All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
//October
31 10, 2015

Happy Halloween from Everything Dinosaur

By | October 31st, 2015|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Happy Halloween from Everything Dinosaur – Gargoyleosaurus

This time of year children go out “trick or treating” an American custom that seems to have taken hold this side of the Atlantic.  In palaeontology, the United Kingdom does not always follow where America leads.  For example, the spelling of palaeontologist, the Americanised paleontologist is a “bone” of contention with Everything Dinosaur office staff, but we content ourselves with the thought that a number of dinosaur families were first identified from fossil remains discovered in the British Isles.  The United States may have iconic dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex and Brontosaurus, but the United Kingdom had named and described its first meat-eating dinosaur and what was eventually to become known as a Sauropod many years before the likes of T. rex and Brontosaurus were discovered.

With Halloween, we turn our attention to Gargoyleosaurus (G. parkpinorum), whose fossilised remains come from Albany County, Wyoming (United States).  It seems appropriate to discuss “Gargoyle lizard” at this time of year.  This four metre long armoured dinosaur which once roamed the western United States some 150 million years ago, has been classified as member of the Ankylosauria clade.  It is one of the earliest examples known of an Ankylosaur.

The Late Jurassic Armoured Dinosaur Gargoyleosaurus parkpinorum

An early member of the Ankylosauria clade.

An early member of the Ankylosauria clade.

Specifically, cladistic analysis (Thompson et al 2012 and Chen et al 2013) have assigned the Gargoyleosaurus genus to the polacanthids.  The first member of the Polacanthidae family was named and described back in 1865 (Polacanthus foxii) from fossils found on the Isle of Wight.  Gargoyleosaurus was first named and described back in 1998, (Ken Carpenter, Clifford Miles and Karen Cloward), some 133 years after the first member of the polacanthid family was established.

When the subsequent paper describing a well-preserved skull and post cranial elements was first published (in the journal Nature), this dinosaur was named Gargoyleosaurus parkpini.  The holotype material had been found by J. Parker and Tyler Pinegar and the species name honoured them.  However, the specific (trivial) name had to be changed as it broke the rules for binomial classification under ICZN (International Code of Zoological Nomenclature) guidelines.  The singular Latin suffix “i” is not allowed to be used if it honours a number of people.  As a result the trivial name of this dinosaur was changed in 2001 to G. parkpinorum.

Gargoyleosaurus (pronounced gar-goy-lee-oh-sore-us) and other members of the Polacanthidae are discussed in depth in a newly published book by the very talented William T. Blows entitled “British Polacanthid Dinosaurs”

British Polacanthid Dinosaurs by William T. Blows

Written by William T. Blows.

Written by William T. Blows.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

To order a copy and for further details on “British Polacanthid Dinosaurs” visit: Siri Scientific Press

30 10, 2015

Update on the Last Recommended Posting Dates for Christmas 2015

By | October 30th, 2015|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Update on the Last Recommended Posting Dates for Christmas 2015

October is drawing to a close, and although most of our customers will be concerning themselves with the festivities associated with “All Hallows Eve” it is worth noting just how quickly October seems to have sped by and that Christmas is rapidly approaching.  As a mail order company, Everything Dinosaur does all it can to help customers get their gifts in time for the big day.  The warehouse team will once again be putting in the long hours of dedicated service to make sure that parcels are packed and despatched as quickly as possible.  In addition, we have begun packing and sending out orders on Saturday mornings to help keep up with the amount of orders we are now receiving.

Royal Mail in conjunction with the Post Office, have produced a handy guide which provides details of the last safe, recommended posting dates for Christmas parcels and other mail sent overseas and around the United Kingdom.  The table we have created below summarises these dates.

A Table Illustrating the Last Safe Posting Dates for Christmas 2015

Recommended last posting dates for Christmas.

Recommended last posting dates for Christmas.

