Category: Product Reviews

Collecta Ichthyovenator Dinosaur Model Reviewed

A Review of the Collecta Ichthyovenator Dinosaur Model

Over the last decade or so, palaeontologists have begun to realise that the Spinosaurs were a very geographically widespread group of Theropod dinosaurs.  Fossils have been found in South America, Africa, Europe and there has even been fragmentary remains assigned to Spinosaurids found in Australia.

To learn more about the evidence for Spinosaurs in Australia: Evidence for Spinosaurs in Australia

When the fossils of Ichthyovenator were discovered by a French led, scientific expedition to the Savannakhet Basin of south, central Laos in 2010, they represented the first definitive spinosaurid fossil material to have been found in the whole of Asia.

Ichthyovenator is known from an individual specimen, all the fossil bones assigned to this new genus of carnivorous dinosaur were found in a single stone block, about two metres square.  The fossils consist of two dorsal vertebrae (backbones), five partially articulated sacral vertebrae (back-bones over the hips), two tail bones, elements from the hips themselves and a single rib.  No skull material was found so Collecta have modelled the head of Ichthyovenator on better known Spinosaurs such as Suchomimus.  The head on the dinosaur model is typical for a Spinosaur, the snout is long and narrow and there is a distinctive hook in the front portion of the upper jaw.

As well as being the first definitive Spinosaur from Asia, Ichthyovenator is the first to be described that had two sail-like structures running along its back.  The two dorsal vertebrae, numbers 12 and 13 are adjacent to hip area, dorsal vertebrae 12 is tall and fan shaped, it is believed to have supported a sail that ran from just before the hips down to the shoulder.  The first sacral vertebra is less than 50% of the size of dorsal vertebra number 13, it is very much reduced, so it could not have supported a sail-like structure, the sacral vertebrae posterior to it are much larger and the sacral vertebrae numbers 3 and 4 are fan shaped just like dorsal vertebra number 12.  This suggests that a second “sail” ran from over the hips down to the base of the tail.

The Collecta Ichthyovenator Dinosaur Model

The first mainstream model available of this bizarre dinosaur.

The first mainstream model available of this bizarre dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In essence, based on the fossil evidence, Ichthyovenator seems to have U-shaped notch in the middle of its back.  The model shows these bizarre sails in fine detail.  The sails have been tipped with large scales and there is a row of spines running parallel to the sails on each side of the model.  There are also prominent projections on the thigh.  These projections, in combination with the triangular spines on the tail give this dinosaur a very crocodile-like appearance.

The model measures a fraction under eighteen centimetres in length.  No one knows for sure how big Ichthyovenator (I. laosensis) was but it has been estimated to have been between seven and a half and nine metres in length.  This makes this model to be around the 1:42 to 1:50 scale size.  Ichthyovenator could have weighed as much as two and half tonnes.

Collecta have decided to put their Ichthyovenator model onto a base.  This gives the model stability, allows the feet to be moulded in proportion to the rest of the dinosaur’s body and in this case, it gives a hint at where the animal might have lived.  The feet are sunk into the base, to give the impression of the dinosaur standing on soft mud, the base even has claw marks and a fragment of a leaf.  It is thought that Ichthyovenator hunted for fish on the banks of large rivers that criss-crossed Laos in the Early Cretaceous.

Ichthyovenator even has a small fish in its mouth, to reinforce the idea of this dinosaur being closely related to other fish-eating dinosaurs such as Suchomimus and Baryonyx.  It is appropriate for the Collecta dinosaur model to show this, after all, the name of this dinosaur translates as “Fish Hunter from Laos”.

A Close up Showing the Fish in the Mouth of Ichthyovenator

"Fish Hunter from Laos".

“Fish Hunter from Laos”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

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

This is a beautifully crafted, hand-painted replica of Ichthyovenator, a dinosaur that was only named and scientifically described two years ago.  It is an exciting addition to the Collecta range of dinosaur models.

A Review of the Xenoceratops Dinosaur Model from Collecta

Everything Dinosaur Reviews the Collecta Xenoceratops

The prehistoric animal model manufacturer called Collecta have produced a number of horned dinosaur models over recent years and in 2014 they have introduced a replica of the bizarre Xenoceratops, a horned dinosaur that is distantly related to the better known Styracosaurus and Pachyrhinosaurus.

