All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
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19 06, 2018

More Evidence That Eumaniraptoran Dinosaurs Lived in Flocks

By | June 19th, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Social Dinosaurs from Shandong Province

Everything Dinosaur has picked up stories circulating from several Asian media outlets reporting on the discovery of around 300 dinosaur footprints and tracks in Shandong Province in north-eastern China.  Some of these prints are believed to represent either dromaeosaurid or troodontid (Eumaniraptoran) dinosaurs.  Intriguingly, the researchers have uncovered four sets of distinctive two-toed tracks running in parallel.  This suggests that four Eumaniraptoran dinosaurs may have moved together, providing further evidence of possible pack behaviour in “raptors”.  In total, scientists have identified around 70 two-toed tracks that indicate the presence of Eumaniraptoran dinosaurs at this locality.  Unfortunately, the absence of any body fossils, such as bones and teeth restricts the palaeontologists in terms of identifying precisely what sort of dinosaurs made these tracks.

Scientists Have Identified Four Parallel Dinosaur Trackways

Parallel dinosaur tracks suggests flocking behaviour.

The scientists identified four, two-toed parallel dinosaur trackways.

Picture Credit: Lu Yong

Didactyl Tracks – The Second Toe Lifted Off the Ground

Some members of the Eumaniraptoran clade of dinosaurs – the Dromaeosauridae and the Troodontidae for example, had an enlarged second toe claw that was held off the ground.  As these types of dinosaurs moved they would have left very distinctive, two-toed prints and tracks.  The finding of sets of prints indicating that the dinosaur track makers were all moving at the same speed and in the same direction suggests that these dinosaurs were social and moving in packs.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Whilst we cannot be certain what type of dinosaur made the parallel prints, it has been speculated, based on the proportions of the toes, that these tracks could have been made by a member of the deinonychosaurian (a dromaeosaurid).  The tracks were made approximately 125 million years ago and we know from the contemporary Jehol Biota of north-eastern China there were lots of “raptors” roaming about.”

The Raised Second Toe (Killing Claw) Results in a Two-toed Track

Typical two-toed dinosaur track.

The raised second toe results in a two-toed (didactyl) track.

Picture Credit: Matt Celeskey

Didactyl tracks have been referred to as the ichnogenus Dromaeopodus in the past.  Writing in the academic journal “Cretaceous Research”, the scientists have identified two morphotypes, at this fossil site.  The parallel tracks have been tentatively named as an example of the ichnospecies Menglongpus representing a Deinonychosaur.  The researchers have also named the tracks of an avian Theropod as the ichnospecies Tatarornipes.

One of the Two-toed Tracks Assigned to the Ichnospecies Menglongpus

Didactyl dinosaur track.

One of the two-toed tracks from the Shandong Province location – the track has been outlined in chalk.  It has been assigned to the ichnospecies Menglongpus.

Picture Credit: Lu Yong

Discovered in 2015

The fossilised footprints and tracks were discovered three years ago by Tang Yonggang, a visiting professor at Linyi University (Shandong Province).  The strata at the site, in the mountainous county of Tancheng, forms part of the Dasheng Group.  Over the last twelve months or so, a team of scientists led by Xing Lida, from the China University of Geosciences have mapped the hundreds of prints and tracks.

These types of two-toed tracks have been found all over the world, for example, back in 2008, Everything Dinosaur reported on a series of didactyl tracks that had been discovered in South Korea.

To read the article on the South Korean dinosaur tracks: Two-toed dinosaurs stalking South Korea

Lida Xing commented:

“Three hundred footprints is not a shockingly large number, but the diversity in the species found at one site is extremely rare.”

An Assemblage of Fossilised Dinosaur Tracks and Prints (Shandong Province)

Dinosaur tracks and prints fossil site (China).

Numerous tracks and prints have been exposed at the site representing at least seven dinosaur species.

Picture Credit: Lu Yong

The site preserves an Early Cretaceous dinosaur dominated biota consisting of small bipedal dinosaurs, larger Theropods and several different types of herbivore.

To read an article on the discovery of troodontid tracks in Iran: Feathered Dinosaurs from Iran

Fans of a certain movie franchise will be delighted to hear that there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that “raptors” were sociable, pack animals.

