The Five Most Popular Everything Dinosaur Web Log Articles of 2007

Continuing the countdown of the top ten web log articles of 2007, this entry counts down from five to the coveted number one spot.  Like the previous blog entry (December 31st), the top five cover a broad range of topics, from new products and developments at Everything Dinosaur, news stories and updates on theories within the science of palaeontology.

To see the previous entry (number ten to six):

The Most Popular Web Log Articles of 2007 – Part 1

Now to the top five most popular articles of 2007:

5).  The Everything Dinosaur Calendar – (Friday 28th September 2007)

This was the first dinosaur themed calendar produced by Everything Dinosaur.  It was created in collaboration with Mike Fredericks, a professional prehistoric animal illustrator and editor of the magazine “Prehistoric Times”.  Scientists do not know what colour dinosaurs were, it is assumed that they had colour vision and since they evolved in a mostly green and brown world they could have been as colourful as their relatives the birds.  The concept behind the calendar was to produce a series of black and white drawings – one dinosaur for each month, plus front, inside front and back pages and then get children to colour them in creating their own dinosaur scenes.  Each page had dinosaur facts and information, all verified by our dinosaur experts.  The calendar proved very popular – with orders from the UK and also overseas.

The Everything Dinosaur 2008 – Calendar

Everything Dinosaur 2008 Dinosaur Calendar

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To read more: 2008 Calendar for Young Palaeontologists

4).  My First Dinosaur Poster – (Thursday 11th October 2007)

The autumn saw a number of new product introductions as Everything Dinosaur prepared for Christmas.  The introduction of a special double laminated poster for young dinosaur fans captured a lot of reader’s imaginations and as a result this item makes number 4 on our list.

My First Dinosaur Poster

Dinosaur Posters available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To see the poster at Everything Dinosaur:  Dinosaur Books for Kids

The poster shows 17 different dinosaurs, some well-known ones some relatively unknown.  Each is colourfully illustrated and the name of the animal is produced clearly in big, black ink so that children can associate the name with the animal.  The poster is large and double laminated, making it sticky-finger proof, essential when it comes to young dinosaur fans.

3).  How Big was Liopleurodon? – (Sunday 9th of September)

Ever since Liopleurodon featured in episode 3 of the ground-breaking BBC series “Walking with..” this short-necked plesiosaur, more commonly known as a pliosaur has been regarded as a truly huge predator.  The programme, which was entitled “The Cruel Sea” showed Liopleurodon snatching an unwary Eustreptospondylus from rocks on the seashore and chomping a female Ophthalmosaurus in half before finally coming to a sad end stranded on a Jurassic beach.

At the time the writers and researchers for the TV series estimated that an adult male Liopleurodon could reach lengths in excess of 25 metres and weigh more than 150 tonnes.  If this were indeed the case then Liopleurodon with its 18 inch long teeth could lay claim to being the biggest carnivorous animal ever.

However, the existing fossil evidence does not back up the BBC’s claims and the article went on to discuss the fossils and put forward alternative estimates of this animal’s size.  Perhaps our thoughts on Liopleurodon are influenced by the weights and sizes of modern whales.  Whales have their body weight supported by water and are totally marine, not venturing back onto shore.  This helps to explain the huge sizes these animals can reach.  It is not known whether Liopleurodon was fully adapted to life in the water and did not come ashore.

To read the complete article: How big was Liopleurodon?

2).  Did the Birds wipe out the Pterosaurs? – (Thursday 2nd of August)

A review of published works on the Pterosaur fauna of the Dinosaur Provincial Park formation in Alberta (late Cretaceous – Campanian faunal stage) led the scientific team to conclude that the limited remains found were mainly representative of the Azhdarchidae Pterosaurs.  Azhdarchids were the very large flying reptiles, an animal such as Quetzalcoatlus being a representative of this group.

Phil Currie (curator of Dinosaurs at Royal Tyrrell) and Stephen Godfrey (dept. of Palaeontology at the Calvert Marine museum) who wrote up the original data, concluded that surprising few Pterosaur remains had been found, despite over a century of exploration in the area.  Not withstanding the fragile nature of the bones, did the lack of Pterosaur fossils indicate that these creatures only made up a small proportion of the total ecosystem.  Had the evolution of the birds led to the decline of the Pterosaurs?

Complete article here: Did the Birds wipe out the Pterosaurs?

Last but not least the number one, the most popular Everything Dinosaur web log article of 2007, concerned a tiny bee fossilised in amber.

1).  To Bee or not to Bee – Bee Provides Clue to Orchid Origins – (Friday 31st August 2007)

A study of the remains of a bee preserved in amber revealed tiny pollen grains which gave scientists working at Harvard University a clue to the origin of orchids.

In a report printed in the journal – “Nature”, the university team led by Dr Santiago Ramirez have estimated that the orchid family may have first evolved in the late Cretaceous.

The Fossilised Bee Showing Preserved Pollen Grains

Fossilised Bee with preserved pollen grains.

Picture courtesy of the Discovery Channel (Dr. Ramirez)

To read the article in full: To Bee or not to Bee – A Clue to the Origin of Orchids

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