All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
/2014
22 12, 2014

Everything Dinosaur Passes 1,200 Customer Reviews

By | December 22nd, 2014|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Press Releases|0 Comments

1,200 Customer Reviews on the Everything Dinosaur Website

Another day of preparing, checking and packing customer orders, doing all we can to despatch them in time for Christmas.  However, we have just been notified that there have now been over 1,200 customer reviews posted up on the Everything Dinosaur website, in fact the total is now 1,212.  Many of our customers have posted up comments, feedback and reviews over the last two weeks or so.  The 1.200th comment was from Mandy and she was writing about the dinosaur themed lockable diary that she had purchased.

Mandy wrote:

“Love this.  Perfect for a dinosaur loving nephew.  Thank you.”

The Lockable Dinosaur Diary (subject of review number 1,200)

Lockable Secret Dinosaur Diary.

Lockable Secret Dinosaur Diary.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We really appreciate all the comments and reviews we receive, we have just marked this “milestone” on our Facebook page, by posting up a special banner.

A Big Thank you for all the Feedback and Comments

Feedback gets a big "Like" from Everything Dinosaur.

Feedback gets a big “Like” from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Our thanks to everyone who has taken the time and trouble to give us feedback on our customer service, to provide product reviews and to post up messages on our website about Everything Dinosaur and our dinosaur toys and models.

21 12, 2014

Preparing for Teaching Assignments (January 2015)

By | December 21st, 2014|Educational Activities, Teaching|0 Comments

Dinosaur Workshops Scheduled for January 2015

Everything Dinosaur team members have a very busy teaching itinerary planned for the first part of the Spring Term (January to end February 2015).  Our dinosaur experts will be conducting dinosaur themed workshops (and fossil workshops too), with school children ranging from Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), up to Key Stage 3.  As teachers are very busy with Christmas preparations and with most of the schools now closed, we have already forwarded on finalised lesson plans to most educational establishments to ensure that our work in the first couple of weeks of next term can dovetail smoothly into the teaching schedule.

It is Going to be a Very Busy Spring Term for Everything Dinosaur

Teaching tips, articles, resources and free downloads.

Teaching tips, articles, resources and free downloads.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

After the Christmas break we shall be back in the warehouse sorting out all the fossils and other teaching resources that will be required for the first of our teaching assignments as well as cataloguing more fossils and looking at even more resources that we can provide for schools.  Although, we have not found a volunteer amongst us yet prepared to dress up as Mary Anning.

Everything Dinosaur and the Company’s Outreach Work

Helping to promote science for girls by dressing up as Mary Anning.

Helping to promote science for girls by dressing up as Mary Anning.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To learn more about Everything Dinosaur’s unique work with schools, museums and other institutions: Everything Dinosaur Educational Activities

20 12, 2014

Preparations for Spring Term Teaching

By | December 20th, 2014|General Teaching|Comments Off on Preparations for Spring Term Teaching

A Busy Spring Term Ahead for Dinosaur and Fossil Workshops

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have been busy preparing for what is going to be a very congested first part of the Spring Term.  The fossil experts will be undertaking lots of dinosaur workshops with school children from Nursery/Reception age up to Key Stage 3.  Teachers will have been very busy themselves as the Autumn Term concludes, most of the schools in the UK are now closed for the festive season, but Everything Dinosaur has been forwarding on lesson plans to make sure everything is in place for when the next term starts.

Once the Christmas holidays have come to an end, team members will be back in the warehouse preparing teaching resources in readiness for the start of the Spring Term.  One of our key objectives when working with Year 3 for example, (rocks, fossils and soils), is to promote the role of women in science.  At the moment, none of the team members have volunteered to dress up as Mary Anning!

Promoting the Role of Women in Science

Encouraging careers in science.

Encouraging careers in science.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

20 12, 2014

The Penarth Ichthyosaur

By | December 20th, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Amateur Fossil Hunter Finds Welsh Ichthyosaur

The foreshore along the beaches in the Penarth area of the Vale of Glamorgan (South Wales), is one of the most popular fossil collecting locations in the whole of the British Isles.  The beaches are very accessible, there is plenty of parking nearby and the sites are loved by family holiday makers.  The strata in the area, is Lower Jurassic (blue lias) and it is highly fossiliferous.  A thirty minute walk along the foreshore can result in the finding of many specimens, mostly brachiopods, gryphaea, and the occasional worn ammonite fragment.  Vertebrate fossils, those of marine reptiles are rare, although the occasional Ichthyosaur vertebrae or paddle bone can be discovered.  Geological hammers are not necessary, the strong tides combined with the the crumbly nature of the cliffs ensures a regular scattering of fossils across the beach.  However, one very lucky amateur palaeontologist has uncovered the fossilised remains of a two metre long Ichthyosaurus, and what’s more, the specimen seems almost complete.

