All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
11 05, 2019

Highlighting the New for 2019 Safari Ltd Collector Booklet

By | May 11th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Press Releases|2 Comments

Highlighting the New for 2019 Safari Ltd Collector Booklet

With a recent delivery of Wild Safari Prehistoric Animal figures, Everything Dinosaur received a number of the new for 2019 Safari Ltd collector booklets.  This handy-pocket sized guide lists all the figures and replicas in the Safari Ltd portfolio, including all the amazing dinosaur and prehistoric animals that make up the Wild Safari Prehistoric World model range.  To give collectors an idea of its size and contents, we put up a short, forty second video showing the catalogue on the Everything Dinosaur YouTube channel.

The New for 2019 Safari Ltd Collectors Booklet

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An Extensive Range of Museum Quality Replicas and Figures

Safari Ltd have earned an excellent reputation for the quality of their prehistoric animal replicas and figures.  For example, when Everything Dinosaur announced that this handy booklet was available, we posted up pictures of the catalogue and commented upon the recent awards that two Safari Ltd models had won.  Firstly, the 2018 Malawisaurus dinosaur model was voted the best dinosaur toy of 2018 by readers of the prestigious “Prehistoric Times” magazine.  Furthermore, Safari Ltd had a double celebration as the 2018 American Mastodon figure was awarded the accolade of best non-dinosaur prehistoric animal toy by readers.  Our congratulations to Safari Ltd.

Examples of the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Range (2019 New Introductions)

Wild Safari Prehistoric World - reptiles 2019.

The remaining new for 2019 prehistoric animal figures from the Wild Safari Prehistoric World range.  Representatives of a fantastic and very diverse prehistoric animal model range.  Can you name them all?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Safari Ltd collectors booklet measures 10 cm by 12.5 cm approximately and contains more than 160 pages, showcasing 800 models and figures.  It is available free of charge from Everything Dinosaur, just postage to pay.  If you want a collector’s booklet, (limited to one per order), simply add the booklet to your shopping cart when making a purchase or request one in the convenient message box that pops up when moving through the check-out procedure.

To view the collectors booklet and the range of models and figures from Safari Ltd that Everything Dinosaur stocks: Safari Ltd – Wild Safari Prehistoric World Prehistoric Animal Models and Figures.

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Allosaurus

The last of the new for 2019 prehistoric animal model introductions, the exciting new Allosaurus model is due into stock soon.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Allosaurus Dinosaur Model

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Allosaurus dinosaur figure.

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

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube, just visit our YouTube channel: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube

10 05, 2019

Illustrating a Therizinosaurus

By | May 10th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

A Therizinosaurus Drawing

At Everything Dinosaur, we get sent lots of pictures, illustrations and drawings by our customers.  It is always a pleasure to receive such items and whilst we could never publish all that we receive, please be assured that we do look at every single one that gets sent in.  Prehistoric animal model fan, Ian sent into our offices a wonderful drawing of a Therizinosaurus.  It is a spectacular pencil sketch of a “scythe lizard”, our congratulations to Ian.  Our thanks to him as well for taking the trouble of posting the picture to us.  He actually sent several illustrations to our offices, we will try to post up more of them shortly.

An Illustration of Therizinosaurus (T. cheloniformis)

Therzinosaurus A drawing of the Theropod dinosaur Therizinosaurus (T. cheloniformis drawing.

A drawing of the Theropod dinosaur Therizinosaurus (T. cheloniformis).

Picture Credit: Ian

Lots of Drawings to Admire

Ian very kindly sent in several drawings, we will endeavour to post up some more on our various social media pages, including our Facebook page.  We think we know what inspired Ian to produce his Therizinosaur illustration.  The drawing reminds us of the new for 2018 Papo Therizinosaurus dinosaur model, but what do you think?

Is this the Source of Inspiration?  The Papo Therizinosaurus Dinosaur Model

Papo Therizinosaurus model.

Papo Therizinosaurus dinosaur model.  Was this model the inspiration for Ian’s drawing.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

If the Papo Therizinosaurus dinosaur model was the inspiration for Ian’s dinosaur illustration, then the artist has certainly created a likeness, our congratulations to Ian for his artistic endeavours.

9 05, 2019

Everything Dinosaur Announces More PNSO Models

By | May 9th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Will Be Stocking Even More PNSO Models

Everything Dinosaur will be stocking more new for 2019 PNSO prehistoric animal models.  Today, the UK-based company has announced that the dinosaur diorama featuring “Dayong” the Yangchuanosaurus and “Xiaobei” the Chungkingosaurus will be in stock soon along with “Lucas” the Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.

New for 2019 PNSO Prehistoric Animal Figures Coming to Everything Dinosaur (Yangchuanosaurus and Chungkingosaurus)

PNSO Yangchuanosaurus and Chungkingosaurus dinosaur diorama.

PNSO dinosaur diorama “Dayong” the Yangchuanosaurus battles “Xiaobei” the Chungkingosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The PNSO Giganotosaurus (G. carolinii) Replica “Lucas” will be in Stock Too

"Lucas" the PNSO Giganotosaurus model.

