Category: Everything Dinosaur News and Updates

Extracting an Ichthyosaur Fossil

Newly Discovered Ichthyosaur Fossil Removed from Beach

After the exhilaration of finding a fossil specimen such as a near complete Ichthyosaur, comes the hard work of extracting the specimen.  This has to be done with great care and planning, as the aim is to remove the material as intact as possible without damaging any of the actual fossils.  For Ben and his dad Dave, they also had to cope with the threat of an incoming tide as Ben found his Ichthyosaur on the eastern beach of Lyme Regis (Dorset, England) and although the specimen was exposed at low tide, once the tide starts to turn, it comes in really quickly, so there is added pressure.  The specimen, representing a young Ichthyosaur was found by Ben a couple of days ago.  He and his father then set about working most of that day and into the evening trying to prepare the fossil for that all important lift, the first time that the Ichthyosaur would have been moved for 180 million years or so.

Our chum Brandon, a local fossil expert himself, was on hand to record the moment when the fossil was ready for extraction.

Carefully Extracting an Ichthyosaur Specimen from the Beach at Lyme Regis

Video Credit: Brandon Lennon

The specimen was quite fragile, so glue was used to help secure the fossil and keep it intact.  Once this had been done,  it was time to prepare the block of Blue lias in which the fossil was located for lifting.  Chisels were then hammered into key points underneath the block to allow it to be freed from the bed.  Once this process had been completed it was time to get ready to lift the specimen and remove it.  This in itself is a tricky process, in the video you can see just how much water was seeping into the dig site and Ben and Dave were aware of the oncoming tide.  With skill and care the two intrepid fossil hunters were able to lift out the fossil.  The tail section broke, if you look carefully on the video you can see that there is a natural fault on the block and as a result the end piece broke off.  However, we can report that the rest of the specimen was removed safe and sound.  The two pieces of rock will now be prepared so that the skeleton can be fully exposed.

Lyme Regis is a great place to visit and fossil hunting on the beach is a lot of fun, however, we at Everything Dinosaur suggest that visitors take advantage of a guided fossil walk led by a local expert.

To read more about guided fossil walks: Lyme Regis Fossil Walks

Congratulations to Ben and Dave, glad all their hard work paid off.

“Ovi the Oviraptor” Finds a New Home

Ovi the Oviraptor – Competition Entrants

The Everything Dinosaur win “Ovi the Oviraptor” soft toy competition has now closed.   Our winning entry in the find a surname for “Ovi” has been announced and the prize, an Oviraptor soft toy, has already been despatched.  The very cute and cuddly dinosaur soft toy should be with the lucky winner in few days or so.

We had lots of competition entries in the three weeks or so that we ran the competition.  Team members at Everything Dinosaur adopted a soft toy in the office, the dinosaur soft toy represented Oviraptor with its big eyes and feather covered wings, trouble is, we could not agree on a surname for “Ovi” and so the idea for a competition came about.

A Very Cute and Cuddly Oviraptor Dinosaur Soft Toy

A very cute and cuddly dinosaur soft toy!

A very cute and cuddly dinosaur soft toy!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

With “Ovi” looking for a new name and a new home we launched the competition in the run up to the Easter break.  After all, Oviraptor means “egg thief” and although this Mongolian feathered dinosaur has been much maligned, as Easter is associated with eggs, we thought a contest involving the “egg thief dinosaur” was appropriate.

What a fantastic amount of entries we had, there are just far too many to give everyone a mention but we will list a few of the competition entrants here so that readers can get an idea of all the clever names that were put forward.

Tony – Ovi – the heart thief, Flossy – Ovi Osborn (we had quite a few Ovi Osborn suggestions),  Ovi Philips from Spencer, Pjotr suggested Ovi Eggsy, Ovi James – thanks Nicole, Tyler sent us two names Ovi Eggward and Ovi Dinozawr (dinosaur in Russian as we are reliably informed).  Then we had Ovi Ovoid from Jane, Ovi Orzo from Skye, Ovi Kenovi from Lynne, Ovi Parity from Joe.  Sam proposed Ovi Kenobi (we had a lot of these), then there was Ovi Buddy from Jason, Kyle gave us Ovi Raptor, Rosemary sent Ovi Gorgeous, we had so many clever competition entries.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s huge range of soft toy dinosaurs and prehistoric animals: Dinosaur Soft Toys

The winning entry, the one that was pulled out of one of our hard hats we use when working on fossil locations, was “Ovi Roy”.  Why “Ovi Roy you might ask?   The person responsible for leading the expedition to Mongolia which led to the discovery of the first Oviraptor fossils to be formally described was the famous American adventurer and naturalist Roy Chapman Andrews.

