All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
//March
31 03, 2019

New PNSO Prehistoric Animal Models

By | March 31st, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Newsletters, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|2 Comments

New PNSO Prehistoric Animals Debut in Everything Dinosaur Newsletter

The latest Everything Dinosaur newsletter was published this week and it featured the new PNSO Age of Dinosaurs models as well as a couple of old favourites.  Just in at the warehouse, the giant “Nick” the Ceratosaurus figure, “Brook” the Ophthalmosaurus along with a 1:35 scale Mamenchisaurus and all twenty-four of the new for 2019 PNSO Toys that Accompany your Growth model series.

To view the new for 2019 PNSO Age of Dinosaurs figures including the new Ceratosaurus: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs

The Huge PNSO Ceratosaurus Model Headlines the Everything Dinosaur Spring Newsletter

PNSO "Nick" the Ceratosaurus

The huge PNSO Ceratosaurus model – “Nick”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Ceratosaurus

This is a huge model, the box alone measures more than half a metre in length.  The model inside is enormous and it deserves top billing in our spring newsletter.  The figure is beautifully painted and depicts this Late Jurassic Theropod in an aggressive pose with one foot raised off the ground.  The model is supplied with two supports to help it to be displayed.  It towers over other Theropod dinosaur models.

The PNSO Ceratosaurus “Nick” Dinosaur Model

PNSO Ceratosaurus "Nick".

The giant PNSO Ceratosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Ophthalmosaurus Swims into View

The eagerly awaited PNSO Ophthalmosaurus has also arrived and it features in the newsletter too.  A number of academics, palaeontologists and other scientists have made enquiries about PNSO replicas.  The Ophthalmosaurus replica for example, will be used in science communications work.  As well as sending out the newsletter to our subscribers, team members were busy ensuring that all those customers who had requested one of these models was contacted.

The PNSO Ophthalmosaurus Figure Swims into Stock at Everything Dinosaur

PNSO Ophthalmosaurus "Brook".

The stunning PNSO Ophthalmosaurus model (Brook).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A New Mamenchisaurus Plus the Return of Megalodon and Basilosaurus

PNSO have created a 1:35 scale model of Mamenchisaurus, an iconic Sauropod from China that had the longest neck relative to its body of any known member of the Sauropoda.  Mamenchisaurus had nineteen cervical vertebrae and the neck of this twenty-one metre monster measured a whopping fourteen metres or so.  It features in the Everything Dinosaur newsletter alongside a returning favourite, the PNSO Megalodon shark model is back in stock.

The PNSO 1:35 Scale Mamenchisaurus and the Return of the Megalodon

PNSO Mamenchisaurus and Megalodon models.

The PNSO 1:35 scale Mamenchisaurus model and the Megalodon model feature in the latest Everything Dinosaur newsletter.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

PNSO T. rex “Wilson”, Triceratops “Doyle” and the Small Prehistoric Animal Figures

It can’t really be an Everything Dinosaur newsletter without one mention of Tyrannosaurus rex.  The 1/35 th scale T. rex called “Wilson” is back in stock along with its counterpart, the magnificent Triceratops “Doyle” which has been modelled in the same scale.

Also just arrived at Everything Dinosaur, are the latest editions to the PNSO small prehistoric animal model range.  The set includes twenty-four, beautifully sculpted little prehistoric animal figures in the PNSO Toys that Accompany your Growth series.  In the image, that we created for our spring newsletter, only fourteen of the twenty-four models were depicted, but this is enough to give model collectors a good idea of the breadth and the quality of this exciting replica series.

Mini Prehistoric Animals and a Special Offer for Newsletter Subscribers

Triceratops and T. rex along with PNSO small prehistoric animal models.

PNSO “Doyle” and “Wilson” 1:35 scale models and some of the amazing PNSO small prehistoric animal models.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur newsletter subscribers are amongst the first to learn about new models and replicas coming into stock.  Subscribers can also be the first to join a VIP reserve list to ensure that they can acquire items.  Our newsletter is sent out periodically and it is absolutely free to join.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We are delighted to welcome more of the amazing PNSO prehistoric animals into our company”

To request to join the Everything Dinosaur newsletter subscribers list: Simply Email Everything Dinosaur

30 03, 2019

Juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex Feeding Traces Identified

By | March 30th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Juvenile Tyrannosaurs Fed on Large Hadrosaurs Too

Scientists have identified tooth marks preserved in the tail bone of a duck-billed dinosaur as having been made by a sub-adult Tyrannosaurus rex.  The researchers conclude that late-stage juvenile and subadult Tyrannosaurs were already feeding on the same types of large-bodied prey as adult animals, despite lacking the bone crushing jaws typical of a fully-grown, mature T. rex.