The PNSO Giganotosaurus dinosaur model “Lucas”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

PNSO Replicas and Figures

This is the second new PNSO product announcement made by Everything Dinosaur this week.  A few days ago, it was announced that the Amargasaurus, Spinosaurus and Mosasaurus figures were being stocked, along with a new range of intermediate models featuring a Megalodon and an Ankylosaurus.  To see this earlier announcement: Everything Dinosaur Announces more PNSO Figures Coming into Stock.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“At the start of the year, we claimed that we would be bringing into stock at least fifty new prehistoric animal models.  Once again, we have proven to be as good as our word with the addition of these two excellent PNSO figures.  Customers can now source PNSO replicas such as the new for 2019 “Ron” the Mosasaurus, “Lucio” the Amargasaurus, “Dayong” the Yangchuanosaurus and “Xiaobei” the Chungkingosaurus, as well as the Giganotosaurus “Lucas” from a supplier based in the west.”

The PNSO Chungkingosaurus and the Yangchuanosaurus Battle

PNSO figures - Chungkingosaurus and Yangchuanosaurus

“Dayong” the Yangchuanosaurus and “Xiaobei” the Chungkingosaurus (PNSO).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

“Dayong” the Yangchuanosaurus and “Xiaobei” the Chungkingosaurus (PNSO)

Anatomical accuracy is very important for Everything Dinosaur, when it comes to selecting which prehistoric animal models and figures to stock.  In addition, when it comes to dinosaur dioramas featuring a pair of animals, the geological and temporal context has to be correct.  PNSO have been very careful to create beautiful and anatomically accurate figures based on the fossil evidence.  Yangchuanosaurus and Chungkingosaurus were contemporaneous so the depicting of this encounter between Theropod and armoured dinosaur is perfectly valid in our view.

Yangchuanosaurus has an unusual claim to fame, it was the first Theropod dinosaur to be named and scientifically described by four authors (Y. shangyouensis by Dong, Chang, Li and Zhou in 1978).  Yangchuanosaurus is known from several specimens including a considerable amount of cranial material.  Analysis of these fossils has revealed that it had a remarkable change in its body proportions as this dinosaur grew.  A sub-adult specimen reveals a skull some 9% shorter than its femur, but in an adult specimen, the skull is proportionately much bigger, some 15% longer than the adult femur.  As Yangchuanosaurus matured so its skull increased in size, this probably reflects the position of the adults as the dominant, apex predators within the ecosystem represented by the vertebrate fossil assemblage from the Upper Shaximiao Formation.

“Lucas” the Giganotosaurus

Whilst PNSO have tended to produce models of prehistoric animals known from Asia, it is great to see a figure of the super-sized South American predator Giganotosaurus added to their range.

The PNSO Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model “Lucas”

PNSO Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.

The PNSO Giganotosaurus dinosaur model “Lucas”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

All these figures will be available from Everything Dinosaur in a few weeks’ time, perhaps as early as June.  Pricing information will be published shortly.

To view the current range of PNSO models and replicas available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs and Scientific Art Scale Models.

To enquire about these new PNSO models and to join our priority reserve list for these models, simply: Email Everything Dinosaur.

8 05, 2019

A New Jurassic Scansoriopterygid Dinosaur – Ambopteryx

By | May 8th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Ambopteryx longibrachium – A New Bat-winged Dinosaur

Scientists from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), have identified a new species of flying dinosaur from Jurassic-aged strata in north-eastern China.  This dinosaur has been identified as a member of the Scansoriopterygidae dinosaur family and it had bat-like, membranous wings just like the related Yi qi, that was named and described back in 2015.  The little dinosaur, not much bigger than a starling, had a flap of skin from its arms to its torso, in essence a wing.  It has been named Ambopteryx longibrachium and this discovery supports the idea that within the forests of northern China during the Middle to the Late Jurassic, dinosaurs were experimenting with several different methods of gliding and powered flight.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Scansoriopterygid Dinosaur Ambopteryx longibrachium

Ambopteryx longibrachium life reconstruction.

A life illustration of Ambopteryx longibrachium.

Picture Credit: IVPP (Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Bizarre and Buck-toothed Little Flying Dinosaur

The fossil specimen was found by a local farmer who supplements his income like many folk in Liaoning Province by searching for fossils in the fine-grained sediments.  It is beautifully preserved and dates to around 163 million years ago, commenting on the discovery, one of the co-authors of the scientific paper, published this week in the journal “Nature”, Jingmai O’Connor of the IVPP stated:

“It would have been this tiny, bizarre-looking, buck-toothed thing like nothing alive today.”

The Beautifully Preserved Fossil Specimen (Ambopteryx longibrachium)

Ambopteryx fossil specimen.

Ambopteryx longibrachium fossil.

Picture Credit: Min Wang IVPP (Chinese Academy of Sciences)

A Secondary Form of Flight That Does Not Involve Feathers

Close to the origins of flight, dinosaurs closely related to birds were experimenting with a range of different wing structures.  One of the most bizarre of these is the scansoriopterygid named Yi qi, (pronounced: Ee-chee), which was described and named in 2015.  This little dinosaur had membranous wings, supported by a curved, rod-like bone (styliform), attached to the wrist.  Soft tissue proximal to the arm bones was interpreted as bat-like wings, although this interpretation was not widely accepted by the scientific community.  However, the discovery of another type of scansoriopterygid dinosaur with the same type of wings demonstrates that members of the Scansoriopterygidae were indeed taking to the air.

The new dinosaur, Ambopteryx longibrachium (meaning “both-wing” and “long arm,” a reference to this second method of dinosaur flight, one that does not involve feathered wings), provides confirmatory evidence of the evolution of dinosaurs with bat-like, membranous wings.

