Category: Everything Dinosaur Products

Everything Dinosaur Stocks the Rebor “Jolly” Hatching Triceratops

The Limited Edition Rebor “Jolly” Hatching Triceratops

Rebor is introducing an exclusive and limited edition range of prehistoric animal replicas under the name “Club Selection”.  The first of these models is a beautiful figure of a hatching Triceratops.  The baby Triceratops has been nick-named “Jolly” as she went into production around Christmas 2014.  Only 1,000 of these exquisite replicas have been produced and Everything Dinosaur was lucky enough to be amongst the first in the world to receive stocks of this highly collectible item.

The Rebor “Jolly” Hatching Triceratops Dinosaur Model

Only 1,000 have been made.

Only 1,000 have been made.

Picture Credit: Rebor/Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of Rebor replicas available: Rebor Prehistoric Animal Replicas

The Christmas link is obvious as soon as you open the packaging.  ”Jolly” has been supplied with a Santa Claus hat!

A Very Well Packaged  Dinosaur Replica

The "Christmas Hat" can be seen in the corner.

The “Christmas Hat” can be seen in the corner.

Picture Credit: Rebor

When mounted on its base the model stands a little under seventeen centimetres high and it is a superb model of a hatching Triceratops and we look forward to hearing more about the exclusive Rebor Club Selection.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“This is a top quality replica of a hatching Triceratops.  The scientist accredited with the discovery of the first Triceratops skull was called John Bell Hatcher, what a great way to commemorate this with a “hatching” baby Triceratops figure, although perhaps Rebor missed a trick here, they might have called their baby Trike “Bella”!”

Each hand-crafted replica is given a unique number on its base plate, this is the customer’s guarantee of quality, confirmation that they own one of just 1,000 replicas to be produced.

Check the Base Plate Under the Model for Your Unique Number 

Check the number on the base of "Jolly" the Hatching Triceratops.

Check the number on the base of “Jolly” the Hatching Triceratops.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

These replicas are going to highly prized in years to come and we advise all serious dinosaur collectors to get one whilst stocks last.

For further information on “Jolly” and the rest of the Rebor range: See the Rebor Range at Everything Dinosaur

Win, Win, Win with Everything Dinosaur – Win a Set of CollectA Models

Win a Set of New for 2015 CollectA Models with Everything Dinosaur

WIN! WIN! WIN! with Everything Dinosaur! 

We have got another super, prehistoric animal and dinosaur giveaway.  CollectA, those clever model and figure manufacturers will be bringing out some amazing new prehistoric animal figures in 2015 and we are giving one lucky dinosaur model fan the chance to get their hands on a set of these new models before anyone else.

Win a Super Set of New for 2015 CollectA Prehistoric Animal Models
Win a set of CollectA models with Everything Dinosaur!

Win a set of CollectA models with Everything Dinosaur!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur 

Our prize giveaway includes the mighty 1:40 scale Pliosaur, the pair of horned dinosaurs Nasutoceratops and Medusaceratops, the fearsome Xiongguanlong, Daxiatitan, the Temnodontosaurus and the magnificent prehistoric mammal models Daeodon and Moropus (both 1:20 scale).  Eight superb collector’s items, the first to come off the production run and to win this prize all you have to do is to come up with a collective noun for a collection of CollectA!

To enter Everything Dinosaur’s competition, all you have to do is “Like” Everything Dinosaur’s FACEBOOK page, then comment on the picture (either here or on Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page)  including a suggestion for the collective noun for a set of CollectA prehistoric animal replicas.

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

For example, if the collective noun for a group of lions is a “pride” and we have a “pack” of dogs, a “swarm” of bees, a “gaggle” of geese, then what term can you come up with for a collection of CollectA prehistoric animals?

We will draw the lucky winner at random and the name caption competition closes on Tuesday, March 24th.  Good luck!

Just visit Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page, give our page a “like” and then leave a comment on the picture showing the set of eight prehistoric animal models. What collective noun can you come up with?

