All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
//December
23 12, 2017

Big Green Tyrannosaurus rex

By | December 23rd, 2017|General Teaching|Comments Off on Big Green Tyrannosaurus rex

Big, Green T. rex Drawing

A special thank you to Niamh, we found her fantastic big, green Tyrannosaurus rex drawing and thank you letter whilst we were sorting out one of the offices this morning.  We had visited her school recently to deliver a dinosaur themed workshop and as part of the follow-up exercises we had received a set of wonderful thank you letters and drawings from the Year 5 class.

A Big, Green Tyrannosaurus rex

Dinosaurs and ammonites feature in a thank you letter.

A thank you letter from Niamh in Year 5.

Picture Credit: Niamh (Year 5)

The spirals (which we think represent ammonite fossils) are a nice touch.

Niamh asked in her letter what was our favourite dinosaur?  At the moment, it is definitely, her drawing of a big, green Tyrannosaurus rex!

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.

21 12, 2017

Dinosaur Footprint Vandalised

By | December 21st, 2017|General Teaching|Comments Off on Dinosaur Footprint Vandalised

Australian Dinosaur Footprint Deliberately Damaged

A three-toed dinosaur footprint that was created around 115 million years ago has been deliberately attacked and damaged by vandals.  The track, which dates from the Early Cretaceous, was discovered in 2006 in the Bunurong Marine Park in the Australian state of Victoria.  It is not known when the print was attacked, it was found damaged by members of a school tour party last week.  A spokesperson for the Marine Park stated that the track seems to have been damaged by blows from a hammer, this was not an accident but an individual or individuals chose to smash the toe prints.

The Fossil Dinosaur Footprint (left undamaged and right damaged)

Australian dinosaur footprint damaged.

Vandalised dinosaur footprint.

Picture Credit: Parks Victoria

The picture on the left shows the undamaged footprint, whilst the right half of the image shows the vandalised track, note the left boot used to show scale.

Fragments from the footprint have been found in the area, palaeontologists from Museums Victoria might be able to restore the print to some degree, but the repaired print will not be the same as the original.

A spokesperson from UK-based Everything Dinosaur commented:

“This is very sad news.  When the footprint was found, it could have been removed to a museum for safe-keeping and study, but it was decided to leave the track in place so that everybody could enjoy it.  We hope the authorities are able to apprehend the culprits.”

Parks Victoria have appealed for witnesses and requested assistance in the tracking down of the vandals responsible.

21 12, 2017

Sneak Peek of Prehistoric Times (Issue 124)

By | December 21st, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

The Front Cover of the Next Edition of Prehistoric Times Magazine

Editor Mike Fredericks has sent Everything Dinosaur an image of the front cover of the next issue of Prehistoric Times.  Inside, there is a special article on the fauna of the Hateg Island, an isolated landmass in the middle of the shrinking Tethys Ocean that had a unique ecosystem with giant Pterosaurs such as Hatzegopteryx (H. thambema) the likely apex predators.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times Magazine

Prehistoric Times issue 124

The front cover of Prehistoric Times (Winter).

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks (Prehistoric Times)

Dinosaurs of Romania

The rocks that formed the Cretaceous island are in Romania (Transylvania) and many of the dinosaurs found in these sediments are not found anywhere else.  It was the famous Hungarian palaeontologist Franz Nopcsa who postulated that the finite resources on an island would lead to a reduction in body size for animals over subsequent generations.  Nopcsa proposed a theory called “insular dwarfism”, that over time, island dwellers, due to limited resources such as food and space would become smaller.  This idea is also known as the “island rule”.

Azhdarchid Pterosaurs were capable of flying great distances and therefore, these giants were not constrained by islands.  Giants like Hatzegopteryx have been depicted stalking horsetail groves snatching up dwarf Titanosaurs such as a juvenile Magyarosaurus and swallowing it whole.

Fighting Over the Carcass of a Struthiosaurus

Prehistoric Times issue 124.

