All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
//January
24 01, 2014

Papo Mini Tubs Dinosaurs – A Picture Update

By | January 24th, 2014|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products|2 Comments

Papo Mini Dinosaurs (Set of Six Dinosaur Models)

Everything Dinosaur team members have received a number of requests to post up further pictures of the dinosaurs that make up the new for 2014 Papo mini dinosaurs tub.  This miniature model set features six prehistoric animals, namely T. rex, Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, a raptor (presumably Velociraptor), Triceratops and a Brachiosaurus.

Mini Tyrannosaurus rex Model 

A mini T. rex dinosaur model.

A mini T. rex dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Mini Spinosaurus Dinosaur Model

The mini Spinosaurus dinosaur model from Papo.

The mini Spinosaurus dinosaur model from Papo.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

These two carnivores are extremely popular with young dinosaur fans, in fact Spinosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex featured in the top two in Everything Dinosaur’s 2013 survey of the most popular prehistoric animal models in the fossil record.

To read about the survey: Top Ten Most Popular Prehistoric Animals Survey

Intriguingly, the dinosaurs represented by this set of mini dinosaur figures made up the top six in Everything Dinosaur’s annual census.

The “Raptor” Model in the Set

Note the sickle-shaped claw which is raised on the hind feet.

Note the sickle-shaped claw which is raised on the hind feet.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

One of our favourites in this set and the first of three herbivores that we will feature here is the cute Stegosaurus.

Papo’s Mini Stegosaurus Dinosaur Figure

The mini Stegosaurus from Papo.

The mini Stegosaurus from Papo.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This model has a lovely quizzical expression.  Not sure what our walnut-sized brained Stegosaur is thinking but we really like the cute expression on his face.

The Triceratops Figure (Papo)

The mini Triceratops

The mini Triceratops

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

These models will be sold as a set in a clear, plastic tub which also makes a handy storage jar for when it is time to put these models away for the night.  Last but not least, comes the chunky looking Brachiosaurus.  It has been suggested that since Papo already makes larger versions of these dinosaurs, these particular replicas could be used to represent babies or juveniles of the species.

The Papo Mini Dinosaurs Brachiosaurus

Papo mini Brachiosaurus.

Papo mini Brachiosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This mini dinosaurs model set is likely to be available in the second quarter of 2014.  A spokesperson for Everything Dinosaur stated that although production schedules were subject to change, it was anticipated that this model set would be available sometime around late May or June of this year.

23 01, 2014

Dinosaur Artwork in Schools

By | January 23rd, 2014|Educational Activities, Teaching|0 Comments

A Colourful Camarasaurus Collage

Whilst working with Key Stage 1 children carrying out a dinosaur workshop in school, one of our dinosaur experts was shown this lovely collage of a colourful Sauropod by an eager, young dinosaur fan.  The dinosaur featured is a Camarasaurus (C. supremus for example).  It is certainly a very colourful collage.

A Colourful Camarasaurus Collage

Colourful Camarasaurus collage

Colourful Camarasaurus collage

Picture Credit: Nithilea/Everything Dinosaur

The artwork was produced by Nithilea, as part of term topic in which the children learn all about dinosaurs in school.  We loved the idea of using bright and colourful tissue paper to create a very funky looking dinosaur.  Camarasaurus was a long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur.   Palaeontologists have estimated that this creature which was related to the Brachiosaurs could reach lengths of up to 20 metres.

Our dinosaur experts were most impressed with the dinosaur artwork on display in the school.

To learn more about Everything Dinosaur’s work in schools: Teaching About Dinosaurs in Schools

22 01, 2014

New Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models for 2014

By | January 22nd, 2014|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Schleich Dinosaurs for 2014

Everything Dinosaur team members have been busy looking at the first samples of the new Schleich 2014 dinosaur models.  This German company intends to introduce four not to scale models this year, there is a long-clawed Therizinosaurus, a new Tyrannosaurus rex model, a new raptor (Velociraptor spp.) and a brightly painted horned dinosaur called Pentaceratops.

New Dinosaur Models for 2014 from Schleich

Four new Schleich dinosaur models to look forward to.

Four new Schleich dinosaur models to look forward to.

Picture Credit: Schleich

Over the next few days or so, Everything Dinosaur will be posting up new images and further information concerning these prehistoric animal models.  We expect to have them in stock in May of this year.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s current range of Schleich dinosaurs: Schleich Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

The four dinosaurs in the picture date from the Cretaceous although T. rex and Pentaceratops lived in North America, whilst Therizinosaurus and Velociraptor fossils herald from Asia.

