All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
/2017
31 12, 2017

Gigantism in Penguins

By | December 31st, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Giant Prehistoric Penguins Not Just Once But Several Times

A team of scientists writing in the academic journal “Nature Communications” have identified a new species of giant, prehistoric penguin.  This new species, named Kumimanu biceae is not closely related to previously described giant penguins and this suggests that gigantism in penguins evolved several times in the evolution of these birds.  K. biceae was described based on a partial skeleton excavated from the Palaeocene Moeraki Formation at Hampden Beach in the Otago region in New Zealand’s South Island.  An accurate size is difficult to establish based on the fragmentary fossil remains, but when swimming with its long beak and flippers extended, this bird could have measured more than two metres in length.  When on the shore, it would have stood around 1.7 metres tall.   The new fossil is one of the oldest giant penguins found so far and is clearly outside a clade including the giant Eocene and Oligocene Sphenisciformes, substantiating multiple origins of gigantism in fossil penguins.

Kumimanu biceae Size Comparison

Kumimanu biceae size comparison.

Kumimanu biceae stood around 1.7 metres tall and weighed over 100 kilos.

Fragmentary Fossil Material

The partial skeleton represents a single individual and the fossil material consists of a fragment of a left scapula, an incomplete right coracoid, a portion of the sternum, a partial left humerus, incomplete proximal end of left ulna, a right femur, a right tibiotarsus lacking proximal end, a partial synsacrum, three vertebrae and various bone fragments. The giant penguin’s name comes from Maori myth, kumi was a large, mythical monster and manu means bird.  The species or trivial epithet honours Beatrice (Bice) A. Tennyson, the mother of one of the paper’s authors, Alan Tennyson of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.  It was Alan’s mother who first inspired  him to take an interest in natural history.  The fossil material is believed to be somewhere between 59.5 and 55.5 million years old.

Comparing Kumimanu biceae with other penguins.

Kumimanu biceae fossils compared to other penguins.

Picture Credit: Nature Communications

The picture above shows the wing and pectoral girdle bones of the new giant penguin.  (a) shows the partially prepared concretion with bones in situ, whilst (b) shows the partial right coracoid, the dotted lines indicate the reconstructed outline of the bone.  The left coracoid of the prehistoric penguin species Waimanu tuatahi (c) is shown for a size comparison.  Pictures (d-f) show the fragmentary end of the left ulna of K. biceae in various views, whilst pictures (g-h) depict a left ulna of an as yet, undescribed new species of penguin from the Waipara Greensand.  A CT image of the surface of the partial left humerus of K. biceae is shown in (i) whilst (j) shows the exposed surface of the bone.  Pictures (k-l) show the humerus with minimum (k) and maximum (l) size estimates for the bone based on the partial fossil material.  The left humerus of the Palaeocene penguin Crossvallia unienwillia is shown (m).  C. unienwillia was one of the largest known prehistoric penguins.  The left humerus of another giant penguin, Pachydyptes ponderous from the late Eocene of New Zealand (n) is provided for further comparison.  The scale bars in the picture above equate to 5 cm.

The research team conclude that based on the fragmentary fossils, Kumimanu biceae is amongst the largest of the fossil penguins reported so far and since it seems more basal to the family than other giant forms, this suggests that gigantism evolved several times over the long history of penguin evolution.

30 12, 2017

Favourite Blog Articles of 2017

By | December 30th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Favourite Blog Articles of 2017

As the year draws to a close, it is time to reflect on some of the blog articles that we have produced over the last twelve months or so.  It has certainly been an amazing year for palaeontology with lots of new fossil discoveries and some fascinating new insights into previously described species.  With over 300 articles to choose from on this blog, here is the list of our favourites produced in 2017.

Dinosaur Collagen Confirmed

Back in January, we reported on the remarkable duplication of a famous dinosaur study first undertaken in 2009, when dinosaur collagen was found within fossil bone.  A team of researchers from North Carolina State University, North-western University and the University of Texas – Austin, were able to repeat the experiment and retrieve collagen peptides from an 80-million-year-old dinosaur femur.

