  This is a book about dinosaurs, but it takes the reader on a very different journey when compared to the majority of books that discuss the rise and fall of the Dinosauria, and what a fascinating journey it is too.

The Front Cover of “The Great Dinosaur Discoveries”

A fascinating insight into the history of dinosaur discoveries.

A fascinating insight into the history of dinosaur discoveries.

A lot of dinosaur books catalogue the dinosaurs in terms of their geology, starting with the very first dinosaurs and ending with the Cretaceous mass extinction, that ended the “Age of Reptiles”, leaving us with only the avian dinosaurs to study as living animals today.  Other books on this topic take the phylogenetic approach, that is, they map out the dinosaur family tree.  Chapters are dedicated to the different sorts of dinosaur that once roamed the Earth, pages detail the evolution of the Sauropodomorpha, whilst other parts focus on Theropods, the armoured dinosaurs (Thyreophora) and the Ornithopods.

Darren’s book takes us in a different direction.  After an introductory preamble that deals with dinosaur definitions and places the Dinosauria within the geological time scale, each subsequent chapter is organised chronologically in terms of how our knowledge and understanding of these magnificent Archosaurs has changed.  It is not just a book about dinosaurs, it documents the history of dinosaur research and this is a most informative and refreshing approach.

Yes, we have to admit, this is not the first book to be produced to have done this, but what elevates “The Great Dinosaur Discoveries” above its peers are the beautiful fossil photographs, the stunning illustrations, provided by the likes of Julius Csotonyi, Luis Rey and Todd Marshall and the informative and well crafted writing of the author.

An Acrocanthosaurus Studies a Group of Sauroposeidon

Theropods make an appearance in a section devoted to Macronaria from Oklahoma.

Theropods make an appearance in a section devoted to Macronaria from Oklahoma.

Picture Credit: Julius Csotonyi

The picture above shows one of the many illustrations by renowned palaeo-artist Julius Csotonyi included in this book.  Darren combines stunning artwork with the sort of well-informed writing one would expect from such a distinguished vertebrate palaeontologist and science writer.

In our correspondence with the author, Darren admits that due to time and budgetary constraints some elements that he desperately wanted to include were omitted.  He would have loved to have added a section dedicated to the “Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt”, detailing the contribution made to the science of palaeontology by Ernst Freiherr Stromer von Reichenbach and Richard Markgraf, or to have explained in greater detail the contribution made by Louis Dollo when it comes to unravelling the family tree of the iguanodontids.  Alas, this was not to be.  However, “The Great Dinosaur Discoveries” is not diminished as a result of these omissions and although the science of vertebrate palaeontology has moved on since this book was first published (2009), it remains a thoroughly enjoyable read and serves as testament to the dedicated research that has done so much to help us understand the enigmatic Dinosauria.

Ouranosaurus Makes an Appearance – Mounted Skeleton

Amazing pictures of dinosaurs in the book.

Amazing pictures of dinosaurs in the book.

Aimed at the general reader with plenty to interest those with an academic background, this book is highly recommended.  Find it and add it to your bookshelf, you won’t be disappointed.

Naish, D. 2009. The Great Dinosaur Discoveries. University of California Press (Berkeley and Los Angeles), pp. 192. Hardback. ISBN 978-0-520-25975-1.

How to Clone a Mammoth (Book Review)

How to Clone a Mammoth by Beth Shapiro – Book Review

There is a saying “may you live in interesting times”, thought by many to be an ancient Chinese proverb.  We may not be too sure as to the derivation of this phrase, but for a geneticist, the early years of the 21st Century are most certainly “interesting times”.  Our understanding of DNA, that double helix shaped set of building blocks for life itself has come on in leaps and bounds over the last two decades.  Our species is on the brink of some startling developments in genetics, one of which is the ability, through the manipulation of an organism’s genome, to bring back once extinct creatures, or at least to produce a population of closely related living things that have characteristics of organisms that existed in the past.