“Like” Everything Dinosaur’s Page on Facebook

Like our Page (please).

Like our Page (please).


Super CollectA Models to Win Thanks to Everything Dinosaur
Win a fantastic set of 8 prehistoric animal models.

Win a fantastic set of 8 prehistoric animal models.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of CollectA prehistoric animals: CollectA Dinosaurs and Other Replicas

To see the full range of CollectA scale prehistoric animal replicas: CollectA Scale Prehistoric Animals

Terms and Conditions of the Everything Dinosaur Collective Noun Competition

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

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Only one entry per person.

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

The Everything Dinosaur collective noun caption competition runs until March 24th 2015.

Winner will be notified by private message on Facebook.

Prize includes postage and packing.

For full terms and conditions contact: Contact Everything Dinosaur

Papo Young Apatosaurus Model Reviewed

A Review of the Papo Young Apatosaurus Dinosaur Model

New for 2015 and one of two new replicas in Papo’s prehistoric animal replica range (the other being the Tupuxuara Pterosaur), is a model of a Young Apatosaurus, part of a trend by the French manufacturer to depict juvenile versions of dinosaurs, after the introduction of the young Triceratops last year and what an amazing detailed Apatosaurus model it is.

Named back in 1877, Apatosaurus has had quite a makeover in the last few decades and it is pleasing to see that the design team at Papo have obviously reviewed the known fossil material and attempted to produce a modern interpretation of the dinosaur formerly known as Brontosaurus.  Here we have a heavy set animal, with hind limbs longer than the front legs, a deep chest, thick neck and a long, whip-like tail.  To learn more about this dinosaur’s name change, check out Everything Dinosaur’s article about how Apatosaurus got its name: Why Brontosaurus is no more

Papo has earned a deserved reputation for the quality of the skin texture on its prehistoric animal models.  Once again, Papo have produced a beautifully sculpted dinosaur with lots of anatomical evidence inferred in the sculpt and some amazing skin details with wrinkles and folds clearly evident, even underneath the model as well, an area often overlooked in poorer quality dinosaur replicas.

The Papo Young Apatosaurus Dinosaur Model

Available from Everything Dinosaur.

Available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Papo

For many years the head of Apatosaurus was unknown and many museum exhibits depicted this dinosaur with a square, box-like skull reminiscent of another type of long-necked dinosaur whose fossils were also from Upper Jurassic aged deposits of the Western United States (Camarasaurus).  It was not until the late 1970′s that the skull of this dinosaur was formally described.  Apatosaurus had a skull very similar to that of Diplodocus.  It was rectangular in shape, with a blunt, square snout. The weak, peg-like teeth were only present in the front portion of the jaws.

Typical Diplodocid Head (Adult and Juvenile)

Ontogeny in Diplodocids

Ontogeny in diplodocids

Picture Credit: Mark A Klinger/ Carnegie Museum of Natural History

This Papo replica does a fine job at recreating the head as it is reflected in the fossil record.  When compared to the rest of this dinosaur’s body the head is extremely small.  The tiny nostrils are positioned on the top of the skull, again reflecting what most palaeontologists believe, they are present on the model, but such is the fine detail on this replica that they are best viewed using a magnifying glass.

Amazing Detail on the Papo Young Apatosaurus

Amazing detail on model.

Amazing detail on model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The neck of Apatosaurus was relatively short compared to the tail but much broader and thicker.  The bones in the neck, the cervical vertebrae, are much wider than they are long.  The neural spines along the top of the these bones were divided in two, what is termed bifurcation.  These formed fork-like processes technically referred to as paired metapophyses and they can be picked out in this Apatosaurus replica, which is very much to Papo’s credit.

