All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
31 05, 2019

The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs – The Theropods

By | May 31st, 2019|Adobe CS5, Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs – The Theropods Reviewed

Ask a layperson to name a dinosaur and it is very likely that names such as Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor will be volunteered, these dinosaurs are members of the Theropoda, one of three great groups that make up the Dinosauria.  However, these two meat-eating dinosaurs are not typical of this group, there is a lot more to the theropods than meets the eye.  The beautifully illustrated “Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods”, aimed at general readers as well as students and academics, helps to flesh out the story of the Theropoda and is essential summer reading for dinosaur enthusiasts.

The English Language Version of “The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods”

Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods"

The “Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods” (front cover.

Details of 750 Theropod Dinosaurs

Written by Rubén Molina-Pérez and Asier Larramendi, the founders and scientific directors of Eofauna Scientific Research, this volume contains over three thousand records giving facts and detailed information on over 750 theropod species.  Indeed, it is claimed that every single theropod dinosaur described before 2016 is included, this book reflects an enormous amount of research into what is, the most diverse and speciose of this suborder of dinosaurs.

Hundreds of Theropod Dinosaurs are Featured in the Book

Diverse Theropoda.

The diverse and speciose suborder of the Dinosauria (Theropoda).

 

Stunning Full-colour Illustrations

Crammed full of full-colour reconstructions and illustrations  by Andrey Atuchin and Sante Mazzei, this book, within the portfolio of the Natural History Museum (London), is not laid out like most dinosaur books.  For example, each record has bibliographic references, permitting the reader the opportunity to explore the topic area in more detail.  Divided into eight sections the “Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods” provides a comprehensive overview including information on extant theropods (birds), trackways, fossil eggs, biomechanics, trace fossils – even the sprinter Usain Bolt gets a mention!

Lots of Amazing Dinosaur Facts are Revealed and Can be Checked by Readers Thanks to the Bibliography

Chilesaurus ilustrated.

Chilesaurus – the slowest herbivorous Theropod known to science.

Theropod Anatomy

The geography of ancient continents is outlined and the distribution of different types of theropod highlighted.  There is an excellent section dedicated to theropod anatomy, along with a chapter dedicated to footprints “Testimony in Stone”.

Examples of Theropod Tracks (Extant and Extinct)

Line drawings illustrationg theropod footprints.

The ichnology of theropod footprints.

Records, Records and More Records

Throughout this book’s 288 pages, there are lots and lots of facts about the Theropoda listed including a graphical record of valid dinosauromorphs and theropods named and described up to 2016.  Look out for the snippet about how a fault in Triassic rock was mistaken for the huge footprint of a meat-eater, or the colourful illustration showing different types of dinosaur egg compared to a basketball.  Readers can expect to find the latest information about iconic dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor osmolskae and Spinosaurus aegyptiacus.

Facts and Figures About the Largest Theropod – Spinosaurus aegyptiacus

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus illustrated.

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus.  Could this be the largest theropod of all?

Intriguingly, it has been revealed that the authors had wanted to include all the Dinosauria in a single encyclopedia.  Such a project is too much of an undertaking for a single volume, so in the future books focusing on the Ornithischians and the Sauropodomorphs and their close relatives might be produced.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“This is an excellent book, that has been lovingly crafted by a dedicated team of researchers and artists.  It provides a comprehensive overview of what is arguably one of the most successful type of tetrapod to have ever evolved.  We are delighted that this book is now available in English and we are happy to recommend it.”

“Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods”

Title: “Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods”

ISBN: 978 0 565 09497 3

Price: Around £30.00 (GBP)

Format: Hardback (298 mm x 241 mm)

Publication: This month (May 2019)

Size: 288 pages approximately

Subject classification: Natural History/Dinosaurs

BIC and BISAC codes WNA/YNNA and  1) NAT007000 2) SCI054000

30 05, 2019

Two New Theropod Dinosaurs from Thailand

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

Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi and Vayuraptor nongbualamphuensis

Two new species of theropod dinosaur have been described from partial fossil remains excavated from strata associated with the Sao Khua Formation of north-eastern Thailand.  It is likely that both these meat-eating dinosaurs have affinities with the Megaraptora and their discovery lends weight to the idea that the Megaraptoridae and their near relatives probably originated in Asia.  The dinosaurs have been named Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi and Vayuraptor nongbualamphuensis, Phuwiangvenator has been described as a megaraptoran whilst the exact taxonomic position of Vayuraptor remains uncertain, although the authors of the scientific paper suggest that it too was a member of the clade of dinosaurs with long-snouts, highly pneumatised skeletons and with large claws.

Bones in Approximate Life Position from the Right Foot of P. yaemniyomi

Bones from the foot of Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi.

Bones and claws from the right foot of Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi with an accompanying line drawing.

