All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
/Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings

Drawings of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals either done by team members or sent into Everything Dinosaur.

7 08, 2015

Preparing for a Trip to the Jurassic

By | August 7th, 2015|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Educational Activities, Teaching|0 Comments

Going on a Trip to the Jurassic

As part of Everything Dinosaur’s summer school commitments team members have spent the day preparing for trip into the east Midlands to help a group of Key Stage two children explore fossils.  Our plan is to set up in the school an artificial beach and to populate it with various fossils from our recent digs and field work.  Most of the fossils we will be using come from marine sediments and consist of lots of invertebrates, although there is some fossilised wood and even shark teeth.  Over the last year or so, we have been involved in a number of trips to explore highly fossiliferous sediments and as a result we have plenty of fossils to use in this fossils and dinosaur workshop session.

Lots of Fossils “on hand”

A successful fossil hunt.

A successful fossil hunt.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

It is going to be a dinosaur workshop with a difference.  Having populated the beach with various fossils, we are going to challenge the children to find them.  What they find they can keep, so long as the mums, dads and teachers present are OK with this.  In addition, we will be challenging the children to help us with some fossil identification.  This will involve lots of tactile fossil handling and helping them with their reading and writing.

We have also created a range of drawing materials so that the children can take home a drawing to colour in depicting what life was like in their part of the world during the Middle Jurassic.

A “Jurassic World”

Life in the Jurassic Seas.

Life in the Jurassic Seas.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture we have created is a composition consisting of many of the illustrations of Jurassic marine fauna we have stored in our database.  The drawing materials reflect the sort of fossils that the children will be able to discover on our artificial beach. There will be fragments of coral, bivalve shells, including some nice examples of “devil’s toenails” – Gryphaea.  As well as the various bivalves, there are Belemnite guards to find and pieces of fossilised Ammonite shell.  We have gastropods, fish scales, crinoids (sea lilies) and lots of lovely brachiopods, especially those that superficially resemble old lamps (often referred to as lampshells).

It should be a fun dinosaur workshop with lots of fossils to collect and to identify.

17 06, 2015

Thank You for All the Dinosaur Pictures

By | June 17th, 2015|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Lots of Dinosaur Pictures Sent to Everything Dinosaur

Just time to say a very big thank you to all the dinosaur fans and budding fossil collectors that have sent in prehistoric animal pictures.  We do look at every single one that we receive and we are humbled when we get so many sent into us.  We know that a lot of schools have been teaching dinosaur themed topics during the latter part of the spring term and for the first part of the summer term, as a result, we have been very busy visiting schools and we have seen some wonderful examples of artwork as well as inspiring the next generation of palaeoartists to send in their pictures to Everything Dinosaur.

A Pink Stegosaurus (Very Colourful)

A very colourful pink plant-eating dinosaur.

A very colourful pink plant-eating dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Enan

We have posted up a large number of the illustrations on our warehouse notice boards, others have been put up on the office walls, they certainly cheer the place up.  Lots and lots of brightly coloured prehistoric animals such as this very pink Stegosaurus drawn by Enan, aged 4.  His mum says that Stegosaurus is his favourite dinosaur (for the moment), but he does tend to change quite frequently and he likes to tell his parents about his dinosaur models and to explain which ones ate plants and which ones ate meat.  Well done, Enan.

Hopefully, we will have time to post up more examples, on our social media pages and of course on the Everything Dinosaur blog.

22 11, 2014

Wonderful Dinosaur Illustrations from India

By | November 22nd, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Young Fans Send in their Dinosaur Drawings to Everything Dinosaur

It is always a pleasure to receive drawings of prehistoric animals from fans of dinosaurs.  We get lots and lots sent into our offices from all over the world.  We are always pleased to receive these illustrations and it amazes us how diverse the drawings are.  Dinosaurs dominate, but we get pictures of Ichthyosaurs, Pterosaurs as well as artwork depicting scenes from the Palaeozoic as well as the Mesozoic.  In addition, our post bags and emails also contain drawings of prehistoric mammals, Woolly Mammoths and Sabre-Toothed Cats being particularly popular.