In addition, viewed from the side, prominent bumps along the neck can also be seen, these mark the presence of immense cervical ribs that stuck out sideways in the neck bones of Apatosaurus.  By counting the bumps you can estimate the number of cervical vertebrae depicted in the model.  By our calculations the count comes up a couple short (should be fifteen, we think) and although the bumps are very conspicuous in the replica, obviously, whether or not these bumps would have been visible in the living animal is purely speculative.  Our guess is that with the neck being very strong and covered in sheaths of muscle, these lumps and bumps would not have been seen.  However, as they feature in the Papo replica, it does at least indicate that the French company has done some research into the characteristics of Apatosaurus neck bones.

The hands and feet of Sauropods are unique amongst the vertebrates and again Papo is to be applauded for the details shown in their Apatosaurus model.  On the front feet, the hands, there are signs of five digits, although only one, the thumb has a claw.  The claw is particularly large and prominent, diplodocids like Apatosaurus did indeed have big, pronounced thumb claws.  The hands may have had a more column-like appearance and it might have been difficult to spot individual fingers, but we commend Papo for their efforts.

The feet are also well modelled, the stout and strong back legs end in hind feet that look very different from the “hands” of the Apatosaurus replica.  The back feet are larger than the hands and there are three claws to each foot, again there is much to be appreciated with this sculpt.

To view the Papo Young Apatosaurus and Everything Dinosaur’s range of Papo models: Papo Prehistoric Animal Replicas

The tail is very long and very thin at the end.  The tail of Apatosaurus was indeed very long, it had some eighty plus tail bones.  The tail in the model is held off the ground (correct posture) and curved round on itself resembling a whip.  This is very typical of modern interpretations of the tails of diplodocids.  It may not have used the tail as a defensive weapon, however, by swishing the base of its tail, the tip would travel so fast that a supersonic cracking sound could have been produced.  This sound could have been used to communicate with other herd members or to deter predators.  Recently, it has been suggested that many of these types of long-necked dinosaurs possessed defensive spikes that ran down the back and along the tail, however, Papo have opted not to depict any spines or spikes on their Apatosaurus.

The Natural History Museums Depiction of a Spiky Diplodocid (Diplodocus)

Natural History Museum Diplodocus.

Natural History Museum Diplodocus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Officially the model measures 37 centimetres but when that curved tail is taken into account this figure is something like 41 centimetres long.  We at Everything Dinosaur have been asked to comment on the age of this Young Apatosaurus model.  There has been some work on growth and the potential ages of dinosaurs represented by Apatosaurus fossil material, (ontogenic studies) although the research is far from conclusive.  We like to think that the Young Apatosaurus model is of a sub-adult, consider this replica as a teenage Apatosaurus.

All in all this is an excellent Young Apatosaurus dinosaur model and it is a welcome addition to the Papo prehistoric animals range.

The Rebor Replica Utahraptor (Assembly Instructions)

Rebor 1:35 Scale Replica of Utahraptor (Wind Hunter)

The new Rebor 1:35 scale replica of Utahraptor (U. ostrommaysorum) has an articulated jaw and moveable, feathered arms.  It really is a most beautiful model.  However, a little bit of assembly is required, here is Everything Dinosaur’s quick guide to assembling your Utahraptor.

The Rebor 1:35 Scale Utahraptor Replica (Wind Hunter)

Depicting an agile, active dinosaur.

Depicting an agile, active dinosaur.

This model is packed into a sturdy padded box (plenty of foam for protection).  Carefully, unpack your parcel’s contents and locate the base.  You should have a small plastic bag stored in a separate foam compartment that contains the two detachable arms and that all important pin to secure the model to its base.

The Rebor Replica Utahraptor “Wings” and the Securing Pin

Check that you have a pin in with the detachable arms.

Check that you have a pin in with the detachable arms.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Carefully, secure the arms in place, you can leave them as moveable arms or if you are happy with a particular pose, you can glue the arms in place  if you want to.  Perhaps, professional model makers could use a little filler and re-touching paint to completely obliterate any sign of an articulation/join.

Carefully Push the Arms into Their Respective Sockets

Carefully attach the arms.