Picture Credit: Samathi et al

Lower Cretaceous Carnivorous Dinosaurs

The fossils were found nearly twenty-five miles apart, but the strata in which the fragmentary fossil material was found is contemporaneous and dated to the upper Barremian stage of the Lower
Cretaceous.  The first identified specimens of P. yaemniyomi were found by Preecha Sainongkham, a team member at the Phu Wiang Fossil Research Centre and Dinosaur Museum back in 1993.  The Phu Wiang Mountain region is highly fossiliferous and numerous vertebrate fossils representing the fauna of a low-lying, inland, lacustrine environment have been discovered over the years.  The first dinosaur bone known from Thailand was found in 1976, a scrappy bone fragment that was assigned to the Sauropoda.  This fossil was found by Sudham Yaemniyom, who was at the time a geologist with the country’s Department of Mineral Resources, Bangkok.  The species name of Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi honours his contribution to the geology and palaeontology of Thailand.

Phuwiangvenator is the larger of the two Theropods, it is believed to have measured around 5.5 to 6 metres in length.  It is known from dorsal and sacral vertebrae plus elements of the hind limbs and feet.  All the fossil material was found within the same bedding plane and within an area of just 5 square metres.

Views of the Right Tibia (A1 – A6) and a Proximal View of the Left Tibia (P. yaemniyomi)

Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi bones from the lower leg.

Right tibia (A) in various views with a proximal view (B) of the left tibia – Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi.

Picture Credit: Samathi et al

Vayuraptor nongbualamphuensis – Raptor of the Wind God

The fossils associated with Vayuraptor were found in 1988.  It is known from a left tibia and ankle bones.  The genus name is from the Sanskrit for “Vayu”, a God of the Wind and the Latin term “raptor”, which means thief.  Analysis of the single lower leg bone indicates that like Phuwiangvenator, this dinosaur was a fast-running, cursorial predator.  The fossils of both dinosaurs are now part of the extensive dinosaur fossil collection at the Sirindhorn Museum in Kalasin Province.  This museum houses the largest collection of dinosaur fossil bones in north-eastern Thailand.

Analysis of the Tibia Suggests that Vayuraptor was a Fast Runner

Ankle and lower leg bone Vayuraptor.

Vayuraptor nongbualamphuensis views of the left tibia and ankle (A5 and A6).

Picture Credit: Samathi et al

Megaraptora Originated in Asia

The establishing of at least one of these dinosaurs as a member of the Megaraptora clade, possibly both, helps to support the hypothesis that in south-eastern Asia during the Early Cretaceous, it was the Megaraptora that were diverse and playing the role of apex predators.  This is in contrast to other ecosystems elsewhere in the world, that were dominated by different kinds of theropod dinosaur.  A basal member of the Megaraptora, Fukuiraptor kitadaniensis is known from the Lower Cretaceous (Barremian) of Japan, these two dinosaurs are also (most likely), from the Barremian.  Their identification supports the idea that these fast running, lightly built predators evolved in Asia.

A Model of the Basal Megaraptoran  Clade – Fukuiraptor

CollectA Fukuiraptor dinosaur model.

CollectA Fukuiraptor model.  It is likely that Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi and Vayuraptor nongbualamphuensis were similar to Fukuiraptor kitadaniensis.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An Early Cretaceous Heyday for the Megaraptorans

Fossils of this type of meat-eating dinosaur have been reported from the Barremian to the Aptian faunal stage of the Early Cretaceous.  The authors of the scientific paper, published in the scientific journal “Acta Palaeontologica Polonica”, note that several specimens of megaraptoran dinosaurs have been recorded from the Aptian of Australia and one reported from the later Albian faunal stage of South America.  Megaraptorans are known from the Late Cretaceous but seem to indicate that by around 90 million years ago, “megaraptors” had a more limited range and seem to have been confined mostly to South America.

A Typical Illustration of a Member of the Megaraptoridae Family of Theropod Dinosaurs

Roaming Patagonia 80 million years ago

A leggy, Late Cretaceous carnivore (Murusraptor).  Roaming Patagonia around 80 million years ago.  By the Late Cretaceous the Megaraptoridae may have been less widespread and more provincial.

Picture Credit: Jan Sovak (University of Alberta)

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The identification of these theropod remains that had been known about for more than twenty-five years, has been partially resolved.  Hopefully, more fossil material associated with the Vayuraptor genus will be found in Thailand so that it too can be more definitively placed within the Megaraptora clade.  Given the extent of the fossil discoveries made from the Phu Wiang Mountain region thus far, it is highly likely that more new dinosaurs will be named and described from Thailand in the future.”

