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1 02, 2018

Rare Ichthyosaur Specimen Only the Second to be Described

By | February 1st, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Second Specimen of Wahlisaurus massarae to be Described

A rare 200 million-year-old specimen of a “fish lizard” has been discovered in a private collection twenty-two years after it was originally found.  The fossil is only the second example of Wahlisaurus massarae, a species of Ichthyosaur, to have been described.  The new species was established in 2016, by University of Manchester palaeontologist, Dean Lomax following his detailed assessment of a fossil specimen that had been found in Nottinghamshire many decades ago.

An Illustration of Wahlisaurus massarae

Wahlisaurus massarae illustrated

An illustration of the Ichthyosaur known as Wahlisaurus massarae.

Picture Credit: James McKay

To read Everything Dinosaur’s 2016 article on the discovery of W. massaraeNew Species of British Marine Reptile Surfaces

This second example of Wahlisaurus was originally found in 1996.  It has now been donated to the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, an institution that houses several examples of marine reptiles, including a specimen of Excalibosaurus, which, until the naming of Wahlisaurus two years ago had been the most recent species of Ichthyosaur from the British Isles to have been scientifically described.

Ichthyosaurs in the Limelight

The Ichthyosauria clade has been much in the news of late.  For example, earlier this month the discovery of a large Ichthyosaur fossil in the cliffs close to Lyme Regis in Dorset, was the subject of a BBC television documentary, narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s article on “Attenborough and the Sea Dragon”: Attenborough and the Sea Dragon (BBC)

Dean Lomax named W. massarae in honour of two vertebrate palaeontologists who had spent much of their lives studying marine reptiles (Professor Judy Massare and Bill Wahl).

Dean commented:

“When Wahlisaurus was announced, I was a little nervous about what other palaeontologists would make of it, considering the new species was known only from a single specimen.  As a scientist you learn to question almost everything and be as critical as you can be.  My analysis suggested it was something new, but some palaeontologists questioned this and said it was just variation of an existing species.”

Clues in the Shape of the Coracoid Bone

In this new research, Dean teamed up with Dr Mark Evans, palaeontologist and curator at the New Walk Museum, Leicester, and fossil collector, Simon Carpenter from Somerset.  The study focused on a specimen Dean identified in Simon’s personal collection, which is an almost complete coracoid bone (part of the shoulder girdle, otherwise referred to as the pectoral girdle).  This bone had exactly the same unique features of the equivalent bone in the holotype of Wahlisaurus described in 2016.  Simon’s fossil specimen was originally collected twenty years ago, from a quarry in northern Somerset.  Once the specimen’s rarity was realised, Simon immediately donated it to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

Dean Lomax, Simon Carpenter and Deborah Hutchinson with the Coracoid Specimen

Dean Lomax with Simon Carpenter and Deborah Hutchinson pose with the M. massarae coracoid.

Dean Lomax, (left), Simon Carpenter (centre) and Deborah Hutchinson from the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (right) with the coracoid specimen.

Picture Credit: Manchester University

Dean added:

“You can only imagine my sheer excitement to find a specimen of Wahlisaurus in Simon’s collection.  It was such a wonderful moment.  When you have just one specimen, “variation” can be called upon, but when you double the number of specimens you have it gives even more credibility to your research.”

The new discovery is from a time known as the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, right after a world-wide mass extinction.  For these reasons, the team have been unable to determine exactly whether the Ichthyosaur was Late Triassic or Early Jurassic in age, although it is roughly 200 million-years-old.

A Better Understanding of the Skull Structure

As part of the research, Dr Evans cleaned the bones and removed additional rock from the first specimen.  This assisted in a detailed re-examination of the original skull, which led to the discovery of additional bones helping scientists to better understand the morphology of the skull of this British marine reptile.

Finding evidence to help confirm the validity of a genus within a private fossil collection helps to demonstrate the important contribution that can be made to science by dedicated and responsible fossil collectors.

The scientific paper: “An Ichthyosaur from the UK Triassic–Jurassic boundary: A second specimen of the Leptonectid Ichthyosaur Wahlisaurus massarae Lomax 2016” by Lomax, D. R., Evans, M. and Carpenter S., published in the Geological Journal.