Palaeontologist Steve Brusatte, (University of Edinburgh), when asked to reflect on the significance of this newly published scientific paper commented:

“This fossil seals the deal, there really were bat-winged dinosaurs.”

Ambopteryx longibrachium – Takes to the Air

A gliding Ambopteryx longibrachium (dorsal view).

Ambopteryx longibrachium (dorsal view).  The speculated flying pose of this new Chinese dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Min Wang IVPP (Chinese Academy of Sciences)

An Evolutionary Dead End

The researchers conclude that marked changes in wing design evolved near the split between the Scansoriopterygidae and the avian lineage, the two clades took very different routes to becoming volant.  Furthermore, the scientists determine that the membranous wings supported by elongate forelimbs present in scansoriopterygids such as Yi and Ambopteryx was a short-lived evolutionary experiment and that the feathered, winged dinosaurs ultimately proved to be the more successful leading to the eventual evolution of the Aves.  The likes of Yi qi and Ambopteryx longibrachium were evolutionary dead ends.  Whether Ambopteryx was capable of sustained powered flight, or whether it moved from tree to tree entirely by passive gliding remains unknown.

Coming in to Land – Ambopteryx longibrachium

At home amongst the trees Ambopteryx longibrachium.

Coming into land, a gliding Ambopteryx moving effortlessly from tree to tree.

Video Image Credit: Min Wang IVPP (Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Stomach Contents Preserved

The stomach contents of the little dinosaur have been preserved.  The Chinese scientists recovered pieces of bone and small stones (gastroliths), which modern birds use to grind plant material, indicating Ambopteryx may have been omnivorous.  It may have lacked pinnate feathers, but the body was covered by a downy fuzz to help this small dinosaur keep warm.  Jingmai O’Connor speculates that male Ambopteryx may have sported long, ornamental tail feathers, as seen in other scansoriopterygids such as Epidexipteryx (E. hui).

The scientific paper examines the anatomical traits that enabled a mode of flight.  The wings of Ambopteryx were formed by elongated arm bones (humerus and ulna).  Aves (birds), have elongated finger bones (metacarpals), in effect, different solutions found in nature to achieve the same aim – volant activity.

Professor O’Connor added:

“The main lift-generating surface of bird’s wings is formed by the feathers.  In bats, pterosaurs and now scansoriopterygids, you have instead flaps of skin that are stretched out in between skeletal elements.”

Yi qi was Not Alone

It seems likely therefore, that with the discovery of a second bat-winged scansoriopterygid, there may be numerous other fossils of bizarre dinosaurs that were adapted to a life in the trees awaiting discovery in Liaoning Province.  It now seems that flight evolved more than once in the Dinosauria, Yi qi was not alone and the scientific community will provide further insight in the near future with regards to the remarkable and arguably the strangest of all the dinosaurs the Scansoriopterygidae.  Such research might be hindered by the small body-size of these creatures, the Ambopteryx specimen represents a sub-adult animal, it would have measured in life around 32 cm in length and weighed just a few hundred grammes.  Epidexipteryx and Yi qi were also small, E. hui has been estimated to have measured 30 cm long and weighed less than 200 grammes, whilst Yi qi is estimated to have had a wingspan of less than 60 cm and it would have been not much heavier.  The fact that any specimens of these tiny arboreal dinosaurs have survived at all is remarkable in itself.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Much of our knowledge about these tree-dwelling dinosaurs has been derived from fossils discovered in the last twelve years or so.  Our blog was started back in 2007 and over the course of the life of our blog we have charted the rise in the knowledge and awareness surrounding the curious Scansoriopterygidae.  There has even been a model of scansoriopterygid produced by a mainstream manufacturer.  PNSO introduced a model of Yi qi this year.  Who knows what other remarkable dinosaurs are awaiting discovery?”

The PNSO Yi qi Dinosaur Model

Yi qi dinosaur model (PNSO).

PNSO Yi qi dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To read about the discovery of Epidexipteryx: Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No, it’s Epidexipteryx!

To read about the discovery of Yi qiYi qi The Dinosaur that Thought it was a Bat

To view the Yi qi dinosaur model and the other figures in the PNSO model range: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs

7 05, 2019

Safari Ltd Models Back in Stock

By | May 7th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Safari Ltd Models Back in Stock and the 2019 Booklet Too

Everything Dinosaur has received a new shipment of Safari Ltd prehistoric animal models and the 2019 collectors booklet is now in stock too.  Fans of the Wild Safari Prehistoric World range of dinosaur and prehistoric animal models can now keep up to date with Safari Ltd’s range with this handy, pocket-sized booklet.   The collectors booklet lists all the Safari Ltd models that are currently available, it is more than 160 pages long, reflecting the breadth and scope of Safari Ltd’s product offering.

The Safari Ltd Collectors Booklet (2019) is in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

Safari Ltd collectors booklet - 2019.

