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Book reviews and information on dinosaur books by Everything Dinosaur team members.

30 09, 2015

Snippets of Dinosaur Information

By | September 30th, 2015|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Digging for Nuggets of Dinosaur Data

The book entitled “The Great Dinosaur Discoveries”, written by Darren Naish, may have come out in 2009, but it remains a firm favourite amongst Everything Dinosaur team members.  The illustrations may be a little out of date, if we recall correctly, the author himself points this out.  However, they do not undermine what is in essence a terrific read.  One of the great things about this book is that Darren throws in little snippets of dinosaur information every now and then that other writers would simply overlook or indeed not be aware of in the first place.  If you want to know exactly, why the name of the armoured dinosaur Scelidosaurus (S. harrisonii) means “limb lizard”?  Read this book as Darren provides the answer.

An Excellent Book about Dinosaurs

Aimed at young readers as well as older, general readers.

Aimed at young readers as well as older, general readers.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For an insight into the hand function of Deinocheirus (D. mirificus), turn to page ninety-nine.  An intriguing paragraph explaining the viewpoints put forward in the early 20th Century concerning those huge arms and hands of this Asian Theropod.

For the latest interpretation: Deinocheirus Done and Dusted For Now at Least

At the beginning of each chapter, as Darren charts the history of dinosaur discoveries, there is a handy timeline that shows the major fossil finds and scientific descriptions .  In addition, a world map is provided identifying the location of where the fossilised bones and trace fossils were found.

As you would expect, all the major dinosaur groups are featured, as are a number of the more obscure ones such as the Alvarezsauridae and the Scansoriopterygidae.  If you want to gain an understanding of why the idea of Sauropods being aquatic animals took hold and remained prevalent until quite recently, then turn to page thirty-one.

This really is an excellent read.  It is a  is a super book full of amazing dinosaur facts. Highly recommended.

11 09, 2015

My Changing Polacanthus

By | September 11th, 2015|Book Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

In Praise of the Polacanthids

Not the best known of all the armoured dinosaurs perhaps, that accolade goes to the likes of Stegosaurus, or even Ankylosaurus, but the often overlooked Polacanthus is one of those prehistoric animals afforded great affection amongst many palaeontologists, fossil collectors and dinosaur fans alike.  After all, Hylaeosaurus, suspected as being a member of the Polacanthidae, was the third dinosaur to be named and described, in fact Hylaeosaurus (H.armatus) was named in 1833, several years before Richard Owen erected the Dinosauria.

The Polacanthids are being given more of the limelight as a new book all about these dinosaurs has been published by Siri Scientific Press.

More Makeovers than Most – the Polacanthidae

Lizard-like, cold-blooded with round, conical and upward pointing armoured spikes.

Lizard-like, cold-blooded with round, conical and upward pointing armoured spikes.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This new book, entitled “British Polacanthid Dinosaurs” has been written by retired university lecturer, William T. Blows and very informative it is too.  Everything Dinosaur team members will produce a more complete review of this new publication in the near future but for the moment there is just time to reflect on the changing views regarding the Polacanthidae that have taken place.  Early interpretations of this armoured dinosaur, envisaged it as a slow-moving, cumbersome, squat animal which was very much cold-blooded and lizard-like.  However, over the last three decades or so our perceptions have changed.  Gone are the giant toad-like features, the conical horns that point upwards and that heavy, dragging tail.  The polacanthid makeover is illustrated on the front cover of this hardback.  The more modern interpretation created by renowned British artist John Sibbick is in stark contrast to the picture of Polacanthus below.  It is worth remembering that the second illustration comes from a series of images commissioned by the Natural History Museum (London) and created by artist Neave Parker back in the 1950’s.  This impression of Polacanthus held sway into the early 1990’s.

British Polacanthid Dinosaurs (Front Cover Illustrations)

The front cover of the book all about British Polacanthids

The changing appearance of the Polacanthidae.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

For further information about this excellent book and to purchase a copy: Siri Scientific Press

The reformation of Polacanthus began to gain wider appreciation when it was featured in the ground-breaking television series “Walking with Dinosaurs” made by the BBC and first aired back in 1999.  In episode four, which was called “Beneath a Giant’s Wings”, the landscape of Europe 127 million years ago was featured.  In one memorable scene, a solitary Polacanthus is tagging along with a herd of Iguanodons.  It seems that the team behind these programmes could not quite make up their minds about how Polacanthus should look.  Its tail is lifted off the ground, although it does slope downwards and most of those conical spikes have gone.  The limbs are held more directly beneath the body but this dinosaur is depicted as a solitary creature, one that did not live in herds (or flocks), unlike the more social (and therefore more interesting to the viewers), Iguanodonts.  In the book that accompanied this series, Polacanthus does get mention, albeit a brief one and in our edition (a first edition), there is a type layout error in the middle of the Polacanthus passage.

Polacanthus Fossil Illustrations and Explanations

The book features lots of colour plates showing Polacanthus fossil material.

The book features lots of colour plates showing Polacanthus fossil material.

Picture Credit: Sir Scientific Press

It is good to see that this book redresses the balance somewhat.  It provides a comprehensive overview of the known polacanthid fossil material.  After a short introduction to armoured dinosaurs, the history of the fossil discoveries is covered and the reader is taken through a tour of the anatomy of these heavily armoured dinosaurs.  With a focus on British polacanthids very much in evidence, it was good to see that the author had dedicated one special chapter to the fossils of members of the Polacanthidae found elsewhere in the world.  The final chapter, brings Polacanthus very much up to date with a detailed overview of HORSM 1988.1546 which leads to the establishment of a new genus.