Carefully attach the arms.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Then it might be a good idea to remove the clear, plastic band that secured the articulated jaw in place before placing your model into position on its base.  Put the pin into the hole, look for the footprint mark if you struggle to spot it, (a hole is already made for the pin in the base).  Then carefully lower the hind foot onto the pin.  The hind foot has a hole in it and it is this that allows the model to be posed in such a dynamic one-footed stance.

Securing the Replica onto the Base

Pinning a Rebor Utahraptor in place.

Pinning a Rebor Utahraptor in place.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Really that’s all there is to it, time to relax and enjoy your 1:35 scale Rebor Utahraptor replica, the fearsome “Wind Hunter”.

To view the range of Rebor replicas available at Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Prehistoric Animal Replicas

Papo Young Apatosaurus – Video Review

A Video Review of the Papo Young Apatosaurus Dinosaur Model

The Young Apatosaurus dinosaur model is proving to be very popular amongst dinosaur fans and model collectors.  We have produced a brief video review of this new for 2015 Papo replica.  In this video review we look at the model in more detail and explain about the body proportions as they are shown in this particular dinosaur sculpt.

Everything Dinosaur Reviews the Papo Young Apatosaurus Dinosaur Model

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The video is just over eight minutes in length (8:08), we look at the skin texture in more detail, explain about the size of the head as it relates to the rest of the body  and we discuss that very thick neck.  The design team at Papo have certainly done an excellent job, on what is the company’s second Sauropod after the enormous Brachiosaurus replica was introduced a couple of years ago.

To view the range of Papo prehistoric animal replicas available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models

This dinosaur was formerly known as Brontosaurus (Thunder Lizard), a great name for one of the larger and heavier diplodocids.

For explanation as to why this dinosaur had to have its name changed: Why Brontosaurus is No More

Everything Dinosaur wrote a short article, a while back now, about the name change to Apatosaurus and the reasons for it, this is the article we refer to in our Papo Young Apatosaurus video review.

From the nostrils located on the top of its head (correct according to most palaeontologists), to the supersonic, cracking whip-like tail, this is a super dinosaur replica.  Well done Papo!

A Video Review of the Schleich Anhanguera Model

Schleich Anhanguera Pterosaur – Video Review

With all the new models and replicas due out this year, Everything Dinosaur team members are having a job finding the time to review them all.  However, after several requests, we have got round to shooting a quick video review of the new for 2015 Schleich Anhanguera replica.  What a beautiful model of a flying reptile this is!  The detail around the eyes is simply amazing and although the wing shape and stance of this replica is not quite how we imagined, this does nothing to detract from what is a very colourful and well made Pterosaur model.

Everything Dinosaur Reviews the new for 2015 Schleich Anhanguera Pterosaur Replica

Video credit: Everything Dinosaur

Over the last three years or so Schleich have revamped their prehistoric animal model range, opting to change the sizes of their models and introducing a number of very colourful and bright prehistoric animals.  The sky blue tones of the Anhanguera replica certainly make this flying reptile model stand out from the crowd.

To view the range of Schleich prehistoric animals available from Everything Dinosaur: Schleich World of History Dinosaurs

In this video, which is six minutes and thirty-five seconds long, we talk about where in the world Anhanguera fossils have been found and then we describe the model in detail.  Schleich has made a model of Anhanguera before, a smaller replica once formed part of the company’s not-to-scale “dinosaurs” range.

The First Anhanguera Model made by Schleich

This model was retired a number of years ago.

This model was retired a number of years ago.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This is not the only Pterosaur figure introduced by Schleich this year.  In the popular, mini dinosaurs range, a flying reptile replica was included, this time a model of a giant Pterosaur, distantly related to Anhanguera, the Late Cretaceous behemoth known as Quetzalcoatlus.  It too is a very colourful replica.

The Mini Dinosaurs Quetzalcoatlus Model

A colourful mini Quetzalcoatlus Pterosaur figure.

