Category: Everything Dinosaur videos

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.

Ichthyosaur Fossil Discovered at Lyme Regis

New Ichthyosaur Fossil Discovery at Lyme Regis

Yesterday, team members at Everything Dinosaur received news that a beautifully preserved Ichthyosaur specimen had been discovered at Lyme Regis.  Our chum Brandon, a local fossil expert from Dorset, sent us some pictures and a video which illustrate the exciting discovery.   The specimen was discovered on the beach to the east of the town of Lyme Regis, near to where the council have been working to strengthen the cliff area and to improve the town’s coastal defences.

Video Footage of the Ichthyosaur Discovery

Video Credit: Brandon Lennon

 The video shows the block which contains the fossil specimen, vertebrae can be clearly seen along with some of the rib bones, the skull is only partially exposed.  The dig team will cut the block away from the surrounding material and carefully transport the specimen away so that it can be prepared and examined in detail.  From the video, the bones don’t look too compressed or deformed and although some of the distal elements of the skeleton are probably missing, this particular Ichthyosaur looks relatively complete.  It is a little difficult to get our bearings just from the video and the photographs that we have received but we think the specimen was discovered in the Blue Lias of the Church Cliffs section of beach, immediately east of Lyme Regis.

The Location of the Fossil Discovery

The location of the fossil find.

The location of the fossil find.

Picture Credit: Brandon Lennon

Water is carefully removed from around the fossil matrix, sand bags will be put in position to help keep the fossil material protected and then the dig team will map the exposed bones and work out the best way to cut and remove the stone block.

The Fossil Material is Carefully Examined

Icthyosaur fossil find April 2014.

Ichthyosaur fossil find April 2014.

Picture Credit: Brandon Lennon

Carefully the specimen is exposed and then the layout and orientation of the fossil material is studied.  Consideration needs to be given to the tide times as the specimen will be covered once the tide turns.

A Close up of the Ichthyosaur Fossil

The vertebrae can be clearly made out.

The vertebrae can be clearly made out.

Picture Credit: Brandon Lennon

The hand in the photograph helps to provide scale.  The Ichthyosaur is lying with its head facing towards the bottom right and the tail up towards the top left of the photograph.  The vertebrae can be clearly seen in the picture.  It is certainly a member of the Ichthyosauria Order, but it is very difficult to assign a species name to the specimen at this stage just having the short video and the photographs to study.  As a guess, it might be an example of Ichthyosaurus breviceps, however, it is best to wait until the fossil material has been more thoroughly prepared before any precise identification can be made.

The Ichthyosauria were an Order of fast-swimming, nektonic and (as far as we know entirely marine), predatory marine reptiles with dolphin-shaped bodies.  As a group, these highly specialised reptiles evolved in the Early Triassic and thrived throughout the Jurassic and for much of the Cretaceous, before finally becoming extinct around 80 million years ago.

An Illustration of a Typical Jurassic Ichthyosaur

Dolphin-like prehistoric animals.

Dolphin-like prehistoric animals.

Lyme Regis is an amazing place to visit and a fossil hunting trip to the beach is highly recommended, although we at Everything Dinosaur would advise that you take advantage of the local knowledge of a fossil hunting expert so that you can get the most from your visit.

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

We look forward to hearing more about this exciting fossil find and no doubt there will be more marine reptile discoveries made over the next few months.

A Review of the Collecta Xenoceratops Dinosaur Model

Collecta Xenoceratops Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Although this dinosaur was named and formally described less than two years ago, Collecta have been quick to introduce a model of this strange horned dinosaur, whose fossil remains have been found in Alberta, Canada.  In this brief video review, (4.42),  team members at Everything Dinosaur discuss the model and relate this replica to the known fossil material.  Since only cranial material has been found, the shape of the body is based on other Centrosaurine members of the Ceratopsidae such as Pachyrhinosaurus, Centrosaurus and Styracosaurus.

The Video Review of the Collecta Xenoceratops

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This video looks at the colouration chosen for the model, comments on how the horns and neck frill have been depicted and we even talk about posterior vents!