Roy Chapman Andrews 1884 -1960

Adventurer and explorer Roy Chapman Andrews.

Adventurer and explorer Roy Chapman Andrews.

Far too many to list here but a big thank you to everyone who entered.  We will come up with more competitions and free downloads in the future, in the meantime, here’s to Ovi Roy in his new home.

High Risk of Landslides on the Dorset Coast

Beware of Landslides – Lyme Regis Cliffs

Many schools have broken up for the spring holidays and families might be tempted to take a day trip to visit the Jurassic Coast in search of fossils.  A visit to the beautiful coast of Dorset and to towns such as Lyme Regis is highly recommended, but we urge caution when on the beach searching for fossils as the cliffs in the area remain particularly unstable and rock falls are very common.

Just how dangerous the cliffs can be was brought home to us when local fossil expert Brandon Lennon sent us a video which captures one of the very many landslides that have occurred in the area over recent weeks.  In this short video (0:49), taken on Monmouth beach to the west of Lyme Regis heading towards the county of Devon, rocks and debris can be seen tumbling onto the beach within just a few yards of bystanders.

Landslide at Monmouth Beach (Lyme Regis)

Video Credit: Brandon Lennon

We are grateful to Brandon for sending Everything Dinosaur this video and we recommend staying away from the cliffs along the Dorset coast.  When it comes to fossil collecting, we advise that visitors to the Lyme Regis area look for fossils on a falling tide and to search around the tide line where the sea will have washed off mud and clay from rocks exposing a lot of potential fossil material.

Take advantage of a the help and advice of a professional fossil collector by going on an organised fossil collecting walk for further information: Lyme Regis Fossil Walks

In addition, here are some hints and tips to help fossil hunters keep safe whilst out fossil collecting on the beaches around Lyme Regis and Charmouth.

  • Always stay away from the cliffs
  • Do not climb on the cliffs or any recent landslips/mudflows
  • Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you are expected back
  • Have a mobile phone handy in case of emergencies
  • Beware of the threat of landslides, especially during or just after bad weather
  • Note the tide times particularly high tide and take the advice of the local coastguard etc.
  • Aim to collect fossils on a falling tide, be aware of the incoming tide especially around headlands where you could easily get cut off
  • In rough weather, be aware of strong winds and high waves and the fact that the footing underneath might be treacherous
  • Wear suitable clothing and shoes

Win “Ovi” the Oviraptor with Everything Dinosaur

Last Chance to Enter the “Ovi” the Oviraptor Competition

Just a few days to go before we close our “Ovi” the Oviraptor competition, the closing date for entries for this free to enter competition is noon (BST) on Friday April 11th.  One lucky dinosaur fan will be able to adopt their very own cute and very cuddly Oviraptor soft toy, just in time for Easter.

Win “Ovi” the Oviraptor Soft Toy with Everything Dinosaur

Visit Everything Dinosaur's Facebook Page, give our page a "like", leave a comment suggesting a surname for "Ovi".

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook Page, give our page a “like”, leave a comment suggesting a surname for “Ovi”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For your chance to win a super, soft and very cute “Ovi” the  Oviraptor just visit Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page (click the Facebook logo below or click on the picture of “Ovi” and his Easter eggs above) “like” the Everything Dinosaur page and scroll down to the “Ovi” picture and suggest a surname for our cuddly dinosaur.

Visit Everything Dinosaur on Facebook

Click the logo to visit our Facebook page and to give our page a "like".

Click the logo to visit our Facebook page and to give our page a “like”.

We have had lots of amazing entries already, for your chance to win, “like” our Facebook name and leave a comment with a suggested surname.  Don’t forget the closing date for entries is midday on Friday April 11th.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of prehistoric animal soft toys: Soft Toy Dinosaurs

Best of luck!

This competition has now closed.

Schematic Story Maps Help Children Remember Facts

Dinosaur Extinction Explained using Schematic Story Maps

When it comes to helping Year 1 recount what they have learned during their term topic on dinosaurs, the class teaching team at Wroxton Primary School utilise a simple technique that helps “map out” facts into a straight forward story for the children.

Being able to demonstrate evidence of learning at the end of a term topic is extremely important.  It is essential that the teaching team with the support of their learning support providers and teaching assistants can monitor the progress made by pupils.  At Everything Dinosaur, we recommend using the KWL technique to help plan and record the achievement of various learning objectives, however, there are a number of different techniques and methodologies available to teachers.