The Safari Ltd collectors booklet (2019).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Toys that Teach ®

Eagle-eyed readers will spot that the Safari Ltd strapline “Toys that Teach” is a registered trade mark.  This reflects the company’s commitment to education and learning.  The model range extends to over 800 figures and items and the US-based company remains dedicated to creating the most accurate and educational figures they possibly can.  Note for example, the quadrupedal Spinosaurus figure that is depicted on the front cover of the new for 2019 collectors booklet.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Swimming Spinosaurus Figure

Wild Safari Prehistoric World swimming Spinosaurus.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World swimming Spinosaurus one of the new for 2019 dinosaur models.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the complete range of Safari Ltd prehistoric animal models and figures available from Everything Dinosaur: Safari Ltd – Wild Safari Prehistoric World

Old Favourites and New Favourites Back in Stock

The shipment of models that we have received includes some old favourites as well as some new favourites.  The Cambrian Life Toob, a model set that depicts life some 520 million years ago is back in stock.  This popular set features eight super models representing the bizarre life forms of the Cambrian geological period.

The Cambrian Life Toob

Cambrian Toob by Safari Ltd

Say hello to Cambrian wildlife.  The Cambrian Life Toob by Safari Ltd.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This model set epitomises the Safari Ltd philosophy.  The accurate models help to educate about life in the past, these figures have been used by many scientists in their studies and their science communication work.  The Cambrian Life Toob is an embodiment of the company’s philosophy to produce “toys that teach”.

The 2019 Safari Ltd collectors booklet is available free of charge (just postage to pay), from Everything Dinosaur.  If collectors and dinosaur model fans want a booklet then they can simply pop one into their shopping cart when placing an order with us and we will make sure the booklet is included in their parcel.  Alternatively, when making a purchase, just leave a note requesting the 2019 collectors booklet when placing an order in the handy message box and an Everything Dinosaur team member will ensure that the booklet is included in your order.

Award Winning Models

Safari Ltd manufacture a range of award winning models.  Recently, readers of the illustrious “Prehistoric Times” magazine voted the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Malawisaurus as the best new dinosaur figure of 2018.  In addition, the Wild Safari Prehistoric World American Mastodon topped the poll for the best non-dinosaur figure introduced last year.

Award Winning Prehistoric Animal Figures

Safari Ltd model winners.

Award winning models from Safari Ltd.  The Malawisaurus and the American Mastodon model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We are happy to send out the Safari Ltd collectors booklet out to our customers.  This little booklet highlights the huge range of models and figures made by Safari Ltd.  The 2019 booklet is around ten pages longer than the 2018 edition reflecting the commitment of Safari Ltd to produce toys that teach.”

6 05, 2019

Suskityrannus – Our Best Glimpse Yet of a Mid-Cretaceous Tyrannosauroid

By | May 6th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Suskityrannus hazelae – The Shape of Things To Come

The first of what will probably turn out to be numerous new Theropod dinosaurs from southern Laramidia has been announced today.  Writing in the academic journal “Nature: Ecology & Evolution”, a team of international scientists have described a new species of relatively small-bodied tyrannosauroid that helps to fill a gap in the evolution of the Tyrannosaur family.  Significantly, the new dinosaur, named Suskityrannus hazelae, has the same general body shape and feet adapted to running (arctometatarsalian feet), as the later, much larger Tyrannosaurs such as Albertosaurus, Gorgosaurus and T. rex.  This suggests that Tyrannosaurs evolved many of their characteristic features whilst they were relatively small, secondary predators.   When Suskityrannus roamed western North America some 92 million years ago (Middle Turonian faunal stage), this little Theropod was the shape of things to come.

A Life Reconstruction of Suskityrannus hazelae

Suskityrannus hazelae life reconstruction.

The newly described Suskityrannus walks past two unconcerned Zuniceratops.

Picture Credit: Andrey Atuchin

The Moreno Hill Dinosaur Assemblage

Suskityrannus heralds from the Zuni Basin of New Mexico, specifically the Moreno Hill Formation and it has been described based on two associated but fragmentary skeletons.  Even so, these fossils represent the most complete examples of early Late Cretaceous tryannosauroids described to date.  Dinosaur fossils from the Turonian faunal stage are exceptionally rare, the fossils from the Moreno Hill Formation have provided palaeontologists with an insight into the types of dinosaur that were the forerunners of the key groups of dinosaur that were to dominate the terrestrial ecosystems of North America towards the end of the Cretaceous.  For example, the beautiful life reconstruction of Suskityrannus by Andrey Atuchin (above),  shows a three-metre long Theropod about to feed on some garfish that have become stranded as a result of a flood.  The pair of Zuniceratops are unconcerned about the proximity of the meat-eater, they are many times heavier and have nothing to fear from the fleet-footed tyrannosauroid.  In the background, to the right of the image a large Ornithopod dinosaur can be seen, we think this is probably a life reconstruction of the basal hadrosauroid Jeyawati.

In essence, that is what makes the dinosaurs from the Moreno Hill Formation so significant.  These sediments were laid down before the diversification of the tyrannosaurids, hardrosaurids and ceratopsids, all key components in later Cretaceous dinosaur assemblages from North America.

A Powerful Bite

Named Suskityrannus hazelae, (pronounced Sus-key-tie-ran-us haze-ah-lie), analysis of the jaw bone indicates that this dinosaur had an elongated skull measuring between 25 and 32 cm in length.  Despite its small size, less than 3 metres long, with a hip height of around 1 metre, Suskityrannus had a powerful bite, foretelling the evolutionary direction of later Tyrannosaurs which were to evolve massive skulls with bone crushing bite forces.