To read the full article: Researchers Confirm Dinosaur Collagen

In 2018, we can expect the next instalment of the “Jurassic Park/Jurassic World” to arrive in cinemas, even with this research, we are a long way from resurrecting dinosaurs.

Monster Worms

Everything Dinosaur’s report on the discovery of a giant worm in Devonian sediments in late February caused one or two shivers amongst our readers.  It seems that the vertebrates had a rival for dominant, apex predator in marine environments.  Step forward Websteroprion armstrongi, with its vicious jaws.

Giant Predatory Worm of the Devonian

A monster worm from the Devonian.

Websteroprion attacking a Devonian fish.

Picture Credit: James Ormiston

Biggest Dinosaur Footprint?

The Dampier peninsula of Western Australia hit the headlines this year, with a scientific paper published that attempted to map the extensive dinosaur tracks and footprints, representing a rare insight into the fauna of Early Cretaceous Australia.  Amongst the tracks studied, were a series of giant footprints, some of which measure more than 1.7 metres long.  These tracks were dubbed the “Biggest dinosaur footprints in the world”

One of the Huge Sauropod Prints

Broome sandstone giant Sauropod print.

Richard Hunter provides the scale next to the giant Sauropod print. Scale depiction of dinosaur provided below.

Picture Credit: Queensland University

Elk Hunter Stumbles Across Elasmosaur

Hunter David Bradt won’t forget on Elk hunting trip that he undertook.  Whilst hunting in Montana’s Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge,  he stumbled across some large fossil bones in a stream bed.  He thought that he had found a dinosaur but no, had uncovered the fossilised remains of a new species of short-necked Elasmosaur from the Western Interior Seaway.  The marine reptile was named Nakonanectes bradti in April 2017.

David Bradt Poses with his Unusual Find

David Bradt with his fossil find.

Hunter David Bradt photographed in the stream bed with the fossils.

Picture Credit: David Bradt

Shingopana songwensis

There were several newly described dinosaurs in 2017 too.  Lots of different types.  For example, in August Everything Dinosaur reported on the naming of a new Cretaceous Sauropod from Tanzania.  This fossil discovery helps to open up a new area of research into Titanosaur diversity in the southern hemisphere during the Cretaceous.

Shingopana songwensis Illustrated

Shingopana illustration.

An illustration of Shingopana songwensis.

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

Purbeck Fossil Discoveries

Nearer to home, the Dorset coast also sprang a few fossil surprises student Grant Smith found two fossil teeth in Early Cretaceous sediments on the “Jurassic Coast” that proved the presence of placental mammals in this location.  It was amazing to think that the Dorset coast, one of the most explored and research palaeoenvironments in the world, could still hold some surprises and well-done to the relatively inexperienced undergraduate student for making such an incredible discovery.  The new placentals were named Durlstodon and Durlstotherium.

It of course, gives us another opportunity to post up some of Mark Witton’s beautiful artwork.

A Purbeck Lagoon (Early Cretaceous)

Purbeck (Dorset) 145 million years ago.

Purbeck Lagoon 145 mya as darkness falls Durlstodon (top left) looks on whilst two Durlstotherium scurry through the undergrowth. In the centre a Durlstotherium has been caught by Nuthetes destructor.

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

These are just some of our favourite blog articles of 2017, we look forward to all the exciting discoveries and fossil finds we will report on in 2018.

 

29 12, 2017

Television Documentary Gives T. rex a Makeover

By | December 29th, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, TV Reviews|0 Comments

T. rex Gets a New Look for a Television Documentary

The most iconic vertebrate in the fossil record, Tyrannosaurus rex has been given a makeover as part of a new television documentary programme due to be shown on the BBC.  The hour-long documentary entitled “The Real T. rex with Chris Packham” is due to be shown on BBC Two on Tuesday, 2nd of January.  According to the latest scientific research, this formidable Late Cretaceous predator may have looked very different from the way it is usually depicted in books, television programmes and on the big screen.

