A Review of the Carnegie Collectible Concavenator (Safari Ltd)

Named and described back in 2010 from a single fossil specimen, Safari Ltd have been quick to create a model of the fearsome predator Concavenator  and add it to their Carnegie Collectibles scale model range of prehistoric animals.  Concavenator fossil material consists of a partial skull, some vertebrae and bones from the hip region.  Although this dinosaur is known from just one fossil specimen and a fragmentary one at that, when discovered, the fossils were some of the best preserved Theropod fossils to have been found in Europe.

The fossils of Concavenator (Concavenator corcovatus) were discovered in Lower Cretaceous strata in the Iberian mountains of Spain (Las Hoyas site).  During the Early Cretaceous, this part of Europe was covered in lush, verdant forests with rivers feeding a number of large lakes.  It is likely that the carcase of this dinosaur was washed into a lake and quickly buried, hence its excellent state of preservation.  Estimated to have measured more than five metres long, Concavenator was a formidable hunter.  Palaeontologists have speculated that this meat-eating dinosaur specialised in hunting smaller animals that shared its forest home.  The lithe model figure gives the impression of an agile hunter with strong grasping hands, ideal for snatching up prey.

The Carnegie Collectibles Concavenator Dinosaur Model

Carnegie Collectibles Concavenator dinosaur model.

Carnegie Collectibles Concavenator dinosaur model.

The model measures twenty-five centimetres although the long tail of this dinosaur makes up nearly half of the total length of the replica.  In the literature related to this Safari Ltd model a scale of 1:25 is stated and this reflects the scientific view based on current fossil material.  The model is supplied with a clear plastic stand to support it in its dynamic pose with head tilted and mouth wide open.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Carnegie Collectible dinosaurs: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models

Perhaps the most striking feature of this Cretaceous dinosaur is the long sail-like structure that is depicted in bright red and contrasting sandy hues on the Carnegie Collectibles model.  Palaeontologists found that the eleventh and twelfth vertebrae of the fossil specimen looked very different to the other back bones. It was speculated that these enlarged vertebrae supported a structure such as a short sail-like anatomical feature or a fleshy hump.

Why Concavenator possessed such a feature remains a mystery.  It could have been a storage area for body fats to help this dinosaur survive leaner times, as seen in today’s extant camels and bison, but although a number of theories have been proposed there has still not been a definitive answer provided.  The lack of fossil material is hampering scientists in their investigations.

Safari Ltd Carnegie Collectibles Concavenator Dinosaur 

Fearsome Early Cretaceous predator.

Fearsome Early Cretaceous predator.

The long, narrow, teeth-lined jaws of the Concavenator have a considerable gape, the body is painted with brown stripes, ideal camouflage for a forest hunter.  This suggests that the design team at Safari Ltd have taken great care when choosing this model’s colour scheme.

All in all, a delightful addition of an unusual Theropod dinosaur to the Carnegie Collectibles range of prehistoric animal scale models.  One that will prove popular with dinosaur model collectors, especially those who specialise in collecting models of European prehistoric animals.

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