All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
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22 08, 2018

A Challenge to the Aquatic Spinosaurus Theory

By | August 22nd, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|3 Comments

Was Spinosaurus aegyptiacus at Home in the Water?

New research utilising computer modelling to study the buoyancy of Spinosaurus (S. aegyptiacus) by Dr Donald Henderson of the Royal Tyrrell Museum (Alberta, Canada), challenges the idea that this sail-backed Theropod was adapted for a semi-aquatic way of life.  The research suggests that Spinosaurus could float and keep its head clear of the water to enable it to breathe, but other Theropods could also float in positions that enabled them to breathe freely, but with its pneumatised skeleton and system of air sacs, diving for food was probably beyond Spinosaurus, thus hindering its ability to be an effective semi-aquatic, pursuit predator.  Dr Henderson concludes that Spinosaurus may have been more at home wading through water, specialising in hunting along the shoreline or in shallow water, but still remaining a competent terrestrial predator.

Spinosaurus May Have Been a Shallow Water or Shoreline Predator

Spinosaurus

From paddler to swimming the “evolving” image of Spinosaurus.  New research proposes that Spinosaurus aegyptiacus was a shallow water predator and not capable of diving for its dinner.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/BBC

Challenging the 2014 Scientific Paper

Dr Henderson set about creating three-dimensional computer models of Spinosaurus and several other Theropods including Allosaurus, Coelophysis, the ornithomimid Struthiomimus, Tyrannosaurus rex and another member of the Spinosauridae family – Suchomimus tenerensis.  Dr Henderson, who is the Curator of Dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, located in Drumheller, southern Alberta, wanted to test the hypothesis proposed by Dr Nizar Ibrahim and colleagues published in September 2014, that hypothesised that S. aegyptiacus was quadrupedal and a semi-aquatic dinosaur, a first for a member of the Theropoda.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s article about the 2014 scientific paper: Spinosaurus – Four Legs are Better than Two

Intriguingly, the interpretation of Spinosaurus, as proposed by Ibrahim et al, was used as the basis for the digital Spinosaurus model by the Royal Tyrrell Museum researcher.

Views of the Theropod Body Plans Used to Test Buoyancy

Digital models of Theropods used in floatation tests.

Theropod body plans used in the floatation tests, dorsal and lateral views.

Picture Credit: PeerJ/Dr Henderson (Royal Tyrrell Museum)

The picture above shows the digital body plans used to test the theoretical buoyancy of different types of Theropod dinosaur.

Key

A).  Coelophysis bauri

B).  Struthiomimus altus

C).  Allosaurus fragilis 

D).  Suchomimus tenerensis (Baryonyx tenerensis) – it has been suggested that Suchomimus and Baryonyx fossil material might represent the same genus (Holtz, 2012; Sues et al., 2002), this conclusion was used in this study.

E).  Spinosaurus aegyptiacus – the body plan based on the body shape proposed by Ibrahim et al in the 2014 paper.

F). Tyrannosaurus rex

Testing Buoyancy in Freshwater

To ensure that the digital models were able to replicate the orientation and depth of immersion in freshwater, Dr Henderson tested the software using a model of an alligator (A. mississippiensis).  Furthermore, he assessed the buoyancy of a computer generated model of an emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), which is also a member of the Theropoda.

Dr Henderson explained:

“Science is self-correcting.  Research is a competitive scientific process that continually generates new information and ideas, so here’s some of the self-correcting in action.”

Testing the Stability and Buoyancy of Spinosaurus (S. aegyptiacus)

Testing the buoyancy and stability of Spinosaurus.

Testing the stability and buoyancy of Spinosaurus in freshwater.

Picture Credit: PeerJ/Dr Henderson (Royal Tyrrell Museum)

Spinosaurus Could Float But So Could Other Theropods

Dr Henderson’s digital models demonstrated that Spinosaurus could indeed float with its head above water, enabling it to breathe freely.  However, the models of other Theropod dinosaurs demonstrated similar results.  This was not unexpected as most Tetrapods can successfully float and swim, the shape of Spinosaurus did not necessarily give it an advantage over the body shape of other dinosaurs when it came to stability in water.