The Fossil Skeleton of S. hazelae Compared to the Dentary (Lower Jaw) of Tyrannosaurus rex

Suskityrannus compared to the jaw bone of a T. rex.

The fossil remains of Suskityrannus compared to a lower jaw from a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Picture Credit: Virginia Tech

What’s in a Name?

The name Suskityrannus hazelae is derived from “Suski,” the Zuni Native American tribe word for “coyote,” reflecting this tyrannosauroid’s position in the ecosystem as a secondary predator.  The species name honours Hazel Wolfe whose support made possible many expeditions to the Zuni Basin of New Mexico.  The first evidence, including a partial skull was found in 1997 by co-author Robert Denton (GeoConcepts Engineering).  The second, more complete specimen was found in 1998 by Sterling Nesbitt, a high school student at the time, but now based at the Department of GeoSciences (Virginia Tech).  Dr Nesbitt is the corresponding author for the scientific paper.  The fossils were housed at the Arizona Museum of Natural History for many years before they were formally studied.

Co-author, Steve Brusatte (School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh) commented:

“Suskityrannus is a key link between the enormous bone-crunching dinosaurs like T. rex and the smaller species they evolved from.  The new species shows that Tyrannosaurs developed many of their signature features like a muscular skull, broad mouth, and a shock-absorbing foot when they were still small, maybe as adaptations for living in the shadows.”

Dr Sterling Nesbitt and Suskityrannus hazelae

Co-author Sterling Nesbitt and fossil remains of Suskityrannus.

Corresponding author Sterling Nesbitt, with the fossilised remains of Suskityrannus laid out in their anatomical position.

Picture Credit: Virginia Tech

The Moreno Hill and the Bissekty Formations

The Moreno Hill Formation is analogous to the Bissekty Formation of Uzbekistan.  Within the northern hemisphere, dinosaur fossils from the Turonian faunal stage are exceptionally rare, although thousands of miles apart, the strata are approximately the same age (around 90 million-years-old) and the dinosaur specimens found provide evidence of similar faunas.  The tyrannosauroid Timurlengia was named and described from fragmentary remains from the Bissekty Formation in 2016, the publication of a scientific paper on Suskityrannus will help palaeontologists to better understand how relatively small-bodied tyrannosauroids evolved into giant apex predators some twenty million years later.

To read about the discover of Timurlengia: Fossil Study Suggests How Tyrannosaurs Got Big

How Big Were the Arms of Suskityrannus?

As for that other famous Late Cretaceous Tyrannosaur body trait, the much reduced arms, scientists are very much in the dark about how big the forelimbs of Suskityrannus were.  Very little forelimb fossil material has been recovered.  Scientists can’t even say with any certainty whether Suskityrannus had two-fingered or three-fingered hands.  Cross-sectional analysis of slices of bone indicate that both known specimens were juveniles.  The fossils are providing further information on tyrannosauroid ontogeny.  Despite not being fully-grown, the authors are confident that Suskityrannus was not as big as its descendants, the famous apex predators of the Campanian and Maastrichtian faunal stages of the Cretaceous.

Commenting on the discovery a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“When we made our palaeontology predictions for 2019, the last prediction we made was that more tyrannosaurids would be named and described from fossil material associated with southern Laramidia.  We suggested that two new species would be named.   Suskityrannus hazelae has helped us to confirm our prediction made earlier this year, at least in part.  We are expecting more Theropod news to come out of the southern United States over the next few months.  These are exciting times for anyone studying the Tyrannosauroidea.”

To read about the discovery of a tyrannosauroid from central Utah that lived approximately four million years before Suskityrannus: Moros intrepidus Fleet Footed Tyrannosauroid Leaps 70 Million Year Gap

5 05, 2019

A Late Cretaceous Dinosaur Diorama

By | May 5th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

A Late Cretaceous Dinosaur Diorama

Prehistoric animal model collector Robert Townsend very kindly sent some photographs into Everything Dinosaur featuring his Late Cretaceous diorama.  Robert has created for himself, his very own super-sized model prehistoric landscape, featuring authentic vegetation, artificial rocks and a dinosaur watering hole complete with dinosaur tracks and footprints.  His latest project involved creating typical prehistoric scenes reflecting the fauna of the Late Cretaceous (Campanian and Maastrichtian faunal stages), of North America.  We can expect to see a landscape dominated by duck-billed dinosaurs, ornithomimids, pachycephalosaurs with the apex predatory positions occupied by tyrannosaurids.

The Late Cretaceous Prehistoric Scene

A Late Cretaceous diorama.

A Late Cretaceous landscape.  The brass plate at the front shows the title “The Lost World”.

Picture Credit: R. Townsend

North America in the Late Cretaceous

Using Robert’s large collection of prehistoric animal models, the majority of which have been purchased from Everything Dinosaur, he has created a series of mini dramas within his super-sized landscape and his focus has been to use prehistoric animal figures representing animals from the famous Hell Creek and the slightly older Dinosaur Provincial Park Formations of North America.  Admittedly, the addition of the Bullyland Pteranodon sternbergi model (Geosternbergia sternbergi), which is associated with the Smoky Hill Chalk Member of the Niobrara Formation (Kansas) is interesting, after all, this animal is associated with marine and not terrestrial deposits.  However, these large pterosaurs were accomplished fliers and they may have frequently flown inland, perhaps to find fresh water.

