Category: Product Reviews

Papo Young Apatosaurus Model Reviewed

A Review of the Papo Young Apatosaurus Dinosaur Model

New for 2015 and one of two new replicas in Papo’s prehistoric animal replica range (the other being the Tupuxuara Pterosaur), is a model of a Young Apatosaurus, part of a trend by the French manufacturer to depict juvenile versions of dinosaurs, after the introduction of the young Triceratops last year and what an amazing detailed Apatosaurus model it is.

Named back in 1877, Apatosaurus has had quite a makeover in the last few decades and it is pleasing to see that the design team at Papo have obviously reviewed the known fossil material and attempted to produce a modern interpretation of the dinosaur formerly known as Brontosaurus.  Here we have a heavy set animal, with hind limbs longer than the front legs, a deep chest, thick neck and a long, whip-like tail.  To learn more about this dinosaur’s name change, check out Everything Dinosaur’s article about how Apatosaurus got its name: Why Brontosaurus is no more

Papo has earned a deserved reputation for the quality of the skin texture on its prehistoric animal models.  Once again, Papo have produced a beautifully sculpted dinosaur with lots of anatomical evidence inferred in the sculpt and some amazing skin details with wrinkles and folds clearly evident, even underneath the model as well, an area often overlooked in poorer quality dinosaur replicas.

The Papo Young Apatosaurus Dinosaur Model

Available from Everything Dinosaur.

Available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Papo

For many years the head of Apatosaurus was unknown and many museum exhibits depicted this dinosaur with a square, box-like skull reminiscent of another type of long-necked dinosaur whose fossils were also from Upper Jurassic aged deposits of the Western United States (Camarasaurus).  It was not until the late 1970′s that the skull of this dinosaur was formally described.  Apatosaurus had a skull very similar to that of Diplodocus.  It was rectangular in shape, with a blunt, square snout. The weak, peg-like teeth were only present in the front portion of the jaws.

Typical Diplodocid Head (Adult and Juvenile)

Ontogeny in Diplodocids

Ontogeny in diplodocids

Picture Credit: Mark A Klinger/ Carnegie Museum of Natural History

This Papo replica does a fine job at recreating the head as it is reflected in the fossil record.  When compared to the rest of this dinosaur’s body the head is extremely small.  The tiny nostrils are positioned on the top of the skull, again reflecting what most palaeontologists believe, they are present on the model, but such is the fine detail on this replica that they are best viewed using a magnifying glass.

Amazing Detail on the Papo Young Apatosaurus

Amazing detail on model.

Amazing detail on model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The neck of Apatosaurus was relatively short compared to the tail but much broader and thicker.  The bones in the neck, the cervical vertebrae, are much wider than they are long.  The neural spines along the top of the these bones were divided in two, what is termed bifurcation.  These formed fork-like processes technically referred to as paired metapophyses and they can be picked out in this Apatosaurus replica, which is very much to Papo’s credit.

In addition, viewed from the side, prominent bumps along the neck can also be seen, these mark the presence of immense cervical ribs that stuck out sideways in the neck bones of Apatosaurus.  By counting the bumps you can estimate the number of cervical vertebrae depicted in the model.  By our calculations the count comes up a couple short (should be fifteen, we think) and although the bumps are very conspicuous in the replica, obviously, whether or not these bumps would have been visible in the living animal is purely speculative.  Our guess is that with the neck being very strong and covered in sheaths of muscle, these lumps and bumps would not have been seen.  However, as they feature in the Papo replica, it does at least indicate that the French company has done some research into the characteristics of Apatosaurus neck bones.

The hands and feet of Sauropods are unique amongst the vertebrates and again Papo is to be applauded for the details shown in their Apatosaurus model.  On the front feet, the hands, there are signs of five digits, although only one, the thumb has a claw.  The claw is particularly large and prominent, diplodocids like Apatosaurus did indeed have big, pronounced thumb claws.  The hands may have had a more column-like appearance and it might have been difficult to spot individual fingers, but we commend Papo for their efforts.

