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New Rebor “Raptors” in Stock

Rebor Winston and “Father and Son” Replicas in Stock

The Rebor Winston Velociraptor replica and the beautiful, limited edition, bronze effect “Father and Son” Velociraptor set are in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  The latest additions to the Rebor scale model range arrived a few hours ago and we have had time to admire these skilfully crafted dinosaur models.  Inspired by Stan Winston, the special effects pioneer who worked on the first three films in the “Jurassic Park” franchise, the models depict Velociraptors as they were envisaged in the famous movies.  Hence the names “Winston” and “Stan”

The Delightful Rebor Velociraptor Replica “Winston”

The Rebor Winston replica.

The Rebor Winston Velociraptor dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows the coloured version of “Winston”.  It is beautifully painted and if you compare it with the picture below, you should be able to note another feature of this particular Rebor replica, one that is shared by the bronze effect “Winston” in the “Father and Son” Velociraptor model set.

Straight Out of the Box – The Rebor “Winston” Velociraptor Dinosaur Model

A 1:18 scale Velociraptor dinosaur model (Rebor Winston).

Straight out of the box! A Rebor Velociraptor model (1:18 scale model).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Can You Spot The Difference?

The two pictures above show the Velociraptor replica, they have been taken with the ties still on the model but there is a difference between the two photographs, can you spot it?  Yes, that’s right the forelimbs in the pictures are in different positions.  Both the “Winston” and the “Father” replicas have articulated arms.  This enables collectors to position their “raptors” in different poses.  The lower jaws in both models are also articulated.

To purchase the Rebor Winston Velociraptor Model: Rebor 1:18 Scale Velociraptor Model “Winston”

 Pins to Secure and Support the Model

Rebor have striven to give the new Velociraptor replicas a dynamic pose and the design team have certainly achieved a wonderful effect.  Discreet pins in the base fit securely into sockets under the feet, this helps to stabilise the model as it balances on those delicately crafted Velociraptor toes.

Little Pins in the Base of the Model

Rebor replica "Winston" a Velociraptor model

The red arrow points to the discrete pin that helps to secure the Velociraptor model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

When the model is secured to the base the pins cannot be seen.

“Winston and Stan” Limited Edition Model Set

The bronze effect, limited edition Velociraptor model set, nick-named “Father and Son”, consists of a “Winston” accompanied by “Stan”, the baby Velociraptor introduced recently into the Rebor “Scout” model series.  The adult dinosaur in this set also has articulated front limbs and an articulated lower jaw.  The bronze effect paint work has been very well done and the models have an almost pewter-like quality to them.

The Rebor “Father and Son” Limited Edition Velociraptor Model Set

The bronze effect Velociraptor replicas from Rebor.

The bronze effect Velociraptor dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To purchase the limited edition Velociraptor model set (whilst stocks last), check out Everything Dinosaur’s Rebor model section: Rebor Models and Replicas.

Only one thousand of these bronze effect sets have been made, those collectors lucky to get hold of one will have something really special to add to their dinosaur model collection.

It Has Been An Olympic Effort

Congratulations to Rio et al

Today’s blog post is dedicated to all those hard-working, dedicated people who made the 2016 Olympic games in Rio such an amazing success.  We pay tribute to the organisers, the administrators, the game-makers, team members, technicians, broadcasters and fans, it has been a fantastic two weeks of sport and we hope that the Olympic ideals will continue to inspire people around the world – “Citius, Altius, Fortius”!

A special mention to team GB who enjoyed their most successful Games in terms of medals since 1908.

Back in 1996, when the summer Olympics was held in Atlanta, Georgia (USA), Great Britain achieved at total of fifteen medals, with only one gold*.  Twenty years later and it is a very different story.  From finishing thirty-sixth in the medal table two decades ago, Great Britain in Rio won a total of sixty-seven medals, twenty-seven of them gold.  Team GB certainly did a nation proud, finishing second in the medal table for the first time in 108 years.  Team GB were the first team to increase its medal count in five successive Games and we are the only host nation to go on to win more medals at the following Olympics.

So how do we at Everything Dinosaur mark this achievement?  With dinosaurs of course.

Celebrating Success at the Olympic Games (Rio 2016)

Celebrating Olympic success with dinosaurs.