A colourful mini Quetzalcoatlus Pterosaur figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To see the full range of Schleich mini prehistoric animal figures: Schleich mini dinosaurs (Quetzalcoatlus too)

The Schleich Anhanguera has an articulated lower jaw and we discuss the “fish grabbing device” that this Pterosaur had in our video review.

A Review of the Schleich Anhanguera Replica

Everything Dinosaur Reviews the Schleich Anhanguera Pterosaur Model

This is a review of the new Schleich Anhanguera Pterosaur model and what a wonderful flying reptile model it is too.

Anhanguera is a member of the Ornithocheiridae family of Pterosaurs, a group of flying reptiles that seem particularly well-adapted to long-distance soaring.  Most of the fossils of ornithocheirids are associated with marine environments and their fossils have been found on every continent with the exception of Antarctica.

New For 2015 The Schleich Anhanguera Pterosaur Model

The colourful Schleich Anhanguera Pterosaur model.

The colourful Schleich Anhanguera Pterosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Anhanguera is very typical of the family and a number of species are known.  The most complete Anhanguera fossils have been found in Brazil in the famous Santana Formation of Lower Cretaceous strata.   Although, fragmentary flying reptiles ascribed to Anhanguera have also been found in England.

The English fossil material comes mostly from the Cambridge Greensand Formation, and consists of just scraps, very worn segments, usually more robust parts of the skeleton such as the jaw tips.  These are the fossilised remains of Pterosaurs that died far out to sea.  Skeletons were broken up by scavengers and wave action before coming to rest on the seabed, to get further scavenged and disassociated.  These remains were gradually buried and preserved as fossils only for them to be eroded out of these rocks by ancient storms and re-deposited in what are much younger sedimentary rocks.

It is thanks to the Brazilian fossil material that we have such a good understanding of Anhanguera and this Schleich replica does rather a good job of depicting what this flying reptile probably looked like.

The head and the jaws are very large and the forelimbs are proportionately much bigger and more robust than the hind limbs.  The neck is thick, indicating that this a strong and muscular part of the body and evidence of a tufty, hair-like integumental covering of pycnofibres, the fuzzy coat of the Pterosauria, has been skilfully recreated in the model.

The wings are very stiff and help the Schleich Anhanguera to stand in what is probably not a very realistic pose, the hands were in all likelihood rested on the ground with the wing finger elevated, not pointed down, but this posture is a compromise between allowing the model to stand unaided and a flying position.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s World of History (Schleich) model range: Schleich World of History Models

The elongated fourth wing finger tended to support a much bigger portion of the actual wing, about 60% of the entire wing length.  The wings of Anhanguera were longer than seen in this replica and they were more elegant.  Wingspans of around four to five metres are associated with the larger species in the Anhanguera genus.  This was a wonderfully efficient long distance flyer, soaring on thermal currents that carried it effortlessly over the early Atlantic Ocean.  Think of Anhanguera as a Early Cretaceous equivalent of today’s Albatross or Frigate Bird.

The design team at Schleich have done a particularly good job with the skull and jaws.  It is very well painted and you have those two crests on the jaw tips, one on the upper jaw and a slightly smaller one on the bottom jaw.  It is the size and shape of the crests that help scientists to determine different types of Ornithocheirid.  We are really impressed with the modelling and painting around the eyes and the nostrils are well defined as well as being clearly visible.

The Beautiful Schleich Anhanguera Replica

The "Toothy Grin" of a Pterosaur!

The “Toothy Grin” of a Pterosaur!

How Anhanguera fed nobody knows. Perhaps it was a skim feeder, flying along with its beak in the water to catch fish at the surface, with those crests on the jaws helping acting as stabilisers.  Maybe it floated and seized fish swimming just below the surface, or perhaps it plunged into the water and pursued fish in a way similar to today’s Gannets and Shearwaters, no one really knows, what is certain, is that this is an excellent Pterosaur replica and a welcome addition to the Schleich model range.

