All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
//June
20 06, 2013

American Poll About Pets Reveals Some Surprising Answers

By | June 20th, 2013|Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Press Releases|0 Comments

A Dinosaur as a Pet?

A survey carried out by an American polling agency has revealed some surprising information about American pet owners, attitudes to pets and animals in general.  Americans love their pets, we know lots of pet owners in the UK and we concur, however, some of the survey results did raise a few eyebrows when team members at Everything Dinosaur read about the market research.

For example, twenty percent of those who took part stated that they preferred to spend time with their pet than with people, this is understandable to a point but then eighteen percent of those polled said that they believed in the Loch Ness Monster.

When it came to thinking about animals that scare people, it was not really surprising that snakes came out on top in this telephone survey.  We have encountered a few snakes on our travels, its not that they are that scary in reality, most snakes quickly move off when people approach, but we do seem to come across them unexpectedly and the surprise of seeing one can give you a “Mohican neck moment” as one of our colleagues calls it.  Other animals regarded as scary in the American survey were Alligators, Bears and Sharks.  Once again these animals tend to have a bad press, although having got a little too close to Crocodilians for comfort on a number of occasions we can understand why such animals are feared.

American Survey Reveals Attitudes to Pets

It's a Dogs Life!

It's a Dogs Life!

One of the more intriguing sections of this research dealt with people’s attitudes to exotic pets.  When asked to name a “fantasy exotic pet” twenty-six percent stated that they would opt for a tiger.  A further twenty percent said they would have a giraffe.  Sixteen percent said they would choose an elephant, expect some “jumbo” rhubarb if you had to look after a member of the Proboscidea.  Eighteen percent would pick a dinosaur as a pet, this was most certainly a surprise to us, as if this were possible, most of the Dinosauria would make very unsuitable pets.  However, it was a light-hearted survey and it got us thinking about what dinosaurs might possibly prove to be suitable for life in and around people’s homes.

When Everything Dinosaur team members visit schools to deliver dinosaur and fossil themed workshops we do get asked by year 1 and year 2 students about which dinosaurs would make the best pets.  Large carnivores should be avoided, after all, you don’t really want these dinosaurs to “bite the hand that feeds them” and any really big dinosaurs would be not be suitable.  Perhaps a small Ornithopod like Gasparinisaura or a primitive Asian horned dinosaur such as the metre long Graciliceratops, or even one of the smaller members of the “Bone Headed” dinosaurs.

Would Dinosaurs Have Made Good Pets?

"Walking the Dinosaur"

"Walking the Dinosaur"

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

It is an interesting thought, given the twelve hundred or so different known Dinosaur genera, which of these animals would make a suitable domestic companion?

It might prove prudent to stick with cats, dogs, rabbits, goldfish, guinea pigs…

19 06, 2013

Dinosaur Bones Aplenty in Queensland

By | June 19th, 2013|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans|0 Comments

Two-Week Museum Dig Provides Stockpile of Dinosaur Bones

The town of Winton in Queensland (Australia), has proved to be something of a “hot bed” for dinosaur discoveries over recent years.  However, palaeontologists and field workers from the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, based at Winton, have had to deal with a problem that is exceptionally rare in palaeontology – having too many fossilised bones to excavate and examine at any one time.  A two-week long excavation at a location near to Winton, has provided the museum with a “treasure trove” of dinosaur fossils.  The bone bed has revealed limb bones, ribs, vertebrae and other material belonging to a Titanosaur, perhaps one already described or perhaps the fossil discovery relates to an entirely new species of long-necked herbivorous dinosaur.

A “Treasure Trove” of Dinosaur Fossils

Large quantity of dinosaur fossils found.

Large quantity of dinosaur fossils found.

Picture Credit: Australian Age of Dinosaurs

Palaeontologist David Elliott commented that he had never experienced such a hectic fortnight.  He paid tribute to all those volunteers who helped the museum staff to excavate the fossil bones.

He stated:

“Most digs involve a lot of digging in search of the bone deposit but that wasn’t the case with this dig.  As fast as we tried to dig around one bone, we uncovered another – there were bones everywhere – giant limbs, vertebrae and two metre long ribs stacked across each other and joined together by rocky concretions.  It was impossible to remove them safely without taking half a dozen other bones that were joined to them!”

