Category: Photos

Picturing a Dragonfly

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.

Building Your Own Dinosaur Land

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.

Dinosaurs Outdoors

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.

Tyrannosaurus rex Attacks

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.

Triceratops Art

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

Dinosaur Detectives Book (Front Cover)

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

Fforest Fawr Geopark

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.

Collecta Triceratops – A Dinosaur with Attitude

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

Dinosaur Chocolate Nests

A Picture of the Completed Dinosaur Chocolate Nests

Everything Dinosaur team members had a go at making these simple but very tasty chocolate treats, using one of the recipes on the company’s website.  They proved very easy to make and we were quite proud of our results.

Dinosaur Chocolate Nests from Everything Dinosaur

Chocolate nests that are easy to make.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A fun suggestion to give Easter baking a bit of a twist from palaeontologists.  The recipe was easy to follow and these cakes would make super dinosaur party food, perhaps for a birthday or as food for dinosaur themed parties.

Everything Dinosaur Team Members

Team Members at Everything Dinosaur

Another busy day at the dinosaur toy company Everything Dinosaur.  Recently, team members had to go into a professional photographic studio so that they could take some new pictures of the dinosaur toys and dinosaur models that make up the company’s product range.  At the end of the shoot we were able to take some more pictures of staff members having fun.

Team Members at Everything Dinosaur

Having fun with Everything Dinosaur

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

With staff packing orders for customers every day, even at weekends it is important to every now and then to have some fun.  After all, we do spend a lot of time either at the office or in the warehouse.  Or perhaps it is because we are surrounded by dinosaur toys all day.

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