An Illustration of Tyrannosaurus rex (2018)

A fuzzy T. rex with orange eye-markings and bristles.

A new illustration of T. rex (2018).

Everything Dinosaur team members have known about the television documentary for several months, the aim of this programme is to update what T. rex might have looked like based on the very latest palaeontology, including studies of other feathered Theropods and the publishing of a scientific paper on the skin of Tyrannosaurus rex.

To read about the forthcoming documentary: Rediscovering T. rex Television Documentary

Confirmation of broadcast timings in the UK: New Time for Tyrannosaurus rex Documentary

Covered in Bristles with a Markings Around the Eyes

The Tyrannosaurus rex makeover will not hold many surprises for dinosaur fans.  Most of the information the programme divulges is not new, but for those viewers who think that the solitary, scaly hunter with a huge roar as in “Jurassic World”, is an accurate depiction, they are in for quite a shock.

A New Look for T. rex

T. rex makeover (2018).

A new look for Tyrannosaurus rex (2018).

This iconic dinosaur from the Hell Creek Formation of North America is depicted as having a sparse covering of bristle-like feathers, a scaly skin covered in dark blotches and brightly coloured, orange flashes directly above the eyes.  Instead of a terrifying roar, this dinosaur was capable of producing a limited range of vocalisations, roaring is out, replaced by a virtually, inaudible low-frequency rumble, reminiscent of an elephant.

Over the course of the programme, presenter Chris Packham discusses with various experts what T. rex probably looked like and how it might have behaved based on the latest fossil evidence.  It is not that surprising, but the consensus of opinion is that Tyrannosaurus rex had more in common with birds than it does with today’s crocodiles.  Not an astounding revelation given that T. rex was a lot more closely related to birds than to crocodilians.

Covered in Dark Blotches

In the segment featuring Professor Julia Clarke (University of Texas), the skin colouration of this seven-tonne giant is discussed.  Professor Clarke postulates that this animal was covered in dark patches.  An analysis of fossilised dinosaur skin has identified structures similar to those that produce the natural pigment melanin.  This suggests that T. rex could have been dark coloured and blotchy, perhaps to help break up its outline in dappled light, in a similar vein to the markings on some World War II battleships.  The colouration of this dinosaur remains controversial, as the tendency to find structures that resemble melanin might reflect a bias in the fossilisation process.

The absence of a total body covering of feathers in an adult animal is explained by the concept of the rate of heat loss based on the ratio between surface area and volume.  A large animal in excess of thirteen metres long, such as Tyrannosaurus rex would have had a large volume compared to its surface area.  It would have lost heat to its surroundings more slowly than smaller animals.  Over-heating for an active predator could have been more of a problem rather than trying to keep warm, especially if T. rex was endothermic (warm-blooded).  Hence, the lack of feathers on the body, a few stiff bristles and some tufts rather than a thick, shaggy coat.  Younger animals with a larger surface areas compared to their volume, such as the sub-adult “Tristan” Tyrannosaur that features in the programme, may have had a more substantial coat helping to insulate the animal.

The idea of a sparsely feathered T. rex has already been explored by model manufacturer CollectA.  In 2018, they will be introducing a 1:40 scale replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex with fewer feathers than their current feathered T. rex model.  In a direct comparison with modern flightless birds such as the Cassowary, the television documentary suggests that this dinosaur may have retained “a light patching of feathery bristles strategically placed for social display”.

Less Feathers on the New for 2018 CollectA T. rex Replica

CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale roaring T. rex.

CollectA roaring feathered T. rex dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Distinctive Markings Like a Bird of Prey

Detailed scans of the fossil bones suggest that these dinosaurs might have fought with each other, perhaps over food, mates or even to decide hierarchies within packs or family groups.  The bright orange crests over the eyes also portray T. rex with more affinities to the Aves.  Birds have colour vision and rely on colour for visual displays.  The scientists argue that the thickened ridges found on the skulls of adult animals may represent the remains of crests or prominent lumps that were very colourful and used to show maturity, dominance and perhaps played a role in ritual displays.