The KWL technique involves working with the class at the start of the topic to establish what the children know, what they would like to learn and this provides the foundation for the scheme of work and permits that all important recall and checking of learning once the topic has been concluded.

A Typical KWL Chart Prepared for a Dinosaur Teaching Topic

A chart to help kick-start a teaching topic about dinosaurs.

A chart to help kick-start a teaching topic about dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Essentially, KWL permits the following:

K= Know (test what the children known, brainstorming/discussion activities) log results

W = What (during the first stage questions will be raised, ideas to be tested proposed, these can form the basis of the teaching work)

L = Learn (the recounting stage or the recall stage, review at the end of the term topic what the children have learned (check learning, summarise learning)

During a school visit to a primary school in Oxfordshire, one of Everything Dinosaur’s dinosaur experts came across some excellent examples of story maps being used to help create visual cues to stimulate learning and recall for use in creative writing activities.  Our expert saw several examples of such “story boarding” maps, one covering the extinction of the dinosaurs, another telling the story of Mary Anning (1799-1847).

Visual Story Map for use in Year 1

Visual cues to help young children recall facts about dinosaurs.

Visual cues to help young children recall facts about dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Wroxton Primary School

A level of knowledge regarding possible causes of the extinction of the dinosaurs was clearly demonstrated by the Year 1 pupils who were eager to explain all about an object from outer space crashing into the Earth and what happened to the dinosaurs as a result.  This was a most impressive demonstration of learning using a technique which would appeal to those children who prefer a visual learning style.

Bullyland Lambeosaurus Dinosaur Model in Stock

New for 2014 the Bullyland Lambeosaurus Replica

Everything Dinosaur has just received its stock of the new Bullyland Lambeosaurus dinosaur model.  Over the next few days, our team members will be busy contacting all those customers and dinosaur model fans who requested that we let them know when this new duck-billed dinosaur model arrives.

The Bullyland Lambeosaurus Dinosaur Model

New Lambeosaurus from Bullyland

New Lambeosaurus from Bullyland

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The model is very well painted (all Bullyland models in the company’s “Prehistoric Life” range are hand-painted), and we love the bright red crest on the skull of “Lambe’s Lizard”.  The Lambeosaurus is posed in a quadrupedal position and it gives the impression of a dinosaur trotting along, this herbivore is depicted as a dynamic, active creative.  This model is an improvement on other replicas that depict duck-billed dinosaurs in a “kangaroo-like” posture.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Bullyland prehistoric animal models: Bullyland “Prehistoric Life” Model Range

The Lambeosaurus is the only Hadrosaur currently represented in the Bullyland range, it joins the Europasaurus as the second and final new prehistoric animal model introduction by Bullyland for 2014.

Win “Ovi” the Oviraptor with Everything Dinosaur

Win an Oviraptor Dinosaur Soft Toy with Everything Dinosaur

It’s competition time again with one lucky dinosaur fan being able to adopt their very own cute and cuddly Oviraptor soft toy.  With Easter just around the corner, we thought it would be fun if we could come up with a contest with an egg theme and so we come to Oviraptor the dinosaur whose name means “egg thief”.  When the fossils of this dinosaur were first discovered it was mistakenly believed that the Oviraptor had been eating the eggs of another dinosaur.  Scientists now know that although the diet of the virtually toothless Oviraptor is uncertain, the dinosaur whose fossils were found was actually protecting a nest of its own eggs.

Poor Oviraptor, this feathered dinosaur was very bird like and was probably a very attentive parent, just like lots of bird species today.

Win “Ovi” the Oviraptor with Everything Dinosaur

Visit Everything Dinosaur's Facebook Page, give our page a "like", leave a comment suggesting a surname for "Ovi".

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook Page, give our page a “like”, leave a comment suggesting a surname for “Ovi”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For your chance to win a super, soft and cuddly “Ovi” the  Oviraptor soft toy simply log on to Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page, (click on the picture above or the Facebook logo below), “like” our page and leave a comment on the “Ovi” the Oviraptor picture suggesting a surname for our “Ovi”.

Visit Everything Dinosaur on Facebook and “Like” our Page

Click the logo to visit our Facebook page and to give our page a "like".

Click the logo to visit our Facebook page and to give our page a “like”.

