All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
//July
4 07, 2017

JurassicCollectables Reviews the Rebor Carnotaurus

By | July 4th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page|0 Comments

A Video Review of the Rebor Carnotaurus “Crimson King”

The latest JurassicCollectables video to be posted is a review of the spectacular “Crimson King”, the Rebor Carnotaurus (C. sastrei), 1:35 scale dinosaur model.  Rebor has continued to set the standard when it comes to 1:35 scale Theropods and this new Carnotaurus joins Acrocanthosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Yutyrannus, Utahraptor, T. rex, Velociraptor and Deinonychus in the Rebor replica range.

JurassicCollectables Reviews the “Crimson King”

Video Credit: JurassicCollectables

In this short review, (the video lasts a fraction over six minutes), viewers are given the opportunity to have a really good look at this skilfully modelled South American dinosaur.  The narrator discusses various aspects of this dinosaur model.  For example, he points out the care and attention to detail revealed by the sculpted roof of the mouth and that amazing coloured tongue.  The articulated jaw and front limbs are demonstrated and the lava field base is also shown and commented upon.

To view the Rebor Carnotaurus replica “Crimson King” and the entire Rebor prehistoric animal model range: Rebor Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Replicas

Carnotaurus – “Meat-eating Bull”

When the fossilised remains of a single, individual specimen was discovered in the mid 1980’s, palaeontologists were very puzzled.  This Theropod from Argentina, was unlike any other dinosaur that scientists had described at the time.  It ended up being assigned to its own family, the Abelisauridae, along with Abelisaurus (A. comahuensis).  The skin impressions, found in association with the Carnotaurus specimen, provided the researchers with some of the best-preserved dinosaur skin samples that had been discovered.  The blunt snout and the thin lower jaw suggested that this dinosaur had a unique hunting strategy.  The skull seemed too lightly built to cope with struggling prey, however, at an estimated eight metres in length, Carnotaurus was very probably an apex predator, although it can’t be ruled out that this dinosaur was a specialised scavenger, relying on the kills of other dinosaurs.  In the JurassicCollectables video, the Rebor Tenontosaurus corpse (Ceryneian Hind) is used to provide scale for the figure.

The Rebor Carnotaurus “Crimson King” Figure

Rebor Carnotaurus dinosaur model the "Crimson King".

Rebor Carnotaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The genus name was erected as this dinosaur has two prominent horns above its eyes.  These horns stuck out sideways and reminded the scientists of the horns of a cow.  It is not known what these horns were for, it has been speculated that they could have shown maturity, or perhaps they played a role in visual displays.  Another theory put forward is that these horns protected the eyes during intraspecific combat.

The Rebor 1:35 Scale Carnotaurus Dinosaur Model (C. sastrei)

Rebor Carnotaurus dinosaur model.

Rebor “Crimson King” Carnotaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Papo Brown Tyrannosaurus rex

The very informative JurassicCollectables video review also features the Papo Brown Tyrannosaurus rex model (standing T. rex figure), this replica is also used to provide scale and the Rebor Carnotaurus works very well alongside this Papo model.  Look out for “off colour Alan”, who makes his regular appearance.  A JurassicCollectables dinosaur model review would not be complete without an appearance of this figure!

JurassicCollectables have a wonderful YouTube channel stuffed full of prehistoric animal model reviews and other very informative videos, including reviews of the Rebor Acrocanthosaurus replica and the Rebor Cerberus Clan (Deinonychus dinosaurs).

Visit the YouTube channel of Jurassic Collectables here: JurassicCollectables on YouTube , don’t forget to subscribe to the JurassicCollectables channel, after all, some 55,000 dinosaur and prehistoric animal model fans already have!

3 07, 2017

Titanosaur “Judy” from the Outback!

By | July 3rd, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans|0 Comments

Research Team Excavate Aussie Titanosaur

The fossilised remains of what might turn out to be one of the most complete dinosaur specimens ever found in Australia are currently being excavated near the town of Winton (Queensland, Australia).  Although much of the field work has yet to be completed, palaeontologists are confident that around twenty-five percent of the animal’s entire skeleton may be present.  If this is the case, then these fossils, representing a single, individual Titanosaur, may help scientists to better understand the megafauna of Gondwana during the early Late Cretaceous.

A Scale Drawing Showing “Cooper” Australia’s Largest Titanosaur Fossil Discovery to Date

A scale drawing of an Australian Titanosaur.

Scale drawing of “Cooper”.