Chris Packham Comes Face to Face with the New T. rex

Chris Packham and the new T. rex.

Presenter Chris Packham comes face to face with T. rex.

Picture Credit: BBC Media

To read an article on the study of the skin of T. rexT. rex Sheds Its Feathers

28 12, 2017

Attenborough and the Sea Dragon

By | December 28th, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, TV Reviews|0 Comments

Television Documentary on Ichthyosaurs Scheduled for BBC One

A television documentary exploring the life of a remarkable Ichthyosaur is due to be shown on BBC 1 on the evening of Sunday 7th January.  Entitled “Attenborough and the Sea Dragon”, this hour-long programme follows the excavation of an Early Jurassic Ichthyosaur fossil on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset.  Sir David Attenborough, a keen fossil hunter himself, joins a team of experts as they attempt to excavate the fossilised remains and piece together the life story of an ancient sea monster.

A Computer-Generated Image of an Ichthyosaur

A monster of the deep - Ichthyosaurus.

A computer generated image of an Ichthyosaur.

Picture Credit: BBC Media

A Giant Sea Dragon

The fossilised remains, believed to represent the largest Ichthyosaur known from the British Isles, were discovered by Dorset fossil hunter Chris Moore in 2016.  The documentary programme will include a segment in which the fossil bones are scanned and a replica skeleton of the 200 million-year-old “fish lizard” is created.  By examining the bones, the team hope to bring this prehistoric sea creature’s story to life.

Fossil Hunter Chris Moore with Some Blocks of the Ichthyosaur Material

Dorset Fossil Hunter Chris Moore.

Chris Moore with some of the blocks containing the Ichthyosaur fossils.

Picture Credit: Richard Austin

Chris spotted the fossil material eroding out of a high cliff and the material had to be removed before the winter storms hit, otherwise the rare fossils would have been lost forever.

The extraordinary fossil includes skin impressions, this leads to new revelations about how these predators might have looked.   As the story unfolds, Sir David compares the sea dragon to animals alive today, including dolphins, sharks, crocodiles and turtles.

A 200 Million-Year-Old Murder Mystery

As more of the fossil bones are revealed the scientists make a startling discovery.  This Ichthyosaur did not die of natural causes, it was attacked, but what fearsome beast could have killed this giant?  Using techniques more at home in a police forensics laboratory than a paleo-preparation lab, the team piece together evidence that points the figure of suspicion at another huge Ichthyosaur – a seven-metre-long monster called Temnodontosaurus.

A Replica of a Temnodontosaurus (T. platydon) A Giant, Viviparous Ichthyosaur

CollectA Temnodontosaurus platyodon model.

Detailed Ichthyosaur figure. Temnodontosaurus platyodon.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Using state of the art imaging technology and cutting-edge CGI the team build the skeleton and create the most detailed animation of an Ichthyosaur ever made, bringing this Lyme Regis discovery to life as well as reconstructing its fate.

Programme Details

The one-hour television documentary is confirmed for BBC One on Sunday 7th January 8pm to 9pm.

It’s going to be well-worth watching.

27 12, 2017

Christmas Present for Chinese Palaeontologists

By | December 27th, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Clutch of Chinese Dinosaur Eggs for Christmas

News agencies from China are reporting that Chinese palaeontologists have been given a special Christmas present with the discovery of the fossilised remains of a clutch of dinosaur eggs that date from the Early Cretaceous.  Construction workers were examining large boulders that had been blasted away as part of the preparations for a building project in Dayu County (Jiangxi Province, south-eastern China), when they noticed the series of white, semi-circular marks in the sandstone rocks, along with a number of almost complete oval-shaped eggs.

A Close View of One of the Better Preserved Chinese Dinosaur Egg Fossils

A fossilised dinosaur egg.

A close view of one of the fossilised dinosaur eggs from the Dayu County construction site (Jiangxi Province).

