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

4 11, 2014

Mary Anning at the Natural History Museum

By | November 4th, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Photos, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Being Associated with the Wrong Marine Reptile

As team members from Everything Dinosaur travel around they sometimes get the chance to visit a natural history museum whilst out on their adventures.  There are many splendid museums in this country and elsewhere in the world and it is great fun looking at the various fossils held within the collections.  Occasionally, we come across an exhibit that has inaccurate or out of date information, mistakes do occur and we are always appreciative of the time and trouble curators take over their particular charges.

One such anomaly can be seen in the Fossil marine reptiles gallery in the Natural History Museum London.  There are some spectacular marine reptile fossils on display, Ichthyosaurs, Pliosaurs and their close cousins the Plesiosaurs.  The fossil specimens (most of them are casts) are truly astonishing and this museum (quite rightly in our opinion), does much to acknowledge the contribution of Mary Anning to the nascent science of palaeontology and her work excavating and describing fossils of ancient Jurassic marine vertebrates preserved in the cliffs on the Dorset coast around Lyme Regis.

Information about Mary Anning and her work can be found on various information boards on display.  However, one thing that has always puzzled us is that there is a prominent information board about Mary located on the Rhomaleosaurus cramptoni cast, Mary Anning had nothing to do with this specimen, its discovery or research into it.  In fact, she died about a year before this specimen was found.

Wonderful Marine Reptile Exhibits – but Nothing to Do with Mary Anning

Mary Anning died before this fossil was discovered.

Mary Anning died before this fossil was discovered.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Rebor

The specimen in the photograph is not a fossil but a cast, a copy of the fossil which was made very probably in the late 19th Century by the American Henry Augustus Ward, who set up one of the world’s first fossil dealers and provider of museum replicas and casts.  The animal that the cast represents is called Rhomaleosaurus cramptoni.  It is pronounced Row-ma-lee-oh-sore-us.  It is mounted on the wall of the fossil marine reptiles gallery in the Natural History Museum, but we are aware of similar casts of the same fossil specimen in Monash University (Victoria, Australia), Cornell University, (New York USA), University of Illinois,  and the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (Bath, Somerset).

The actual fossil is part of the National Museum of Ireland (Natural History), Dublin, Ireland, we don’t think it is on current display.  The code for the specimen is NMING F8785 (all significant fossils are given a unique identifier, this helps when searching for information on a particular specimen).

A Model of the Fearsome Rhomaleosaurus cramptoni

A super model of a marine reptile.

A super model of a marine reptile.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Rhomaleosaurus means “strong lizard” an appropriate name for this fearsome predator that grew to more than six metres in length and might have weighed as much as 1,000 kilogrammes.

14 09, 2013

Picturing a Dragonfly

By | September 14th, 2013|Photos|0 Comments

Trying to Photograph a Dragonfly – Respecting Pterosaurs

Occasionally, a dragonfly is seen around Everything Dinosaur’s office pond.  These aerial masters have been buzzing around ponds, lakes and rivers on planet Earth since the Carboniferous, it always makes our day when we get to see one.  Taking a photograph of the insect is more than a little tricky.  Dragonflies are highly manoeuvrable and extremely fast, however, when the creature settles sometimes a quick picture can be taken.

Taking a Photograph of a Dragonfly

Be quick, otherwise it will fly off.

Be quick, otherwise it will fly off.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

As we struggled to take its picture, we thought about the flight capabilities of Pterosaurs.  These flying reptiles were once thought to be poor fliers, barely more than gliders.  However, scientists now think that many Pterosaurs, such as members of the Rhamphorhynchidae  and the Anurognathidae were very capable aerial predators.  Next time you see a dragonfly whizz by, consider this point, some Pterosaurs were highly adept aerial predators which may have hunted and caught such insects on the wing.

14 03, 2013

Building Your Own Dinosaur Land

By | March 14th, 2013|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Photos|0 Comments

Clever Customers Show off their Jurassic Park Building Skills

We are always pleased to hear from our customers and it never ceases to amaze us how creative and clever they are.  Take Mark from Essex (England), for example, he wanted to build a play set for his dinosaur mad son.  Purchasing a play set can be quite expensive and we have tested quite a few with our young dinosaur fans, but sometimes it can be better to create one yourself.  It is certainly cheaper and you don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to create your very own “Jurassic Park”.

The Dinosaur Land Made by Mark

Getting creative and making dinosaur play sets.

Getting creative and making dinosaur play sets.

Mark set about making a dinosaur landscape complete with erupting volcano and a waterfall.  There are lots of habitats for his son’s dinosaurs and prehistoric animal figures to explore.

Water a place where dinosaurs congrugated.

Water a place where dinosaurs congrugated.

Creating a pond or other water source as part of the dinosaur play set makes a lot of sense.  A number of dinosaur species would have congregated around water sources such as lakes and ponds, especially during the dry season.  Herbivores would have been attracted to the area as there would probably have been plenty of lush vegetation for them to eat.  Predatory dinosaurs would have staked out the water source in the hope of ambushing an unwary plant-eater.  The ground that was churned up by all the dinosaurs as they walked over the area even has a special name – dinoturbation!