Balaur bondoc on the front cover of Prehistoric Times issue 124.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks (Prehistoric Times)

The Unique Palaeofauna of Hateg Island

The close-up view of the cover (above) shows a trio of Theropods fighting over the carcass of an armoured dinosaur.  We suspect the victim is the nodosaurid Struthiosaurus, which at two metres long, typifies the concept of “insular dwarfism”.  The animals fighting over the remains of the plant-eater, we think represent Balaur bondoc, a strange animal known from two specimens.  When first described in 2010, it was thought B. bondoc was a dromaeosaurid, albeit one with two sickle-shaped claws on each foot.  However, recent studies have interpreted it as a large, flightless bird, ironically flightless birds are another natural phenomenon associated with islands.

To read more about the discovery of Balaur bondocThe Stocky Dragon from Hateg Island

We look forward to receiving the next issue of Prehistoric Times.

For more information about this excellent magazine and to enquire about subscribing: Prehistoric Times Magazine

20 12, 2017

Rebor Gunn and Rose Velociraptors Arrive

By | December 20th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Rebor Gunn and Rose are in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

The latest Velociraptor models from Rebor, Gunn and Rose are now in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  These magnificent 1:18 scale figures represent a pair of “raptors”, the lighter coloured one “Rose” being the female, the darker coloured one “Gunn”, representing a male.

The Rebor 1:18 Scale Velociraptor Models Gunn and Rose are in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

Rebor Gunn and Rose.

Rebor Gunn and Rose Velociraptor models.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Rebor “Raptors”

Rebor has produced a number of Velociraptor figures in recent times, these new editions, join the likes of “Winston”, “Alex Delarge” and the Velociraptor figure “Pete” that came out earlier in the autumn.  Each model is in 1:18 scale and collectors have the opportunity to create their own pack of dromaeosaurids.

“Rose” the Female Velociraptor

"Rose" a 1:18 scale Velociraptor model.

The female Rebor raptor “Rose”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Rebor Gunn and Rose

Palaeontologists are not sure what breeding strategies dinosaurs had.  It is likely that what are thought to be quite social creatures, pack hunters, like most of the dromaeosaurids, had similar strategies to those found in social, pack hunters today.  For example, in wolves only the dominant pair breed in most packs, the alpha male and the alpha female.  These animals pair for a long time, perhaps Velociraptors behaved in a similar way, after all, they would have faced the same pressures as wolves do today, in terms of competing for resources and ensuring the survival of the next generation.

“Gunn” Representing a Male Velociraptor

"Gunn" the Rebor Velociraptor.

The male Rebor Velociraptor “Gunn”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Monogamous Birds

Those living members of the Maniraptora (the clade that contains both dromaeosaurids like Velociraptor and extant birds), adopt a variety of strategies when it comes to bringing up the next generation. Many swans, cranes and geese mate for life.  Whilst the majority of the song birds (passerines), are also monogamous but the length of this monogamy varies.  For example, some song birds stay as a pair of life, for several mating seasons or for just one breeding season.  Many living birds adopt a strategy of social monogamy, when both the male and female play a role in parenting.  Perhaps male Velociraptors also had a maternal side?

Rebor “Gunn” Velociraptors Might Have Been Ferocious But They May Have Had a Softer Side

Rebor Velociraptor "Gunn".

The Rebor 1:18 scale Velociraptor model “Gunn”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For an article on doting dinosaur dads: Did Dinosaurs Make Good Fathers?

Both Gunn and Rose have articulated lower jaws and articulated forelimbs and the models measure approximately 21.5 centimetres long.  They are a welcome new addition to the Rebor range of prehistoric animal replicas.

At Rest – the Rebor Female Velociraptor “Rose”

Rebor "Rose" Velociraptor Model.

Rebor Velociraptor “Rose”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Two Velociraptor Species

Two Velociraptor species have been named, Velociraptor mongoliensis, fossils of which come Outer Mongolia named in 1924 by Henry Fairfield Osborn and Velociraptor osmolskae from Inner Mongolia, China, which was named in 2008 by Godefroit et al.