Picture Credit: Ming Kangping/China News Service

December 25th Discovery

The clutch of eggs was found on December 25th.  Excavation work in the immediate vicinity was suspended and the area cordoned off to prevent any further damage to the fossil find.  The fossils were inspected by local scientists under the supervision of the authorities with strict security in order to deter any would-be egg fossil thieves.

Scientists Examine the Fossil Finds in the Company of Officials

The site of the dinosaur egg discovery (Dayu County).

Officials look on whilst local scientists examine the dinosaur eggs.

Picture Credit: Ming Kangping/China News Service

Despite the removal and sale of such ancient artefacts having been made illegal in China, unfortunately, there is still a thriving black market in fossils, especially fossils of dinosaurs.  Everything Dinosaur has reported on several fossil theft cases from China.  For example, earlier this year, Everything Dinosaur reported on the arrest of a Chinese man from Zhejiang Province over the alleged theft of more than eighty dinosaur egg fossils.

To read the story: Dinosaur Egg Thief Suspect Arrested in China

Examining the Fossil Material

Chinese dinosaur egg fossils.

Local scientists examine the dinosaur egg fossils.

Picture Credit: Ming Kangping/China News Service

The Remains of at Least Twenty Dinosaur Eggs

The fossils of more than twenty dinosaur eggs have been taken away to a local museum for further study and preparation.  The site, which is a construction project for a new school, will be inspected closely before further building work takes place in case more fossils are at this location.  A spokesperson for the local museum stated that the fossils are around 130 million years old (Early Cretaceous).

26 12, 2017

Water Bird from the Late Cretaceous

By | December 26th, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Maaqwi cascadensis – Diving Bird from the Late Cretaceous

A team of scientists writing in the on-line academic journal PLOS One have named a new species of Late Cretaceous marine bird, based on a single coracoid bone and some fragments representing bones from the wing.  The animal has been named Maaqwi cascadensis and at an estimated 1.5 kilos in weight it was about the same size as your average domestic chicken.  However, this bird is believed to have been adapted to a marine environment, using its legs to paddle around under water in pursuit of fish.

Fossils of birds from the Pacific Coast of North America are exceptionally rare, these marine deposits that form part of the Northumberland Formation have yielded fossil fish, marine reptile remains plus fragmentary elements of terrestrial animals including dinosaur bones, but very few avian fossils.  M. cascadensis was discovered on Hornby Island.  The strata are estimated to represent Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian deposits (around 73 to 71 million years old).  The fossil specimen consists of a mudstone concretion which contains a right coracoid bone plus fragmentary wing bones (humerus, ulna and radius).

A Map Showing the Location of Hornby Island in British Columbia and the Fossil Site

The location of Hornby Island and the fossil site.

The location of the Late Cretaceous fossil bird find.

Picture Credit: PLOS One

In the picture above (A) provides the geographical setting of British Columbia in Canada, whilst (B) shows the location of Hornby Island in the context of Vancouver Island.  The larger map (C) shows Hornby Island with the Northumberland Formation exposures highlighted in black.  The yellow star in (C) shows the location of the fossil discovery.

An initial description of the fossil material had been published previously (2011), but it was only with further cleaning and preparation that the full extent of the fossil material became known.

Photographs and Accompanying Line Drawings of the Fossil Material

Views and line drawings of the Maaqwi cascadensis fossil material.

Photographs and accompanying line drawings of the fossil material.

Picture Credit: PLOS One

In the picture (above) photograph (A) shows the dorsal face of the right coracoid and the partial humerus (c and h) with an accompanying line drawing (B).  Photograph (C) shows the reverse side of the fossil (ventral) revealing more of the wing bones (u = ulna and r = radius).  A line drawing of the reverse side of the fossil is provided (D).  Note the scale bar (1 cm).  In the line drawings white shading denotes preserved cortical bone (dense bone found towards the outside of bones), whilst the light grey shading shows exposed trabecular bone (spongy internal bone).  The dark grey/black represents the mudstone matrix.

Robust Bones and Short Wings

The size of the coracoid bone suggests a large bird, one weighing around 1.5 kilos.  The bones are robust with thickened walls, suggesting that this prehistoric bird was adapted for diving, such as modern grebes and loons.  The coracoid (part of the shoulder bones), is very reminiscent of the coracoid of extant diving birds (Gavia immer – the Common Loon).