This dinosaur is known only from fragmentary skull material representing at least 3 individual animals found in Upper Cretaceous strata in south-western Alberta, the rest of the animal has been modelled on more complete fossil material.  Collecta have chosen to give their replica a very striking paint job, with a black body contrasting with a lighter coloured underside and white strips on the head crest standing out against flashes of blood red located on the nasal bone and on the top of the neck frill.

The Collecta Xenoceratops Dinosaur Model

The dinosaur with "alien" headgear

The dinosaur with “alien” headgear

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Note that Xenoceratops has been give a line of bristle-like protrusions running along the top of the hips to the base of the tail.  Palaeontologists have uncovered evidence to suggest that some Late Cretaceous horned dinosaurs may have had bristles or quills on their rumps.  If they had such structures,  then there purpose remains unclear, perhaps they were brightly coloured and used in visual communication between members of the herd.  If viewed from the side, the bristles may have made this herbivore look bigger than it actually was, a deterrent to an attacking Tyrannosaur.  Or indeed, it has even been suggested that the structures were made up of sharp spines that could protect the hip area from attack, it has even been proposed that these spines were tipped with poison.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Collecta models including the new 2014 releases: Collecta Prehistoric Animal Models

The model measures approximately thirteen and a half centimetres long  and the tip of those impressive, white horns on the top of the frill are about seven centimetres off the ground.  Although it is difficult to conclusively gauge the size of this dinosaur based on the fossil record, we estimate that this model is in approximately 1:44 scale based on an adult Xenoceratops being around six metres in length.

The bizarre horns and neck shield of this dinosaur are very well recreated by Collecta.  It did have a spectacular frill with two huge horns sticking out of the top of the neck frill and two large, sideways pointing horns positioned over the eyes.  Analysis of a partial, right nasal bone suggests that this dinosaur may also have possessed another horn on the tip of its nose, this is not shown in the model but the base, the boss, is painted a bright red colour.

One area of a dinosaur model, often overlooked is the cloaca or vent, the posterior opening of the animal.  Collecta have made sure that their Xenoceratops has a very obvious vent and the model shows lots of nice detail on the underside.  Note the correct number of fingers and toes, again Collecta taking the time and trouble to make sure that the replica is anatomically correct.

View of the Underside of the Collecta Xenoceratops Dinosaur Model

Excellent detail on the underside of the dinosaur model.

Excellent detail on the underside of the dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This is an excellent addition to the Collecta range of prehistoric animal models, this is, after all, a replica of a dinosaur that itself was only named and described less than two years ago.

To read an article published by Everything Dinosaur announcing the discovery of this horned dinosaur: Horned Dinosaur with “Alien Headgear”

A Review of the Collecta Xenoceratops Dinosaur Model

Collecta Xenoceratops Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Although this dinosaur was named and formally described less than two years ago, Collecta have been quick to introduce a model of this strange horned dinosaur, whose fossil remains have been found in Alberta, Canada.  In this brief video review, (4.42),  team members at Everything Dinosaur discuss the model and relate this replica to the known fossil material.  Since only cranial material has been found, the shape of the body is based on other Centrosaurine members of the Ceratopsidae such as Pachyrhinosaurus, Centrosaurus and Styracosaurus.

The Video Review of the Collecta Xenoceratops

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This video looks at the colouration chosen for the model, comments on how the horns and neck frill have been depicted and we even talk about posterior vents!

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

Measuring around six metres in length, Xenoceratops (Xenoceratops foremostensis) was a sizeable beast.  In a number of on line articles, it has been stated that this dinosaur was named because with its many horns it looked alien.  Xenoceratops does mean “alien horned face”, but this Ornithischian dinosaur was named not because of its “alien looking” appearance but due to the rarity of Ceratopsian fossil material known from the Foremost Formation of south-western Alberta.

Papo Archaeopteryx Model – A Review

A Review of the 2014 Papo Archaeopteryx Model

The first of the new for 2014 prehistoric animal replicas to be released by Papo is this excellent model of the Late Jurassic “dino bird” known as Archaeopteryx.  Although no longer regarded as the “earliest bird” from the fossil record, as recent discoveries from north-eastern China have challenged Archaeopteryx’s taxonomic position in the Aves Order, the dozen or so fossils of this Late Jurassic creature remain some of the most studied vertebrate fossils to have ever been found.

Named  and described back in 1861, just two years after Charles Darwin had published the first edition of the “Origin of Species”.  Archaeopteryx is described as a transitional fossil between the reptiles and birds.  The fossil evidence reveals that Archaeopteryx had characteristics associated with a bird but it also retained a number of reptilian features.