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Collecta dinosaur and prehistoric animal models: Collecta Prehistoric Animal Models

Measuring around six metres in length, Xenoceratops (Xenoceratops foremostensis) was a sizeable beast.  In a number of on line articles, it has been stated that this dinosaur was named because with its many horns it looked alien.  Xenoceratops does mean “alien horned face”, but this Ornithischian dinosaur was named not because of its “alien looking” appearance but due to the rarity of Ceratopsian fossil material known from the Foremost Formation of south-western Alberta.

Bullyland Europasaurus Dinosaur Model Video Review

A Video Review of “Europe’s Lizard” – Europasaurus

Everything Dinosaur team members have produced a short video review of the new Bullyland Europasaurus dinosaur model.  This model is part of Bullyland’s Museum Line dinosaur model collection, also known as “Prehistoric World”.  It is great to see a German model and figure manufacturer making a model of a dinosaur that lived in what was to become part of Germany (Lower Saxony).

In this short video (5:30), we explain how these long-necked dinosaurs came to be so small when compared to their close relatives, other members of the Brachiosaurid family.

The Bullyland Europasaurus Video Review by Everything Dinosaur

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Europasaurus (E. holgeri) was formally named and described in 2006.  It had been thought that the fossilised bones that had been discovered represented a group of baby dinosaurs, but in this video we provide a little more information about this Late Jurassic Sauropod and insular dwarfism.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s collection of Museum Line dinosaur models: Bullyland dinosaur models

A Video Review of the Carnegie Dinosaur T. rex Dinosaur Model

Carnegie Dinosaurs T. rex – Video Review

Everything Dinosaur team members have produced a brief (4:47) video review of the Carnegie Dinosaurs Tyrannosaurus rex model that has come out this year.  This T. rex replica is the only new addition to the excellent Carnegie Collectibles scale model series and it is great to see another example of a Tyrannosaur model.

A Video Review of the Carnegie Dinosaurs T. rex Model

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In the video review, we comment on the care taken by the design team over the size and shape of this dinosaur’s feet.  In addition, we discuss the position of those famous tiny arms and explain how this model reflects some of the latest thinking with regards to Late Cretaceous Theropods.

A Video Review of the Wild Safari Dinosaurs Megalodon Model

Wild Safari Dinosaurs Megalodon Video Review

Team members at Everything Dinosaur, promised that they would create a video review of the new Wild Safari Dinosaurs Megalodon model, for all those fans of prehistoric sharks that asked us.  In this short video (6:20) we discuss the merits of this replica, point out some of the features and highlight how the species or trivial name came to epitomise this ancient marine predator.

A Video Review of the Wild Safari Dinosaurs Megalodon Shark Model

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The introduction of this shark model fulfils a long held ambition for Everything Dinosaur.  We can now offer model collectors and fans of prehistoric animals a replica of this super-predator of the Miocene/Pliocene Epochs.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of prehistoric animal models made by Safari Ltd: Wild Safari Dinosaurs and Carnegie Collectibles

Whilst we have used the specific name here, our team members tend to sit on the fence when it comes to the classification of this member of the Order Lamniformes.  We tend to refer to this prehistoric shark as C. megalodon.

Wild Safari Dinosaurs Monolophosaurus Reviewed

A Video Review of the Wild Safari Dinos Monolophosaurus Dinosaur Model

As promised, a short (5:49 minutes) video review of the new Wild Safari Dinosaurs Monolophosaurus dinosaur model (Safari Ltd).  In this short review, we discuss how this new for 2014 replica mirrors the known fossil material and we discuss how this dinosaur lost its tail.

Dinosaur Model Review (Monolophosaurus)

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The fossilised skull of this Jurassic Theropod was so well preserved it has been heralded by palaeontologists as one of the most important Saurischian dinosaur fossils ever found.  In the video, we explain a little more about the strange crest on the muzzle that give this dinosaur its name (single-crested lizard).  In addition, the taxonomic relationship between the superficially similar Dilophosaurus and Monolophosaurus is highlighted.  We use a Dilophosaurus dinosaur model to point out the differences between these very different genera.