Alligators Much Better Suited to Water Than Spinosaurus

The stability of a Spinosaurus in freshwater was also compared to the digital alligator. When tipped to the side, the alligator model returned to its original topside position.  Such behaviour is seen in semi-aquatic animals, they have the ability to right themselves when floating.  The Spinosaurus model did not perform well in the same tests.  When tilted, the model rolled over onto its side, demonstrating very little lateral stability in water.  The research implies that Spinosaurus would have easily tipped over and would have had to use its limbs constantly to maintain an upright posture in the water.

Based on the Digital Model Analysis Alligators Are Much Better Suited to an Aquatic Habit Than Spinosaurus

Alligator swimming.

An American alligator.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Assessing the Centre of Mass

One of the key points of the 2014 paper, was that an anatomical study based on the known Spinosaurus fossil material (which represented numerous individuals of different sizes), indicated that this dinosaur walked on all fours.  In this new research, the centre of mass of the digital model of Spinosaurus was found to be close to the hips, similar to what is seen in other Theropods.  This contradicts the 2014 research, as Dr Ibrahim and his colleagues proposed that S. aegyptiacus had a centre of mass located towards the centre of the torso.  With the centre of mass located further forward, it suggests a quadrupedal form of locomotion, however, Dr Henderson’s research indicating a centre of mass positioned over the hips suggests that Spinosaurus could have walked around on land quite happily on just its hind legs (bipedal).

The Position of the Centre of Mass Would Affect Locomotion on Land

Different interpretations of Spinosaurus fossil material.

Different interpretations of the body plan of Spinosaurus.  The red asterisk suggests the centre of mass for each figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Spinosaurus Probably Couldn’t Dive

Dr Henderson’s models also found Spinosaurus to be unsinkable.  Living aquatic birds, reptiles, and mammals all have the ability to submerge themselves to pursue their prey underwater. Although the bones of Spinosaurus might be more dense than other carnivorous dinosaurs, they still were substantially pneumatised.  This anatomical feature in conjunction with the air sac breathing system found in living Theropods (birds), probably made it very difficult, if not impossible, for this dinosaur to dive underwater in search of prey.

Dr Henderson concludes that this inability to dive, combined with a centre of mass close to the hips and a tendency to roll onto its side, suggests that Spinosaurus was not a specialised semi-aquatic predator after all.

He added:

“Spinosaurus may have been specialised for a shoreline or shallow water mode of life, but it would have still have been a competent terrestrial animal.”

However, as there are so very few Spinosaurus fossil bones to study, it is possible that this dinosaur lacked a significant number of avian style air sacs and pneumatised bones.  Even with an increased mass offered by a denser skeleton the digital model when “tweaked” in this way, still suggested that being able to submerge and go underwater would have been a considerable challenge.  Dr Henderson does concede that if it could be shown that the mass deficit represented by the lungs and air sacs was offset by the increased mass of a denser skeleton that might help the claim of a semi-aquatic Spinosaurus.

This is essentially, the central point of the Spinosaurus controversy.  This dinosaur did live in a habitat dominated by large bodies of water.  There were plenty of large fish around for an aquatic predator to eat, but in the absence of fossil evidence, the actual role of Spinosaurus in the North African Cretaceous ecosystem and its habits remain very much open to debate.

The scientific paper: “A Buoyancy, Balance and Stability Challenge to the Hypothesis of a Semi-aquatic Spinosaurus Stromer, 1915 (Dinosauria: Theropoda)” by Donald M. Henderson and published in the academic on-line journal PeerJ.

22 08, 2018

Take Care When Visiting the Beach this Bank Holiday

By | August 22nd, 2018|General Teaching|Comments Off on Take Care When Visiting the Beach this Bank Holiday

Everything Dinosaur Issues a Warning About Dangerous Cliffs

This weekend, it is the August Bank Holiday here in the UK.  This is the last national Bank Holiday before Christmas, a sobering thought, but with lots of families heading to the beach to make the most of the summer weather, team members at Everything Dinosaur have issued a warning about dangerous cliffs on many of the UK’s coasts.

Families will be visiting the seaside for lots of reasons, some might even be amateur fossil collectors, keen to find a few choice specimens before the autumn weather rolls in.  However, the exceptional hot, dry spells that much of the country has experienced over the last three months or so has left many of the cliffs overlooking beaches even more dangerous than ever.