Papo Archaeopteryx Model (New for 2014)

Ready for take off!

Ready for take off!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The design team at Papo have been keen to reflect a lot of what is known about Archaepteryx in their hand-painted replica and to also mirror some of the very latest research into this creature whose fossils have been found in southern Germany (Solnhofen).  For example, the figure is posed with its jaws wide open, permitting the teeth, so reminiscent of a small Theropod dinosaur to be prominently displayed.  The three-fingered claws on each wing are clearly visible and the claws themselves are strongly curved just like in the fossil material.

As for mirroring some of the very latest research, a close up of the dinosaur-like head reveals that the eyes are quite large, again reflecting the fossil data, but also the pupils are rounded.  Recent studies of the sclerotic rings, the ring of bones found in the eye socket of Archaeopteryx, indicate that this animal was very probably diurnal, that is, it was active during the day and it very probably had excellent colour vision.  Hence the bright, quirky plume of red coloured quills that project from the back of the skull – great for species recognition when you possess colour vision in what was largely still a green and brown world.

The Papo Archaeopteryx model measures approximately twelve and a half centimetres in length, from the tip of the jaws to the end of its fan of tail feathers.  The head itself, is around seven centimetres off the ground.  We estimate that this replica is in approximately 1 to 5 scale, based on fossil measurements that indicate that this creature was around the size of a modern day Magpie.

The paintwork is excellent, and a wide variety of colours have been used.  This marks a change for Papo as the rest of their prehistoric animal model range tends to be painted in one or two dominant colours.  Here we have bronze coloured feathers, contrasting with feathers painted white and light grey, even feathers showing a flash of azure blue with the top of the scaly neck painted an almost navy blue colour.

The detailing is superb with individual scales and feathers picked out on the model.  Perhaps, the quality of this model is best demonstrated by examining the underside of the tail, an area often neglected by other model making companies.  Here even the individual structure of feathers can be made out.

Unlike the majority of Papo’s carnivorous dinosaurs the jaws do not move, the reason for this is simple, when working with Papo we were told that the jaws proved too small to articulate, however, the fine detail of the mouth and the skull more than makes up for this.

An Excellent Papo Archaeopteryx Prehistoric Animal Model

Papo Archaeopteryx

Papo Archaeopteryx

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

All in all, this is an excellent model of an Archaeopteryx and one that is a welcome addition to the Papo model range, it does have a great deal to commend it.

To view the Papo prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals

Bullyland Prehistoric World Europasaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Museum Line Europasaurus Dinosaur Model Review

This is a brief review by Everything Dinosaur, the UK based retailer of dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed products.  The review is of the Bullyland Europasaurus dinosaur model,  part of the company’s Prehistoric World Museum Line range.

Bullyland Europasaurus Dinosaur Model

Europasaurus holgeri

Europasaurus holgeri

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A number of dinosaurs have names like the names of continents, the giant Titanosaur genus known as Antarctosaurus  for example, although this long-necked dinosaur’s fossils have not been found in Antarctica.  Europasaurus fossils were found in Europe and it was very distantly related to Antarctosaurus, but it was much smaller than this “southern giant”.  A thigh bone assigned to the Antarctosaurus genus is actually longer than a number of the complete fossilised skeletons of Europasaurus.

Europasaurus was a dwarf form, of a long-necked dinosaur.  A number of fossilised skeletons were discovered together in a limestone quarry in Lower Saxony, (Germany) in 1998.  These fossils represented individuals that ranged in size from 1.7 metres long up to over six metres in length.  At first, the fossils were thought to be of baby dinosaurs, but studies of growth marks preserved in the fossil bones (histological studies), later proved that the animals at around six metres long were indeed adults.  Europasaurus was a Brachiosaur, closely related to giant dinosaurs like Brachiosaurus and the huge Sauropod from Portugal called Lusotitan but it was much smaller, with even the very largest specimens probably weighing no more than a tonne.

The Museum Line Europasaurus

Dwarf dinosaur of the Late Jurassic.

Dwarf dinosaur of the Late Jurassic.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Europasaurus lived during the Late Jurassic approximately 154 million years ago.  At this time, much of Europe was covered by tropical seas.  There was an archipelago of small islands off the coast, this was land that had once been part of the mainland but rising sea levels had gradually cut-off  the dinosaur populations.  Dinosaurs that had been  marooned quickly adapted to living on islands with limited food resources and the Sauropod population evolved into a miniature form.