That’s all there is to it, our “Ovi” the Oviraptor needs a surname, and one lucky winner will be sent there very own “Ovi” the Oviraptor dinosaur soft toy.  Just visit the Everything Dinosaur Facebook page, give our page a “like” and suggest a surname for “Ovi” for the chance to win an Oviraptor soft toy.  The competition runs until Friday April 11th and at midday we will put all the competition entrants into a palaeontologist’s hard hat and pick a winner, which will be then be sent the dinosaur soft toy in time for Easter.

What Surname will you Give “Ovi” the Oviraptor?

Win me in a competition!

Win me in a competition!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view Everything Dinosaur’s huge range of dinosaur soft toys: Dinosaur Soft Toys

Terms and Conditions of “Ovi” the Oviraptor Dinosaur Competition

Automated entries are not permitted and will be excluded from the draw.

Only one entry per person.

The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered.

The Everything Dinosaur name a dinosaur caption competition runs until Friday 11th April 2014.

Winner will be notified by private message on Facebook.

Prize includes postage and packing.

For full terms and conditions contact: Email Everything Dinosaur

This competition has now closed

How to Make an Ankylosaurus Soft and Cuddly

New Soft Toy Dinosaurs from Everything Dinosaur

Another day and another lot of new additions to the ever growing range of dinosaur soft toys.  One of our ambitions was to find a soft toy Ankylosaurus, but given that this dinosaur is often described as a “living tank”, it is not very often associated with the terms “cute and cuddly”.  However, in the Dinosauria range we now have two Ankylosaurus soft toys, a large one measuring sixty centimetres from its beak to the tip of its tail club and a smaller version, perhaps a baby, that measures forty-four centimetres in length.  They are a couple of soft toy Ankylosaurus.

Could this be a Mum and Baby Ankylosaurus?

Ankylosaurus soft toy dinosaurs

Ankylosaurus soft toy dinosaurs

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Described by Everything Dinosaur team members as “chunky and soft”, this is a super soft toy dinosaur.  However, we should leave the last word to the Ankylosaurus itself, it has a hang-tag that provides some information on the actual prehistoric animal.  Not to worry Ankylosaurus, team members can always send out a fact sheet written by our own dinosaur experts should anyone want to know a little more about this extremely large member of the Thyreophora (the sub-group of the Dinosauria to which all armoured dinosaurs belong).

Ankylosaurus says:

“Hello, I am an Ankylosaurus.  I have a heavily armoured body and a club-like tail to protect me from meat-eating predators.  I lived about 70 -65 million years ago.  I was the last of the armoured dinosaurs to evolve and was also the biggest.  I was a plant-eater and I need to eat a huge amount of food to sustain myself.  To aid with digestion, I produced remarkable amounts of gas… whoops excuse me!”

To view Everything Dinosaur’s ever growing range of soft toy dinosaurs, including “windy Ankylosaurs”: Dinosaur Soft Toys

Win, Win, Win with Everything Dinosaur

Win a Fantastic 1:40 Scale Carcharodontosaurus Dinosaur Model with Everything Dinosaur

Win, win, win with Everything Dinosaur! (Please note this competition is now closed)

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have been busy helping to prepare for all the new dinosaur and prehistoric animal models that will be coming into the company’s warehouse this spring.  To celebrate all the new dinosaur model additions to our range we are giving one lucky reader the chance to win their very own, rather special Collecta 1:40 scale replica of the fearsome, meat-eating dinosaur known as Carcharodontosaurus.  Everything Dinosaur will give away our very first replica of this huge predator to one lucky reader who is picked out from the competition entrants, all you have to do is to visit Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page, give our Facebook page a like, leave a comment on the Carcharodontosaurus picture that has been posted up and you too could be in with chance of winning this fantastic prize.

Click the Carcharodontosaurus Picture Below and “Like” the Everything Dinosaur Facebook Page

Win me by "liking" Everything Dinosaur's Facebook Page!

Win me by “liking” Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook Page!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

All you have to do is “Like” Everything Dinosaur’s FACEBOOK page, then comment on the picture of the Carcharodontosaurus.  He’s big, measuring a whopping 32cm long and brilliantly painted just like the rest of the Collecta Deluxe prehistoric animal models.

Don’t forget, to enter, just visit Everything Dinosaur on FACEBOOK  and “like” our page and leave a comment on the Carcharodontosaurus picture.

Everything Dinosaur on Facebook

Click the logo to visit our Facebook page and to give our page a "like".

Click the logo to visit our Facebook page and to give our page a “like”.