Jonathan Bow, made his discovery whilst walking along the beach back in September, a small inch long piece of rock took his eye after it had been exposed by a tide.   He stated that anyone could have made this find, it all took was careful observation.  Indeed, this is true, when Everything Dinosaur team members are out on fossil hunts it is often the children who are with us with their sharper eyesight, that spot the fossils.

The Fossilised Remains of the Ichthyosaur (after preparation)

Penarth's very own prehistoric monster.

Penarth’s very own prehistoric monster.

Picture Credit: Jonathan Bow

Mr Bow, a keen fossil collector explained that:

“Something this large and complete is a once in a lifetime find.”

The collections manager in the Geology Department at the National Museum Wales described this fossil as “potentially a very important find.” 

Ichthyosaurs were a diverse group of marine reptiles that evolved in the Early Triassic and thrived during the Jurassic Period.  As a group they survived into the Cretaceous but mysteriously, despite being superbly adapted to marine environments, they became extinct around eighty million years ago.

Ichthyosaurs – Marine Reptiles Known as “Fish Lizards”

Dolphin-like prehistoric animals.

Dolphin-like prehistoric animals.

2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the first scientific description of an animal that was later named as an Ichthyosaur.  In June 1814, Sir Everard Home published an account of a discovery made by the Anning family of Lyme Regis (Dorset).  This was the first scientific account ever published on an Ichthyosaur.  Fitting then, that this year, the most complete fossilised remains of a “Fish Lizard” found in South Wales have come to light.

Ichthyosaurus Fossils Come to Light

Ichthyosaur fossils from this part of South Wales are rare.

Ichthyosaur fossils from this part of South Wales are rare.

Picture Credit: Jonathan Bow

The picture shows a smaller Ichthyosaurus fossil specimen as Mr Bow found it (small picture, bottom left) and the larger picture shows the same specimen once it had been exposed and prepared.  Ribs, paddle bones and vertebrae can be clearly distinguished.

Our congratulations to Jonathan, but a word of warning to would be fossil hunters keen to visit this part of the Welsh coast.  The cliffs are dangerous and rock falls common, there are plenty of fossils to find on the beach, please avoid getting too close to the cliffs.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur, acknowledged that the cliffs were best avoided and that there were plenty of fossils to be found on the beach itself, particularly along the foreshore, before adding:

“We suspect that this is an example of the Ichthyosaur species called Ichthyosaurus communis, although we would need to take a closer look before a species identification could be formally made.  We anticipate further marine reptile fossil finds early next Year, but this time from the Jurassic coast of Dorset as the winter storms do their work.”

19 12, 2014

An Ichthyosaurus from South Wales

By | December 19th, 2014|General Teaching|Comments Off on An Ichthyosaurus from South Wales

Amateur Fossil Collector Finds Two Metre Long Ichthyosaurus Fossil

Fossil collector Jonathan Bow made the discovery of a life time last September when he spotted an unusual rock whilst walking along the foreshore at Penarth (Vale of Glamorgan).  This part of the Welsh coast is one of the most popular locations for fossil hunting in the whole of the British Isles.  Fossils are eroded out of the cliffs and scattered along the beach, strong tides in the area scour the cliffs and a lot of fossil material dating from the Early Jurassic is deposited.  Fossils normally include pieces of ammonites, brachiopods and gastropods but occasionally fragments of vertebrate bone are found.  These fossils are from marine reptiles, paddle bones and occasional vertebrae can be picked up, but Jonathan’s discovery is truly exceptional.

The Prepared and Restored Ichthyosaur Specimen

Two metre long Ichthyosaurus specimen.

Two metre long Ichthyosaurus specimen.

Picture Credit: Jonathan Bow

Ichthyosaurs are not dinosaurs, they are reptiles but belong to a separate group of the Reptilia not closely related to the Dinosauria.  Early Jurassic forms resembled dolphins and these animals thrived in marine environments for over 130 million years.

Commenting on the fossil find a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“This is a remarkable discovery.  The specimen is almost complete and indicates that this animal died and was rapidly buried before currents or scavengers could scatter the bones.”

Everything Dinosaur has a number of Ichthyosaur specimens in its fossil collection.  Most of the fossils are from an Ichthyosaur species known as Ichthyosaurus communis.  This year, 2014 marks the bicentennial of the publication of the first scientific paper describing an Ichthyosaur.

