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Dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed articles, features and stories.

22 08, 2017

Eofauna Steppe Mammoth Scale and Dimensions

By | August 22nd, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Eofauna Steppe Mammoth Dimensions and Scale

Yesterday, (August 21st), Everything Dinosaur announced that it would be selling the Eofauna Scientific Research Steppe Mammoth model.  Everything Dinosaur has been granted exclusive access to this new figure for on-line sales for a British Isles-based company.  We have already received lots and lots of enquiries about this beautiful replica and in this short blog article we shall provide information on two of the most common questions that we have been asked about this figure – how big is it?  What scale is it in?

Everything Dinosaur Providing Information About the Eofauna Scientific Research Steppe Mammoth Model

The size of the Eofauna Steppe Mammoth model.

The beautiful Eofauna Scientific Research Steppe Mammoth model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The photograph above shows this new figure posed against one of our geology field rulers.  These rulers are handy as they photograph really clearly and instantly provide a guide to the size and scale of any given replica.

The Dimensions of the Eofauna Scientific Research Steppe Mammoth Model

Out with the tape and the callipers and these are the approximate dimensions of the figure:

  • Length approximately 19 cm (measured from the furthermost back heel to the anterior face of the raised tusks)
  • Height to shoulders approximately 11.5 cm
  • Height to top of the head approximately 12.8 cm
  • Height to tip of the raised tusks (highest part of the model) approximately 15.5 cm
  • Length of the skull approximately 3.1 cm (cranial length) – measured from the top of the head to the alveolus (socket for the tusk) skull length is 5 cm approx.
  • Width of the skull approximately 2.4 cm (cranial width)
  • Width of the model across the hip region 5 cm approximately

The model is officially in 1:40 scale and those clever and very talented people at Eofauna Scientific Research know a great deal about proboscideans.  Many collectors like to group their model collections together, so we took some photographs of this new Steppe Mammoth model (M. trogontherii), next to one our favourite Mammoth models, the Papo Woolly Mammoth (M. primigenius) juvenile.  These images should also help with size estimations and scaling.

The Eofauna Scientific Research Steppe Mammoth Figure Compared to the Papo Juvenile Woolly Mammoth Figure

Comparing Mammoth models.

Comparing the Eofauna Scientific Research Steppe Mammoth with the Papo Juvenile Woolly Mammoth.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Once again, one of our trusty geology field rulers helps to provide size and scale information.

Side by Side but not Necessarily in a Biostratigraphical Sense

Comparing a Steppe Mammoth model to a Papo Woolly Mammoth juvenile.

The Eofauna Scientific Research Steppe Mammoth and the Papo Juvenile Woolly Mammoth.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Superbly Detailed Steppe Mammoth Model

The dynamic pose of the Eofauna Scientific Research might make measuring tricky, but this is a small price to pay for such a beautifully crafted prehistoric animal replica.  We hope our photographs help to give collectors and prehistoric animal model fans a better impression of the size and scale of this superbly detailed Steppe Mammoth model.

If you would like larger images, further information, or if you would like to reserve a Eofauna Scientific Research Steppe Mammoth, simply email Everything Dinosaur: Email Everything Dinosaur

When it comes to singing this model’s praises, we thought a picture is worth a thousand words.  This is a close-up of the mouth of the Steppe Mammoth, with our packing room floor as a backdrop, check out the teeth, you can even see ridges on the molars – wow!

Let the Steppe Mammoth Model’s Quality Speak for Itself

A close view of the interior of the Eofauna Scientific Research Steppe Mammoth model.

A close-up view of the mouth of the Steppe Mammoth.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For bigger images, further information on this replica or if you would like to reserve a Eofauna Scientific Research Steppe Mammoth, email Everything Dinosaur: Email Everything Dinosaur

21 08, 2017

Everything Dinosaur Gets Exclusive Access to New Steppe Mammoth Model

By | August 21st, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur will be Stocking Eofauna Steppe Mammoth Model

Everything Dinosaur will be stocking the new Eofauna Scientific Research 1:40 scale replica of a Steppe Mammoth (M. trogontherii).  The UK-based specialist supplier of dinosaur and prehistoric animal models has been granted exclusive access to this new figure for on-line sales for a British Isles-based company.  The beautifully sculpted PVC figure measures nineteen centimetres in length and shows some amazing detail.  Team members are currently working on the data sheet that will accompany sales of this model through Everything Dinosaur’s website.  As Eofauna Scientific Research is staffed by vertebrate fossil specialists and researchers too, this fantastic mammoth model will also be supplied with a hang tag and bonus collectable card to educate collectors about this geographically widespread, Middle Pleistocene proboscidean!

The Eofauna Scientific Research Steppe Mammoth Model

The Eofauna Scientific research 1:40 scale Steppe Mammoth model.

The Eofauna Scientific Research Steppe Mammoth model.

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Working with the dedicated team at Eofauna Scientific Research has been a great experience.  They have done an amazing job producing what will be a highly sought after and collectable mammoth model.  It is an honour to be involved in the launch of this new, PVC model series and we can’t wait to see how this range of replicas develops.”