Credit: Everything Dinosaur and Royal Mail

 A table reproduced above provides details of the recommended posting dates by geographical region.   Our best advice is, as always, please post early.

Please note:

On the Everything Dinosaur website (Delivery Policy page) we have provided the following information about International Surface Mail posting options:

“A number of international delivery and postal options are offered by Everything Dinosaur, including Airmail, International Surface Mail and International Parcel Force.  Whilst Everything Dinosaur does all it can to ensure a rapid despatch, customers should note that International Surface Mail, often the cheapest international postage option is a relatively slow service and deliveries can take many weeks to arrive dependent on destination country.”

The last recommended posting dates for Surface Mail to many different parts of the world have already passed.

Seven Tips for a Happy Mailing Christmas

1).  Remember to include the house number or house name with the delivery address information.

2).  Check postcode/zip code details carefully.

3).  Check delivery address details on orders to Everything Dinosaur, try checking twice.

4). Remember, with PayPal and our own website’s ordering process, customers can include a message to us in the order message box.  You can write in confirmation of delivery address or any specific, relevant information required to help ensure a speedy delivery.

5).  If you want to specify a different delivery address to your billing address, our website allows you to do this easily and without fuss.

6).  If you want to send an item to your work address, please ensure that you include the company name in the delivery address information.  Make sure that the work reception team are informed and try for a delivery during the working week, especially if  on Saturday/Sunday your premises are shut.

7). Take note of the recommended last posting dates for Christmas, and please, please, please post early.

If you have a query about Christmas deliveries, or indeed any aspect of Everything Dinosaur’s delivery service please feel free to contact us: Email Everything Dinosaur

To view the Everything Dinosaur website: Everything Dinosaur’s Website

29 10, 2015

In a Flap over an “Ostrich Mimics” Feathers

By | October 29th, 2015|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

A Densely Feathered Ornithomimid from Dinosaur Provincial Park

Published in the scientific journal “Cretaceous Research”, why is everybody so excited about the discovery of yet another fossil of a Theropod that shows feathers (at least integumental structures which include feathers)?  Lots of media coverage on this fossil discovery, so why such a flap?

The answer is fairly straight forward, the fossil (UALVP 52531), represents an Ornithomimus, a type of Theropod dinosaur which had a small head perched on top of a long, slender neck, long legs and a very long tail.  Think of Ornithomimus and its kin, the Ornithomimidae, as being very similar to a modern Ostrich (Struthio camelus), but with a tail of course.  It is only the third Ornithomimus fossil to indicate that these Late Cretaceous dinosaurs had feathers and the first ornithomimid specimen to preserve a tail which shows extensive plumes, feathers which are longer than those present on the remainder of the body.

To read about the discovery of the first feathered ornithomimid dinosaur to be found in the Western Hemisphere, an article published by Everything Dinosaur in 2012: Canadian Researchers Find Evidence of Feathers in Ornithomimus

The Fossil Material (UALVP 52531)

The feathered fossil.

The feathered fossil.

Picture Credit: University of Alberta/”Cretaceous Research”

The specimen, pictured above had been collected during a 2009 expedition to the Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation of Alberta (Canada).  It had been identified as an Ornithomimus, but as the head and forelimbs were missing it had largely been ignored.  Aaron van der Reest, a palaeontology student at the University of Alberta was given the task of preparing the specimen, carefully removing the matrix to reveal more of the leg bones which can be seen in the lower portion of the photograph.

Within twenty minutes of working on the tail section, he came across some blackened impressions, these turned out to be feathers.  What started out as an undergraduate project has catapulted Mr van der Reest into the world of published academia.

After two years of careful preparation, this specimen has shed new light on the integumentary coverings of ornithomimids.  It will help scientists to understand more about the different types of feathers and feathery structures that existed amongst the Dinosauria.

Commenting on the seventy-five million year old specimen (Campanian faunal stage of the Late Cretaceous), David Evans, curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto) stated:

“It’s drop-dead gorgeous.  It is the most complete feathered dinosaur specimen found in North America to date.”