21 01, 2014

Reception Children Compose Letter

By | January 21st, 2014|Early Years Foundation Reception|Comments Off on Reception Children Compose Letter

Helping a Reception Class with Writing

Following a dinosaur workshop with class RJ (Reception), team members set the class and their enthusiastic teacher Miss Jones, one of our “pinkie palaeontologist challenges”.  Could the children demonstrate their super writing skills by drafting and writing a letter to Everything Dinosaur following our visit?

Although, many of the children had only just turned five, they were keen to get involved and thanks to some group work, supported by the teaching assistant the class was able to work out what should go into the letter, how it should start and the best way to end it.  Sure enough, a few days after we set the challenge, we received a lovely thank you letter from the class.

Everything Dinosaur Receives Letter from Reception

Reception class children compose a thank you letter.

Reception class children compose a thank you letter.

Picture Credit: Class RJ/Everything Dinosaur

As part of our extension activities agreed with the teaching team after we had visited the school to conduct the dinosaur themed workshop, we naturally sent a reply.  In this way, the children could see how letter writing is compared with using email and other forms of communication.  With the new curriculum likely to place greater emphasis on information technology we were happy to help out and provide further support to the teaching team.

Everything Dinosaur Sent the Class a Reply

Everything Dinosaur extension activity explores communication.

Everything Dinosaur extension activity explores communication.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

 

21 01, 2014

Thank You Letter from Class RJ (Reception)

By | January 21st, 2014|Educational Activities, Teaching|3 Comments

Reception Class Sends in Thank You Note To Everything Dinosaur after Dinosaur Workshop

Everything Dinosaur team members are busy visiting schools all over the UK at the moment.  We need to become as fast as a speedy Struthiomimus in order to keep up with all our other duties at this time of year.  However, we do try and respond to every email, letter, drawing sent in and such like, especially from young dinosaur fans and budding palaeontologists.

After a school visit to work with some children in reception classes (aged 4-5) years, we received a thank you letter from class RJ.

Class RJ Say Thanks for the Dinosaur Workshop

Class RJ's letter

Class RJ’s letter

Picture Credit: Class RJ

Miss Jones, (the teacher) emailed to say how much the children enjoyed learning about dinosaurs.  She went onto add that the children came up with the letter and helped to write the words.  Always a pleasure to hear from school children and we encourage such imaginative writing in reception classes, they can really help young children with their sentence construction and appreciation of grammar.  Naturally, we took time out of busy schedule to compose a reply and to email it over to the school.

Saying Thank You for the Thank You

Thank you for your kind letter.

Thank you for your kind letter.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The children under the expert guidance of their teachers and the support staff had prepared lots of questions in time for our visit to the school.  A number of classes had thought about the sort of questions they would like answered and then these were written down with the help of the teacher, we did our best to answer them all.

School Children Prepare Lots of Questions

Lots of questions prepared by school children.

Lots of questions prepared by school children.

So many questions, the children were very enthusiastic and we were really impressed with their knowledge about prehistoric animals.  We were so pleased that these budding scientists enjoyed looking at the dinosaur bones.

When conducting dinosaur workshops for reception, it is important to consider extension activities that can take place once the visit is over to help reinforce learning and to check understanding.  In this way, Everything Dinosaur team members can further support the work of the teachers in the school.

20 01, 2014

A New Troodontid Dinosaur Described – Gobivenator

By | January 20th, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories|0 Comments

Gobivenator mongoliensis – A New Troodontid from the Central Gobi Desert

A new scientific paper has just been published by an international team of scientists including researchers from Tokyo University that details the discovery of a Troodontid dinosaur.  Troodonts are a group of small Theropod dinosaurs that seem to lie somewhere between those speedy, long-legged Ornithomimids such as Gallimimus and the fearsome Dromaeosaurids such as Velociraptor.  Fossils of these little dinosaurs (most of them were around two metres in length, most of that being tail), have been found in Upper Cretaceous deposits of North America and Asia.  From the several near complete specimens of this family known, palaeontologists have identified that their skeletons were very bird like and that these animals in proportion to the rest of their bodies, had relatively large brains for a member of the Dinosauria.