Mammuthus trogontherii – The Steppe Mammoth

The Steppe Mammoth (Mammuthus trogontherii) was one of the largest of all the proboscideans, with some fossil specimens indicating a bodyweight in excess of ten tonnes.  This mammoth was an evolutionary intermediary between the ancestral mammoth M. meridionalis and the better-known Woolly Mammoth (M. primigenius).  It evolved around 1,600,000 years ago and roamed much of the northern latitudes of Europe and Asia.  The elephant’s skull was shorter than those of its ancestors, this is skilfully depicted in the anatomically accurate 1:40 scale Eofauna replica and the teeth of Mammuthus trogontherii were adapted to feeding on tough grasses and sedges – check out the superbly painted upper molars that are visible in the open mouth of the model!

Coming Soon to Everything Dinosaur!

The Eofauna Scientific research 1:40 scale Steppe Mammoth model.

A 1:40 scale model of a M. trogontherii by Eofauna.

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research

The First of a New Range of Prehistoric Animal Models

This is the first of an exciting range of PVC models, the range is being introduced with the aim of giving fans of prehistoric animals and model collectors the opportunity to build up a collection of highly accurate, museum quality figures.

General Director of Eofauna Scientific Research, Asier Larramendi explained:

“All our work is based on scientific research.  Several members of Eofauna, including myself, are scientists and our aim is to use our considerable knowledge and expertise to develop an exciting range of figures that really do reflect the fossil record.  It is fantastic for us to be teaming up with such a well-respected company such as Everything Dinosaur, who like us, share a passion for palaeontology and helping to educate the next generation of scientists.”

If the 1:40 scale Steppe Mammoth is anything to go by, then collectors and prehistoric animal fans are going to be roaring with excitement as this new range is rolled out.  Just wait until you see the dinosaurs….

A Beautifully Sculpted Model of a Steppe Mammoth (Mammuthus trogontherii)

The Eofauna Scientific research 1:40 scale Steppe Mammoth model.

The museum quality Eofauna Steppe Mammoth replica.

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research

The model is likely to be available from Everything Dinosaur in September (September 2017).

For further information about this exciting new model and to enquire about availability: Contact Everything Dinosaur

19 08, 2017

JurassicCollectables Reviews Rebor “Alex DeLarge” Replica

By | August 19th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page|0 Comments

A Video Review of the Rebor Leaping Velociraptor “Alex DeLarge”

The second of the recently introduced leaping Velociraptor figures has been reviewed by JurassicCollectables.  This time, it is the stunning “Alex DeLarge”, Rebor Velociraptor in 1:18 scale, that is in the spotlight.  Rebor have been busy producing lots of “raptors” and as well as highlighting the features of “Alex”, this clever video review includes comparisons with other Rebor Velociraptor models, including “Spring-heeled Jack”, the 1:18 scale “Winston” and the juvenile “Stan”

JurassicCollectables Reviews the Rebor Leaping Velociraptor “Alex DeLarge”

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Video Credit: JurassicCollectables

In this short video, (duration 6:12), viewers are given the chance to have a really good look at this cleverly designed, Late Cretaceous, Asian dinosaur.  The narrator discusses various aspects of “Alex DeLarge”, although the video does not give the explanation for this Velociraptor’s moniker.  Alex DeLarge is the name of the violent protagonist in the novel “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess which was published in 1962.  The book was made into a film, directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1971.

To view the Rebor 1:18 scale replica “Alex DeLarge”, the counterpart model “Spring-heeled Jack” and the rest of the excellent Rebor prehistoric animal model range: Rebor Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Replicas

Velociraptors of “Jurassic World”

It is apt for this particular Rebor model to be named after a character which has appeared in the cinema.  Alex DeLarge, liked to wield a razor, reminiscent of the “killing claw” associated with these dinosaurs, in the book and the film, Alex DeLarge roamed the streets in a gang, social, pack-hunting behaviour has been proposed for Velociraptors too.  The beautiful paint job on this particular Rebor replica is similar to the colouration of the Velociraptor called Blue which was seen in the recent dinosaur movie “Jurassic World”.  Sadly, for “off-colour Alan” his encounter with this 1:18 scale replica does not end well!

The Rebor Velociraptor “Alex DeLarge” Replica

Rebor 1:18 scale "Alex DeLarge" Velociraptor replica.

Rebor 1:18 scale Velociraptor model “Alex DeLarge”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Compared with the Rebor Tyrannosaurus rex and the Rebor Velociraptor Models

It is great to see that JurassicCollectables have included other model and figure comparisons in their video review of the Rebor “Alex DeLarge” Velociraptor.  Towards the end of the video, look out for a line-up of Rebor Velociraptors and a comparison between the Rebor King T. rex replica in 1:35 scale and this leaping Velociraptor figure.  It is also helpful to see the model posed on both the two rods that are supplied with this replica as well as seeing how the arms fit into their sockets.

The close-up shot of the head and the views of the paintwork on the tail are very well done, nothing is out of focus and videos like this really do provide the best opportunity to view a model before deciding to purchase.