“Jurassic World/Jurassic Park” Raptors Behaving Like a Pack

"Jurassic World" raptors.

Not feathered in the movies, but certainly hunting in packs.

Picture Credit: Universal Studios

18 06, 2018

Megalosaurus bucklandii

By | June 18th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Buckland’s Great Lizard

Whilst visiting the Oxford Museum of Natural History, we took the opportunity to take lots of photographs of the dinosaur exhibits.  Naturally, our attention was drawn to that part of the museum that featured Megalosaurus (M. bucklandii).

The Iconic Right Dentary (Lower Jaw) of Megalosaurus bucklandii

The lower jaw of Megalosaurus.

The partial dentary with teeth associated with Megalosaurus bucklandii.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The photograph (above), shows the left side of the right dentary.  Megalosaurus (M. bucklandii) was the first member of the Dinosauria to be officially, scientifically described.  The name was first coined by the English surgeon James Parkinson in 1822 and Buckland published his description in 1824.  The jaw fossil was included in the original description by William Buckland, it has the classification number OUMNH J13505.  The right dentary is the designated lectotype, Buckland did not establish any holotype for M. bucklandii, instead he used several fossils, including the dentary to constitute the type fossil material for this species.  These fossils consisted of rib bones, bones from the hind limbs, vertebrae and elements from the pelvic girdle, together these fossils (the syntypes), describe the taxon.

7 06, 2018

Albertosaurus Helps Protect Against Fraud and Identity Theft

By | June 7th, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

Alberta Reveals New Driver’s Licence with Dinosaur Design

In a bid to help protect residents of the Canadian province of Alberta from counterfeiting and identify theft, driving licences have been redesigned and they will feature a skeleton of an Albertosaurus.  This iconic, albeit somewhat extinct resident of southern Canada is honoured and the bones in the tail of the dinosaur image helps to improve the card’s security.

The New Driver’s Licence for the Canadian Province of Alberta

Albertosaurus features on driving licence.

The new design for a driving licence in Alberta features Albertosaurus.

Picture Credit: Alberta Government

The provincial government has redesigned driver’s licences and identity cards with updated and improved security features such as clear windows, laser engraving and three-dimensional embossing.  These features are designed to deter fraudsters and counterfeiters but the additional of an Albertosaurus skeleton must make this one of the coolest things that a wallet or purse could contain.

Stephanie McLean, (Minister of Service for Alberta) commented:

“Our government takes identity fraud very seriously.  We are the first jurisdiction in North America to integrate this combination of design and security to protect Albertans from ID theft and prevent fraud.  We are using the latest technology available to safeguard people’s personal information and prevent scams.”

Saving $1,000,000 Canadian Dollars

The new cards are currently in production and although the cards have a suite of security measures incorporated within them, advances in technology mean that they will cost less than the old licences to make.  The Alberta treasury expects to save over $1,000,000 Canadian dollars as a result of the new design.

The driver’s licence design depicts famous landmarks such as Castle Mountain and the Bow River in Banff National Park, while the new identity cards will feature a Wild Rose, Alberta’s provincial flower.  Both cards also include an image of an Albertosaurus, a dinosaur whose name honours Alberta.  Fossils of a very large predatory dinosaur had been uncovered in southern Canada prior to the turn of the Century and this dinosaur was finally named and scientifically described in 1905, the same year that the province of Alberta was established by an Act of Parliament.  Coincidentally, 1905 was also the year that Tyrannosaurus rex,  a famous relative of Albertosaurus was named.

A Museum Exhibit Albertosaurus Skeleton Fossil

Albertosaurus fossil exhibit.

The “Death Pose” of a Dinosaur.  A fossil exhibit featuring Albertosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The last redesign occurred nine years ago and the Alberta government has incorporated advice from law enforcement agencies to ensure the cards have the most up-to-date safeguards against fraudsters and identify thieves.  The Albertosaurus image plays an important role in card security.  The dinosaur’s image is embossed and has a raised feel to it.  This creates a three-dimensional effect, the tail continues on the back of the card and appears to travel through the Alberta-shaped window, which also holds an image of the legitimate card holder.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It is wonderful to see the authorities celebrating the natural beauty of the province of Alberta in such an interesting way.  Having an iconic dinosaur on the driver’s licence will remind holders of the rich fossil heritage of this part of Canada.”