The Rare Bullyland Pteranodon sternbergi (Geosternbergia sternbergi) Features in the Diorama

Rare Bullyland pterosaur model.

A rare Bullyland flying reptile model.  Ready for take-off.

Picture Credit: R. Townsend

The Bullyland Pteranodon sternbergi figure has been out of production for a long time, but Everything Dinosaur was able to acquire some of these extremely rare figures.

Not All Horned Dinosaurs and Hadrosauridae

Although, North American herbivorous populations were dominated by the horned dinosaurs and the duck-billed dinosaurs, there were many other types of dinosaur resident too.  Robert has skilfully added a range of different prehistoric animals to his landscape.  For example, ornithomimids and pachycephalosaurs feature as well.

A Struthiomimus Bumps into a Dracorex

A Struthiomimus and a Dracorex.

A Struthiomimus and a Dracorex.  Ornithomimids and pachycephalosaurs are also known from the famous Hell Creek and Dinosaur Provincial Park Formations.

Picture Credit: R. Townsend

The fleet-footed ornithomimid had better watch out, a recent scientific paper which involved the analysis of the front of the jaw of a pachycephalosaur proposed that these bone-headed dinosaurs may have been partially carnivorous.  To read more about this hypothesis: Pachycephalosaurus – Was it Carnivorous?

Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops

No North American Late Cretaceous dinosaur diorama would be complete without the appearance of Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops.  Creator Robert does not disappoint, he depicts a T. rex feeding on the corpse of “three-horned face” and within the prehistoric scene the tyrannosaurid Albertosaurus can be found along with a horned dinosaur very distantly related to Triceratops – Styracosaurus.

The “Tyrant Lizard King” Feasts on an Unfortunate Triceratops

T. rex feasts on a Triceratops.

Tyrannosaurus rex feasts on a Triceratops.  The dead Triceratops is lying with its beak in a footprint left by a large Theropod dinosaur, probably made by the T. rex that killed it

Picture Credit: R. Townsend

A spokesperson for the UK-based Everything Dinosaur praised the prehistoric landscape and stated:

“We congratulate Robert for his creative use of the prehistoric animal figures and the beautiful details of the diorama.  It is always a pleasure to receive photographs of prehistoric scenes which have been choreographed by our customers.”

4 05, 2019

How Dinosaurs Ran Could Provide Key to Origins of Flight

By | May 4th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Caudipteryx Flapped its “Wings” as it Ran

Scientists from Tsinghua University (Beijing), in collaboration with colleagues from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have suggested that the way in which some Theropod dinosaurs ran caused their feathered arms to move up and down.  Involuntary wing flapping might have been the first stage in the evolution of powered, active flight.  This is the conclusion reached in a new scientific paper published in the academic journal “PLOS – Computational Biology”, after a series of highly innovative experiments that involved building a robotic dinosaur and strapping artificial wings to young ostriches.

Modelling the Running Action of Caudipteryx

Calculating the flapping of the wings (Caudipteryx).

Mechanically modelling the running action of the basal feathered dinosaur Caudipteryx.

Picture Credit: PLOS – Computational Biology

Ground Up or Tree Down

Most scientists now accept that the Dinosauria is divided into two divisions, the avian dinosaurs – the birds and the non-avian dinosaurs, essentially all the other dinosaurs.  In addition, it is also widely believed that a type of maniraptoran dinosaur (a clade that contains true birds and those dinosaurs closely related to birds), evolved into our feathered friends.  Trouble is, how did powered flight, a trait very closely associated with most birds alive today come about?  Were some dinosaurs arboreal, clambering amongst the branches of trees and they then evolved the ability to glide and finally powered flight came about in what is described as a “tree down” approach.  Or, were fast-running, cursorial dinosaurs learning to leap into the air and over many generations, feathered arms became longer and stronger and the lift generated led to the evolution of volant dinosaurs and subsequently the birds?  This theory is termed “ground up”.

The debate has persisted for more than a hundred years.

Proavis – A Hypothetical Attempt to Assess “Ground Up” – Fast Running Led to the Evolution of Powered Flight

A model of the hypothetical transitional animal Proavis.

A model of the hypothetical animal Proavis.  An early attempt to examine how fast-running bipedal animals might have evolved into birds.

Picture Credit: Grant Museum of Zoology

Taking a Mechanical Approach

The researchers adopted a mechanical approach to this evolutionary conundrum.  They looked at one of the most basal, non-flying feathered dinosaurs known – Caudipteryx and assessed whether if this dinosaur ran fast enough, its running gait might have caused its feathered arms to flap involuntarily.  In theory, if the arms were strong enough, the wings and their feathers large enough, flapping whilst running fast could generate lift and if the lift to body weight ratios were right, then the dinosaur could take to the air.  In essence, passive wing flapping may have been an evolutionary precursor to later active wing flapping and powered flight.

An Illustration of Caudipteryx

Cauditperyx.

A basal feathered dinosaur that could not fly, but could it flap?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An assessment of the fossilised bones of the pheasant-sized Caudipteryx led the researchers to determine that Caudipteryx had a top speed of 8 metres per second (28.8 kmh or 18 mph).  However, simulations using mechanical and computer models suggested that at even lower speeds from 2.5 to 5.8 metres per second, the gait of Caudipteryx would have created strong enough vibrations through its body to cause the wings to flap.

Testing the Physical Movement of Artificial Wings on Young Ostriches

Young ostriches fitted with artificial wings.