JurassicCollectables have an amazing YouTube channel which is full of prehistoric animal model reviews and other very interesting and carefully put together videos, including reviews of the aforementioned Rebor “King T. rex” and other Rebor replicas.

Visit the YouTube channel of Jurassic Collectables: JurassicCollectables on YouTube , please subscribe to the JurassicCollectables channel, this is a great channel for collectors as well as fans of prehistoric animals.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s blog article about the recently published JurassicCollectables review of “Spring-heeled Jack”: JurassicCollectables Reviews “Spring-heeled Jack”.

17 08, 2017

Chilesaurus – Shaking the Dinosaur Tree

By | August 17th, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Chilesaurus diegosuarezi Transitional Fossil – Root and Branch Reform of the Dinosaur Family Tree

A bizarre Late Jurassic dinosaur called Chilesaurus diegosuarezi had been described as a member of the Theropoda group, but this strange little dinosaur that seemed to possess anatomical characteristics reminiscent of Sauropods, Ornithischian dinosaurs as well as meat-eating Theropods, has been re-described, this time as a “missing link” between the Theropods and the bird-hipped, Ornithischians.  The re-think has to do with the use of datasets to assess the taxonomic relationships between different types of dinosaur.  Chilesaurus may be the first dinosaur to be reassessed in the light of a new way of looking at the dinosaur family tree, chances are, it won’t be the last.

An Illustration of the Bizarre Late Jurassic Dinosaur from Southern Chile C. diegosuarezi

Chilesaurus illustration.

An illustration of Chilesaurus, once classified as a Theropod now regarded as a transitional fossil towards the Ornithischia.

Picture Credit: Nobumichi Tamura

Chilesaurus diegosuarezi Discovery and Description

The first fossils of this three-metre long dinosaur were found by a pair of geologists who were hiking in the remote Aysén region of southern Chile.  Scientists have mapped and explored these deposits (the Toqui Formation – Upper Jurassic) and a description of this dinosaur was published in the journal “Nature” in 2015.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s article written in 2015 reporting the discovery of Chilesaurus: Chilesaurus – a Dinosaur Designed by a Committee

The dinosaur had some strange features that set it apart from other dinosaurs.  Some of these features, such as the over-sized claw which could be extended outwards, on the first digit on the hands of Chilesaurus were reminiscent of the large claws found on the first digits of the front limbs of primitive Sauropods.  However, it had a skull similar to that seen in Theropods, but the jaws were lined with spoon-shaped teeth that pointed outwards at a slight angle.  These teeth were unique in the Theropoda and suggested a plant-eating diet.  In addition, the pubic bone in the pelvis was pointing backwards not forwards as in the Theropods, this pelvic arrangement was typical of a bird-hipped dinosaur, an Ornithischian.  These and other anatomical features made Chilesaurus into a bit of a conundrum for the palaeontologists studying it.  This dinosaur was difficult to place on the Dinosauria family tree, because of its combination of characteristics.  In the original 2015 paper, Chilesaurus was described as a Tetanuran Theropod, a member of the “stiff-tailed” group of bipedal, mainly carnivorous dinosaurs, meaning that it was distantly related to Megalosaurus, the ornithomimids and the Tyrannosaurs.

The Teeth in the Lower Jaw of Chilesaurus were Unlike Any Other Teeth of a Theropod

The fossilised jaw of Chilesaurus.

Teeth adapted for cropping plants.

Picture Credit: Dr Fernando Novas (Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

New Dataset – New Classification

Researchers Matthew Baron (Cambridge University) and Paul Barrett (Natural History Museum), writing in the Royal Society journal “Biology Letters” describe how they applied a different dataset to assess the phylogenetic relationship between Chilesaurus and other dinosaurs.  When C. diegosuarezi was first described, back in 2015 the researchers used several datasets to test the interrelationships within the Dinosauria, but crucially, the focus of this analysis was on looking at the relationships within the Saurischia.  In March of this year, Matthew and his co-researchers proposed re-drawing the dinosaur family tree, in essence, resurrecting work undertaken by Thomas Huxley in the late 19th Century, that unites the Saurischia and the Ornithischia together into a new clade called the Ornithoscelida.

Theropods Grouped with Ornithopods

Under this revision, the Theropoda, which are closely related to extant birds and classified as Saurischian dinosaurs (lizard-hipped), were united with the bird-hipped dinosaurs, the Ornithopods, Thyreophora, Ceratopsian, Hadrosaurs etc.

When Chilesaurus was examined again, using the taxonomic relationships proposed by the newly drawn dinosaur cladogram, Chilesaurus was placed in a new position.  The idea that it was a Tetanuran Theropod based on this dataset could be discounted.  Instead, Chilesaurus is placed at a point in the dinosaur family tree where the Ornithischia diverged from their close relatives.  The basal position of Chilesaurus within the clade and its suite of anatomical characters suggest that it might represent a “transitional taxon”, bridging the morphological gap between the Theropoda and the Ornithischia.

Chilesaurus “Missing Link” on the Road to the Ornithischia

Chilesaurus consensus tree.

In this new Chilesaurus study, the consensus tree formed via the phylogenetic analysis indicates this dinosaur was a basal Ornithischian.