Although a large number of Cretaceous dinosaur bones have been found in the Winton area in the past decade or so, scientists hope that these newly discovered fossils will help them to shed further light on the megafauna that once roamed this part of what was the super-continent of Gondwana.  It is possible that these fossils represent a specimen of a Titanosaur known as Wintonotitan (Wintonotitan wattsi), one of three dinosaurs discovered in this part of Queensland back in 2009.

To read about the discovery of W. wattsiA Trio of Dinosaur Discoveries from Down Under

Although the bones have yet to be properly examined and formally identified, it has been speculated that all the material comes from a single, individual animal.  However, since very few bones of W. wattsi are known, the scientists will have to wait until the fossils have been cleaned up and prepared to be more certain about what type of dinosaur the fossils represent.

It is hoped that these fossils, some of them more than a metre in length, will help palaeontologists to fill in the gaps when it comes to the evolution and diversification of Titanosaurs in this part of the world.  A spokesperson for the museum commented that fossils from more than a dozen Sauropods (long-necked, lizard-hipped dinosaurs such as the Titanosaurs), had been found in the Winton area.  More information about these giant, Australian herbivores had been revealed in the last decade than in the previous one hundred years.

In 2009, fossil bones representing another Titanosaur was found, it was nick-named “Zac”.  Although far from complete, the discovery of these fossils helped confirm that there were a number of different types of Titanosaur living in what was to become Australia during the Cretaceous.  The habitat must have been particularly lush and verdant to support such large herbivores.

To read about the excavation of “Zac” the Titanosaur: Say Hello to a New Aussie Titanosaur, Hi Zac!

The majority of the fossils have been carefully excavated and placed in plaster jackets for their journey to the museum so that they can be stored properly before the lengthy work of preparation begins.  The scientists and field workers hope to be able to return to this site with ground penetrating radar so that they can identify areas where still more bones may be hidden.

An Illustration of a Typical Titanosaur

A typical European Titanosaur from the Late Cretaceous

A typical European Titanosaur from the Late Cretaceous.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The latest fossil finds were just eighty metres from an earlier excavation, a dig site explored back in 2011.  The 2011 site provided some backbones and the front limbs of a large Titanosaur, it has been speculated that the new bones are from the same animal, both sites may be deposits from the same flood line and the 2011 material represents parts of the skeleton washed downstream and deposited away from the rest of the body.

Field Workers Excavating the Fossilised Bones

Winton - the Dinosaur Capital of Australia.

Winton - the Dinosaur Capital of Australia.

Picture Credit: Australian Age of Dinosaurs

The fossil material has been dated to around 98 million years ago (Albian faunal stage of the Cretaceous).

These are certainly exciting times for Australia’s palaeontologists, glad they have something to occupy their minds what with the Ashes cricket series coming up against England in just a few weeks.  Given the Australians current form, they will need some exciting dinosaur discoveries to take their thoughts away from the cricket!

18 06, 2013

Update on Papo Dimetrodon Availability and Delivery – Unethical Practices from Competitors

By | June 18th, 2013|Press Releases|0 Comments

Unethical Practices Concerning New Models

The Papo Dimetrodon model (Papo product code 55033) is the last of the 2013 prehistoric animal models to be released by Papo this year.  We at Everything Dinosaur work very closely with Papo of France and we receive regular updates on how this model’s production and shipping schedule is progressing.  We post up information about new model releases on this blog site as well as keeping our customers informed of developments using our Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter pages.

A number of our internet based UK competitors are asking customers to pre-order this model, some are even claiming that it will be available from the 1st of July.  We at Everything Dinosaur have no plans to operate any pre-order policy.  We have never operated a pre-order policy.  We think it is simply not fair or indeed ethical to ask to customers to pay for an item that may not be available for many weeks or even months.

Papo Dimetrodon – Coming Soon

Fearsome sail-backed reptile, with exquisite detail.

Fearsome sail-backed reptile, with exquisite detail.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur has already committed to taking stocks of this item, we ordered our stock many months ago, perhaps as far back as 2012 when, due to our close working relationship with the manufacturer, it became clear that this model was going to be made.

The latest information we have from France on this model is as follows:

The Dimetrodon is being shipped in early July, it will be on the water for most of this month and scheduled for delivery into France by early August.  From the French hub, our stock will be despatched, we anticipate that we will have our models a few days into August, it might be the middle of the month.