The partial, articulated specimen is the first ornithomimid to preserve a tail with extensive feathers.  These tail feathers are slightly longer than those present on the rest of the body.  Intriguingly, the underside of the tail and the hind limb distal to the middle of the femur appear to have no feathers at all.  This plumage pattern mapped out on the preserved Ornithomimus is very similar to that seen in an extant Ostrich (Struthio camelus).  The configuration of body feathers in Ostriches and other Palaeognaths (the Cassowary, Emu, Rhea and so forth), aids thermoregulation.  The feather pattern seen in this Ornithomimus specimen probably served the same function, further evidence that this Theropod dinosaur was endothermic (warm-blooded).

An Illustration of a Feathered Ornithomimus

Feathered Ornithomimus illustration.

Feathered Ornithomimus illustration.

Picture Credit: Julius Csotonyi

The fossil also shows the body outline around the legs, including skin patches in front of the femur, the authors of the scientific paper on this specimen suggest that the resting position of the femur was positioned more anteroventrally in ornithomimids than in most other Theropoda, and as a result may have been transitional to the situation in extant birds.   The research team conclude that whilst UALVP 52531 is not the first feathered ornithomimid dinosaur known from North America, the quality and extent of the feather and skin preservation is without equal.  It is from this specimen that much more can be learned about the likely function of the integumentary covering in Ornithomimus and non-avian Theropods in general.

So, that’s why there has been such a flap.

29 10, 2015

British Birds Including Puffins Face Extinction

By | October 29th, 2015|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2, Key Stage 3/4|Comments Off on British Birds Including Puffins Face Extinction

Puffins and Three Other British Birds at Risk of Extinction

There may still be several million of them, but the colourful North Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica), that can be found on northern coasts of the British Isles, is in danger of extinction according to a new report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  Puffins, Slavonian Grebes, Pochards and European Turtle Doves have all been added to the list of UK bird species included in the Red List of Threatened Species.

The Colourful Puffin Under Threat of Extinction

These colourful birds face extinction.

These colourful birds face extinction.

Picture Credit: Press Association

 Loss of “British Wildlife”

Climate change is influencing the number and location of sand eels, the main food of Puffins and these attractive birds rely on a glut of sand eels to help them raise their young each spring.  Fewer sand eels has led to a reduction in Puffin numbers as fewer chicks are being raised.  A total of eight UK species of birds are now included on the Red List of Threatened Species of Birds.

The Curlew Sandpiper

Under threat of extinction.

Under threat of extinction.

Picture Credit: Thinkstock

The Curlew Sandpiper is on the endangered list.  This shorebird has been classified as “Near-Threatened”.  Loss of estuarine habitat has seen a dramatic fall in the numbers of these birds.

Commenting on this revision of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species for Birds, a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Extinction is not just something that happened in the past, many species once thought of being invulnerable are under threat and a number of scientists have stated that we are now experiencing a global mass extinction event.  It is not just exotic species like Rhinos and Snow Leopards that are threatened, extinctions are happening in the British Isles as well.”

The number of UK species listed as critical has now doubled to eight, a further fourteen species associated with the United Kingdom are considered “near threatened”.

The Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis)

The Atlantic Puffin is distantly related to the Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis), a large, flightless bird that once shared much of the Puffin’s habitat.  The birds were slowly and systematically hunted during the 15th, 16th and 17th Centuries.  They were hunted for their meat, their eggs were collected and the down of these black and white birds was highly prized for use in pillows.  By around 1800, this bird that had once ranged across the whole of the Northern Atlantic was virtually extinct.  The last accredited sighting of a Great Auk, occurred in 1852, when a single bird was spotted on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.  This report, the last report of a Great Auk sighting, has been ratified by the IUCN.  Let’s hope that the Atlantic Puffin and the other birds now listed do not share the same fate.

