Significant Rock Fall at Stonebarrow Hill

Rock Fall Highlights the Dangers of Dorset Cliffs

Everything Dinosaur team members have received reports about a large rock fall in the area of Stonebarrow Hill, east of the popular tourist destination – Charmouth (Dorset).  With many schools due to have their half-term break in the next couple of weeks or so, the beaches in this part of Lyme Regis will soon start to get busy with eager fossil collectors looking to find fossils washed out of the cliffs during the winter storms.  However, the significant rock fall highlights the potential dangers when fossil hunting close to unstable cliffs.

Large Boulders and Debris Under Stonebarrow Hill

Rock fall at Stonebarrow Hill (Dorset).

A significant rock fall at Stonebarrow Hill (Dorset).

Picture Credit: Brandon Lennon

Local fossil expert and fossil walks tour guide, Brandon Lennon commented:

“The large fall happened after the last storm.  Huge blocks came tumbling down onto the beach.  This area, the beach to the east of Charmouth, is a particularly popular fossil hunting location, especially for ammonites as the low tide washes fossils out of the mud slips.”

Blue-Grey Lower Lias Clays

The unstable and rapidly eroding cliffs to the east of the old cement works and Charmouth visitor centre are composed of blue-grey lower lias clays.  At low tide the foreshore area is exposed and this is a popular part of the Dorset coast for fossil collecting, especially in the early Spring after winter storms.  Like much of the coast in this part of Dorset, the cliffs are extremely dangerous and rock falls are common.  The cliffs rise steeply and any debris falling from them has the momentum to travel quite a long way onto the sandy beach before coming to rest.  We urge all would-be fossil hunters to take great care when visiting this part of the Dorset coast.

Stonebarrow Hill in Relation to the Charmouth Visitor Centre

Charmouth and Stonebarrow Hill.

The view east of Lyme Regis showing Charmouth and the location of Stonebarrow Hill.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above was taken in 2015 and it shows the location of Stonebarrow Hill in relation to Charmouth.  This is the view looking eastwards from the newly constructed coastal seawall at Lyme Regis.  A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“The fossil hunting season is nearly upon us!  Longer days and better weather (hopefully), we see popular fossil hunting places like Lyme Regis attracting large numbers of amateur fossil hunters and families keen to explore the area in the hope of finding some Jurassic-age marine fossils to take home.  However, the recent rock fall at Stonebarrow Hill highlights the potential dangers and we urge all visitors to stay away from the cliffs.”

The action of time and tide over the winter months will have exposed a lot of new material on the beaches to the east and west of the picturesque town of Lyme Regis.  There will be lots of fossils awaiting discovery and visitors do not have to stray too close to the cliffs to find them.

Eyes Down – Fossil Prospecting

Prospecting for fossils (Lyme Regis)

Looking for fossils at Lyme Regis.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The foreshore will contain plenty of fossils that have been washed down from the cliffs, this area, well clear of the cliffs, will still provide plenty of fun for families looking for ammonites, belemnite guards, crinoid stems and such like.  You might get really lucky and find an Ichthyosaur paddle bone or a vertebra.

The unstable cliffs coupled with dangerous tides can never be taken lightly.  Our best advice is to go on a guided fossil walk with a local expert.  A fossil expert, such as Brandon Lennon, with his wealth of knowledge, can show visitors to the Lyme Regis area, the best (and safest) places to find fossils.

For information on guided fossil walks: Lyme Regis Fossil Walks

Preparations for Everything Dinosaur’s New Website

Everything Dinosaur’s New Website

The countdown has begun to the launch of Everything Dinosaur’s new website.  There is less than two weeks to go, customers and visitors will still be directed to the same website address Everything Dinosaur but the site they visit will have been completely revamped.