Here are some examples sent in to Everything Dinosaur from India.

A Drawing of the Fearsome Carnivore Giganotosaurus

A colourful dinosaur drawing from India.

A colourful dinosaur drawing from India.

Picture Credit: M. V. Eashwar

The illustrator has correctly stated that the name Giganotosaurus means “giant southern lizard”.  We have printed out this artwork and pinned it onto one of our warehouse walls, so that everyone in the company can see when they are in the warehouse looking for dinosaur toys and games.

A Rearing Sauropod Defends Itself from Attack

A rearing Sauropod.

A rearing Sauropod.

Picture Credit: M. V. Eashwar

Another interesting drawing, one depicting a fight between two dinosaurs.  The green, long-necked dinosaur reminds us of the “Rearing Diplodocus” model in the Collecta not-to-scale model range.

The Collecta Rearing Diplodocus Dinosaur Model

Model was introduced in 2013.

Model was introduced in 2013.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We really enjoy viewing all the wonderful prehistoric animal drawings that get sent into our offices, the one below shows an illustration of the huge, fish-eating dinosaur known as Spinosaurus, (thanks for this Shivesh).

A Drawing of the Mighty Spinosaurus

A fantastic drawing Shivesh!

A fantastic drawing Shivesh!

Picture Credit: Shivesh

When it comes to the dinosaurs, we tend to get a lot of pictures showing carnivorous dinosaurs, including the likes of Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex.  We have posted up a wonderful drawing of a meat-eating dinosaur, this time coloured predominately sky blue.

Dinosaur Drawings in November (Dinovember)

Fearsome Theropod dinosaur.

Fearsome Theropod dinosaur.

Picture Credit: M. V. Eashwar

The dinosaur in the picture above seems to be on the prowl, perhaps it is stalking potential prey.  We at Everything Dinosaur really enjoy seeing all these wonderful prehistoric animal illustrations.  Our thanks to all the budding, young (and not so young), palaeoartists that take the time and trouble to send them into us.


29 06, 2014

Two Hundred Years of Ichthyosaurs

By | June 29th, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Geology, Palaeontological articles|2 Comments

200th Anniversary of the First Ichthyosaur Scientific Paper

This week saw the 200th anniversary of the first scientific description of an animal that was later named as an Ichthyosaur.  On June 23rd 1814, Sir Everard Home published the first account of the Lyme Regis Ichthyosaur that had been found a few years earlier by the Anning family (Mary and her brother Joseph).  The paper was published by the Royal Society of London, it had the catchy title of “Some Account of the Fossil Remains of an Animal More Nearly Allied to Fishes than any Other Classes of Animals”.

In the account, Sir Everard Home, an anatomist who held the distinguished position of Surgeon to the King, attempted to classify the fossilised remains of what we now know as a “Fish Lizard”.  Reading the paper today, one can’t help but get a sense of utter confusion in the mind of the author.  Sir Everard, had one or two secrets and although two hundred years later, it is difficult to place in context what was behind the paper, after all, at the height of the Napoleonic war there was intense rivalry between the French and English scientific establishments, an assessment of this work in 2014 does little to enhance Sir Everard’s academic reputation.

A Model of an Ichthyosaur and One of the Plate Illustrations from the Scientific Paper

The illustration from the paper and a model interpretation of a "Fish Lizard"

The illustration from the paper and a model interpretation of a “Fish Lizard”

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd top and the Royal Society (William Clift) bottom

Back to those secrets.  Whilst notable figures in the history of palaeontology such as the Reverend William Buckland was corresponding with Georges Cuvier, the French anatomist and widely regarded as “the founder of modern comparative anatomy”, against a back drop of war between Britain and France, in a bid to understand the strange petrified remains found on England’s Dorset coast, Sir Everard raced into print, to be the first to describe this creature.  Just like today, if you are the first to do something than fame and fortune can await.  Trouble is, Sir Everard, by a number of accounts, was relatively incompetent.  He was also a cheat!

