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

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.

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