Category: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings

Download a Dinosaur Drawing from Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur Drawing Materials from Everything Dinosaur

As the Easter break is approaching, team members at Everything Dinosaur thought it would be a good idea if we created a dinosaur picture that young fans of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals could colour in.  The picture we have created shows  a scene from the Cretaceous geological period.  A brave Psittacosaurus is defending its nest which contains two baby dinosaurs from the attentions of an attacking Oviraptor.  In the background a large Pterosaur can be seen flying in the distance.

Dinosaur Drawings Available from Everything Dinosaur

Free dinosaur drawings available from Everything Dinosaur.

Free dinosaur drawings available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Oviraptors have been in the news recently with the naming of a new species of North American Oviraptor (Anzu wyliei).

If you would like to request this image as a download so that your young dinosaur fan can colour it in, simply email Everything Dinosaur and one of our team members will send you the drawing.

Email Everything Dinosaur: Contact Us

Colouring in the Spinosaurids

Stephen’s Spinosauridae – A Colourful Collection

During a recent visit to The Beacon museum (Whitehaven, Cumbria), we met a budding young palaeontologist called Stephen and his dad.  Having discovered that amongst all the dinosaurs that Stephen knew about, the Spinosaurs were some of his favourites, we promised, that on return to our offices, we would send out some pictures of various members of the Spinosaur family for Stephen to colour in.  The Spinosauridae are a family of specialised, large to gigantic Theropod (Tetanuran) dinosaurs.  Originating perhaps as early as the Middle Jurassic, fossils of Spinosaurs are known from Cretaceous aged strata from South America, Africa, Europe, south-east Asia and possibly Australia.

Stephen’s Spinosaurus (S. aegyptiacus)

An illustration of a Spinosaurus.

An illustration of a Spinosaurus.

Picture Credit: Stephen/Everything Dinosaur

Stephen has produced a very striking and colourful dinosaur drawing.   That huge sail running down the back of this dinosaur has been coloured bright red, perhaps in recognition that some palaeontologists think that the sail may have been used for visual communication between these large, bipeds.

Although, most Spinosaurs are known from only fragmentary material, the bauplan (body plan), of this dinosaur family seems to have been broadly similar.  The skulls were elongated with narrow snouts.  The jaws were superficially similar to extant crocodiles, with their kinked upper jaws and their very many conical teeth (Spinosaurus aegyptiacus may have had over two hundred teeth in its jaws).  The teeth lacked denticles (serrations) or had very small denticles.  The forelimbs of those specimens in which arm material has been ascribed, were very well developed.  Most Spinosaurs probably had three digits, the thumb being the largest and ending in a huge and highly curved claw.

Size estimates for these dinosaurs vary widely.  It has been estimated for example, that S. aegyptiacus may have reached lengths in excess of seventeen metres and it may have weighed in excess of ten tonnes, making it far larger than any known Tyrannosaur or Abelisaurid.  Such an animal could be heralded as the largest land carnivore known to science.

Britain’s very own Spinosaurid (Baryonyx walkeri) could have reached lengths in excess of ten metres.  Scientists are not actually sure how big Baryonyx was, as the specimen excavated from the Surrey clay pit which forms the holotype was not fully grown.  Remains of a similar animal called Suchomimus (crocodile mimic) have been unearthed in North Africa, this animal was over eleven metres long and some palaeontologists believe that it is actually a large Baryonyx.

Baryonyx by Stephen (B. walkeri)

Colourful early Cretaceous predator.

Colourful early Cretaceous predator.

Picture Credit: Stephen/Everything Dinosaur

These animals were most definitely carnivores, but whether or not they were specialised fish-eaters remains open to debate.  Certainly, there is some evidence that these dinosaurs were piscivores.  However, as well as there being evidence for habitually feeding on fish, Spinosaurid teeth have been found embedded in Pterosaur fossil bone and the Surrey Baryonyx specimen is associated with the partially digested remains of a  young Iguanodont which was found where the stomach would have been located.