To view the Rebor raptors “Gunn and Rose” and the rest of the Rebor model range: Rebor Models and Replicas

19 12, 2017

Dinosaur Footprint Vandalised

By | December 19th, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Australian Dinosaur Footprint Damaged

Vandals have severely damaged a 115-million-year-old dinosaur footprint in an Australian national park.  The park in question is the Bunurong Marine Park in Victoria, the three-toed footprint had been discovered in 2006, but rather than have the rare print removed to a museum, it was decided to leave it in situ allowing all the Park visitors to enjoy it.  Sadly, a person or persons unknown attacked the track with a hammer sometime last week and broke off elements from the toes.

The Dinosaur Footprint that has been Damaged

Vandalised dinosaur footprint.

Theropod footprint vandalised in Australia.

Picture Credit: Parks Victoria

The picture shows (left) the undamaged footprint and (right) a picture showing that the tips of the toes have been smashed, note the boot for scale.  The Flat Rocks locality near Inverloch (Victoria),  is exceptional in being one of only a handful of polar dinosaur sites in the world, it includes the dinosaur footprint.  Palaeontologists from Museum Victoria and Monash University made a silicon rubber mould of the footprint, when the track was discovered, but they decided it should be left in the rock, so visitors to the site could have the thrill of seeing it in its natural state.

Theropod Dinosaur

The tridactyl (three-toed print), probably represents a track left by a Theropod dinosaur.  Parks Victoria are investigating this incident and have appealed for witnesses.

Parks Victoria Ranger Team Leader Brian Martin stated:

“It is sad to think a person or persons who knew the location of the footprint would deliberately damage an important local icon that is recognised as being off international scientific significance.”

Bunurong Environment Centre Education Officer, Mike Cleeland added:

“The thrill of seeing a real dinosaur footprint has been diminished with the callous act of vandalism.  Fortunately, I was able to retrieve some of the broken pieces of the footprint and hopefully the technicians at Museum Victoria may be able to restore the footprint to some degree.”

The location, known as Dinosaur Dreaming is popular with tourists, the Park officials are hopeful that witnesses to the incident will come forward.  Although repairs to the track can be made, the print will never be the same again.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Sadly, such incidents are all too common.  At this stage it is unclear whether this was a clumsy attempt to remove the print or just simply a case of a deliberate act of vandalism on something that was formed in the Lower Cretaceous, a fossil that has survived for 115 million years only to be smashed in seconds.”

To read an article about an alleged attempt to illegally cast a fossil footprint on the Isle of Skye: Dinosaur Footprints Damaged

For a story about the stealing of a dinosaur footprint from Utah: Dinosaur Footprint Stolen

19 12, 2017

Lesson Plans Sorted

By | December 19th, 2017|General Teaching|Comments Off on Lesson Plans Sorted

Teaching Assignments for Early January Planned

The lesson plans for the first dinosaur themed workshops of the New Year have all been written and emailed to the teaching teams.  Everything Dinosaur team members have been busy finalising arrangements for the dinosaur workshops scheduled to take place in schools in the first four weeks of 2018.  At this time of year, we know how hectic teachers can be, so we always try to ensure that workshops have been sorted prior to the end of the autumn term.  This gives hard-pressed teachers and teaching assistants one less thing to worry about as the prepare for the start of the spring term.

Lesson Plans Sent Out

Key Stage 2 lesson plan.

Part of a lesson plan aimed at Key Stage 2.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In our emails to teachers, we provide suggestions and advice in order to help maximise the teaching time and to accommodate individual learning needs.  In addition, we suggest that a member of staff has a camera, smart phone, or Ipad handy to take lots of photographs.  These are very helpful when it comes to recall/recounting activities.  We are also  happy to discuss extension ideas.

18 12, 2017

Dinosaur Workshops All Sorted for January

By | December 18th, 2017|Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Lesson Plans for Dinosaur and Fossil Workshops Despatched

All the lesson plans and teaching notes relating to Everything Dinosaur’s dinosaur and fossil workshops in schools have been sent out.  At this time of year, we appreciate how busy teachers and teaching assistants are, so we always make sure that the arrangements are in place for the dinosaur and fossil themed workshops scheduled for the first few weeks of January.  With the teaching assignments concluded for the autumn term, our attention turns to preparing the lesson plans, teaching resources and extension activities in readiness for the first of our dinosaur themed workshops scheduled for the first four weeks of next month.