Tyrannosaurids celebrate success at the Olympic Games (Rio 2016).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Link Between the Olympics and the Dinosauria

Whilst it might look a little strange to place dinosaurs onto a podium and to link a nation’s sporting success to the Dinosauria, some parallels between the medal table at the end of the Rio Olympics and the study of dinosaurs can be drawn.  For example, in the early days of this particular branch of vertebrate palaeontology, Great Britain led the way with a number of eminent scientists making important dinosaur discoveries.  After all, the first three types of dinosaur to be scientifically described were described from fossils found in England.  Great Britain had a lot of early success in the first of the modern Olympic Games to be held.  However, countries like China and the United States gradually became more and more dominant – just as with the Dinosauria with many more different types of dinosaurs now known from America and the Peoples Republic of China.

To have Team GB finish above China in second place in 2016 is quite remarkable.  Perhaps the Chinese can take solace in the fact that now, great institutions such as those encompassed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have amassed far more fossilised bones of dinosaurs than any other country.  When it comes to new dinosaur discoveries and their frequency, it could be argued that China leads the way.

Global Tyrannosaurids

One other point to note.  Standing on the podium in their respective positions are three types of tyrannosaurid.  China is represented by Yutyrannus huali, whose fossils come from Liaoning Province.  In the silver medal position is Eotyrannus lengi a member of the Tyrannosaur family whose fossils are associated with the Isle of Wight (Great Britain), sitting on top, is perhaps the most famous dinosaur of all Tyrannosaurus rex.  Yes, we know that Tyrannosaurus rex is also associated with Canada and Mexico, but as it is mostly known from fossil material excavated from the Hell Creek Formation of Montana, we thought that using T. rex to represent the United States would be appropriate.  The term “Olympic Family” is often used to represent nations coming together.  The Rio Olympics has been a truly global event and when it comes to dinosaurs such as the tyrannosaurids, these animals too seem to have had an almost global distribution.  We also note from our sales, that dinosaur models, toys and games have a world-wide appeal.

Thus ends our tribute to everyone involved in the Games, we look forward to Tokyo in 2020.  We have four years to learn all about Japanese dinosaurs.

gold* – Matthew Pinsent and Steve Redgrave — Rowing, Men’s Coxless Pair (both of which were later knighted).

Learning Life Skills – The Achievosaurs

The Achievosaurs Soft Toys

Teachers and teaching assistants all round the country are busy finalising their schemes of work in readiness for the new term and Everything Dinosaur team members have been helping.  Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) children have been benefiting from an innovative use of dinosaur and prehistoric animal soft toys – the Achievosaurs and Everything Dinosaur has been busy supplying schools and other educational establishments with fluffy and soft prehistoric animal plush in preparation for the start of the autumn term.

“Askaraptor” One of the Achievosaurs from Everything Dinosaur

A Utahraptor dinosaur soft and cuddly toy.

“Askaraptor” – a Utahraptor dinosaur soft toy.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For children in Foundation Stage classes (Nursery and Reception), the start of a new term can be quite daunting.  However, teaching teams are tasked with introducing key learning skills at a young age.  The “Achievosaurs”, a group of soft toy prehistoric animals can help children to develop these key skills.  In essence, the Achievosaurs, or as they are sometimes called “the Achieveosaurs”, with the extra “e”, aims to teach children about positive ways in which they can improve their ability to learn.  These qualities include being prepared to ask questions, to share ideas and thoughts and to persevere.  To help reinforce learning the children are incentivised by being able to look after the dinosaur soft toy which epitomises the learning skill that they have demonstrated.

Adopting the Achievosaurs Learning Concept

A large number of schools have adopted the Achievosaurs learning concept across the EYFS cohort and into Year 1.  The dinosaur soft toys often link with a term topic whereby the children study dinosaurs and fossils, for example “the Jurassic Forest” scheme of work.

Achievosaurs Helping to Reinforce Life-Long Learning Skills

Achievosaur soft toy dinosaurs

Helping to reinforce life-long learning skills.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To purchase dinosaur soft toys to make up your own learning skills Achievosaurs set: Itsy Bitsy Soft Toy Dinosaur for Achievosaurs

Here is a list of some of the key learning skills that can be reinforced through the use of the Achievosaurs teaching concept:

ASKARAPTOR – I can use my imagination and ask interesting questions (based on a “raptor” dinosaur such as Velociraptor or Utahraptor regarded as some of the more intelligent and agile of all the dinosaurs).

EXPLORASOR – I like to explore ideas and I enjoy new experiences.

SOLVEOSAURUS REX – I can solve problems and improve (based on T. rex the most famous dinosaur of all).

STICKASAURUS – I stick at tasks and persevere (based on Stegosaurus a popular, plant eating dinosaur with plates on its back).