To read an article about a Late Cretaceous member of the Megaraptoridae family from South America that was reported upon in 2018: A New Member of the Megaraptoridae from the Late Cretaceous of South America (Tratayenia rosalesi)

The scientific paper: “Two new basal coelurosaurian theropod dinosaurs from the Lower Cretaceous Sao Khua Formation of Thailand” by A. Samathi, P. Chanthasit and P. Martin Sander published in  Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.

29 05, 2019

Wolves Two Megaloceros One

By | May 29th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Wolves Two Megaloceros One

One of the joys of exploring natural history galleries is spotting some of the exhibits that are hiding in plain sight.  Whilst on a visit to South Wales we took the opportunity to visit the National Museum Cardiff and to take a journey through space and time in the Evolution of Wales gallery.  Towards the end of the exhibit, there is a display dedicated to animals of the Ice Age and evidence of early settlement in Wales.  Tucked up high on a ledge over hanging the entrance, one of our team members spotted a pair of wolves.

Hiding in Plain Sight – A Pair of Wolves Ready to Pounce

A pair of wolves on display at a museum.

Ice Age wolves on display.  Although much of the megafauna of the Ice Age is extinct some animals alive today also, just like our species, lived through the last Ice Age.  The Museum of Cardiff exhibit had wolves and an American bison on display as well as examples of extinct animals such as the Megaloceros and the Woolly Mammoth.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We suspect that most of the visitors will miss these wolves lurking above them.  One of the pleasures of having time to really explore a gallery is spotting features that most visitors would probably miss.

Giant Irish Elk – Megaloceros

When you enter the gallery, you are met by the imposing cast of a giant Irish Elk (Megaloceros giganteus?).  The magnificent antlers certainly draw the eye.  This extinct species of giant deer was geographically very widespread from Ireland to as far east as parts of China during the latter stages of the Pleistocene.

The Megaloceros Exhibit (Part of the Evolution of Wales Gallery)

Megaloceros skeleton on display/

A cast of a Megaloceros skeleton on display.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Photo Opportunity

A number of museums in Europe have fossils of Megaloceros within their collection, the mounted exhibits prove to be very popular with visitors who like to try to take a picture of themselves with the giant antlers, the aim in many cases, is to take a photograph in such a way that the antlers seem to be growing out of the side of your own head.  In contrast, we are just happy to view the various exhibits and to read the informative display boards.

Megaloceros on Display (National Museum of Scotland – Edinburgh)

A giant Irish Elk on display.

A Megaloceros skeleton on display.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

28 05, 2019

Everything Dinosaur and the Rebor Dinosaur Foetuses

By | May 28th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor Foetus Replicas

Everything Dinosaur will be stocking the pair of Rebor Oddities dinosaur foetus replicas (Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor).  These highly unusual dinosaur figures are expected to arrive in stock at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse in July and today, the UK-based mail-order company has formally announced that it will be stocking them.

Coming into Stock at Everything Dinosaur the Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus Foetus

The Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus foetus.

Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus foetus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Wet Specimens

Ever since Michael Crichton’s highly influential novel “Jurassic Park” was first published (1990), subsequently made into a film three years later, fans of dinosaurs have been trying to get hold of replicas of pre-hatched dinosaurs as envisaged by the scientists at the bioengineering company InGen run by industrialist and billionaire John Hammond.  The clever design team at Rebor have come up with their own take on this concept, portraying the foetuses of two iconic Late Cretaceous theropods Velociraptor and a representative of the Tyrannosaurus genus.

The Rebor Oddities Velociraptor Foetus Model

The Rebor Oddities Velociraptor foetus.

Rebor Oddities Velociraptor foetus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Each skilfully crafted model is displayed in its own storage jar.  The purchaser can add water to represent the fluid in which the specimen would have been kept in.  Both models reflect what is known about dinosaur embryos and show distal growth, although neither Velociraptor or any member of the Tyrannosaurus genus is represented in the fossil record by material representing a pre-hatched or recently hatched individual.

Priority Reservation Lists are Open

Priority reservation lists have been opened for both of these new Rebor Oddities replicas.  Dinosaur fans who had already requested to join the Rebor Dilophosaurus model reserve list “Green Day” and “Oasis”, that are due to be introduced prior to these two foetus models, have already been offered the chance to join Everything Dinosaur’s priority reserve lists.

A spokesperson for the company commented:

“These two foetus replicas from Rebor are likely to sell out fast, so we thought it fair to offer the chance to join our VIP reserve list for these two models, to those collectors who had already contacted us about the new Rebor Dilophosaurus dinosaur replicas.”

To join Everything Dinosaur’s priority reserve list for the Rebor Oddities Foetus figures: Email Everything Dinosaur to join our Reserve List for the Rebor Oddities – don’t forget to let us know which model(s) you want.

To read about the two new Rebor Dilophosaurus dinosaur models coming into stock shortly: Rebor Announces New Dilophosaurus Models.