A Recent Cliff Collapse at Happisburgh Beach on the Norfolk Coast

Sandstone cliff collapses.

A small collapse of the sandstone cliffs overlooking Happisburgh beach (Norfolk).

Picture Credit: HM Coastguard Bacton

Sandstone and chalk cliffs are particularly vulnerable.  These cliffs have become increasingly dry over the summer and when it does rain, the water can make overlying rocks heavier and these overhangs can collapse.  The dry weather followed by sudden downpours makes cliffs very unstable and rock falls are more likely to occur.

Stay Away from the Clifftops and the Base of the Cliff

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We want everyone to have a great time if they are planning on a visit to the coast during the holiday period.  However, we would strongly advise that anybody visiting the beach at this time stays away from the cliffs and avoids the clifftops too.”

Would-be fossil hunters should take care to avoid getting to close to the base of cliffs, there are probably plenty of fossils to find further down the beach away from any potential landslips or rock falls.

It is advisable to heed warnings and to listen to advice from the local coastguard.

21 08, 2018

Dinosaur Footprints Discovered on the Scottish Mainland

By | August 21st, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Dinosaur Footprints Discovered Near Inverness

The Isle of Skye might be famous for its dinosaur footprints, but it had been thought that dinosaur trace fossils such as trackways were absent from the Scottish mainland.  However, Dr Neil Clark (Vice President of the Geological Society of Glasgow and Curator of Palaeontology at the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow University), has published a report on the first evidence of dinosaur tracks to have been found on the Scottish mainland.  Dr Clark and his colleagues are trying to raise funds so that they can continue to map and study this evidence of Scottish dinosaurs.

One of the Sauropod Tracks from the Scottish Mainland

Footprint of a Middle Jurassic Sauropod.

Sauropod footprint from the Scottish mainland.

Picture Credit: Dr Neil Clark

Sauropod and Theropod Tracks Dating from the Middle Jurassic

The footprints, preserved in sandstone represent three-toed Theropod dinosaurs and the larger prints were very probably made by long-necked herbivores (Sauropods).  The exact location of the trace fossils has not been reported, a precaution in order to protect these extremely important fossils from any would-be fossil hunters, keen to remove a footprint.

Commenting on the significance of this discovery, Dr Clark stated:

“The footprints are the first evidence of dinosaurs found on the Scottish mainland.  All the other discoveries are from the Hebrides Basin and in particular the Isle of Skye.”

To read Everything Dinosaur’s 2015 article about the discovery of Sauropod trackways on the Isle of Skye: Isle of Skye Sauropods and their Water World

To read Everything Dinosaur’s article from April 2018 reporting on more dinosaur tracks discovered on the Isle of Skye: The Isle of Skye Steps into the Jurassic Spotlight

Rare Evidence of Middle Jurassic Dinosaur Biota

Fossils of dinosaurs dating from the Middle Jurassic are exceptionally rare.  Very few parts of the world have rocks exposed dating from this period in Earth’s history, so any new information about prehistoric animals from this period is extremely important.

A Record of Theropods from the Scottish Mainland

Theropod tracks from the Scottish mainland.

Theropod tracks with an accompanying line drawing.

Picture Credit: Dr Neil Clark

Dr Clark added:

“The interesting thing about the discovery is that these are the first from the Moray Basin to the east of Scotland and help to build a clearer picture of dinosaurs living here during the Middle Jurassic.  Middle Jurassic dinosaurs are scarce worldwide and Scotland is one of the top few localities despite the poor exposure of rocks of that age.”

As these fossils are from a completely new part of Scotland for dinosaurs they will add significantly to our understanding of dinosaurs of that age in Britain.

Crowdfunding to Map the Locality

Dr Clark has set up a crowdfunding page in order to undertake a project to map the prints using a drone and to take measurements of the effects of erosion on the footprints by stormy seas.  The Scottish mainland tracks are approximately the same age as the trackways identified from the Isle of Skye – around 170 million years old.

The appeal target is £5,000 GBP, which is required to cover travel, materials and accommodation costs as well as the expenditure on the drone.  In addition to Neil, the researchers include members of Edinburgh University’s School of Geosciences and students.