THINKODOCUS – I think carefully about what I learn (based on the big, plant-eating dinosaur called Diplodocus).

TRYCERATOPS – I try new things, don’t give up and work really hard (based on Triceratops, a very well known horned dinosaur with three horns).

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“One of the great things about the Achievosaurs learning concept is that you can create your own Achievosaurs to suit the particular needs of each class.  For example, we were informed by a Nursery teacher that one of her charges, an only child, had difficulty integrating into the class and found it hard to share things with the other children.  The teaching assistant created “Shareosaurus”, so that this child could be rewarded when they shared items with their classmates.”

Preparations for Later on in Life

These important skills can help prepare children for learning later on in life.  Teachers and teaching assistants can come up with their on variants and new additions, however, the trouble is, identifying soft toys that represent the likes of Diplodocus and Tyrannosaurus rex.  The experts at Everything Dinosaur can help.

With the support of Everything Dinosaur’s trained specialists, teachers can utilise a child’s fascination with dinosaurs to help reinforce important life lessons.  Enthusing and motivating children to learn by using dinosaur soft toys in school.

Team members from the company also visit schools to delivery practical, lively and very kinaesthetic dinosaur themed workshops:

To read more about Everything Dinosaur’s school workshops: Contact Everything Dinosaur to Enquire About Dinosaur Themed School Workshops

How the Marsupial Lion Got To Grips With Its Prey

Unique Elbows of Thylacoleo Hints at Hunting Strategy

The fearsome Thylacoleo (Thylacoleo carnifex), commonly referred to as the “Marsupial Lion” may have had a unique hunting strategy.  The anatomy of the limbs indicate that this native of Australia up until around 46,000 years or so ago, had very robust front legs, but it was not a fast runner.  It was probably an ambush specialist, but how did this 100 kilogramme mammal despatch its prey?  After all, it did not have the teeth typical of a carnivore.  For example, Thylacoleo lacked canines in the lower jaw and although they were present in the upper jaw, they were extremely small (a feature no doubt noted by Richard Owen, later Sir Richard Owen, who named and described this genus back in 1859).

The Fearsome Thylacoleo – but How Did it Hunt and Kill?

The fearsome Thylacoleo (Marsupial Lion)

Capable of climbing trees and with strong forelimbs for despatching prey.

Picture Credit: Peter Trusler/Australian Post

In a new paper, published in the academic journal “Paleobiology”, scientists from the University of Málaga (Spain), in collaboration with colleagues from Bristol University conclude that Thylacoleo used its big but blunt incisors to grab prey before carrying out the “coup de grâce” with a swipes from its powerful paws which possessed a formidable set of claws including a super-sized claw on its first digit, (the equivalent digit in our species being the thumb).

Comparing Elbows

How was this conclusion made?  It’s relatively simple really, the scientists studied the fossilised elbows of Thylacoleo and compared them to a number of living mammals (placental as well as marsupial).  It turns out that this pouched predator had a unique elbow joint amongst carnivorous mammals.

One of the authors of the newly published paper, Christine Janis (Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, currently on a leave of absence from a professorship at Brown University, United States), explained that this study indicates that there is a strong association between the anatomy of the humerus where it articulates with the ulna and radius (the elbow) and the way in which animals move about.

The Fossilised Remains of a Marsupial Lion

Marsupial Lion (Thylacoleo) remains.

The fossilised bones of a Marsupial Lion (Australia).

Specialised runners like canids (dogs) have an elbow joint indicating movement restricted to a back and forwards motion, helping to stabilise their bodies on the ground, great for running, whilst mammals that are confident climbers, monkeys for example, have an elbow joint that allows for rotation of the hand.  Felidae (cats), have an elbow joint of intermediate shape, as they use their forelimbs to wrestle prey and many types of cat are adroit when it comes to climbing.

In contrast, the unique elbow joint of Thylacoleo permitted extensive rotation of the hand but it also possessed features not seen in extant mammals that permitted the elbow to stabilise the limb when the animal was on the ground.  The “Marsupial Lion” has long been thought to have been at home in the trees, an animal capable of an arboreal existence, although ironically a number of the most complete and best preserved Thylacoleo fossils have been found in limestone caves in the Nullabor Plain region of Australia (Nullabor loosely translates as “no trees”).

Christine Janis stated:

“If Thylacoleo had hunted like a lion using its forelimbs to manipulate its prey, then its elbow joint should have been lion-like.  But, surprisingly, it had a unique elbow-joint among living predatory mammals , one that suggested a great deal of rotational capacity of the hand, like an arboreal mammal, but also features not seen in living climbers, that would have stabilised the limb on the ground (suggesting that it was not simply a climber).”