We were expecting delivery in July, but as with many shipments there can be delays, either in production or during the freight process.  This means that statements about July availability made by many of our competitors may not necessarily be true.  We cannot comment about competitors pre-ordering practices but we are very well informed and we feel that many people may be let down by such activities.

Pre-ordering is a marketing ploy employed by a number of companies.  However, if promises are made and then deliveries are not as prompt as promised, then we think that this is unethical.  For example, if the Papo Dimetrodon is not available until August, customers will have paid up front for a model not may not be sent out to them for six or seven weeks.

We at Everything Dinosaur do not do this, we offer an alternative, one that involves our customers getting personal service and it does not cost them a penny.  We have lots and lots of loyal customers, they contact us asking about an item’s availability.  We store their request and when the item comes into stock (and we are usually one of the first to get the product), we send them an email to let them know that the item is available and that we have put one aside for them on our reserve shelves in the warehouse.

We hold products on reserve, not just for a few days, but for weeks and months as we understand that collectors and dinosaur fans often like to save money by being able to acquire all the new releases in one single shipment.  This we do and there is absolutely no obligation for a customer to order what we have reserved.

We think our system is fairer and it prevents customers being let down when manufacturing and delivery schedules from factories run into problems.  We are passionate about prehistoric animals, we understand how enthusiastic collectors and dinosaur fans are about new releases and we feel that getting people to pay up front for an item that may not be in stock for many weeks is simply not ethical.

If you wish to reserve a Papo Dimetrodon, or indeed any item from our product range, just drop us an email and we will do our best to assist you: Contact Everything Dinosaur

Sometimes the very best plans can go wrong, to illustrate the pitfalls of pre-ordering just consider the case of the excellent Papo Brachiosaurus model that was released in 2012.

Papo Brachiosaurus – Delayed for Months

Papo Brachiosaurus ready for shipping (nearly)

Papo Brachiosaurus ready for shipping (nearly).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Originally scheduled for release in July 2012, this model was actually not available until October.  Companies operating a pre-order policy would have potentially held onto to customer’s money for many months before customers had any chance of receiving this item.

With the Papo Brachiosaurus, we posted up a lot of information, keeping fans of Papo updated on developments; below is a brief summary of the notices we put up:

December 2011 – Everything Dinosaur confirmed that this model was due to be released in 2012 and we gave out a scheduled delivery date of July 2012.

August 2012 – Several updates had been posted, confirmation that the product was delayed.

September 2012 – Articles posted reflecting the updates Everything Dinosaur had received about production and shipping.

October 2012 – Information from France about expected delivery, subsequently confirmed and stock into Everything Dinosaur.

What is also frustrating is that we see various “special deals” and “pre-order offers”, companies claim that if you pre-order you can get this item at a special price or that stocks will be limited.  In our experience, such “special offers” do not always turn out to be good value, after all, as the Papo Brachiosaurus model demonstrated, customers may have had to wait four or five months to receive what they had purchased, hardly helpful when buying for birthdays or other special occasions.

We at Everything Dinosaur do not agree with asking customers to pre-order products, such practices no matter how well intentioned, run the risk of going wrong.  Delays can occur which can mean that customers have handed over payment for something that they will not receive for some considerable time after purchase.

17 06, 2013

Wild Safari Dinos and Prehistoric Life Gastornis Model Reviewed

By | June 17th, 2013|Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Wild Safari Dinos Gastornis Replica Reviewed

New to the Wild Safari Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life model series manufactured by Safari Ltd is a replica of Gastornis a giant, flightless bird that roamed the dense forests of Europe and North America during the Late Palaeocene and Eocene epochs before finally becoming extinct a little over forty million years ago.

The Gastornis Model from Safari Ltd

Model of a giant, flightless bird from Safari Ltd.

Model of a giant, flightless bird from Safari Ltd.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Gastornis is often referred to as the original “Terror Bird” due to its reputation as being an apex predator.  A reputation that was considerably enhanced when Gastornis featured in the first episode of the BBC television series “Walking with Beasts”.  In this programme, Gastornis was depicted as one of the largest, terrestrial creatures on the planet, one that hunted and killed the primitive horse Propalaeotherium.  Here was a prehistoric bird that ate horses, however, how the likes of Gastornis is classified with the rest of the birds  is disputed.  Most scientists assign the likes of Gastornis to the Anseriformes – which means that Gastornis may be related to today’s ducks and geese.