The feet are also well modelled, the stout and strong back legs end in hind feet that look very different from the “hands” of the Apatosaurus replica.  The back feet are larger than the hands and there are three claws to each foot, again there is much to be appreciated with this sculpt.

To view the Papo Young Apatosaurus and Everything Dinosaur’s range of Papo models: Papo Prehistoric Animal Replicas

The tail is very long and very thin at the end.  The tail of Apatosaurus was indeed very long, it had some eighty plus tail bones.  The tail in the model is held off the ground (correct posture) and curved round on itself resembling a whip.  This is very typical of modern interpretations of the tails of diplodocids.  It may not have used the tail as a defensive weapon, however, by swishing the base of its tail, the tip would travel so fast that a supersonic cracking sound could have been produced.  This sound could have been used to communicate with other herd members or to deter predators.  Recently, it has been suggested that many of these types of long-necked dinosaurs possessed defensive spikes that ran down the back and along the tail, however, Papo have opted not to depict any spines or spikes on their Apatosaurus.

The Natural History Museums Depiction of a Spiky Diplodocid (Diplodocus)

Natural History Museum Diplodocus.

Natural History Museum Diplodocus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Officially the model measures 37 centimetres but when that curved tail is taken into account this figure is something like 41 centimetres long.  We at Everything Dinosaur have been asked to comment on the age of this Young Apatosaurus model.  There has been some work on growth and the potential ages of dinosaurs represented by Apatosaurus fossil material, (ontogenic studies) although the research is far from conclusive.  We like to think that the Young Apatosaurus model is of a sub-adult, consider this replica as a teenage Apatosaurus.

All in all this is an excellent Young Apatosaurus dinosaur model and it is a welcome addition to the Papo prehistoric animals range.

Papo Young Apatosaurus – Video Review

A Video Review of the Papo Young Apatosaurus Dinosaur Model

The Young Apatosaurus dinosaur model is proving to be very popular amongst dinosaur fans and model collectors.  We have produced a brief video review of this new for 2015 Papo replica.  In this video review we look at the model in more detail and explain about the body proportions as they are shown in this particular dinosaur sculpt.

Everything Dinosaur Reviews the Papo Young Apatosaurus Dinosaur Model

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The video is just over eight minutes in length (8:08), we look at the skin texture in more detail, explain about the size of the head as it relates to the rest of the body  and we discuss that very thick neck.  The design team at Papo have certainly done an excellent job, on what is the company’s second Sauropod after the enormous Brachiosaurus replica was introduced a couple of years ago.

To view the range of Papo prehistoric animal replicas available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models

This dinosaur was formerly known as Brontosaurus (Thunder Lizard), a great name for one of the larger and heavier diplodocids.

For explanation as to why this dinosaur had to have its name changed: Why Brontosaurus is No More

Everything Dinosaur wrote a short article, a while back now, about the name change to Apatosaurus and the reasons for it, this is the article we refer to in our Papo Young Apatosaurus video review.

From the nostrils located on the top of its head (correct according to most palaeontologists), to the supersonic, cracking whip-like tail, this is a super dinosaur replica.  Well done Papo!

A Review of the Schleich Anhanguera Replica

Everything Dinosaur Reviews the Schleich Anhanguera Pterosaur Model

This is a review of the new Schleich Anhanguera Pterosaur model and what a wonderful flying reptile model it is too.

Anhanguera is a member of the Ornithocheiridae family of Pterosaurs, a group of flying reptiles that seem particularly well-adapted to long-distance soaring.  Most of the fossils of ornithocheirids are associated with marine environments and their fossils have been found on every continent with the exception of Antarctica.

New For 2015 The Schleich Anhanguera Pterosaur Model

The colourful Schleich Anhanguera Pterosaur model.

The colourful Schleich Anhanguera Pterosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Anhanguera is very typical of the family and a number of species are known.  The most complete Anhanguera fossils have been found in Brazil in the famous Santana Formation of Lower Cretaceous strata.   Although, fragmentary flying reptiles ascribed to Anhanguera have also been found in England.