31 01, 2018

Mansourasaurus shahinae the Rosetta Stone of the Dinosauria

By | January 31st, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Mansourasaurus shahinae the Rosetta Stone of the Dinosauria

The Rosetta Stone, with its three different languages carved into the rock, provided the breakthrough for archaeologists, enabling them to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphic writing.  A new dinosaur discovery, which just like the Rosetta Stone heralds from Egypt, is helping palaeontologists to decipher the relationship between Late Cretaceous African dinosaurs and their counterparts elsewhere in the world.  The dinosaur has been named Mansourasaurus shahinae and up until now, no reasonably complete dinosaur skeleton from Upper Cretaceous strata in continental Africa had ever been found.

An Illustration of the Newly Described Titanosaur Mansourasaurus shahinae

An illustration of the newly described dinosaur Mansourasaurus.

Mansourasaurus illustrated.  Note the bony scales (osteoderms on the body).

Picture Credit: Andrew Mcafee (Carnegie Museum of Natural History)

Helping to Characterise the Late Cretaceous Dinosaur Fauna of Africa

As Titanosaurs go, Mansourasaurus is not a ground-shaker in terms of its size, it was approximately ten metres in length and was perhaps as heavy as Africa’s largest land animal today, an African elephant (Loxodonta).  It was not fully grown (bones not entirely fused), but it would not have reached the size of leviathans such as Paralititan (P. stromeri), which roamed North Africa some fifteen million years earlier.  However, its discovery is seismic as it permits palaeontologists to better understand the evolution of Late Cretaceous African dinosaurs and their taxonomic relationship to other dinosaurs that lived elsewhere in the world during the last few million years of the Mesozoic.

The Fossilised Jawbone of M. shahinae Photographed at the Dig Site

Mansourasaurus jawbone fossil.

Mansourasaurus jawbone in situ.

Picture Credit: Mansoura University

Conflicting Theories – Conflicting Ideas

Very few Late Cretaceous African dinosaurs have been described.  Fossil finds from Upper Cretaceous strata in this part of the world are very rare, what fossils have been found are extremely fragmentary and don’t reveal much information about the sort of dinosaurs that these seldom found bones represent.  Did the dinosaurs living on the African continent in the Late Cretaceous evolve into a distinct biota or were they closely related to other types of dinosaur living on other landmasses?

In addition, if the Late Cretaceous African dinosaurs were closely related to other dinosaurs living elsewhere, were they more closely related to those dinosaurs known from South America, Europe, Asia or even Madagascar?

A remarkable fossil discovery from strata estimated to be around 80 million-years-old (Campanian faunal stage of the Late Cretaceous), will help scientists to answer some of these questions.  Just like the famous Rosetta Stone, these petrified dinosaur bones will help scientists to decipher, at least in part, the evolutionary relationships of African Titanosaurs.  Field work at the Dakhla Oasis of the Egyptian Sahara, led by Dr Hesham Sallam (Mansoura University), in 2013, led to the discovery of the partial remains of a Sauropod dinosaur, one that was identified as a member of the Titanosauria clade – a group of long-necked, herbivorous dinosaurs that were geographically widespread during the Cretaceous.  By studying these bones, palaeontologists were able to work out which other Titanosaurs were closely related to Mansourasaurus.  The phylogenetic assessment published along with the rest of the paper in the journal Nature, Ecology & Evolution, indicates that M. shahinae is related to Titanosaurs from southern Europe and eastern Asia.

A Reconstruction of the Skeleton of Mansourasaurus

Mansourasaurus shahinae skeleton reconstruction.

A skeletal reconstruction of the newly described Titanosaur Mansourasaurus shahinae.

Picture Credit: Andrew Mcafee (Carnegie Museum of Natural History)

The Dinosaurian  Palaeobiogeography of Gondwanan Landmasses

The fossils come from rocks that make up the Quseir Formation, these sediments were laid down in a warm, humid, tropical environment.  A low-lying, verdant floodplain that was criss-crossed by large rivers and numerous lakes.  The picture (above) reveals how much of the skeleton has been excavated since the initial fossil discovery around five years ago.  Fragments of the skull and the lower jawbone have been recovered along with cervical vertebrae (neck bones), ribs, elements from the front limbs and a portion of the hind foot.  Numerous bony scales are associated with these bones, this suggests that Mansaurasaurus, like many other Titanosaurs, was covered in osteoderms.

Members of the Field Team from Mansoura University Pose Next to the Jacketed Fossil Bones

Mansoura University field team members pose next to the plaster-jacketed remains of Mansourasaurus.

The all-Egyptian field team from Mansoura University (Egypt) pose with the plaster-jacketed remains of Mansourasaurus.