Diatryma and Gastornis

The first fossils ascribed to the Gastornis genus were discovered in a suburb of Paris.  Although far from complete and lacking any substantial skull material, a French geologist was given the task of formally naming and scientifically describing the fossil material.  He did identify that the specimen represented a giant bird.  The Gastornis genus was erected in 1855 and a number of species have now been recognised.

The American palaeontologist Edward Drinker Cope described a new genus of giant flightless bird based on fossils found in the western United States in 1876.  The genus Diatryma was erected, but subsequent fossil finds have led scientists to conclude that Diatryma was so closely related that fossils from both America and Europe are often referred to as Gastornis, the senior synonym.

This model from Safari Ltd does reflect the known fossil material well.   The head is large, the model has a deep chest and a broad rump.  The design team have been careful to pick out the small stubby wings, the rear of which have a line of short, black quills, which contrast nicely with the uniform coat of feathers found on the body.

The feet are a little over-sized, but this does not detract from the sculpt.  The large feet help the model to stand and provide stability, this is a common feature of bipedal replicas.  Each of the toes has a short, blunt claw, not a highly recurved talon.  It seems that the model makers at Safari Ltd have taken into account trackway evidence assigned to Gastornis that indicate that this bird did not have big, sharp claws on its feet like a modern raptor.

The head is particularly impressive and the colour scheme which consists of a vivid blue face with a bright yellow beak compliments the muted tones on the body.  The eyes have a red ring painted round them and the design team at Safari have been careful to depict the nostrils.

The broad  beak reveals just a hint of a curve at the tip.  Perhaps this is a male Gastornis in its breeding refinery setting out to impress any potential mates.

Despite Gastornis’s gruesome reputation with the BBC, scientists remain unsure as to the diet of this heavy-set creature.   True, it was one of the largest land-living animals around during the Palaeogene period and there were very few large carnivores.  It might have been a predator with tests on that broad beak and reinforced skull indicating that this bird and a bone crushing bite.  However, the lack of any significant top-line curvature on the beak tip and the absence of talons has led some scientists to suggest that Gastornis may have been herbivorous with its beak making  a useful nutcracker.

A Close up of the Gastornis Model

Vivid paintwork on the back of the skull

Vivid paintwork on the back of the skull.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

No fossils of feathers have been assigned to Gastornis, that gave the model makers at Safari Ltd a little problem.  How to define the texture of the feathery coat covering the body.  The team have opted to produce an effect similar to the shaggy, feathery coat seen on the Wild Safari Wildlife Ostrich model.  Opting to do this rather than depict  Gastornis with longer more strand-like feathers seen on flightless birds today such as the emu.

16 06, 2013

Helping out with Customer Enquiries

By | June 16th, 2013|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates|0 Comments

Preparing a Chart About Dinosaurs for a Customer

Amongst all the enquiries, letters and emails we receive we had a request from a school to help with their term topic on dinosaurs.  We try our best to help everyone who contacts Everything Dinosaur and on this occasion some advice over the evolution and diversification of the Dinosauria was required.

The children’s enthusiasm for fossils and all things prehistoric had been fuelled by a trip to a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), where fossils could be seen, we were asked to help devise a “dinosaur family tree” showing how the main types of dinosaur evolved and how the major groups were related to each other.

There may be something like 1,200 different dinosaur genera known today, but essentially all dinosaurs were monophyletic, that is they evolved from a common ancestor.  Early on in the evolution of the Dinosauria, this Sub-Order of reptiles split into two major lines Saurischia and Ornithischia.  Saurischian dinosaurs are known as the “Lizard-Hipped” dinosaurs, Ornithischian dinosaurs are the “Bird-Hipped” dinosaurs.  We used this classification as the basis for our simplified classification chart.  It was then just a question of putting all the various groups, representing the different families of dinosaurs into the respective places on the chart.  We did not want to involve geological periods, working out which type of dinosaurs lived in The Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous, that would have made things  a little complicated and we wanted to keep the chart clear and concise.

A suggestion made by a team member is for Everything Dinosaur to create a range of similar charts and diagrams for use in schools and other educational establishments, we shall see what we can do.