The English fossil material comes mostly from the Cambridge Greensand Formation, and consists of just scraps, very worn segments, usually more robust parts of the skeleton such as the jaw tips.  These are the fossilised remains of Pterosaurs that died far out to sea.  Skeletons were broken up by scavengers and wave action before coming to rest on the seabed, to get further scavenged and disassociated.  These remains were gradually buried and preserved as fossils only for them to be eroded out of these rocks by ancient storms and re-deposited in what are much younger sedimentary rocks.

It is thanks to the Brazilian fossil material that we have such a good understanding of Anhanguera and this Schleich replica does rather a good job of depicting what this flying reptile probably looked like.

The head and the jaws are very large and the forelimbs are proportionately much bigger and more robust than the hind limbs.  The neck is thick, indicating that this a strong and muscular part of the body and evidence of a tufty, hair-like integumental covering of pycnofibres, the fuzzy coat of the Pterosauria, has been skilfully recreated in the model.

The wings are very stiff and help the Schleich Anhanguera to stand in what is probably not a very realistic pose, the hands were in all likelihood rested on the ground with the wing finger elevated, not pointed down, but this posture is a compromise between allowing the model to stand unaided and a flying position.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s World of History (Schleich) model range: Schleich World of History Models

The elongated fourth wing finger tended to support a much bigger portion of the actual wing, about 60% of the entire wing length.  The wings of Anhanguera were longer than seen in this replica and they were more elegant.  Wingspans of around four to five metres are associated with the larger species in the Anhanguera genus.  This was a wonderfully efficient long distance flyer, soaring on thermal currents that carried it effortlessly over the early Atlantic Ocean.  Think of Anhanguera as a Early Cretaceous equivalent of today’s Albatross or Frigate Bird.

The design team at Schleich have done a particularly good job with the skull and jaws.  It is very well painted and you have those two crests on the jaw tips, one on the upper jaw and a slightly smaller one on the bottom jaw.  It is the size and shape of the crests that help scientists to determine different types of Ornithocheirid.  We are really impressed with the modelling and painting around the eyes and the nostrils are well defined as well as being clearly visible.

The Beautiful Schleich Anhanguera Replica

The "Toothy Grin" of a Pterosaur!

The “Toothy Grin” of a Pterosaur!

How Anhanguera fed nobody knows. Perhaps it was a skim feeder, flying along with its beak in the water to catch fish at the surface, with those crests on the jaws helping acting as stabilisers.  Maybe it floated and seized fish swimming just below the surface, or perhaps it plunged into the water and pursued fish in a way similar to today’s Gannets and Shearwaters, no one really knows, what is certain, is that this is an excellent Pterosaur replica and a welcome addition to the Schleich model range.

Reviewing Everything Dinosaur’s Palaeontology Predictions for 2014

Looking Back at How Our 2014 Predictions Turned Out

After the mince pies, time for a slice of humble pie as we review how our palaeontology and dinosaur predictions made last year turned out.  At the start of each year, team members at Everything Dinosaur get together, usually whilst completing the company’s annual stocktake and put forward suggestions about the sort of news stories and articles that this weblog will feature over the following twelve months.  It is just a bit fun, but the debate can be quite lively at times.  So one year on, let’s take a look at what we predicted and how things turned out.

Here is the list of the ten predictions we made (published on 2nd January 2014):

2014 Predictions

  1. Storms around the UK’s Coasts will Lead to a Number of Vertebrate Fossil Discoveries
  2. Further Insights into the Genetic Make Up of Hominins and The Relationship between Other Hominins and H. sapiens
  3. Trailer for Jurassic Park IV to be Released
  4. Polar Exploration Leads to Fossil Find
  5. Three-Dimensional Printers Come of Age
  6. New Species of Mammal (probably a rodent discovered in South-east Asia)
  7. Arthropod Study Leads to Further Evidence for the Common Ancestor of Spiders and Scorpions
  8. Everything Dinosaur to Develop a New Dinosaur Workshop/Teaching Website
  9. Further Evidence for Feather-like, Filamentous Integuments to be Found in the Ornithischia
  10. Where will Everything Dinosaur Be in Terms of Social Media by the End of 2014?  Setting Targets

