All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
//December
4 12, 2018

New Schleich Replicas for 2019

By | December 4th, 2018|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New Schleich Prehistoric Animal Replicas for 2019

Schleich are introducing a number of new prehistoric animal replicas in 2019.  Several models have also been retired from their “Dinosaurs” range.  The first models scheduled for quarter 1 of 2019 are:

  • Schleich Spinosaurus (quadruped pose)
  • Schleich Animantarx (an armoured dinosaur)
  • Schleich Dimorphodon (flying reptile)
  • Schleich Dimetrodon (a sail-backed pelycosaur)
  • Schleich Giganotosaurus (giant, South American dinosaur)

The New for 2019 Schleich Prehistoric Animal Figures (Quarter 1 2019)

Schleich prehistoric animal figures for 2019.

New from Schleich – prehistoric animal figures for 2019.  Spinosaurus (top left), the nodosaurid Animantarx (top right), the Early Jurassic pterosaur Dimorphodon (centre), Giganotosaurus (bottom left) and the sail-backed reptile Dimorphodon (bottom right).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The New for 2019 Schleich Spinosaurus

The new for 2019 Schleich Spinosaurus model will replace the current obligate biped version (Spinosaurus violet).  The German manufacturer has created a Spinosaurus dinosaur model in a true quadrupedal pose, this reflects the consensus reached about the posture of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus in a scientific paper published in 2014.  Note that the sail of this figure has also been given a makeover with the new Spinosaurus sail much less rounded in shape than on previous incarnations.  The tail is much more crocodilian and the colour scheme chosen for this replica is muted and understated.

New for 2019 – Schleich Spinosaurus

New for 2019 Schleich Spinosaurus model.

The new for 2019 Schleich Spinosaurus model, depicting Spinosaurus as a quadruped.  This figure will have an articulated jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Schleich Animantarx

Also expected in quarter 1 of 2019, is the Animantarx model.  An armoured dinosaur (member of the Nodosauridae family), from the famous Cedar Mountain Formation of the western United States (Utah).  This figure is being introduced to the range, as 2019 marks the twentieth anniversary of the formal scientific description of this three-metre-long “living citadel”.  The Animantarx model is the first nodosaurid that Schleich has added to their model range since the retirement of the “Saurus” Edmontonia more than a decade ago.

Coming to Everything Dinosaur in 2019 the Schleich Animantarx Model

The new for 2019 Schleich Animantarx dinosaur model.

The Schleich Animantarx dinosaur model (new for 2019).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Schleich Dimorphodon

Flying into view comes the Schleich Dimorphodon model, a beautifully-crafted replica of a flying reptile, fossils of which were found by the famous Georgian/Victorian fossil hunter Mary Anning.  Unlike the majority of earlier Schleich pterosaur models, the Dimorphodon is not flying but modelled as a terrestrial animal, wandering around Early Jurassic forest floors on all fours.

The New for 2019 Schleich Dimorphodon Model

The Schleich Dimorphodon flying reptile model.

The Schleich Dimorphodon model (new for 2019).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The “eyespots” on the wings are very distinctive and that large skull with its big teeth has been carefully sculpted.  The tail too is also to be commended, it was very stiff and the “rudder” on the end might have been marked in some way to aid visual communication.  The Schleich Dimorphodon is due to arrive in early 2019, looks like it could be a soar away success!

Schleich Dimetrodon

A new colour version of the Dimetrodon will be introduced next year.  The 2016 Dimetrodon figure with its reticulated pattern on the sail, is being retired and will be replaced by this, predominantly green model.  Although, not a dinosaur and more closely related to modern humans than to animals such as Tyrannosaurus rex, Dimetrodon has been a staple of prehistoric animal ranges for a long time.  It might be sad to see the withdrawal of the 2016 model, but at least with this new addition, pelycosaurs will still be represented within the Schleich range.

Say Hello to a New Version of a Sail-backed Reptile – Schleich Dimetrodon

A prehistoric pelycosaur from Schleich (Dimetrodon).