Picture Credit: Mansoura University

Piecing Together the Geographical and Faunal Links Between Late Cretaceous Africa and Other Landmasses

The discovery of Mansourasaurus will help scientists to piece together the geographical and biological links between the Late Cretaceous of Africa and other continents.  The fossil bones can be used just like the Rosetta Stone, to compare and contrast with known fossil finds and future titanosaurid fossil discoveries.  The research team conclude that as Mansourasaurus was closely related to Eurasian Titanosaurs, this indicates that these dinosaurs spread between Europe, Asia and north Africa after the tectonic separation of Africa from the landmass that was to form the continent of South America.  In essence, Mansourasaurus hints at a north African dinosaur assemblage that mirrors the sort of dinosaur fauna known from the Late Cretaceous of Europe and Asia.  The team’s findings support the idea that land bridges existed between Africa and other parts of the world, allowing this faunal interchange.  The theory that the African mainland was completely isolated in the latter years of the Cretaceous has been undermined.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“This is a very significant fossil discovery.  It marks a new chapter in our understanding of the evolution and spread of Late Cretaceous Titanosaurs, it might even herald a new chapter in the history of vertebrate palaeontology in northern Africa, as we are confident that more dinosaur specimens are still out there in the Egyptian Western Desert awaiting discovery.”

The scientific paper: “New Egyptian Sauropod Reveals Late Cretaceous Dinosaur Dispersal between Europe and Africa” by Hesham M. Sallam, Eric Gorscak, Patrick M. O’Connor, Iman A. El-Dawoudi, Sanaa El-Sayed, Sara Saber, Mahmoud A. Kora, Joseph J. W. Sertich, Erik R. Seiffert & Matthew C. Lamanna published in the journal Nature, Ecology & Evolution.

30 01, 2018

Beasts of the Mesozoic Update

By | January 30th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Press Releases|1 Comment

Beasts of the Mesozoic Update

Beasts of the Mesozoic Ready to Spring by Late Spring

Dinosaur fans and model collectors will have just a few more short weeks to wait before the entire range of the eagerly anticipated Beasts of the Mesozoic collection of “Raptors” is available.  These beautifully sculptured, 1:6 scale replicas are currently entering the final phase of production, some of the models are due to be completed and made ready for sale next month but others such as the exquisite Adasaurus, along with Tsaagan, Acheroraptor and the two Saurornitholestes replicas, are not due for completion until the end of March.

The Beautiful Beasts of the Mesozoic Tsaagan mangas will be Available from Everything Dinosaur in Late Spring

Beasts of the Mesozoic Tsaagan mangas 1:6 scale replica.

The Beasts of the Mesozoic Tsaagan mangas 1:6 scale replica.

Picture Credit: Beasts of the Mesozoic/Everything Dinosaur

Production Delays Due to Chinese New Year

David Silva of Creative Beast Studios, the visionary behind this exciting range of poseable prehistoric animal figures explained factory closures over the Chinese New Year would lead to some delays, but the priority was to produce the most scientifically accurate and highly detailed “raptor” models possible.

The Beasts of the Mesozoic Range Including Adasaurus mongoliensis will be Available in April 2018

Beasts of the Mesozoic Adasaurus figure.

The Beasts of the Mesozoic 1:6 scale model (Adasaurus mongoliensis).

Picture Credit: Beasts of the Mesozoic/Everything Dinosaur

In stock at Everything Dinosaur in April

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur, which has been given exclusive access to the Beasts of the Mesozoic range stated;

“We are confident that by sometime in late April, all the Beasts of the Mesozoic figures that we have committed to will be arriving in our warehouse.  The creation of this dynamic, new series has been a real labour of love, it might have taken millions of years for the Maniraptorans to evolve, but model collectors and dinosaur fans will have just a few more weeks to wait.”

Both Everything Dinosaur and Creative Beast Studio will be closely monitoring the production process and we look forward to releasing further updates and news about the imminent arrival of this thrilling new chapter in the evolution of dinosaur figures.

As well as the amazing 1:6 scale “Raptors”, Everything Dinosaur will also be stocking the Environment Accessory Packs (Wetlands, Desert, Forest and Mountains) along with the Beasts of the Mesozoic “Nestlings” – amber, black and grey.

Everything Dinosaur Will Also be Stocking the Environment Accessory Packs

Mountains - environment accessory pack (Beasts of the Mesozoic).

Beasts of the Mesozoic Environment Accessory Pack (Mountains).