Tale of the Tape

The Rebor Oddities range provides collectors with the opportunity to acquire more unusual prehistoric animal figures and replicas.  These types of models tend to sell out quickly and can rapidly become difficult to obtain.  Everything Dinosaur will be bringing into stock a limited number of these new Rebor Oddities.  As for their sizes, the Tyrannosaurus figure is slightly larger than the Velociraptor replica, a probable true reflection on the size of these dinosaur embryos from back in the Late Cretaceous.

  • Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus foetus replica measuring  22.5 cm x 9 cm from the top of the jar to the base.
  • Rebor Oddities Velociraptor foetus replica measuring 18 cm x 7. 5 cm from the top of the jar to the base.

These figures are likely to be highly sought after, demand for them could outstrip supply and at the moment, based on current estimates, a July delivery date at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse is forecast.

The Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus Foetus Replica is the Slightly Bigger of the Two Figures

Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus foetus.

The Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus foetus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

All Lit Up and Ready to Hatch – The Rebor Oddities Velociraptor Figure

Rebor Oddities Velociraptor foetus

The Rebor Oddities Velociraptor foetus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Simply email Everything Dinosaur to join our reserve list for these exciting new Rebor figures, to see the current range of Rebor replicas in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Replicas and Figures.

27 05, 2019

Postcards of Ichthyosaurs

By | May 27th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Postcards of Ichthyosaurs

A team member at Everything Dinosaur found some beautiful postcards that feature spectacular British fossils, in this case Ichthyosaurs, in one of our offices the other day.  We thought we would share a picture of the prehistoric themed postcards on our blog.

A Pair of Prehistoric Postcards Featuring Different Species of Ichthyosaur

Postcards showing Ichthyosaurs.

Postcards that illustrate spectacular British fossils – Ichthyosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The postcards come from a range of “natural selection prints”, illustrations of spectacular fossils from the UK.  They depict scientific illustrations that we think accompanied the description of the species when it was erected.

Ichthyosaurus moorei (Leptonectes moorei)

The postcard (top) shows a plate from the scientific paper that led to the erection of the species Ichthyosaurus moorei.  The holotype material associated with this animal comes from Seatown on the Dorset coast (Jurassic Coast).  However, as our knowledge of the Ichthyosauria as improved, so fossils associated with I. moorei have been reassigned and placed outside the Ichthyosaurus genus.  There are enough distinctive characteristics (autapomorphies), to permit an erection of a separate genus.  The genus Leptonectes moorei was established in 1999.

Ichthyosaurus breviceps

I. breviceps is another species of marine reptile, despite being named a long time ago, in 1881 by Richard Owen (later Sir Richard Owen), it has remained a member of the Ichthyosaurus genus.  This type of Ichthyosaurus is also associated with the Jurassic Coast of Dorset.  Its fossils are relatively rare when compared to the contemporaneous I. communis.  It is characterised by its relatively short, but robust snout.  The shape of the jaw suggests that this marine reptile may have fed on different kinds of food compared to other “fish lizards”, it may have been more of a generalist eating a wider variety of prey, an example of niche partitioning within the biota associated with the Lower Jurassic.

An Illustration of a Typical Ichthyosaur – W. massarae

Wahlisaurus massarae illustrated

An illustration of the Ichthyosaur known as Wahlisaurus massarae, which was named and described back in 2016.  Research into the Ichthyosauria is on-going and existing specimens can be reassigned to different species or even different genera as more data becomes available.

Picture Credit: James McKay

26 05, 2019

Some Baby Dinosaurs Crawled Before Learning to Walk on Two Legs

By | May 26th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Mussaurus Switched from Four Legs to Two

A team of scientists, including researchers from the Royal Veterinary College based in London and Museo de La Plata and National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) located in Argentina, have collaborated to produce a report on how a Late Triassic sauropodomorph changed as it grew up.  The dinosaur in question Mussaurus patagonicus is an ideal candidate for dinosaur growth studies as it is known from numerous partial to nearly complete skeletons from hatchlings to fully grown adults.  Writing in the academic journal the researchers conclude that Mussaurus could only move on four limbs once born but switched to two legs as it grew up, just as our species switches from all fours to bipedal walking as we grow.

Scientists Looked at How the Centre of Mass Changed in the Body of Mussaurus to Work Out How it Walked

Plotting changes in Mussaurus as it grew.