A Comparison of Coracoid Bones Mcascadensis Compared to Gavia immer

Comparing coracoids - Maaqwi cascadensis compared to the coracoid of an extant bird (Common Loon - Gavia immer).

The digital reconstruction of the coracoid of Maaqwi cascadensis compared to the coracoid of an extant bird (Common Loon – Gavia immer).  Scale bar = 1 cm.

Picture Credit: PLOS One with additional notation by Everything Dinosaur

An assessment of the arm bones (ulna, radius and humerus) suggests that M. cascadensis had short wings.  It is not known whether this bird was flightless, the wings were probably not the main means of propulsion through water.  It has been speculated that the feet were used to propel the bird underwater, in a similar way to the swimming action of cormorants, if this is the case, then Maaqwi probably had webbed feet.  The research team propose that this bird was a member of the Ornithurae, a natural group which includes the common ancestor of Ichthyornis, Hesperornis and all modern birds.  The generic name, Maaqwi, is derived from “ma’aqwi”, from the language of the indigenous Coast Salish people of the North-west Pacific.  The word means “water bird”.   The specific name or trivial name, cascadensis, reflects provenance in the Cascadia region of western North America.

The scientists including Nicholas Longrich (University of Bath), propose that Maaqwi cascadensis might have been a sister taxon to Vegavis iaai of the Antarctic and along with the Ichthyornithes and Hesperornithes, Mcascadensis and Vegaviidae appear to represent a third clade of bird that evolved to exploit marine habitats in the Late Cretaceous.

To read an article about the voice box of Vegavis iaai: Ancient Bird Voice Box Sheds Light on the Voices of Dinosaurs.

A Speculative Illustration of a Diving Maaqwi cascadensis

Maaqwi diving to catch fish.

M. cascadensis diving.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

25 12, 2017

Merry Christmas from Everything Dinosaur

By | December 25th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Merry Christmas from Everything Dinosaur

The big day has finally come and on behalf of everyone at Everything Dinosaur, we would like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas.  Compliments of the season to one and all.  Over the festive period, Everything Dinosaur will be monitoring emails and sorting out orders for customers.  We will also commence our annual stock take, with plenty of mince pies to keep us going.  In the next few weeks, Everything Dinosaur will be receiving something like fifty new models, it certainly is an exciting time for us and our many thousands of customers all over the world.

Our Christmas picture this year, reflects the new models coming into stock and also takes a nod in the direction of “Fallen Kingdom”, the new “Jurassic World” movie due to be released in June 2018.  Santa Claus might be full of cheer, but in the Dinosauria when it comes to “claws”, look out for the fearsome thumb claw of Baryonyx.  The Baryonyx in the picture is one of four, exciting new Mojo Fun replicas coming into stock at Everything Dinosaur and in “Fallen Kingdom”, Baryonyx is one of the new dinosaurs to feature.

Merry Christmas from Everything Dinosaur

Happy Christmas from Everything Dinosaur.

Merry Christmas from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Thank You for all the Cards and Messages

A special thank you to all our customers and fans of dinosaurs who sent into Everything Dinosaur cards, seasonal emails and even pictures of dinosaurs in Christmas scenes.  Most of these have been pinned up around the warehouse and the offices, they will help to keep us smiling as we undertake this year’s stock take  Our thanks once again for all the messages of support.

For an article that links Christmas dinner to dinosaurs: Dinosaurs and Your Christmas Dinner

Over the next few days and weeks we will be compiling all the new fact sheets for the CollectA models, making room in our warehouse for the Beasts of the Mesozoic range and we have a shipment of PNSO replicas to look forward to.

Lots to write about over the Christmas holidays but in the meantime, we would like to wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas!