Picture Credit: Dr Scott Hocknell

Winton – The Unofficial Dinosaur Capital of Australia

The discovery was made back in 2015, when a local rancher, Bob Elliott noticed fragments of dinosaur bone on the surface of one of his livestock paddocks.  Over the last few field seasons, volunteers, guided by the dig team’s leader Dr Stephen Poropat of Swinburne University (Melbourne), have slowly and steadily been uncovering the treasure trove of dinosaur fossil material.  Winton, named after, Winton, a suburb of Bournemouth (Dorset, southern England), is regarded as the unofficial dinosaur capital of Australia as numerous dinosaur fossils have been found.  To date, the team has found four peg-like teeth, at least ten cervical vertebrae, dorsal vertebrae, pelvic material and elements from the shoulder and limbs.

Commenting upon the importance of this dig site in the context of Australian dinosaurs, Dr Poropat stated:

“This just might be the most complete Sauropod ever found in Australia.  We have probably more than twenty-five percent of the skeleton, which is phenomenal.”

Palaeontologists and Volunteers Working at the Dig Site

Excavating an Australian Titanosaur.

A group of field workers at the “Judy” dig site.

Picture Credit: Swinburne University of Technology

Nick-named “Judy”

The fossil material has been nick-named “Judy”, in honour of Judy Elliott, one of the co-founders of the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum in Winton.  Although a number of Titanosaurs (a type of Sauropod), have already been described from fossils found in this region, Dr Poropat believes that this particular specimen will give scientists a better understanding of Australia’s Late Cretaceous long-necked dinosaurs.

The postdoctoral fellow added:

“We will be able to understand many aspects of this Sauropod’s anatomy, simply because we have so much of its skeleton.  By studying its teeth and neck in particular, we might be able to shed light on how it fed.”

Potential Cololites

The area where the chest and hips are located at the quarry has yet to be fully excavated.  The remains of this dinosaur’s last meal might be preserved inside the body cavity (cololites).  This would provide direct evidence as to the types of plant material this giant herbivore consumed.  If the researchers are able to locate cololites, this would be the first time gut contents in an Australian Titanosaur would have been discovered.

An Aerial View of the Dinosaur Dig Site with Accompanying Schematic Drawing

The dig site with a schematic drawing showing the layout of the fossil bones.

Photograph of the dig site with schematic drawing.

Picture Credit: Swinburne University of Technology

Dr Poropat explained that these fossils may lead to more questions:

“We still have a lot to learn about many aspects of Sauropod behaviour, physiology and in the case of Australia’s Sauropods in particular their skeletal anatomy.”

This herbivorous dinosaur was not fully grown when it perished (as indicated by the unfused shoulder girdles), but at around twelve metres in length it was a sizeable animal none-the-less.  The team hope to return to the dig site next month to continue the excavation.  As for when “Judy” roamed, the rocks in this arid part of Australia are estimated to be around ninety-five million years old (Cenomanian faunal stage of the early Late Cretaceous).

To read an article on the naming of an Australian Titanosaur: Savannasaurus elliottorum

For an article discussing more dinosaur finds from Queensland: Time for Some More Aussie Dinosaurs

More Australian dinosaurs discovered (2009 article): A Trio of Australian Dinosaurs

3 07, 2017

Dinosaurs of China Exhibition Great for Schools

By | July 3rd, 2017|General Teaching|Comments Off on Dinosaurs of China Exhibition Great for Schools

Dinosaurs of China – A Great Learning Experience

Teachers and home educationalists looking for an inspiring school visit to help support their science teaching programmes should check out the amazing “Dinosaurs of China” exhibition being held at Wollaton Hall (Nottinghamshire).  This amazing learning experience provides pupils with an opportunity to explore the evolutionary relationship between parts of the Dinosauria and living birds.  The education team at the spectacular 16th Century, Elizabethan country house have developed a number of facilitated sessions which dove-tail into various aspects of the English national curriculum for science.  On the subject of doves, students will be able to learn about amazing fossils that demonstrate just how closely related birds are to dinosaurs.

Comparing a Skeleton of an Ostrich from the Nottingham Natural History Museum Collection to an Early Member of the Tyrannosaur Family (Guanlong)

Guanlong dinosaur compared to an ostrich skeleton.

An ostrich compared to a tyrannosaurid.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mary Anning, Charles Darwin, Huxley and Seeley

The skilfully laid out exhibition tells a story “Ground Shakers to Feathered Flyers” and provides access to huge dinosaurs as well as some of the most significant fossils ever found that demonstrate the evolutionary process, highlighting how dinosaurs evolved and changed over time.  The well-written, presentation panels provide plenty of helpful information to support school activities and the palaeontologists behind the exhibition have planned a “Dinosaurs of China” trail that helps visitors to understand the observations that helped to shape some of the theories about the dinosaurs, as championed by such famous scientists as Thomas Huxley and Henry Govier Seeley.