New for 2019 Schleich Dimetrodon model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To read a recent article about Schleich prehistoric animal model retirements: Schleich Prehistoric Animal Model Retirements 2018

A New Schleich Giganotosaurus

The last of the new for 2019 announcements features a replacement for the brightly coloured, orange Giganotosaurus figure, which first made an appearance in 2015.  The colour scheme for the new figure is more subdued, when the paintwork on the new Spinosaurus figure is also considered, Schleich might be moving towards more subtle colouration on their prehistoric animal figures.  If this is a trend, then these new colour versions of existing replicas may have a greater appeal with animal figure collectors as well as dinosaur model fans.

The New for 2019 Schleich Giganotosaurus Model

Schleich Giganotosaurus dinosaur model (new for 2019).

New for 2019 Schleich Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

All these models are scheduled to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in the first few weeks of 2019.

To view the range of Schleich prehistoric animals currently available: Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models

3 12, 2018

Lost Dinosaur Toe Bone Turns Up on the Internet

By | December 3rd, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Toe Bone Turns Up on the Internet

A rare dinosaur bone, one of only three dinosaur fossils known from the state of South Australia, is going on display at the South Australian Museum some forty-five years after it was lost to science.  The opalised bone, representing a single toe bone (phalanx), is believed to come from a type of Theropod dinosaur and although named Kakuru kujani, which was officially described from opalised remains representing lower leg bones back in 1980, very little is known about this Cretaceous dinosaur.

The toe bone was found in Andamooka in the far north of South Australia sometime in the early 1970’s.  It was spotted for sale in an opal shop in Hindley Street, Adelaide by Neville Pledge, the South Australian Museum’s then curator of fossils, in 1973.  Neville had the foresight to take several photographs, measurements and plaster casts of the toe bone.  However, shortly afterwards, the item was sold and it disappeared from the scientific community.

The Opalised Toe Bone on Display at the South Australian Museum

An opalised dinosaur toe bone on display (ventral view)

The five cm long opalised dinosaur toe bone from South Australia.

Picture Credit: Ashleigh Glynn

The Tale of a Toe Bone

In April 2018, the bone was spotted up for sale on the internet by Coober Pedy resident Joy Kloester, who purchased the bone and then offered it to the South Australian Museum.  The Museum’s Senior Collections Manager for Earth Sciences, Ben McHenry acted quickly to acquire the specimen for the vertebrate palaeontology department.

Mr McHenry commented:

“I couldn’t believe our luck in finding the same bone after forty-five years.”

Dinosaur bones from South Australia are extremely rare.  The only two other bones known to science found to date are also part of the vertebrate fossil collection of the South Australian Museum.  During the Early Cretaceous period (around 110 million years ago, Albian fauna stage), when dinosaurs roamed the land, most of South Australia was under water, being part of the ancient Eromanga Sea.  The sediments deposited on the floor of this ancient sea now form the rocks of the Great Artesian Basin and preserve the abundant remains of marine life that can be viewed in the Museum’s Opal Fossil gallery.  This special dinosaur toe bone will be on display in this gallery from today (December 3rd).  Neville Pledge is now an Honorary Researcher at the South Australia Museum, it seems his discovery from 45 years ago, has now joined him at this highly respected institution.

What Sort of Dinosaur was Kakuru kujani?

Kakuru kujani (pronounced: Kah-koo-roo koo-yan-eee), is believed to be about the size of a turkey.  Unfortunately, given the limited fossil material, it is not possible to identify its taxonomic position with the Theropoda.  K. kujani was described from fragmentary lower leg bones (tibia and possible fibula fragments), the toe bone may not belong to this genus at all, but given the lack of other candidates, the Museum has assigned the bone to Kakuru.  It has been postulated that this dinosaur was an oviraptorid, although some affinity to the Abelisauridae has also been proposed.  Its formal classification remains Theropoda incertae sedis, which means it has an uncertain placement within this Sub-order.

A Speculative Reconstruction of Kakuru kujani

A life reconstruction of Kakuru kujani.