Christine and her colleagues group Thylacoleo with living animals that have an extreme amount of forelimb manoeuvrability, animals such as primates, sloths and anteaters.  The analysis showed that it had a greater degree of manoeuvrability than any living, meat-eating placental mammal and the team concludes that Thylacoleo was mainly terrestrial but with some climbing abilities and the forelimbs were used to overpower prey.

The African lion (Panthera leo) does not possess such flexible forelimbs and when the unique elbow joint is considered in conjunction with that over sized first digit claw, the researchers hypothesise that the “Marsupial Lion” used its claws to kill.  The big, but blunt incisors in the jaws were probably used to clamp down on prey and then with the large and retractable claw on the semi-opposable thumb (the dew claw), Thylacoleo could have slashed at its victims.

The First Human Inhabitants of Australia Knew All About the Marsupial Lion

However, it hunted, Thylacoleo was one creature that you would not want to have encountered in the outback.   The first Australians, the ancestors of the today’s aboriginal people, would have known Thylacoleo and probably they were wise enough to give it a wide berth.

The scientific paper: “Ecomorphological determinations in the absence of living analogues: the predatory behaviour of the marsupial lion (Thylacoleo carnifex) as revealed by elbow joint morphology”

To read an earlier article which examined the link between scratches made on cave walls and the climbing abilities of the Marsupial Lion: Don’t Climb a Tree to Avoid a Thylacoleo!

Getting Excited About Paleo-Creatures

A Short Video of the Paleo-Creatures Replicas

Team members at Everything Dinosaur are getting very excited at the imminent arrival of the first of the Paleo-Creatures prehistoric animal models.  Stocks of Xenacanthus, Tullimonstrum (Tully’s monster) and Atopodentatus (A. unicus) et al,  will soon be filling our warehouse shelves and we can’t wait for the shipment to arrive.  Everything Dinosaur announced recently that they would be stocking the Paleo-Creatures line of high quality, polyurethane resin replicas.

The Paleo-Creatures range of hand-crafted, scale model prehistoric animals has been created by talented Spanish artist and designer Jesús Toledo.  He very kindly sent Everything Dinosaur a link to a short video showing the models that we had ordered laid out ready for packing before they were despatched to our warehouse.  In this short video (one minute forty-five seconds), viewers get the chance to see up close for themselves just how gorgeous these models are.  Check out the video in this link: Paleo-Creatures Video

Video Credit: Jesús Toledo (Jetoar’s Collectables)

A Row of Torvosaurus Models from Paleo-Creatures

Paleo-Creatures Torvosaurus

A row of Paleo-Creatures Torvosaurus.

Picture Credit: Jesús Toledo (Jetoar’s Collectables)

 The picture above is from the short video that was sent to Everything Dinosaur.  The video shows some of the models lined up ready for packing prior to their despatch to our warehouse.   The model in the middle is the beautiful Paleo-Creatures Torvosaurus replica.  What a fantastic dinosaur model this is!  Just behind Torvosaurus some Paleo-Creatures Tullimonstrum (T. gregarium) can be seen.  Lining up in front of the fearsome Torvosaurus are some Kosmoceratops models, perhaps being just in front of a hungry Torvosaurus, especially a model with an articulated lower jaw, is quite a dangerous place for a horned dinosaur model to be.

Aegirocassis and Koolasuchus Replicas (Paleo-Creatures)

Paleo-Creatures models.

The Aegirocassis replicas (foreground), Koolasuchus models (background).

Picture Credit: Jesús Toledo (Jetoar’s Collectables)

The splendid Aegirocassis (anomalocaridids, also referred to as anomalocarids) are lined up ready to be packed, these are wonderful models of the giant Ordovician filter-feeder.  In the background, some of the Koolasuchus replicas are awaiting their turn to be packed.  They too, are very beautiful and highly detailed, hand-crafted models.

To read a press release announcing that Everything Dinosaur would be stocking the Paleo-Creatures model range: Paleo-Creatures Coming to Everything Dinosaur

A Close Up of the Paleo-Creatures Concavenator

The Paleo-Creatures Concavenator.

A close up view of the Paleo-Creatures Concavenator.

Picture Credit: Jesús Toledo (Jetoar’s Collectables)

The fine detailing on these models can really be made out, both in these still pictures and from the video that was kindly sent in to us.

Eotyrannus (E. lengi) Model from Paleo-Creatures

Paleo-Creatures Eotyrannus model.