Picture Credit: Royal Society Biology Letters

In the diagram above, the Chilesaurus (red star) is seen as a potential link between the Saurischian Theropoda and the Ornithischian dinosaurs.  Chilesaurus may therefore provide an insight into the evolutionary origins of the bird-hipped dinosaurs.  It may also have an extensive ghost lineage (thin black line), going back to the Middle Triassic.

To read the Everything Dinosaur article, published in March 2017, about the redefinition of the Dinosauria: Root and Branch Reform in the Dinosaur Family Tree

Co-author of the research, Professor Paul Barrett (Natural History Museum) explained the significance of this new paper:

“Chilesaurus is one of the most puzzling and intriguing dinosaurs ever discovered.  Its weird mix of features places it in a key position in dinosaur evolution and helps to show how some of the really big splits between the major groups might have come about.”

Finding a Better Fit within the Dinosauria – Chilesaurus diegosuarezi 

The bizarre Chilesaurus.

An illustration of Chilesaurus that shows a suite of dinosaur traits.

Picture Credit: Gabriel Lio

15 08, 2017

Everything Dinosaur Stocks PNSO Age of Dinosaurs

By | August 15th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Model Range Available from Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur now stocks the PNSO Age of Dinosaurs model range and what a fantastic selection of prehistoric animals it is!  These museum quality replicas and beautifully crafted toys cover a wide selection of ancient creatures, there is a T. rex and Triceratops of course but the PNSO Age of Dinosaurs series also encompasses armoured dinosaurs such as Chungkingosaurus, prehistoric whales such as Basilosaurus and fearsome, mega-mouthed sharks like Megalodon.

The PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Model Range

PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.

PNSO Age of Dinosaurs model range.

Picture Credit: PNSO/Yiniao Sci-Art

Twenty-Four Dinosaur Toys to Accompany Your Growth

The range includes a selection of small prehistoric animal models, each one with its own unique species name such as “Aaron the little Tyrannosaurus”, Jonas the little Archaeopteryx and “Sethi the little Kentrosaurus”.

Sethi the Little Kentrosaurus – Dinosaur Toys that Accompany Your Growth

PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Kentrosaurus.

PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Kentrosaurus model.

Picture Credit: PNSO/Yiniao Sci-Art

The picture above shows the Kentrosaurus dinosaur model figure, part of a series of twenty-four little prehistoric animals.  This range also includes some fantastic Chinese armoured dinosaurs including Wuerhosaurus (Xana the little Wuerhosaurus) and a Tuojiangosaurus (Rahba the little Tuojiangosaurus).

To view the range of PNSO Age of Dinosaurs available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The PNSO product range aims to inform and to educate and contains a huge variety of prehistoric animal models, both big and small.  It is wonderful to see replicas of some of the amazing dinosaurs from China incorporated into this product range and it’s not just dinosaurs too, there are Ichthyosaur models such as Himalayasaurus to collect and even a Confuciusornis!”

The PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Confuciusornis Model

PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Confuciusornis model.

Confuciusornis model (PNSO Age of Dinosaurs).

Picture Credit: PNSO/Yiniao Sci-Art

A Cretaceous Bird Named after a Chinese Philosopher

Many Confuciusornis fossils have been found in the Liaoning Province (north-eastern China) and fossils of these early birds (they belong to a group called the Enantiornithines), have helped palaeontologists to work out how Maniraptoran feathered dinosaurs evolved into birds.  We are sure that the great Chinese philosopher and teacher Confucius would have approved of these prehistoric animal replicas, helping to inform and educate about China’s remarkable fossil record.  Male birds were slightly different from the females, just like many extant species of birds today.  The males had a pair of long tail feathers, the females lacked these adornments.  The PNSO Dinosaurs of China Confuciusornis model is therefore a male bird.  The long tail feathers played no role in powered flight, they probably were used in visual displays as the males attempted to attract a mate.

A Bird in the Hand – The PNSO Confuciusornis Model

PNSO Confuciusornis model.

“A bird in the hand”, the Confuciusornis model from PNSO.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Marine Monsters and Museum Quality Dinosaur Replicas

As well as family favourites such as Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex, the larger models include spectacular models of sea monsters.  There is a serpentine Basilosaurus replica, that at around half a metre in length, makes a brilliant centrepiece to any model collection.  We must also mention the fantastic Megalodon (C. megalodon) replica, the detail on this giant shark figure is stunning.

The PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Basilosaurus Model

PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Basilosaurus replica.

The PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Basilosaurus model.

Picture Credit: PNSO/Yiniao Sci-Art

Swimming alongside the Basilosaurus in the PNSO Age of Dinosaurs model collection (but not necessarily in the same geological record), is the hugely impressive Megalodon shark model.

PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Megalodon Shark Model

Megalodon replica from the PNSO Age of Dinosaurs range.

PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Megalodon model.