Picture Credit: Beasts of the Mesozoic/Everything Dinosaur

Beasts of the Mesozoic “Nestlings” – A Trio of Black Raptor Nestlings

Nestlings - black (Beasts of the Mesozoic).

Beasts of the Mesozoic Nestlings – Black.

Picture Credit: Beasts of the Mesozoic/Everything Dinosaur

Join the Everything Dinosaur Beasts of the Mesozoic Special Reserve/VIP List

Demand is likely to exceed supply of this excellent model range.  Everything Dinosaur has opened a “Special Reserve/VIP” list offering our customers priority access to this range when they come into stock.

To request to join our “Special Reserve/VIP” list, simply email: Email Everything Dinosaur to Join our VIP Reserve List

29 01, 2018

PNSO Tyrannosaurus Wilson and Triceratops Doyle

By | January 29th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

PNSO Tyrannosaurus Wilson and Triceratops Doyle in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

The 1:35 scale dinosaur replicas PNSO Tyrannosaurus Wilson and Triceratops Doyle are now in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  These stunning PVC dinosaur figures, complete with their landscaped bases arrived at our warehouse this afternoon, following their journey from the factory in China.  Both the PNSO Tyrannosaurus Wilson and the PNSO Triceratops Doyle models have articulated jaws and their detailing is exquisite.

The PNSO Dinosaur Figure Tyrannosaurus Wilson

PNSO Tyrannosaurus Wilson dinosaur replica.

The PNSO Tyrannosaurus Wilson figure, a 1:35 scale replica of T. rex.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

These two dinosaur figures are part of a range of PNSO prehistoric animal models that have been produced.  The range includes several Chinese dinosaurs including Lufengosaurus, the first Chinese dinosaur to be formally studied and named, along with Euhelopus, the stegosaurid Chungkingosaurus, Mandschurosaurus and the giant Huanghetitan.

To see the full range of PNSO prehistoric animal figures, including Triceratops Doyle and Tyrannosaurus Wilson: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs

Rare PVC Dinosaur Models

These beautiful and highly sought-after PVC figures may not be made again, as the future of production remains very much in doubt.  Everything Dinosaur has been able to utilise its business contacts to get stock sent to their UK warehouse straight from the factory.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“We have already received a lot of enquiries for these two models [PNSO Triceratops Doyle and PNSO Tyrannosaurus Wilson], it is great news for dinosaur fans and model collectors that they can now source these rare models from a UK-based supplier with such an excellent reputation for customer service.”

The 1:35 Scale PNSO Triceratops Doyle Figure

PNSO Triceratops (Doyle).

The PNSO 1:35 scale Triceratops figure (Doyle).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The PNSO Tyrannosaurus Wilson Figure

PNSO The Making of Tyrannosaurus Wilson replica.  A beautiful 1:35 scale T. rex figure from PNSO inspired by the famous Chinese palaeo-artist Zhao Chuang.  Tyrannosaurus Wilson is supplied with its own base, a science art book with text provided by Yang Yang and four science art postcards highlighting Zhao Chuang’s dinosaur illustrations.

PNSO The Making of Tyrannosaurus Wilson

PNSO the making of Tyrannosaurus Wilson.

PNSO the making of Tyrannosaurus Wilson.   A 1:35 scale dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Tyrannosaurus rex figure measures around 37 centimetres from its nose to the tip of its tail and the model is approximately 15 centimetres high.  The highly detailed and beautifully painted base is 19 centimetres in length.  This composition makes a wonderful display and would be an asset in any model collector’s collection.

PNSO Triceratops Doyle

The PNSO Triceratops PVC figure is also in 1:35 scale.  It has been designed to accompany the PNSO Tyrannosaurus Wilson replica.  The Triceratops measures approximately 26 centimetres long and the height of the model is a fraction over 10 centimetres.  As with the T. rex figure, the display base is a generous 19 cm in length.

A Close-up View of the Beautifully Detailed PNSO Triceratops Doyle

PNSO Triceratops (Doyle).

PNSO Triceratops Doyle.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the PNSO Age of Dinosaurs range including “Wilson” and “Doyle”: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs

To see the PNSO Family Zoo range of African and Asian animals including the large African Elephant, the White Rhinoceros and the Hippopotamus replicas: PNSO Family Zoo Models

28 01, 2018

Giant Megatherium Soft Toy

By | January 28th, 2018|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

A Giant Megatherium Soft Toy is in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur has added a beautiful, very cuddly Megatherium soft toy to its range of prehistoric animal soft toys.  Megatherium, otherwise known as the giant ground sloth, was a member of the Order Xenarthra, which includes extant mammals such as armadillos, tree sloths and anteaters.  These giant browsers ranged across the Americas, from Argentina in the south to as far north as the mid United States.  Weighing as much as a White Rhinoceros and standing some four metres or more in height (when on their hind legs), these animals were most probably avoided by Stone Age hunters.

