All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
4 12, 2011

Everything Dinosaur Has Over 400 Customer Reviews

By | December 4th, 2011|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates|0 Comments

Four Hundred Customer Reviews/Comments Online and Counting

With all the  dinosaur toy and model orders that team members have been preparing over the last few weeks or so, a landmark passed almost unnoticed.  Sometime over the last few days or so, Everything Dinosaur’s website passed the landmark of 400 customer reviews and comments on line.

We encourage customers to provide feedback with regards to our products and service.  We receive feedback forms and emails every day, and each one is reviewed and shared around the office by our team members.  For those that require a personal reply, a member of staff is asked to email the customer to acknowledge receipt and to handle the query or question in person.

We get lots of product suggestions and ideas and our thanks to all our customers who have taken the trouble to send in feedback or to leave feedback on the Everything Dinosaur website.  The landmark of 400 on line comments about our dinosaur toys was passed a few days ago and the total of comments/reviews on our website now stands at an impressive 404.

With all the feedback forms and customer comments we are anticipating over the Christmas period, we expect to hit 500 in the next couple of months or so.

A big thank you to all our customers who have provided feedback.

To visit Everything Dinosaur’s website: Dinosaur Toys and Games

3 12, 2011

New Late Cretaceous Ornithopod Species Named

By | December 3rd, 2011|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans|0 Comments

Thescelosaurus assinoboiensis –Scampering Saskatchewan Resident

Canadian scientists have announced the discovery of a new dinosaur species, a relatively fast running, Late Cretaceous member of the Ornithopods (a group of bird-hipped dinosaurs).  The Maastrichtian stage fossil (66 million years old approximately), consists of parts of the skull, the pelvis and other portions of the skeleton.  The new species has been named Thescelosaurus assiniboiensis after the region and the native Indians of that part of Canada.

Commenting on the discovery, Tim Tokaryk, head of Palaeontology for the Royal Saskatchewan Museum stated:

“It is small, but there are features in the cranium, the back end of the skull, and a few features in the pelvis that are quite distinct amongst all other known species of Thescelosaurus.  So based on those central features, that’s what made it a new species.”

Perhaps no more than three metres in length, this biped had to have sharp senses and a turn of speed if it was to avoid becoming a meal for the large Theropods that shared its Late Cretaceous home.  With no obvious defences, running away may have been the best survival strategy for this relatively small dinosaur.

An Illustration of Thescelosaurus

Late Cretaceous Canadian Dinosaur

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Tokaryk who has also worked on Tyrannosaurus rex excavations for the museum added:

“We know there were small dinosaurs around at that time because we found fragments, we find teeth and such like that.  But to find a partial skeleton of one individual, that makes it interesting and also makes it more useful to be able to identify it as a new species or a species in general.”

The specimen was collected from the Frenchman River Valley near Eastend in 1968 but was only identified recently when Caleb Brown, a master’s student from the University of Calgary, studied the bones for his thesis.  This seems about par for the course as the specific name for the first Thescelosaurus specimen assigned to this genus is T. neglectus  a reference to the fact that these fossils were not studied until twenty-two years after they were first discovered.

The formal study and naming of this new type of dinosaur helps scientists to piece together more information about specific ecosystems and how dinosaurs adapted to different habitats.  Although, not as spectacular as some of its prehistoric cousins, animals such as the horned dinosaur Triceratops, or the giant duck-billed dinosaur Parasaurolophus, the research on T. assiniboiensis is helping scientists to understand more about the diversity of Late Cretaceous Dinosauria.

2 12, 2011

The Return of the Dinosaur Eggs

By | December 2nd, 2011|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories|0 Comments

Fossils returned after Police Investigations

The high prices paid for fossils has continued to fuel the illegal trade in dinosaur fossils and other prehistoric animal material.  However, smugglers and those persons involved in the illicit sale of fossil material can expect to face the full weight of the law as countries increasingly work closer together to stamp out such practices.  In November, we reported on the blatant and deliberate vandalism that took place on the Isle of Skye as Jurassic strata was destroyed in what the authorities believe was an attempt to remove marine reptile bones from a cliff face.  So far the culprits have not been caught but the investigation is continuing, to read more about this instance of palaeontological plunder:

Isle of Skye incident: Important Jurassic Site is Ransacked

Some good news, two clutches of dinosaur eggs are being returned to their countries of origin after the result of successful enquiries by government authorities.  Twenty-two rare dinosaur egg fossils that were illegally smuggled into United States were handed over to Chinese officials this week.  The eggs, believed to have been removed from Upper Cretaceous strata in China are so well preserved that the majority of the unhatched eggs still show evidence of the dinosaur embryos inside them.

A Nest of Dinosaur Eggs (Oviraptorid)

Eggs laid in pairs – Oviraptorid nest

Commenting on the success of the operation, Qiu Shaofang, Consul General of China in Los Angeles (California), stated:

“This is the third time the U.S. government has returned smuggled fossils to the Chinese government since 2009.”