To visit the Crowdfunding page for the project: Just Giving Page – Scottish Dinosaurs

20 08, 2018

Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis

By | August 20th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis

Whilst on a recent visit to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, a team member from Everything Dinosaur took the opportunity to admire a replica skull of the North American member of the Pachycephalosauridae – Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis.

A Replica Skull of the Late Cretaceous Dinosaur Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis

A replica skull of Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis.

Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis replica skull.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Very Tactile Experience

This exhibit permits visitors to feel a replica skull of a Pachycephalosaurus.  It is great to see such sensory engagement in a museum.  Feeling the skull of such a strange dinosaur is quite a tactile experience.  The first fossils assigned to this genus were found in Montana eighty years ago.  Although the picture that accompanies the replica skull shows a Pachycephalosaurus charging with its head down, the amazing ornamentation, all those bumps, horns and that extraordinary skull remain a mystery.  The exact function and purpose of the skull is still debated.  Although the dome of bone that sits on top of the head is very thick, research suggests that the cranium would not have stood up to the force of any impacts all that well.

Visitors to the museum can see the large orbit (eye-socket) and the sizeable nostrils.  Studies have shown that Pachycephalosaurs probably had excellent eyesight and a good sense of smell.

19 08, 2018

Helping Out Year 5

By | August 19th, 2018|Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Helping Out Year 5

Providing Extra Resources for Upper Key Stage 2

Many teachers and teaching assistants are busy planning their forthcoming scheme of work as they prepare for the start of the next academic year.  Recently, Everything Dinosaur was contacted by a Year 5 teacher who was working on lesson plans for the science element of the national curriculum, specifically that part of the topic area that covered evolution, natural selection and Darwinism.  They intended to look at the geology of their local area and explain what life was like in the very distant past.  Around 300 million years ago, the school would have been underwater, covered by a shallow tropical sea that teemed with life.

Evidence for this can be found in the numerous limestone outcrops in the area.  The limestone is used as a local building material and the teacher planned to use these resources to help explain about the area’s geological past.

Setting Out to Explore the Local Geology of the Area

Using local resources to help to inspire children.

Evidence of an ancient tropical sea to be found on the school buildings.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture (above) shows a form of limestone called oolitic limestone.  The term means “egg stone”, as the texture of the rock’s surface resembles fish eggs.  The circular patterns are the remains of ooliths that make up the limestone rock.  Fragments of sea shell, or grains of sand are rolled around on the sea floor and as they move they collect CaCO3 (calcium carbonate).  Concentric layers of this material are formed and it is these that give the rock its characteristic appearance.  The teacher hopes to inspire the Year 5 pupils by showing them the geology on their doorstep.

The School Would Have Been Underwater Millions of Years Ago

Life in the Palaeozoic.

An ancient sea scene.

Picture Credit: Open University/Everything Dinosaur

Team members supplied some extra resources and provided advice to help this teacher plan for this very creative topic area.

19 08, 2018

A Special Newsletter Dedicated to Rebor

By | August 19th, 2018|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Newsletters, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Lots of Rebor Models Back in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

So many Rebor replicas have come back into stock at Everything Dinosaur, that we dedicated an entire customer newsletter to this popular brand of prehistoric animal figures.  Recently arrived at our warehouse is a “pack” of “raptors”, the Rebor 1/18th scale figures “Winston”, “Pete” and “Alex Delarge” have arrived.  There are enough Velociraptor figures in stock to keep even the most ardent Jurassic Park fan happy.  Also, just in, the new Rebor “Sweeney” Velociraptor figure.

The Rebor Velociraptor Figure “Winston” is Back in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

The Rebor Velociraptor "Winston"

Celebrating the return of “Winston” the original 1:18 scale “Raptor” figure from Rebor.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Rebor 1:18 Scale Velociraptor Figures

The Velociraptor figure called “Winston” was the first 1:18 scale Velociraptor model to be produced by Rebor, it is great to see this favourite back in stock.  In addition, our latest Rebor shipment contained two other, previously stocked Rebor “raptor” figures, namely, “Pete” and “Alex Delarge”.  The original Velociraptor figure “Winston” was named in honour of Stan Winston, the American film and television special effects creator who worked on the first three films in the Jurassic Park film franchise.