Testing the movement of artificial wings in young ostrich locomotion study.

Picture Credit: PLOS – Computational Biology

A Life-size Robotic Caudipteryx

To test their calculations, the scientists built a life-size, robotic Caudipteryx and tested its running performance on a treadmill.  Several young ostriches were kitted out with artificial wings equipped with sensors that could detect lift and forward thrust, or any coefficient drag.  These birds were then put on the treadmill to see how they would perform.  In addition, five different sizes of feathers on the wings were tried, the larger feathers producing more results akin to the development of powered flight.

Five Different Wing Sizes and Feathers were Tested

Wing and feather variations used in the locomotion experiment.

Five different wing and feather combinations were tested.

Picture Credit: PLOS – Computational Biology

Professor John Hutchinson (Royal Veterinary College, London), an expert on animal locomotion, although not directly involved in the research, described this physical modelling approach as “ambitious and creative”, but questioned the paper’s main findings.  The study, for example, may have oversimplified the biology, reducing a living organism to a series of springs and constituent parts with individual mass, subsequently compiled to produce a single result.  Caudipteryx could have ran with its arms held very close to its body, helping it to reduce air resistance as it moved quickly, but also negating some of the lift and thrust that might have been generated by its feathered forelimbs.

Despite his reservations, Professor Hutchinson sees this study has helping to “lay groundwork that could be built upon and tested more rigorously.”

It seems that for the time being, the debate between “tree down” and “ground up” remains unresolved and it is not certain how much of a role passive arm flapping as a result of terrestrial locomotion influenced the evolution of active wing flapping, the precursor to a truly aerial existence.

3 05, 2019

Everything Dinosaur will be Stocking More PNSO Figures

By | May 3rd, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

More PNSO Prehistoric Animals Added to Everything Dinosaur’s Model Range

Everything Dinosaur will be bringing more PNSO prehistoric animal models into stock.  In the next few weeks, the UK-based company will take delivery of “Essien” the Spinosaurus, “Lucio” the Amargasaurus and the marine reptile “Ron” the Mosasaurus.  In addition, Everything Dinosaur will be stocking the new Ankylosaurus “Sede” along with the new Megalodon model “Patton”.

Coming into Stock at Everything Dinosaur – The PNSO Spinosaurus Model “Essien”

PNSO Spinosaurus model "Essien".

The PNSO Spinosaurus measures around 49 cm long.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

“Essien” The Spinosaurus

The PNSO Spinosaurus model represents a recent interpretation of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, the North African  Theropod is depicted as a quadruped and the model measures around 49 cm long and the top of the sail on the back is some 18.5 cm off the ground.  This PNSO Spinosaurus would make a stunning centrepiece.

The Spinosaurus Has Captured an Onchopristis

The new PNSO Spinosaurus model.

PNSO Spinosaurus replica with the just caught Onchopristis.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

“Ron” The Mosasaurus

Swimming into view is the marine reptile “Ron” the Mosasaurus, which, like “Essien” the Spinosaurus has an articulated jaw.  The model is reported to be in 1:35 scale and it measures around 30 cm in length.  It truly is a monster-sized Mosasaurus model.

“Ron” The Beautiful PNSO Mosasaurus Figure

The PNSO Mosasaurus "Ron".

“Ron” the PNSO Mosasaurus replica.  It has an articulated lower jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This highly detailed figure even has pterygoid teeth located in the roof of its mouth, betraying the Squamata link with the Mosasauridae.

A Monster of a Marine Reptile with Fantastic Packaging – PNSO Mosasaurus

PNSO Mosasaurus model.

Marine reptile in a box – the PNSO Mosasaurus “Ron”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

“Lucio” The Amargasaurus

For a company that has focused so much on Chinese dinosaurs, it is great to see the South American Amargasaurus figure enter the “Scientific Art Model” range.  “Lucio” the Amargasaurus measures around 30 cm in length and the figure is supplied with a base, on which to pose the figure.

PNSO Amargasaurus “Lucio”

"Lucio" the PNSO Amargasaurus model.

PNSO Amargasaurus “Lucio”.  A beautiful Amargasaurus model with a declared scale of 1:35.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Amargasaurus figure with its polystone effect base depicts the model walking over soft mud, the base even has a couple of Amargasaurus footprints preserved within it.

A New Range of PNSO Figures “Sede” and “Patton”

Everything Dinosaur will be also be stocking a new range of PNSO prehistoric animal figures.  PNSO have introduced a range of large models under the straplines “PNSO prehistoric animal models that accompany your growth”, now extended to include “Scientific Art Models”.  The company has also made forty-eight small prehistoric animal figures under the strapline “PNSO prehistoric animal toys that accompany your growth”.   Today, Everything Dinosaur announces that there will also be a range of intermediate-sized models, including and Ankylosaurus “Sede” and a Megalodon model with an articulated lower jaw “Patton”.

The New PNSO Ankylosaurus Figure “Sede”

PNSO Ankylosaurus "Sede".

“Sede” the Ankylosaurus (PNSO).  The Ankylosaurus figure measures approximately 25 cm long.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The New PNSO Megalodon Model “Patton”

The PNSO Megalodon model "Patton".

PNSO Megalodon model.  This figure has an articulated lower jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“All these figures will be coming into stock in the next few weeks, perhaps as early as next month.  We will publish prices but for the time being we encourage collectors to email us, to join our no obligation, priority reserve lists for these exciting PNSO figures.”