Safari Ltd Prehistoric Animals Now in Stock

Everything Dinosaur Adds 2015 Safari Ltd Models to Its Range

It has been a very busy few days for team members at Everything Dinosaur.  No sooner have we added the first of the new Schleich models for 2015 to our web store, then the Safari Ltd stock arrives.  Everything Dinosaur will be stocking all five of the new Safari Ltd replicas, including the 1:10 scale feathered Velociraptor model which is the only new Carnegie Collectibles dinosaur model for this year (Carnegie Collectibles Velociraptor).  Joining the very colourful Velociraptor will be four new replicas in the not-to-scale Wild Safari Dinos series, namely Archaeopteryx, Sauropelta, Nasutoceratops and a magnificent feathered Yutyrannus.

In Stock at Everything Dinosaur – New Prehistoric Animal Models from Safari Ltd

Now available from Everything Dinosaur.

Now available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view these new models and the rest of the Safari Ltd range stocked by Everything Dinosaur: Safari Ltd Prehistoric Animal Models

Each of these new additions to our huge range of prehistoric animal models will be supplied with a fact sheet.  All our fact sheets are painstakingly researched and written by our own dinosaur experts, these fact sheets even include a scale drawing showing the size of that particular prehistoric animal.   The Archaeopteryx has plumage that reflects recent research into the potential colour of “ancient wing’s” feathers.

To read an article related to the colour of Archaeopteryx: Archaeopteryx – Back in Black

The Sauropelta model, represents one of the better known of the Nodosaurids.  The long tail is very well crafted as is the bony armour and spikes.  At around eight metres in length, it would have been a very brave pack of Deinonychus that would have wanted to tackle one of these “living tanks”.

The Nasutoceratops, (the new horned dinosaur model), was actually smaller than Sauropelta.  Its fossils are also associated with the western United States (southern Utah) but it actually lived much later in the Cretaceous.  To read an article about the discovery of Nasutoceratops: Say Hello to “Large Nose Horned Face.”  It was a heavy, stocky herbivore, quite at home in the tropical habitat of the landmass known as Laramidia (Campanian faunal stage).

Last but not least, there is a replica of the Chinese feathered Tyrannosaur known as Yutyrannus (Y. huali).  This must be one of the most eagerly anticipated dinosaur models for a very long time, a feathered tyrannosaurid.

The Wild Safari Dinos Yutyrannus Dinosaur Model

Available from Everything Dinosaur in 2015.

Available from Everything Dinosaur in 2015.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Safari Ltd

The shaggy coat of feathers are very well depicted on this dinosaur model.  To read an article about the naming and describing of this Tyrannosaur from northern China: One Tonne Basal Tyrannosaurid

A couple of months ago, we made a short video paying tribute to the new models being introduced in 2015 by Safari Ltd.  The video is our homage to the new Safari Ltd models (video is 37 seconds in length).

Paying Tribute to the New for 2015 Prehistoric Animal Models

Video credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It is great to have these new prehistoric animal models from Safari Ltd to our model range.  Everything Dinosaur now stocks over one hundred different models from Safari Ltd and we look forward to adding even more replicas and figures in the coming years”.

The Prehistoric Animals of Jurassic World – Mosasaurus

The Mighty Mosasaurus – A Little Too Mighty!

With around 120 days or so until the premier of the long-awaited film, “Jurassic World”, the fourth in the “Jurassic Park” franchise, we thought that it would be a bit of fun to comment on the various prehistoric animals and other critters that are likely to feature in this movie.  In this occasional series, we shall take a look at the rather eclectic range of cloned creatures that inhabit the theme park based on the tear drop shaped island Isla Nublar.

First up, one of the attractions at the centre of the Jurassic World theme park, and a new addition to the catalogue of prehistoric animals featured in the franchise, is Mosasaurus.

Mosasaurus Feeding on a Shark

Come and see the Mosasaur.

Come and see the Mosasaur.

Picture Credit: Jurassic World

Clearly, with a nod towards the Killer Whales seen at the Sea World theme parks, InGen part of Masrani Global, have added giant marine reptiles to their genetic portfolio. Quite how they have managed to get hold of the DNA of a Mosasaurus remains a bit of a mystery, but hey ho, it’s only pretend.