“Alex Delarge” and “Pete” are members of a violent gang (the droogs), in Anthony Burgess’s novel of 1962 “A Clockwork Orange”, which was later made into a film directed by Stanley Kubrick.

The Leaping Velociraptor Figure – Alex Delarge is in Stock

Rebor Alex Delarge is back in stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Rebor Alex Delarge returns to stock.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Bigger Theropods/Smaller Theropods

Joining the “Raptors” in Everything Dinosaur’s website is the “Cerberus Clan”, three scale models of the larger dromaeosaurid Deinonychus (D. antirrhopus).  In addition and sharing the billing with the Rebor “Cerberus Clan” is another Velociraptor figure that is back in stock, the popular Velociraptor “Pete”.

The Rebor Deinonychus Figures “Cerberus Clan” and the Rebor 1:18 scale Velociraptor “Pete” Back in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

"Pete" and "Cerberus Clan" from Rebor.

Rebor “Pete” and the “Cerberus Clan” in stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of Rebor prehistoric animal figures in stock at Everything Dinosaur, including all the 1:18 scale “raptors”: Rebor Prehistoric Animal Models

Rebor Carnotaurus “Crimson King” and the Newly Arrived “Sweeney”

As well as the various dromaeosaurids that have arrived, more stocks of the popular 1:35 scale Carnotaurus figure (C. sastrei) have become available too.  Saving the last to the last, Everything Dinosaur has received stocks of the Rebor “Sweeney” Velociraptor model, the last “raptor “for the time being to be introduced by Rebor.

The Rebor “Crimson King” Carnotaurus Replica

Rebor Carnotaurus dinosaur model.

Rebor “Crimson King” Carnotaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Rebor “Sweeney” the Latest 1:18 Scale Velociraptor Figure

Rebor Velociraptor "Sweeney".

“Sweeney” a 1/18th scale Velociraptor figure by Rebor.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur, who had helped unpack all the Rebor replicas at the company’s warehouse stated:

“It is great to see more stocks of Rebor models coming into our warehouse. Collectors are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting Rebor Velociraptors, there are just so many high quality figures to choose from.  Furthermore, joining the Velociraptors is the Cerberus Clan and the Rebor Carnotaurus figure known as the Crimson King.”

Look out for more updates and information from Everything Dinosaur.  Rebor are planning to introduce some new models before Christmas and as always, Everything Dinosaur team members will be doing their very best to make sure that dinosaur model fans and prehistoric animal figure collectors are kept informed and up to date.

Subscribing to Everything Dinosaur’s Newsletter

Subscribing to the Everything Dinosaur newsletter is very simple and it’s free!  The Everything Dinosaur newsletter provides lots of updates and information on new model releases, company production updates and figure retirements.  We post out these emails from time to time, helping to keep our dedicated and enthusiastic customers informed.

To request a subscription to Everything Dinosaur’s regular newsletter, simply email: Email Everything Dinosaur

18 08, 2018

Safari Ltd Models Help With Scientific Research

By | August 18th, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Cambrian Toob Models Help Scientists

Safari Ltd introduced into their range of prehistoric animal models a tube (toob) of Cambrian lifeforms, a set of eight figures that represent different types of creature that existed more than 500 million years ago.  This skilfully crafted and well-designed range of replicas has proved to be extremely useful for researchers as they study the enigmatic animals that existed during the Cambrian and the preceding geological age, the Ediacaran.

Sometimes it can be challenging for scientists to illustrate their fossil finds.  Many fossil specimens can be difficult to make out to the untrained eye and a model of the animal placed in close proximity to the fossil, can help to demonstrate what sort of creature the fossil represents.  A few days ago, Everything Dinosaur supplied a Safari Ltd Cambrian Toob to a researcher at Bristol University who wanted to use one of the models in this set for just such a purpose – to illustrate the ancient Cambrian arthropod Sidneyia.

The Cambrian Fossils Next to a Model of Sidneyia

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Cambrian Toob models used to illustrate fossils.

Fossil arthropods preserved in a 520 million-year-old rock with a model of one of the creatures – Sidneyia.