There will be greater numbers of dinosaur models and dinosaur toys, plus much more mobile device friendly software supporting the extensive platform.  Customers will find it easier to leave feedback and comments on Everything Dinosaur’s range of prehistoric animal merchandise and on the company’s customer service.  Navigation will also be easier across the site.  Individual categories will have their own, bespoke images, helping visitors to explore the entire range of items, including dinosaur soft toys and collectables offered by Everything Dinosaur.

New Images for the Product Categories on the Everything Dinosaur Website

New Images for the Everything Dinosaur website.

The “party” category at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We have listened to our customers and our aim is to provide a website that meets their needs and requirements.”

A New, Cleaner Layout for the Everything Dinosaur Website 

A better layout for the Everything Dinosaur website.

The layout of the new Everything Dinosaur website.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows a draft image from the new Everything Dinosaur website.  The site is currently in beta format but it will be rolled out and available to view in a couple of weeks.  New model lines will shortly be added to the company’s already extensive dinosaur model portfolio.   In addition, the “dinosaurs for schools site” and the Everything Dinosaur blog (this platform), will also be transferred to new servers as part of a substantial investment to help the company continuously improve its customer service.

The site will also be streamlined to permit more sensible and straight-forward “breadcrumb” trails to be constructed.  This will allow customers to toggle backwards and forwards across the various sections and categories with ease.  In addition, load times will be even faster than before and the checkout service will have updates helping to maintain customer security and confidentiality.

The Everything Dinosaur spokesperson added:

“Customer security such as the safeguarding of any financial data is extremely important to us.  The new website contains a number of new security upgrades and enhanced protections to ensure shopping on line with Everything Dinosaur is not only very easy but also safe.”

New services such as enhanced signed for and tracked delivery services have been promised.  The company spokesperson also confirmed that all delivery costs will continue to be subsidised and that for persons purchasing outside of the European Union, all product prices will be tax free (minus 20%).  Customers purchasing from outside the European Union do not have to pay the sales tax (VAT).

Look out for the launch of the new Everything Dinosaur website, it is scheduled to take place later this month!

Video of New for 2017 Papo Dinosaurs

Papo Dinosaurs 2017 – Quick Video

Last month, Everything Dinosaur team members got the opportunity to view the finished dinosaur models that are new for 2017 from Papo.  Papo will be bringing out a number of prehistoric animals this year, including a re-painted Velociraptor, a Ceratosaurus, Cryolophosaurus, a Polacanthus, an Acrocanthosaurus, plus a re-paint of the existing Oviraptor replica.  We were able to shoot a quick video (fifty seconds), which showcases these new models.

New from Papo 2017 (Papo Dinosaur Models)

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Papo Dinosaurs for 2017

The video gives viewers an opportunity to see the relative sizes of the various new dinosaur models, the first of which (Polacanthus and the two re-painted replicas), are due in stock at Everything Dinosaur in a few days’ time.  The short video (we apologise for the lighting), gives viewers the chance to see how big the impressive Acrocanthosaurus is when compared to the other new models.  The Papo Sabre-Tooth Cat (Smilodon), the Dimorphodon figure and the Cave Bear models were not available at the time, but we do have some pictures of these finished models and we will be posting them up shortly.

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

 Six New Papo Dinosaurs

The biggest of the new models, one of the largest models that Papo will be producing this year, is the awesome Acrocanthosaurus (A. atokensis) replica.  Like many dinosaur fans, Everything Dinosaur is delighted to see more models of this spectacular Cretaceous Theropod dinosaur coming onto the market.

The Papo Acrocanthosaurus Dinosaur Model

The Papo Acrocanthosaurus dinosaur model.

The Papo Acrocanthosaurus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Papo Model Availability (Release Dates)

  • Polacanthus, Blue Oviraptor and Blue Velociraptor (imminent, expected within about two weeks).
  • Acrocanthosaurus, Ceratosaurus, the flying reptile figure (a Dimorphodon), the prehistoric cat (Smilodon) and the Cave Bear – around end quarter two, around June/July or thereabouts.
  • Papo Cryolophosaurus – the last model scheduled to be released, this is expected around August time, but it could be a little earlier.