In 1771, when the young Everard was a teenager, his sister married John Hunter, an extremely talented surgeon and anatomist who had already built a reputation for himself as being one of the most brilliant scientists of his day.  He was able to learn a great deal from his brother-in-law and this coupled with his wealthy background soon propelled the ambitious Everard to the forefront of London society.  However, the much older John Hunter died suddenly from a heart attack in 1793 and it has been said that Everard used his brother-in-laws untimely death to his distinct advantage.

Having removed  “a cartload” of John Hunter’s unpublished manuscripts from the Royal College of Surgeons in London, Everard began publishing them but under his own name.  This alleged plagiarism enhanced the young surgeon’s reputation and led to his steady rise in scientific circles, permitting Everard to gain the fame and good standing amongst his peers that he so craved.  Such was his desire to keep his plagiarism a secret, that it is believed that he burnt Hunter’s original texts once they had been copied out.  So enthusiastic was he to get rid of the evidence that on one occasion he set fire to his own house.

And so to the published account of the Ichthyosaur.  Sir Everard explained his willingness to examine the fossilised remains by writing:

“To examine such fossil bones, and to determine the class to which the animals belonged comes within the sphere of enquiry of the anatomist.”

In the paper, Sir Everard describes the fossil remains in some detail, although his descriptions lack the academic rigour found in other papers later published by Cuvier, Mantell and Owen.  The author states that the fossil material was found in the Blue Lias of the Dorset coast between Charmouth and Lyme Regis, the fossil discovery having been made after a cliff fall.  The paper claims that the skull was found in 1812 with other fossils relating to this specimen found the following year.  The role played by the Annings in this discovery is not mentioned by Home.  This assertion itself, may be inaccurate.  Many accounts suggest it was Joseph Anning who found the four foot long skull in 1811, as to whether Mary was present at the time, we at Everything Dinosaur remain uncertain.  Although Mary and Joseph together are credited by many sources for finding other fossil bones related to this specimen in 1812.

The potential mix up in dates, pales when the rest of Sir Everard’s paper is reviewed.  At first, the idea that these bones represent some form of ancient crocodile is favoured.  Embryonic teeth ready to replace already emerged teeth were noticed.  However, to test this theory one of the conical fossil teeth was split open.  He mistook evidence for an embryonic tooth ready to replace a broken tooth in the jaw as an accumulation of calcite and hence, Everard wrongly concluded that this creature was not a reptile.  The sclerotic ring of bone around the eye reminded the anatomist of the eye of a fish, but when the plates were counted that make up this ring of bone (13), he commented that the fossil may have affinities with the bird family as this number of bones is found only in eyes of birds.

The position of the nostrils and the shape of the lower jaw is considered to be very like those seen in fish.  The freshwater Pike is mentioned, although there are other parts of the skeleton that seem to confuse Sir Everard still further.  The shoulder blades both in their shape and size are reported as being similar to those found in crocodiles, part of the fossil material is even compared to the bones of a turtle.

One of the Illustrative Plates from the Original Paper

One of the illustrations by William Clift.

One of the illustrations by William Clift.

Paper Credit: Royal Society (William Clift)

The paper concludes by stating:

“These particulars, in which the bones of this animal differ from those of fishes, are sufficient to show that although the mode of its progressive motion has induced me to place it in that class, I by no means consider it wholly a fish, when compared with other fishes, but rather view it in a similar light to those animals met with in New South Wales, which appear to be so many deviations from ordinary structure, for the purpose of making intermediate connecting links, to unite in the closest manner the classes of which the great chain of animated beings is composed.”

Our baffled author had described a few years early the Duck-billed Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) after specimens were brought back from eastern Australia.  Sir Everard is referring to the Platypus when he writes of “those animals met with in New South Wales”.