The tank housing the Mosasaurus (a female), contains 11,000,000 litres of presumably sea water, since the majority of Mosasaurs were marine animals.  That is the equivalent of 2.4 million imperial gallons, an impressively sized aquarium, but around half the size of the existing Killer Whale pool at San Diego Sea World.  Sea World has received a lot of criticism over the size of their Orca aquaria and recently it was announced that plans were in place to build a much bigger habitat at San Diego.  The plans include a number of ideas to enrich the Killer Whale’s environment, the larger brained Cetaceans would require much greater stimulation than the Mosasaurs with their close phylogenetic affinity to snakes and lizards.

That’s right, Mosasaurs belong to the Order Squamata (snakes and lizards), Mosasaurus was named and described back in 1822 following the scientific study of fossils found in a chalk quarry near Maastricht, Holland.  A number of species of Mosasaurus have been described and scientists believe that the Mosasauridae evolved from land-dwelling lizards sometime in the Late Cretaceous (estimated to have evolved around ninety million years ago).  They thrived for twenty-five million years with a number of species becoming apex marine predators, the largest of which could have exceeded eighteen metres in length.  This group died out in the End Cretaceous extinction event that also saw the demise of the dinosaurs.  As far as we at Everything Dinosaur know, the Mosasaurs, as part of the taxonomic Superfamily Mosasauroidea, are the most recent Superfamily associated with the Order Squamata to have become extinct.

The Mosasaurus as Depicted on the Jurassic World Website

The Mosasaurus from Jurassic World

The Mosasaurus from Jurassic World

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In the information provided about the “Mosasaurus Feeding Show”, this creature is fed every two hours, that’s a lot considering that, like their living relatives the Monitor Lizards, these reptiles were probably cold-blooded and could  have survived for long periods without eating much at all.   The feeding time must be more like “snack time” for the Mosasaurus, although in the much viewed Jurassic World trailer, the Mosasaurus is depicted leaping out of the water to swallow whole what looks like a Great White Shark!

As for the size of the Mosasaurus in the movie, there has been a lot of comment about this already.  The animal looks enormous in the trailer, but like a number of other marine reptiles, palaeontologists have got their shrink rays to work on the fossil material.  Previous estimates for a number of marine reptiles have been re-sized downwards in recent years.  In the picture in which Mosasaurus is seen leaping out of the water to feed on a shark, if we estimate the size of the shark at three metres long, then the Mosasaurus is easily upwards of twenty-five metres in length.  So far as the fossil record goes, the biggest Mosasaurus could have reached lengths of a little over half this size.  Other types of Mosasaur, the likes of Hainosaurus may have been bigger, but even at thirteen metres a Mosasaurus would have been a frightening prospect.

Estimating the Sizes of Extinct and Extant Marine Predators

A "rough guide" to size.

A “rough guide” to size.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above provides an approximate size guide for a number of marine predators.  Killer Whales range in size from 5-8 metres.  Size estimates for Great White Sharks vary and the same can be said for Carcharodon megalodon as well as the marine reptiles depicted.  However, whichever way you look at it, the Mosasaurus as shown in the Jurassic World trailer is oversized.  Perhaps those geneticists at InGen simply grew a bigger Mosasaurus who knows?  Even on the Jurassic World promotional website size estimates for their attraction vary, there is one reference for fourteen metres in length, another for eighteen metres.

A number of palaeontologists now contend that Mosasaurus had a tail fluke.  The model makers CollectA created a modern interpretation of a Mosasaurus in 2014, with a tail fluke added.  Safari Ltd have a beautiful Mosasaurus model in their Wild Safari Dinos range as well as a Tylosaurus replica in the company’s Carnegie Collectibles series.

To view the CollectA range of prehistoric animals including the Mosasaurus: CollectA Prehistoric Animal Models

Comparing Different Mosasaur Models (including Tylosaurus replicas)

Comparing different models of Mosasaurs.