The newest member of the Troodontidae has been named Gobivenator mongoliensis (the name means “Gobi desert hunter from Mongolia”).  The almost complete specimen, including a very well preserved skull which was just missing the tip of the snout was excavated from deposits in the Djadokhta Formation of the central Gobi desert region.  Post cranial material includes virtually the rest of the skeleton with just some smaller bones and a neck vertebra (cervical vertebrae) missing.  A number of important Late Cretaceous fossils representing Oviraptorids, Dromaeosaurids, Tyrannosaurs, as well as Ornithischian dinosaurs, mammals, lizards and crocodiles have been found in the strata that makes up the Djadokhta Formation.  Perhaps the most famous part of the Formation is the famous “Flaming Cliffs” , named for the reddish colour of the sandstones, as explored by the American Museum of Natural History expeditions led by Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews.

The sandstone deposits of the Djadokhta Formation preserve evidence of a semi-arid, desert environment that had a number of oasis spread across it.  The fossils of Gobivenator have been dated to around 72 million years ago, although the exact date range of the entire Formation remains debated.  Most of the strata does date from the Early Maastrichtian/Campanian, but there is some evidence to suggest that the earliest deposits, representing a slightly more humid and wet environment date from the Santonian faunal stage.

Measuring around 1.6 metres in length (half of the body length being made up of the long tail) and most probably feathered, Gobivenator was probably a hunter of small, lizards, baby dinosaurs and mammals.  It may have lived in social packs.

An Illustration of Gobivenator mongoliensis

An illustration of G. mongoliensis. Scale bar = 1 metre.

An illustration of G. mongoliensis.
Scale bar = 1 metre.

Picture Credit: Danny Cicchetti

The near complete skeleton and the very well preserved and undistorted skull has provided the joint Japanese/Mongolian scientists with a unique opportunity to explore the phylogenetic relationship between members of the Troodontidae and also between Troodonts and Aves (birds).  The shape and structure of the palate has been determined, showing close affinities with Dromaeosaurids such as Velociraptor and primitive birds.  Although the skull of Gobivenator is strongly fused (akinetic – limited movement between bones), it already shows preconditions for the later evolution of a more flexible skull as seen in many types of modern bird (cranial kinesis).  Preconditions identified by the research team include reduced contact between the small bones that make up the palate and the absence of a slender epipterygoid bone.

Cranial kinesis is effectively the ability of skull bones to flex against each other.  This adaptation is most closely allied to the need to cope with awkward or difficult to swallow prey items.  A number of bird families show a degree of cranial kinesis, most notably Prokinesis (flexing of the front facing portions of the skull).  In modern Aves, it is the Psittacine (parrots) family that show the most pronounced form of cranial kinesis.  It is thought that the skull flexing in members of the parrot family evolved to help them feed on large, robust nuts and fruit.

The scientific paper detailing this research has been published in the academic journal “Naturwissenschaften” – the science of nature.

19 01, 2014

Baby Chasmosaurus and Edmontosaurus with Evidence of a Soft Crest to go on Display

By | January 19th, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories|0 Comments

University of Alberta to Display Important Dinosaur Discoveries

The almost complete fossilised skeleton of a baby horned dinosaur and the preserved skull from an adult duck-billed dinosaur that shows evidence of a soft crest on top of its head are to go on display to the public in the Canadian city of Edmonton.  From February 6th until March 8th, visitors to the University of Alberta Museum’s galleries at Enterprise square will be able to view the fossilised remains of a baby Chasmosaurus along with the rooster-like comb on the skull of an Edmontosaurus (E. regalis).   These dinosaur fossils were amongst the most significant discoveries reported upon by Everything Dinosaur team members last year.  It is rare to find a baby dinosaur, these carcases decompose more rapidly than larger adult specimens and most baby dinosaur remains would have been snapped up by a passing meat-eater.  To have an almost perfectly preserved example of a young horned dinosaur is a great boost for the palaeontologists working in the Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation.

The Chasmosaurus skeleton is nearly complete, only the front limbs are missing, which are believed to have disappeared down a sink hole in the past.  The dinosaur has been affectionately called “baby” and if visitors look carefully, they will be able to make out 72 million year old preserved skin impressions on the specimen over the ribs of the 1.5 metre long specimen.

Phil Currie (Canada Research Chair in Dinosaur Palaeobiology at the University of Alberta) Shows Off the Fossil Find

"The best preserved baby horned dinosaur ever found".

“The best preserved baby horned dinosaur ever found”.

Picture Credit: Bruce Edwards (from a video interview)

To read more about the baby Chasmosaurus fossil: Baby Chasmosaurus Fossil Unearthed in Alberta

Clearly excited about the prospect of putting this fossil, which was discovered in 2010, on public display, Phil Currie stated:

“It’s my pride and joy.  It is the best preserved baby horned dinosaur known anywhere in the world.  It is an unbelievable specimen!”