Writing in the academic journal PeerJ, the researchers Joseph E. Peterson and Karsen N. Daus (University of Wisconsin), suggest that this study helps scientists to better understand the diets of Tyrannosaurs and the ecological role they played as predators in Late Cretaceous ecosystems.  Biostratigraphically, the victim’s fossils relate to sediments were Edmontosaurus fossils are found, so the prey has been tentatively identified as an Edmontosaurus.

Evidence of a Subadult T. rex Feeding on a Hadrosaur (Edmontosaurus)

Punctured caudal vertebra suggests feeding by a sub-adult T. rex

The punctured tail bone indicating feeding by a sub-adult T. rex.

Picture Credit: PeerJ

The picture above shows views of the punctured tail bone (BMR P2007.4.1.) in (A) anterior view, (B) posterior view and (C) ventral view.  Images (D and E) are close-up views of the punctures identified on the bottom portion of the caudal vertebra.

Theropod Feeding Traces

Palaeontologists have identified numerous examples of Theropod dinosaur feeding traces and tooth marks.  Such evidence provides information on predator/prey interactions, feeding behaviours and direct evidence of cannibalism in the Dinosauria.  However, in order to determine the meat-eating dinosaur that fed, causing the marks, it is important that the biostratigraphy is known and the approximate likely growth stage of the animal feeding.  The researchers state that currently, most recorded Theropod feeding traces and bite marks are attributed to fully-grown, adult animals, but in this study, the bite marks were compared to various jaws of different aged T. rex specimens and it was concluded that the best fit for the feeding traces came from the maxilla of a late-stage juvenile T. rex estimated to be around 11-12 years old.  The dimensions and spacings on the caudal vertebra best matched the maxillary teeth of specimen number BMR P2002.4.1, a late-stage juvenile T. rex.

A Computer Generated Image Mapping the Feeding Traces

Juvenile T. rex feeding on the tail bone of a duck-billed dinosaur.

Identifying the bite marks on the tail bone of a Hadrosaur.  The dimensions and spacings on the tail bone best matched the maxillary teeth (upper jaw) of BMR P2002.4.1, a late-stage juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex.

 Picture Credit: PeerJ

Hunting or Scavenging?

While bite marks resulting from active predation cannot easily be distinguished from post-mortem feeding traces, the position of the punctures in the Hadrosaur tail bone suggest that the duck-billed dinosaur was already lying on its side and therefore it can be concluded that the traces come from post-mortem consumption.  The researchers propose that further identification of Tyrannosaur feeding traces coupled with experimental studies of the biomechanics of Tyrannosaur bite forces from younger ontogenetic stages may reveal dynamic dietary trends and ecological roles of Tyrannosaurus rex throughout the animal’s life cycle.

Furthermore, this evidence suggests that late-stage juvenile Tyrannosaurs, at least in part, had a similar diet to the adult animals.

The scientific paper: “Feeding Traces Attributable to Juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex Offer Insight into Ontogenetic Dietary Trends” by Joseph E. Peterson and Karsen N. Daus published in the journal PeerJ.

29 03, 2019

The Biggest T. rex Known to Science – “Scotty”

By | March 29th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

“Scotty” – The World’s Biggest T. rex

A scientific paper on what is regarded by many scientists as the world’s biggest Tyrannosaurus rex has been published.  It is time for the “T. rex” specimen nicknamed “Scotty” to step into the spotlight.  It measures around thirteen metres in length and represents an individual more than thirty years of age, remarkably old for a Tyrannosaur.  Based on the diameter of the leg bones and other measurements, the body weight of this formidable carnivore has been estimated at 8.8 Tonnes.  It has been suggested that this specimen (RSM P2523.8), is a little longer and heavier than “Sue” (BHI2033), which resides in the Evolving Planet exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago.

The “Scotty” T. rex Exhibit Preparing to Make Its Debut at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum

"Scotty" the Tyrannosaurus rex.

A reconstruction of the skeleton of “Scotty” the T. rex

Picture Credit: Amanda Kelley

Gracile and Robust T. rex Forms

On August 16th, 1991, Robert Gebhardt, a high school teacher by profession but also a keen fossil hunter, was working with Tim Tokaryk (palaeontologist at the Eastend Fossil Research Station).  They were exploring the strata exposed along the Frenchman River Valley in Saskatchewan Province, for Robert this was an opportunity to learn more about field work.  However, within a few hours, Robert had found the base of a heavily worn Tyrannosaur tooth, along with a caudal vertebra, the sort of discoveries that seasoned palaeontologists dream about.  Robert had discovered the oldest individual T. rex specimen.