Picture Credit: Bristol University/Everything Dinosaur

Ancient Fossils from the Far North of Greenland

The slab of rock (above) comes from northern Greenland, it contains a preserved impression of the Cambrian arthropod known as Sidneyia.  At around six centimetres in length, the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Sidneyia replica provides a useful scale.  The scientist explained to Everything Dinosaur that the rock comes from a locality called  Sirius Passet and it was collected on a recent expedition to this remote part of the world during the summer.  The fossil site was discovered in 1984 by a field team from the Geological Survey of Greenland.  Several thousand specimens have been collected over the years, the Sirius Passet locality is a Cambrian Lagerstätte, a very fossil rich area that preserves marine fauna from the, as yet, not formally defined “Stage 3” of the Cambrian geological period.  The Sirius Passet biota is often compared to the biota associated with the Burgess Shale deposits of British Columbia, but the Greenland rocks are at least ten million years older and therefore more comparable in age to the Maotianshan shales from Chengjiang, from Yunnan Province in south-western China.

The Safari Ltd Cambrian Toob Models

Cambrian Toob (Safari Ltd)

Examples of the Cambrian biota.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Safari Ltd Cambrian Toob Contents

The eight colourful figures in the Safari Ltd Cambrian Toob represent a variety of different marine organisms, including the nektonic predator Anomalocaris, Vauxia (a sponge) and the bizarre worm-like creature Ottoia.  Several arthropods are featured too, including Sanctacaris, Sidneyia, Naraoia and a Trilobite (Tricrepicephalus).

Sidneyia from the Safari Ltd Cambrian Toob

Sideyia details.

Details about the Cambrian arthropod Sidneyia.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Believed to have been a predator feeding on molluscs and other hard-shelled creatures, Sidneyia probably scuttled along the sea floor (benthic).  It was named after Sidney Walcott, the eldest son of Charles Walcott, the American scientist who discovered the Burgess Shale deposits in 1909.  The scientist who requested the Safari Ltd Cambrian Toob wrote to say that the rock slab contains three arthropods, a well-preserved Sidneyia, a well-preserved, undescribed arthropod that they were working on and another indeterminate arthropod.

To view the Safari Ltd Cambrian Toob and the other figures in this range: Safari Ltd: Wild Safari Prehistoric World

17 08, 2018

Desmostylian Discourse

By | August 17th, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

“Dinosaur” Bone Identified as Desmostylian

A fossil bone, a partial femur, found in the 1950’s and originally regarded as “dinosaur” bone has been reassessed and confirmed as coming from a bizarre marine mammal, a member of the Desmostylia Order, a group of mysterious animals that looked like a cross between a sea-going hippopotamus and a sealion with hooves.  Writing in the open access journal of the Royal Society (Royal Society Open Science), the research team were able to track down the fossil site using the original hand-written note kept with the fossil in combination with interviews of relatives of construction workers who were involved in the original fossil find.

Views of the Fossil Femur – The “Dinosaur” Bone

Views of the fossil thigh bone - Desmostylia.

Views of the Desmostylia femur with a taxonomic illustration in the form of a line drawing.

Picture Credit: Kumiko Matsui et al./Royal Society

The picture above shows the fossil femur (top) with an accompanying line drawing (bottom).    Cranial view (A), interior view (B), caudal view (C) with an exterior view (D).  Note the scale bar is ten centimetres.

Scientists Turn into Detectives

Yuri Kimura, the Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the National Museum of Nature and Science (Tokyo) and one of the co-authors of the scientific paper, found an old wooden box when exploring the archives of the University of Tsukuba last year.  The box contained the proximal end of a right femur.  The scientist then set about identifying the location of the fossil find.  Yuri and the other collaborators on this project, a combination of anatomical assessment, taphonomy and detective work, learned that the fossil was discovered during construction of a debris flow barrier and that it was recognised as a “dinosaur” bone among the locals and displayed in a village hall until the town experienced a fire disaster in 1954. During the research, one of the interviewees confirmed that the bone had been described as coming from a member of the Desmostylia, but if it had been examined by a scientist/palaeontologist, it had not been reported or the find officially documented.

A Skeletal Drawing of Paleoparadoxia (Desmostylia) Showing the Anatomical Position of the Bone

Paleoparadoxia skeleton showing the location of the fossil bone.