A South American Spinosaur Illustrated

Irritator challengeri by Stephen.

Irritator challengeri by Stephen.

Picture Credit: Stephen/Everything Dinosaur

Recently, some new Spinosaurid/Baryonchidae fossils have been found on the Isle of Wight.  Everything Dinosaur team members have been able to view some of this material, including elements of the premaxilla and teeth.  There are a couple of things we can say with a degree of certainty.  There are probably a number of members of the Spinosauridae still awaiting discovery and that their colouration is unknown.  We challenged young Stephen, who had demonstrated his knowledge of dinosaurs, to illustrate some members of this particular Theropod dinosaur family using some drawing materials that we emailed over.

Stephen Gets to Grips with Ichthyovenator (I. laosensis)

A Spinosaur with two sails - possibly?

A Spinosaur with two sails - possibly?

Picture Credit: Stephen/Everything Dinosaur

Ichthyovenator is known from fragmentary remains that were discovered in Laos in 2010.  Fossil bones include vertebrae, a partial rib, plus elements of the hip area.  All the fossil material represents post cranial material, no skull fossils were found.  The striking thing about this basal Spinosaurid, currently assigned to the Baryonchidae is that it may have had two sails, running down its spine.  One sail seems to conclude at the first sacral vertebrae (back bones above the hip), the second starting from the second sacral vertebrae.  I. laosensis was formally named and described a year ago.  Stephen has opted to give his Ichthyovenator a bright red body but with a blue skull and blue hind legs.

We were very pleased to meet Stephen and all the other fans of prehistoric animals that visited the wonderful Beacon museum to view their Ice Age exhibition and to marvel at all the amazing shark exhibits that were on display.  Thanks for the illustrations, much appreciated.

Two-Headed, Fire Breathing, Water Spraying Monster

Beacon Museum Announces Competition Winner

One lucky school girl has won the chance for herself and her classmates to visit the new exhibitions at the Beacon Museum which opened this weekend.  Whitehaven in Cumbria is having its very own monster, double-bill with two exhibitions running concurrently at the Beacon Museum, “Ice Age – Life after the Dinosaurs” and “Shark – Myths and Reality”

Elle Jenkinson, aged 9, of St Bridget’s RC Primary School in Egremont, won a drawing competition organised by the enthusiastic museum staff, children were invited to design their own prehistoric monster.  Elle’s winning entry was a colourful drawing of a two-headed monster, that could breathe fire and spray water.

Elle Jenkinson’s Monster Drawing
Fire breathing, water spraying monster.
Picture Credit: Elle Jenkinson

Four other entries were highly commended and received prizes.  These were by Tess Cullen of Thwaites School, Dylan Hodgson of Kells Infant School, Jennifer Eve Gillon of Eaglesfield Paddle Primary School and Evan Casson of Moor Row Community School.

Around a hundred primary school children from West Cumbria entered the competition.  They created their own magnificent monsters and beasts in the hope of winning the chance for their whole class to come face to face with life-size replicas of giant beasts, superb sharks and unbelievable underwater creatures.

The competition was judged by the Mayor and Mayoress of Copeland, Geoff and Sandra Garrity who said:

“The children had obviously had real fun creating these amazing pictures.  The imagination and thought that they had put into their drawings really was wonderful.”

The exhibitions currently on at the Beacon Museum will give visitors the chance  to get up close to some real monsters that once roamed the Earth as well as to learn more about the fascinating world of the shark, some of which, the Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) for example, can grow to be as long as a bus.  Fortunately, these giants are filter feeders and not likely to attack divers.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It was a great idea for the Beacon Museum to organise a drawing competition.  A chance for school children to imagine strange and bizarre animals, with the prize being a visit to the exhibitions to learn all about some very real and even more strange and bizarre animals that are known to science.”