A Life Reconstruction of Albertosaurus (A. sarcophagus)

Albertosaurus illustrated.

An illustration of Albertosaurus (A. sarcophagus).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

1 06, 2018

Pterosaur Models Go on Display

By | June 1st, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos|1 Comment

Pterosaurs at the Field Museum

Visitors to the famous Field Museum in Chicago (USA), might get into a bit of flap today, as they will be coming face-to-face with life-size replicas of flying reptiles.  The pterosaurs are part of a $16.5 million USD re-fit for the Museum.  They will be installed into the enormous Stanley Field Hall, sharing the space with a giant Titanosaur exhibit.

Unloading the Head and Neck of Quetzalcoatlus

Quetzalcoatulus head being unloaded.

The head of a life-size Quetzalcoatlus model being unloaded at the Field Museum (Chicago).

Picture Credit: (c) Field Museum, photo by John Weinstein

A Flock of Pterosaurs

The flock of pterosaurs will give visitors a lifelike look at the animals that shared the Mesozoic with the dinosaurs.  They’ll also serve as a way-finding tool from Stanley Field Hall up to the rest of the dinosaurs in the permanent exhibition – “The Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet”.  The life-size pterosaurs and the thirty-seven-metre-long Titanosaur will be displayed amongst a series of hanging gardens, as staff at the Field Museum prepare to commemorate the institution’s 125th anniversary.

Commenting on the new exhibits, Field Museum president Richard Lariviere stated:

“Our goal as an institution is to offer visitors the best possible dinosaur experiences and we want that to start right when visitors first enter Stanley Field Hall.  The new hanging gardens and the flock of pterosaurs will take our visitors back to the age of the dinosaurs and will complement the new Titanosaur.”

The Body of a Giant Quetzalcoatlus is Unloaded

Unloading Quetzalcoatlus.

Unloading a giant pterosaur.

Picture Credit: (c) Field Museum, photo by John Weinstein

Rhamphorhynchus, Pteranodon and Quetzalcoatlus

The pterosaur replicas include nine hawk-sized, long-tailed replicas of the Jurassic flying reptile Rhamphorhynchus, two Pteranodon figures and two huge replicas of Quetzalcoatlus.  Pteranodon and Quetzalcoatlus are associated with Upper Cretaceous strata.  Flying reptiles from the Pteranodon genus were thought to have been the largest flying vertebrates that ever existed, that was until 1975, when the much larger azhdarchid Quetzalcoatlus was scientifically described.

Manhandling a Pterosaur Replica (P. sternbergi)

Unloading a Pteranodon.

A life-size Pteranodon replica is unloaded.

 

Picture Credit: (c) Field Museum, photo by John Weinstein

Senior Exhibitions Project Manager Hilary Hansen exclaimed:

“The pterosaurs are nothing short of amazing.  Since Stanley Field Hall is such a massive room, we had the opportunity to add a Titanosaur and an entire flock of pterosaurs.  It’ll really transform the space.”

The models were created by Blue Rhino, under the supervision of the scientists at the Field Museum, the brief was to create the most up-to-date and scientifically accurate figures possible.

Pteranodon Taken up the Stairs

Taking Pteranodon into the museum.

Carrying Pteranodon up the steps.

Picture Credit: (c) Field Museum, photo by John Weinstein

Wingspans the Length of a Bus

The giant Quetzalcoatlus replicas really help to convey the size and scale of these magnificent reptiles.  The wingspan of the models is a little under twelve metres, that’s about as long as a school bus!  The skulls of these types of pterosaur are immense.  Azhdarchid pterosaurs like Quetzalcoatlus had the largest skull of any terrestrial vertebrate.

The Huge Head of a Quetzalcoatlus Replica

Carrying the head of a replica Quetzalcoatlus.

Carrying the head of Quetzalcoatlus, it certainly is a team effort.

