Category: Product Reviews

Schleich World of History Giganotosaurus (orange) Review

A Review of the Schleich World of History Giganotosaurus (Orange)

Schleich have added another meat-eating dinosaur model to their World of History collection.  It is a Giganotosaurus (the name means Giant Southern Lizard), the most colourful of all the Giganotosaurus replicas that this German manufacturer have made.  This Schleich dinosaur model is referred to as Giganotosaurus (orange), helping to distinguish it from earlier versions of this dinosaur made by Schleich.  The name is very appropriate as it has a most striking orange colouration running down the side of the neck, the flanks and along the base of the broad, powerful tail.

The New for 2015 Schleich Giganotosaurus (orange)

Giant Southern Lizard.

Giant Southern Lizard.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows just how colourful this Schleich dinosaur model actually is.  The bright orange paintwork sets off the dark blue of the spine and the green band that runs from the top of the snout down to the end of the tail.  There is also a row of bony scales that resemble small horns running down the body.  All the models are hand-painted and when pictured using a flash, the colours really do stand out.  There might be a little variation in each model, after all, they are hand-painted but the underlying sculpt provides an excellent base with much to be admired.  Of particular note are the carefully depicted large scales on the broad feet and the detailing of the skull.  This model, like the majority of Schleich meat-eating dinosaur models has an articulated jaw.

The Schleich Giganotosaurus (orange) has an Articulated Jaw

With an articulated jaw.

With an articulated jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The pose is most unusual.  The tail is bent round and provides support for the model, this permits the left hind foot to be slightly raised off the ground giving this Schleich dinosaur replica quite a unique look.  Credit to the design team at Schleich for coming up with this.

The Schleich Giganotosaurus (orange) is Beautifully Balanced

With articulated jaw and beautifully balanced.

With articulated jaw and beautifully balanced.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

One small drawback of the pose is that when you measure the model it is around twenty-four centimetres in length, but once that curved tail is taken into account its true length is nearly thirty-two centimetres, making this Schleich dinosaur model quite a sizeable beast.  Fitting really when you consider that Giganotosaurus was one of the largest and heaviest terrestrial carnivores known to science.

The head height is around seventeen centimetres allowing this dinosaur to be a match for the two Tyrannosaur models introduced by Schleich into their World of History range.  The Schleich Giganotosaurus reflects a trend from the company to introduce more colourful and bright prehistoric animal figures.  Although there is much to be admired with this latest addition, it is aimed broadly at young dinosaur fans.  Certainly, the model will stand up well to robust, creative play.

 To view the complete range of large Schleich dinosaur and prehistoric animal models: Schleich World of History Prehistoric Animal Models

With Schleich having produced three large Giganotosaurus models within the last five years, there is an interesting debate taking place as to which is people’s favourite.

Schleich Giganotosaurus – Which One is Your Favourite?

Which one is your favourite?

Which one is your favourite?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

My First Toy Dinosaurs Model Set

My First Toy Dinosaurs Model Set (6 Rubber Dinosaurs)

Great for imaginative, creative play, a set of six rubber dinosaurs from Everything Dinosaur.  An ideal gift for the young dinosaur fan in your family or as a play set for use in schools.  The set of six dinosaur models includes a Tyrannosaurus rex, a long-necked Brachiosaurus, the plated dinosaur Stegosaurus, along with a bright and colourful duck-billed dinosaur, a Parasaurolophus.  The set also includes a horned dinosaur (Triceratops) and a wonderful armoured dinosaur, an Ankylosaurus.  This set of soft rubber dinosaurs makes an ideal my first dinosaurs model set as these prehistoric animals are suitable for children from three years and upwards.

My First Toy Dinosaurs Model Set (6 Rubber Dinosaurs)

A set of six rubber dinosaurs, great for tactile play.

A set of six rubber dinosaurs, great for tactile play.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The teaching team at Everything Dinosaur have specially chosen this toy dinosaurs set as the models represent typical examples of dinosaurs and show the variety of these ancient reptiles that once roamed our planet.  The models are made from soft rubber and they are great for imaginative, tactile play.