Check out Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.

The Papo Polacanthus Dinosaur Model

Papo Polacanthus replica.

Papo Polacanthus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The photograph above shows the new for 2017 Papo Polacanthus, complete with that famous sacral shield.  The model should be with us in a few weeks, it too, is a great sculpt and we can’t wait to get this dinosaur (first named and described back in 1865), into stock.

The Papo Cryolophosaurus Dinosaur Model

Papo Cryolophosaurus dinosaur model.

Papo Cryolophosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The last model to be introduced this year, is the wonderful Papo Cryolophosaurus dinosaur figure.  The photograph shows a close-up view of this skilfully painted, meat-eating dinosaur.  The design team at Papo are to be congratulated for their clever and very creative colour schemes.  We have already nick-named this particular model “the Papo Elvis”, in honour of that unusual nasal crest that this dinosaur had, the function of which remains unknown, but it has been speculated that it had a role in visual display.

Foundation Children and Year 2 Study Dinosaurs

January – A Month of Studying Dinosaurs

Children in the Foundation Stage and Year 2 at Our Lady & St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, (Rotherham, South Yorkshire), spent last month learning all about dinosaurs and fossils.  The dedicated and enthusiastic teaching staff had put together an exciting and challenging scheme of work and as part of a planned range of experiences, Everything Dinosaur was invited into the school to deliver dinosaur and fossil themed workshops for the children.  The visitor from Everything Dinosaur had already liaised with the teaching staff to ensure that the Foundation Stage 1 children (Nursery), could be involved.  The Foundation Stage 1 children are split between a morning session and an afternoon session.  To allow all the Nursery and Reception children to participate, it was simply a case of dividing the Reception class into two.  This meant that some Reception children could have a workshop with the morning Nursery children, whilst the remainder of the class could have a workshop after lunch joining the afternoon Nursery class.  The dinosaur expert coordinated his lesson plans with the school so that each group had a similar kinaesthetic and visual learning experience.  This would help the Reception class team, when the children were brought together again, to review the many photographs of the workshop as part of a recall/recounting activity.

Lots of Amazing Dinosaur Designs

Drawings of dinosaurs.

Dinosaur drawings.

Picture Credit: Our Lady & St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and Everything Dinosaur

Design Your Own Dinosaur!

Several extension ideas came out of the dinosaur workshops.  For example, we challenged the children to have a go at designing their own dinosaur.  We wanted to see if the children could label the body parts of their prehistoric animal creation, especially the skull.  We carefully arranged the drawings from the classes, (the teacher had kindly sent in the drawings to us), on our warehouse floor, these were photographed before they were pinned onto our various display boards.

Imaginative Dinosaur Designs

Dinosaur drawings.

Wonderful dinosaur drawings.

Picture Credit: Our Lady & St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and Everything Dinosaur

We asked the Year 2 children to consider what colour the dinosaur might be?  Where would it have lived?  How would it have kept itself safe in the Age of Dinosaurs?  This activity for the Reception children helps them with their fine motor skills as well as reinforcing ideas about our own bodies and how they differ from animals.

Under the guidance of the teaching team, many of the children embellished their designs using different materials like sparkles, coloured circles, buttons and feathers.  Feathers are quite appropriate as palaeontologists are confident that a large number of dinosaurs were indeed, covered in a coat of shaggy feathers.

Lots of Dinosaurs were Feathered

A feathered ornithomimid dinosaur.

Mums and Dads with wings in the Ornithomimidae

Picture Credit: Press Association (illustration by Julius Csotonyi)

A Jessosaurus One of the Dinosaur Designs

A dinosaur design.

Jessosaurus – dinosaur design.

Picture Credit: Our Lady & St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and Everything Dinosaur

A Long-Legged Dinosaur with Big Eyes

A very long-legged dinosaur.