The creatures swimming in the water come from the Prehistoric Sealife Toob, (Safari Ltd), a set of ten prehistoric animal models which was supplied by Everything Dinosaur. This detailed model set includes a turtle-like Placodont called Henodus, plus Elasmosaurs and even a model of a prehistoric whale.

As Mark says himself:

“The Park didn’t cost me anything – only wallpaper paste for the papier mache, the wood is natural, the rocks real and the trees are eucalyptus stems.”

It was very inventive of Mark to use stones and natural wood to make his prehistoric scene that more authentic.  It was interesting to note that Mark chose to use eucalyptus stems in his dinosaur land.  Intriguingly, the eucalyptus family are a very ancient group.  Fossils discovered recently in South America indicate that this tree, now strongly associated with Australia, may actually have first evolved in Argentina.  Whether there were ancient true eucalypts around during the Age of Reptiles is uncertain but the ancestors of the eucalypts probably would have been part of the Late Cretaceous landscape.

To read more about ancient eucalyptus trees: Fossils Show the Origins of Eucalyptus Trees

In addition, Mark decided to add an erupting volcano to his dinosaur landscape.  The papier mache volcano has been painted with lots of red to indicate lava flows – very creative.

Volcanic Eruption in the Land of the Dinosaurs

An active volcano in the dinosaur landscape

An active volcano in the dinosaur landscape.

Making such a play set is relatively easy, it just takes a little planning and time.  It can be great fun to involve your young palaeontologist in the project, especially when it comes to painting or moulding the rocks and other features.  Best of all you dinosaur land is unique, there is not one in the world quite like it – your own portrayal of life in prehistoric times.

For help and advice on how to make dinosaur play sets, check out this article written by Everything Dinosaur team members, a step by step guide to building a dinosaur themed landscape.

How to build your own “Jurassic Park” – a cheat’s guide: Create your own Table Top Jurassic Park

With the Easter holidays coming up, this might be just the thing to keep your young dinosaur fans occupied.

29 08, 2012

Dinosaurs Outdoors

By | August 29th, 2012|Dinosaur Fans, Photos|0 Comments

Schleich Saurus Tyrannosaurus rex  Outside

We are always pleased to hear from fellow dinosaur and prehistoric animal enthusiasts.  It is a pleasure reading all the letters and emails that we receive, we do genuinely read every single one and we love the pictures and drawings that are sent in.  The museum quality prehistoric animal models that we sell get used for a variety of purposes.  Of course they are used for creative play and the replicas are highly sought after by collectors.  The hand-painted replicas have been featured in a number of professional photographic shoots, we even have supplied the BBC with various models which they have used as “props” in a number of their programmes.

Alan, a dinosaur fan, model collector and very knowledgeable photographer sent us some images of various prehistoric animal replicas.  Team members at Everything Dinosaur have been most impressed and below is one of Alan’s photographs featuring the Schleich Saurus T. rex.

Tyrannosaurus rex on the Prowl

Using Dinosaur Models as photographic models

Picture Credit: Alan Whitehouse

Alan’s skilfull use of the camera shows in this particular composition.  The interesting light effect as if this Theropod hunter is about to start its hunt at dusk combined with the subtle blurring of the background whilst the 1:40 scale model is shown in sharp focus.  It is always a pleasure to see how the models and replicas we provide are used in such creative ways.  Our congratulations to Alan and keep up the good work.

11 10, 2011

Tyrannosaurus rex Attacks

By | October 11th, 2011|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Photos|0 Comments

The Last Thing an Ornithomimid Ever Saw

The supreme Late Cretaceous ambush predator strikes again, the sudden lunge into the flock of foraging Ornithomimids causes panic amongst these fleet footed dinosaurs and one poor unfortunate victim is engulfed in the powerful jaws of the on rushing T. rex

Tonight we have been playing around in Photoshop CS5 getting some practice in for a refresher course tomorrow.  Had a go at using filters and layers to put on some effects such as radial blur into some photographs of dinosaur models.

Tyrannosaurus rex Attack!

The Last Thing an Ornithomimid Ever Saw

Picture Credit: Alan Whitehouse/Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur’s grateful thanks to Alan Whitehouse for his excellent model photographs.  Using a combination of layers and radial effects in CS5 we have manipulated the photo to animate the replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex (Collecta dinosaur model) to give the impression of the on rush of those huge and powerful jaws.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s dinosaur model range: Dinosaur Models

As relative novices at using Photoshop CS5 we are quite proud of this effort.

26 08, 2010

Triceratops Art

By | August 26th, 2010|Dinosaur Fans, Photos|0 Comments

Talented Artists Show Off Their Dinosaur Drawing Skills

Team members at Everything Dinosaur came across this super Triceratops dinosaur artwork, created by Australian artist Kate Rohde.  As a supplier of dinosaur books, including dinosaur colouring books, we do get sent lots of dinosaur drawings but nothing quite as colourful as this particular picture.