Exploring the History of Dinosaurs and What Their Fossils Can Tell Us About the Living Animals

Lufengosaurus

An early Jurassic dinosaur – Lufengosaurus from China.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Programmes for KS1 to KS4

The education team have created helpful teaching sessions centred around Darwinism and natural selection along with other sessions that utilise the extensive fossil collection of the Nottingham Natural History Museum and demonstrate how fossils form and how they have shaped our understanding of the natural world.  This is a great way to develop any school lesson plans that involve learning about Mary Anning.

Feathered Dinosaur Fossils are on Display

Sinosauropteryx fossil.

Sinosauropteryx fossil – the first feathered dinosaur to be described.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To enquire about school visits and trips: Dinosaurs of China – Teaching/Learning

A spokesperson from the Everything Dinosaur teaching team stated:

“This exhibition is an opportunity for schools and educationalists to see the fossil evidence that links parts of the Dinosauria to modern-day birds.  Concepts taught in the classroom can be brought to life and the scientific principles behind evolution and natural selection are strikingly illustrated.  Dinosaurs of China represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for schools to help enrich their science teaching.  This is one exhibition that is not to be missed!”

Lakeside Arts Centre – Hands-on Activities

Several public, free-access events have been organised at the nearby Lakeside Arts Centre.  Scientific illustration plays an important role in fossil interpretation and a number of activities such as free exhibitions, drop in activities and palaeoart displays will be running throughout the duration of “Dinosaurs of China”.  Teachers visiting Lakeside Arts can pick up plenty of inspirational ideas to help support their teaching programmes.

2 07, 2017

Pterosaurs Are Not Dinosaurs

By | July 2nd, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Pterosaurs are not Dinosaurs

Perhaps the single most distressing thing we see during our visits to schools to delivery dinosaur and fossil themed workshops are the inaccuracies in teaching resources.  Many of the downloads and other learning resources that teaching teams rely on are simply wrong.  It is not the fault of the teachers, it is laziness on the part of the providers.  At Everything Dinosaur, we do all that we can to help educate and inform and we provide lots of lesson plans, dinosaur themed resources, teaching materials and so forth.  Our “dinosaurs for schools” website: Dinosaurs for Schools has a handy downloads section, teaching professionals and home educationalists can download for free lots of helpful resources.  There is a helpful blog crammed full of examples of good teaching practice when it comes to learning about life in the past.  In addition, we try our best to provide assistance and helpful advice.

Inaccurate Dinosaur Themed Teaching Resources in Schools

Triceratops mistakes!

Triceratops? Not very good quality teaching resources.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The photograph above shows a typical dinosaur themed teaching resource that we come across in school.  We admit, that at Everything Dinosaur we do make mistakes from time to time “to err is human” and all that, but it is almost easier to state what is scientifically accurate in the picture above than to list the errors.  These are the sorts of dinosaur themed teaching materials that are used to help educate and inform.   We have serious concerns about the standards of such teaching materials.

Pterosaurs Are Not Dinosaurs

One of the commonest mistakes we find concerns the confusion as to what exactly is and what exactly is not a dinosaur.  At the “Dinosaurs of China” event at Wollaton Hall, one of the most significant items of information in the entire exhibition can be found painted onto a wall in one of the first-floor galleries leading to some of the exquisite feathered dinosaur fossils.

Pterosaurs Are Not Dinosaurs

Flying reptiles (Pterosauria) were not dinosaurs.

Pterosaurs are not dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Pterosauria were not dinosaurs (members of the Dinosauria) but a separate, related order of flying reptiles.

Everything Dinosaur team members have lost count of the number of times Pterosaurs and for that matter, marine reptiles, have been included as dinosaurs.  Most children, with a degree of pre-knowledge, will be able to point out the errors in dinosaur themed “word mats” such as the one that we have posted below.

A Dinosaur Word Mat – Can You Spot the Mistakes?

A dinosaur word mat for schools with lots of mistakes.

A dinosaur word mat supplied by a school resources company – can you spot the mistakes?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Providing Dinosaur and Fossil Themed Teaching Resources for Schools

During our latest school visit, we provided the teaching team (Reception and Key Stage 1), with Mary Anning themed resources, a pronunciation guide, a dinosaur geography exercise to help reinforce learning about the seven continents and a dinosaur song that we had written for use with Foundation Stage 2.  We were happy to help and these were all given away free.

For further information on Everything Dinosaur’s work in schools and to enquire about teaching resources: Contact Everything Dinosaur

1 07, 2017

Dinosaurs of China Exhibition Starts Today

By | July 1st, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Dinosaurs of China Exhibition Opens

Six years in the planning, but finally the great day has arrived!  “Dinosaurs of China – Ground Shakers to Feathered Flyers” opens today, a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close to some of the most remarkable, amazing and significant dinosaur fossils ever found.  Based in the beautiful Wollaton Hall, (Nottingham), with a complementary exhibit located at the nearby Lakeside Arts Centre, this not-to-be-missed exhibition runs from today until October 29th.