The Paleo-Creatures Eotyrannus ready for shipping.

Picture Credit: Jesús Toledo (Jetoar’s Collectables)

Take Care Fossil Collecting Near Cliffs

Take Care Fossil Hunting Near Cliffs

It is the time of year in the UK when many families take to the seaside for a holiday and many of them will visit various coastal locations and indulge in a bit of fossil hunting.  Finding fossils on the beach can be a lot of fun.  It can certainly occupy and entertain the little ones and who knows, it might lead on to fossil collecting becoming a life time hobby.  However, we at Everything Dinosaur would like to take this opportunity to warn would-be fossil hunters of the dangers of getting too close to cliffs.

Land Slips and Rock Falls are Common Around Britain’s Coasts

A rockfall at Lyme Regis

Rock fall onto the Ammonite Pavement on Monmouth Beach.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows a recent rock fall on Monmouth Beach which is located just to the west of the historic town of Lyme Regis on England’s famous “Jurassic Coast”.  Finding fossils on the beach can be a lot of fun but remember to stay away from the cliffs.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It can be all too tempting to explore a cliff face looking for fossils, we have witnessed many such occasions when people have ignored sign posts and clambered onto the cliffs or explored a recent rock fall.   Sadly, we have had to report in our blog a number of fatalities as a result of people getting caught in landslides and rock falls.”

The Fossil Collecting Code

Families would be well advised to take part in an organised fossil walk.  Local knowledge and expertise would be on hand to help visitors to make the most of an afternoon exploring our country’s prehistoric heritage.  At Lyme Regis there are a number of organised walks and tours, for further details: Lyme Regis Fossil Walks

Hunting for Fossils is a Great Summer Time Activity for Families

Looking for fossils at Lyme Regis.

Fossils can still be found on the shore.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To read Everything Dinosaur’s helpful hints and tips with regards to safe fossil hunting: The Fossil Collecting Code – Hints and Tips

We urge everyone to take care when visiting beaches with high cliffs, it is best to stay well away from them and we also wish everyone who goes fossil hunting every success, here’s hoping you find some amazing fossils.

Paleo-Creatures Coming to Everything Dinosaur

Paleo-Creatures Replicas Added to Everything Dinosaur’s Huge Model Range

Everything Dinosaur is pleased to announce that the UK based prehistoric animal model supplier will be stocking the Paleo-Creatures range of prehistoric animal replicas.  Paleo-Creatures are the brain-child of talented Spanish artist and model maker Jesús Toledo.  The first ten figures should be arriving at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse next week and then model fans will be able to purchase on line at Everything Dinosaur’s website Everything Dinosaur shortly afterwards.

Coming into Stock in the Next Few Days – Paleo-Creatures Prehistoric Animal Models

The Paleo-Creatures range

An assortment of prehistoric animal replicas in the Paleo-Creatures range.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Paleo-Creatures Replica Range

To start with, ten models are coming into stock.  The picture above shows the ten replicas, the top row shows Concavenator (C. corcovatus), the Koolasuchus (K. cleelandi) and the bizarre marine reptile Atopodentatus (A. unicus).  The middle section of the image showcases a further four Paleo-Creatures figures, on the left there is Aegirocassis (A. benmoulai), the giant filter-feeding anomalocaridid (anomalocarid) from the Ordovician.  The beautifully coloured Dilophosaurus (D. wetherilli), sits above a fantastic replica of the amazing Tully Monster (Tullimonstrum gregarium) and to the right of the image we have the Paleo-Creatures Kosmoceratops (K. richardsoni).

A spectacular Xenacanthus, an ancient genus of freshwater shark, joins the Paleo-Creatures Torvosaurus and an Eotyrannus (E. lengi) on the third row.  Creator Jesús Toledo has even provided the Eotyrannus and Torvosaurus replicas with articulated lower jaws.

Amazing Figures for the Discerning Model Collector

Paleo-Creatures Concavenator

The Paleo-Creatures Concavenator model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For further information about the Paleo-Creatures range and enquire about availability and prices: Email Everything Dinosaur

Hand-Crafted and Beautifully Painted Prehistoric Animal Replicas

The Paleo-Creatures range of prehistoric animal figures are superb quality polyurethane replicas hand-painted with high quality acrylic paints.  Each one makes a fantastic piece for any model collector, especially discerning collectors of prehistoric animal models.  These scale models are available exclusively to Everything Dinosaur customers within Everything Dinosaur’s main markets and to express an interest in obtaining a Paleo-Creatures replica simply drop Everything Dinosaur an email and our dedicated team will contact you with further information: Email Everything Dinosaur for Further Information about the Paleo-Creatures Line

Aimed at collectors aged fourteen and above, these replicas are top quality display items.