Picture Credit: (c) Field Museum, photo by John Weinstein

 

 

29 03, 2018

Talented South African Model Makers

By | March 29th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Prehistoric Dioramas Showcased in the South African Sun

Brothers Luke and Raef have their very own customised, unique prehistoric landscapes for their dinosaur models to explore thanks to a hard-working and dedicated father.  A few weeks ago, Everything Dinosaur was sent in some pictures of a second dinosaur diorama that had been built by dad Paul at their home in South Africa.  The two prehistoric landscapes, complete with replica volcano, a cave inhabited by early hominins and a marine seascape, look fantastic side by side in the family’s garden.  It helps to live in a hot country when it comes to showcasing your model making skills outdoors.

The Prehistoric Landscapes in the Garden

Two stunning dinosaur dioramas.

The two dinosaur dioramas side by side (latest landscape is on the left).

Picture Credit: P. M.

Many Hours of Hard Work

Fans of building dioramas and model scenes will know just how many hours of hard work have gone into building these prehistoric landscapes.  The second project was started over the Christmas holidays and the material chosen to provide the contours and that steep cliff leading to the water feature was fibreglass, which can be tricky to work with, but the end results speak for themselves.

The Second Prehistoric Landscape was Started in Late December

Dinosaur diorama, work in progress.

Work in progress on the dinosaur diorama.

Picture Credit: P. M.

Over the years, we have featured several examples of prehistoric landscapes and dioramas, we are always impressed and amazed by the ingenuity shown by the talented model makers.  Young Raef’s landscape includes a cleverly constructed marine environment, just the sort of place needed for your sea monsters and other figures to hang out.

A CollectA Deluxe Kronosaurus Has Grabbed an Unfortunate CollectA Dolichorhynchops

Kronosaurus attacks Dolichorhynchops.

Kronosaurus makes a meal of Dolichorhynchops.

Picture Credit: P.M.

A Team Effort

The whole family was involved in this enterprise, all helping to create the landscape, paint the scenery, sort out the planting of the prehistoric vegetation, seaweeds and corals (see above) and to create some of the amazing special effects such as wires for the pterosaur models to be suspended from.

Painting the Prehistoric Landscape – Dealing with the Details

Prehistoric landscape painting.

Painting the prehistoric landscape.

Picture Credit: P.M.

Commenting on the success of the projects, dad Paul stated:

“We completed the second landscape over Christmas, I never want to work with fibreglass again, but all is well that ends well.  The kids were heavily involved in modelling and painting the landscape.  They are very pleased with it and therefore so am I!”

Customers of Everything Dinosaur for several years, the family have slowly and surely built up a collection of prehistoric animals, including some rare figures, to populate their landscapes.

A Maiasaura and Hatchlings Very Much at Home in the Dinosaur Diorama

Maiasaura mother and nest.

A Maiasaura mother and nest in the diorama landscape.

Picture Credit: P. M.

The photograph (above) highlights the attention to detail in the dinosaur dioramas, what a rich and varied planting scheme.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“What an impressive pair of dioramas!  It has taken some skill and technical ability to construct such beautiful prehistoric landscapes.  Each diorama has some amazing features like smoking volcanoes, flowing lava and a Stone Age cave complete with prehistoric art.”

Can You Spot the Cave Paintings?

The inhabitants of the prehistoric cave.

Fantastic detail such as these cave paintings feature in the prehistoric dioramas.

Picture Credit: P.M.

Entering Model Making Competitions

In their email correspondence with Everything Dinosaur, the family have asked us about whether they could enter any model shows or diorama contests, we provided some advice suggesting that it was worthwhile seeing if there was a local model making club in South Africa where they could display their completed work.  Our congratulations to Paul, Raef, Luke and Amanda, we really appreciate you taking the time and trouble to share these images with us.

8 03, 2018

Straight-Tusked Elephant Model

By | March 8th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Eofauna Scientific Research – Straight-tusked Elephant

Eofauna Scientific Research have announced that the next figure to be added to their replica range will be a 1:35 scale replica of a Straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus).  The model is currently in production and it will be available late May, perhaps early June.

The Eofauna Scientific Research Straight-tusked Elephant

Straight-tusked elephant model.

Eofauna Scientific Research Straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus).