Everything Dinosaur on FACEBOOK: “LIKE” Our Facebook Page and Enter Competition

We will draw the lucky winner at random and the name caption competition closes on Friday 14th March 2014.  Good luck!

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Collecta scale model dinosaurs and prehistoric animals click on the picture below:

Part of the Collecta Range of Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Models

Interesting Pose of this Tyrannosaur dinosaur model

Click on the picture to see the Collecta Deluxe dinosaur model range.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Terms and Conditions of Carcharodontosaurus Dinosaur Competition

Automated entries are not permitted and will be excluded from the draw.

Only one entry per person.

The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered.

The Everything Dinosaur name a dinosaur caption competition runs until Friday 14th March 2014.

Winner will be notified by private message on Facebook.

Prize includes postage and packing.

For full terms and conditions contact: Contact Everything Dinosaur

Please note this competition is now closed.

Happy Birthday to Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs Celebrate Their 190th Birthday

Today, marks the 190th anniversary of the meeting of the Geological Society in London when the first formal presentation regarding the fossilised bones of an animal that was later to be described as a dinosaur was made.  On the evening of February 24th, the Society’s President the Reverend William Buckland rose to address the assembled audience and described the fossilised remains of what had been termed the “Stonesfield Reptile”.   This was William Buckland’s first meeting as president and one that would contain not only his description of a dinosaur (now known as Megalosaurus), but Buckland’s friend the Reverend Conybeare also presented to the society the fossilised remains of a Plesiosaurus that had been collected and prepared by Mary Anning, after its discovery at Lyme Regis.

The arrangements to view the fossils brought to London for the Society’s delectation did not go as planned.  For a start, Mary Anning had carefully encased the near complete Plesiosaurus specimen in plaster, this was contained in a crate measuring ten feet by six feet.  It proved too large, for it to be manhandled up the stairs to the allotted meeting room.  As Conybeare later wrote, “the gentlemen of the Society were obliged to satisfy their curiosity by peering at the creature in a dark passage by candlelight.”

The Plesiosaurus was named Plesiosaurus giganteus, the specimen resides in the collection of the Natural History Museum although it has been taxonomically re-assigned (P. dolichodeirus).

Then it was the turn of the President of the Society, William Buckland to address the members and invited guests.  The fossils of the “Saurian” as it was called had been known about for several years.  They had been safely stored at the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford), and no doubt, Buckland would have got around to publishing a paper on them, but he may have been rushed into delivering his presentation as at the end of 1823, the discoveries of Gideon Mantell were gaining a lot of attention and Buckland wanted to be the first to present on this strange group of ancient reptiles.

The Reverend William Buckland – Dinosaurs Get Discussed at the Geological Society of London

The first person to scientifically describe a dinosaur.

The first person to scientifically describe a dinosaur.

As professor of Geology at Oxford University, the Reverend had been working on the fossils for about ten years.  Commencing his presentation, Buckland said:

“I am induced to lay before the Geological Society the representations of various portions of the skeleton of the fossil animal discovered at Stonesfield, in the hope that such persons as possess other parts of this extraordinary reptile may also transmit to the Society such further information as may lead to a more complete restoration of its osteology.”

Thus, in this way dinosaurs were introduced to the scientific world, although the term Dinosauria was not coined until the early 1840s.  The name of this dinosaur Megalosaurus (M. bucklandii) was formerly assigned in 1824, although the name had originally been used by another scientist James Parkinson when describing the fossilised jaw, other bones and teeth.

So, it is happy birthday to the dinosaurs, as on this evening 190 years ago the world was introduced to its first “terrible lizard”.  Happy birthday dinosaurs.

To commemorate this event Everything Dinosaur is giving one lucky person the chance to be the proud owner of the 1:40 scale Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur model, part of the Collecta Deluxe range of dinosaur models.

To have a chance to win this excellent thirty-two centimetre long model, the first off the production line, simply visit Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page, leave a comment on the Carcharodontosaurus competition image and give our page a “like”.

On Friday March 14th we will put all the entrants names into a hat and pull out one lucky winner who will receive the world’s first 1:40 scale Carchardontosaurus dinosaur model to mark the birthday of the dinosaurs.

Click on the Image Below to Enter Everything Dinosaur’s Competition

Win this Amazing dinosaur model.

Win this Amazing dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

 Simply click on the picture above to enter Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page or click the link below:

Everything Dinosaur on Facebook: Visit Our Facebook Page to Enter Dinosaur Give-Away Competition

Good luck!  Please note this competition has now closed.

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