Ground Shakers like Sinraptor Welcome Visitors to the Exhibition

Sinraptor mounted skeleton.

Sinraptor dongi – fearsome Chinese Theropod.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For further information about this world-exclusive exhibition and for ticket details: Dinosaurs of China

Evolution – Challenging Perceptions

This cleverly constructed exhibition features a total of twenty-six prehistoric species, plus a wealth of other exhibits and artefacts that tells the story of how one group of dinosaurs – the Maniraptora, evolved into the birds that live alongside us today.  There are lots of helpful information panels to help guide visitors and look out for the astonishing artwork that accompanies the fossils created by the famous Chinese palaeoartist Zhao Chuang.  Dr Adam Smith (Nottingham Natural History Museum and Exhibition Curator) and his team have skilfully contributed to the informative story-telling aspect of the exhibition by including a selection of fossils and other objects from the Nottingham Natural History Museum’s own collection – no mean feat in itself, as the museum is one of the largest dedicated natural history museums in the UK with over 750,000 items, including some 40,000 fossils.

Broadcaster and Naturalist Chris Packham with Dr Adam Smith Welcoming Visitors at the Press Day

The opening of the Dinosaurs of China exhibition.

Chris Packham and Dr Adam Smith welcoming visitors at the press day.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

With a lifelong passion for palaeontology, television presenter Chris Packham commented that he felt like “a kid in a sweet shop”.  For Chris, ground shakers such as the huge Mamenchisaurus skeleton, the tallest dinosaur exhibit ever seen in the UK, are simply awesome, but the real jaw-dropping moments are when you can get to see some of the exquisitely preserved fossils of feathered dinosaurs.  These remarkable fossils, most of which are more than 100 million-years-old, provide the “smoking gun”, as Chris so elegantly phrased it, linking the birds to the Dinosauria.

Sinosauropteryx – The First Feathered Dinosaur Ever Described

Sinosauropteryx fossil material.

Sinosauropteryx on display – the first feathered dinosaur described.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Discovery – A History of Chinese Palaeontology

It is a case of “East meets West” with the Dinosaurs of China exhibition.  Some 250 different types of dinosaur have been named from Chinese fossils and several important specimens are on display, such as Lufengosaurus, the first dinosaur from China to be scientifically described.  One of the key themes of the Dinosaurs of China exhibition is to tell the story of Chinese palaeontology.  Thanks to the dedicated efforts of institutions such as the Beijing-based, Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology (IVPP), a partner in this Anglo-Chinese joint-venture, visitors will be able to learn how our knowledge of prehistoric animals has been enriched thanks to amazing Chinese fossil discoveries.

Lufengosaurus – Early Jurassic Herbivore

Lufengosaurus huenei exhibit.

Lufengosaurus – the first Chinese dinosaur to be scientifically described.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Several of the specimens featured are relatives of much better-known dinosaurs from North America.  American dinosaurs such as Triceratops may have a bigger profile with the general public  than their Asian ancestor Protoceratops, but to a palaeontologist, it is “first horned face” from Mongolia, that is the by far the most significant in terms of the amount of fossil material to study.  Protoceratops is the favourite dinosaur amongst Everything Dinosaur team members and it’s great to see it included as part of this most enjoyable exhibition.

Protoceratops – “The Sheep of the Cretaceous”

Protoceratops specimen.

Protoceratops – the favourite dinosaur amongst Everything Dinosaur team members.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Journey Through Time

Parents of young dinosaur fans will, no doubt, be informed that the majority of dinosaurs found on the ground floor date from the Jurassic.  In contrast, the exhibits found on the first floor feature Cretaceous prehistoric animals.  The displays have been carefully laid out so that the visitor is taken on a journey through geological time.  There is a transition from the Jurassic through to the Cretaceous, this helps to reinforce the idea that dinosaurs evolved into a myriad of different forms.  Check out the amazing Microraptor specimen and visitors will learn that this four-winged reptile was not the only flying dinosaur.  Take for example, the most recently described animal in the exhibition, the bizarre Yi qi (pronounced ee-chee), which was named just two years ago.  The three-dimensional replica on display preserves astonishing detail about this little Theropod.  The pigeon-sized Yi qi had downy feathers like a young bird, but wings that resembled those of a bat.  It probably was an accomplished glider.

The Three-dimensional Printed Replica of Yi qi

Yi qi Chinese dinosaur.

The bat-like Theropod Yi qi.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To read more about Yi qi a dinosaur with webbed wings like a bat: Yi qi the Dinosaur that thought it was a Bat!

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see fossils that have never been outside of Asia before.  “Ground Shakers to Feathered Flyers”, simply cannot be missed and it’s a real feather in Nottingham’s cap to be able to host such a prestigious exhibition.”

For Dinosaurs of China tickets: Dinosaurs of China

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