The Beautiful Megatherium Soft Toy

A Megatherium soft toy.

A soft toy Megatherium.  A giant ground sloth soft toy.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Evolved in South America

These large mammals originally evolved in South America, but spread into North America when the American land bridge was formed.  Numerous fossils have been discovered including preserved hair, fossilised footprints and fossil dung (coprolite).  Fossils of giant ground sloths were studied by Charles Darwin as part of his scientific research whilst voyaging on the Beagle in the 1830’s, although the first recorded study of Megatherium fossils took place much earlier (1789).

To view the new for 2018 Megatherium soft toy and Everything Dinosaur’s full range of prehistoric animal soft toys: Ice Age and Prehistoric Animal Soft Toys

Giant Megatherium Soft Toy

Standing a fraction under thirty centimetres tall and measuring around twenty-five centimetres in length, this really is a super-sized, giant ground sloth soft toy.  His fur is very soft and our Megatherium is sponge washable so he (or she), can accompany your young palaeontologist on their fossil finding adventures.  To clean this soft toy giant ground sloth, simply wipe his fur with a damp cloth or sponge, using some mild soap and when it is dry, simply brush gently to restore the pile of the fur.  Like the majority of the soft toys supplied by Everything Dinosaur, the Megatherium is suitable for very young children, from nought years and upwards.

The Megatherium Soft Toy has a Very Appealing Face

The Megatherium soft toy.

A close-up of the head of the Megatherium soft toy.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An Endearing Megatherium Soft Toy

It is quite an endearing looking animal.  It has tiny brown ears, sticking up out of its thick, fudge coloured fur and it has a very cute face.  We think that lots of young prehistoric animal fans are going to adore this latest edition to our product range.  The word “Megatherium” means “great beast”, so we think that many children are going to have a great time with this particular prehistoric animal soft toy.  Even the claws are beautifully created, they are white felt and check out this soft toy’s beautifully soft foot pads.

Sales of this item help to support the Natural History Museum in London.  Megatherium might be extinct, but this prehistoric animal will find a whole new generation of admirers thanks to this new plush.

27 01, 2018

JurassicCollectables Reviews the CollectA Deluxe Styracosaurus

By | January 27th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

CollectA Deluxe Styracosaurus Reviewed by JurassicCollectables

The very talented people at JurassicCollectables have produced a video review of the CollectA Deluxe Styracosaurus figure.  Over the last few weeks, our team members have been working on a variety of projects, so we are only just getting up to speed with the latest video reviews from this website that now boasts over 61,000 subscribers.  It is great to see a video of this model, one of the most spectacular recent additions to the CollectA Deluxe range.

The JurassicCollectables Deluxe Styracosaurus Model Review

Video Credit: JurassicCollectables

“Spike Lizard” – Reviewed

In this video, which lasts a little over eight and half minutes, the narrator takes the viewer on a tour of the features of this substantial model.  The CollectA data card that accompanies the figure is also discussed, it is true that this iconic dinosaur was named in 1913.  Styracosaurus (S. albertensis) was named and described by the famous Canadian palaeontologist and geologist Lawrence Lambe, it is one of a number of prehistoric animals described by Lambe from fossils found in the Canadian Province of Alberta.  The video focuses on the incredibly detailed skull and stunning array of spikes.  The photography is supported by clear oratory, as the speaker comments on the various features that this model possesses.  Just like the figure itself, there is plenty of detail, note is made of the high gloss effect on the orbit, giving the eye a realistic wet look.

To view the CollectA Deluxe Styracosaurus model and the rest of the CollectA Deluxe range available from Everything Dinosaur: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Life

A Glorious Head Sculpt

Given the fact that this Late Cretaceous Ornithischian had one of the most elaborate frills of any horned dinosaur, it is only natural that the video review should dwell on the skull and jaws.   This figure is described as having a “glorious head sculpt” and in the video, the viewer is given the opportunity to view this beautifully painted head from a variety of angles.   The edentulous (toothless) beak is discussed and comments are made as to the finish on the spectacular horn and spikes.