Evolutionary biologist and ecologist Beth Shapiro, neatly summarises the current research and sets out some of the hurdles – scientific, moral and ethical, that mankind will have to overcome if the likes of a Woolly Mammoth will ever roam the Earth again.  Her book “How to Clone a Woolly Mammoth”, published by Princeton Press sets out to explain how state-of-the-art science can lead to genetic modification, consequences of which, include the possibility of the return of the Passenger Pigeon to North America or the Mammoth to the tundra of Russia.

How to Clone a Woolly Mammoth by Beth Shapiro

The science of de-extinction by Beth Shapiro.

The science of de-extinction by Beth Shapiro.

Picture Credit: Princeton Press

Written in an informative but never patronising style, Beth an Associate Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, takes the reader on a journey beginning with the tricky subject of which species to consider for “de-extinction” and then how to go about finding a suitable specimen for the all important donation of genetic material.  Her frank and knowledgeable account of Pleistocene fossil hunting expeditions in the Yukon and on the Taimyr Peninsula in the far north of Russia provides a fresh perspective on the difficulties involved in hunting for long extinct Ice Age creatures and the potentially game-changing genetic treasure that they may contain.

For further information and to purchase this book visit: Princeton Press

“How to Clone a Mammoth” provides a comprehensive account of the current research and sets out the role that genetically modified organisms will play in conservation.  Beth has skilfully blended cutting edge science with an overview of the ramifications that resurrecting lost fauna might have for the restoration of declining ecosystems.  This book will be of interest to a very broad audience, from academics and students, to the general reader with a lay person’s curiosity for the ways in which genetic engineering is shaping life on Earth.

The Author Associate Professor Beth Shapiro

A well-written and comprehensive account.

A well-written and comprehensive account.

Picture Credit: Kris Krug

 This field of scientific endeavour is moving at a rapid pace.  Recently, an international team of scientists, including Dr Love Dalén, from the Swedish Museum of Natural History (Stockholm), successfully sequenced the Woolly Mammoth genome.  In a separate study, researchers have highlighted the alarming decline globally of large herbivores, that might lead to “empty landscapes”.  Associate Professor Shapiro argues that elephants which have been genetically modified so that they are able to tolerate cold conditions could well play a significant role in habitat and ecosystem preservation in the near future.  “How to Clone a Mammoth” may soon date as the science of “de-extinction” progresses, but it provides the reader with a road map for understanding the path that genetic research developments may take us down.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“This is a skilfully and conscientiously crafted book that explains the challenges and potential pit falls that lie ahead.  The author has done much to de-bunk the myths and misleading information that surrounds this topic and “How to Clone a Mammoth” provides the reader with a comprehensive account of the state of current research as well as tantalising glimpses with regards to what risks and potential rewards “de-extinction” might facilitate.”

Highly recommended.

For further information on “How to Clone a Mammoth” or to purchase a copy: Princeton Press

Prehistoric Times Spring 2015 Reviewed

A Review of Prehistoric Times (Issue 113)

Armour and artists dominate the latest edition of Prehistoric Times, the magazine for dinosaur fans and collectors of all things Dinosauria.  The front cover features a spectacular piece of artwork created by the very talented Luis Rey, a feathered Tarbosaurus battles the ankylosaurid Tarchia.  Inside there is an interview with the London-based illustrator along with some selected images from his most impressive back catalogue.  Armoured prehistoric animals is a recurring theme, not only is Ankylosaurus the subject of a Phil Hore feature, but he also covers Archelon (giant prehistoric marine turtle) and Glyptodon a member of the bizarre Xenarthran group of Mammals.  Three Phil Hore features for the price of two, must be some sort of special offer for spring!

The Colourful Front Cover of Prehistoric Times Magazine

The wonderful artwork of Luis Rey is featured.