For further information on the potential of a sixth mass extinction event, here is a link to an article published by Everything Dinosaur in 2014 that summarises a report into the potential accelerated  loss of species worldwide: Are We Heading for a Sixth Mass Extinction Event?

28 10, 2015

Working on Stegosaurus

By | October 28th, 2015|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Revising Stegosaurus

Stegosaurus might be one of the best known and very recognisable dinosaurs but a recent revision of the fossil material ascribed to the genus has led to a shuffling of the Stegosaurus fossil collection.  Team members at Everything Dinosaur have let the palaeontological dust settle and then re-visited their own dinosaur database to ensure that what information they carry approximates to the recent changes in this genus.

A Model of the “Classic” Stegosaurus

The "classic" Stegosaurus.

The “classic” Stegosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Although more than a dozen stegosaurids have been named, the history of the actual Stegosaurus genus and the species that are included within that genus is a little muddled.  The first Stegosaurus was named and described at the height of the great American Marsh and Cope bone wars.  It was Othniel Charles Marsh who actually named the first Stegosaurus and erected the genus, this was back in 1877.  All the fossils, (so far as we at Everything Dinosaur know), that are ascribed to the Stegosaurus genus, come from various stratigraphic layers that make up the famous Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of the western United States.

However, the first confusion with this genus, followed a couple of years later when Marsh’s rival named another stegosaurid Hypsirhophus from fossil material retrieved from the upper most layers of the Morrison Formation in Colorado.  The validity of the Hypsirhophus genus has been challenged, the fossils ascribed consist of fragmentary pieces of vertebrae and some authors have suggested that these fossils represent a dinosaur referred to as Stegosaurus armatus, itself a nomen dubium.  Other palaeontologists have agreed with Cope’s original assessment that the Colorado fossils represent a different genus.

In the late 1870’s and early 1880’s a number of species of Stegosaurus were described.  However, recent revisions, (the last one was 2013), have led to a number of these species also being declared nomen dubium (not valid) or regarded as being junior or senior synonyms of other better known species.  Currently, only three species are recognised, but work is ongoing and we expect further revisions to the genus in the future.

  • Stegosaurus ungulatus – the largest species currently recognised and known from Wyoming (Upper Jurassic, highest stratigraphic zones of the Morrison Formation).
  • Stegosaurus stenops – this species has the most complete fossil record, with more than sixty specimens ascribed, including the remarkably well preserved “Sophie” currently being researched by the London Natural History Museum.
  • Stegosaurus sulcatus – named by Marsh in 1887 and distinguished from other Stegosaurs by having such robust bases to its tail spikes. The largest spikes thought to come from the tail, may not be tail spikes at all but some form of spiky shoulder armour such as that found in related Thyreophora such as Miragaia.

Stegosaurus is Often Featured in Teaching About Dinosaurs in Schools

A very colourful pink plant-eating dinosaur.

A very colourful pink plant-eating dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Enan

Stegosaurus may be extremely well known to members of the public, but we still have a lot to learn about these “roofed lizards”,

The Meaning of the Stegosaur Species Names

S. stenops = “narrow-faced roof lizard”

S. ungulatus = “hoofed roof lizard”

S. armatus (nomen dubium) = “armoured roof lizard”

S. sulcatus =  “furrowed roof lizard”

To view a range of Stegosaurus models in various sizes: Stegosaurus Dinosaur Models

27 10, 2015

Spinosaurus Drawing from Everything Dinosaur

By | October 27th, 2015|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Spinosaurus Illustration (2014)

With the imminent arrival of the new CollectA Spinosaurus replicas (1:40 Deluxe, Walking and Swimming dinosaur models), team members at Everything Dinosaur have been preparing a new illustration of this fearsome Theropod dinosaur.  Following a review of the fossil data carried out by Ibrahim et al in 2014, Spinosaurus (S. aegyptiacus) is now depicted as a quadruped (walking on all four legs).  Although this view is not accepted by all palaeontologists, the writers of the academic paper (published September 2014), portrayed the dinosaur widely regarded as the largest meat-eating dinosaur known to science, as an aquatic animal very much at home in the water.