A skeleton of Paleoparadoxia showing the location of the fossil bone (in red).

Picture Credit: Kumiko Matsui et al./Royal Society

Paleoparadoxia (Desmostylia)

Comparisons undertaken with other fossil specimens, led the research team to conclude that the right femur was from the Paleoparadoxia genus, a member of the Desmostylia, an extinct Order believed to be distantly related to Sea Cows.

This study provides an excellent example of historical and scientific information being extracted from long-forgotten and uncatalogued specimens so long as the original information is retained with the specimens.

A Life Reconstruction of Paleoparadoxia

Paleoparadoxia - life reconstruction.

A life reconstruction of the bizarre Miocene mammal Paleoparadoxia.

Picture Credit: Kumiko Matsui et al./Royal Society

16 08, 2018

Rebor “Sweeney” Arrives at Everything Dinosaur

By | August 16th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

The Rebor “Sweeney” Velociraptor Model Arrives

The latest Rebor replica figure, a 1/18th scale model of a running Velociraptor, nicknamed “Sweeney” has arrived at Everything Dinosaur.  This figure joins the range of Velociraptor figures offered including “Pete”, Spring-heeled Jack”, “Winston” and “Alex Delarge”.

The Latest Rebor “Raptor” The Velociraptor Called “Sweeney”

Rebor Velociraptor "Sweeney"

The Rebor Velociraptor figure “Sweeney”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Striped Dromaeosaurid

This 1:18 scale replica of a running Velociraptor has an articulated lower jaw and articulated forelimbs.  The model’s colouration has been inspired by the extant tiger and with its stripes it is a very striking and colourful scale model.  The name “Sweeney” comes from “Sweeney Todd”, a very unsavoury fictional character from Victorian literature, a barber by trade who has a side-line in making pies out of the customers he kills with his cut-throat razor.  The sharp, sickle-shaped killing claw on the second toe of each foot of Velociraptor makes a suitable analogy for “Sweeney Todd’s” razor, however, whether this claw could be used to slash prey is debated.  Many palaeontologists believe that the enlarged toe claw that was held off the ground, could have helped to pin prey down, but it was not used as a slashing weapon, although the tip would have been quite sharp.

A Close View of the Enlarged Second Toe Claw of Velociraptor

The second toe claw of Velociraptor.

As Velociraptor ran the second toe claw was held off the ground.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture (above), shows a close-up view of the feet of the running Velociraptor “Sweeney”.  Note the fine detail on the model and the way in which the second toe of each foot is held off the ground as the dinosaur ran.  This would have helped to keep the sickle-toe claw sharp.

The spectacular Rebor Velociraptor figure measures approximately twenty-two and a half centimetres in length. The head height (when perched on its sand texture base), is around eleven centimetres and the base itself, reminiscent of the sandy, desert environment in which Velociraptor mongoliensis lived, measures nine centimetres by four centimetres.

To view the Rebor Velociraptor figure and the rest of the Rebor range of prehistoric animal models: Rebor Replicas/Rebor Prehistoric Animal Figures

Create Your Own “Raptor” Pack

The Rebor range now contains a total of seven models of fully-grown Velociraptors in 1:18 scale.  “Sweeney” joins “Alex Delarge”, “Winston”, “Gunn”, “Rose”, “Pete” and “Spring-heeled Jack”, collectors have the opportunity to create their own “Raptor” pack, their very own magnificent seven!

Flocking This Way!  The Rebor New for 2018 Velociraptor Figure “Sweeney”

The stripey Velociraptor figure called "Sweeney" by Rebor.

The Rebor “Sweeney” Velociraptor figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It is wonderful to see another dromaeosaurid figure added to the exciting range of models manufactured by Rebor.  “Sweeney” is the last of the Velociraptor figures to be made for the foreseeable future, these 1:18 scale figures have proved extremely popular with discerning model collectors and we expect that “Sweeney” will soon become a firm favourite too.”

The Beautiful Rebor Velociraptor Figure “Sweeney”

The 1:18 scale Rebor Velociraptor figure "Sweeney".

The Rebor range is certainly something to get your teeth into.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Rebor and Everything Dinosaur will be announcing more additions to the Rebor range shortly, some of which will not be dinosaurs.  Check out this blog site and Everything Dinosaur on social media for more information.