It was not until June 1994, that the excavation work began on this new T. rex specimen in earnest.  The dig site became a visitor attraction in its own right with several thousand people coming to see how the huge bones representing about sixty-five percent of the skeleton were being excavated.  Unfortunately, the sandstone matrix surrounding the fossil bones and teeth was extremely hard, extracting the fossils from their 66-million-year-old rock tomb has proved to be one of the most challenging large Theropod fossil preparations so far undertaken.  Scientists are aware that there seem to be two main types of Tyrannosaurus rex adult body plan – a robust form and a gracile form.  It is not known what these two different body types represent, one could be male, the other female, however, “Scotty”, so named after a celebratory drink of scotch after the initial fossil discovery, is a very robust Tyrannosaurus rex.

A Silhouette Showing the Fossil Material Associated with RSM P2523.8

The skeleton of "Scotty" the T. rex.

A silhouette outline showing the anatomical position of the known skeletal material of “Scotty”.

Picture Credit: University of Alberta, via Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

Scott Persons, (University of Alberta) and one of the authors of the scientific paper published in The Anatomical Record, explained:

“This is the rex of rexes!”

There is considerable size variability among Tyrannosaurus.  Some individuals were lankier than others and some were more robust.  Scotty exemplifies the robust.  He comes out a bit heftier than other T. rex specimens.

Indeterminate Growth

Multiple measurements (including those of the skull, hip, and limbs) show that this was a robust individual with an estimated body mass exceeding all other known T. rex specimens and representatives of all other gigantic terrestrial theropods.  A histological analysis of the fibula (lower leg bone), indicates that Scotty was a mature, adult animal that was over thirty years of age when it died.  Dinosaurs exhibit indeterminate growth, as opposed to most other extant Tetrapods that have determinate growth.  Simply put, this means that a dinosaur grows rapidly when young (T. rex growth spurts in the teenage years for example), but when fully mature, the animal keeps growing albeit at a much reduced pace.  Therefore, a very old individual such as RSM P2523.8, could be larger than other Tyrannosaurs, such as T. rex “Sue”, which is believed to have been around twenty-years of age when it died.

Persons stated:

“Scotty is the oldest T. rex known.  By which I mean, it would have had the most candles on its last birthday cake.  You can get an idea of how old a dinosaur is by cutting into its bones and studying its grown patterns.  Scotty is all old growth.”

Evidence of Pathology – Signs of a Violent Life

Although the fossil material is not as complete as the Field Museum T. rex, just like Sue, the fossilised bones of Scotty show plenty of pathology (evidence of injury or disease).  This dinosaur may have had a long life, but it was a tough life too.  A number of caudal vertebrae are damaged, it has been suggested that this pathology was caused by a bite from another T. rex.  As with many Theropod specimens ribs show evidence of having been broken and subsequently healed and the jaw shows signs of an infection.

Palaeontologist Scott Persons Stares into the Jaws of “Scotty”

Palaeontologist Scott Persons with the cast of the T. rex "Scotty".

Scott Persons stares into the jaws of “Scotty”.

Picture Credit: University of Alberta,  Amanda Kelley via Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

Intriguingly, the skull exhibits a number of lumps and bumps which suggests that T. rex could have had armoured skin, a feature not seen in other T. rex cranial material.   A cast of the fossils will help to form a new mounted Tyrannosaurus rex display, part of an exhibit that is due to open at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in May 2019.

Scott Persons added:

“I think there will always be bigger discoveries to be made, but as of right now, this particular Tyrannosaurus is the largest terrestrial predator known to science.”

Bigger Specimens Awaiting Discovery

The big, robust bones of this Tyrannosaurus rex probably represent the largest of this species so far described.  To most scientists and academics, which dinosaur was the biggest does not really matter, after all, the mass estimates for Tyrannosaurs vary considerably.  However, the authors of the scientific paper, which include Phil Currie and Gregory Erickson, propose that RSM P2523.8 adds weight to the prior hypothesis that there is a sampling bias throughout the Dinosauria.  “Scotty” with its mature, thick-set bones indicates that many other dinosaur taxa grew to significantly greater sizes than currently recognised.

This means, that there are likely to be even bigger dinosaur specimens awaiting discovery…

For the time being, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum can claim that they are putting on display a cast of the heaviest T. rex known to science, a claim that they can make, at least for now.