The wonderful artwork of Luis Rey is featured.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

The huge Ankylosaurus skull fossil is discussed in an article by Dr. Jordan Mallon, this specimen representing the largest individual known (CMN 8880) was discovered way back in 1947, but its significance and the implications for research into ankylosaurids has only just been realised.  Tracy Lee Ford explains how to get ahead when it comes to drawing the cranial features of these most armoured of all the dinosaurs.  This article, literally builds on a previously published one that explained the technicalities involved when it comes to producing accurate images of the wide bodies of these Ornithischians.

Amongst all the reader submitted artwork, news stories and book reviews (great to see the Blu-ray version of Dinosaur 13 reviewed, this was a super documentary), the forthcoming Jurassic World is not ignored.  Mike Fredericks provides a personal view on this long-awaited block buster.  There are some pictures from the movie, plus some images of the inevitable avalanche of merchandise – not too many spoilers (honest).  We shall have to see if Jurassic World has been worth the wait.

There is a poignant feature on the Carnegie Collectibles range of models, written by Joshua Morrison.  Everything Dinosaur received news, a while back that the partnership between Safari Ltd and the Carnegie Natural History Museum was coming to an end, to read more about this: The End of the Line for Carnegie Collectibles.  In an article entitled “Fabled Beginnings: The Origin of the Carnegie Collection”, Joshua leads us through the early days of this iconic replica range.

Dr. John Noad takes readers on a brief guided tour of one of our favourite places on the planet – the Dinosaur Provincial Park of Alberta, Canada and on a very sad note there is an obituary for Stephen Czerkas, sculptor, scientist and author who sadly passed away earlier this year.

For further information on Prehistoric Times magazine and to subscribe: Prehistoric Times Magazine

Prehistoric Times Magazine Reviewed (Issue 112)

Winter 2015 Prehistoric Times Magazine Reviewed

Having had the chance to read the latest edition of the dinosaur model collectors magazine “Prehistoric Times”, it is time to write a quick review of issue 112 (winter 2015).  Once again the magazine is jam-packed with articles, information and features that is going to make dinosaur fans forget about waiting for new “Jurassic World” trailers, well, for a while at least anyway.  Ukrainian artist Sergey Krasovskiy is interviewed by Mike Fredericks and the article showcases some of Sergey’s amazing illustrations.  We learn that at the moment Sergey is currently working on a number of “English language projects” and given the problems in his home country at the moment we wish him well with his endeavours.

Prehistoric Times (Winter 2015)

A pair of battling Tyrannotitans are featured on the front cover.

A pair of battling Tyrannotitans are featured on the front cover.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

The front cover of the latest edition of Prehistoric Times features a pair of squabbling Tyrannotitans.  This watercolour was painted by Sergey Krasovskiy who is featured in an interview inside.  The face biting behaviour as depicted in the picture is supported by pathology found on the skulls and jaws of several Theropod genera.

One of the featured prehistoric animals in this edition is Apatosaurus.  Such was the influx of artwork submitted by readers that more images will be included in the 2015 summer issue.  Phil Hore provides a commentary about how our perceptions of this iconic Sauropod have changed over the years and the talented Tracey Lee Ford adds to the debate by presenting his thoughts on the Aptatosaurus versus Brontosaurus debate in his excellent “How to Draw Dinosaurs” feature.  Phil also guides us through in his own words a “quick history” of Liopleurodon.  Once again, this well written piece contains lots of reader submitted artwork, including an illustration by Mr Krasovskiy which shows a Liopleurodon grubbing about on the seabed in search of stones to be swallowed as ballast/gastroliths for this nektonic predator.

Allen A. Debus takes us back down memory lane as he recalls the many life-size models made in the 1960’s.  Steve Brusatte, (University of Edinburgh), does well to shoe-horn a review of major palaeontology news stories of last year into three pages, yes we know the word “palaeontology” is spelt in the American fashion, but Steve is an American after all and “PT” as fans call it is an American magazine.  Everything Dinosaur has covered the stories in a little more depth on this blog, but Steve’s contribution to this issue provides an excellent summary of major discoveries and research findings.  Amongst the news stories, product updates and book reviews, the editor Mike Fredericks has dedicated a double page spread to miscellaneous artwork sent in.  This really does show the breadth and depth of talent out there with stunning images from the likes of Davide Bonadonna, John Sibbick and Nathan E. Rogers.