24 12, 2017

Focus on Safari Ltd New for 2018 Synapsids

By | December 24th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Safari Ltd Prehistoric Mammals and Dimetrodon

Yesterday, Everything Dinosaur focused on the new dinosaur models for 2018 being introduced by Safari Ltd.  In this blog article, we take a look at the other non-dinosaur models that have been added, these models including the Dimetrodon replica along with the dinosaurs, are all in stock and available from Everything Dinosaur.

Safari Ltd – Focusing on the Synapsids

New prehistoric animal models from Safari Ltd (2018).

New for 2018 synapsids from Safari Ltd.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Why Call them Synapsids?

Usually, it is quite straightforward when it comes to categorising new models from a manufacturer, but with the fourteen figures stocked by Everything Dinosaur, a couple of them present us with a dilemma.  Firstly, we have included the “Winners Circle” Safari Ltd Przewalski’s horse, this is a replica of the world’s only truly wild horse, an animal that very nearly went extinct in the 20th Century, but a dedicated zoo breeding programme enabled these magnificent animals to be re-introduced to some specially selected wildlife refuges.  Once this horse (Equus ferus przewalskii), was a common site across the Mammoth Steppe, it has even been depicted in cave paintings.  As an animal of the Ice Age very much at home with Mammoths and Mastodons, we have added this model of Przewalski’s horse to our replica range.

The Beautiful Przewalski’s Horse Model from Safari Ltd

Przewalski's horse figure.

Przewalski’s horse model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

As this magnificent equine has not, thankfully, died out, we could not call the eight non-dinosaur models that we have stocked extinct animals, but these new for 2018 figures from Safari Ltd have given us another problem, one with a big sail on its back.

Adding Dimetrodon

The addition of a Dimetrodon also adds a degree of complexity when it comes to coming up with a collective term for these new models.  Although often mistaken for a dinosaur, any self-respecting primary school pupil will soon correct you, if you mistakenly state that the sail-backed reptile is a dinosaur.  Dimetrodon lived long before the first dinosaurs, it is a member of the Pelycosaurs and as such, it is actually more closely related to the prehistoric mammals depicted in the Safari range than it is to the dinosaurs.  Dimetrodon and its relatives, like the mammals are Tetrapods, whose skull morphology differs from those Tetrapods on the dinosaurs/crocodiles/birds side of the tree of life.  They are synapsids, distinguished by a single hole, known as the temporal fenestra, in the skull, located behind the orbit towards the back of the skull.  Dinosaurs and their relatives on the other hand, are diapsids, they have a pair of openings in the skull behind the eye socket, an upper and lower temporal fenestra.  We can’t refer to these Safari Ltd models as mammals, as Dimetrodon is the exception, being a reptile, but they are all synapsids.

The New for 2018 Safari Ltd Dimetrodon Model

Dimetrodon model.

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Dimetrodon model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Introducing the Safari Ltd Synapsids

As well as the stunning Dimetrodon and the beautiful replica of Przewalski’s horse, Safari Ltd have added a Hyaenodon gigas, Uintatherium, Megacerops, Macrauchenia, a Daeodon and a model of an American Mastodon (Mammut americanum).  Each of these new figure is supplied with its very own fact sheet, so collectors can learn about the creature that the model represents.

Everything Dinosaur’s Drawing of the American Mastodon

Scale Drawing American Mastodon.

American Mastodon scale drawing.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the full Wild Safari Prehistoric World model range available from Everything Dinosaur: Wild Safari Prehistoric World

For our earlier article focusing on the new dinosaur models from Safari Ltd: Safari Ltd New Models for 2018

23 12, 2017

Safari Ltd Prehistoric Animals 2018

By | December 23rd, 2017|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

2018 Safari Ltd Prehistoric Animal Models are in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

The new for 2018 prehistoric animal models from Safari Ltd are now in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  What a lovely surprise for Christmas, all the new Safari Ltd Wild Safari Prehistoric World prehistoric animals are available from Everything Dinosaur and we even have the prehistoric horse (Przewalski’s horse), in stock for good measure.

New for 2018 Prehistoric Animal Models (Safari Ltd)

Safari Ltd models 2018.