The Paleo-Creatures Koolasuchus Figure

The fantastic Paleo-Creatures Koolasuchus.

A Paleo-Creatures Koolasuchus figure.

Picture Credit: Paleo-Creatures/Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We like the individuality of these figures.  Each Paleo-Creatures replica is carefully crafted and hand-painted, they really are excellent quality and we love the fact that some of the more amazing and bizarre prehistoric animals are represented.  For example,  it’s great to see a really good model of Koolasuchus, along with an interpretation of the bizarre Triassic marine reptile Atopodentatus.  Of course, there are dinosaur models and terrific they are too, but for us the real stars are the truly weird Tully Monster and the giant filter feeder Aegirocassis.”

The first ten models in this exciting new series will be available from Everything Dinosaur, next week!

Orthacanthus was a Cannibal

Teeth in Coprolites Indicate Cannibalism in Orthacanthus

A study of the coprolites of a prehistoric, freshwater shark suggest that this fish indulged in cannibalism when times were hard.  The shark in question, an Orthacanthus (identified from the typical spiral shape of the fossil poo), probably ate members of its own species when other food resources became scarce.

During the Late Carboniferous, much of the northern hemisphere was covered by swamps and ancient forests.  Amphibians and primitive reptiles dominated the land, but in the water, the fish reigned supreme and one group of fishes, that have survived through to today, the sharks, were particularly diverse and numerous.

Sharks not only dominated marine environments but they were also present in large numbers in brackish conditions and freshwater.  One group of sharks, the Xenacanthiforms were very common in freshwater environments and Orthacanthus was a member of this group.  Fossil coprolites found in the Minto Coalfield of New Brunswick, Canada, reveal a dark secret.  The 300 million-year-old shark poo is packed with the fossilised remains of juvenile members of its own genus.  This is evidence of cannibalism, specifically fillial cannibalism – when adults of one species deliberately hunt and consume young of their own species, even their immediate offspring.

An Illustration of the Prehistoric Freshwater Shark Orthacanthus

The prehistoric freshwater shark Orthacanthus

An illustration of the prehistoric freshwater shark Orthacanthus, scientists have found evidence of cannibalism.

Picture Credit: Alain Beneteau

Orthacanthus – A Freshwater Prehistoric Shark

A number of species of Orthacanthus shark have been described.  These sharks, that possessed a long spine just in front of their sinewy dorsal fin, evolved in the Devonian.  Orthacanthus fossils (especially teeth) are quite common in Carboniferous rocks located in North America and Europe.  Orthacanthus teeth fossils have been found in Cumbria (UK), close to the small port of Whitehaven, a part of the coast we at Everything Dinosaur, know quite well.  The sediments in that part of Cumbria represent a coastal environment and amongst the carbonised remains of ancient plants, occasionally the distinctive tricuspid (three pointed) teeth of Orthacanthus can be found.

PhD student Aodhán Ó Gogáin (School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland), one of the co-authors of the study that has been recently published in the journal of the Palaeontology Association “Palaeontology”, stated:

“Orthacanthus was a three-metre-long Xenacanth shark with a dorsal spine, an eel-like body, and tricuspid teeth.  There is already evidence from fossilised stomach contents that ancient sharks like Orthacanthus preyed on amphibians and other fish, but this is the first evidence that these sharks also ate the young of their own species.”

A Typical Shark Coprolite (note the spiralling)

A spiral shaped shark coprolite.

Shark coprolite indicates cannibalism in Orthacanthus.

Picture Credit: Journal Palaeontology

Corkscrew Coprolite

Fossil shark poo (coprolite) is not rare, it can be found in quite plentiful quantities in some bedding planes.  Shark coprolite comes in all shapes and sizes, but it often has a distinctive spiral pattern on it, an impression of the intestinal tract in which it was formed and of the rectum in which it was passed through.  It is this spiral pattern that has permitted the scientists to identify the coprolite down to genus level in this instance.

Another co-author of the report, Dr Howard Falcon-Lang, of the Royal Holloway University of London commented:

“We don’t know why Orthacanthus resorted to eating its own young.  However, the Carboniferous Period was a time when marine fishes were starting to colonise freshwater swamps in large numbers.  It’s possible that Orthacanthus used inland waterways as protected nurseries to rear its babies, but then consumed them as food when other resources became scarce.”