Spinosaurus Illustration by Everything Dinosaur

The 2014 interpretation of Spinosaurus.

The 2014 interpretation of Spinosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Much controversy surrounds this new interpretation, it certainly is a very intriguing concept, a Theropod dinosaur that evolved into a quadruped and took up an niche in the swampy, equatorial environment of Cretaceous northern Africa, that of a super-sized crocodilian.

To view the CollectA Deluxe Spinosaurus at Everything Dinosaur: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Models

To view the not to scale Spinosaurus models from CollectA: CollectA Dinosaurs

The “Spinosaurus Re-boot” as it has been called, is going to be the focus of debate amongst vertebrate palaeontologists for some years to come, in the meantime, we can marvel at the new CollectA dinosaur models.

The full title of the autumn 2014 paper is “Semi-aquatic Adaptations in a Giant Predatory Dinosaur”, it was published in the academic journal “Science”.

List of authors: Nizar Ibrahim, Paul C. Sereno, Cristiano Dal Sasso, Simone Maganuco, Matteo Fabbri, David M. Martill, Samir Zouhri, Dawid A. Iurino and Nathan Myhrvold

Whatever the appearance and habits of Spinosaurus, it remains an extremely popular dinosaur amongst model collectors and dinosaur fans, peaking at number 2 in the annual Everything Dinosaur survey of the most popular prehistoric animals (2013 data).  It has featured in the top ten most popular prehistoric animals list as compiled by Everything Dinosaur for many years.

27 10, 2015

Life on Earth May Have Started Earlier Than Thought

By | October 27th, 2015|General Teaching, Key Stage 3/4|Comments Off on Life on Earth May Have Started Earlier Than Thought

Evidence of Photosynthesis from 4.1 Billion Years Ago

Scientist from two universities based in the California (University of California, Los Angeles and Stanford University) have published a report that proposes that life on Earth may have evolved much earlier than previously thought.  The team conclude that life could have existed as far back as 4.1 billion years ago, a remarkable statement as it is believed Earth was formed just a few hundred million years before.  Our planet is approximately 4.54 billion years old.  To claim that life existed 4.1 billion years ago, puts the origins of life some 300 million years earlier than previously claimed.

Publishing in the on line edition of the journal entitled “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”, the team suggest that graphite identified within ancient zircon crystals found in Western Australia, is evidence of a biological process having taken place.  Analysis of the transition of uranium to lead isotopes preserved inside the zircon indicate that the zircon is at least 4.1 billion years old.  Therefore the graphite, which must have been older than 4.1 billion years to have become trapped inside, may suggest that biological processes that produced pure carbon were taking place on our planet that far back in deep time.

The Team Identified Dark Spots inside Ancient Zircons

The graphite ( a form of pure carbon) could be evidence of life.

The graphite ( a form of pure carbon) could be evidence of life.

Picture Credit: University of California (Los Angeles)

When Did Life on Earth Begin?

The zircons were formed as a result of volcanism.  The Jack Hills region of Western Australia preserves some of the oldest rocks known.  Analysis of dark spots found trapped inside the zircon suggests graphite (a form of pure carbon), one that is associated with the process of photosynthesis, a by-product of an ancient biological process.

The co-author of the study, Professor Mark Harrison (University of California, Los Angeles) stated:

“Twenty years ago, this would have been heretical, finding evidence of life 3.8 billion years ago was shocking.  Life on Earth may have started almost instantaneously, with the right ingredients life seems to form very quickly.”

This work has implications for understanding how life on our planet started.   This research is significant as it suggests that life in the universe may be much more abundant than previously thought.