Comparing different models of Mosasaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture shows the CollectA 2014 Mosasaurus replica with its wonderful colouration and that tail fluke (top), the Wild Safari Dinos Mosasaurus model (middle) and the Carnegie Collectibles (bottom).

To view the range of Carnegie and Wild Safari Dinos models available from Everything Dinosaur: Safari Ltd Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

We are not sure how big a role the Mosasaurus is going to play in the Jurassic World movie, but we are delighted to see the addition of marine reptiles to the film franchise.  They are most welcome.

Schleich Anhanguera in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

Schleich Anhanguera Replica Available from Everything Dinosaur

The second of four new World of History prehistoric animal models scheduled to be introduced this year, the Schleich Anhanguera, is now in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  A few years ago, Schleich added an Anhanguera replica to their smaller “dinosaurs” model range, now the German based manufacturer have added a replica of this South American Pterosaur to their much larger World of History model range.  Anhanguera was named and described thirty years ago (1985) and this new Schleich replica shows some marvellous details.

The Schleich Anhanguera Pterosaur Model

Schleich replicas are flying high.

Schleich replicas are flying high.

Picture Credit: Schleich

Anhanguera was a member of the Ornithocheiridae family of Pterosaurs.  It had a large skull, a long neck, and a relatively small body.  Its vertebrae are fused together, as are its ribs and sternum, (breast-bone).  This anatomy forms a kind of box-like frame, which supported large flight muscles.  Modern birds have a deep keel on their sternum, an area of attachment for their flight muscles, however, Pterosaurs did not possess such an anatomical feature, as a result, it had been thought that the Pterosauria would have been poor fliers.  More recent studies, undertaken over the last thirty years or so, indicate that far from being poor aeronauts the Pterosaurs were strong fliers, capable of complex aerial manoeuvres.  The discovery of Anhanguera fossils and other flying reptiles from the now famous Santana Formation of Brazil, has helped palaeontologists to gain a much better understanding of the aerial abilities of these vertebrates, the first group of back-boned animals to develop powered flight.

Scientists now know that the Pterosaurs, had the largest neural system for processing balance information ever seen in an animal with a spine.  Flying reptiles like Anhanguera, would have been accomplished fliers, able to effortlessly skim over the waves and plunge down into the surf to snatch fish from the water, it is very likely that Anhanguera was a piscivore.  The fossils of Anhanguera santanae have proved that Pterosaurs had an exceptionally well developed part of their brain that managed spatial awareness (the flocculus).  It is the flocculus region of the brain that interprets balance information from various parts of the body and relays this information to the eyes.  In specimens of Anhanguera that were studied, nearly 8% of the entire body mass was represented by the flocculus.  In contrast, with modern Aves (birds), the flocculus organ accounts for only one to two percent of body weight.

The Schleich World of History Anhanguera

Moveable lower jaw on figure.

Moveable lower jaw on figure.

Picture Credit: Schleich

To view the range of Schleich prehistoric animal models currently in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Schleich World of History Models

It is interesting to consider that as the Atlantic became wider, Pterosaurs like Anhanguera would have ranged over this embryonic ocean.  Palaeontologists have also noted that the large wingspans of Pterosaurs such as Anhanguera santanae at over four metres would have necessitated a large flocculus as there would have been a lot of sensory information from the wings which would have had to have been interpreted by the brain.  It is likely that Ornithocheiridae Pterosaurs like Anhanguera were very accomplished fliers indeed.

Flying reptile expert Mark Witton, in his excellent book “Pterosaurs”, depicted a graceful Anhanguera flying over a turbulent Cretaceous sea.  The Pterosaur was flying over an area of the world that would eventually become southern Britain.  Anhanguera and other Pterosaurs like it, very probably flew in what is now United Kingdom airspace.

To read a review of “Pterosaurs” by Mark Witton: Pterosaurs – A Book Review

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