Smaller dinosaurs would need less food to sustain them and so the Sauropods became diminutive compared to their mainland ancestors.   Animals often become smaller when they are living on an island with limited food resources, this evolutionary process is called insular dwarfism.  Large animals become smaller over a number of generations as the population adapts to new circumstances.  Other examples from the fossil record include the dwarf prehistoric elephants that lived on the island of Crete and the tiny Titanosaur called Magyarosaurus from the Upper Cretaceous (Hateg Formation of Transylvania).

The Bullyland Europasaurus dinosaur model has been very carefully sculpted.  It has the typical domed head of a Brachiosaur and the forelimbs are larger than the hind limbs, again a typical trait of the Brachiosaurids.  This hand-painted model is a light tan colour with dark brown spots on the flanks and along the neck and tail.  This colouration would have proved to be effective camouflage for a herbivorous dinosaur living in a forest environment.  Bullyland state that their Europasaurus is in 1:30 scale, based on the size of the largest Europasaurus specimen known and given this model’s total length of 23cm we at Everything Dinosaur estimate a scale in the region of 1:26.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s rang of Bullyland dinosaurs: Museum Line Dinosaur Models including Europasaurus

There is much to be admired about this replica.  The large thumb claw on the front limbs is clearly visible and the nostrils have been positioned in the right place based on the known Europasaurus skull material.  The skin texture is particularly well done with lots of detail and there are even different shaped scales present over different parts of the dinosaur’s body.  As with all the named dinosaur and prehistoric animals supplied by Everything Dinosaur this model is supplied with its own fact sheet that will tell you a little more about Europasaurus, its discovery, and the latest information on this amazing Late Jurassic Sauropod.

A Close Up of the Head of Europasaurus

Nostrils are in the right place according to fossil study.

Nostrils are in the right place according to fossil study.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Review of the Carnegie Dinosaurs 2014 T. rex Replica

2014 T. rex Model (Carnegie Dinosaurs) is Reviewed

The only new addition for 2014 in the Carnegie Collectibles scale dinosaur model range made by Safari Ltd, is this updated version of Tyrannosaurus rex.  At Everything Dinosaur, we are aware that Safari Ltd have made quite a number of  T. rex models over the years, there have been a number of recent introductions, such as the excellent Wild Safari Dinos Tyrannosaurus rex model that came out back in 2012.

To see a video review of the 2012 Tyrannosaurus rex model introduction: Wild Safari Dinos T. rex Video Review

The reason for this particular dinosaur model’s introduction as we understand matters,  is to commemorate 25 years of working with the palaeontologists at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.  The model itself shows a number of modifications when compared to the very early Carnegie Collectibles Tyrannosaurs.   It has a more graceful appearance with slightly longer legs, the arms are significantly reduced and those famous two fingers are orientated towards the horizontal, a grasping position rather than the downward pointing “bunny pose”  for the claws as we at Everything Dinosaur refer to it.

The Carnegie Dinosaurs Tyrannosaurus rex Dinosaur Model
Carnegie Dinosaurs T. rex dinosaur model

Carnegie Dinosaurs T. rex dinosaur model

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The feet are smaller and in proportion to the rest of the model.  The design team have worked hard to make the middle toe of the foot, effectively the third toe, bigger than the other two supporting toes.  As the feet are more to scale with the rest of the replica, the model is balanced by having the tip of the long tail resting on the ground.

The model measures a little over 23cm in length but when the curvature of the tail is taken into consideration the total length is more like 25cm.  The top of the impressively painted skull is around 13cm off the ground.  Safari Ltd state that this replica is in approximate 1:40 scale, roughly in the same scale as a lot of this company’s other Theropod dinosaur figures.

The detail around the jaws is particularly praiseworthy.  Care has been taken to give the impression of different sized teeth in the jaws although the teeth in the premaxilla (front of the upper jaw),  look a little small.  However, the teeth are very well painted and they contrast nicely with the metallic red used to paint the interior of the mouth and the tongue.  The layout of the teeth gives the impression of an almost heterodont- like appearance.  The different sized teeth indicative of an animal that was able to replace teeth that were broken and had fallen out of its mouth.

New for 2014 from Safari Ltd (Tyrannosaurus rex Dinosaur Model)

Fearsome dinosaur 1:40 scale figure.