26 10, 2015

Everything Dinosaur Prepares for Christmas

By | October 26th, 2015|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Prepares for Christmas

It’s that time of year, yes, we know that Halloween is approaching fast, but no sooner have we put away our pumpkins then team members will be looking ahead to Christmas and putting in place plans to help our customers have a worry free time when it comes to shopping on line.  Everything Dinosaur will be switching soon to seven-day packing and order preparation, this means that in addition to our already “dinotastic” customer service, we will pack and prepare orders on a Saturday and Sunday to make sure they get on their way as soon as the working week starts.

Naturally, we will be available to deal with emails and other enquiries, but at this time of year with the increased amount of orders that we receive, we think that it is important to dedicate more resources in order to ensure that every single one of our customers and their precious parcels get looked after to the best of our ability.

Don’t forget to check out the recommended posting dates for sending/receiving parcels overseas, we don’t want any gifts missing on the big day.

Here is a helpful article that summarises posting advice: Last Recommended Posting Dates for Christmas 2015

Additional Helpful Hints Provided By Everything Dinosaur

1).  Remember to include the house name or house number with the delivery address information that you provide with your order.

2).  Check the zip code/postcode with care.

3).  Before clicking the “submit” button to send an order to Everything Dinosaur, it is a good idea to check the delivery address for one last time.

4). Remember, with PayPal and our own website’s ordering process, customers can include a message to Everything Dinosaur in the order message box.  You can write in confirmation of delivery address or any specific, relevant information required to help ensure a speedy despatch and a rapid, worry free delivery.

5).  Everything Dinosaur’s website makes it easy for you to specify a different delivery address to your billing address, perhaps you want to send to a relative or even to work.

6).  If you do decide to send an item to your work address, please ensure that you include the company name in the delivery address information, do not forget to check the postcode or zip code.

7).  If you think it will help, you can always specify a neighbour’s address where the parcel can be delivered to if you will be out at work when the delivery is likely to take place.

If you have a query about Christmas deliveries, or indeed any aspect of Everything Dinosaur’s delivery service please feel free to email: Email Everything Dinosaur

To view Everything Dinosaur’s website: Dinosaur Toys and Games

We want all our customers to enjoy their on line shopping experience, Everything Dinosaur team members are available and on hand to assist you.

In addition, starting next month, we will include a free set of dinosaur stickers with every order we receive until Christmas!  Just part of our customer commitment to you, our customers.

Starting Soon Free Dinosaur Stickers From Everything Dinosaur!

A set of free dinosaur stickers included with every order from now until Christmas 2015.

A set of free dinosaur stickers included with every order from now until Christmas 2015.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

So for all your dinosaur toys and games, you know who to visit…

25 10, 2015

Dinosaur Fan Sends in Dinosaur Drawing

By | October 25th, 2015|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Keeps Its Promises

Social media is a great way for customers to reach out and contact Everything Dinosaur.  We have a fairly active profile on Facebook, Pinterest and other social media platforms such as Twitter and Youtube.  Our team members do try to respond to all the questions, queries and enquires we get.  There are lots and lots each day, too many for us to count.  However, when Clare Hart, contacted us a few weeks ago to tell us all about her son and his fascination for dinosaurs we made a promise, if her son sent in a drawing of a dinosaur to us, we would post it up for him.

Sure enough, Clare has provided Everything Dinosaur with a lovely drawing of a meat-eating dinosaur created by her son Brandon.

Brandon’s Excellent Illustration of a Theropod Dinosaur

An interesting perspective and great care has been taken over the drawing.

An interesting perspective and great care has been taken over the drawing.

Picture Credit: Brandon Hart (age 12)

The illustration above shows an unusual view of a meat-eating dinosaur.  The picture gives the impression that the drawing has been made by looking from the side of the head back down the Theropod’s body.  Great care has been taken to show the different type of skin patterns that have been seen in fossil Theropods.  The large fenestra (opening) in front of the eye socket has been depicted and from the overall appearance and those crests over the orbit (eye socket), we would suggest that this drawing represents a member of the Superfamily Allosauroidea.  There are a lot of dinosaurs within this particularly Superfamily, but this could be a drawing of an Allosaurus (Allosaurus fragilis), nicknamed by many palaeontologists as the “lion of the Jurassic”.