A long-legged dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Our Lady & St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and Everything Dinosaur

For further information about Everything Dinosaur’s teaching work in schools and dinosaur workshops: Contact Everything Dinosaur

Our thanks to the teaching team at Our Lady & St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School for sending into Everything Dinosaur such a super selection of dinosaur drawings.

“Les Dinosaures” Drawing Materials from Papo

“Les Dinosaures” Drawing Materials from Papo

Papo the France-based model and figure manufacturer have donated a pdf featuring prehistoric animals so that Everything Dinosaur can offer this as a free to download Key Stage 1 and EYFS teaching resource for schools.  Children enjoy colouring pictures of dinosaurs and other amazing creatures that lived in the past, the Papo colouring in materials features the horned dinosaur Styracosaurus (Late Cretaceous) and a Sabre-Tooth Cat, a Smilodon (Pleistocene Epoch).

The Prehistoric Animal Drawing to Colour In

Prehistoric animal scene to colour in from Papo of France.

Prehistoric animal drawing materials donated by Papo.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur and Papo

Everything Dinosaur offers a wide range of free to download teaching resources as part of its extensive work in schools, helping to teach about life in the past.

A spokesperson for Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Our thanks to Papo for sending across the image, it will be available as a free to download pdf file from our specialist dinosaurs for schools website.  We now offer over thirty free downloads of teaching resources for schools, aimed at Foundation Stage through to Key Stage 4.”

To see the Everything Dinosaur specialist schools site and to gain access to the free to download teaching materials and other resources: Everything Dinosaur School Website

Word Mats, Lesson Plans and How to Demonstrate Birds are Dinosaurs

A number of Papo prehistoric animal models are used in our dinosaur themed workshops with children.  For example, when discussing evolution and natural selection with Year six pupils we use models of the various Velociraptors made by Papo to demonstrate how our ideas about dinosaurs have changed over time.  The Papo feathered Velociraptor is ideal for demonstrating how closely related to birds some Theropod dinosaurs were.

The Papo Velociraptor Dinosaur Model Makes a Useful Teaching Aid

The Papo feathered Velociraptor dinosaur model.

Available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Papo feathered Velociraptor dinosaur model makes a wonderful, tactile teaching aid when demonstrating how closely related the Aves (birds), are to some kinds of dinosaur.  This element from our dinosaur workshop provides lots of extension ideas and activities.  The class become avid bird watchers, or should that be “avian dinosaur watchers”.

When working with younger children we challenge them to develop their vocabulary using pictures of Papo prehistoric animal models.  We have made a series of word mats, that once laminated can help children gain confidence with new words and can help them learn the differences between people and animals.  The accompanying pronunciation guide and geological time line proves very useful to the teachers too.

Papo Model Inspired Word Mats Produced by Everything Dinosaur

Word mat featuring Spinosaurus.

Papo Spinosaurus word mat.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

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

Everything Dinosaur Customer Reviews

Everything Dinosaur Customer Reviews

As Everything Dinosaur prepares to introduce a new website, time today to reflect on all the wonderful reviews the company has received from its customers.  Over 1,500 comments, reviews and feedback from customers have been posted up on Everything Dinosaur’s website, we are grateful for them all.  The “dinosaurs for schools” website has a different review format.  This website in the Everything Dinosaur portfolio is dedicated to helping teachers, teaching assistants and educationalists and provides lots of helpful prehistoric animal themed resources for schools.  There are more than thirty free downloads available, all aimed at supporting the curriculum, this website has reviews of our dinosaur themed workshops posted up.  Over 170 schools have provided feedback and we are very proud of our five-star rating.