Fearsome dinosaur 1:40 scale figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We are sure that a number of palaeontologists will approve of the red coloured facial stripes that start at the tip of the muzzle and broaden out towards the back of the skull.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Safari Ltd prehistoric animal models: Carnegie Dinosaur Toys

Even with such a famous dinosaur as Tyrannosaurus rex, scientists are adding to their knowledge of Tyrannosaurs all the time and it is good to see a new replica of the “Tyrant Lizard King” added to the Safari Carnegie Dinosaur Collectibles range.  We at Everything Dinosaur even provide a  T. rex fact sheet so that collectors can read all about this iconic dinosaur, how it got its name, what it ate, what the fossils tell palaeontologists about how this animal may have fed and other fascinating snippets of information.

This is an excellent model of a Tyrannosaur, one that continues the Safari Ltd tradition of making good quality T. rex dinosaur models.

Papo Archaeopteryx Model Reviewed

A Review of the Papo Archaeopteryx Model

Archaeopteryx may not be the oldest known member of the Avian family tree any more, but it remains one of the most famous of all the creatures recorded in the fossil record and the “London” specimen, that marvellous slab of lithographic limestone acquired by Sir Richard Owen for the princely sum of £600.00 GBP, is perhaps one of the most studied fossils in all the world.  Fitting then in 2014, Papo of France have added a model of Archaeopteryx to their prehistoric animal model collection.

In the Late Jurassic, a large lagoon, dotted with low-lying islands and sheltered from the Tethys Ocean by a substantial reef, covered most of what is now known as southern Germany.  The fine grained limestone that was deposited as sediment, coupled with the anaerobic conditions to be found at the bottom of the still, brackish water led to the preservation of the flora and fauna of the area in exquisite detail.  A dozen or so specimens of Archaeopteryx have been discovered, including a single feather impression.  Sharing Archaeopteryx’s world were Pterosaurs such as Rhamphorynchus and other flying animals such as dragonflies.  Stalking amongst the undergrowth was the tiny Theropod dinosaur called Compsognathus, one of the smallest dinosaurs, whose fossilised remains have been found in Europe.  There were also turtles, king crabs, crocodiles, the remains of Ammonites that had been washed up.  Thanks to the Solnhofen Lagerstätte palaeontologists have been able to build up a detailed picture of life in this part of the world during the Late Jurassic.

For a definition of the term Lagerstätte: Lagerstätte Defined

The Papo Archaeopteryx Replica

New from Papo for 2014 a model of Archaeopteryx.

New from Papo for 2014 a model of Archaeopteryx.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Papo have combined the features of a reptile and a bird very well in this replica.  The model reflects the latest scientific thinking about this transitional fossil, even down to the streaks of darker feathers in the wings and the black tipped feathers that make up the rearward edges of those wings.  The three-fingered claws are clearly visible and the paintwork and detail around the reptilian-looking head is excellent.  The model measures around twelve and a half centimetres in length and the head is about seven centimetres off the ground.  Based on estimations that this “dino-bird” grew to the size of an extant magpie, our experts have estimated that this replica is in approximately 1:5 scale.

Papo Archaeopteryx About to Take to the Air

Papo Archaeopteryx "ancient wing" by Papo

Papo Archaeopteryx “ancient wing” by Papo

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The figure rests on its long, fan-like tail, as well as on its dainty toes.  The detailing on the underside of the tail is particularly praiseworthy.  The design team at Papo have carefully picked out the details of individual feathers, the central shaft or rachis can be made out and even some of the vanes that branch out from this central stem.  The colour scheme chosen is innovative and highly decorative and this Archaeopteryx even has a plume of red, display feathers on the back of its head.

To view the range of Papo models available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

All in all a delightful replica of this Late Jurassic flier.

The Wild Safari Dinosaurs Megalodon (Shark) Model Reviewed

Everything Dinosaur Review’s the C. megalodon Model

The Wild Safari Dinosaurs model range manufactured by Safari Ltd contains a wide range of prehistoric animal models, not just dinosaurs.  For example, recently introduced into this range is a replica of the prehistoric shark commonly referred to as “Megalodon” and it’s fitting to have a bespoke model of this apex predator added to a mainstream model maker’s range.