Lesson Plans Sent Out and Arrangements Finalised

Key Stage 2 example lesson plan.

Example lesson plan (Key Stage 2).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Helping Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Planning the scheme of work for the school year takes up a significant proportion of the teaching team’s time.  The last thing we want them to worry about is any school visits.  Our prompt supply of information helps the teaching team to maximise the learning objectives and ensures what we intend to cover in our dinosaur and fossil workshop meets the needs of the children and dove-tails into the topic and the scheme of work.

Everything Dinosaur’s timely emails gives hard-pressed teachers and teaching assistants one less thing to worry about as they prepare for the start of the spring term.

In our communication with the school we provide advice and suggestions in order to help maximise the teaching objectives and to accommodate individual learning needs.  Furthermore, we suggest that a member of staff has a smart phone, camera, or Ipad on hand to take lots of photographs.  These photographs are very helpful when it comes to recall and recounting activities.  We are also happy to discuss extension ideas and normally assist with the term topic planning by providing useful additional teaching resources for the class to use.

Although much of the spring term is booked up, Everything Dinosaur does still have a few dates available.  To enquire about the possibility of a school visit from one of our dinosaur experts, simply, email the company: Contact Everything Dinosaur

Our Timely Correspondence Allows Plenty of Scope for the School to Prepare

The hall is closed for dinosaurs and fossils.

Dinosaurs and fossils in the school hall – all sorted thanks to meticulous planning.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Extension Activities

In addition to delivering the dinosaur and fossil themed workshop, our team members usually bring some additional teaching resources with them.  These resources have been developed by our own teaching team and are designed to fit in with the curriculum.   For example, for a reception class, the extension resources might include an activity that explores the properties of materials, for older Key Stage 1 children, the extension plans might involve the conducting of simple experiments.  For those children in Key Stage 2 the extension ideas could include an investigation leading to the writing of a non-chronological report.  Naturally, for Key Stage 3 and older students, the extension activities meet their learning needs and often involve independent problem solving and investigation, along with exploring some of the ethical dimensions associated with gene manipulation and the advance of genetics, as related to evolution and adaptation.

Listing Extension Ideas After a Dinosaur Workshop

Extension ideas - dinosaur workshop.

A teacher lists the extension ideas during a dinosaur workshop.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

17 12, 2017

New Troodontid Dinosaur Described

By | December 17th, 2017|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|2 Comments

Almas ukhaa – Named after the Legendary Asian Bigfoot

A team of international scientists, including Dr Mark Norell (Curator of Palaeontology at the American Museum of Natural History, New York) and Professor Xing Xu (Chinese Academy of Sciences), have announced the discovery of a new species of Late Cretaceous troodontid from Mongolia.  This small, carnivorous dinosaur (it was probably less than a metre long), has been named Almas ukhaa, after the mythical Bigfoot-type ape that, according to some cryptozoologists, is believed to roam the more remote parts of Central Asia.

An Illustration of the New Troodontid Dinosaur A. ukhaa

Almas ukhaa illustrated.

An illustration of the newly described (2017) troodontid Almas ukhaa.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

From the Famous Djadokhta Formation

The fossil material which consists of an almost complete and articulated skull with an associated lower jaw and a substantial part of the postcranial skeleton, comes from the Ukhaa Tolgod region of the Gobi Desert, an area regarded as one of the richest concentrations of Cretaceous fossil vertebrates known to science.   Since this location was first mapped in 1993, numerous dinosaur skeletons have been found, including a nesting Oviraptor as well as several examples of Late Cretaceous mammals.  The rocks in this area form part of the Djadokhta Formation.

The Skull and Jaws of the Newly Described Late Cretaceous Troodontid Almas ukhaa

Almas ukhaa fossil skull and jaws.

Almas ukhaa cranial material (right lateral view).