“Ice Age – Life after the Dinosaurs” and “Shark – Myths and Reality” is on from now until the 5th January 2014, for further information: The Beacon Museum

The Fossil Heritage of Iran

Local Farmer Finds Spectacular Ammonite Fossil

With team members at Everything Dinosaur making frequent visits to the “Jurassic Coast” of Dorset on various expeditions you would think that looking at Ammonite fossils would become rather “run of the mill” for us, however, I don’t think that any of us will ever lose our fascination for these creatures.  Even the smallest fossil find, perhaps a pyritised Promicroceras spp. from Charmouth, or an example of Arnioceras from further along the coast is greeted with excitement.  There is a real buzz when you first see a fossil, that moment of realisation that you are the first person to see evidence of that living creature for some 180 million years or so.

The Joy of Fossil Hunting

A Typical Ammonite - but not all types of this Cephalopod had coiled shells

A Typical Ammonite - but not all types of this Cephalopod had coiled shells

Each time we visit Lyme Regis, and get out onto the beaches to search for fossils we meet people who are first time visitors to the area.  We are always happy to answer their questions and provide advice on where to look, we even give most of our fossil finds away, especially to the Mums and Dads so that their children can take something “special” away with them.

To get the best out of a visit to the Lyme Regis and Charmouth areas, we recommend going on an organised fossil walk with one of the local experts and guides.  The cliffs are particularly dangerous, and under the expert guidance and tutelage of a professional fossil collector visitors can be safe and they get the chance to learn about the geology and the fossils that can be found.

To read more about organised fossil walks at Lyme Regis: Lyme Regis Fossil Walks

However, Ammonite fossils are not restricted to the southern coast of England.  These extinct relatives of squid, cuttlefish and octopi are distributed world wide in Mesozoic aged rocks.  We were intrigued to read about the discovery of a large Ammonite specimen by an Iranian farmer in the north-eastern province of North Khorassan.  Early reports state that this fossil is approximately 70 million years old (Upper Cretaceous).  The province of North Khorassan in Iran borders Turkmenistan, although fossils from this area have been known about for centuries, some parts of this region remain relatively unexplored and there are many more thousands of fossils awaiting discovery.

The Large Ammonite Specimen Found in North-eastern Iran

Local Farmer unearths beautiful Ammonite fossil.

Local Farmer unearths beautiful Ammonite fossil.

Picture Credit:  Press TV

The fossil shows the shell of the Ammonite, these creatures are rarely found as fossils with their soft parts preserved.  The animal lived in the outermost chamber of its shell.  Ammonites were pelagic (living above the ocean floor) and like other Cephalopods they were active swimmers (nektonic), propelling themselves along by squirting water out of a siphon.  As the Ammonite grew, it extended its coiled, tubular shell outwards, laying down new chamber walls behind it. These chambers contained a mixture of gas and water which the animal used to control its buoyancy.  As Ammonite fossils are abundant and widely distributed these fossils are used by geologists as zone fossils in the correlation of strata (bio-stratification).

A Model of an Ammonite Showing the Soft Tissues

A model showing an Ammonite.

A model showing an Ammonite.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur team members wrote an article a couple of years ago about the discovery of marine reptile fossils in Iran, much of the fossil material from this region could represent new species.

To read about the discovery of Plesiosaurus fossils in Iran: Plesiosaur Fossils from Iran

Local farmer Morteza Hemmati, discovered the large Ammonite fossil, an internal mould of the shell of the ten-tentacled creature whilst digging.  The fossil which weighs around fifteen kilogrammes is very well preserved and it probably made its way up to the surface as a result of erosion.  The fossil looks to be in excellent condition, and where there is one Ammonite fossil there is a strong possibility of a lot more being found in the area.  Let’s  hope that this specimen gets donated to a local museum or university so that it can be preserved and then studied.  Perhaps, it may even be put on public display so that local people can learn more about the geology of their province.