Mussaurus specimens. (a, b) hatchling, (c) yearling and (bottom) adult.  Scale bars represent 5 cm (a), (b) 15 cm (c) and 100 cm in the adult animal representation.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

An Argentinian Sauropodomorph

Fossils of Mussaurus come from southern Argentina, at birth this dinosaur was only a few centimetres in length, but it reached its adult size in around eight years.  Essentially, this dinosaur went from weighing about 60 grams to weighing an estimated 1,300 kilograms with a body length of approximately 8 metres.  The research team conclude that it might have barely been able to walk or run on two legs at the age of one, but would have only committed to being bipedal once it reached adulthood.  This study has implications for the largest terrestrial vertebrates that ever lived as Mussaurus is regarded as an ancestral form of the later sauropods, giants like Apatosaurus, Mamenchisaurus and Giraffatitan, that were to evolve in the Jurassic.

The team scanned key fossils of Mussaurus into three-dimensional models, connected the bones into digital skeletons, and added soft tissue to estimate the shape of the body and its major segments such as head, neck, torso, tail and limbs.  These computer models were then used to estimate the location of the animal’s centre of mass, the point at which all weight can be assumed to act through.  This estimate enabled the scientists to then test whether different models representing different growth stages of Mussaurus patagonicus could have stood on two legs or not, because the centre of mass must be placed under the feet in such poses.

Identifying the Centre of Mass as Mussaurus Grew Up

Mussaurus Locomotion Study

Plotting the ontogeny of Mussaurus (a) hatchling, (b) yearling and (c) adult animal and the subsequent effect on centre of mass and locomotion.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

From Four Legs to Two

One of the authors of the scientific paper, Dr Alejandro Otero (CONICET) stated:

“Mussaurus switched from four legs as a baby to two legs by adulthood, much as humans do.  It is important to notice that such locomotor switching is rare in nature and the fact that we were able to recognise it in extinct forms like dinosaurs highlights the importance of our exciting findings.”

Professor John Hutchinson of the Royal Veterinary College, an expert in animal locomotion and co-author of the paper commented:

“We created the first 3-D representation of the major changes of body form and function across the growth of a dinosaur.  And we were surprised to learn that enlargement of the tail and reduction of the neck had more of an effect on how Mussaurus stood than how long its forelimbs were, which is what people used to think.”

Implications for Giant Dinosaurs

At around eight metres in length, Mussaurus was one of the largest dinosaurs in southern South America during the Late Triassic (estimated to be Norian faunal stage), however, during the Jurassic and Cretaceous much larger lizard-hipped dinosaurs would evolve from this lineage.  By improving our understanding about how some of the sauropodomorphs moved this type of research can provide insights into how much bigger plant-eating, long-necked giants walked.  When adult, dinosaurs such as Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus were very much quadrupedal, although it has been suggested that when very young some of these dinosaurs might have been able to rear up onto their hind legs to escape danger.*

Mussaurus Scale Comparison

Mussasaurus scale comparison.

Mussaurus scale drawing compared to an adult human and the skeleton of a typical Late Jurassic sauropod.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports with additional annotation and information from Everything Dinosaur

* To read an article from 2011 that looked at the research into trace fossils from the western United States that hinted that some very young sauropods may have been able to run on just their hind legs: Facultative Bipedalism in Sauropods

The research team hope to build on this work as they plan to use computer models to replicate in greater detail how Mussaurus may have actually moved, such as how fast it could walk or run.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the Royal Veterinary College (London) in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Ontogenetic changes in the body plan of the sauropodomorph dinosaur Mussaurus patagonicus reveal shifts of locomotor stance during growth” by Alejandro Otero, Andrew R. Cuff, Vivian Allen, Lauren Sumner-Rooney, Diego Pol and John R. Hutchinson published in Scientific Reports.

25 05, 2019

Drawing a Triceratops

By | May 25th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

A Dinosaur Fan’s Drawing of Triceratops

We are always delighted to receive pictures, illustrations and other artwork relating to prehistoric animals from our customers.  We are grateful to every person who takes the time and trouble to send us in drawings of dinosaurs and other long extinct creatures.  Unfortunately, we cannot publish all that we receive, but we do look at every one that gets sent into us, emailed or posted up onto one of the many social media platforms that Everything Dinosaur is involved with.

Today, we feature a beautiful illustration of one of the most famous dinosaurs of all – Triceratops.  Our thanks to Ian, who took the time and trouble to produce the drawing and to send it into our offices.  Ian has very kindly sent a number of drawings to us, each one features a different prehistoric animal and the artwork was inspired by a recent model purchase.

A Stunning Interpretation of Triceratops

A pencil illustration of Triceratops.

A beautiful illustration of “three-horned face” – Triceratops.

Picture Credit: Ian

Therizinosaurus and Triceratops

A little while ago, we posted up an illustration of the bizarre Late Cretaceous theropod that Ian had created.  That illustration had been inspired by the recently introduced Papo Therizinosaurus model.  We think that in the case of this beautiful Triceratops drawing, it has been based upon the 2018 Schleich Triceratops, but of course, we could be wrong.