Picture Credit: PNSO/Yiniao Sci-Art

To view the range of prehistoric animals: PNSO Dinosaur Models and Figures

14 08, 2017

Basilosaurus Illustrated

By | August 14th, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

A Drawing of the Early Predatory Whale Basilosaurus

Basilosaurus was one of the first, large whales to evolve.  This animal named “regal reptile”, the first species of which was named and described by Richard Owen (Basilosaurus cetoides), in 1839, has grown in popularity amongst fans of prehistoric animals.  Basilosaurus appeared in an episode of the “Walking with Beasts” television series made by the BBC, (episode two “Whale Killer”).  With CollectA recently introducing a replica of this placental mammal, collectors have the opportunity to add an early cetacean to their model collection.   Everything Dinosaur has commissioned drawings of Basilosaurus.  In the light of the adding of the PNSO range of models to Everything Dinosaur’s huge product portfolio, we have posted up a PNSO inspired Basilosaurus drawing, one that has not been published on this blog that often.

An Illustration of the Giant Prehistoric Whale Basilosaurus

PNSO Basilosaurus illustration.

An illustration of Basilosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Although this fearsome carnivore, superficially resembled the toothed whales that are around today.  Basilosaurus was an evolutionary dead end, when Basilosaurus became extinct some 36 million years ago, towards the end of the Eocene Epoch, it left no descendants.  The drawing above is based on the PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Basilosaurus replica.

The PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Basilosaurus Replica

The PNSO Basilosaurus replica.

The Basilosaurus replica (PNSO).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In addition to this illustration, Everything Dinosaur also commissioned a line drawing of the CollectA Basilosaurus replica.  Both of these drawings were commissioned to support our work producing data sheets and fact sheets about prehistoric animals.

The Illustration of the CollectA Basilosaurus Model (Everything Dinosaur)

CollectA Basilosaurus illustration.

The CollectA Basilosaurus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Compare the line drawing of the CollectA Basilosaurus model, with a picture of the actual CollectA Basilosaurus (seen below).

The CollectA Basilosaurus Model

An early whale model - CollectA Basilosaurus

The CollectA Basilosaurus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

13 08, 2017

Papo Cave Bear Model Reviewed

By | August 13th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|2 Comments

A Review of the New for 2017 Papo Cave Bear Model

The Papo Cave Bear model is now in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  This eagerly anticipated Papo replica arrived at our warehouse today and team members at Everything Dinosaur have been busy checking inventory and putting models to one side for those customers who requested that we reserve one for them.  It really is a splendid model and it is great to see the French manufacturer extend their model range by including a prehistoric mammal, especially since the recent retirement of their popular Woolly Rhino (Coelodonta) figure.

The Papo Cave Bear Model is Now in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

The new for 2017 Papo Cave Bear model.

Lateral view of the Papo Cave Bear model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Ursus spelaeus

Cave bears shared a common ancestor with the modern Brown bear (Ursus arctus) and they evolved around 300,000 years ago and survived until the late Middle Palaeolithic of the Stone Age, (around 40,000 years ago).  The last Cave bears existed in the Caucasus mountain range, but these large bears once roamed an area of Europe from southern Russian to southern England.  Everything Dinosaur is not aware of Cave bear fossils having been found in Ireland, although the Brown bear is known to have existed in Ireland.

A View of the Beautifully Sculpted Snout and Skull of the Papo Cave Bear

Papo Cave Bear replica.

A anterior view of the Papo Cave Bear model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows a close-up view of the Papo Cave Bear model.  Cave bears can be distinguished from modern Brown bears as they tended to be larger and more powerfully built.  The skull has a distinctive slope down to the bridge of the long muzzle, this feature can be clearly made out in the excellent Papo replica.  The large canines are prominent and each of the incisors at the front of the jaws have been individually painted, the paint work on the model is really good and we like the darker colouration along the back, giving the impression of a thicker coat on this part of the animal’s body.

The limb bones of Cave bears were of slightly different proportions when compared to their modern cousins.  The limbs on the Papo figure give an impression of huge power and strength, the Cave bear was a formidable animal best avoided by people, recent studies have suggested that there was very little ecological interaction between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens and Cave bears, they may have used the same rock shelters and caves but at different times in history.  A number of carved artefacts and paintings have led some anthropologists to suggest that these large mammals were revered by our ancestors.

A Close-up View of the Large, Powerful Paws of the Papo Cave Bear Figure

The huge paws of the Papo Cave Bear model.

The large paws of the Papo Cave Bear model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the new for 2017 Papo Cave Bear model and the rest of the Papo prehistoric animal range available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

Papo Cave Bear Model

Measuring a fraction under fourteen centimetres in length and standing some eight and half centimetres high at those muscular shoulders, this is an excellent Pleistocene-aged mammal model, one that works well in scale with several Woolly Mammoth replicas including the Papo Woolly Mammoth models as well as the CollectA Neanderthal figures.

The Papo Cave Bear Model (New for 2017)

The Papo Cave Bear Model.

A powerful looking Cave Bear model from Papo.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The remaining new for 2017 Papo models, the Sabre-toothed cat and the Dimorphodon replica should be available next month (September 2017).