The spokesperson from the educational company staffed by real dinosaur experts warned that on this part of the Welsh coast it was inadvisable to stray to close to the cliffs.

“The very mechanism that deposits fossils onto the shore, the action of the sea, is also eroding the surrounding cliffs at an alarming rate. Rock falls are common and we urge visitors to the area to take care and not to stray to close to the cliffs themselves.  There are plenty of fossils to find along the seashore.”

19 12, 2014

Information about “Sophie” the Stegosaurus thanks to Milan and Alisha

By | December 19th, 2014|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page|0 Comments

Young Dinosaur Fans Showcase their Dinosaur Knowledge and IT Skills

A few days ago we challenged the son of one of our customers to produce an article on the arrival of the new Stegosaurus exhibit at the Natural History Museum (London).  Although, Stegosaurus is one of the most recognisable of all the dinosaurs, with its strange plates on the back and its spiked tail, referred to as a “thagomiser”, very little research on this genus of Late Jurassic dinosaur has been carried out in recent years.  We suggested that young Milan should write a report on this Stegosaurus, his sister Alisha (aged 11), also joined in and produced a wonderful powerpoint slideshow containing lots of dinosaur facts and figures.

“Sophie” the Stegosaurus on Display

Milan used this picture to illustrate his dinosaur documentary.

Milan used this picture to illustrate his dinosaur documentary.

Picture Courtesy of the Natural History Museum and chosen by Milan

 Here is Milan’s documented notes on the subject of Stegosaurs:

Sophie The Stegosaurus – Documentary 2014 – 2015

Sophie the Stegosaurus was found in Wyoming, USA on its own.  The weight of the animal is around 1 ton.  Sophie the Stegosaurus would have eaten things like ferns and horsetails.  The  habitat where the animal may have lived could be rocky plain ground with lakes around it, this way they would have food and water when they most needed it.  They may not have traveled very far from their homes to eat too.  Sophie  may have lived and walked though the forests, or even  green canyon.  The plain surroundings where the  Stegosaurus may also have walked and lived in, would and could have been filled with  rocky mini towers or marshlands  (just like how it was shown on “Planet Dinosaur”).  Stegosaurs may have lived in large number groups like a herd.  This could be because groups made them feel safe.  Also, when they are eating some of them could keep an eye out for predators.  Stegosaurs lived as a herd and they grazed in small numbers too.  Sophie the Stegosaurus had 19 plates that grew on its back and scientists believe that Sophie did have built-in defence, which was all along the back, in the shape of the large plates.  The plates on the back may have been used as balance,  and also they may have another propose which is very clever.  When the animal feels like it is in danger or it needs to show that it’s the boss, the animal can change the colour of the plates by simply flushing its blood into the plates, which then changes colour to scare the predators off, this could be a small predator  or even one as big as an Allosaurus.

The Stegosaurus walked the earth around 150 million years ago – this was the Jurassic age.  Looking at the animal more closely you can see that it has two large sharp spikes on  either side of its tail.  These spikes where used to slam and hurt predators that got to close to them.  Time to time they also used these spikes to hurt each other.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Thank you Milan, for sending us your Stegosaurus information, we enjoyed reading all about Sophie the Stegosaurus.  We really appreciate the information that you sent us on this American dinosaur.”

Alisha Makes a Dinosaur Themed Powerpoint Presentation (The First Slide)

Dinosaur Facts Book by Alisha

Dinosaur Facts Book by Alisha

Powerpoint presentation by Alisha

The powerpoint slide created by Alisha contains twelve, carefully crafted slides, Everything Dinosaur team members enjoyed viewing Alisha’s presentation.

Size Comparisons of Long-Necked Dinosaurs by Alisha

The size of huge Sauropods.

The size of huge Sauropods.

Powerpoint presentation by Alisha

To conclude her excellent powerpoint presentation, Alisha compiled a short quiz (fortunately she did include the answers).

One of the Dinosaur Themed Questions

Dinosaur themed quiz questions.

Dinosaur themed quiz questions.

Powerpoint presentation by Alisha

Proud dad, Neil explained:

“She created the whole presentation, by herself without any adult help or supervision and I was really impressed by what she had created – she taught me how to do a few things too!”

Clearly with Milan’s dinosaur knowledge and Alisha’s presentation skills, if the media team at the Natural History Museum ever need any help they will know who to turn to.

Concluding his article on “Sophie” the Stegosaurus, Milan provided Everything Dinosaur with a list of ten things that we ought to know about these armoured dinosaurs.