Long-time dinosaur model collector (and geologist), Mike Howgate delivers an interesting article that delves into the advent of promotional prehistoric animal models.  Entitled “Mesozoic Musings”, we look forward to hearing more from this talented individual who spends his time between dinosaur model collecting and his other extensive interests which include giving guiding walking tours of the City of London.

To learn more about the magazine “Prehistoric Times” and to subscribe: Prehistoric Times

From digital dinosaurs to dinosaur displays and drawings, the latest issue of “Prehistoric Times”, just like the Tyrannotitans on the front cover,  has a great deal to get your teeth into!

Recommended Christmas Reading for Dinosaur Fans

“Dinosaurs of the British Isles” – An Ideal Christmas Gift

Not sure what to buy a budding palaeontologist for Christmas, well, Everything Dinosaur recommends “Dinosaurs of the British Isles” by Dean Lomax and Nobumichi Tamura (Siri Scientific Press).  This book provides a comprehensive guide to the dinosaur discoveries that have been made in the United Kingdom and it takes the reader from the Triassic through to the Late Cretaceous, cataloguing all the various dinosaurs in geochronological order.

The Front Cover of Dinosaurs of the British Isles

A comprehensive guide to British dinosaurs over 400 pages.

A comprehensive guide to British dinosaurs over 400 pages.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

Dean and Nobumichi have painstakingly compiled a comprehensive review of all the major dinosaur fossil finds and this book is aimed at the general reader as well as at fossil collectors and dinosaur fans.  Southern England and the Isle of Wight may be globally significant locations when it comes to Early Cretaceous dinosaurs, but readers may be surprised to find that the sandstones in Morayshire (Scotland) have provided tantalising clues to life on the super-continent Pangaea during the Triassic and the oldest dinosaur tracks can be spotted at Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan (south Wales).

The authors are to be commended, as they provide a fascinating introduction to the Dinosauria, their classification and the emergence of palaeontology as a science.  This all follows a well-written foreword by Dr. Paul Barrett, a highly respected academic and vertebrate palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum (London).  With the Dinosauria well and truly introduced, it is time to meet some of the amazing prehistoric creatures that once roamed the British Isles.  For example, at least three types of tyrannosaurid may once have roamed across this part of the world.  There’s the Proceratosaurus (P. bradleyi) whose fossilised remains, come from Gloucestershire, the fearsome, five-metre long Juratyrant, a terror of the Late Jurassic whose fossilised remains have been discovered near Swanage (Dorset) and Eotyrannus (E. lengi), represented by a partial skeleton found on the Isle of Wight.

 Documenting the Theropoda of the British Isles

A potential Compsognathidae?

A potential Compsognathidae?

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

 It is not just the meat-eaters that palaeontologist Dean Lomax has documented in collaboration with California based, palaeoartist Nobumichi Tamura.  The United Kingdom boasts some very impressive (and gigantic) herbivorous dinosaurs too. This book also provides a comprehensive account of the huge Sauropods that once stomped across the British Isles, many of which rivalled the long-necked dinosaurs of North America in terms of size.

To visit the website of Siri Scientific Press to learn more about “Dinosaurs of the British Isles”: Siri Scientific Press

Author Dean Provides a Scale for Cetiosaurus

A belly up view of "Whale Lizard".

A belly up view of “Whale Lizard”.

Picture Credit: Dean Lomax

The full colour photographs are very informative and support the text extremely effectively.  This is a rare example of a book that will appeal to serious academics as well as to the general reader.  “Dinosaurs of the British Isles” provides a fascinating introduction to the Dinosauria, before moving on to describe every dinosaur species represented by the known fossil record from this part of the world in great detail.

Highly recommended.

“Dinosaurs of the British Isles” by Dean Lomax and Nobumichi Tamura is available from Siri Scientific Press (Siri Scientific Press), length 414 pages, ISBN: 978-0-9574530-5-0.