12 08, 2017

Giant Dinosaur Gets a Name

By | August 12th, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Patagotitan mayorum – 69 Tonnes of Titanosaur

This week has seen the long-awaited publication of a scientific paper on the super-sized Titanosaur fossils that Everything Dinosaur blogged about in May 2014.  Writing in the “Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Biology)”, the researchers, which included José L. Carballido and Diego Pol (Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio, Trelew, Argentina), have described this new dinosaur and given it a formal scientific name.  Patagotitan mayorum translates as “the Mayo family Patagonian Titan”.  It may already be familiar to readers, as this fossil discovery was documented in a BBC television programme narrated by Sir David Attenborough back in 2016.  Indeed, a life-size cast of this dinosaur has been on display at the American Museum of Natural History (New York) for nearly eighteen months.

The Life-size Mounted Exhibit of the Newly Named Titanosaur (Patagotitan mayorum)

Patagotitan mayorum cast.

A cast of the giant Titanosaur Patagotitan mayorum.

Picture Credit: BBC TV

Size Isn’t Everything

Most of the media sources that have covered this announcement have focused on the estimated weight of Patagotitan.  When first studied, the body weight estimate of this beast, (represented by the fossilised remains of at least seven individuals) was put at 77 tonnes.  The researchers have down-sized Patagotitan somewhat in the scientific paper, but at a reported 69 tonnes, this is still an immensely heavy beast, potentially close to the theoretical limit for a body weight of a terrestrial animal.

Patagotitan mayorum – A Size Comparison

Patagotitan size comparison.

Patagotitan mayorum size comparison with an adult African elephant and a human for scale.

Picture Credit: G. Lio/Everything Dinosaur

With an estimated body length of 37 metres and a weight of 69 tonnes, Patagotitan can lay claim to the title of the largest land living animal to be described to date based on substantially complete fossil remains.

To read an article on the initial excavation of the Titanosaur fossil bones: Biggest Dinosaur of all – a New South American Contender

For an article providing information on the BBC documentary: Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur

An Unprecedented Quantity of Titanosaur Fossil Material

The species’ scientific name was inspired by the region where this new species was discovered, Argentina’s Patagonia (Patago); by its strength and huge size (titan), and by the Mayo family, on whose ranch the fossils of this new Sauropod species were discovered.  The substantial amount of fossil material including a celebrated 2.4-metre-long femur was discovered in three distinct layers, representing flood plain deposits.  The researchers have concluded that these large herbivores must have been regular visitors to this area, perhaps this was on a migration route.  The water flow was unable to dislodge most of the fossil bones, their sheer bulk allowing the remains to be preserved relatively “in situ”, although in a disarticulated state.

The Life-size Cast of Patagotitan mayorum at the American Museum of Natural History (New York)

Patagotitan mayorum at the American Museum of Natural History (New York).

Titanosaur exhibit (Patagotitan mayorum).

Picture Credit: The American Museum of Natural History/D. Finnin

Estimating the Body Weight of Giant Titanosaurs

The Titanosauria clade represents the most disparate group, in terms of body size of all known Sauropods.  Some of the smallest members of the Sauropodmorpha are represented by Titanosaurs such as the five-metre long Magyarosaurus from Romania, whilst this clade also contains giant animals like Argentinosaurus, Alamosaurus, Dreadnoughtus and the newly described Patagotitan.  Calculating the body weight of an extinct animal, even one with numerous fossil bones to study, is a challenging task, body weight has to be inferred using a variety of methods.

Dr José Luis Carballido (Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio) explained:

“We compared the remains of Patagotitan mayorum with all the species that could be related to it, not only in terms of size, but also those that lived at the same time or had certain features in common.  Among them we included species such as Argentinosaurus, Puertasaurus and Futalognkosaurus, which are other giant species of dinosaurs from Argentina.”

The researchers undertook a phylogenetic study and concluded that the majority of the giant Titanosaurs of Patagonia belong to a single lineage.  This suggests that gigantism within the Titanosauria evolved only once and not multiple times.  The scientists conclude that all the truly huge dinosaurs were related to each other and form a natural group – the Lognkosauria.

Dr Diego Pol added:

“This group of giants probably emerged by the end of the Lower Cretaceous (Patagotitan mayorum would be the oldest) and had survived until the middle Late Cretaceous between 100 and 85 million years ago.”

Patagonia – A Titanosaur Paradise

Titanosaurs diversified and radiated around Gondwana during the middle Early Cretaceous and as a group they survived right up to the end of the Cretaceous, but in Patagonia during the early Cenomanian faunal stage some species obtained enormous sizes the reasons for an evolutionary pressure to grow so big are unclear.

Dr Pol commented:

“About 100 million years ago, a subgroup of Titanosaurs really went crazy in body size.  There must be something in the environment, in how much resources and food was available, in the climate, something must have allowed this fantastic size.  All these contenders for the heavyweight championship of dinosaurs, they all lived in same place, in the same time…understanding why and how these animals evolved into such a fantastic size is the million-dollar question.”

When Excavating Giant Titanosaurs Limb Bones Make Excellent Seats

The giant Titanosaur dig site (Patagotitan mayorum).

Filming the documentary “Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur”.