The Fossilised Remains of Even Older and Larger Specimens Probably Await Discovery

Death of the dinosaurs.

It is likely that larger individuals will be discovered.

Picture Credit: Mark Garlick/Science Photo Library

The scientific paper: “An Older and Exceptionally Large Adult Specimen of Tyrannosaurus rex” by W. Scott Persons IV, Philip J. Currie, Gregory M. Erickson published in the journal The Anatomical Record.

28 03, 2019

Pterosaur Thursday

By | March 28th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

A Spotlight on the PNSO Nemicolopterus Model

Many of the people that Everything Dinosaur team members follow on social media are fossil hunters.  We have noticed that today, Thursday, seems to feature a lot of our fossil hunting friends showcasing their finds using the meme “fossil flip Thursday”, some of our fossils are a little too delicate to flip, but we thought we could give it a try and highlight the excellent packaging of the PNSO Age of Dinosaurs small models.

We made a short video – Pterosaur toss – featuring the new for 2019 PNSO Nemicolopterus figure.

Pterosaur Thursday – Nemicolopterus crypticus

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In this very brief video, (it lasts just over thirty seconds), we show the wonderful new PNSO product packaging.  Each of the new for 2019 PNSO figures has been presented in a blister pack which contains a backdrop reflecting the habitat of that animal.  For example, “Ricky” the Keichousaurus, a model of a Triassic marine reptile, has a seascape backdrop, whilst the pterosaur model Nemicolopterus has a forest background.  After all, this little flying reptile lived in an arboreal environment.

The PNSO Nemicolopterus Blister Pack

PNSO Nemicolopterus model.

The packaging associated with the PNSO Nemicolopterus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We even took advantage of the warm weather to photograph this little pterosaur against some foliage – our very own forest backdrop.

How Big was Nemicolopterus?

Known from only one specimen, this may not be a valid genus (nomen dubium), the fossil could represent a very young Sinopterus, a tapejarid that was scientifically described in 2003.  The skull for example, is around 4 cm in length, it is one of the smallest pterosaur fossils known to science.  Intriguingly, the PNSO Nemicolopterus replica is not much smaller than the fossil specimen.  This little flying reptile, whether a Nemicolopterus or a Sinopterus could have comfortably sat in the palm of your hand.

Everything Dinosaur’s Scale Drawing Showing the Estimated Size of the Nemicolopterus Specimen

Nemicolopterus crypticus scale drawing.

A scale drawing of the tiny pterosaur named Nemicolopterus.  The validity of this genus has been challenged.  It might not be valid, (nomen dubium), it is possible that the single specimen so far described represents a related tapejarid (Sinopterus).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Model Range

The PNSO Age of Dinosaurs (Toys that Accompany your Growth) range features a total of forty-eight small models.  This is a diverse and varied range, for instance, several horned dinosaurs feature – Kosmoceratops, Einiosaurus, Liaoceratops, Xenoceratops, Pachyrhinosaurus and Chasmosaurus.  Many of the replicas and figures represent prehistoric animals that are unique to China, creatures such as the armoured dinosaur Tuojiangosaurus, the bizarre marine reptile Atopodentatus and the troodontid Mei long.  However, other models represent prehistoric animals that have no connection with China, or even Asia for that matter.  For example, the ferocious marine crocodile Dakosaurus or the Baryonyx dinosaur model.

To view the range of PNSO Age of Dinosaurs figures available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaur Models

27 03, 2019

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Malawisaurus

By | March 27th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Malawisaurus

Since its introduction in 2018, the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Malawisaurus has been very well received by model collectors and fans of dinosaurs.  The fossils of a long-necked dinosaur from the Sitwe Valley area of northern Malawi were originally described by the English-born palaeontologist Sidney Henry Haughton.  He proposed that these fossil bones should be assigned to the genus Gigantosaurus, which had been established a few decades earlier.  Gigantosaurus is now regarded as an invalid taxon.

Safari Ltd have created a wonderful model of this African, herbivorous dinosaur and they have put together a stunning image showing two of these models in a primeval forest.

Taking a View on the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Malawisaurus Figure

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Malawisaurus model.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Malawisaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Further exploration of the fossil bearing strata was undertaken in the 1980’s by a joint field team supported by the Southern Methodist University and the Malawi Department of Antiquities.   As a result of these extensive excavations, around 150 dinosaur bones (Sauropoda) were found.  Following a review of the original fossils and these later fossil discoveries, the Malawisaurus genus was established in 1993.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Malawisaurus Model

Malawisaurus dinosaur model.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Malawisaurus dinosaur model from Safari Ltd.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Malawisaurus Measurements

The model measures about thirty-six centimetres in length and the head stands some ten centimetres off the ground.  Everything Dinosaur sends out a fact sheet all about this Titanosaur with sales of the model.  The fact sheet provides further information about Malawisaurus (M. dixeyi).  In the meantime, we congratulate the team at Safari Ltd for creating some super dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed images.  The species epithet honours Dr Dixey, who participated in the original expedition that uncovered the first fossil remains.