To view the Therizinosaurus dinosaur illustration: Illustrating a Therizinosaurus

The Schleich 2018 Triceratops Dinosaur Model

Schleich Triceratops dinosaur model (2018).

The new for 2018 Schleich Triceratops dinosaur model.  Was it the inspiration behind Ian’s Triceratops illustration?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We are delighted to receive artwork from our customers, it is always a pleasure and we marvel at just how talented our customers are!  It is great to able to help people to indulge their passion for prehistoric animals.  We never know quite what we will get emailed, or what fantastic prehistoric animal themed artwork might turn up in our mail.”

24 05, 2019

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Allosaurus Model in Stock

By | May 24th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Allosaurus Model in Stock

The new for 2019 Wild Safari Prehistoric World Allosaurus dinosaur model is in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  This model is the last of the scheduled new model introductions from Safari Ltd for 2019, team members at Everything Dinosaur calculate that Safari Ltd have added eleven new figures to their Wild Safari Prehistoric World range, this new Allosaurus makes a fitting finale to the new products added to this exciting model range this year.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Allosaurus Dinosaur Model

Allosaurus dinosaur model.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Allosaurus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the Allosaurus and the rest of the prehistoric animal models in the Wild Safari Prehistoric World portfolio available from Everything Dinosaur: Safari Ltd – Wild Safari Prehistoric World Figures

Iconic American Dinosaur

Allosaurus (A. fragilis) has been described as an iconic American dinosaur.  This large theropod is known from dozens of fossil specimens, all associated with the famous Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of the western United States.  A fearsome predator, Allosaurus has also been called “the lion of the Jurassic”.  Several species have been named and most natural history museums have some Allosaurus spp. fossils amongst their dinosaur fossil collections.  Allosaurus is also one of the most extensively studied of all the large theropods known to science.  Team members at Everything Dinosaur, got to see prototypes of this new for 2019 model some months ago, it is great to see this figure actually in stock.

A Photograph Showing the Beautiful Paintwork and Detailing on the Skin of the New Allosaurus Figure

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Allosaurus dinosaur figure.

The new for 2019 Wild Safari Prehistoric World Allosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Beautiful Paintwork and Fantastic Detailing

As with all Safari Ltd prehistoric animal models, there is much to be admired in this new Allosaurus figure.  The model has been well-crafted and is stable on its two hind legs.  The eye crests are highlighted in blood red and the model has beautiful paintwork and fantastic detailing of the scales on the skin.  Safari Ltd have produced a number of Allosaurus figures over their long history of production.  This is perhaps, the most anatomically accurate of all the Allosaurus figures that they have made.

Don’t Let the Allosaurus Figure Get Away!

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Allosaurus dinosaur model.

Don’t let the new Allosaurus figure get away.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Team members have been busy contacting all those customers and fans of dinosaurs that asked for one of these figures to be reserved for them.  This task is now complete and staff will be focusing on packing and despatching orders as quickly as they can.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Over the next six weeks or so, a lot of new prehistoric animal figures are coming into stock at Everything Dinosaur.  We are delighted to have kicked-off what will be an incredibly busy summer by being able to bring the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Allosaurus model into our warehouse.  Fans of this range can now update their collection and include all the new prehistoric animal models that have been introduced by Safari Ltd this year.  We look forward to announcing new figures in this range in the autumn.”

23 05, 2019

Ammonite Shell Preserved in Amber from Myanmar

By | May 23rd, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Ammonite Trapped in Nodule Helps to Date Myanmar Amber Fossils

This month has seen the publication of yet another remarkable paper detailing fossil discoveries found within amber nodules from northern Myanmar.  Writing an open article in the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America), the researchers document a variety of terrestrial and marine invertebrates consisting of molluscs, insects, spiders and mites that have been preserved trapped in a piece of fossilised tree resin that dates from around 99 million years ago.  The organic remains consist of a mixed assemblage of intertidal and terrestrial floor organisms and suggests that the Cretaceous Myanmar forest was adjacent to a shifting and dynamic coastal environment.  The identification of the ammonite at the genus level has permitted the researchers to provide supporting evidence as to the age of the amber.  The ammonite shell is a juvenile Puzosia and its discovery adds weight to those academics proposing the dating of the amber to Late Albian–Early Cenomanian.

The Amber Nodule (Myanmar) with the Preserved Invertebrate Remains

Amber nodule preserves both terrestrial and marine organisms.

The amber nodule from Myanmar with a wide variety of both marine and terrestrial elements preserved within it.  The ammonite can be seen on the right of the picture, one of the gastropods is directly above it.

Picture Credit: PNAS

This is a rare example of a marine organisms associated with tree resin and also represents a rare instance of the dating of fossil tree resin using the remains of organisms trapped within an amber nodule.