Good Facts about Stegosaurus – by Milan

1 . Stegosaurus is the most famous dinosaur from the group known as stegosaurids.  They are plant-eaters of the Jurassic age , some scientists think of the tail and if the Stegosaurus has the defence against predators.

2. There have 19 plates found along the back of Stegosaurus  and 4 spikes on its tail.

3. At 560 centimetres long and 290 centimetres tall, similar in size to a 4×4 vehicle, the skeleton has over 300 bones. It was found virtually complete in the USA 11 years ago, with only the left arm and base of the tail missing.

4. The plates and spiky tail are used to scare other dinosaurs away.

5. The Stegosaurus`s use plates to reflect colour to scare predators and control the tail to help the spiky tail to hit a target.

6. Stegosaurus has 300 bones to show museums like the Natural History Museum.  Visitors will see the Stegosaurus (Sophie) on display at the museum.

7. Some palaeontologists believe that the action of the tail and plates that Sophie had were used in defence, like a prehistoric hammer.

8. Stegosaurus has a beaky mouth, perfect to eat soft plants.

9. Sophie was not fully grown when she died.  There were many types of different sized Stegosaurus around America, “Sophie” was a Late Jurassic herbivore.  There were many armoured herbivores in the Early Cretaceous too.

10. Stegosaurus means “roofed lizard”,  it was a vegetarian (herbivore), other dinosaurs were carnivores.

Milan Included this Picture of the Stegosaurus in his Notes

The preserved skeleton of "Sophie" the Stegosaurus.

The preserved skeleton of “Sophie” the Stegosaurus.

Picture Credit: Milan (Courtesy of the Natural History Museum)

Our thanks to Milan, Alisha and dad Neil for letting us post up the information on dinosaurs that they compiled for us after we gave them one of our “pinkie palaeontologist challenges”.

In conclusion, Milan stated:

“Sophie is the best preserved Stegosaurus ever to be found, it lived and tried to survive in the prehistoric world of the dinosaurs.”

Article written by Milan, with powerpoint presentation by Alisha.

18 12, 2014

New from Papo for 2015

By | December 18th, 2014|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|10 Comments

Two New Prehistoric Animal Models for Dinosaur Fans from Papo

The wait is over, Everything Dinosaur can now reveal the two new additions to the Papo range of prehistoric animal models for 2015.  Papo will be bringing out a model of a Cretaceous Pterosaur (Tupuxuara) and a replica of a young Apatosaurus and very splendid they both look.

The Pterosaur Replica Tupuxuara

Available in spring 2015.

Available in spring 2015.

Picture Credit: Papo

A member of the Thalassodromidae family of Pterosaurs, these flamboyant crested flying reptiles, with their oversized skulls and toothless beaks would have made a spectacular sight as they soared over the skies of Cretaceous Brazil.  No one is really sure what these creatures ate, some species of Tupuxuara had wingspans in excess of five metres.  It has been suggested that these Pterosaurs were fish-eaters (piscivores), whilst other scientists have proposed that these were the “Toucans of the Pterosauria”, suggesting that they guzzled fruit (frugivores).

The model measures around five centimetres high, is about seven centimetres in length and with its folded wings, this particular Tupuxuara is around seven centimetres wide.

The second model being launched by Papo is a much larger specimen, although not as big as it could have been.  The French figure and model manufacturer will be introducing a young Apatosaurus to its dinosaur model range (Les Dinosaures).

The Young Apatosaurus from Papo

Available in the early spring of 2015

Available in the early spring of 2015

Picture Credit: Papo

We hope this new replica works well with the existing Allosaurus and the Stegosaurus models.  It seems that Morrison Formation dinosaurs are being well represented in the Papo model series at the moment.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Papo prehistoric animal models: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals

Team members at Everything Dinosaur will be meeting up with Papo in the New Year, we intend to take some more photographs and when we do, we shall post them up.  Both these replicas are going to be made in the early part of next year.  Everything Dinosaur expects to have stocks by early March, perhaps a little earlier.  We shall keep you posted…

18 12, 2014

The Earliest Horned Dinosaur from North America

By | December 18th, 2014|General Teaching, Key Stage 3/4|Comments Off on The Earliest Horned Dinosaur from North America

Spaniel Sized Horned Dinosaur – Aquilops americanus

Many school children may be familiar with horned dinosaurs such as Triceratops and the spiky Styracosaurus.  Indeed, these huge Late Cretaceous herbivores are some of the best known of all the dinosaur species. However, scientists have been researching how these dinosaurs came to be in North America in the first place.  It is believed that in the Cretaceous, land bridges formed between the land that was to become North America and Asia.  The horned dinosaur group, most probably evolved in Asia and migrated into the land that we now know as Canada and the United States at some point in deep time, when a land bridge existed between these two continents.