To view the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Malawisaurus and the other models in this excellent figure and replica series: Safari Ltd Wild Safari Prehistoric World Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

26 03, 2019

Atopodentatus Gets Our Attention

By | March 26th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

The Unique Atopodentatus unicus

As the new for 2019 PNSO figures arrive at Everything Dinosaur, we have time to reflect on one of the new models.  The replica of the bizarre Triassic marine reptile Atopodentatus (A. unicus).  Although Atopodentatus was named and scientifically described less than five years ago, this three-metre-long Tetrapod has certainly attracted a great deal of debate.  Where it sits phylogenetically has yet to be resolved.  Tentatively, it could be placed within the Sauropterygia.  The Sauropterygia is an extremely diverse Superorder of reptiles.  It includes the placodonts, plesiosaurs, nothosaurs and the Pachypleurosauria.*

The New for 2019 PNSO Atopodentatus Model

PNSO Atopodentatus (Finch).

The new for 2019 PNSO Atopodentatus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Pachypleurosauria* – PNSO have also introduced a pachypleurosaur into their “Prehistoric Animal Toys That Accompany Your Growth” range, one of the twenty-four new models is “Ricky” the Keichousaurus.

At First it was a Filter Feeder

The fossil material associated with this genus comes from south-western China (Guanling Formation).  The strata are thought to be Middle Triassic in age (Anisian faunal stage) and these marine deposits have helped scientists to construct a picture of how life bounced back from the devastating End Permian extinction event.  When first described, Atopodentatus was thought to feed by stirring up mud on the seabed to filter out small invertebrates.  The rostrum was thought to be downturned, resulting in this reptile having a vertical, zipper-like jaw.

A Life Reconstruction of Atopodentatus unicus (2014)

Atopodentatus life reconstruction (2014).

Strange Triassic marine reptile.  Atopodentatus unicus was thought to have had a downturned rostrum, a unique jaw configuration not found in other vertebrates.

Picture Credit: Nobu Tamura (2014)

To read Everything Dinosaur’s article about the original scientific description of Atopodentatus: Bizarre New Triassic Marine Reptile Described

A Marine Reptile with a “Hammerhead”

Turns out, Atopodentatus did not have such a unique and highly specialised feeding adaptation after all, but it is nonetheless, quite remarkable.  Additional specimens led to a new interpretation of the shape of the skull and rather than having a downturned rostrum, Atopodentatus had a set of jaws shaped like a hammerhead.  It was proposed that Atopodentatus was herbivorous.   The teeth lining the hammerhead were used to scrape seaweed and algae from rocks.  The plant material was then sucked into the back of the mouth and filtered by the long, thin tooth mesh.

Atopodentatus Life Reconstruction (2016)

Atopodentatus life reconstruction (2016).

An illustration Atopodentatus feeding underwater.

Picture Credit: Y. Chen (Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology)

To read Everything Dinosaur’s 2016 article about the reinterpretation of Atopodentatus: Atopodentatus Unzipped

Atopodentatus unicus still had a highly specialised feeding adaptation, although one not quite a peculiar as previously thought.  It still represents the oldest record of herbivory within marine reptiles and its discovery has helped scientists to better understand how marine ecosystems recovered after the End Permian extinction event.

Remarking on the addition of an Atopodentatus to the PNSO model range, a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“As a Chinese company, PNSO have attempted to focus on prehistoric animals that lived in China.  This has resulted in a whole new and never before created set of prehistoric animal replicas such as Atopodentatus and Keichousaurus.  Thanks to PNSO, Everything Dinosaur customers now have an even greater variety of prehistoric animal models to collect.”

The New for 2019 PNSO “Finch” – Atopodentatus Figure

PNSO Atopodentatus unicus model.

The PNSO Atopodentatus unicus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the PNSO Age of Dinosaurs range: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs

25 03, 2019

Scientists Collaborate to Explore the Morrison Formation

By | March 25th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Manchester University, the Morrison Formation and the “Jurassic Mile”

Scientists at Manchester University have joined forces with a major American Museum and European partners to map and explore an extraordinary Jurassic dinosaur site in the Badlands of Wyoming (USA).  The University of Manchester will act as the academic leaders on this newly announced £20 million ($27.5 USD) research project to examine and eventually exhibit fossils excavated from a recently discovered palaeontological site nicknamed the “Jurassic Mile”.