To read more about HORSM 1988.1546: A New British Dinosaur is Announced

It is almost 150 years to the day since the genus Polacanthus was erected (Owen), it is great to see the publication of a book solely dedicated to these most fascinating of creatures.  We wonder what the Crystal Palace statue of Hylaeosaurus would make of it all…

8 09, 2015

A New British Dinosaur is Announced – Horshamosaurus

By | September 8th, 2015|Book Reviews, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Many Spined Polacanthus Makeover

If you ask dinosaur fans to name an English dinosaur then many will, no doubt propose Iguanodon, Megalosaurus or Baryonyx.  True, these are all members of the Dinosauria clade whose fossils have been found in Britain, but examples of fossils that represent these three genera can be cited from other countries as well.  For example, Iguanodon fossils are also known from Belgium, Baryonyx material has been collected in Spain and Megalosaurus has become a bit of a taxonomic waste basket for all sorts of Jurassic Theropod fossils from Europe.

We suspect that if a survey of this sort was to be conducted, there would be very few mentions of Polacanthus, a dinosaur which could, with some justification, lay claim to being truly English*.  However, following a reassessment of the fossil material, one of the two species of armoured dinosaur assigned to the Polacanthus genus has been set apart and placed into its own genus.  Polacanthus rudgwickensis has been placed in the newly erected genus Horshamosaurus.  This latest twist in the story of Polacanthus comes almost 150 years to the day when Richard Owen first introduced the term to the wider public in an anonymously written article that appeared in the “Illustrated London News” of September 1865.  The name Polacanthus had originally been proposed the year before at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in response to armoured dinosaur fossils discovered on the Isle of Wight.

An Illustration of Polacanthus

Lovely example of a customer's artwork

Lovely example of a Polacanthus

Picture Credit: Chris

Polacanthus rudgwickensis was described by William T. Blows in 1996.  Now retired after a long and distinguished career lecturing in the neurosciences (City University, London), a 220 page book written by William T. Blows, that provides a comprehensive account of the history of British polacanthids, has just been published by Siri Scientific Press.

The book entitled “British Polacanthid Dinosaurs – Observations on the History and Palaeontology of the UK Polacanthid Armoured Dinosaurs and their Relatives” is available at the link below:

UK Polacanthid Armoured Dinosaurs: Siri Scientific Press

This publication contains a complete description of the new genus and includes detailed illustrations of all the fossilised elements that have been assigned to this new genus, the very latest addition to the compendium of British dinosaurs.  The Horshamosaurus material comes from exposed Lower Cretaceous Barremian Wealden deposits located at an old brickworks – Rudgwick quarry, approximately six miles west of the town of Horsham in West Sussex.  The fossil material was discovered in 1985 and put on display at local Horsham Museum, where it had been labelled as a specimen of an Iguanodon.

The Location of the Fossil Finds Now Assigned to Horshamosaurus

Rudgwick quarry the location of the Polacanthus fossil discovery.

Rudgwick quarry the location of the Polacanthus fossil discovery.

The picture above shows the brickworks quarry at Rudgwick.  The specimen of Horshamosaurus was found approximately where the man is standing (left of the photograph).  The fossil material consists of one partial dorsal vertebra, a dorsal vertebra centrum, an anterior caudal vertebra, fragments of other bones from the spine, part of the left shoulder blade (scapula), with a fused coracoid fragment, pieces of rib and limb bones (part of a humerus, a nearly complete right tibia).

The Nearly Complete Dorsal Vertebra of the Specimen

Seen in posterior, lateral and anterior view.

Seen in posterior, lateral and anterior view.

The Polacanthus genus was one of the first armoured dinosaurs to be scientifically described, it was named long before the more famous Thyreophorans such as Stegosaurus and Ankylosaurus and thanks to the fossil material from the Isle of Wight and southern England, Polacanthus can be regarded very much as an English dinosaur.

*Fragmentary remains tentatively assigned to Polacanthus have been excavated from Lower Cretaceous deposits in Europe, but due to the paucity of these fossil finds and their poor state of preservation demonstrating any unique traits diagnostic for this genus (autapomorphies) has proved controversial.  Perhaps the best known of all the Polacanthidae family is Gastonia (G. burgei), fossils of which come from similarly aged strata (Barremian faunal stage) found in Utah (United States).

An Illustration of Gastonia (Gastonia burgei)

A drawing of the heavily armoured Gastonia.

A drawing of the heavily armoured Gastonia.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

All About British Polacanthids

Written by William T. Blows.

Written by William T. Blows.

The name Polacanthus (pronounced Pole-ah-can-thus) translates as “many or multiple spines” a reference to this quadruped’s extensive dermal armour.

25 07, 2015

A Review of Prehistoric Times (Issue 114)

By | July 25th, 2015|Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

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!

14 07, 2015

The Great Dinosaur Discoveries Reviewed

By | July 14th, 2015|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

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.

2 05, 2015

How to Clone a Mammoth (Book Review)

By | May 2nd, 2015|Book Reviews, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

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

15 04, 2015

Prehistoric Times Spring 2015 Reviewed

By | April 15th, 2015|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

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

29 01, 2015

Prehistoric Times Magazine Reviewed (Issue 112)

By | January 29th, 2015|Magazine Reviews, Main Page, Prehistoric Times|0 Comments

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!

19 11, 2014

Recommended Christmas Reading for Dinosaur Fans

By | November 19th, 2014|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Geology, Palaeontological articles, Press Releases|0 Comments

“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.

2 11, 2014

Winner of Everything Dinosaur Competition Announced

By | November 2nd, 2014|Book Reviews, Press Releases|0 Comments

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.

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