An Artistic Triceratops

Kate's wonderful Triceratops.

Kate’s wonderful Triceratops.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Clever Melbourne based artist Kate Rohde, a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, has been inspired by feathered dinosaurs to create some unique pieces of artwork in support of an Australian fashion event.  We loved this very colourful, predominately pink Triceratops.  It certainly is one of the most visually stunning interpretations of “Three-horned Face” that we have come across.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of dinosaur books to help inspire young artists, including dinosaur colouring books: Dinosaur Colouring Books and the Dinosaur Book Collection

15 01, 2009

Dinosaur Detectives Book (Front Cover)

By | January 15th, 2009|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Photos|1 Comment

Dinosaur Detectives Book

Dinosaur Detectives Book

Dinosaur Detectives

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Lots of great dinosaur books around at the moment aimed at young dinosaur fans.   There is certainly a wide range of fiction and factual books about prehistoric animals to explore.  The ones featured on the Everything Dinosaur website have all been approved by our teachers and dinosaur experts.  Dinosaur books are a great way to encourage young children with their reading and can help them learn more about dinosaurs and other extinct animals from the past.  The range of prehistoric animal themed books from Everything Dinosaur includes recommended reference books and specially selected dinosaur books for kids with super illustrations to help young palaeontologists study dinosaurs.

To view the range of dinosaur books available: Dinosaur Books for Children

6 09, 2008

Fforest Fawr Geopark

By | September 6th, 2008|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Geology, Photos|0 Comments

The First Geopark to be Established in Wales

In 2005, an area of the Brecon Beacons in south Wales became the first designated geopark in the whole of Wales.  A geopark is an area of land regarded as having significant geological importance within Europe.

The Forest Fawr Geopark (the name translates as great forest), is part of the Brecon Beacons National Park.   It comprises the western half of the National Park, stretching from Llandovery in the north to the edge of Merthyr Tydfil in the south, from Llandeilo in the west to Brecon in the east.  The landscape is breathtaking and extremely beautiful, it has been an area much cherished and admired by outdoor enthusiasts.  It consists of a series of upland areas including mountain and moorland and extends for approximately 300 square miles (760 square kilometres), roughly 45% of the total area of the Brecon Beacon National Park.

The oldest rocks found within the geopark date from the Ordovician geological period and can be found at the very extreme west of the geopark.  Rock strata dating from the later Silurian and Devonian are also present with considerable amounts of Carboniferous limestone exposures as well as some coal measures to the south of the geopark.  The country of Wales has played an extremely important role in the naming of geological time periods.  The three earliest periods that make up the Palaeozoic Era, the Cambrian, the Ordovician and the Silurian have names that have Welsh origins.  The Cambrian was named by Adam Sedgwick after Cambria (the Latin name for Wales), The Ordovician was named after the Ordovices tribe of North Wales (named by Charles Lapworth).  The Silurian was named by Roderick Murchison after the Silures tribe of Ancient Britons who inhabited south Wales during Roman times.

The Beautiful Countryside of Wales

Everything Dinosaur's van exploring Wales on a fossil hunting trip.

Everything Dinosaur’s van exploring Wales on a fossil hunting trip.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Everything Dinosaur vehicles get to some beautiful parts of the British Isles. Whilst on a fossil hunting expedition in Wales it is always a pleasure to spend a few minutes taking in the amazing countryside and fantastic views before returning to our scouring and searching of scree slopes for fossils.  We always take plenty of photographs, we like to leave what we find where we found it so others may enjoy them too.

The Forest Fawr Geopark is well worth a visit, although we would recommend stout walking gear and sensible clothing when exploring some of the highest peaks in the whole of southern Britain.

3 07, 2008

Collecta Triceratops – A Dinosaur with Attitude

By | July 3rd, 2008|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Photos, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Collecta Not-to-Scale Triceratops Model Praised

One of the first dinosaur models introduced by Collecta was a not-to-scale replica of the famous horned dinosaur called Triceratops (T. horridus).  Part of a set of six prehistoric animal models, the Triceratops figure has proved very popular with dinosaur model collectors and fans, simply because it seems to have a real attitude about it.  The dinosaur is depicted with its huge head tipped forward and low in the classic “charging Triceratops pose” from the 1966 movie “One Million Years B.C.”.

The Collecta Triceratops Dinosaur Model

Collecta Triceratops dinosaur model.

Collecta Triceratops dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The model gives the impression of a very heavy and strong dinosaur, one that even the most brave (or desperate) Tyrannosaur would not want to face.  The model is well painted in a blueish/grey colour and there is nice detailing around the huge neck frill and the on the skull. The beak on this huge herbivore has been very carefully depicted.

To view the Collecta prehistoric animal model range available from Everything Dinosaur: Collecta prehistoric animal models

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