Joining “baby” on display will be skull material from an adult duck-billed dinosaur (Saurolophinae), called Edmontosaurus.  This specimen, Edmontosaurus regalis revealed for the first time evidence that these large, herbivores may have had soft-tissue crests on their heads, rather like the combs on cockerels.

Everything Dinosaur reported on this discovery, when the scientific paper was published in “Current Biology” just five weeks ago.  To read more about this study: Dinosaur with a Comb Like a Rooster’s

The Edmontosaurus Material Going on Display

Arrows indicate preserved impression of skin, the presence of a crest and skull bones.

Arrows indicate preserved impression of skin, the presence of a crest and skull bones.

Picture Credit: Frederico Fanti et al/Current Biology

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The fact that these recently described specimens are going on display to the public so quickly is fantastic news.   We applaud the staff at the University of Alberta for all their hard work.  These two fossil discoveries are very significant and they demonstrate to the public at large that we still have so much to learn about the Dinosauria.”

18 01, 2014

Prehistoric Times (Winter 2014) Reviewed

By | January 18th, 2014|Magazine Reviews|0 Comments

Prehistoric Times Winter 2014

With team members at Everything Dinosaur  undertaking a lot of work in schools over the next few weeks, any members of staff staying away from the office will have plenty to read as the new edition of Prehistoric Times (issue 104) has arrived.  Editor, Mike Fredericks proudly states that this latest edition of the quarterly magazine for fans of prehistoric animal models and everything to do with dinosaurs is “really special” and we are not going to disagree, as it is packed from cover to cover with lots of amazing prehistoric animal artwork, model and book reviews, articles and updates on the world of palaeontology.

Let’s start by singing the praises of the front cover.  Issue 108 (winter 2014) is adorned by a brilliantly evocative piece of art by that very talented artist and illustrator Fabio Pastori.  Fabio depicts a feathered Allosaurus battling a Stegosaurus, whilst Late Jurassic birds flap their wings in earnest to escape the mayhem.

Prehistoric Times (Issue 108)

Everything Dinosaur reviews Prehistoric Times (winter 2014)

Everything Dinosaur reviews Prehistoric Times (winter 2014)

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Prehistoric Times

Super artwork Fabio, one of our favourite covers was your Dilophosaurus illustration on the front cover of issue 88, now we might just have to change our minds having seen the wonderful artwork on the latest edition of Prehistoric Times.

One of the great things about this magazine is the regular feature “How to Draw Dinosaurs”, written by Tracy Lee Ford.  His contribution deals with recent developments in the study of Hadrosaurs (Saurolophinae), updating readers on changes in how these Ornithopods may be illustrated with the discovery of a soft crest on the skull of a specimen of Edmontosaurus regalis discovered near the city of Grande Prairie in Canada.  Everything Dinosaur wrote a short article about this amazing fossil find, one that could change the way that duck-billed dinosaurs are depicted in the future, when the academic paper was published in “Current Biology”.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s article: Duck-Billed Dinosaur with a Comb like a Rooster

The article contains lots of interesting insights into Saurolophinae skull morphology, with some handy line drawings to help get the main points across.

The two prehistoric animals featured in this issue are Australovenator and the enormous ancient ape Gigantopithecus.  Phil Hore goes over the finer details of these very diverse members of the fossil record and there are lots of amazing reader’s artwork included too.    A big opposable thumbs up to Phil, especially for his highly informative and well-written article on Gigantopithecus.

Amongst all the updates on dinosaur collectibles and new model releases, there is an interview with artist David Krentz and his involvement in the 3-D “Walking with Dinosaurs” movie that is currently on release, plus the latest news concerning the Canadian-produced spin-off to the British television series “Primeval”.  Look out for the book reviews and the highly informative overview of 2013 from a palaeontologist’s perspective written by the well-travelled Steve Brusatte.  Now residing north of the border, Steve’s passion for palaeontology has taken him to Scotland to take up a post as a research fellow for the University of Edinburgh.

Prehistoric animals on stamps are a theme for the winter edition, with an article by James Gurney that details the work behind the production of a set of postage stamps commissioned by Australia Post showcasing the diversity of Mesozoic fauna from down under.  British prehistoric animals get a look in too, as there is a feature on the twelve first class stamps illustrated by John Sibbick for Royal Mail.  The stamps, originally commissioned to celebrate the centenary of the book “The Lost World” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were delayed by Team GB’s success at the 2012 Olympics but were released in October of last year.