Recent Reviews on the Everything Dinosaur Website:

  • Sculptor Doug Watson has thoroughly consulted modern scientific literature on the “Tyrant King” to create this defining model.  Whilst the reality of soft tissue extent and integumentary coverage in Tyrannosaurus rex is long lost in the depths of time, this model is anatomically precise, and is a very feasible reconstruction based on the forensic modern approach to dinosaur research.  There is nothing “fluffy” or soft about this reconstruction.  It is perfectly realised as THE alpha predator stem bird!  Exceptional.  No collector should be without one! [Wild Safari Prehistoric World Feathered T. rex model].
  • An awesome model.  Absolutely quality, fantastic model; great size and beautiful detail!  [CollectA Kelenken Terror Bird replica].
  • Nice to deal with a company that cares about its customers.  I would just like to thank you, received my order today it is a lovely set, my grandson will love it, nice to deal with a company who cares about their customers from the start of ordering to end with delivery.  Keep up the good work.  Thank you. [Dinosaur Dinner Set]
  • It seems I was lucky in nabbing the last one from ED so I will just say, if you like the look of this replica, it’s well worth the effort hunting one down.  As usual ED are extremely helpful and super-fast dispatching their orders.  Thank you. [Rebor 1:1 scale Lourinhanosaurus replica – limited edition].

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Feathered T. rex Model Has Attracted a Lot of Favourable Reviews

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Feathered Tyrannosaurus rex.

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Feathered T. rex.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Recent Reviews on the Everything Dinosaur “dinosaurs for school” Website:

  • The whole morning session was excellent.  Children (and staff) were engaged and enthralled by the information, fossils and activities.  Support and follow-up ideas are excellent and have really helped to shape my topic from this point.  Overall a fantastic experience and learning session for all involved.  Brilliant workshop!  [Dinosaur Workshop KS1]
  • The children had an amazing experience today.  The detail of the lesson plan and discussion beforehand meant that lots of knowledge was reinforced and gained.  Dino Mike had the whole class mesmerised for the duration of the session.  The resources were great.  [Year 1]
  • Another wonderful session.  All children involved very active and interactive, ideal for the age of the children.  Mike’s energy and personality are so well suited to these sessions.  I know Mike has visited at least seven times before over the years and I guarantee that we will book again.  [Reception]

Everything Dinosaur’s Workshops in Schools Help to Popularise Science in Schools

Getting involved in science.

Get up close to science with a hands-on public day at Daresbury SciTech.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We look forward to having even more reviews and customer comments on our new website.

Fossil Hunting at Nuremberg Airport

Fossil Hunting at the Airport

Waiting at an airport can be quite boring.  Once check in and the security searches have been completed, then there is not much more to do prior to boarding your flight.  However, for Everything Dinosaur team members returning from Germany, one airport provided them with the opportunity to go on an unexpected fossil hunt.  The polished limestone floors at Nuremberg Airport (southern Germany), are full of Jurassic marine invertebrate fossils.

A Fossil Spotted at the Airport (Nuremberg Airport)

The stone floors at Nuremberg airport are full of fossils.

A cephalopod fossil (ammonite) on the airport stone floor.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Jurassic of Germany

In southern Germany, particularly the state of Bavaria, in the region from Nuremberg in the north to Munich in the south, there are many limestone exposures and limestone quarries to be found.  Formed from carbonate rich muds that once existed at the bottom of salty lagoons and shallow coastal margins, the rocks are famous for their fine-grained structure and flat cleaving.  These properties help to make this limestone ideal building material and the stone in this part of Germany (known as Plattenkalk), has been quarried for thousands of years.

Most of the limestone represents sediments laid down in the Middle and Late Jurassic and large areas are highly fossiliferous.  Travellers at Nuremberg Airport were quite surprised to see members of Everything Dinosaur on their hands and knees, examining and photographing various floor tiles.

Jurassic Invertebrate Fossils in Abundance at Nuremberg Airport

Jurassic fossils at Nuremberg Airport.

An ammonite fossil with the cross section of a belemnite guard.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In the picture above, the cross section of a belemnite guard can be clearly seen on one tile, abutted up against it is another tile that shows the cross-sectional outline of an ammonite.  There are also numerous bivalve and brachiopod fossils preserved in the stone floor.  Thousands of people visit Nuremberg Airport every week, but we wonder how many of them actually notice what they are walking on!