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research

Palaeoloxodon antiquus – A Prehistoric Giant

These large prehistoric elephants ranged across much of southern Europe and the Middle East during the Pleistocene Epoch.  Their fossils have even been found in southern England and several fossil sites record the interaction of hominins with this large proboscidean.  For example, in 2013, Everything Dinosaur published an article summarising research from Southampton University that suggested that the remains of a Straight-tusked elephant found in Kent, could have been hunted and killed by Homo heidelbergensis.  The flints found at the site, along with cut marks preserved on the bones indicated that the carcass was butchered.  Perhaps H. heidelbergensis was capable of bringing down such a large mammal, evidence from elsewhere in Europe would suggest so.  In late 2017, a team of scientists published a paper describing the fossilised remains of a large bull Palaeoloxodon found in Greece that also exhibited evidence of having been butchered by ancient humans (probably H. heidelbergensis).

The Straight-tusked Elephant – It Might Have Been Hunted by Ancient Humans

Straight-tusked elephant model.

Eofauna Scientific Research Straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus).

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research

Based on Actual Fossil Specimens

Just like the Eofauna Steppe Mammoth replica that proceeded it, the  Palaeoloxodon antiquus figure from Eofauna Scientific Research is based on actual fossil specimens.  Fossils representing three individual animals formed the basis for the sculpt.  The elephant remains that helped to inspire this amazingly detailed model come from the state of Sachsen-Anhalt in central Germany.  Open cast mining in the area has led to the excavation of around seventy individual Palaeoloxodon antiquus specimens.  These remains were preserved in ancient lake deposits and they have enabled scientists to learn a great deal about these ancient herbivores.  Scientists have been able to determine the physical appearance of Palaeoloxodon, how big it was, how much it weighed and to study growth rates.  Fully grown bulls weighed twice as much as the living bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) and just like extant elephants today, the males were much larger than the females.

 Models Based on Actual Fossil Remains

Eofauna models (Steppe Mammoth and Straight-tusked elephant).

The Eofauna Straight-tusked elephant and the Eofauna Steppe mammoth models.

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research

Everything Dinosaur – A Sneak Peak

Everything Dinosaur team members got the chance to examine this beautiful model a few weeks ago, when we met up with Eofauna Scientific Research staff.  We even took some exclusive pics of the figure so that when the time came, we could provide more photographs of this new addition to the Eofauna range for our customers.

Available Around Late May/Early June from Everything Dinosaur

Eofauna Scientific Research Straight-tusked elephant.

Straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) model.  It comes complete with a data card.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Reserve List for the Eofauna Scientific Research Straight-tusked Elephant Has Been Opened

The Eofauna Scientific Research Straight-tusked elephant is expected to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in a few weeks (in stock late May or early June).  We shall keep our customers and blog readers updated on production.

In the meantime, we have opened a priority reserve list for the Eofauna Scientific Research Straight-tusked elephant…

To request to be added to our priority reserve list: Email Everything Dinosaur

14 02, 2018

The Very First Edition of “Prehistoric Times”

By | February 14th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page, Movie Reviews and Movie News, Photos, Prehistoric Times|0 Comments

“Prehistoric Times” First Edition

Two years ago, Everything Dinosaur was informed that Aardman Animations, the company behind such iconic characters as Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and films such as “Arthur Christmas”, had approached our chum Mike Fredericks, the editor of the quarterly magazine “Prehistoric Times” to request permission to utilise his magazine in a forthcoming movie.  The film entitled “Early Man” was premiered in the UK last month and is due to be released in the United States later this week.

A Still from the Animated Film “Early Man” Showing the Prehistoric Times

The first edition of "Prehistoric Times".

An early subscriber to “Prehistoric Times”.

Picture Credit: © 2018 Studiocanal S.A.S. and The British Film Institute

“Prehistoric Times”

Everything Dinosaur contacted Aardman Animations and they very kindly agreed to release a still from the movie, showing one of the lead characters, Lord Nooth, the greedy leader of the Bronze Age folk, voiced by British actor Tom Hiddleston, perusing an edition of “The Prehistoric Times”.

The modern version of “Prehistoric Times” (an unintended oxymoron), is a quarterly publication which has been in circulation for more than a decade, but clearly the magazine was popular much earlier.  From this evidence, it seems that this magazine has been in vogue since the New Stone Age.