15 06, 2013

Warning! Copies of Collecta Models on Sale (Disreputable Companies)

By | June 15th, 2013|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|5 Comments

Beware of Imitations of Collecta Models

Collecta International Limited has been in business for a number of years now.  Their dedicated team have produced some amazing models of prehistoric fauna and flora in the replica range entitled “Prehistoric Life”, we at Everything Dinosaur have been selling Collecta models since the company started and our team members are proud of our strong working relationship  with this hard working company.

It is sad to receive news that a company has started to manufacture poor quality copies of a number of Collecta prehistoric animal models.  Not only are the models being made and sold, but the firm concerned has used Collecta’s logo and even a picture of dear Anthony Beeson to help promote this range.  To all fans of Collecta, please, please, please be careful where you buy Collecta models from.

All the models made by Collecta are individually hand-crafted and are manufactured from the best quality materials.  Collecta are constantly striving to improve their product range, investing and working very hard so that they can bring you the best possible model range.

Examples of the Copied Collecta Models

Avoid these models, inferior quality and not from Collecta.

Avoid these models, inferior quality and not from Collecta.

Having their replicas copied like this is a form of flattery, we at Everything Dinosaur have come across instances where some of our own photography has been used by unscrupulous people for personal gain.  We too, have had our imitators, even those who have claimed our Everything Dinosaur logo as their own.  For Collecta, they have taken the precaution of informing company lawyers, since the imitations are being made in China, it may not be possible to prevent such copies being manufactured.

Peter Leung, the General Manager at Collecta commented to Everything Dinosaur:

“This is extremely annoying and it would be gratefully appreciated if you [Everything Dinosaur] could give a warning to collectors”.

We are happy to do this for you Peter, we would urge all model collectors to take great care and to ensure that they are sourcing Collecta products from a reputable source, such as Everything Dinosaur, we go to a great deal of trouble to support the work of the enthusiastic staff at Collecta, a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur added:

“We do see instances such as this from time to time and we would urge all fans of Collecta to take care when sourcing models.  We cannot be certain as to the type of plastic these replicas are made from, we don’t know what sort of paints have been used.  Many of these models may be being given to children and this concerns me greatly”.

Comparisons between the Collecta Made Models and the Imposters

Beware of poor quality, inferior imitations.

Beware of poor quality, inferior imitations.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The above picture shows three authentic Collecta models (top) compared against their imitations (bottom).  The dinosaurs depicted (from left to right) are Styracosaurus, Iguanodon and the North African Sauropod Rebbachisaurus.

Everything Dinosaur remains strongly committed to support Collecta.  The company stocks a huge number of models and every named prehistoric animal model supplied by Everything Dinosaur is sent out with its own fact sheet that has been researched and written by team members.  Recently, Everything Dinosaur added Daspletosaurus, Diabloceratops and Prezwalski’s Horse fact sheets to its portfolio, as a result of taking in stocks of the new 2013 model releases from Collecta.

The message is simple, please take care and beware of imitations!

14 06, 2013

New Giant Species of Ceratopsian Announced

By | June 14th, 2013|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories|0 Comments

Bravoceratops polyphemus – New Horned Dinosaur Discovery Announced

A new species of large Chasmosaurine dinosaur has been announced, this new member of the horned dinosaurs has been named Bravoceratops polyphemus and it lived in what is now Texas between 72 and 70 million years ago (Maastrichtian faunal stage of the Late Cretaceous).  Chasmosaurines were one of two groups of advanced horned dinosaurs.  In general, they had long neck frills and the brow horns were usually bigger than the nose horn, perhaps the most famous member of the Chasmosaurinae is the Triceratops genus.

The fossil material, which includes fragments from the giant skull were found in the lower layers of the Javelina Formation of Texas (United States).  Ceratopsian fossils from this portion of the Javelina Formation are rare, although fossils of Torosaurus, a later Chasmosaurine have been found in upper layers of this particular series of strata.  The fossils show extensive weathering, this suggests that much of the material was exposed to weathering before burial and fossilisation, only the most robust elements of the skull and horns have survived as fossils.  The skull may have become disarticulated prior to fossilisation, the research team who discovered this new specimen, back in 2011, found that the pieces of skull were scattered over a ten metre square area.