JurassicCollectables have produced several CollectA model reviews, these have all been posted up onto their popular YouTube channel.  This channel is well-worth checking out and Everything Dinosaur recommends that model fans subscribe.

To visit the YouTube channel of JurassicCollectables: Visit the YouTube Channel of JurassicCollectables

Subtle Variation in the Skin Colouration

The video is well-lit enabling the viewer to get close views of the clever subtleties in skin tone and colour variations on the model.  The range of different sized scales on the figure are demonstrated and the commentator reports that this is a very realistic looking dinosaur.

The CollectA Deluxe Styracosaurus Dinosaur

The CollectA 1:40 scale Deluxe Styracosaurus dinosaur model.

CollectA Deluxe Styracosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This figure has proved to be very popular amongst collectors and Styracosaurus itself remains one of the most instantly recognisable of all the dinosaurs.  Our thanks to JurassicCollectables and “off-colour Alan” for showcasing this figure, even if poor Alan was a little unsteady on his feet!  Great to see the classic, green standing Tyrannosaurus rex model used as a comparison, these two figures work really well together.  Not sure how successful the Styracosaurus replica would be as a book end, as suggested by the narrator in one part of this highly entertaining and informative video.

26 01, 2018

Dinosaur Workshops at Green End Primary

By | January 26th, 2018|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

1B and 1EN Classes at Green End Primary Study Dinosaurs

It was an exciting end to the week for the children in Year 1 at Green End Primary (M19, Manchester), as the school was visited by a team member from Everything Dinosaur.  The children in 1B and 1EN have started to learn all about dinosaurs, fossils and life in the past and Everything Dinosaur was invited in to help launch this challenging term topic.  Two workshops were conducted with the enthusiastic, young dinosaur fans over the course of a morning, one for each of the classes.  During a short briefing with the teachers, our proposed lesson plan was reviewed and steps were taken to ensure that our dinosaur expert covered key points that the teaching team wanted to emphasise.  As well as acting as a provocation for the topic, the teachers were keen to reinforce learning about food chains and as Mary Anning was going to be studied in class, our dinosaur expert was able to adjust his lesson plan to accommodate this learning need.

A Beautiful Dinosaur Display in One of the Year 1 Classrooms

Year 1 dinosaur display.

Year 1 children at Green End Primary have created a wonderful dinosaur display.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Green End Primary

Making Salt Dough Fossils

As part of a wide range of challenging activities, the children had been making their own salt dough fossils.  These fossils were on display in the sand tray and our dinosaur expert was invited to examine the children’s work.

Children in Year 1 Make Salt Dough Fossils

Key Stage 1 children make salt dough fossils.

Salt dough fossils created by Year 1 children (class 1EN and 1B).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Green End Primary

Ammonites

During the workshop, the Year 1 children were given the chance to handle some real fossils and to learn how fossils form.  The ammonite fossils proved to be very popular, especially the very large ones.  These fossils are typical of the “sea shells on the sea shore”, that Mary Anning collected.  We included a tongue twister all about Mary Anning with the additional teaching resources that our dinosaur expert provided.

As part of our work in schools, we encourage the teaching team to take lots of photographs of the children during the workshops.  These photographs are very helpful when it comes to recall and recounting activities after the workshop has been concluded.  Can the children, simply by looking at a photograph, recall key points from that part of the lesson?  We recommend the children are asked without prompting initially, teachers are often surprised by the amount of information that the children have retained.

A Dinosaur Themed Display in One of the Year 1 Classrooms

A Year 1 dinosaur display.

A horned dinosaur is at the centre of this Year 1 dinosaur display.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Green End Primary

One of the teachers promised to send in a picture of some of the children’s work, we look forward to seeing the results of the research conducted by the Year 1 classes.

25 01, 2018

2018 Schleich Collectors Booklet in Stock

By | January 25th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Magazine Reviews, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

The New for 2018 Schleich Collectors Booklet

The new for 2018 (January to June) Schleich collectors booklet is now in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  Fans of the extensive Schleich model range can see the entire Schleich portfolio and peruse the booklet at their leisure.  Simply request Everything Dinosaur to include a booklet with your next order, or simply add it to your order when next purchasing from Everything Dinosaur.  The UK-based specialist supplier of prehistoric animal models is happy to send out collectors booklets, it’s all about keeping collectors up to date with how the Schleich range is evolving.

The New for 2018 January to June Schleich Collectors Booklet is Available from Everything Dinosaur

Schleich collectors booklet 2018.