Everything Dinosaur reported this week on the research carried out by a dedicated team of palaeontologists as they seek to understand how these bird-hipped dinosaurs evolved and migrated out of their ancestral home.  In a newly published scientific paper, a partial skull and jaw of a new type of horned dinosaur, roughly the size of a small Spaniel has been described.  The dinosaur, whose skull measures just over eight centimetres in length has been named Aquilops americanus (the name means “American Eagle Face”).

Important Horned Dinosaur Fossil Discovery

Tiny horned dinosaur roamed Montana about 105 million years ago.

Tiny horned dinosaur roamed Montana about 105 million years ago.

Picture Credit: Reuters

These fossils represent the oldest horned dinosaurs found to date in North America, scientists hope that this rare find will help them to understand more about the evolution and radiation of the Neoceratopsidae and the Ceratopsidae.

To read the complete article from Everything Dinosaur: Shedding Light on the Earliest Horned Dinosaurs of North America

17 12, 2014

Confused over Centrosaurines (Especially from Montana)

By | December 17th, 2014|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Press Releases|0 Comments

Einiosaurus and Achelousaurus

Everything Dinosaur received an urgent phone call this morning from a mum who had been finally told by her dinosaur mad little boy what Father Christmas should get him.  He requested an Einiosaurus. Sadly, despite the very many colourful models of horned dinosaurs made by the likes of Collecta and stocked by Everything Dinosaur, we did not have a replica of this Late Cretaceous Centrosaurine to hand.  However, thanks to our knowledge of the Ceratopsidae, we were able to recommend a suitable substitute, so step forward an Achelousaurus replica to save the day.

Stepping into the Breach the Centrosaurine Achelousaurus

Horned Dinosaur Model

Horned Dinosaur Model

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Fossils of Achelousaurus and Einiosaurus have both been found in Montana, from the same geological formation in fact (Upper Two Medicine Formation).  We used some notes that we had on the original 1995 research along with a few references from the excellent “New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs” and we were able to produce a special data sheet for the young palaeontologist all about these two Centrosaurine dinosaurs.  The Collecta Achelousaurus dinosaur model makes a very appropriate substitute for an Einiosaurus.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Collecta prehistoric animal models: Collecta Prehistoric Animal Models

Explaining All About Two Closely Related Dinosaurs

Helping one young dinosaur fan (and his mum)!

Helping one young dinosaur fan (and his mum)!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur (from Gregory S. Paul)

Another little problem solved.

16 12, 2014

Feedback from Everything Dinosaur Customers

By | December 16th, 2014|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Our Customer Service Gets Praised

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have been very busy preparing, checking, packing and despatching orders for customers and we are all working really hard at the moment.  We still have all our commitments to our social media sites and this blog to keep up too.  In addition, we have been contacting those customers who sent us Christmas cards and drawings of prehistoric animals with a seasonal theme.  These items are helping to brighten up our extremely busy warehouse.

We are just about managing to keep up with all our correspondence, but the priority is, of course, to support our customers and to ensure that orders are sent out as quickly as we can.

So, what to blog about today?  As suggested by “Tyrannosaurus Sue”, why don’t we post up some of the comments we have received in the last 24 hours or so from customers who have emailed us?  After all, we are very proud of our customer service.

Everything Dinosaur – Praised by Customers

Everything Dinosaur Logo

Everything Dinosaur Logo

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

These are all genuine comments emailed to Everything Dinosaur from customers:

“Thank you for being so prompt – there will be one very, very happy 4 year old on Christmas morning!!!”
“Thank you, it [the order] came at lunchtime.”
“Thanks Everything Dinosaur, for your reassuring advice re: delivery and immediate response confirming my order.”
“A huge thank you for your help yesterday! The dinosaurs arrived before 9am this morning! The fact sheets are great too. Will be sure to recommend you to all Leo’s dinosaur mad friends!”
“Thank you for your help. I’m sure these extra resources will come in very handy over the holidays.”
“Many thanks.”
“Thank you for your kind assistance.”
“Parcel just arrived – many thanks.”
“Thanks Everything Dinosaur, that’s really kind of you! Fantastic service!”
We shall continue to work as hard as we can.  Our customers know that we are a reliable supplier of dinosaur toys and models.   Looking on the bright side we can take a holiday on the 25th!
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