Spot the Dinosaur

A Colourful Dinosaur Drawing

Amongst the many pictures, drawings and letters we receive each week we found a lovely picture of a spotty dinosaur that had been drawn by a Year 2 school girl (aged 6-7).  We read all the letters and emails we receive and we try our best to reply to them all.

“Spot” the Dinosaur

A spotty dinosaur.

A spotty dinosaur.

The green, blue and brown spots look like armour and from the beak and the strange tail we think that this is an interpretation of an armoured dinosaur, perhaps something like an Ankylosaurus from the Late Cretaceous  of North America.

Our team members love visiting schools and teaching about dinosaurs.  Each lesson plan they prepare contains experiments and activities that dovetail into the national teaching curriculum.

Super Dinosaur Drawings

Ryan – Draws Dinosaurs

At Everything Dinosaur we receive lots of pictures, illustrations and photographs from customers and general dinosaur enthusiasts.  Every single one is gratefully received and our warehouse wall and notice boards have lots and lots of artwork that has been sent in and pinned up on display.  The other day we received a jpg image of some drawings of feathered dinosaurs created by Ryan, the drawings were sent in by Amy (thanks Amy), and we think they are super.  Ryan has drawn his favourite dinosaur – Deinonychus (Deinonychus antirrhopus), a ferocious member of the Dromaeosauridae.

Dinosaur Illustrations by Ryan

Dinosaurs Illustrated by Ryan.

 Picture Credit: Ryan

It is a very useful skill to be able to draw accurately.  When examining a fossil, creating an accurate, scale drawing can help the observer to really understand the object they are studying.  When creating a detailed drawing, this can help the illustrator to understand aspects of the biology of the organism.    One of the aims of making a drawing is to help develop the practical science skills of observation and recording information from three-dimensional specimens such as fossil material.

Fantastic illustrations Ryan, a very interesting series of feathered dinosaur drawings.

New Research Suggests “Big was Not Always Better” for Feathered Dinosaurs

American Researchers Study Changes in Body Size for Feathered Dinosaurs who were Facultative Herbivores

A team of researchers from the United States have challenged a theory regarding how the likes of the Oviraptors, Ornithomimids and the Therizinosaurs evolved over time.  Fossils of these types of dinosaur have been found in Upper Cretaceous aged rocks across the northern hemisphere.  Palaeontologists believe that these types of dinosaur, classified as Theropods, adapted to a herbivorous diet, or at least became omnivorous, eating less meat.  Oviraptors, Ornithomimids and the Therizinosaurs were descended from dinosaurs that were carnivores.  However, over time they adapted to eating plants and some of these dinosaurs, those found in Maastrichtian or Campanian aged faunal strata (the very end of the Cretaceous), evolved into giants.

Giant Feathered Dinosaurs – Researching into “Big Birds”

Scale drawings of large members of the Dinosaur families studied.

Picture Credit: North Carolina State University, with additional annotations by Everything Dinosaur

One of the theories postulated about why some of these dinosaurs grew so big, states that large size was an advantage as this enabled herbivores to evolve larger guts and digestive tracts that would be needed to help them process tough, fibrous plant material efficiently so that nutrients could be extracted.  Some genera did grow big!  For example, the dinosaur known as Gigantoraptor (G. erlianensis), fossils of which were discovered in Inner Mongolia in 2005, was tall enough to look Tyrannosaurus rex in the eye.  This fossil specimen indicates an animal over five metres tall and eight metres long, weighing perhaps as much as one and a half metric tonnes.  The Chinese scientists who made the discovery, have estimated that this individual was not fully grown so adult Gigantoraptors were probably much bigger.  Gigantoraptor has been classified as a member of the Oviraptoridae.  Most of the other members of the Oviraptor family were much smaller.