 Ten years ago, Everything Dinosaur blogged about an innovative fossil hunting tour that could be undertaken by travellers at John Lennon Airport (Liverpool).  The ancient remains of long extinct sea creatures can be seen in the stone of the walls and floors of the concourse.  John Lennon Airport introduced the “JLA Fossil Mystery Tour” in collaboration with the Liverpool Geological Society.

To read more about the John Lennon Airport Fossil Hunting Tour: Why Not go on a Fossil Hunt Whilst Waiting at the Airport?

Perhaps the Nuremberg Airport authorities have missed a trick, with such a wonderful stone floor, travellers could be encouraged to have a go at finding fossils for themselves.  There are certainly many hundreds of fossils to see, perhaps if a tour could not be organised, then it might be a good idea to put up some information boards and displays.  You never know, it might encourage more tourists to visit the museums in the area such as the Naturhistorisches Museum of Nuremberg.

Ancient Traces Preserved in the Limestone Floor

Two fossils in the airport.

Fossils at Nuremberg airport.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows two more ammonite fossils, although it is difficult to identify genera, the larger specimen (bottom left), still shows its fine, straight ribs that would have adorned the outside of the shell.  The smaller ammonite cross section (right), shows some preservation of internal structure, could those be suture lines we are seeing?

What an Ammonite Actually Looked Like

A model of an Ammonite.

A great ammonite model for use in schools, museums and for model collectors.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows the excellent Wild Safari Prehistoric World ammonite model.  If you look carefully at the stone floors at Nuremberg Airport you can spot the preserved remains of Jurassic ammonites and other extinct marine creatures.

To view the range of prehistoric animal models including the Wild Safari Prehistoric World ammonite available from Everything Dinosaur: Wild Safari Prehistoric World Models

Ancient Rhino Remains on a Norfolk Beach

Storms Reveal Rhino Remains

The recent storms and high tides have further eroded the cliffs at the West Runton beach (Norfolk, East Anglia), revealing the beautifully preserved remains of a neck bone from an ancient rhinoceros that roamed this part of England around 700,000 years ago.  The fossilised remains of a single neck bone, the atlas (cervical 1), was spotted and local volunteers in collaboration with fossil conservation experts have carefully excavated and removed the rare find.

Spotted on West Runton Beach – A Fossil Neck Bone from a Rhino

Cervical vertebra of an ancient rhino.

The exposed elements of the Atlas (C1) of the rhinoceros found on West Runton beach.

Picture Credit: Martin Warren

West Runton Beach

The Norfolk cliffs at West Runton, just west of the town of Cromer are world-famous for their Pleistocene Epoch exposures, particularly the, peaty Upper Freshwater Bed which has produced a huge variety of vertebrate and invertebrate fossil remains.  Fossil expert and former curator at the nearby Cromer Museum, Martin Warren explained:

“There has been quite a bit of interest in scouring the Cromer cliff area for geological finds recently.  In the aftermath of storms, more people are coming to see what they can find, but the West Runton Freshwater Bed is a precious scientific resource.”

The area has SSSI status (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and hammering or digging into the cliffs is strictly forbidden.  However, time and tide is exposing this area’s ancient fauna and flora, although no formal identification of the atlas bone has been made, it is likely the fossil comes from a Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis, a rhino whose fossils are associated with the Upper Freshwater Bed locality.  A partial skull with teeth was found in January 2015, close to this new discovery.  It is not known whether the neck bone and the skull represent the same animal.

The Partial Skull and Teeth of S. hundsheimensis found in Early 2015

Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis fossils.

Stephanorhinus – Partial Skull and Teeth.

Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis

The neck bone has been dated to a warm interglacial period known as the Cromerian Interglacial.  Such is the importance of the West and East Runton beaches to geologists, that the Cromerian Interglacial was named after the nearby town of Cromer.  It was from these Norfolk beaches that geologists first identified fauna and flora indicating a period of global warming in between Ice Ages.