Let’s first deal with the name of this replica.  The term “Megalodon” refers to the actual species name.  It’s a bit like calling Tyrannosaurus rex just “rex”.  The scientific name for a species consists of two parts – the genus name which is the term used to define a group of closely related species and the specific or trivial name which identifies the actual species.  It is not technically correct to use the species name on its own, but due to the amount of media coverage that this very dangerous prehistoric shark has attracted, the name “Megalodon” has been firmly established in people’s minds.

The Wild Safari Dinos “Megalodon” Prehistoric Shark Model

Fearsome marine predator.

Fearsome marine predator.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The naming issue is further confused as palaeontologists remain unsure as to how this huge, meat-eating shark should be classified.  As a member of the shark family, this shark had a skeleton made of cartilage, the only fossils we have are a few isolated, calcified vertebrae and of course those famous triangular teeth.

To read an update on the classification debate surrounding this extinct fish: Getting Our Teeth into the C. megalodon debate

The model depicts “Megalodon” as an active predator, the model balances on its large pectoral fins and the lower fluke of the tail.  The triangular dorsal fin is roughly the same size as the top part of the tail.  Whether or not this is correct is open to speculation.  This shark has five prominent gill slits, very typical of Lamniformes (the Order of sharks that Megalodon, we shall stop putting this word in quotation marks for the rest of this article, is believed to belong to) and the huge eyes are painted black and positioned towards the top of the skull.

Fossils ascribed to the genus that we refer to in Everything Dinosaur as C. megalodon date from the Miocene to the Pliocene Epochs, ranging from 16 million years to around 1.6 million years ago.  The teeth, for which this shark is so famous, have been found in Europe, Africa, Australasia and North and South America.  This indicates that C. megalodon was a very geographically dispersed shark with a presence in virtually all of the tropical and sub-tropical waters of the world at some point during its evolutionary history.

As for the size of this monster, this causes quite a problem.  Although this fish was first scientifically described back in 1843, size estimates do vary considerably.  For example, the American zoologist Professor Bashford Dean suggested that this predator could reach lengths in excess of thirty metres.  However, most scientists suggest that it was smaller than this, perhaps reaching lengths of fifteen metres or more, with a maximum weight of around 20,000 kilogrammes.

As this Safari Ltd replica measures around nineteen centimetres  in total length, then based on the estimated size of approximately fifteen metres, this model represents a 1:78 scale figure.

The model makers and design team have once again done a fantastic job when it comes to painting.  It is not known what colouration this shark actually had, however, as an active predator, probably patrolling open waters and ambushing mammalian prey and large fish from below, the model has been painted a battleship grey colour topside, with contrasting white markings underneath and along the flanks.  Many of the fins, including that impressive dorsal fin have been tipped with black paint.

A feature of this model that is particularly well done are the rows of the teeth visible in the open mouth.  Three rows of triangular shaped teeth are visible in the lower jaw and three rows of teeth have been clearly defined in the upper jaw.  Once again the paint job around the mouth is excellent with individual teeth carefully picked out.

A Close up of the Model Showing the Teeth

Rows and rows of teeth inside the mouth.

Rows and rows of teeth inside the mouth.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This is an exciting addition to the Wild Safari Dinosaurs model range made by Safari Ltd and it means that Everything Dinosaur now has a model of the shark known as “Megalodon” to supply to model collectors and fans of prehistoric animals.  Everything Dinosaur even supplies a fact sheet all about C. megalodon and this will be sent out with model sales.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s stock of Safari Ltd prehistoric animal models: Wild Safari Dinosaurs models including Megalodon

A Review of the Wild Safari Dinos Monolophosaurus Model

Monolophosaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Recently introduced into the varied and diverse Wild Safari Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life model series is this replica of the Mid Jurassic predatory dinosaur from North-west China called Monolophosaurus (M. jiangi).

Although, not the biggest meat-eating dinosaur from China, the discovery of Monolophosaurus has helped palaeontologists to develop a better understanding of how Theropod dinosaurs evolved and radiated into a number of different Super-Families dominating ecosystems and becoming the foremost land-based predators for next 110 million years or so.

Monolophosaurus means “single crested lizard”, it was named in 1993 and this new dinosaur model from the design team of Safari Ltd amply demonstrates how this dinosaur got its name.   There is a large ridge of bone running from the tip of the snout to just before the eye-sockets, this formed a substantial crest, the function of which remains unknown.  Although an integral part of the skull, this crest was largely hollow and it being used in head-butting contests between rivals has been ruled out as the crest is too weak to withstand the stresses of such impacts.  It was probably used as a visual signalling device between mature individuals and in recognition of this theory, the designers at Safari Ltd have painted their crest with a splash of bright red.