Similar examples of gigantism can be found in the Ornithomimids and the Therizinosaurids.  Therizinosaurus cheloniformis, also from Mongolia; may have been up to twelve metres in length, many time bigger than other Therizinosaurs, or as they are sometimes called Segnosaurs.  Amongst the Late Cretaceous members of the Ornithomimosauria, there were also giants.  A pair of 2.6 metre long arms discovered in the Nemegt Formation (Gobi desert of Mongolia) in 1965 have been ascribed to an enormous Ornithomimid which was perhaps up to twelve metres in length.  This dinosaur was formally named and described in 1970, the world was introduced to Deinocheirus mirificus (terrible hand).  Despite its terrifying hands, this dinosaur is not thought to have been a carnivore.

Deinocheirus – “Terrible Hands”

"Big Bird" - Deinocheirus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Most species belonging to these three types of dinosaur family possessed a horny, toothless beak and relatively small heads in proportion to the size of their bodies.  A number of fossils found also indicate that these dinosaurs may have been covered in simple, proto-feathers, designed not for flight but to help insulate these active animals and keep them warm.  Palaeontologists think that creatures such as the Oviraptors were closely related to today’s modern birds.

The research team from North Carolina, aided by colleagues from the Field Museum in Chicago, mapped out the fossil evidence from these three different types of dinosaur and attempted to model whether as the animals evolved they tended to generally increase in body size.  Statistical analysis was employed to test whether the theory that later forms of these prehistoric animals were indeed larger than their ancestors.

The scientists discovered, that although there were giant forms, there was not a clear linear trend towards gigantism with these types of dinosaur.  The evolution for the trait that makes an animal bigger than its ancestors seems to have been a passive process, there may have been large forms, but at the same time many types of Ornithomimids, Oviraptors and Therizinosaurs remained small.

The academic paper detailing the results of this analysis have been published in the scientific journal, the Proceedings of the Royal Society – Biology.   The evidence suggests that just because a dinosaur adapts to a more herbivorous diet does not necessarily mean that they have to evolve into bigger forms to accommodate a larger gut.  The work of these scientists does not rule out diet as affecting the size of animals, but suggests that other factors such as stable environments, the lack of competition and the amount of resources within a habitat play a significant part.

Where resources were plentiful, such as the area that was to form the strata of the  Nemegt Formation of Mongolia, some types of Therizinosaur for instance could grow into a giant form (T. cheloniformis), however, in other parts of the world, perhaps where there was more competition from other herbivorous dinosaurs gigantism did not occur.

The conclusions made by the researchers do challenge some of the accepted thinking about these dinosaurs.  There is a problem with this study, one that is acknowledged by the research team.  The fossil record for these prehistoric animals is far from complete and in their study, some uneven sampling of the fossil material may have taken place.  If it is assumed that smaller species tend to be more abundant in an environment than large species and if it is assumed that more specimens of smaller species will be preserved as fossils as a result, then the amount of small dinosaurs known from the fossil record may be an over representation of their actual numbers, whilst larger species the likes of Deinocheirus, Therizinosaurus and Gigantoraptor may be understated.

A Colourful Pair of Pteranodons

A Pair of Flying Reptiles

At Everything Dinosaur we are always delighted to receive pictures of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.  Here is an example of a colourful pair of flying reptiles, (Pteranodons), members of the Order Pterosauria.  With their mustard yellow bodies, bright blue wings and red faces these animals from the Late Cretaceous are certainly very colourful.

A Pair of Patrolling Pterosaurs

Pterosaurs Take to the Air.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We think this picture is one from the Travel dinosaur colour and go sets that can be found at the Everything Dinosaur website:

Everything Dinosaur Website

If dinosaur fans want to send in pictures to us at Everything Dinosaur, they are most welcome to do so, simply send them to the contact address that can be found on the Everything Dinosaur website, or drop team members an email.