A speculative reconstruction of the Theropod dinosaur Kakuru kujani from South Australia.  In this illustration, K. kujani is depicted as an oviraptorosaurian dinosaur.

Picture Credit: South Australian Museum

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the South Australian Museum in the compilation of this article.

2 12, 2018

Bully for Baryonyx

By | December 2nd, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Bully for Baryonyx

When amateur fossil collector William Walker found a huge fossilised claw in a Surrey clay pit, our understanding of Theropod dinosaurs began to change.  The claw (which was discovered in January 1983), was only the start of the story.  The following late spring and early summer saw a field team from the Natural History Museum in London working in the pit to extract nearly two thirds of the skeleton of an unknown and never seen before meat-eating dinosaur.  The bones were entombed in hard siltstone nodules and clay.  It took a further six years of preparation before all the bones representing a single, individual specimen had been cleaned and prepared for display.  The dinosaur was named by palaeontologists Alan J. Charig and Angela C. Milner in 1986, when enough of the fossil material had been cleaned and prepared revealing a very different type of Theropod dinosaur.  Baryonyx walkeri is a member of the Spinosauridae family.

An Illustration of the Theropod Dinosaur Baryonyx (B. walkeri)

A drawing of the Theropod dinosaur Baryonyx.

An illustration of the Theropod dinosaur Baryonyx.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Theropod was named Baryonyx walkeri and it has been classified as a member of the Spinosauridae family, although the exact taxonomic position of Baryonyx and related dinosaurs such as Suchomimus remains disputed.  A revision in 2018, concluded that baryonychid dinosaurs were monophyletic (all descended from a common ancestor).  Everything Dinosaur team members have been busy preparing for the arrival next year of the new CollectA 1:40 scale Baryonyx model, the illustration (above) has been commissioned so that we can update our Baryonyx fact sheet.

The New for 2019 CollectA Deluxe Baryonyx Dinosaur Model

CollectA Deluxe Baryonyx dinosaur model.

The CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale Baryonyx dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Subfamily Baryonychinae

In their original 1986 description, palaeontologists Alan Charig and Angela Milner erected the Subfamily Baryonychinae, however, where the Baryonychinae sits within the Spinosauridae remains open to debate.

1 12, 2018

Defining Background Extinction

By | December 1st, 2018|Animal News Stories, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

What is Background Extinction?

Amongst the numerous emails that we receive from schools and schoolchildren every day, we were sent a query by a UK-based, Key Stage 2 teacher, who raised a question surrounding the teaching of natural selection, Darwinism and evolution with her Year 6 class.  The teacher had come across the term “background extinction”, but was unsure as to its meaning, could we help?

Bolide Impacts May Have Contributed to Mass Extinctions But What is Background Extinction?

The extinction of the dinosaurs.

The impact of an extra-terrestrial object such as a comet or asteroid probably contributed to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Defining Background Extinction

If ideas about natural selection are correct, then organisms in ecosystems are all competing against each other for resources.  Such competition for finite resources such as space, water and food will lead to some organisms being more successful than others.  Ultimately, those less competitive organisms within a population will not survive to reproduce.  The same idea applies on a species level, some species will be more successful than other species.  Eventually, in the face of this competition, some species will die out.  These extinctions as a result of the operation of normal competition and natural selection are referred to as “background extinction”.  These extinctions are also sometimes referred to as the “standard rate of extinction”.

It is estimated that something like 90% of all extinctions throughout the history of our planet have taken place during times of background extinction.

To read an article (2015), that looks at why Australia’s extinction rate might be higher than on other continents: The Extinction Rate in Australia is Higher than most Other Continents

Background Extinction – Extension Activities

In order to help the teacher’s scheme of work with the Year 6 class, we set two extension activities linked to the theme of background extinction:

1).  Could the school children draw a graph to represent mass extinction events that have occurred but also show on the same graph background extinction?

2).  Have the children research The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), can they produce a non-chronological report on this organisation, its aims, objectives and what current conservation projects are being undertaken?  There are plenty of on-line resources available including videos to support this type of independent enquiry and research.

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