To view Safari Ltd dinosaur models at Everything Dinosaur: Carnegie Collectibles and Wild Safari Dinosaurs

Wild Safari Dinosaurs Pachyrhinosaurus Model Reviewed

A Video Review of the Wild Safari Dinosaurs Pachyrhinosaurus Dinosaur Model

With the recent introduction of the Pachyrhinosaurus dinosaur model into the Wild Safari Dinosaurs model range made by Safari Ltd, Everything Dinosaur team members took the opportunity to make a brief (4:16 minute) video review of this replica.

Wild Safari Dinosaurs Pachyrhinosaurus Reviewed

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This is a really well made dinosaur model, one that we think represents the first of the three currently recognised Pachyrhinosaur species to be described (Pachyrhinosaurus canadensis).  The various bony processes around the skull have been particularly well depicted by Safari Ltd and we were careful to ensure that we included plenty of close ups of the head of this horned dinosaur in our video review.

The Wild Safari Dinos Suchomimus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Suchomimus Dinosaur Model – A Video Review

With the first of the 2014 stock safely tucked away in the Everything Dinosaur warehouse, it is time to get the camcorder out and to make video reviews of the new prehistoric animal models from Safari Ltd.  The first video requested was one for the Spinosaurid known as Suchomimus (S.tenerensis) so we have obliged by shooting this brief (6:28) review.

A Review of the Wild Safari Dinos Suchomimus Dinosaur Model

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In this short review, we highlight the anatomical details that can be seen on this model that reflect the known fossil material.  Intriguingly, when this dinosaur was first named and described (1998), it was the only known large Theropod from the Elrhaz Formation of Niger.  However, fossils of at least two other huge, predatory dinosaurs have not been found which most probably co-existed with Suchomimus in the verdant, coastal habitat that this dinosaur called home.  Although the names of these two Theropods are not given in the video, for completeness we have provided the information here.

The first of these Theropods is the Abelisaurid known as Kryptops (K. palaios).  Although, known from only fragmentary remains, this dinosaur is believed to one of the basal members of the Abelisaur group and measuring in excess of seven metres in length it was a formidable predator.

The second super-sized carnivorous dinosaur from this part of Niger and a contemporary of the Spinosaurids that roamed this region is Eocarcharia (Eocarcharia dinops).  Although only known from a fossilised partial, left maxilla and other elements from the skull, this Theropod as been assigned to the Carcharodontosaurids and it is believed to have been at least nine metres in length.  Precise dating of the sediments that make up the Elrhaz Formation is difficult, but it is likely that a number of large, carnivorous dinosaurs co-existed alongside the likes of Suchomimus.  If this is the case, then it makes sense for the Spinosaurids such as S. tenerensis to have specialised in hunting and eating different types of prey.  In the case of Suchomimus, it was probably a specialist at catching fish (piscivore).

Stormy Weather at Lyme Regis

Violent Storms Continue to Batter the UK’s South Coast

Much of England and south Wales continues to get a battering from severe winter storms.  We have been somewhat sheltered at Everything Dinosaur, although our warehouse was rocking a bit last night as 80 mph (128 kmh) winds buffeted the building.  Elsewhere in the UK, especially on exposed coasts, the sea conditions remain extremely hazardous.  The Environmental Agency has been stressing the need for walkers and visitors to the coast to stay away from cliffs and other areas where landslips may occur.  Our advice to anyone considering going out on a fossil hunt over the next few days is to postpone it, the beaches and cliffs are just too dangerous.

Our chum Brandon sent us a short video, documenting some of the damage that the stormy weather has caused to properties and boats on Monmouth Beach.  We have received a lot of reports from various fossil collectors and rock hounds from around the UK over the last few weeks.  The high rainfall levels, the storms, severe gales and flooding are the worst in living memory.  Some parts of the coast will be unrecognisable by the time the bad weather subsides and experts can assess the full extent of the damage.

Best to stay away from the cliffs and beaches for the time being.

Storm Damage at Monmouth Beach (Lyme Regis)

Video Credit: Brandon Lennon

Our thanks to Brandon for sending in this short video.

Brandon knows a lot about the local geology of the Lyme Regis coast, he can be found down on the beach on most days leading fossil walks, to read more about Brandon’s fossil walks: Lyme Regis Fossil Walks

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