Working in Collaboration with the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

The University of Manchester’s Professor Phil Manning and Dr. Victoria Egerton will be collaborating with scientists from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.  Also involved are researchers from the Natural History Museum in London and the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre in Leiden (Netherlands).  In total, more than a hundred scientists and academics from three countries will join forces to work at a dig site representing Upper Jurassic strata from the Morrison Formation of Wyoming.  They hope to uncover new data to help explain the extraordinary diversity of the dinosaur biota known from this part of Laurasia in the Late Jurassic.

Life in the Late Jurassic – An Illustration of Morrison Formation Biota

Morrison Formation biota.

Life in the Late Jurassic (Morrison Formation biota).  An illustration of life in the Late Jurassic (Morrison Formation) by Julius Csotonyi.  A mother Stegosaurus defends her family from a marauding Allosaurus whilst a pair of diplodocids browse in the background.

Picture Credit: Julius Csotonyi

The “Jurassic Mile”

Professor Manning, Dr. Egerton and the team are calling the fossil-rich, mile-square plot of land, “The Jurassic Mile.”  There are four main quarries within the multi-level, 640-acre site that offer a diverse assemblage of Morrison Formation articulated and semi-articulated dinosaurs that has also yielded associated animals and fossil plants.  In addition, trace fossils in the form of dinosaur trackways have been identified, such tracks are rare in this part of the world.

Commenting on the significance of this collaborative field work, Professor Manning stated:

“It is splendid that such an important site has been discovered at just the right time, as the science of palaeontology is adapting existing and new imaging techniques to unpick the fossil remains of extinct life.  The imaging work that we undertake at Manchester is already world-leading and this is a great opportunity to develop this research with other world-class institutions.”

A Remarkable Fossil Assemblage

Nearly six hundred specimens, weighing more than six tons, have already been collected from this site over the past two years, despite the fact that only a fraction of the area has been explored.  Fossil bones found to date include the remains of an 20-metre plus Brachiosaur and a 27-metre-long diplodocid.  Giant Sauropods had giant bones, one of the recent discoveries is a 2-metre-long Brachiosaur scapula (shoulder bone), numerous plaster-coated burlap jackets containing articulated bones are the reward for the researchers after a successful field season..

At a press conference, held today, the discovery of an extremely well-preserved 1.5-metre-long Sauropod femur (thigh bone), was announced.

Professor Phil Manning (The University of Manchester) with the Sauropod Femur

Professor Phil Manning and the diplodocid femur.

Professor Phil Manning (The University of Manchester), poses next to the diplodocid femur.

Picture Credit: The University of Manchester

Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, President and CEO of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis commented:

“We are bringing together an extraordinary international team for the first time that will critically analyse portions of the Morrison Formation in new ways.  This project reflects a natural synergy between three world-renowned museums, their research scientists and highly-respected research universities, each providing unique elements to complete one of the most interesting chapters in the evolution of Earth.”

Prehistoric Flora as well as Fauna

Dr. Egerton from the Department of Earth and Environmental Science (Manchester University), explained:

“The preservation quality and sheer amount of plants at the Jurassic Mile is extraordinary.  During this period, there were no flowering plants and this site provides significant insight to what these giant animals ate and how they may have grown to be so large.”

The Jurassic Mile project is already utilising cutting-edge science from the international team.  The University of Manchester scientists will employ the Stanford Synchrotron particle accelerator along with some of the most powerful computers on the planet, to help resurrect the Jurassic and unearth the lost world and forgotten lives of some of the most remarkable terrestrial animals that have ever lived.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from Manchester University in the compilation of this article.

24 03, 2019

Alligator Study Provides Insight into Dinosaur Hearing

By | March 24th, 2019|Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Alligator Hearing Study Provides Insight into Dinosaur Hearing

New research published in the “Journal of Neuroscience” identifies that living Archosaurs – birds and crocodiles make a mental map of sounds in the same way.  This suggests that this auditory strategy existed in their common ancestor which has implications for dinosaur research.

Animal brains determine where a sound is coming from, by analysing the minute difference in time it takes audio waves to reach each ear—a cue known as interaural time difference.  What happens to the cue once the signals get to the brain depends on what kind of animal is doing the hearing.

An American Alligator – New Research Suggests that Birds and Crocodilians Hear in the Same Way

An American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

A photograph of an American alligator.