New prehistoric animal models in stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The list of new prehistoric animal models is most impressive, there is an Amargasaurus, an American Mastodon, Uintatherium, Daeodon, Ankylosaurus, Dimetrodon, Macrauchenia, the North American caenagnathid Anzu wyliei and a Malawisaurus.  In addition, Safari Ltd have introduced Hyaenodon gigas, two horned dinosaurs Regaliceratops and Triceratops.  There is also a Megacerops and we have added the Safari Ltd Winners Circle Przewalski’s horse.

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Models

Since the retirement of the Carnegie Collectibles range in 2015, Safari Ltd have set about replacing the dinosaurs that featured in that scale model series.  Hence the introduction of Amargasaurus and Ankylosaurus.  It is great to see a new representation of the Pelycosaur Dimetrodon introduced as well.  The 2018 dinosaurs also feature some new dinosaurs, modelled by Safari Ltd for the first time.  Malawisaurus, Regaliceratops and the feathered Anzu wyliei also join the range.

The New for 2018 Dinosaur Models from Safari Ltd

Safari Ltd dinosaurs 2018.

The new for 2018 dinosaurs from Safari Ltd.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Fact Sheets

As with all the named dinosaur and prehistoric animal models that we sell, each model is supplied with its own fact sheet.  Our team members have had to research and write three new fact sheets to accommodate these models, namely fact sheets for Anzu wyliei, the American Mastodon and the African Sauropod Malawisaurus.

The Scale Drawing of Anzu wyliei Prepared for the Dinosaur Fact Sheet

Anzu wyliei scale drawing.

A scale drawing of Anzu wyliei.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Only One Theropod

The models are very well made and superbly painted.  Everything Dinosaur congratulates Safari Ltd on the quality of these new introductions.  They also deserve praise for creating such a diverse range of dinosaurs and mammals, plus of course the Dimetrodon, that is more closely related to mammals than it is to the Dinosauria.  It is interesting to note that there is only one Theropod in the fourteen replicas that Everything Dinosaur has brought into the warehouse.  The one Theropod is Anzu wyliei and it is not typical of the Theropoda.  For a start it is edentulous (toothless) and it possessed a beak.   The most striking feature of this dinosaur nicknamed “the chicken from Hell”, as all the A. wyliei fossil material has come from exposures that represent the famous Hell Creek Formation, is the bizarre rounded crest on the top of the head.  The crest superficially resembles the crest on an extant Cassowary (Casuarius genus).

To view the fourteen new for 2018 Safari Ltd prehistoric animals, including the Przewalski’s horse click here: Safari Ltd Wild Safari Prehistoric World

22 12, 2017

Merry Christmas from Iguanodontids

By | December 22nd, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Iguanodontid Themed Christmas Card Sent to Everything Dinosaur

Our thanks to Everything Dinosaur customer Caroline and her family for sending a wonderful dinosaur themed Christmas card to our offices.  The card features a lovely drawing of a pair of iguanodontid dinosaurs wandering through a forest.  Snow has fallen and these dinosaurs are curious, looking at how the snow is covering the branches of the trees.

Dinosaur Themed Christmas Card Sent into Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur themed Christmas card.

Iguanodont themed Christmas card.

Picture Credit: Caroline and Family

Woodland Winter Walk

Many types of dinosaur, including Ornithopods like the iguanodontids lived at high latitudes.  Although, in general terms the Cretaceous was warmer than today, dinosaurs living at these high latitudes would have experienced snow.  We will never know how they reacted in behaved in snowy conditions, we have to look at how animal’s today behave in inclement weather.  The animals may have huddled together to keep warm, or wandered into the heart of the forest, as far as their bulky bodies would allow, in order to escape the worst of the weather and the cold wind.

Caroline wrote to thank Everything Dinosaur for their help and support throughout 2017 and to wish us all a Happy Christmas and New Year.

There was even a picture of another Ornithopod on the inside of the card, to us this image reminded us of another Cretaceous herbivore a hypsilophodontid.

Our thanks to everyone who has sent in cards, letters and emails.  They are greatly appreciated.

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