Winner of Everything Dinosaur Competition Announced

Name an English Dinosaur “Anglosaurus lomaxi

In October, Everything Dinosaur ran a competition to win a signed copy of the terrific dinosaur book “Dinosaurs of the British Isles”.  This book, which was published in the summer, catalogues the dinosaur discoveries known from the British Isles and it was written by the highly talented Dean Lomax and Nobumichi Tamura.  Following a foreward by the eminent palaeontologist Dr. Paul Barrett, the authors summarise what is known about the history of every dinosaur species discovered within the British Isles.

The Front Cover of “Dinosaurs of the British Isles”

A comprehensive guide to British dinosaurs over 400 pages.

A comprehensive guide to British dinosaurs over 400 pages.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

Palaeontologist Dean Lomax kindly signed a copy and sent it over to Everything Dinosaur, we had a prize, now all we needed was a competition.  The contest we came up was to name an imaginary new species of English dinosaur.  We had so many imaginative entries, we can’t give everyone a mention but here’s a few…

  • “Herniornis Londonous” – Bubosaurus
  • “Ankyliceritops” – Heathyceritops
  • “Britanniasaurus” – Tom
  • “Blightyosaurus” – Aaron
  • “Elgaraptor” – Melanie
  • Ukinodon” – Ken
  • “Manteladon” – Darryl
  • “Forsythodon” – Eleanor
  • “Stiffupperliposaur” – Rosemary
  • “Anningosaurus” – Susan
  • “Kyleosaurus” – Wyatt
  • “Britisaurus” – Sarah
  • “Arthurodon” – Kevin

Honourable mentions to all these but the winning entry pulled out of the hat was “Anglosaurus lomaxi” posted up on Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page by Robert.  The name translates as “Lomaxi’s English Lizard”, which was very apt after all, this would not be the first dinosaur name to honour a palaeontologist.

To read more about the “Dinosaurs of the  British Isles”:  “Dinosaurs of the British Isles” Reviewed

To visit the publisher’s website and to order the book: Siri Scientific Press

Once again our congratulations to Robert and our thanks to everyone who took part.  Look out for more competitions on our Facebook page and on the Everything Dinosaur blog.

Prehistoric Times Issue 111 Reviewed

A Review of Prehistoric Times (Issue 111) Autumn 2014

Summer may be over for us in the northern hemisphere and for the UK the clocks go back next week heralding some months when nights are going to be longer than days.  However, perfect fireside reading has arrived in the nick of time, in the shape of the latest edition of the quarterly magazine “Prehistoric Times” and once again it is jam packed with interesting articles, fantastic artwork and features.  Decorating the front cover is a beautiful rendering of a Cretaceous fight scene between an unfortunate Hippodraco (iguanodontid) and a mob of Utahraptors.  This artwork was created by the very talented Julius Csotonyi and inside this issue there is a super interview with the palaeo-artist and a review of his new book “The Palaeoart of Julius Csotonyi” by Julius and Steve White.  Everything Dinosaur team members were sent a copy of this hardback a few months ago, it really is an excellent book showcasing the talents of a remarkable artist.  The interview with Julius conducted by “Prehistoric Times’s” editor Mike Fredericks, is supported by lots of illustrations which show the range of prehistoric animals and time periods covered by Julius in his new publication.  The scene featuring several Late Cretaceous herbivores demonstrating “dietary niche partitioning” is my personal favourite, although my nephew likes the eyeball-plucking raptor best – still that’s kids for you.

The Front Cover Artwork (Prehistoric Times Issue 111)

Prehistoric Times magazine.

Prehistoric Times magazine.

Picture Credit: Prehistoric Times

One of the featured prehistoric animals is Baryonyx and there are oodles (scientific term), of great illustrations sent in by readers on this member of the Spinosauridae and we greatly appreciated the article by Phil Hore on this Theropod.  We too, like Phil, have speculated on how many fossil specimens ascribed to prehistoric crocodiles in the past may well turn out to be evidence of widely dispersed spinosaurids.  Special mention to our chum Fabio Pastori for a simply stunning Baryonyx drawing.