To see the article we wrote back in January 2014 about our predictions: 2014 Predictions

1). Storms around the UK’s Coasts will Lead to a Number of Vertebrate Fossil Discoveries

There were a number of important fossil discoveries concerning marine reptiles, particularly those related to the Ichthyosauria or their ancestors.  Significant fossil discoveries were made in China and Chile and indeed, the very wet and stormy weather of the winter may have contributed to vertebrate fossil discoveries made around Britain’s coasts.  Back in April we reported on the discovery of a juvenile Ichthyosaur at Lyme Regis (Dorset) and just recently we wrote an article all about the “Penarth Ichthyosaurus”, a fossil discovered by an amateur collector.

The Excavated Remains of the “Penarth Ichthyosaurus”

Penarth's very own prehistoric monster.

Penarth’s very own prehistoric monster.

Picture Credit: Jonathan Bow

This specimen from South Wales is almost complete, making it a remarkable find, although we have to admit it was spotted in September, long after the winter storms had supposedly done their work.

2).  Further Insights into the Genetic Make Up of Hominins and The Relationship between Other Hominins and H. sapiens

One of our most popular blog articles of last year (it made our top ten most popular web log articles list), discussed the research into the Neanderthal genome that demonstrated that some of diseases of modern humans could be traced back to our Neanderthal ancestry.  So much research is currently being undertaken in this area of science, that we confidently predict that more insights into our ancestry and other hominins such as the Denisovans will be published this year (one for our 2015 predictions list we think).

To read the article: Study Suggests that some Diseases in Modern Humans are Linked to Neanderthal DNA

3).  Trailer for Jurassic Park IV to be Released

Just like our second prediction, this one was a bit of a no brainer.  ”Jurassic World” is due to be premiered in June 2015 and it is going to be one of the biggest films of the year (there will be a lot of competition, Star Wars, Avengers, Terminator movie etc.)  The trailer was due to released in December 2014 but in the end it was brought forward and Everything Dinosaur put up an article about the trailer on November 25th.  Everything Dinosaur is expecting “Jurassic World” to have a big impact on this blog site as well as other aspects of our business.  For example, the main protagonist in the film Diabolus rex, the genetically modified hybrid dinosaur, made it into our top ten list of most popular prehistoric animals of 2014 which we published a few days ago.

To read the article featuring Diabolus rexEverything Dinosaur’s Top Ten of Prehistoric Animals 2013 (Part 1)

Jurassic World Official Trailer

Video Credit: Universal Studios

Expect a second “Jurassic World” trailer to be released as part of the Superbowl coverage.

4). Polar Exploration Leads to Fossil Find

There were a number of important fossil discoveries made in the extreme latitudes over the last twelve months.  In March 2014, Everything Dinosaur published a number of articles featuring dinosaur discoveries that had been made in the high Arctic.  A description of a new type of pygmy tyrannosaurid certainly generated a lot of debate.  This new member of the Tyrannosaur family, Nanuqsaurus hoglandi, was very probably feathered and the discovery supports the theory that at least in the far north during the Late Cretaceous a complex ecosystem flourished.

An Illustration of Nanuqsaurus hoglandi

Potentially a very, shaggy coated Tyrannosaur!

Potentially a very, shaggy coated Tyrannosaur!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The publicity surrounding the description of “Polar Bear Lizard”, allowed us to reminisce over the naming of Cryolophosaurus twenty years ago and to write an article about the most northerly dinosaur fossil discovered to date.  That honour goes to a bone from a duck-billed dinosaur found on Axel Heiberg Island, part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

5).  Three-Dimensional Printers Come of Age

Prices of printers came down and more museums and universities started to use this technology.  When linked to powerful CT scans remarkable insights into fossils, often ones still trapped in a matrix of rock, can be made.  However, prices falling to such a level that many schools and academies could access this technology did not occur in 2014.  There was some work into the motor skills and brain function of the Dinosauria as we predicted, but not as much as we thought.  Back in October 2014, we wrote a short piece highlighting the research into Pachycephalosaur sensory function, three-dimensional images had provided an insight into the sense of smell of these dinosaurs.