To view the range of educational dinosaur toys available from Everything Dinosaur: Dinosaur Toys including Rubber Dinosaur Toys

This really is a super set of soft and squeezy rubber dinosaurs.  The set makes an ideal, my first dinosaur model set for any young dinosaur fan.  They are a great way for young minds to explore materials and discover the world of dinosaurs.

One of our customers wrote this review:

“Loved the colourful models, six different ones that my little boy just loves.  A great first dinosaur  model set.  Soft and squeezy rubber dinosaurs, very well made.”

Thanks for your review Mrs Jacobs.

Everything Dinosaur supplies a set of useful dinosaur fact sheets about the animals featured in this set.  This is a great dinosaur themed resource for schools.

Rebor Ceratosaurus Video Review

Rebor Ceratosaurus Video Review

Fans of dinosaurs and model collectors have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the newest Rebor replica on the block.  The Rebor Ceratosaurus 1:35 dinosaur replica is now in stock at Everything Dinosaur and what a splendid model it is.  This is the fourth in the Rebor series and team members have made a short (ten minute) video review of this excellent model of this Late Jurassic predator.

Everything Dinosaur’s Video Review of the Rebor Ceratosaurus “Savage”

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In this short video we explain the introduction of the first “non monospecific” replica into this Rebor model collection, we outline what is known about Ceratosaurus dentisulcatus and we discuss why Rebor has made such a good job with the base, demonstrating an understanding of the ancient environment (palaeoenvironment), of the Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation.  Well done Rebor!

Just like the rest of the highly impressive Rebor range introduced so far this dinosaur has a nickname.  Say hello to “Savage”.

To view the range of Rebor dinosaur models available from Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Dinosaur Models

We hope you like our  a short, ten minute video review of the Rebor Ceratosaurus 1:35 scale replica.

The Dinosaur Timeline Poster

Dinosaur Timeline Poster

Many dinosaur fans may be familiar with the phrase the Age of Dinosaurs.  This term represents the time when the Dinosauria were the dominant terrestrial life forms on our planet.  This informal measurement of deep time actually covers three geological periods, the Triassic, the Jurassic and the Cretaceous.  The first dinosaurs and the Pterosauria (flying reptiles), evolved in the Middle Triassic, although this is only an approximation as the evolutionary history of the Dinosauria and Pterosauria remains controversial due to the paucity of the fossil record.  Both these types of vertebrate reptiles rapidly diversified and for the next one hundred and sixty million years these types of creatures dominated the land and the air respectively.  For the Pterosaurs, the evolution of the birds (descended from Theropod dinosaurs), led to them being challenged for aerial dominance and as a group, the flying reptiles began to decline in terms of the number of genera and species towards the end of the Cretaceous.  Both the Pterosaurs and the Dinosauria went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous.

This super, beautifully illustrated A2-sized poster shows how the world changed over the time of the “Age of Dinosaurs”.  Three scenes are presented, one for each of the geological periods and dates for the length of these immensely long geological periods are provided.

A Fantastic Dinosaur Timeline Poster

The excellent Dinosaur Timeline Poster

The excellent Dinosaur Timeline Poster

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Each prehistoric scene depicts the flora and fauna associated with that particular time period.  It provides an excellent, visual guide to the changes to life on Earth during the time of the dinosaurs.  There are a total of thirty prehistoric animals illustrated and the poster provides a stunning depiction of prehistoric life.  The dinosaur timeline poster has a key to help viewers to identify the animals and the dioramas really help young minds to understand the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods and the types of animals and plants that flourished.

To see the range of educational prehistoric animal posters available from Everything Dinosaur: Dinosaur Posters for Kids

This colourful dinosaur timeline poster measures 42cm by 59.4cm and it is a really well thought out dinosaur and prehistoric animal poster.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“We have searched for quite a while to find a colourful, accurate and educational dinosaur timeline poster and we are delighted with this item.  Retailing for under £2.50 GBP [2015] plus post and packaging, this poster represents fantastic value.  We highly recommend it for use in schools, for use by home educationalists and for the bedroom walls of young dinosaur fans.”