An Illustration of the Ancient Rhinoceros – Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis

Stephanorhinos hundsheimensis illustration.

An illustration of the prehistoric rhinoceros (Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis).

Picture Credit: C. C. Flerov, Sammlungen, Senckenberg Research Institute, Research Station of Quaternary Palaeontology,Weimar

Standing around 1.2 metres high at the shoulder Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis weighed around 750 kilogrammes and it was widespread across Europe for much of the Pleistocene Epoch.  Regarded as a generalist, living in both forest and more open habitats, this rhino, which was named from a fossil site in Austria, faced increasing competition when two, more specialised types of rhinoceros evolved.  Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis, also known as the Merck’s rhinoceros, began to displace the Hundsheim rhino in forest habitats and the Steppe rhino (Stephanorhinus hemitoechus) gradually replaced S. hundsheimensis on the grasslands.  One ancient rhino was superseded by better adapted species of rhinoceros, Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis became extinct around 580,000 years ago.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Hopefully this new fossil will shed further light on the remarkable fauna of East Anglia during the Pleistocene Epoch.  Although we advise care, especially around the cliffs, local fossil hunters and collectors can often spot important specimens that might otherwise get washed into the sea.”

Schleich Models Have Arrived!

The First of the Schleich 2017 Prehistoric Animals are in Stock

The first of the new for 2017 prehistoric animal models by the German manufacturer Schleich have arrived at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse.  Three new Schleich models are available, the Allosaurus with its articulated jaw, the large, green Brachiosaurus figure (amazing textured skin) and the feathered Utahraptor complete with poseable arms and an articulated jaw.

The First of the New for 2017 Schleich Dinosaur Models Have Arrived

New for 2017 Schleich dinosaurs.

New Schleich dinosaur models are in stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

These models are the vanguard for a number of new figures that will be introduced by Schleich, including a couple of models that have yet to be officially announced (expect to hear more news about them in the spring).

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of large Schleich dinosaur models including the 2017 additions: Schleich World of History Prehistoric Animals and Dinosaurs

Schleich Utahraptor Dinosaur Model

The trend for producing feathered dinosaur models continues with the addition of the Utahraptor to the Schleich range.  This model has moveable forelimbs and an articulated lower jaw.  Like the other new models, the Utahraptor comes with a hang tag booklet entitled “Conquering the Earth”.  The models are very well painted and the textured skin and feathers on the Utahraptor replica give these dinosaur figures a very tactile quality.  Such features are bound to prove popular with very young dinosaur fans, as will the bright blue colouration on the “raptor”.

The Schleich Utahraptor Dinosaur Model

The Schleich Utahraptor model.

The Schleich Utahraptor dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Look out for those grasping hands!

Upper Jurassic Dinosaurs – Allosaurus and Brachiosaurus

The other two models to arrive are the Allosaurus and the Brachiosaurus figures, both dinosaurs that Schleich has produced models of in previous years.  The Allosaurus has an articulated jaw and the skin texture of the larger Brachiosaurus replica has been very finely crafted.  The neck, back, the long tail, and the upper parts of the limb bones are covered in large, pebble-like scales.  This is a very intriguing interpretation of this long-necked, Late Jurassic herbivore.

The Schleich Brachiosaurus Dinosaur Model (2017)

Schleich Brachiosaurus dinosaur model.

The Schleich Brachiosaurus dinosaur model (2017).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The carefully crafted skin texture on the dinosaur will prove very helpful to us at Everything Dinosaur.  We use several Schleich dinosaur models in our work in schools with children who have special needs.  Feeling the scaly rough skin and comparing how the model feels compared to other objects will help us in our “exploring materials and the wider world” dinosaur themed workshops.  These workshops are aimed at children at Foundation Stage or Key Stage 1 and we are often asked to spend a few minutes with a child and their one-to-one support after we have finished our main teaching session.  We are looking forward to adding the new Schleich Brachiosaurus to our range of school resources.  Its impressive size will also be a “wow” for young dinosaur fans no doubt.