Fillial cannibalism has been observed in a number of extant shark species, including the Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas).  The researchers suggest that Orthacanthus may have filled a similar environmental niche as modern Bull Sharks.  Both types of shark are able to migrate backwards and forwards between salt and freshwater and in the case of Orthacanthus, this unusual adaptation for a fish may have helped it play an important role in the colonisation of inland freshwater environments.

A Polished Section of a Orthacanthus Coprolite with Juvenile Teeth Fragments Highlighted

A polished section of Orthacanthus coprolite reveals evidence of cannibalism.

A cross section of Orthacanthus coprolite with the fossilised teeth of a juvenile Orthacanthus indicated in the box.

Picture Credit: Journal Palaeontology

In the picture above a cross section of a Orthacanthus coprolite shows tricuspid teeth of a juvenile preserved within the fossil poo (black box).

The scientific paper: “Fish and Tetrapod Communities Across a Marine to Brackish Salinity Gradient in the Pennsylvanian (early Moscovian) Minto Formation of New Brunswick, Canada, and their Palaeoecological and Palaeogeographical Implications”.

New Schleich Dinosaurs for 2017 (Part 2)

New from Schleich Early 2017 More Dinosaur Models

Yesterday, Everything Dinosaur team members provided information on the first of the new for 2017 Schleich prehistoric animal models.  In today’s article, we conclude our look at the new 2017 Schleich dinosaurs (yes, all models announced so far are members of the Dinosauria), by looking at the other, smaller models that the Germany-based manufacturer will be introducing into their prehistoric animal replica range next year.

Let’s jump straight in by looking at the new mini dinosaur models.

Four New Mini Dinosaur Models Available from Schleich in Early 2017

New mini dinosaurs (Schleich) 2017.

New mini dinosaurs from Schleich for early 2017.

Picture Credit: Schleich/Everything Dinosaur

It’s no surprise but Schleich will be adding four new prehistoric animal models to their range of “dinosaur minis” in 2017.  Clockwise from top right we have a colour variant of the Spinosaurus model, a new figure, a feathered, mini Utahraptor (expect more news about “raptors” below).  Next there is a colour variant of the Velociraptor mini dinosaur figure.  If our calculations are correct, this is the third colour variant of a Velociraptor to become available in the Schleich minis range, perhaps the German manufacturer is trying to encourage collectors to build up their own “raptor pack”!  Last but not least we have a new Tyrannosaurus rex mini dinosaur model in a changed pose.  The new for 2017 Schleich mini T. rex reminds us of the Papo mini T. rex dinosaur model in the model dinosaur set that was introduced last year.  Expect these new replicas to be available sometime in quarter one of next year.

To view the range of mini  dinosaurs and prehistoric animals available: Schleich Mini Dinosaurs

A New Predator Box Set for 2017 from Schleich

New dinosaur box set (Schleich 2017)

A Spinosaurus and a new painted version of T. rex in the box set.

Picture Credit: Schleich/Everything Dinosaur

Schleich will be adding to their small dinosaur boxed play sets early next year by bringing out a new, very colourful Spinosaurus sculpt to accompany a repaint of the small Tyrannosaurus rex model.  Expect each replica to measure around fifteen centimetres in length (although the Spinosaurus may be a little bigger).  This box set is scheduled for a January 2017 release.  As far as we at Everything Dinosaur know, Schleich have no plans to sell these two carnivore models separately.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s current range of small Schleich models: Schleich Dinosaurs

A New “Raptor Squad” from Schleich

We promised readers more news about “raptors”.

Feathered “Raptors” Are Coming!

Schleich "raptor" set.

Three model “raptors” from Schleich in early 2017.

Picture Credit: Schleich/Everything Dinosaur

A set of three, feathered “raptors” will also be introduced.  The biggest model  in the picture above is a colour variant of the large Utahraptor model.  This colour variant will also have an articulated lower jaw and poseable forelimbs.  Like its more colourful counterpart, this Utahraptor will measure twenty-one centimetres in length.  The medium sized dinosaur is a new model of a Velociraptor.  The smallest “raptor” in this trio is a model of Microraptor, a re-painted version of a Microraptor model introduced by Schleich in their cave play set.  This set of three dinosaur models will be available early in quarter one of next year and they will not be sold separately.

No News of Dinosaur Jigsaws

To date, Everything Dinosaur has not received news regarding the release of any new mini dinosaur themed jigsaws.  However, Schleich will be making new model announcements in due course and Everything Dinosaur team members will be doing their best to ensure dinosaur fans and model collectors are kept informed via this blog and our social media pages.