Picture Credit: The American Museum of Natural History

Compared to other troodontids from Asia and North America, A. ukhaa had a relatively short snout.  The orbit is quite large, and these fossils could represent a juvenile, but if this turns out to be the remains of an adult animal, then this large eye-socket could indicate an adaptation to hunting in low light, perhaps Almas ukhaa was an elusive animal rarely seen in daylight, similar to the legendary Alma after which, this dinosaur is named.

Ukhaa Tolgod Sandstone Deposits

The sandstone deposits of Ukhaa Tolgod date from approximately 80 million years ago, (Campanian faunal stage of the Late Cretaceous).  The highly fossiliferous site was discovered by a joint American/Mongolian expedition in 1993.  Almas ukhaa (pronounced Al-mass ook-uh) is unlikely to be the last dinosaur found in this area.  The fossils show a number of autapomorphies (unique characteristics), that distinguish this southern Mongolian troodontid from other Asian members of the Troodontidae.  For example, the ischium (part of the hip girdle), has a distinct spike-like process and unlike other troodontids, the front part of the lower jaw lacks a lateral groove.

The scientific paper: “Osteology of a New Late Cretaceous Troodontid Specimen from Ukhaa Tolgod, Ömnögovi Aimag, Mongolia.”

16 12, 2017

New Time for BBC T. rex Documentary

By | December 16th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, TV Reviews|0 Comments

BBC – The Real T. rex with Chris Packham (New Time)

A television documentary focusing on how our perceptions regarding the most famous dinosaur of all has changed has been rescheduled and will now be broadcast on Tuesday, January 2nd.

“The Real T. rex” presented by naturalist Chris Packham was due to be shown in late December, but this programme will now be shown on BBC 2 at 9pm on January 2nd.

Television Documentary on Tyrannosaurus rex

Naturalist Chris Packham and a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Chris Packham next to “Tristan” at the Museum für Naturkunde (Berlin).

Picture Credit: BBC/Talesmith/Cineflix/Gordon Welters

Travelling the World to Learn More About Tyrannosaurus rex

In the programme information sent to Everything Dinosaur by BBC Media, an outline of the format of the one-hour-long programme is provided.  Chris embarks on a global journey to learn more about how scientists are reinterpreting Tyrannosaurus rex, a dinosaur which very probably, did not look like or sound like the animal portrayed in so many science fiction movies, including the new Jurassic World film (Fallen Kingdom), due to reach cinema screens in the summer of 2018.

Ground-breaking research into the composition of dinosaur skin, teeth and musculature, combined with reconstructions of the brain of this super-sized Theropod, are helping to redefine this iconic dinosaur.

Reptile or Bird?

Meeting numerous international dinosaur experts, the presenter aims to answer questions such as was T. rex a hunter or a scavenger?  What colour was this dinosaur and just how much of this dinosaur’s body was covered in feathers?  Was T. rex more bird-like than previously thought?

To read an article on the scientific study of skin impressions from a Tyrannosaurus rexT. rex Sheds its Feathers

Dinosaur model fans will already know that Everything Dinosaur exclusively revealed in a recent blog post that CollectA will be making a new deluxe. 1:40 scale feathered T. rex model, but this figure will have reduced plumage.

The New for 2018 CollectA Deluxe Roaring Tyrannosaurus rex Model

CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale roaring T. rex.

CollectA roaring feathered T. rex dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Collectors should be able to pick up this figure around the middle of next year, shortly before the premier of “Fallen Kingdom”.

Trailblazing Technology

Documentary viewers have been promised the most accurate CGI representation of a Tyrannosaurus rex ever created.  Chris travels to meet Dr Greg Erikson, whose research with alligators is revealing the true power of this carnivore’s incredible bite.  In Dino State Park (Texas), he walks in the footsteps of real and still visible dinosaur footprints and with the help of biomechanics expert Professor John Hutchinson and a virtual treadmill, they determine how the predator moved.  Chris Packham is given unique access to “Tristan” a star exhibit at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin.

There is even an examination of the social life of T. rex, a section of this documentary in which Chris Packham explores the Badlands of Alberta in the company of renowned palaeontologist Phil Currie (University of Alberta).

Those programme details again:

“The Real T. rex with Chris Packham” – Tuesday 2nd January, BBC 2 from 9pm to 10pm.

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