A Close up of the Jurassic Scene from the Dinosaur Timeline Poster

Beautifully illustrated and educational

Beautifully illustrated and educational.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Wild Safari Dinosaurs Monolophosaurus Wins Award

Monolophosaurus Voted Best Prehistoric Animal Toy Figure of 2014

Readers of “Prehistoric Times” magazine have voted the Monolophosaurus dinosaur model made by Safari Ltd as the best prehistoric animal toy figure for 2014.  This dinosaur is known from just one fossil specimen found in north-western China (Xinjiang Province), it has been assigned to the Megalosauroidea super-family of the Theropoda, although its phylogenetic affinities remain unclear.  It was certainly a formidable hunter, reaching lengths in excess of five metres and perhaps weighing as much as four male African lions (Panthero leo).

Award Winning Monolophosaurus Dinosaur Model

Middle Jurassic Theropod Dinosaur

Middle Jurassic Theropod Dinosaur

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd

This model, originally sculpted by Doug Watson, is part of the highly successful Wild Safari Dinosaurs model range made by Safari Ltd.   The Monopholosaurus was one of three, new dinosaurs added to this range in 2014, the others being the spinosaurid Suchomimus and the horned dinosaur Pachyrhinosaurus.

Everything Dinosaur produced a short, video review of this model back in February 2014.  This video (running time of 5:49), provides details about this dinosaur, its discovery and reflects on the way the model maker has interpreted the fossil evidence.

Everything Dinosaur Reviews the Wild Safari Dinosaurs Monolophosaurus

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It’s a pat on the back for Safari Ltd for having their Monolophosaurus honoured in this way.  For us, it is very pleasing to see Middle Jurassic dinosaurs from China being included in such a prestigious model series.  Most model ranges include the likes of Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex but for a company to produce a replica of Monolophosaurus, this really helps to make that range stand out.”

To view the range of Safari Ltd models available from Everything Dinosaur: Safari Ltd Prehistoric Animal Models

For us, what’s the most intriguing thing about “Single Crested Lizard”?  Surprisingly, it’s not trying to work out the function of that bizarre, thin crest on the head.  The jawbone of the holotype showed signs of puncture marks and scratches that were made by the teeth of another meat-eating dinosaur.  Since no other parts of the holotype fossil material showed such signs, this was interpreted as not post-mortem scavenging on the carcase, but evidence of “face biting” between rivals, perhaps even siblings.

A Customer Review of the Schleich Kentrosaurus

Latest Customer Review of the Schleich Kentrosaurus Dinosaur Model

At Everything Dinosaur we get lots of customer comments and feedback including views on the latest prehistoric model purchases made by dinosaur fans and collectors.  Here is a review we have received about the Schleich Kentrosaurus, a very colourful and detailed replica introduced by Schleich along with their Anhanguera Pterosaur replica.  There are more new releases due from Schleich towards the middle of the year including a fantastic Giganotosaurus dinosaur figure.

The Beautiful Schleich Kentrosaurus Dinosaur Model (World of History)

Available from Everything Dinosaur.

Available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Here is the Customer Review

This is great model.  The detail and accuracy rivals Papo models. Probably the best detailing and realism Schleich have come up with to date.  The dynamic pose gives a sense of movement and great if you want to display him interacting with another dino model.  If you are a collector I suggest you get this one as we might just be seeing the first in a line of superior sculpting from Schleich.  He may be “spikey” but there are no hard or sharp ends so he should be quite safe for a child.

We at Everything Dinosaur welcome the opinions and views of our customers. It is always a pleasure to hear from our customers.

To view the superb, Schleich World of History dinosaur and prehistoric animal models: Schleich World of History Prehistoric Animals

What about the service received from Everything Dinosaur?  The reviewer went onto add:

“As usual friendly, helpful service from Everything Dinosaur.  Posted the day after ordering and arrived the following day.  I always seem to get my orders from Everything Dinosaur within 48 hours of ordering …fantastic!”

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.

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