Much of the French scientific establishment (and a significant number of British scientists) pilloried this paper.  The difference being, the French who were at war could do it openly, however, in Britain, such was the power and influence of Sir Everard Home, no one dared challenge his assumptions openly.

It was perhaps because of Sir Everard’s influence and strong standing within the Royal Society, that the Reverend William Buckland along with the Reverend Coneybeare supported by up and coming geologists such as Henry de la Beche published a rival scientific paper on the Annings’s discovery in the journals of the Geological Society.  This paper correctly identified that the fossils were reptilian.

Sir Everard, although ridiculed by other academics continued to work on the puzzling Ichthyosaur specimens.  Five years after his 1814 paper, he thought he had finally solved the mystery as to this strange creature’s anatomical classification.  A new vertebrate to science, referred to as a “Proteus” had been described by a Viennese doctor some years earlier.  This was a blind, amphibian of the salamander family (Proteus anguinus) that lived in freshwater streams and lakes deep in caves.  Sir Everard mistakenly concluded that the Lyme Regis fossils were a link between the strange Proteus and modern lizards.  From then on he referred to the 1814 specimen as a “Proteosaurus”.  However, this name never was accepted by scientific circles as the moniker Ichthyosaurus (Fish Lizard) had been erected a year earlier by Charles Konig of the British Museum where the Ichthyosaur specimen resided.

Ironically, as our knowledge of the Ichthyosaur Order has grown over the years, so the Lyme Regis specimen has been renamed.  It is no longer regarded as an Ichthyosaurus, as the fossils indicate a creature more than five metres in length, much larger than those animals that make up the Ichthyosaurus genus today.  In the late 1880’s it was renamed Temnodontosaurus (cutting tooth lizard).  The Lyme Regis specimen, studied all those years earlier by Sir Everard Home, was named the type specimen with the species name Temnodontosaurus platyodon.

A Close up of the Head of a Typical Ichthyosaur

An Icththyosaurus with an Ammonite that it has caught.

An Ichthyosaurus with an Ammonite that it has caught.

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd

The 1814 paper might say more about the petty rivalries and snobbery that dogged British scientific circles than it adds to our knowledge of the Ichthyosauria.  However, there is one final point to be made.  Accompanying the notes were brilliant illustrations of the fossil material, carefully and skilfully prepared by the naturalist William Clift.  The child of a poor family from Devon, William had shown a talent for art from a young age.  His illustrative skills were noticed by one of the local gentry, a Colonel whose wife happened to know Anne Home, the sister of Everard who had married John Hunter.  When John Hunter was looking for an apprentice to help classify and catalogue his growing collection of specimens at the Royal College of Surgeons, Clift was recommended.  He quickly rose to prominence and despite being hampered by the removal of many of John Hunter’s manuscripts by Everard, Clift’s reputation grew and grew.  His daughter, Caroline Ameila Clift married Professor Richard Owen (later Sir Richard Owen), the anatomist who is credited with the naming of the dinosaur Order and the establishment of the Natural History Museum in London.

23 03, 2014

Download a Dinosaur Drawing from Everything Dinosaur

By | March 23rd, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans|0 Comments

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

29 10, 2013

Colouring in the Spinosaurids

By | October 29th, 2013|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates|0 Comments

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.

15 07, 2013

Two-Headed, Fire Breathing, Water Spraying Monster

By | July 15th, 2013|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Educational Activities, Photos/Schools, Press Releases|0 Comments

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

7 07, 2013

The Fossil Heritage of Iran

By | July 7th, 2013|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Geology, Palaeontological articles|2 Comments

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.

1 03, 2013

Spot the Dinosaur

By | March 1st, 2013|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Teaching|0 Comments

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.

1 12, 2012

Super Dinosaur Drawings

By | December 1st, 2012|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans|2 Comments

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.

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