Picture Credit: Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio

Links to the Rinconsauria

In addition, the scientists consider this super-sized lineage of Titanosaurs a sister group to the Rinconsauria, a clade of Titanosaurs also known from Argentina which are regarded as basal to the group, or at least retaining primitive traits.  The Rinconsauria, which includes Rinconsaurus caudamirus and Aeolosaurus were not giants themselves, in fact, this clade includes some of the smallest South American Titanosaurs described to date.

For the time being the moniker used to describe this huge dinosaur when it was being excavated – “enormosaurus” is redundant, that is until the next huge Sauropod fossil find!

The scientific paper: “A New Giant Titanosaur Sheds Light on Body Mass Evolution Among Sauropod Dinosaurs” by José L. Carballido, Diego Pol, Alejandro Otero, Ignacio A. Cerda, Leonardo Salgado, Alberto C. Garrido, Jahandar Ramezani, Néstor R. Cúneo, Javier M. Krause published in “The Proceedings of the Royal Society B”.

11 08, 2017

JurassicCollectables Reviews “Spring-heeled Jack”

By | August 11th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page|0 Comments

A Video Review of the Rebor Leaping Velociraptor “Spring-heeled Jack”

JurassicCollectables have been hard at work again and their latest video to be posted is a review of the amazing “Spring-heeled Jack”, the Rebor Velociraptor, 1:18 scale dinosaur model.  Rebor has continued to set the standard when it comes to introducing “retro raptors” and this new Velociraptor joins “Winston, Stan” and “Alex DeLarge” in the Rebor replica range.

JurassicCollectables Reviews “Spring-heeled Jack”

Video Credit: JurassicCollectables

In this brief video review, (it lasts just over six and a half minutes), viewers are given the opportunity to have a really good look at this skilfully modelled Late Cretaceous Theropod.  The narrator discusses various aspects of “Spring-heeled Jack”, named after a strange being from English folklore that was first reported 180 years ago.  For example, the video looks at the base of the model in detail and demonstrates the articulated jaw and the forelimbs that can be set in various positions.

To view the Rebor 1:18 scale replica “Spring-heeled Jack”, the counterpart model “Alex DeLarge” and the entire Rebor prehistoric animal model range: Rebor Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Replicas

“Jurassic Park” Velociraptors

With the ground-breaking dinosaur movie “Jurassic Park”, hitting cinema screens in 1993, Velociraptors were up front and centre when it came to the prehistoric animals featured.  We won’t open up the debate on the size of the “raptors” in the film, suffice to say, thanks to this movie and the work of Stan Winston, the American film and television special make-up and special effects master, a whole new generation of young dinosaur fans was created.  The Velociraptors in the Rebor replica range, pay tribute to the contribution played in the portrayal of dinosaurs by Stan Winston, that’s why a number of the models in this range carry his moniker.  The leaping “Spring-heeled Jack” is reminiscent of the leaping Velociraptors from the Jurassic Park film franchise.

The Rebor Velociraptor “Spring-heeled Jack” Replica

Rebor "Spring-heeled Jack" Velociraptor model.

Rebor 1:18 scale Velociraptor “Spring-heeled Jack”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The genus name means “speedy robber or speedy thief” and the JurassicCollectables video review shows these dynamic models in all their beauty.

Compared with the Rebor Tyrannosaurus rex and the Rebor Carnotaurus Models

Our thanks to those clever people at JurassicCollectables for including in this video review comparisons with the Rebor Tyrannosaurus rex replica (King T. rex) and the recently reviewed Rebor Carnotaurus figure “Crimson King”.  Off-colour Alan even gets in on the action, he is shown riding on the back of the leaping Velociraptor and the figure looks really good next to “Spring-heeled Jack”, very reminiscent of the scene from the first Jurassic Park” movie where big-game hunter, Robert Muldoon meets his demise.

JurassicCollectables have a brilliant YouTube channel crammed full of prehistoric animal model reviews and other very interesting and informative videos, including reviews of the aforementioned Rebor Carnotaurus replica and the Rebor “King T. rex“.

Visit the YouTube channel of Jurassic Collectables: JurassicCollectables on YouTube , please remember to subscribe to the JurassicCollectables channel, after all, some 50,000+ dinosaur and prehistoric animal model fans can’t be wrong!

10 08, 2017

Monster Jurassic Crocodile Honours Motorhead’s Frontman

By | August 10th, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Lemmysuchus obtusidens – Named after Lemmy from Motorhead

On December 28th 2015, the English heavy-metal musician, Lemmy, the founder of Motörhead and doyen of the metal-music genre passed away.  Since that day, many scientists who were fans of Lemmy’s music have sought out ways to honour him*.  It seems that tracks such as “Bomber”, “Overkill”, “Louie Louie” and the iconic “Ace of Spades” are very popular with academics and scientists from a number of disciplines and this week, hard-drinking, hard-living Lemmy, was honoured by having a particularly nasty Jurassic teleosaurid crocodile named after him.  Say hello to Lemmysuchus obtusidens, the newest member of the Teleosauridae, the name means “Lemmy’s blunt-toothed crocodile”.

Dorsal View of the Skull of Lemmysuchus obtusidens

Skull fossil and line drawing.

Skull fossil and accompanying line drawing of Lemmysuchus.  Scale bar = 10 cm.