The holotype material was found at the “Hippiewalk” site, north-east of Paint Gap Hills in the Big Bend National Park.  The fossils were studied by palaeontologists from the United States National Park Service and Texas Tech. University.  This dinosaur was named and described by Steven Wick (Division of Science and Resource Management – Big Bend National Park) and Tom Lehman (Department of Geosciences, Texas Tech).  The genus name – Bravoceratops means “wild horn face”, named after the Rio Bravo del Norte which marks the border between Mexico and the National Park.  The term “Bravo” comes from the Spanish meaning “wild”.  The species name is derived from the Greek cyclops called Polyphemus, a one-eyed monster.  In the skull material there is a “socket” shape  to be found in part of the bones that form the back of the head, this is believed to have been an attachment area for a protruding bony epoccipital.   A paper on this new dinosaur has been published in the academic journal “Naturwissenschaften”,which incidentally, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

An Illustration of the Chasmosaurine B. polyphemus

An artists impression of a typical Chasmosaurine dinosaur.

An artists impression of a typical Chasmosaurine dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Although known from only fragmentary and very weathered material, scientists estimate that this was one of the largest of the horned dinosaurs with a skull in excess of 2.2 metres in length, and brow horns nearly one metre long.   It may have been as large as Triceratops horridus, perhaps measuring more than nine metres in length and weighing seven tonnes.  This dinosaur is not to be confused with the much smaller and more primitive Ceratopsians from Asia known as Bagaceratops and Breviceratops.

The discovery of B. polyphemus comes at a time when the authorities at the Big Bend National Park are developing a permanent Cretaceous themed exhibit to showcase some of the prehistoric animal discoveries that have been found within the Park’s borders.  It is hoped that a full-sized cast of the skull of Bravoceratops will form part of the dinosaur display.

B. polyphemus although very similar in appearance to a number of Late Cretaceous Chasmosaurines, can be distinguished by its long, narrow snout, the substantial frill with large openings in bone (fenestrae) and several skull bone characteristics including a series of bony projections from the back of the skull (parietal bone).

13 06, 2013

Collecta Deinotherium Model Reviewed

By | June 13th, 2013|Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|1 Comment

Everything Dinosaur Reviews the 1:20 Scale Model of Deinotherium by Collecta

Collecta introduced an award winning model of the Brontothere known as Megacerops a couple of years ago, now they have added to their growing reputation as makers of superb prehistoric mammal models by bringing out a replica of the prehistoric elephant known as Deinotherium.

Deinotherium was a member of the elephant family, but it is not closely related to modern elephants or Mammoths.  It is likely that the ancestors of Deinotherium diverged from other forms of primitive elephant very early in the evolutionary history of the group.  It had relatively long legs and a long, low skull, rather than the domed skull of more modern elephants such as the extant species seen today.  The front part of the lower jaw was turned downwards and Deinotheres possessed two over-sized, tusk-like incisors that curved downwards in a hook-like configuration.  These are very well depicted in the Collecta replica.  Palaeontologists have postulated that the trunk was shorter than those of living elephants, this too is beautifully recreated in this new Collecta model.  It is likely that these prehistoric elephants first evolved in Africa and a number of species of Deinotherium are known, the largest of which lived in Europe, at Everything Dinosaur we have tended to describe this figure as a replica of Deinotherium giganteum, one of the largest species described to date.

The Collecta Deinotherium Prehistoric Elephant Model

Super model of a prehistoric elephant.

Super model of a prehistoric elephant.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The model represents a male of the species and it measures a total of twenty-four centimetres from the tip of the tail to the upper portion of the trunk.  Collecta state that this a 1:20 scale model and this fits the parameters known for this genera, although based on our calculations, using specimens from Europe, a scale of nearer 1:30 might be closer to the mark.

The model shows the fine detailing as seen in the earlier Megacerops figure.  For example, look into the top of the mouth and you can see that the teeth of this prehistoric elephant have been included.  The skin texture is brilliantly done with subtle creases, skin folds and the impression of a hairy coat.  The individual toes of this giant prehistoric animal have been carefully picked out and the small ears and the animal’s bright eyes are wonderful.  Collecta have created a very expressively replica indeed.