The Schleich collectors booklet (Jan to June) 2018.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Schleich Dinosaurs

As well as covering the German company’s range of wildlife, fantasy and farm animals, the catalogue showcases the growing range of prehistoric animal models that Schleich is now producing.  The number of dinosaur models had been reduced but slowly and steadily Schleich has been building up its prehistoric animal portfolio.  So far, 2018 has seen a total of five new Schleich prehistoric animal models, including a very colourful Triceratops and a Psittacosaurus that has won plenty of praise from fossil hunters as well as dinosaur fans.

The Schleich Collectors Booklet Features the New Triceratops Figure

Schleich Triceratops dinosaur model (2018).

The new for 2018 Schleich Triceratops dinosaur model.

Picture Everything Dinosaur

The New for 2018 Schleich Psittacosaurus Figure Has Been Praised

Schleich Psittacosaurus (2018).

New for 2018, the Schleich Psittacosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur is happy to send out the Schleich collectors booklet, we don’t charge for this catalogue, just postage to pay if it is ordered on its own, but if it is requested within an order, then it is just sent out with the other items, no specific postage fee is charged.

To view the range of Schleich dinosaurs and other prehistoric animal items available from Everything Dinosaur: Schleich Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Figures

Lovingly Hand-painted Models

Every single figure made by Schleich is lovingly painted by hand.  The artists take great care and they ensure that each and every replica is produced to the very highest standards.  From the initial “story boarding” for a new model and the preliminary sketches, through to adding the final, finishing touches, the artists and designers at Schleich try their very best to get the prehistoric animal models as accurate as they can whilst still ensuring that the replica is fit for robust, creative play.

Collectors and dinosaur model fans can now pick up the new for 2018 Schleich booklet (January to June) from Everything Dinosaur.

24 01, 2018

Prehistoric Times Magazine Issue 124 Reviewed

By | January 24th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

A Review of Prehistoric Times Magazine (Winter 2018)

It might be cold (and dark) outside but no excuse is necessary when it comes to getting stuck into the latest edition of “Prehistoric Times”, that arrived at our offices a few days ago.  This is the first edition of 2018 and once again, this highly informative publication is jam-packed with news about dinosaur discoveries as well as updates on prehistoric animal models and all the views, interviews and features dinosaur fans have come to expect from this quarterly magazine.

The front cover artwork (provided by the amazingly talented Sergey Krasovskiy), depicts a scene from Hateg Island, a Hispaniola-sized landmass that, along with a few other scattered islands represented the only terrestrial environments in Europe during the Late Cretaceous.  The enormous azhdarchid Pterosaur Hatzegopteryx looms over the partially eaten corpse of an armoured dinosaur (the Nodosaur Struthiosaurus transylvanicus).

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times (Issue 124)

Prehistoric Times issue 124

The front cover of Prehistoric Times (Winter).

Picture Credit: Prehistoric Times/Sergey Krasovskiy

Phil Hore does a fantastic job providing a write up on the bizarre and unique palaeofauna of Hateg Island.  His article also profiles the influential Franz Nopsca, a polymath who did so much to place Romania on the geological map and to document the prehistoric animals of the region.  Everything Dinosaur team members note with interest Phil Hore’s comments about Balaur bondoc.  Once thought to be a Theropod, recent research suggests that the “stocky dragon” could be a flightless bird.  The absence of skull material limits what can be concluded about this enigmatic animal.  With team members preparing a fact sheet on B. bondoc for our launch of the “Beasts of the Mesozoic” model range, we are all too aware of the current identity crisis concerning this unusual biped, Phil Hore summarises the present situation very nicely.

Nopsca may have posited the idea of “insular dwarfism”, but there is nothing small about the amazing dinosaur model collection of William Heinrich.  The winter edition of “Prehistoric Times” features an interview with this passionate collector and it is illustrated with a number of photographs that show the size and scale of the result of a life-time of collecting.  New Zealander, John Lavas provides another article on the astonishing artwork of Zdeněk Burian, this time the focus is on the Therapsida.  Look out for a super article from Tracy Lee Ford that “broadly”outlines the hip structures of a variety of different examples of the Dinosauria and this issue (number 124), includes three tales penned from the imaginations of “Prehistoric Times” readers.