Woolly Mammoth Blood Goes on Display in Canadian Museum

Blood from a Woolly Mammoth on Exhibit for the Very First Time

A small vial of deep red mammoth haemoglobin along with a portion of mammoth tusk recovered from Grunthal, Manitoba (Canada), are the latest additions to the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre and its first Ice Age exhibit allowing people an unprecedented opportunity to get up close and personal to an ancient creature which became extinct approximately 10,000 years ago.  With the possibility of geneticists being able to clone a Woolly Mammoth becoming closer, visitors to the museum have the opportunity to view some of the material, the like of which may play a role in the bringing back to life of an extinct species.

The exhibit was made possible thanks to a donation of the haemoglobin from Winnipeg’s Kevin Campbell, a University of Manitoba professor of environmental and evolutionary physiology and vice-president of the board for the museum.

An Opportunity to Get Close to Woolly Mammoths

Sample of Mammoth haemoglobin on display at Canadian museum.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Campbell, whose research was instrumental in the resurrection of the haemoglobin, explained how recent advances in biotechnology enabled him to not only re-create functional genes from extinct animals, but also to faithfully assemble and study the proteins the genes once encoded. By doing so they were able to determine some remarkable ‘living’ characteristics of Woolly Mammoths.

Professor Campbell explained:

“For instance, resurrecting this red blood cell protein haemoglobin from a Woolly Mammoth has shown that the normally temperature sensitive protein evolved novel adaptations that, unlike living (tropical) elephants, enabled it to do its job of delivering oxygen to body tissues in the cold conditions these beasts faced.”

He went onto add:

“Prior to these new techniques we had no way to deduce, let alone test for, these kinds of attributes from fossilised remains.  Being able to re-create and study authentic genetic material from extinct species is a whole new frontier in palaeo-biology and research into ancient life.”

The last time of species, H. sapiens got this close to a Woolly Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) was something like 10,000 years ago.  The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre’s acting executive director, Peter Cantelon exclaimed:
“We are thrilled to be able to be at the forefront of palaeo-biology with this one-of-a-kind display.  If you were to go back in time with a syringe, remove Mammoth blood and separate out the haemoglobin, this is exactly what you would have.”

The cloning of extinct species such as the Quagga, the Woolly Rhino and of course the Woolly Mammoth is now a possibility thanks to developments in the extraction, storage and study of ancient DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).  However, this aspect of science is extremely controversial.  There seems to be an almost daily stream of reports related to the study of  ”Ancient DNA”, for example, team members at Everything Dinosaur recently had their attention drawn to a scientific paper (yet to be peer reviewed) that discussed the DNA evidence for the existence of “Big Foot” and where it might fit on the hominin family tree.

To read an article on the possibility of bringing extinct animals back: Resurrecting Prehistoric Animals

When working with Year 6 pupils yesterday, at a school in the Lake District (North-west England), the moral implications for bringing back a long dead animal such as a Woolly Mammoth was discussed.

Does because we can, does this mean we should?

Prehistoric Animal Themed Artwork from Young Palaeontologists

A Pair of Pterosaurs Take to the Air

A colourful pair of Pteranodon’s soaring across the sky in this clever piece of artwork from a young dinosaur (or should that be Pterosaur) fan.

An Impression of Pterosaurs in Flight

Pteranodon Takes to the Air.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We like the way some extra vegetation has been added to the drawing.  The illustration itself comes from the Dinosaur Colour and Go Travel set that proved a big hit with our testers.  These large Pterosaurs lived at the end of the Cretaceous, the species depicted here (Pteranodon longiceps) is best known from fossil material found in the United States.  The wingspans of some specimens are in excess of nine metres, making these creatures some of the largest flying creatures ever to exist.

Nobody knows exactly what colour these flying reptiles were, although they did probably have colour vision.  We love the blue and purple wings and the flash of red in these reptile’s mouths.

At Everything Dinosaur we are always pleased to see drawings and pictures of prehistoric animals done by young dinosaur fans, just send any images (jpg files etc.) Email Everything Dinosaur

You never know, your drawing could be published on line in our blog or on our social media pages such as Facebook.

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