X-ray-microcomputed Tomography (CT) Scans

The amber from northern Myanmar has provided palaeontologists with some fascinating fossils to study, including feathers, baby birds and even the partial tail of a feathered dinosaur.  The amber nodule in this study (BA18100), was obtained from an amber mine close to Noije Bum Village, Tanaing Town and it weighs a fraction over six grams.  Measuring 33 mm long, 9.5 mm wide and 29 mm high, it contains a diverse assemblage of at least forty individuals.  X-ray-microcomputed tomography (CT) scans was employed to help identify the fossil material.

Specimens from the Amber Nodule (BA18100)

A variety of invertebrates preserved in the amber nodule.

Mites, insects including flies and cockroaches and a spider preserved in the amber nodule.

Picture Credit: PNAS

The Ammonite Remains

The ammonite appears to be a juvenile and from a review of the septa (the complex boundary lines outlining the chambers), it has been identified as a member of the Puzosia genus.  This type of ammonite is known from the Cretaceous of the western Tethys Ocean, these fossils help to support the fossil record for this genus from the eastern Tethys region.  The ammonite has a diameter of around 12 mm and it appears to retain its original aragonite shell, that is the shell has not undergone any mineral replacement as expected during fossilisation.  The shell is almost complete, only the final body chamber is damaged as part of the umbilical wall extends beyond the fragmentary last part of the shell.

Views of the Ammonite Preserved within the Amber

Ammonite shell preserved in amber.

The juvenile ammonite has been identified as being from the Puzosia genus, it helps to date the amber nodule.  Scale bars equal 2 mm.

Picture Credit: PNAS

Marine Snail Shells (Gastropods)

The amber also contains the remains of marine snails.  Two of the gastropods have been identified as the genus Mathilda.  This type of marine snail is known from the western Tethys Ocean, but this is the first time that this marine snail genus has been recorded from the eastern Tethys.  The incomplete preservation and lack of soft body of the ammonite and marine gastropods suggest that they were dead and underwent abrasion on the seashore before entombment within the tree resin.

Views of the Marine Snail Shells (Gastropods)

Marine gastropods preserved in an amber nodule.

Four marine snails (gastropods) preserved in the amber of which two definitely represent the genus Mathilda.  Scale bars equal 1 mm.

Picture Credit: PNAS

Isopods

At least four isopods are also present.  Isopods are crustaceans and these creatures are known from terrestrial, brackish, freshwater as well as marine environments.  Unfortunately, the researchers were not able to identify the remains to the extent whereby it could be determined whether the preserved individuals came from the land or were aquatic.

Isopods Preserved within Amber

Isopods preserved in amber from Myanmar.

Four isopods and possibly three other specimens preserved in the amber that could be isopods but they are too badly damaged to be certain.  It is also not certain whether the isopods represent terrestrial, intertidal or marine forms.  Scale bars, 1 mm in A and C.  Scale bar, 0.5 mm in B and D.

Picture Credit: PNAS

How Did the Marine Assemblage End Up in the Tree Resin?

The scientists conclude that the tree resin fell onto the beach from coastal trees, for example araucarian conifers could have been growing close to the shore and the resin originated from one of these trees.  As it slid down the tree trunk it picked up terrestrial creatures and under gravity is moved across the sand picking up the shells on the beach.  It is remarkable that the tree resin survived the high-energy shore environment before being preserved as amber.  The authors, which include scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences suggest that resin ending up on the beach due to the proximity of the conifers could have been a relatively common event.  However, since this is the first time that an ammonite shell has been discovered entombed, the odds of fossilisation occurring and the material surviving long enough to turn into amber marks an exceptionally rare occurrence.

The dating of amber can be extremely difficult as these pieces can be reworked and redeposited.  The finding of an ammonite within a nodule, provides biostratigraphical dating support attesting to the 99-100 million-year-old estimate for these types of ancient tree resin from northern Myanmar.

The scientific paper: “An ammonite trapped in Burmese amber” by Tingting Yu, Richard Kelly, Lin Mu, Andrew Ross, Jim Kennedy, Pierre Broly, Fangyuan Xia, Haichun Zhang, Bo Wang, and David Dilcher published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

22 05, 2019

Fossilised Mouse Reveals Evolutionary Secrets of Colour

By | May 22nd, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Ancient Mouse Reveals a Colourful Mammalian Heritage

Many mammals are brightly coloured, we have golden marmosets, red pandas and of course, black and white zebras.  The evolutionary use of colour within the Kingdom Animalia has long held the fascination of scientists, academics and philosophers.  This week, an international team of researchers led by members of The University of Manchester have published a new study revealing the evidence of colourful pigments in the remains of a prehistoric mouse.

The Fossilised Remains of a Prehistoric Mouse

The fossilised remains of a mouse.