For further information about this magazine and to subscribe: Prehistoric Times Magazine

The Year in Review (2017)

The American palaeontologist Steve Brusatte, currently based at the University of Edinburgh, provides a comprehensive overview of dinosaur and fossil news from 2017.  Everything Dinosaur team members are reading Steve’s new book, all about the rise and fall of the Dinosauria, this book is due to be published in the late spring.  We don’t know how Steve manages to keep up with all his commitments, but we are very glad he did take time out to write this most informative and helpful article.

Sea scorpions, new model news, Mesozoic media, this issue is crammed full of fascinating features, articles and lots and lots of readers’ artwork.   We even spotted an illustration that seems to have been influenced by the Hatzegopteryx drawing the editor, Mike Fredericks, provided for our fact sheet on this Late Cretaceous Pterosaur.

23 01, 2018

Moroccan Authorities Investigate Mexican Dinosaur Auction

By | January 23rd, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Culture Ministry Investigates Sale of Atlasaurus Caudal Vertebrae

Moroccan authorities are investigating the sale of a dinosaur’s tail that was sold by the Mexican auction house Morton, to an anonymous buyer for around $97,000 USD ($1.8 million Mexican pesos).  The auction, which took place last Tuesday, was held in Mexico City.  It helped to raise funds for the reconstruction of schools damaged by earthquakes that occurred in Mexico during the autumn.  Any sum over the reserve price was to be donated to the earthquake relief fund.

The Dinosaur Tail (Atlasaurus imelakei) on Display Prior to the Auction

Atlasaurus Caudal Vertebrae (auction exhibit).

The Atlasaurus tail on display in the foyer of the BBVA Bancomer Tower (Mexico City).

Picture Credit: Reuters/Daniel Becerril

Atlasaurus imelakei

The four-metre long specimen, weighs around 180 kilograms and represents a partial tail of a Sauropod dinosaur from Morocco called Atlasaurus (A. imelakei).  Regarded as a member of the Macronarian group of Sauropods, Atlasaurus was distantly related to Brachiosaurus and Giraffatitan.  It lived in North Africa during the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian faunal stage) and it is known from numerous isolated bones and articulated specimens.  Atlasaurus had very long limbs, proportionately longer than most other members of the Sauropoda.   Its neck was relatively short compared to later Macronarians.  Palaeontologists have speculated that the proportionately longer legs evolved to help this herbivorous dinosaur reach food, that other plant-eating dinosaurs could not obtain.  The long legs of Atlasaurus are regarded as an example of an evolutionary adaptation to achieve niche partitioning within North African dinosaurs.

Culture Ministry Becomes Involved

The auction of the fossilised tail bones has come to the attention of the Moroccan Ministry of Culture, which has launched an investigation to find out the origin and provenance of the fossil material.  The fossil was sold as part of a specialist auction, managed by the Morton Auction House.  A percentage of the sale proceeds being reportedly donated to the Bancomer Foundation to help support reconstruction efforts in those parts of Mexico affected by the recent earthquakes.  Media reports suggest that around $21,500 USD ($400,000 Mexican pesos), was to be donated from the sale of the fossil.

The fossil very likely originated from the Azilal region of Morocco.  The specimen has been restored, around 70% of the material is actual fossil bone.  Steps are being taken to determine how the specimen ended up in the auction.  This is not the first time Moroccan authorities have intervened in a case like this.  In April 2017, a Late Cretaceous Plesiosaur fossil exhibit was removed from a Paris auction after an agreement was reached with the Binoche and Giquello auction company.

Specialist Auction Houses Do Sell Lots of Fossils

An auction organised by Morton Auction House.

Moroccan authorities investigate the sale of dinosaur fossils by the Morton Auction House.

Picture Credit: Brinkwire

Tracing the Tale of a Tail

Several sources have stated that the Atlasaurus tail bones were acquired by the Morton Auction House from the Petra Gallery, which specialises in the sale of fossils and minerals.  The acquisition by the Morton Auction House from the Petra Gallery has been confirmed by Morton’s Press and Public Relations representative Kristina Velfu.

Ernesto Durán, the director of the Petra Gallery has stated that the fossil was bought legally in the United States and both a receipt and legal import document are available to prove the purchase as legitimate.

In Mexico, the selling of fossils found within the country is illegal, as they are considered part of the country’s heritage.  However, the law in Mexico does not prohibit the sale of fossils found outside its borders.  The Atlasaurus specimen very probably originated in Morocco, the authorities are interesting in tracing how the fossil came to be in the United States, where it was excavated from and what documentation (if any), exists with regards to its movement out of the country.

We at Everything Dinosaur, will watch how this story unfolds.

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