Picture Credit: Ruth Elsey Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Scientists have known that birds are exceptionally good at creating neural maps to chart the location of sounds, and that the strategy differs in mammals.  Little was known, however, about how alligators process interaural time difference.

A new study of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), found that the reptiles form neural maps of sound in the same way birds do.  The research by Catherine Carr, a Distinguished University Professor of Biology at the University of Maryland and her colleague Lutz Kettler from the Technische Universität München, was published this week in the “Journal of Neuroscience”.

Most research into how animals analyse interaural time difference has focused on physical features such as skull size and shape, but Carr and Kettler believed it was important to look at evolutionary relationships.

Birds have very small head sizes compared with alligators, but the two groups share a common ancestor, as both Aves (birds) and crocodilians are members of the Archosauria.   Archosaurs began to emerge around 246 million years ago and split into two lineages; one that led to alligators and one that led to dinosaurs (and birds).  Although most dinosaurs died out during the mass extinction event 66 million years ago, some types of dinosaur survived and we see their descendants all around us today, these are the modern birds.

Carr and Kettler’s findings indicate that the hearing strategy birds and alligators share may have less to do with head size and more to do with common ancestry.

Carr commented:

“Our research strongly suggests that this particular hearing strategy first evolved in their common ancestor.  The other option, that they independently evolved the same complex strategy, seems very unlikely.”

Sedated American Alligators were Fitted with Earphones

An American alligator.

A photograph of an American alligator.

Picture Credit:  Ruth Elsey Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

To study how alligators identify where sound comes from, the researchers anesthetised forty American Alligators and fitted them with earphones.  They played tones for the sleepy reptiles and measured the response of a structure in their brain stems called the nucleus laminaris.  This structure is the seat of auditory signal processing.  Their results showed that alligators create neural maps very similar to those previously measured in barn owls and chickens.  The same maps have not been recorded in the equivalent structure in mammal brains.

The Distinguished Professor added:

“We know so little about dinosaurs.  Comparative studies such as this one, which identify common traits extending back through evolutionary time add to our understanding of their biology.”

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the University of Maryland in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Neural Maps of Interaural Time Difference in the American Alligator: A Stable Feature in Modern Archosaurs” by Lutz Kettler and Catherine Carr and published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

23 03, 2019

March 2019 Newsletter – Collecting CollectA

By | March 23rd, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Newsletters, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New CollectA Figures and a Special Offer on the Rare Bullyland Pteranodon sternbergi

Everything Dinosaur’s first newsletter of the spring features the first of the new for 2019 CollectA figures and a special offer on an extremely rare Bullyland flying reptile figure.  The latest figures in the CollectA “Age of Dinosaurs” series have arrived and it is great to see the Deluxe Caiuajara with its movable jaw, the Borealopelta, Edaphosaurus and the box of mini prehistoric animal models in stock.  Top billing in the newsletter is given to the remarkable CollectA Deluxe Carnotaurus – we know how keen dinosaur fans and model collectors have been on this model since we announced that it was going into production, back in November (2018).

To view the CollectA Deluxe models including the new Carnotaurus: Collecta Deluxe Prehistoric Life

The CollectA Deluxe 1:40 Carnotaurus Model Headlines the Everything Dinosaur March Newsletter

CollectA Deluxe Carnotaurus model.

Top billing in the latest Everything Dinosaur newsletter.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The CollectA Edaphosaurus

Ever since the 1:20 scale CollectA Dimetrodon was introduced in 2018, fans of this range have been eagerly looking forward to the addition of another Permian pelycosaur to this series.  The hand-painted 1:20 scale CollectA Edaphosaurus lives up to all the hyperbole and it makes a great accompaniment to the Dimetrodon figure.

To view the range of CollectA prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur including the Edaphosaurus: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models

A Sail-backed Prehistoric Animal Model Sails into Stock at Everything Dinosaur

CollectA Edaphosaurus.

The new CollectA Edaphosaurus model features in an Everything Dinosaur newsletter.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Flying Reptiles from Brazil and an Armoured Dinosaur from a Canadian Mine

Everything Dinosaur has also received a shipment of Caiuajara models, complete with an articulated lower jaw.  Fossil of this pterosaur were found in Brazil.  The CollectA Borealopelta figure has also arrived, although sadly, several cases of models were lost during shipment.  A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that plans were in place to get more of these armoured dinosaur models into stock as quickly as possible.  Perhaps, the missing models have got lost in a mine, as the only known Borealopelta specimen was discovered in a mine located in north-eastern Alberta (Canada).