The magazine has a bit of an “English theme” running through it.  Dinosaur discoveries of southern England are documented in another article, which features the artwork of John Sibbick and there is a well written piece by John Lavas that discusses the impact of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Lost World”, a novel that we are informed has not been out of print since its publication back in 1912.  Bringing things right up to date, our review of “Dinosaurs of the British Isles” is featured, a book which documents and catalogues the Dinosauria known from these shores.

Tracy Ford continues his series on how to draw dinosaurs by discussing integumental coverings – feathers, quills and bristles on the Dinosauria.  He makes some excellent points and it is great to see a piece that features one of our favourite dinosaur discoveries of recent times, Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus.  This little feathered, plant-eating dinosaur makes another appearance in the Palaeo News section, along with updates on the Spinosaurus quadruped/bidped debate, giant prehistoric birds, a newly described Archaeopteryx specimen and a short report on Dreadnoughtus schrani .  Dreadnoughtus is important as a large number of bones have been found, helping palaeontologists such as Dr. Kenneth Lacovara (Drexel University), to estimate the body mass of this huge Titanosaur.  This dinosaur discovery adds a whole new dimension to body mass estimations using femora radii.  Everything Dinosaur wrote a short article on this discovery, it was favourably commented upon by the scientists behind the research paper and we basked in the glory of being praised by the researchers (for a few days at least).

To read more about “Prehistoric Times” and to subscribe: Prehistoric Times Magazine

Dan LoRusso is interviewed about his work on the Battat “Terra” model range and there is a special feature on the bizarre, sabre-toothed Thylacosmilus.  The “English” theme is re-visited once again with a fascinating article penned by Allen A. Debus which examines the way palaeontology was depicted in the popular press of the 19th Century, the list of references at the end of this article is especially helpful.  Amongst the many other features and news stories is an interview with Todd Miller, the director of the film all about the controversy surrounding the Tyrannosaurus rex named “Sue”, the thirteenth documented T. rex dinosaur discovery hence the film’s title “Dinosaur 13″.  We had the very great pleasure of meeting Pete Larson in London just a few weeks before the film’s August 15th premier.  Pete chatted about the documentary and Everything Dinosaur did some work on behalf of the media company responsible for the distribution of this excellent film in the UK back in the summer.

Ah well, summer may be over but at least we have another super edition of “Prehistoric Times” to keep us occupied over those long autumn evenings.

Autumn Edition of Prehistoric Times

Issue 111 (Autumn 2014) on its Way

The front cover of the next edition of Prehistoric Times depicts a dramatic scene.  A flock of Dromaeosaurs are attacking and over powering an Ornithopod.  We suspect that this is an interpretation of a fossil site whereby the carcases of a number of ferocious dinosaurs called Deinonychus were found in close proximity to the body of a much larger, herbivorous Tenontosaurus.  The scene was created by the highly talented Julius Csotonyi (interview with him in this magazine), it shows a group of Utahraptors overpowering a Hippodraco.  It is a digital painting created in 2013.

Front Cover of Prehistoric Times (Autumn 2014)

Prehistoric Times magazine.

Prehistoric Times magazine.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

To read more about Prehistoric Times and to subscribe: Prehistoric Times Magazine

What a dramatic and beautifully crafted scene depicted on the front cover of the autumn edition.  We note also that the film “Dinosaur 13″ will be discussed, we look forward to reading this article, after all, we had a small role in the pre-publicity with regards to this movie that hit selected cinema screens in August.  There is also an interview with the very talented Julius Csotonyi.  Team members at Everything Dinosaur had the great honour of reviewing Julius’s latest book earlier this year “The Palaeoart of Julius Csotonyi” and what an excellent publication it is to.  On the subject of excellent publications, we are really looking forward to the next edition of Prehistoric Times.