To view the range of Collecta scale models of prehistoric animals: Collecta Scale Prehistoric Animal Models

The Deinotherium model can be posed with the Collecta Neanderthal figures and it does not look out of place, it is a fine example of the model makers art.

 

12 06, 2013

Family Holiday Turns into a Dinosaur Discovery

By | June 12th, 2013|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories|0 Comments

Family Holiday Unearths a Partial Sauropod Fossil Skeleton

The San Rafael desert is approximately 2,000 square miles of sandstone, limestone and shale formations in south, central Utah (United States).  It is a popular vacation destination with hikers and family groups.  A family holiday to this historic area, famed for its fossils and evidence of Indian settlements, turned out to be a vacation to remember when part of a huge, long-necked dinosaur skeleton was discovered.

The Watt family have been visiting this part of Utah for many years, Amanda Watt explained that this was an annual trip, part of a long-time family tradition started by her father-in-law.  The discovery was made in Emery County, an area famed for its Upper Jurassic dinosaur fossils, the family and their friends who came with them on their camping trip, enjoy looking for fossils, but they never imagined that one of the young boys would uncover the articulated bones of a giant, herbivorous dinosaur.

Amanda commented that her nephew ran over to the rest of the family with the exciting news that he had found something quite big.

She added:

“It was just like, ‘Oh!’ and everybody was ecstatic  and couldn’t believe what was there.”

Palaeontologists were quickly informed so that the bones could be examined properly with a view to extracting them from the matrix where they have been for about 150 million years or so.

James Kirkland of the Utah Geological Survey commented:

“It’s also an articulated skeleton.  That means all the bones are joined together.  You can see the backbone just laid out on this animal.”

He praised the family for doing the right thing, alerting the authorities to take care of the excavation rather than trying to remove the fossilised bones themselves.  They may have uncovered the bones but they did not attempt to remove them.

Articulated Dinosaur Bones found during Family Vacation

Articulated fossil bones found by family.

Articulated fossil bones found by family.

The discovery made on public land but managed by the Bureau of Land Management may turn out to be an important example of a Camarasaurid (Macronaria clade).  The family may be rewarded for their dinosaur bone spotting by being given the opportunity to help with the extraction and mapping of this dinosaur discovery.

11 06, 2013

Roderick Murchison – The Naming of the Silurian Geological Period

By | June 11th, 2013|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Geology|0 Comments

Celebrating Wrens Nest in the West Midlands – Amazing Geology

Team members at Everything Dinosaur got the chance to visit the amazing Wrens Nest nature reserve in the West Midlands (England), recently.  This location has S.S.S.I (site of special scientific interest) status, amazing geology and wonderful Silurian fossils.

No hammers are allowed so fossil hunters please be aware of this but have a camera handy as there are lots of great geological features to photograph, as for the fossils, crinoids, barchiopods, corals are abundant, these can be picked up and no hammering is required.

Lots of Fossils to be Found

Lots of Silurian fossils to collect.

Lots of Silurian fossils to collect.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

There is a monument on one of the paths around the nature reserve, it is dedicated to all those who worked in the Seven Sisters mine.

The Wrens Nest Monument (Seven Sisters)

Recognising the importance of Wrens Nest.

Recognising the importance of Wrens Nest.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This location was recognised for its geological significance by Sir Roderick Murchison (1792 – 1871).  Born into a wealthy Scottish family, at Tarradale House, on the shores of the river Beauly in the region of the Scottish Highlands called Easter Ross, the young Roderick Murchison was destined for a career in the British military.  He attended military college and fought in the Napoleonic wars.  However, when he married he was introduced to the joys of fossil collecting by his wife and his high status in Scottish society led him to be influenced by the many distinguished scientists that he met.  He became an active member of the Geological Society of London, helped to form the British Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geographical Society, becoming this Society’s President.

He is perhaps best remembered for his work on the dating of geological strata.  Working with the Reverend Adam Sedgewick, a professor at the University of Cambridge, Murchison mapped the strata of Wales.  He was truly a pioneer of geology and his study of Palaeozoic rocks helped define our understanding of deep geological time.  He defined the Silurian in 1835.  The inscription on the monument is a quotation from Sir Roderick, it reads:

“In no part of England are more geological features brought together in a small compass than in the environs of Dudley or in which their characters have been more successfully developed by the labours of practical men.”

Wrens Nest is a wonderful location, a visit is recommended.

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