To read about the Pachycephalosaur research: Nosing Around a Dinosaur’s Sense of Smell

6).  New Species of Mammal (probably a rodent discovered in South-east Asia)

Well, we did write about a new species of slender nosed crocodile from Africa, but there was no blog article about a new mammal species being announced.  Not one of our most accurate predictions.

7).  Arthropod Study Leads to Further Evidence for the Common Ancestor of Spiders and Scorpions

We fared a little better with this prediction.  Some amazing research conducted by those clever people at Manchester University/London Natural History Museum and the Museum für Naturkunde (Berlin), led to a computer model of a walking 400 million year old Arthropod being generated.

To read more about this study: Ancient Creepy-Crawlies Resurrected

In addition, thanks to the beautifully preserved Arthropod specimens that form part of the Chengjiang Biota (China), scientists were able to gain insights into the development of invertebrate nervous systems.  There was even a paper published all about the brain of a Cambrian super-predator.

Research into Understanding Anomalocarids (Lyrarapax)

The grasping claw on this specimen can clearly be seen.

The grasping claw on this specimen can clearly be seen.

Picture Credit: Peiyun Cong

Further information: Describing the Cardiovascular System of a Cambrian Arthropod

Further information: The Brain of the World’s First Super-Predator Studied

8).  Everything Dinosaur to Develop a New Dinosaur Workshop/Teaching Website

In late August, this prediction came true when team members launched a special website dedicated to helping teachers, museums and educationalists to teach about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric life.  The website went live on August 26th, just in time for the start of the autumn term and the major roll out of the new curriculum in England.

Dinosaur Workshops and Teaching about Dinosaurs in Schools

Everything Dinosaur aims to help teachers, museums and home educators.

Everything Dinosaur aims to help teachers, museums and home educators.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Since the site went live, several thousand school children have benefited from the free downloads and teaching resources that we supply.  Our outreach work with school visits continues at a pace and January 2014 is likely to be our busiest month to date in terms of school visits.

9).  Further Evidence for Feather-like, Filamentous Integuments to be Found in the Ornithischia

Our ninth prediction concerned feathered dinosaurs.  Over the last few years the debate as to whether members of the Dinosauria had feathers has moved on.  Most palaeontologists now believe that a number of different dinosaurs were feathered and that filamentous integumental coverings, the fore-runners of true feathers were an evolutionary trait of the dinosaurs.  However, the discussion is now more about which types of dinosaur were feathered.  In July, we wrote an article on the implications of the discovery of a one metre long basal Ornithischian dinosaur from Siberia.  It may have been small, but the paper published on Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus may just have been one of the most significant papers on vertebrate palaeontology published all year.

A Small but Very Important Dinosaur

Feathered dinosaur down amongst the horsetails.

Feathered dinosaur down amongst the horsetails.

Picture Credit: Andrey Atuchin

The article can be found here: Did All Dinosaurs Have Feathers?

10).  Where would Everything Dinosaur be with Social Media Targets?

Social media is certainly bigger than ever.  Sales of smart phones and other clever devices reached unprecedented levels in 2014 and they are set to continue their spectacular growth over the next few years. The number of smart phones and other devices in the world was estimated to have reached 1.9 billion by some analysts.  Traditional pc sales and desktop devices continues to decline and there is much more “surfing on the go” as we like to refer to it.  Everything Dinosaur set itself some ambitious targets in terms of Pinterest pins, Tweets and Facebook likes in 2014.  We will write a separate article on how we did when it came to reaching these targets.  Importantly, we remain committed to replying to every email, question, request for information that we receive and this will remain core to our business this year as well.