The fossils had been unearthed in Nanping Basin in south China’s Guangdong province, and the eggs are a rare example of Oviraptor fossil material.  Oviraptor is the name given to a genus of extremely bird-like dinosaurs known from Cretaceous Mongolia.  Although the name literally means “egg thief”, scientists now know that these small Theropods, brooded their nests in the same way that most modern birds do today.  A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Oviraptor was given a really bad press when the first fossils of this small Theropod were discovered.  Found in association with dinosaur eggs, it was at first thought that this dinosaur had been trying to steal eggs from the nest of another dinosaur called Protceratops.  Discoveries from the 1990s and from the noughties have shown that this dinosaur was actually a devoted parent, taking great care of its eggs and most probably being equally devoted to its brood once the eggs had hatched.”

In 2007, agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized the fossilized dinosaur eggs in a raid on an auction house.  Victor Rodgers, assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California said:

“The item was being auctioned for sell by an auction house in LA when it was seized for 450,000 U.S. dollars and the buyer was prepared to go forward with the sell.”

Now the eggs are being returned back to China, enabling them to become part of a study programme into the nesting and paternal behaviour of Dinosauria.

An Illustration of a Typical Oviraptor

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Mike Fredericks

To view models of Oviraptor and other bizarre Theropod dinosaurs: “Dinosaur Toys for Boys and Girls – Dinosaur Models”

The second clutch of eggs, consisting of three specimens of dwarf dinosaur eggs is being returned by Italian authorities to their home in Romania.  The eggs, which also date from the Late Cretaceous will most likely be put on display at the Antipa Museum in Bucharest (Romania).  During the Late Cretaceous much of Europe as we know it today was underwater, north of Africa there were a series of small islands, upon which a diverse and unique fauna and flora thrived.  Like many other types of animals and plants found on isolated islands today, the organisms cut off from the mainland, evolved into distinct species.  Many dinosaurs, in a response to the limited food resources available became dwarf versions of their mainland cousins.

The three eggs were stolen around 2004-2005 from the important fossil site in Tustea- Hateg,(Hateg Formation),  Hunedoara county, in the heart of Romania.  The thief sold the eggs to an Italian collector who kept them in a warehouse together with other 11,000 artefacts.  The Italian Police found them during a search of the premises.  Scientists believe the eggs were laid by a dwarf Titanosaur, such as Magyarosaurus.  Although related to gigantic dinosaurs such as Argentinosaurus and Paralititan, Magyarosaurus was only about the size of a horse.  Where food resources are limited such as on a small island animals can either eat themselves into extinction or adapt over many generations.  The smaller you are the less food you need and this leads to dwarfism amongst island species in many cases.

1 12, 2011

Enter the “Fossil Zone”

By | December 1st, 2011|Dinosaur Fans, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Recommends – Mike’s Minerals and Fossils AKA “The Fossil Zone”

At this time of year, what with Christmas approaching, team members at Everything Dinosaur get asked to recommend a reliable, professional source of fossils and other Earth science related materials.  We work with a number of specialists and we are happy to pass on contact details to collectors and the mums and dads of young dinosaur fans keen to start their own fossil collection.

Unfortunately, as the popularity of fossil collecting grows, and the prices paid for certain rare items increases, so we have come across a number of somewhat dubious practices, in fact there is quite a cottage industry of “doctored” fossils.  For example, fragments of different fossil teeth glued together to make one single specimen or “topping and tailing” as we refer to it, the practice of taking shed head-shield (cephalon) of Trilobites and joining this piece to the thorax and the tail (pygidium) to make a complete Trilobite fossil.

Even great naturalists such as David Attenborough can be hoodwinked.  Once during a filming trip to Morocco, he took the opportunity to visit a shop selling locally found Trilobite fossils.  He was persuaded to part with quite a substantial sum of money for what he was told was an exceptionally rare piece – two Trilobites preserved in a mating position.  It is only after Sir David had left the shop with his purchase that he remembered that these Arthropods did not actually need physical contact to mate.  A careful examination revealed that two separate fossils had been skilfully and very carefully stuck together to make the single exhibit.

We admire the skill of such preparators, but if you want to purchase fossils and other objects, we would recommend Mike’s Minerals and Fossils located at: The Fossil Zone

This Lyme Regis (Dorset) based business is run by Mike Jeffries  and the Jeffries family.  Mike is a very  knowledgeable expert on British fossils and is always willing to help.

Amazing Fossils for Sale

A Reliable Source of Fossils

He started the business as a hobby in 1995, selling fossils, minerals and jewellery and if you are ever in Lyme Regis, look out for Mike’s shop on Drakes Way – it is well worth a visit.

So for a reliable and friendly fossil shop, Everything Dinosaur is happy to recommend Mike Jeffries.

Happy fossil collecting.

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