Museum Line Europasaurus Dinosaur Model Review

This is a brief review by Everything Dinosaur, the UK based retailer of dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed products.  The review is of the Bullyland Europasaurus dinosaur model,  part of the company’s Prehistoric World Museum Line range.

Bullyland Europasaurus Dinosaur Model

Europasaurus holgeri

Europasaurus holgeri

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A number of dinosaurs have names like the names of continents, the giant Titanosaur genus known as Antarctosaurus  for example, although this long-necked dinosaur’s fossils have not been found in Antarctica.  Europasaurus fossils were found in Europe and it was very distantly related to Antarctosaurus, but it was much smaller than this “southern giant”.  A thigh bone assigned to the Antarctosaurus genus is actually longer than a number of the complete fossilised skeletons of Europasaurus.

Europasaurus was a dwarf form, of a long-necked dinosaur.  A number of fossilised skeletons were discovered together in a limestone quarry in Lower Saxony, (Germany) in 1998.  These fossils represented individuals that ranged in size from 1.7 metres long up to over six metres in length.  At first, the fossils were thought to be of baby dinosaurs, but studies of growth marks preserved in the fossil bones (histological studies), later proved that the animals at around six metres long were indeed adults.  Europasaurus was a Brachiosaur, closely related to giant dinosaurs like Brachiosaurus and the huge Sauropod from Portugal called Lusotitan but it was much smaller, with even the very largest specimens probably weighing no more than a tonne.

The Museum Line Europasaurus

Dwarf dinosaur of the Late Jurassic.

Dwarf dinosaur of the Late Jurassic.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Europasaurus lived during the Late Jurassic approximately 154 million years ago.  At this time, much of Europe was covered by tropical seas.  There was an archipelago of small islands off the coast, this was land that had once been part of the mainland but rising sea levels had gradually cut-off  the dinosaur populations.  Dinosaurs that had been  marooned quickly adapted to living on islands with limited food resources and the Sauropod population evolved into a miniature form.

Smaller dinosaurs would need less food to sustain them and so the Sauropods became diminutive compared to their mainland ancestors.   Animals often become smaller when they are living on an island with limited food resources, this evolutionary process is called insular dwarfism.  Large animals become smaller over a number of generations as the population adapts to new circumstances.  Other examples from the fossil record include the dwarf prehistoric elephants that lived on the island of Crete and the tiny Titanosaur called Magyarosaurus from the Upper Cretaceous (Hateg Formation of Transylvania).

The Bullyland Europasaurus dinosaur model has been very carefully sculpted.  It has the typical domed head of a Brachiosaur and the forelimbs are larger than the hind limbs, again a typical trait of the Brachiosaurids.  This hand-painted model is a light tan colour with dark brown spots on the flanks and along the neck and tail.  This colouration would have proved to be effective camouflage for a herbivorous dinosaur living in a forest environment.  Bullyland state that their Europasaurus is in 1:30 scale, based on the size of the largest Europasaurus specimen known and given this model’s total length of 23cm we at Everything Dinosaur estimate a scale in the region of 1:26.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s rang of Bullyland dinosaurs: Museum Line Dinosaur Models including Europasaurus

There is much to be admired about this replica.  The large thumb claw on the front limbs is clearly visible and the nostrils have been positioned in the right place based on the known Europasaurus skull material.  The skin texture is particularly well done with lots of detail and there are even different shaped scales present over different parts of the dinosaur’s body.  As with all the named dinosaur and prehistoric animals supplied by Everything Dinosaur this model is supplied with its own fact sheet that will tell you a little more about Europasaurus, its discovery, and the latest information on this amazing Late Jurassic Sauropod.

A Close Up of the Head of Europasaurus

Nostrils are in the right place according to fossil study.

Nostrils are in the right place according to fossil study.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

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