15 08, 2018

JurassicCollectables Reviews the Eofauna Straight-Tusked Elephant

By | August 15th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

A Video Review of the Eofauna Straight-Tusked Elephant

Those talented and clever people at JurassicCollectables have produced a video review of the second figure in the range of prehistoric animal figures made by  Eofauna Scientific Research.  The video provides viewers with an up-close and detailed examination of the superb Eofauna Straight-tusked elephant replica (Palaeoloxodon antiquus).  A prehistoric animal model inspired by the scientific study of fossil remains.

JurassicCollectables Reviews the Eofauna Scientific Research Straight-Tusked Elephant

Video Credit: JurassicCollectables

Palaeoloxodon antiquus (Old Slanting Tooth)

This prehistoric elephant has a long history of research and scientific study.  It was first thought to be closely related to the extant Asian elephant (genus Elephas) and was initially named Elephas antiquus.  Subsequent studies in the 19th and 20th centuries refined this large herbivore’s taxonomic position and in 1924, the Japanese palaeontologist Hikoshichiro Matsumoto erected the genus Palaeoloxodon when examining elephant fossils found in his native Japan.  Several species of Palaeoloxodon have been described, with the species in the video review, P. antiquus, associated with warm temperate forest and scrubland habitats of Europe that existed during the Pleistocene inter-glacial phases.

Size estimates vary for Palaeoloxodon antiquus, however, bulls could have had shoulder heights in excess of 4.5 metres and weighed in excess of sixteen tonnes.  It is great to see the various models used by JurassicCollectables in this video review, viewers can really appreciate the size of this figure.  Our thanks as always to “off-colour” Alan for his contribution.

Available from Everything Dinosaur – the Eofauna Scientific Research Straight-Tusked Elephant Replica

Straight-tusked elephant model.

Eofauna Scientific Research Straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Eofauna Straight-Tusked Elephant Video Review

JurassicCollectables outlines how the model was produced.  This stunning 1:35 scale replica is based on actual fossil specimens that were studied by Eofauna Scientific Research team members.  This is a scientifically accurate model and in the JurassicCollectables video review, the narrator gives viewers a guided tour of the figure and provides a close-up examination of this detailed model.  The beautiful skin texture is marvelled at and the narrator even picks out the carefully sculpted veining to be found on those large ears.

Everything Dinosaur’s Illustration of Palaeoloxodon antiquus (Straight-Tusked Elephant)

Straight-tusked elephant illustration.

A drawing of a Straight-tusked elephant, commissioned by Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Sales Helping to Fund Scientific Research

Eofauna Scientific Research is a non-profit organisation and revenues from sales of this figure are invested back into scientific research and the dissemination of knowledge about extinct animals.  It this wasn’t reason enough to add this splendid, 1/35th scale model to your collection, it has already attracted numerous 5-star Feefo reviews on Everything Dinosaur’s website, for example:

Doug wrote to say: “Top quality model.  Anatomical detail totally convincing.  Detail in skin texture & features outstanding.  Perfect posture, not too aggressive.”

Anthony added: “Magnificent replica.  The sculpting and paint job was of the highest quality.  Great pose.  It was a good learning experience to find out that elephants once lived in Europe.  This is the second Eofauna replica I’ve purchased, and I look forward to seeing what they offer next year.”

To purchase the Eofauna Straight-tusked elephant model and their first figure the excellent Eofauna Steppe Mammoth replica: Eofauna Scientific Research Models

In the Video, the Eofauna Straight-Tusked Elephant is Compared in Size with the Eofauna Steppe Mammoth Figure

Comparing Eofauna models.

The Eofauna Steppe Mammoth (left) compared to the Eofauna Straight-tusked elephant (right).

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

JurassicCollectables have developed an amazing YouTube channel packed full of prehistoric animal model reviews and other entertaining and informative videos.  They have just achieved 74, 000 subscribers, that’s an astonishing achievement, our congratulations to the JurassicCollectables team.

Visit the YouTube channel of JurassicCollectables here: JurassicCollectables, Everything Dinosaur recommends that dinosaur model fans subscribe to the JurassicCollectables YouTube channel.

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