To read yesterday’s article about the larger Schleich model introductions for 2017: New Schleich Dinosaurs for 2017 (Part 1)

New Schleich Dinosaurs for 2017 (Part 1)

Everything Dinosaur Reveals the First of the New for 2017 Schleich Dinosaurs

After the successful introduction of the Schleich Dunkleosteus, the Herrerasaurus and the marvellous Barapasaurus models this spring, Schleich have been preparing new prehistoric animal replicas to introduce into their model range for 2017.  The first models of the new for 2017 Schleich prehistoric range are all dinosaurs and there is a strong Late Jurassic theme as three of the four large dinosaurs to be introduced early next year are associated with Upper Jurassic strata.

New for 2017 The Schleich Brachiosaurus

Schleich 2017 Brachiosaurus.

Schleich Brachiosaurus model (2017).

Picture Credit: Schleich/Everything Dinosaur

This model measures around thirty centimetres in length and the head height is a fraction over eighteen centimetres.  It is a decent size but nowhere near the size of the Schleich “Saurus” replicas which measured around forty-eight centimetres long and were approximately 1:40 scale.  There is an existing Brachiosaurus replica in Schleich’s “World of History” range and the new for 2017 replica is roughly the same size, but we at Everything Dinosaur can confirm that the new for 2017 Brachiosaurus model is a new sculpt, it is not a repaint of an existing replica.  Sources close to Everything Dinosaur have commented that this replica might be available January 2017, but realistically it would probably be available from mid February onwards.  Check out Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page and this blog for more updates.

New for 2017 Schleich Stegosaurus

Schleich (2017) Stegosaurus dinosaur model.

New for 2017 the Schleich Stegosaurus.

Picture Credit: Schleich/Everything Dinosaur

Having retired the World of History Stegosaurus this year, Schleich have been keen to re-introduce this popular armoured dinosaur into their larger model range. If we are not mistaken, this Stegosaurus featured in the Schleich Volcano play set that was introduced earlier this year.  The Stegosaurus replica measures fifteen centimetres long and those fearsome tail spikes are raised over eleven centimetres into the air.   As for when this model will be available, expect it quarter one of 2017.

Schleich New for 2017 Allosaurus

Schleich Allosaurus dinosaur model (2017)

Coming in 2017 a Schleich Allosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Schleich/Everything Dinosaur

The third of the Jurassic dinosaurs is the predator Allosaurus.  Schleich have made a number of Allosaurus models in the past, they currently have an Allosaurus replica in their model range but we can confirm that the 2017 Schleich Allosaurus will be a new sculpt.  The new model measures a fraction over twenty-five centimetres in length and that nicely detailed head (with articulated lower jaw), stands around twelve and a half centimetres high, making the 2017 model larger than the existing Allosaurus replica.  Once again, dinosaur fans can expect this new model in quarter one of 2017.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s existing range of larger Schleich prehistoric animal models: Schleich Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

New from Schleich for 2017 a Feathered Utahraptor Dinosaur Model

Feathered Utahraptor (Schleich 2017)

The colourful feathered Utahraptor from Schleich

Picture Credit: Schleich/Everything Dinosaur

The fourth of the new introductions for the first part of 2017 is this colourful, feathered Utahraptor dinosaur model.  It has moveable forelimbs and an articulated lower jaw and although we at Everything Dinosaur could take issue with one or two anatomical discrepancies, it is pleasing to see a feathered dinosaur like Utahraptor enter the Schleich range.  The new for 2017 Schleich Utahraptor measures twenty-one centimetres long and that impressive head stands a little under nine and half centimetres high.

New Dinosaurs Logo From Schleich

Hot on the heels of some further print-led marketing of the Schleich prehistoric animal model range, the German company has introduced a new logo for its “dinosaurs” sub-brand.  This logo effectively covers all the prehistoric animals in the company’s portfolio, even if models don’t actually represent a dinosaur (Dimetrodon, Dunkleosteus, Quetzalcoatlus etc).

Schleich’s “Dinosaur” Logo 

Schleich logo - Dinosaurs

Schleich dinosaurs logo.

Picture Credit: Schleich

We are not sure what these new introductions will mean for some of the existing replicas within the Schleich model range but a spokesperson for Everything Dinosaur stated that collectors could expect some model retirements next year as well as further introductions to the Schleich prehistoric animal model portfolio later in 2017.  On that note, check out part two of our Schleich new for 2017 update coming out tomorrow.

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