“Dinosaurs of the British Isles” Book Review

Book Review – “Dinosaurs of the British Isles” by Dean Lomax and Nobumichi Tamura

Barely a week seems to go by without the announcement of some new dinosaur discovery.  We seem to have become accustomed to media reports highlighting some exciting aspect of the Dinosauria, often from faraway places and remote parts of the world.  Whilst it is always intriguing to hear reports of fossil finds relating to prehistoric animals that once lived in the Arctic Circle or indeed, to see pictures of the newest type of feathered dinosaur identified from north-eastern China, it is worth remembering that dinosaurs, lots of them for that matter, once roamed the British Isles.

Whilst it is highly unlikely that the first dinosaurs evolved in the area of land we now term the United Kingdom (evidence suggests that the very first dinosaurs evolved in the southern hemisphere), the formal scientific study of the fossilised remains of these ancient reptiles was begun in England and the contribution of British scientists to the nascent sciences of geology and palaeontology was immense.   This beautifully illustrated, new publication, sets out to catalogue the dinosaurs of Britain.  Authors Dean Lomax and Nobumichi Tamura provide a comprehensive account of the dinosaurs of the British Isles.  So, if you want to read about meat-eating dinosaurs from Swindon, Stegosaurs from Peterborough and Tyrannosaurs from the Isle of Wight then this book is for you.

Dinosaurs of the British Isles (Front Cover)

A comprehensive guide to British dinosaurs over 400 pages.

A comprehensive guide to British dinosaurs over 400 pages.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

For further details and to purchase: Siri Scientific Press

This book has been painstakingly researched and prepared.  It has taken something like three years to write and it has been produced with a diverse audience in mind.  Academics and researchers will no doubt find this book an excellent reference.  The general reader with an interest in fossils and history will appreciate the clearly labelled diagrams and concise writing style.  The skilfully created prehistoric scenes by Nobumichi Tamura and James McKay will help to inspire young dinosaur fans eager to learn more about palaeontology.

Vivid Reconstructions Bring British Dinosaurs Back to Life

Many small meat-eating dinosaurs once roamed the British Isles

Many small, meat-eating dinosaurs once roamed the British Isles

Picture Credit: Nobumichi Tamura

Many hundreds of fossil photographs are included, the accompanying notes and labels help to explain the importance of individual specimens and one of the joys of this book, is that it features a large number of fossils that are not on display to the general public.

Author Dean Lomax Preparing to Photograph a Sauropod

Rarely viewed British dinosaur fossils are photographed

Rarely viewed British dinosaur fossils are photographed

Picture Credit: Dean Lomax

A lot of the fossils featured in this book are usually hidden away from view as part of museum collections.  In the picture above, author Dean Lomax can be seen photographing the skeleton of the British Sauropod dinosaur, Cetiosauriscus stewarti at the Natural History Museum, London.

Following a brief foreword from Dr. Paul Barrett and the authors, “Dinosaurs of the British Isles” defines the Dinosauria Order, explains how dinosaurs are classified and summarises the history of research before moving on to discuss how fossils are formed.  Having placed British dinosaurs into context, the rest of the book is dedicated to a chronological cataloguing of the dinosaur fossil finds, taking the reader through the Triassic, Jurassic and culminating in the Late Cretaceous.

Huge Plant-Eating Dinosaurs Once Roamed the British Isles

Helpful tables provide further information and alongside life restorations, scientifically accurate skeletal drawings have been provided.

Helpful tables provide further information and alongside life restorations, scientifically accurate skeletal drawings have been included.

Picture Credit: Nobumichi Tamura and Jamie A. Headden

The book extends to over 400 pages and provides a truly comprehensive account of those members of the Dinosauria whose fossils have been found in the British Isles.  There is even a section on “dinosaur hotspots” and a useful glossary to help explain some of the scientific terms encountered in this book.

Highly recommended.

This book is published by Siri Scientific Press and is available from the website below (worldwide shipping)

For further details and to purchase visit: Dinosaurs of the British Isles

Staypressed theme by Themocracy