To read more about the stamps from Royal Mail: Royal Mail Issues New Prehistoric Animal Stamps

John Sibbick’s artwork is superb and in Prehistoric Times he talks through how he went about depicting prehistoric fauna strongly associated with the British Isles.  The stamps were released to celebrate over 150 years of the study of palaeontology in the United Kingdom, Everything Dinosaur got involved with this project when they were asked to write the cover notes and information on the extinct creatures featured in the set.  It was fun!

There’s a lot packed into the latest edition, look out for the review of a visit to the famous Natural History Museum of Berlin, as well as interviews with dinosaur sculptors Allen Debus and Bob Morales, Everything Dinosaur even gets a mention in the editorial.

We asked our chum, Mike to give our Facebook page a plug, we are on a mission to get “likes” for our boss “Tyrannosaurus Sue”.

Hit the Facebook Logo to Visit Everything Dinosaur on Facebook

Click the logo to visit our Facebook page and to give our page a "like".

Click the logo to visit our Facebook page and to give our page a “like”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

All in all, thoroughly recommended, a definite inclusion in our travel bags and overnight gear as team members spend the next few weeks on their adventures.

To learn more about Prehistoric Times visit the website: Prehistoric Times Magazine

Congratulations to Safari Ltd, as their Gryposaurus dinosaur model was voted “Best New Toy” by Prehistoric Times readers.

17 01, 2014

Gryposaurus Dinosaur Model Wins Award

By | January 17th, 2014|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Gryposaurus Dinosaur Model – “Best New Toy” 2013

The Gryposaurus dinosaur model which was introduced last year into the Wild Safari Dinos & Prehistoric Life model range (Safari Ltd) has been voted “Best New Toy” for 2013 by readers of Prehistoric Times magazine.  The Gryposaurus, a replica of the duck-billed dinosaur whose fossils have been found in Alberta, Canada (Gryposaurus notabilis) was one of six new model introductions into this particular range by Safari Ltd in 2013.  It must have been a close call, as Everything Dinosaur team members have been singing the praises of all the new model introductions. For example, the newly introduced Elasmosaurus replica was a very accurate model and the Gastornis (Terror Bird) was beautifully painted.  However, against such stiff competition the Gryposaurus replica came out on top.

“Best New Toy” for 2013 – Gryposaurus

"Best New Toy" for 2013

“Best New Toy” for 2013

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Safari Ltd

Everyone at Everything Dinosaur would like to add their congratulations to the design team and staff at Safari Ltd – well done to you all.

To read a review about the Gryposaurus replica: Wild Safari Gryposaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

The review above was written back in September of last year, when Everything Dinosaur got its first stocks of this wonderfully painted dinosaur model.  The detail on the replica is superb, although we think those lovely blue eyes on the dinosaur played a big part in this particular replica winning this accolade.

To see Everything Dinosaur’s range of Safari Ltd prehistoric animal models: Wild Safari Dinos and Carnegie Collectibles

16 01, 2014

Dinosaurs Help Young Children with Phonics

By | January 16th, 2014|Early Years Foundation Reception|Comments Off on Dinosaurs Help Young Children with Phonics

Dinosaurs Help Children with Phonics

Team members at Everything Dinosaur, the UK based dinosaur toy and model retailers have developed a number of teaching resources to help teachers and home educators.   Many of these resources are available as free downloads on the company’s dedicated teaching site.  Basic word recognition, word sounds and reading skills can be helped by utilising dinosaurs to demonstrate that learning can be fun.  For instance, a speech bubble situated adjacent to a picture of a dinosaur can help young children to consider what third parties might be thinking or saying.  This can also help when educators are exploring concepts such as empathy and feelings.

Dinosaurs Help with Phonics

Children learning to empathise and appreciate the emotions of others.

Children learning to empathise and appreciate the emotions of others.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Many teachers have utilised Everything Dinosaur’s free teaching resources to help children learn using the phonics method.  The long names of dinosaurs can form part of a fun teaching text.  Lots of books about dinosaurs aimed at younger readers, contain helpful pronunciation guides and our team members can always be contacted as they are happy to help out.  The tongue-twisting nature of some dinosaur names can add to the sense of achievement when a name or phrase is said correctly.

With Foundation Stage children, when delivering dinosaur workshops in schools, we are keen to focus on developing an appropriate, diverse vocabulary.  Children like dinosaurs, things to do with the Dinosauria, such as their long names, to a child, can be exciting.  Useful to know when trying to motivate the next generation of readers.

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