The Schleich Allosaurus Model with Articulated Jaws

Schleich dinosaur model (Allosaurus).

The new for 2017 Schleich Allosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Many Happy Returns Gideon Mantell

Happy Birthday Gideon Mantell

February 3rd, is the anniversary of the birth of Gideon Mantell, one of the early pioneers of the science of palaeontology.  It was Mantell who named Iguanodon, the second genus of dinosaur to be erected (1825), although at the time, the Order Dinosauria had itself not been established.  Throughout much of his working life, Mantell had a bitter rivalry with Sir Richard Owen.  Owen attempted to undermine a lot of Mantell’s research and he even took the credit for some of Mantell’s insights, however, these days, most scientists appreciate the contribution made to the nascent study of ancient life made by this Sussex doctor and amateur geologist.

Gideon Mantell – A Pioneer in the Study of Ancient Vertebrates

Gideon Mantell.

Gideon Mantell (1790-1852).

Estimating the Size of Iguanodon

Gideon Mantell did much to fire the public’s imagination for prehistoric animals and monsters from the past.  He spent as much time as he could, often at the expense of his own medical practice, studying the strange fossilised bones and teeth that were being found in quite surprising numbers in the local Sussex quarries.  Mantell is famous for identifying the fossilised, leaf-shaped teeth of a plant-eating prehistoric animal.  He compared the teeth with the dentition of a living iguana, a lizard that had recently been brought to London from Barbados (1824).  He was struck by how similar the fossil tooth was to the tooth of the living reptile, but the fossil tooth was much bigger.  The tooth study led Mantell to erect the genus Iguanodon (iguana tooth).  Just how big was this extinct prehistoric reptile?  To calculate the size of Iguanodon, Mantell compared the ancient bones to the bones of, what he thought at the time was its living relative, the iguana lizard.  As the scapula (shoulder blade) was twenty times bigger, this and other comparative measurements led Mantell to state that Iguanodon must have been around twenty times the size of a five-foot iguana.  The fossil reptile, therefore could have been approximately 100 feet long.

An Early Illustration of the Dinosaur Iguanodon as Depicted by Mantell

Early reconstruction of an Iguanodon.

Early sketch of the dinosaur Iguanodon, depicted as huge lizard-like creature.

The thought of such a huge beast fascinated the Georgian public and academics alike.  Our fascination with dinosaurs had begun.

Of course, Mantell’s simple linear scale was incorrect, even the largest iguanodontids were only around nine to ten metres in length.  Still sizeable, but not the thirty metre plus leviathans that Mantell had envisaged.  In addition, extensive revisions to the Iguanodon genus and the Iguanodontidae family has led to the change of the holotype for this species from the isolated teeth and partial remains identified by the Sussex doctor.  The original holotype material (assigned to Iguanodon anglicus), consisted of teeth and fragmentary bones.  The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) ruled in 2000 AD that the type species be changed to the I. bernissartensis with the new holotype IRSNB 1534, a much more complete specimen which was part of a treasure trove of Iguanodon fossils (at least thirty-eight individuals) discovered in a Belgium coal mine in 1878 and studied by Louis Dollo.

A Fossilised Dinosaur Tooth (Iguanodontidae)

Dinosaur fossil tooth (iguanodontid).

A fossil teeth assigned to the Iguanodontidae.

A memorial has been erected to Gideon Mantell, it is located in the village of Cuckfield, near Haywards Heath (West Sussex, England).  It was from Cuckfield that many of the fossil remains of the Iguanodon were discovered.  Dr Mantell received a sandstone block that contained an array of dis-articulated Iguanodon bones. This huge block of stone is on exhibit at the London Natural History museum, it has been nick-named the “Mantell-piece”.  Happy birthday Gideon.

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