Join our special, priority reserve list for these models: Email Everything Dinosaur

Remember to state in your email which models you would like to reserve.

To view the current range of PNSO prehistoric animal figures available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Models and Figures

2 05, 2019

The Search for Lost Prehistoric Settlements in the North Sea

By | May 2nd, 2019|Geology, Main Page|0 Comments

Brown Banks and White Cliffs – The Search for Lost Prehistoric Settlements

After a successful expedition in 2018, the second voyage in search of prehistoric landscapes and submerged settlements within the Brown Bank area of the southern North Sea will set off next week.  Marine experts will join archaeologists on the eleven-day voyage.   Researchers from the UK and Belgium will combine acoustic techniques and physical sampling of the seabed to unravel the topography and history of these landscapes and their inhabitants.  The scientists will be mapping a lost world.

Careful Analysis of North Sea Sediment Cores Looking for Evidence of Prehistoric Settlements

Seabed cores searched for signs of prehistoric settlement.

DNA sampling of sediment cores at the University of Warwick.

Picture Credit: Lost Frontiers

The expedition will be led by Dr. Tine Missiaen (Flanders Marine Institute – VLIZ), accompanied by scientists from Ghent University and the University of Bradford.  The voyage on board the Belgian research vessel “RV Belgica” takes place within the collaborative Belgian-UK-Dutch research project known as “Deep History: Revealing the palaeo-landscape of the southern North Sea”.  The research project aims to reconstruct the Quaternary history (roughly spanning the last half a million years) and human occupation of the wider Brown Bank area.  The project compliments the Bradford-led “Lost Frontiers” project, in which archaeologists are mapping the prehistoric North Sea landscape known as Doggerland.  The research is funded by the European Research Council (ERC).

Until sea levels rose at the end of the last Ice Age, between 8-10,000 years ago, an area of land connected Great Britain to Scandinavia and the continent.  The Lost Frontiers team has identified thousands of kilometres of plains, hills, marshlands and river valleys, but despite all this mapping, evidence of human settlement has been difficult to find.

Home to Thousands of Stone Age People

Archaeologists have long suspected that the southern North Sea plain, right in the centre of Doggerland, may have been home to thousands of people.  Tantalising clues have been brought up by trawlers over the years, but the researchers hope to find more evidence to substantiate the population hypothesis.  A concentration of archaeological material, including worked bone, stone and human remains, has been found within the area around the Brown Bank, an elongated,  eighteen-mile-long (thirty-kilometres) sand ridge roughly sixty miles (a hundred kilometres) due east from Great Yarmouth on the Norfolk coast.  The amount of artifacts found suggests the presence of a Stone Age settlement.

Exploration Areas (May 2019) – The Brown Banks and the Southern River

Map showing the 2019 exploration areas.

The Southern River and the Brown Banks 2019 exploration areas.  Note: VC45 core location.

Picture Credit: Lost Frontiers/VLIZ/UGent

A Detailed Geophysical and Geotechnical Survey

In 2018, teams from the Flanders Marine Institute, Ghent University, the Dutch Geological Service and the University of Bradford collaborated on a detailed geophysical and geotechnical survey to identify prehistoric land surfaces, including ancient lakes and river valleys.  Sediment was extracted from the seabed to see if traces of human activity could be identified.

Thanks to the simultaneous use of different seismic sources, an uninterrupted image of the subbottom was obtained with unprecedented detail.  Combined with the study of sediment cores this allowed the scientists to refine the search for human activity to areas on the Brown Banks.  The May 2019 expedition will focus on detailed investigations in these areas, deploying VLIZ’s novel multitransducer echosounder, which uses sonar technology to obtain images of the subbottom with the highest possible resolution, and the collection of larger samples of sediment as well as video footage from the seafloor using VLIZ’s dedicated videoframe.

The Grab Sampler Ready to be Deployed

The grab sampler on the vessel ready to be deployed.

The grab sampler ready to be deployed.

Picture Credit: Belgian Navy

Exploring the “Southern River”

The team will also be visiting another area, known as the “Southern River”, a major prehistoric river valley flowing across a submerged headland off the East Anglian coast.  Previously surveyed by Lost Frontiers, the team believes that the estuary of the river, which may also have been flanked by white chalk cliffs, provides another potential area for prehistoric settlement.  The detailed survey of this area during this expedition will be the first ever undertaken to assess the archaeological potential of this part of the North Sea.

Commenting on the importance of this research, Professor Vincent Gaffney (University of Bradford), stated:

“In 2018, the team demonstrated that we can find prehistoric land surfaces on the Brown Banks that date from the Mesolithic period.  This provides the exciting prospect to return and recover larger volumes of sediment from those land surfaces, and find out what evidence they may contain of human settlement.”

The Survey Vessel – The RV Belgica

The RV Belgica of the Belgian Navy.

The RV Belgica (Belgian Navy).

Picture Credit: Belgian Navy

Doctor Tine Missiaen, (Flanders Marine Institute), added:

“The combined use of different state-of-the-art acoustic sources provides a major step forward in the identification and reconstruction of prehistoric land surfaces that now lie buried below the seafloor.  With the detailed investigations that will be carried out in May 2019 we hope to further unravel the unique history of these landscapes and their inhabitants.”

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