A Typical Model of an Allosaurus

A Papo Allosaurus dinosaur model.

A Papo Allosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Allosaurus was a formidable predator, amongst the largest known from rocks that date from the Upper Jurassic. Brandon’s dinosaur has a row of dermal spines running down the animal’s “s-shaped” neck, this type of ornamentation is seen in a number of illustrations of this meat-eating dinosaur.

Commenting on the artwork of twelve year-old Brandon, a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“This is an excellent piece of artwork, a wonderful drawing of a carnivorous dinosaur.  The illustration shows lots of detail and obviously a great deal of care has been taken by young Brandon.”

Ironically, in this digital age when a mobile phone can incorporate a camera capable of taking exquisitely detailed photographs, scientific illustration remains very important.  Tutors used to tell us that the best way to get to know a fossil is to draw it.  Pencil sketches can help to reveal details and minute features not immediately obvious.  Recently, Everything Dinosaur team members have been looking at drawings from the 19th Century that illustrate fossil finds from southern England.  It seems that with Brandon’s carefully drawn dinosaur, the future of scientific illustration is in safe hands.

We made a promise that if Clare sent us a drawing done by her son we would post it up.  We like to keep our promises.

Well done, Brandon!

24 10, 2015

Unmistakably Ella The Dinosaur Fan

By | October 24th, 2015|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Ella’s Thank You Letter to Everything Dinosaur

Whilst going through some correspondence in the Everything Dinosaur office today, we came across a letter that we had received from a young dinosaur fan at Southglade Primary in Nottinghamshire (England).  The letter had been replied to and indeed Everything Dinosaur team members posted up a blog article all about the dinosaur workshop that we had conducted with the Year 3 class,  but this one particular letter had been put aside from all the others.

We had been discussing how lead authors and co-authors are cited in academic texts.   A colleague had remembered a thank you letter written by a enthusiastic dinosaur fan Ella, from the way that Ella had written her letter, it was clear who had been the author.

Ella’s Thank You Letter to Everything Dinosaur

Ella was definitely the author of this letter!

Ella was definitely the author of this letter!

Picture Credit: Ella (definitely the lead author)

We could not mistake Ella as the writer of this letter.  When Everything Dinosaur conducts a dinosaurs and fossil workshop with Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children we encourage the teaching team to have the class compose thank you letters to us.  Very often, it can be a challenge for the teaching team to get pupils to practice their hand-writing and the composing of a thank you letter after a dinosaur workshop provides a wonderful excuse to put pen to paper.

To learn more about Everything Dinosaur’s work in schools and to contact the company: Contact Everything Dinosaur to Request Information about Dinosaur Workshops in School

Our team members provide a huge variety of extension ideas and activities, all linked to key components of the national curriculum.  For example, when working with Year 3 children exploring rocks and fossils, we build in links to the maths and literacy elements as well as introducing the concepts of scientific working and geological time.

We received a big pile of letters from Ella and her class mates, the children commented:

“Thank you for coming to our school and teaching us about dinosaurs”.

“I loved the part when I could hold the biggest jaw.”

“My best and favourite part was when you opened the big box.”

“Thank you for letting me hold the fossils.”

“I really liked all the dinosaur facts.”

You are most welcome, we are glad that Year 3 got so much out of our visit.  Some of the letters that we received even contained pictures of prehistoric animals.  One of the extinct creatures that was featured in the children’s illustrations was Tylosaurus.  We think this was because in the class there is a little boy called Tyler and we explained to him and his classmates all about this Late Cretaceous marine reptile.

To read the earlier blog article about Everything Dinosaur’s visit to Southglade Primary: Thank You Letters Received from Year Three

If the letters received by Everything Dinosaur are anything to go by then dinosaur workshops in school for Year 3 are a big success.

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