All in all, not a bad performance in terms of predictions, some turned out to be more accurate than others.  We will publish news about our predictions for 2015 shortly, let’s see how we do this year.

A Review of the Collecta Bistahieversor Model

The Collecta Bistahieversor Model Reviewed

New for 2014 from Collecta in their not-to-scale prehistoric animal model series is this replica of Bistahieversor (pronounced Bis-tar-hee-eh-ver-sore), a member of the Tyrannosaur family  from New Mexico and distantly related to the much more famous T. rex  this is Everything Dinosaur’s review of this dinosaur replica.

The Collecta Bistahieversor Dinosaur Model

New for Summer 2014

New for Summer 2014

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

During the Late Cretaceous much of North America was covered by a huge sea.  This was called the Western Interior Seaway and it stretched from what is now the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Gulf of Mexico in the south.  The landmasses that bordered this inland sea were dominated by dinosaurs and what scientists are now recognising is that despite the mix of dinosaurs in the north and the south being very similar – Ceratopsians, Lambeosaurines, ankylosaurids, tyrannosaurids and so forth, the genera and species making up those faunas differed markedly across North America.  What you have is distinct regional ecosystems.  What we term “provinciality” and you can explore lots of articles about this on the Everything Dinosaur web log.

To read an article about the regional diversity of horned dinosaurs in North America: A Surge in Mountain Building May Have Led to Dinosaur Diversification

Bistahieversor fossils come from the oldest part of the Kirtland Formation, exposed in New Mexico, strata dating to around 74.5 million years ago.  Isolated teeth very typical of a large Tyrannosaur had been found for many years and these were thought to represent types of Tyrannosaur known from fossilised bones found in Montana and Alberta (Canada) in the north.  A partial skull found in 1990 was associated with Tyrannosaur fossil material from Montana, (potentially Daspletosaurus), but gradually as more body fossils were discovered in this part of the San Juan Basin, it was realised that these fossils represented the remains of a distinct southern genus of tyrannosaurid.  Following a review in 2010, the genus Bistahieversor (B. sealeyi) was established.

The name means “Bistahi Destroyer”, the genus honours the local Navajo indian population, the word “Bisti” means “place of the adobe formations” in the local dialect.  The trivial name honours museum volunteer Paul Sealey, who found the fossils of an adult animal in 1997.

The Collecta model stands on a base, it is the second , large Tyrannosaur model in the not-to-scale series to be placed on a base, the first being the modified T. rex with prey replica.  It is a very striking pose, the skin texture has been finished to give the impression of a shaggy, feathery coat.  Here is a model of a feathered Tyrannosaur reflecting the very latest in Theropd interpretation and part of a trend for more feathered dinosaur models, which we know is going to continue into 2015 and beyond.

The body proportions are based on what is known from the fossil material, particularly the adult specimen discovered in 1997, by Paul Sealey.  The skull sports a distinctive cranial crest and this has been further augmented by the model makers with the addition of a tuft of shaggy, black and white proto-feathers.  The crest on the skull may have been synonymous with a mature adult animal as no evidence for a crest was found on the fossilised skull of a juvenile which was discovered two years earlier (1995).

Like all the Collecta replicas, this is a beautiful model with a well-crafted paint regime consisting of tawny, black and white stripes which contrast nicely with the cream coloured belly.  Even the base has lots of detail, the feet seem to sink into the base to give the impression of a heavy animal walking across soft sand.

A Model of a Tyrannosaur Named in 2010

One of our field rulers provides scale.

One of our field rulers provides scale.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This model measures around 13cm in length.  Based on an adult animal being around 8.5 metres we estimate that this replica is in approximately 1:65 scale.  The powerful animal with its strong tail and robust skull probably weighed around 2.5 tonnes and it was very likely the apex predator in the coastal plain habitat found to the south of the Western Interior Seaway.