Picture Credit: Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

From a Clay Pit Near Peterborough

The fossil material now assigned to this new genus was excavated in 1909 from a clay pit near the town of Peterborough (Cambridgeshire), several specimens were collected from the Middle Jurassic strata (Callovian faunal stage).  It was incorrectly catalogued and assigned to a different species, several cladistic and anatomical reviews later and the blunt-snouted, blunt-toothed teleosaurids have undergone a significant revision and fossil material formerly assigned to Steneosaurus obtusidens has ended up in need of a new taxa hence the establishment of Lemmysuchus within the academic literature.

One of the authors of the scientific paper, which has just been published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Michela Johnson (University of Edinburgh), described Lemmysuchus:

With a metre-long skull and a total length of 5.8 metres, it would have been one of the biggest coastal predators of its time.”

A Close View of the Jaw Showing the Robust Teeth

The jaw of Lemmysuchus.

Part of the jaw of Lemmysuchus showing the robust teeth.

Picture Credit: Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Durophagous or Macrophagous Diet

In contrast to several other Middle Jurassic teleosaurids, Lemmysuchus had a broad snout and large, robust teeth, this suggests that this substantial crocodylomorph had a different diet to its relatives.  Most teleosaurids were fish-eaters and their jaws, teeth and skulls show adaptations to a piscivorous diet.  The jaws of Lemmysuchus indicate that this reptile might have dined on turtles or other hard-shelled creatures such as ammonites.  It could have made short work of any small marine reptile carcass that it found, it could even have been an active predator of other marine reptiles.

A Nasty Crocodile from the Middle Jurassic of England

A illustration of the Jurassic teleosaurid Lemmysuchus.

Lemmysuchus obtusidens illustration.

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

Paleoartist Dr Mark Witton has recreated the terrifying world of Lemmysuchus obtusidens.  The beautiful reconstruction shows a large Lemmysuchus feeding on a plesiosaur, whilst Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs scavenge the remains of an Ichthyosaur that has been washed ashore.

Subtle Nods to Lemmy and to John Martin

The atmospheric image created by Mark Witton, includes a subtle hint towards one of the pieces of artwork associated with Motörhead.  The pattern on top of the crocodylomorph’s skull is a homage to the “snaggletooth” logo that adorned a number of album covers.  In addition, this stunning artwork, depicting a European shoreline some 164 million years ago, pays tribute to one of the earliest depictions of ancient marine reptiles, an illustration by John Martin for the seminal publication “Great Sea Dragons”, by Thomas Hawkins, which was first printed back in 1840.

John Martin depicted a savage, violent seascape dominated by great serpent-like creatures.  Having noted the serpentine archway in Dr Witton’s illustration, Everything Dinosaur contacted Mark and enquired how this archway came to be included.

Mark explained:

“The archway in the background is a nod to the serpentine creature in the background of John Martin’s classic 1840 illustration “The Sea-Dragons as They Lived”.  Much of the right side of the image is a tribute to this work, as is the fact that virtually all the animals in my painting are savage and predatory.  We know that the Jurassic didn’t have any serpentine creatures like those imagined by Martin, so I had to improvise a little by changing his animal to a rock feature and landmass (the adjacent island is where the second ‘hump’ of his creature would be).  I decided to homage his work because, in a lot of ways, 19th century palaeoart is not dissimilar to iconography associated with the harder side of rock music, to which Lemmysuchus has an obvious connection.  Both are a bit silly in how dark and aggressive they are so, though stemming from very different cultures, they’re actually artistic bedfellows.”

“Great Sea Dragons” Illustration by John Martin circa 1840

"Great Sea Dragons" illustration by John Martin

The 1840 illustration of marine reptiles and pterosaurs by John Martin.

Talented paleoartist Mark has recently published a new work, highlighting his illustrations and providing an insight into the process or imagining and then recreating prehistoric scenes.  The book is entitled “Recreating an Age of Reptiles”, it is highly recommended.

To read a review of “Recreating an Age of Reptiles”“Recreating An Age of Reptiles” by Dr Mark Witton

Dr Witton added:

“It was quite fun bringing three very different influences together for this painting: the science of the animal itself; the aggressive, dark imagery associated with Motörhead and the influence of old school palaeoart.”

Lemmy from Motörhead (Ian Fraser Kilmister)

Motörhead frontman Lemmy

Lemmy (birth name Ian Fraser Kilmister).

Co-author Lorna Steel, (Dept. of Earth Sciences, Natural History Museum), proposed that the fearsome crocodylomorph should be named after her late musical hero.

Dr Steel stated:

“Although Lemmy passed away at the end of 2015, we’d like to think that he would have raised a glass to Lemmysuchus, one of the nastiest sea creatures to have ever inhabited the Earth.”

*In early 2016, a petition was organised to get the discoverers of the recently named, super-heavy element 115 Ununpentium, to change its name to Lemmium.  Despite attracting a reported 100,000 signatures the bid to place the heavy metal music pioneer onto the Periodic Table failed.  Still it’s not every day that you get a bone-crushing, Jurassic marine crocodile named after you.

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