The CollectA Deluxe Caiuajara and the CollectA Borealopelta

The CollectA Deluxe Caiuajara with a moveable jaw and a CollectA Borealopelta.

CollectA Deluxe Caiuajara and the CollectA Borealopelta figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mini Prehistoric Animal Models and a Special Offer on an Extremely Rare Replica

Also just arrived at Everything Dinosaur is the box of mini prehistoric animal models.  A set of twelve miniature figures produced by CollectA and designed to accompany their larger equivalents in the scale model series.  Last but not least, the March newsletter features a special offer!  A chance to purchase the very rare and long retired Bullyland Pteranodon sternbergi figure at the same price offered by Everything Dinosaur when it was last available nearly ten years ago!

Mini Prehistoric Animals and a Special Offer for Newsletter Subscribers

CollectA mini prehistoric animals and a Bullyland Pteranodon (P. sternbergi).

The new set of twelve mini prehistoric animal models from CollectA and a special offer on the very rare Bullyland Pteranodon sternbergi figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur newsletter subscribers are amongst the first to learn about new models and replicas coming into stock.  Subscribers can also be the first to join a priority reserve list to ensure that they can acquire new figures.  Our newsletter is sent out periodically and it is free to join.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The newsletter is a fantastic way for our customers to be kept informed and to stay up-to-date with developments at Everything Dinosaur.”

To request to join the Everything Dinosaur newsletter subscribers list: Simply Email Everything Dinosaur

22 03, 2019

JurassicCollectables Reviews the Kaiyodo Sofubi “Classic” T. rex

By | March 22nd, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

JurassicCollectables Reviews the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex “Classic Colouration”

A few days ago, JurassicCollectables posted up onto their excellent YouTube channel an unboxing video featuring a trio of Tyrannosaur models that we, at Everything Dinosaur had sent them.  The narrator could hardly contain his excitement as he opened the box and unwrapped the three colour variants of the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex.  In that short, unboxing video we were promised that each model would be reviewed at length in the near future.  True to their word JurassicCollectables have posted up a video review of the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box Tyrannosaurus rex “classic colouration”.

A Video Review of the Limited Edition “Classic” Kaiyodo T. rex Articulated Figure

Video credit: JurassicCollectables

Inspired by the Artwork of Zdeněk Burian

In this video review (it lasts for a little over twelve minutes), the narrator discusses the packaging (this model comes in a special edition box) and points out the degree of movement afforded by the ten points of articulation.  This Tyrannosaur is known as the “classic”, as the colour scheme chosen for this figure was inspired by the highly influential Czech painter and illustrator Zdeněk Burian.

The Articulated Dinosaur Model Can be Placed in a Variety of Poses

A video review of a Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box Tyrannosaurus rex "classic" colour.

The Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex can be put into a variety of poses.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

The recently reviewed Eofauna Scientific Research Giganotosaurus (G. carolinii), makes an appearance and helps to provide a size comparison with the Kaiyodo figure.  In addition, JurassicCollectables uses a Papo green standing T. rex model to help to give an impression of the figure’s size.  Naturally, off-colour Alan gets involved too and the narrator comments that when the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex is placed next to the Alan Grant action figure, it looks like a juvenile T. rex.  This is highly appropriate as a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex is referenced in the original Jurassic Park novel by Michael Crichton.

Beautiful Background Provided in the Presentation Box

The narrator comments upon the beautiful background image provided in the special presentation box and reflects on the skilful craftmanship and the care taken to produce the stunning paint scheme and the graceful airbrushing.   The mouth and jaws (the figure has an articulated upper jaw), are singled out for special praise.

The Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex Model Meets “Off-colour Alan”

A video review of the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex "classic" colour version.

The Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex meets “off-colour Alan”.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

To view the JurassicCollectables Kaiyodo unboxing article published by Everything Dinosaur: JurassicCollectables Unboxing a Trio of T. rex Figures

The YouTube channel of JurassicCollectables is jam-packed with top quality dinosaur themed videos, it has attracted almost 79,000 subscribers.  Well done JurassicCollectables.  Find the YouTube channel here and don’t forget to subscribe: JurassicCollectables YouTube Channel

There is Much to Admire in the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box Tyrannosaurus rex Figure

A close-up view of a Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box Tyrannosaurus rex "classic" colour.

A close-up view of the head of the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex “classic” colouration.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Aimed at collectors and not for dinosaur fans under fifteen years of age, this limited edition and quite rare dinosaur model is available from Everything Dinosaur (whilst stocks last).

Find the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex “classic” and the other Kaiyodo models here: Kaiyodo Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Figures

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