This is a beautifully crafted, hand-painted replica of  Bistahieversor, a dinosaur that was only named and scientifically described back in 2010.  It is an exciting addition to the Collecta range of prehistoric animal models and it is great to see more tyrannosaurids represented, especially feathered ones.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Collecta prehistoric animal models: Collecta Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models

1:40 Scale Collecta Deluxe Therizinosaurus Video Review

A Video Review of the Collecta Deluxe 1:40 Therizinosaurus Dinosaur Model

Those clever manufacturers Collecta have made an excellent replica of the bizarre Theropod dinosaur known as Therizinosaurus.  We at Everything Dinosaur have made a short video review of this new for 2014 replica.  In this short video (six minutes and fifty seconds), we look at this model in more detail, discuss the fossil discoveries and compare this replica to the smaller, not to scale Therizinosaur model introduced by Collecta a couple of years ago now.

Everything Dinosaurs 1:40 Scale Collecta Therizinosaurus Video Review

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In this video we introduce Sir Arthur Gauge.  Sir Arthur is the name of the human replica that is included with many of the 1:40 Deluxe Collecta models.  He provides a scale for the replica in question.   In this particular case, estimating the scale of the Collecta Deluxe Therizinosaurus model is quite difficult, the fragmentary fossil material makes it tricky to provide a size guide for a fully grown animal. Some palaeontologists believe that Therizinosaurus cheloniformis weighed more than five tonnes and was over ten metres long.  Based on our estimates, we calculate that this figure is around 1:35 to 1:40 scale.

Sir Arthur Gauge Provides a Guide to Scale Size

A clever way to provide a scale for dinosaur models.

A clever way to provide a scale for dinosaur models.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Collecta Deluxe scale models: Collecta Deluxe Scale Prehistoric Animal Models

 Those impressive claws, are very well depicted.  The largest manual unguals (claw cores) associated with T. cheloniformis measure over seventy centimetres in length.  In life, with the horny sheath covering the largest claws would have been around a metre long.

The Bizarre but Spectacular Therizinosaurus

A pair of Therizinosaurs.

A pair of Therizinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Collecta Mosasaurus Model Video Review

The Collecta Mosasaurus Model Video Review

The first account of a Mosasaur fossil was written in 1764, so 2014 marks the 250th anniversary of the publication of this information.  The fossil was found in Holland, near the town of Maastricht and here Everything Dinosaur team members contribute to the Mosasaur database by publishing our video review of the excellent Mosasaurus model made by Collecta.

Everything Dinosaurs Video Review of the Collecta Mosasaurus

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Collecta made a not-to-scale replica of the Mosasaur known as Tylosaurus a few years ago now, this new, larger replica brings the Mosasauridae right up to date with pterygoid teeth depicted on the roof of the mouth and a spectacular tail fluke.  In this short video, (six minutes, forty-eight seconds), we point out these details and explain how this model reflects some of the latest scientific research on these amazing marine reptiles.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Collecta figures: Collecta Prehistoric Animal Models

To read an article which reports on the study of a Mosasaur fossil specimen that provides evidence of a tail fluke: Mosasaurs – A Shark’s Tale

In the video, we also touch upon the chosen colour scheme of this model.  It does remind us of the markings on the extant Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus), the biggest fish alive today.  The largest members of the Mosasaurus genus would have grown to around the same length of a Whale Shark, perhaps fourteen metres or more, but the Whale Shark would have been many times heavier.  Whale Sharks may be gentle, slow-swimming plankton feeders but the Mosasaurs were fast-swimming, predators with the likes of Mosasaurus hoffmanni, whose fossils have been found in Holland, preying on other large marine vertebrates such as Plesiosaurs, large fish and turtles.

Super Colouration on this Mosasaurus Model

Fearsome marine predator from Collecta due in 2014.

Fearsome marine predator from Collecta.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

These reptiles were believed to have been predators of the surface waters.  Many palaeontologists think that these animals had relatively poor, stereoscopic vision so they would have most likely avoided the darker, deeper water, preferring to hunt in the relative shallows.  Whale Sharks tend to swim in the top 100 metres or so of the sea as they collect food with their huge, cavernous mouths, this might explain the colouration chosen for the Mosasaurus replica.