The Wild Safari Dinosaurs Monolophosaurus Dinosaur Model

Middle Jurassic Theropod Dinosaur

Middle Jurassic Theropod Dinosaur

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd/Everything Dinosaur

A common mistake made by dinosaur model collectors is to assume that Monolophosaurus is closely related to the dinosaur known as “Double crested lizard ” – Dilophosaurus.  When we compare the Monolophosaurus replica with the Wild Safari Dinosaurs Dilophosaurus model, there is some resemblance, both dinosaurs had distinctive crests, but this similarity is only superficial.  Although, the exact taxonomic position of Monolophosaurus remains open to debate, most palaeontologists believe that this dinosaur is a primitive member of the Tetanuran group of meat-eating dinosaurs and as such it is more closely related to Allosaurus than it is to Dilophosaurus.

Dilophosaurus and Monolophosaurus Compared

Wild Safari Dinosaurs compared.

Wild Safari Dinosaurs compared.

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd/Everything Dinosaur

Known from a single fossil specimen of an adult animal, this dinosaur grew to lengths of around five and a half metres.  With a total length of 21 centimetres, we at Everything Dinosaur estimate that this replica is in approximately 1:26 scale.  The fossilised skull bones of Monolophosaurus represent one of the best preserved Theropod dinosaur skulls found to date.

This model is very well balanced and gives the impression of a strongly built dinosaur.  The tail makes up around half the length of the model.  Although the actual size of this dinosaur’s tail is unknown, as when the strata containing the fossils of Monolophosaurus was being excavated it was discovered that almost the whole of the tail had already weathered out of the rocks and been eroded away.

The model makers at Safari Ltd have once again done a fantastic job when it comes to painting.  Even individual teeth in the long, narrow jaws have been carefully picked out.  The body and flanks are painted a reddish brown with a slightly lighter tan coloured line merging into a stone coloured underside.

The skin texture is excellent, although no skin impressions of Monolophosaurus have been found, this dinosaur has been given a hide comprising of irregularly shaped and sized dermal scales.  There is a single row of raised scales that run from the back of the head to almost the end of the tail giving this meat-eating dinosaur a striking, formidable appearance, very appropriate really as it was probably the apex predator in its environment.

Carnegie Prehistoric Animal Replicas and Wild Safari Dinos: Wild Safari Dinosaurs and Carnegie Collectibles

This is an exciting addition to the Wild Safari Dinosaurs model range made by Safari Ltd and it is always a pleasure to see an important fossil specimen interpreted as a prehistoric animal replica.

How to Make an Ankylosaurus Soft and Cuddly

New Soft Toy Dinosaurs from Everything Dinosaur

Another day and another lot of new additions to the ever growing range of dinosaur soft toys.  One of our ambitions was to find a soft toy Ankylosaurus, but given that this dinosaur is often described as a “living tank”, it is not very often associated with the terms “cute and cuddly”.  However, in the Dinosauria range we now have two Ankylosaurus soft toys, a large one measuring sixty centimetres from its beak to the tip of its tail club and a smaller version, perhaps a baby, that measures forty-four centimetres in length.  They are a couple of soft toy Ankylosaurus.

Could this be a Mum and Baby Ankylosaurus?

Ankylosaurus soft toy dinosaurs

Ankylosaurus soft toy dinosaurs

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Described by Everything Dinosaur team members as “chunky and soft”, this is a super soft toy dinosaur.  However, we should leave the last word to the Ankylosaurus itself, it has a hang-tag that provides some information on the actual prehistoric animal.  Not to worry Ankylosaurus, team members can always send out a fact sheet written by our own dinosaur experts should anyone want to know a little more about this extremely large member of the Thyreophora (the sub-group of the Dinosauria to which all armoured dinosaurs belong).

Ankylosaurus says:

“Hello, I am an Ankylosaurus.  I have a heavily armoured body and a club-like tail to protect me from meat-eating predators.  I lived about 70 -65 million years ago.  I was the last of the armoured dinosaurs to evolve and was also the biggest.  I was a plant-eater and I need to eat a huge amount of food to sustain myself.  To aid with digestion, I produced remarkable amounts of gas… whoops excuse me!”

To view Everything Dinosaur’s ever growing range of soft toy dinosaurs, including “windy Ankylosaurs”: Dinosaur Soft Toys

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