For further information about “Prehistoric Times” – the quarterly, not the scroll version: Prehistoric Times Magazine

You can even read it in the bath should you wish to do so, although the prehistoric Wild Boar is optional.

13 02, 2018

Spot the Woolly Mammoth Model

By | February 13th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

Which Woolly Mammoth Model is This?

The successful British television detective drama “Endeavour” has begun its fifth season and one of the episodes of this prequel to the long-running series “Morse”, featured a story involving a film company called “Mammoth Pictures Studios”, which had made a horror movie about an Egyptian Pharaoh and a curse.  The emblem of the Studio, shown in the first few moments of the programme, which was entitled “Cartouche”, caught our eye, as it featured a model of a Woolly Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius).

The Fictional Woolly Mammoth Emblem from the Television Programme

A Woolly Mammoth model on the television.

The emblem of the fictional film company Mammoth Pictures Studios.

Picture Credit: Mammoth Screen and Masterpiece

Which Woolly Mammoth replica was this?

Identifying the Woolly Mammoth Model

The selection of the fictional film company’s name was no accident, “Endeavour” is produced by two organisations “Mammoth Screen” and “Masterpiece”, the choice of an iconic Pleistocene animal as the Studio’s logo was a clever pun on the name of one of the co-production companies.  As the model revolved around on its simulated block of ice, we wondered how many model and figure collectors would have recognised the replica.  It was tricky, the Woolly Mammoth was only on screen for a few seconds and it was shot from angle that gave the impression that the model was far larger than it actually was.   When the camera is held low in relation to an object in shot and the viewer is given the impression of looking up at the object, then the object in question can look far more imposing and substantial than it actually is.

Trying to Identify the Woolly Mammoth Figure

Woolly Mammoth model on television.

The Woolly Mammoth figure from the television series.

Picture Credit: Mammoth Screen and Masterpiece

The clever use of photography made the identification task quite difficult.  The model looks to have received a make-over in terms of its paint job, which also complicated recognition, after all, this is a detective television programme so working out the model was not going to be easy.  However, as the Mammoth rotated on its plinth it was suggested that this was a Carnegie Collectibles 1:30 scale Woolly Mammoth replica, one that had been retired and out of production.

Is This the Woolly Mammoth from “Endeavour”?

Carnegie Woolly Mammoth model.

A model of a Woolly Mammoth.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This Woolly Mammoth model was manufactured by Safari Ltd but was retired, along with the entire Carnegie Collectibles range in 2015.  It is quite a rare figure, one that is difficult to obtain.  Sadly, we at Everything Dinosaur sold out of this particular figure, some months ago.

Ice Age Icon – Woolly Mammoth

Woolly Mammoth figure seen on televison.

The Woolly Mammoth model seen on the television programme.

Picture Credit: Mammoth Screen and Masterpiece

Solving a Mystery

At the very beginning of a detective drama, we had our own little mystery to solve.  Have we detected correctly?  Perhaps we need the observational skills and quick mind of the eponymous police office upon whom this television series is based.

2 02, 2018

A Customised Schleich Psittacosaurus

By | February 2nd, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Schleich Psittacosaurus Gets a Makeover

At Everything Dinosaur, we are always keen to receive pictures from our customers of their model collections.  Many of the models and figures are displayed in dioramas and prehistoric scenes and it always amazes us when we see these fantastic creations.  We have concluded that there are a lot of very talented people who collect prehistoric animals.  Take for example, Elizabeth, an enthusiastic collector who commissioned Martin Garratt of UMF Models to customise her recently purchased Schleich Psittacosaurus figure.

The New for 2018 Schleich Psittacosaurus Dinosaur Model

Schleich Psittacosaurus (2018).

New for 2018, the Schleich Psittacosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The new for 2018 Schleich Psittacosaurus has a lot going for it.  The pose is quite dynamic and the model has plenty of carefully crafted skin texture.  Schleich deserve considerable credit for creating a figure that reflects the latest scientific thinking when it comes to this early member of the Cerapoda.  Martin Garratt was able to repaint this little dinosaur and he has produced a beautiful diorama influenced by the recently published research into Psittacosaurus that indicated that this forest dweller probably had countershading to help to keep it safe.