The well-preserved remains of a Pliocene mouse used in the study.

Picture Credit: The University of Manchester

Writing in the journal “Nature Communications”, this work marks a major breakthrough in our ability to define colour pigments within the fossilised remains of long extinct animals and emphasises the role colour plays in the evolution of life on our planet.  The paper entitled “Pheomelanin pigment remnants mapped in fossils of an extinct mammal”, outlines the use of X-ray imaging on the 3 million-year-old fossils in order to unravel the story of key pigments in ancient creatures and demonstrates how we might recognise the chemical signatures of specific red pigments in extinct animals to determine how they evolved.

Professor Phil Manning, (University of Manchester), the lead palaeontologist involved in this study explained:

“The fossils we have studied have the vast potential to unlock many secrets of the original organism.  We can reconstruct key facets from life, death and the subsequent events impacting preservation before and after burial.  To unpick this complicated fossil chemical archive requires an interdisciplinary team to combine their efforts to crack this problem.  In doing this, we unlock much more than just palaeontological information.”

Co-author, Professor Roy Wogelius, from the University’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, added:

“This was a painstaking effort involving physics, palaeontology, organic chemistry, and geochemistry.  By working as a team, we were able, for the first time, to discover chemical traces of red pigment in fossil animal material.  We understand now what to look for in the future and our hope is that these results will mean that we can become more confident in reconstructing extinct animals and thereby add another dimension to the study of evolution.”

This exciting, collaborative effort from numerous scientific disciplines reveals that within fossils with exceptionally preserved soft tissues, evidence of black pigmentation can be identified, but furthermore, traces of the much more elusive red animal pigment may be found.  The chemical residue of black pigment, which colours such animals as crows, was first resolved by this team in a previous study nearly ten years ago.  However, the red pigment, characteristic of animals such as foxes and red pandas, is far less stable over geological time and proved much more difficult to detect.

Apodemus atavus Life Reconstruction

Apodemus atavus - mouse from the Pliocene helps reveal the evolution of pigmentation.

A life reconstruction of the mouse from the Pliocene – Apodemus atavus.

Picture Credit: The University of Manchester

Professor Wogelius went on to say:

“We had data which suggested red pigment residue was present in several fossils, but there was no useful data available to compare this to pigmentation in modern organisms.  So, we needed to devote several years to analysing modern tissue before we could go back and review our results from some amazing fossil specimens.  In the end, we were able to prove that detailed chemical analysis can resolve such pigment residue, but along the way we learned so much more about the chemistry of pigmentation throughout the animal kingdom.”

Shining a Light on Pigmentation Thanks to the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource

To unlock the hidden data within the fossil material, the Manchester-based scientists collaborated with researchers at some of the brightest sources of light on the planet, using synchrotron radiation at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (USA), and also at the Diamond Light Source (located in Oxfordshire), to bombard the fossils with intense X-rays.  It is the interaction of these X-rays with the chemistry of these fossils that enabled the team to be the first to recognise the chemistry of red pigmentation (pheomelanin), in fur from the exceptionally well-preserved remains of a mouse that scuttled about in the Pliocene Epoch (Apodemus atavus).

The key to the study was identifying trace metals incorporated by ancient organisms into their soft tissues and comparing these to the modes of incorporation into living species.  The chemistry shows that the trace metals in the mouse fur are bonded to organic chemicals in exactly the same way that these metals are bonded to organic pigments in animals with high concentrations of red pigment in their tissue.

In order to confirm the team’s findings, modern comparison standards were analysed by synchrotron radiation and by specialists in pigment chemistry based at the Fujita Health University in Japan.

A False Colour Image of the Fossilised Mouse

A false colour image of the fossil mouse.

A false colour image of the 3 million-year-old fossil mouse used in the red pigment study.

Picture Credit: The University of Manchester

Summarising the significance of this research Professor Manning stated:

“Palaeontology offers research that is more than relevant to our everyday life.  Information gleaned from the fossil record is influencing multiple fields, including; climate research, the burial of biowaste and radwaste, the measure of environmental impact of oil spills on living species with techniques developed on fossil organisms.  Whilst our research is firmly anchored in the past, we set our sights on its application to the future.”

The scientific paper: “Pheomelanin pigment remnants mapped in fossils of an extinct mammal” by Phillip L. Manning, Nicholas P. Edwards, Uwe Bergmann, Jennifer Anné, William I. Sellers, Arjen van Veelen, Dimosthenis Sokaras, Victoria M. Egerton, Roberto Alonso-Mori, Konstantin Ignatyev, Bart E. van Dongen, Kazumasa Wakamatsu, Shosuke Ito, Fabien Knoll & Roy A. Wogelius and published in Nature Communications

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

Load More Posts