To read an article about the study of organic material found by Swedish scientists as they examined a Mosasaur specimen: Soft Tissue in a Mosasaur Fossil?

Recently, palaeontologists identified a species of Mosasaur that lived in freshwater, to read about this discovery: Freshwater Mosasaur from Hungary

A Video Review of the Collecta Arsinoitherium Model

Collecta 1:20 Scale Deluxe Arsinoitherium Reviewed

Another day and another video review to post up onto the Everything Dinosaur blog, this time a video review of the Collecta Deluxe 1:20 scale model of Arsinoitherium.  One of the most bizarre-looking mammals that ever existed, if team members at Everything Dinosaur were asked to sum up this huge, plant-eater in one sentence, something like “here was a distant relative of elephants, that looked a bit like a rhinoceros and probably lived a bit like a hippopotamus”, would probably be appropriate.

The Collecta Arsinoitherium Model Reviewed

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The video runs for seven minutes and in the video we review this model, assign a species name to it and discuss what the fossil record tells us about these ancient creatures that roamed what was to become Egypt around thirty million years ago.  We even suggest some uses for those enormous horns that grew out of the skull.  The Arsinoitheres died out during the Mid Oligocene epoch and there is not a single species of animal alive today that is directly descended from this group, which is a shame.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Collecta Deluxe models, including Arsinoitherium: Collecta Deluxe Models

Collecta Carcharodontosaurus – A Video Review

Collecta Deluxe Carcharodontosaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed (Video)

With a new batch of Collecta Deluxe Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur models newly installed into our warehouse, it was time to make a brief video review of this dinosaur model.  Introduced  by Collecta in 2014, in the company’s Deluxe range of scale models of prehistoric animals, this replica of potentially one of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs that ever lived, has proved to be a big hit.  In this short video (seven minutes and twenty-two seconds), team members at Everything Dinosaur discuss the model in detail and provide information on the fossil discoveries made in Africa.

Everything Dinosaur’s Video Review of the Collecta Carcharodontosaurus

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In this video we hint at the role that the sea may have played in the evolution of carcharodontosaurids and their eventual extinction.  A blog article has been prepared which provides further information on this theory.

To read the blog article: The Evolution and Extinction of the African Carcharodontosauridae

To view Carcharodontosaurus and other Collecta scale models available at Everything Dinosaur: Collecta Deluxe Scale Prehistoric Animal Models

This dinosaur genus provides and exemplar for the way in which study of the Dinosauria has progressed in the last decade or so.  The genus was erected in 1931 and it had one species assigned to it.  However, fossil discoveries in the late 1990′s led to the description of a second species (Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis).  This new species was announced just seven years ago.  It is likely that more species of carcharodontosaurid dinosaur (and abelisaurid, for that matter), will be discovered in Africa.

Look out for more news on the “shark toothed lizards”.

In the meantime, check out Everything Dinosaur’s article on the announcement of the second species of Carcharodontosaurus species from 2007: New Giant African Meat-Eater

A Video Review of the Collecta Saurophaganax Dinosaur Model

Collecta Saurophaganax – A Video Review

Everything Dinosaur team members have been busy writing scripts for video reviews on the latest batch of Collecta prehistoric animal models to be received into our warehouse.  The first of these model reviews features Saurophaganax, arguably one of the biggest meat-eating dinosaurs known to science.  In this short (six minutes, thirteen seconds) video, we look at the Collecta Saurophaganax in more detail, explain why there is still confusion over this genus and reflect on how a 145 million year old dinosaur is still capable of harming people today.

Everything Dinosaur’s Review of the Collecta Saurophaganax Dinosaur Model

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Collecta prehistoric animals: Collecta Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models

Collecta have made a number of allosaurid models, they certainly have expanded their model range in recent years and this Collecta Saurophaganax dinosaur model is a super addition to the company’s not-to-scale model series.

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