The Customised Schleich Psittacosaurus Model

Customised Schleich Psittacosaurus.

A stunning Schleich Psittacosaurus dinosaur diorama.

Picture Credit: Marilyn (UMF Models) by permission of dinosaur model collector Elizabeth

Psittacosaurus and Countershading

Everything Dinosaur team members have been lucky enough to have viewed up close the remarkable fossil specimen that formed the basis of the research into the colouration of Psittacosaurus.  The study was published in 2016 in the academic journal “Current Biology”.  The authors of the paper, including researchers from the University of Bristol, concluded that this plant-eating dinosaur was light underneath but darker on its back.  This pattern is known as countershading and is a seen in a number of animals today.  To help illustrate the team’s conclusions, talented palaeoartist and model maker Bob Nicholls was asked to create a life-sized model of the creature so that the effectiveness of the camouflage could be tested.

Psittacosaurus Demonstrates Countershading

Psittacosaurus model in the Bristol Botanic Garden.

Psittacosaurus photographed in the Bristol Botanic Garden.

Picture Credit: Jakob Vinther

To read our article on the research: Calculating the Colour of Psittacosaurus

Dioramas and Dinosaur Research Coming Together

It is great to be able to view a customised dinosaur model that has been influenced by actual scientific research.  Ironically, thanks to copious fossil specimens from Asia, the Psittacosaurus genus is perhaps, the most studied of all the dinosaur genera.  Martin’s composition certainly mirrors the very latest thinking with regards to this two-metre-long dinosaur.

The Psittacosaurus Model with Carefully Selected Foliage to Mimic an Early Cretaceous Forest Environment

Schleich Psittacosaurus diorama by Martin Garratt.

The Schleich Psittacosaurus diorama.

Picture Credit: Marilyn (UMF Models) by permission of dinosaur model collector Elizabeth

The Skilfully Painted Replica Reflects Scientific Research into Countershading in the Dinosauria

Schleich Psittacosaurus diorama.

The Schleich Psittacosaurus dinosaur diorama.

Picture Credit: Marilyn (UMF Models) by permission of dinosaur model collector Elizabeth

Our thanks to Elizabeth for giving us permission to post up Martin Garratt’s work and for allowing us to publish Marilyn’s photographs.  Elizabeth tells us that she has more pictures of this excellent and beautifully composed diorama and we look forward to being able to put these on-line too in the very near future.

The Countershading Concept Demonstrated in a Dinosaur Diorama

Schleich Psittacosaurus dinosaur diorama.

A view of the Schleich Psittacosaurus dinosaur diorama.

Picture Credit: Marilyn (UMF Models) by permission of dinosaur model collector Elizabeth

To view the new for 2018 Schleich models as well as the rest of the Schleich range available from Everything Dinosaur: Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models

12 03, 2015

We have Frog Spawn in our Office Pond

By | March 12th, 2015|Main Page, Photos, Press Releases|0 Comments

Frog Spawn Spotted in the Office Pond

This morning we have discovered the first frog spawn in the office pond for 2015.  Team members had seen a couple of frogs over the last few days, it was thought that these were males.  However, around dawn this morning the first frog spawn was produced.  The office pond is quite choked with weed and we had considered cleaning it out, but fearful of disturbing any frogs and other wildlife we decided the best course of action was to leave well alone.

Frog Spawn in the Office Pond (March 12th 2015)

Frog spawn spotted in the office pond.

Frog spawn spotted in the office pond.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Our thanks to everyone who advised us leaving comments on the Everything Dinosaur Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.  Apparently, the weeds have not put the frogs off and the first spawn has been produced.  In the UK, all native species of amphibian (and reptile for that matter), are protected.  The frogs in our pond are Common Frogs (Rana temporaria), the name is a bit of a misnomer as these amphibians have become increasingly rare over the last few decades.  We shall take care not to disturb any other frogs that might be ready to breed but observe the number of spawnings that occur.

Interestingly, this is very early for us to have frog spawn, looking back at our records we can see that the first frog spawn does not normally occur into the third week of March, usually between the 18th and the 20th.  The mild day temperatures, coupled with a period of rain may have stimulated the frogs to start breeding a little earlier than usual.  We shall observe and see what happens next.

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