All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
22 07, 2019

Prehistoric Times Magazine Issue 130 Reviewed

By | July 22nd, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

Prehistoric Times Magazine Issue 130 Reviewed

The latest edition of “Prehistoric Times” magazine has arrived at the offices of Everything Dinosaur.  This magazine is published quarterly and issue 130 (summer 2019), is packed full of reader’s palaeort, news about prehistoric animal discoveries, dinosaur model news, interviews, articles and so much more.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times (Issue 130)

The front cover of "Prehistoric Times" magazine - summer 2019.

“Prehistoric Times” magazine issue 130.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

A Wrap Around Cover

Inside the magazine, there is an interview with Timothy Quady of Blue Rhino Studio, the Minnesota-based producers of life-size prehistoric animal replicas for museums.  The front cover shows some examples of the team’s incredible work and best of all, this issue has a wrap around cover so readers can view a couple of additional Blue Rhino Studio sculpts.

Issue 130 of “Prehistoric Times” Magazine Has a Wrap Around Cover

The wrap around cover of "Prehistoric Times" magazine.

The wrap around cover of “Prehistoric Times” magazine features life-size prehistoric mammals.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Pterosaur Artwork by Burian

John Lavas continues his detailed examination of the artwork of the influential  Zdeněk Burian.  This edition features pterosaurs and there are some excellent examples of the famous Czech illustrator’s work including depictions of Rhamphorhynchus and Pterodactylus.  Phil Hore provides two prehistoric animal articles, the first on Allosaurus resulted in editor Mike Fredericks being inundated with images of this Late Jurassic predator.  Look out for fantastic illustrations by Luis Rey, Jorge Blanco, Mark Hallett and John Sibbick.  The second Phil Hore article discusses the enigmatic Elasmotherium, which ties in nicely to Mike Frederick’s “What’s New” review as it features the Elasmotherium illustration that we commissioned, when discussing the release of the CollectA Deluxe Elasmotherium figure.

Elasmotherium Featured in the Magazine

A scale drawing of Elasmotherium.

Elasmotherium scale drawing.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Eagle-eyed readers may also spot the image showing five of the new for 2019 Schleich prehistoric animal figures which is displayed on page 35.  This image was created by us and used to announce the first batch of new for 2019 Schleich figures back in December 2018.  The vast majority of the figures discussed in this article are already available from Everything Dinosaur, an exception being the limited edition Papo Spinosaurus which has now been delayed until the autumn.

Prehistoric Animal and Fossil News

Recent news stories featuring fossil discoveries are succinctly covered in the “Paleonews” section, look out for a story about a small T. rex relative from New Mexico and a stark illustration of the power of Sabre-toothed cats, which could puncture the skulls of rivals.  Issue 130 also includes a fascinating look at the creation of a four-foot-long Bronze Allosaurus sculpture by Mark Hallett.  Tracy Lee Ford continues the Late Jurassic theme focusing on how to draw the body of Stegosaurus, with a particularly helpful review of Stegosaur plate shapes.

To subscribe to this quarterly magazine: Subscribe to Prehistoric Times

21 07, 2019

Scientists Conclude Dinosaurs Nested in Colonies

By | July 21st, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Mongolian Fossil Site Sheds Light on Theropod Nesting Behaviour

A team of international scientists writing in the academic journal “Geology”, have published a scientific paper that outlines strong evidence to indicate that at least some types of dinosaur nested communally and that the Dinosauria had a breeding season.   Communial nesting behaviour as seen in living theropods such as birds has been inferred in a variety of non-avian dinosaurs in the past.  Famous fossil sites such as “Egg Mountain” in Montana, a nesting site for the hadrosaurid Maiasaura (and one or two troodontids too), that has provided high concentrations of nests preserved in a single location suggest that some types of dinosaurs nested in colonies, but the difficulty lay in proving that all the nests were created and the eggs laid at roughly the same time.

A new fossil nesting site discovered in the Upper Cretaceous Javkhlant Formation of the eastern Gobi Desert (Mongolia), preserves at least fifteen egg clutches laid by a probable non-avian theropod and this site provides strong evidence for colonial nesting in the dinosauria.

A Field Photograph of One of the Dinosaur Nests

The most complete nest of dinosaur eggs preserved at the site.

The most complete clutch of discovered at the site, preserving 30 dinosaur eggs.

Picture Credit: Kohei Tanaka, (University of Tsukuba).

A Common Palaeosurface to the Fossil Finds

The researchers, which included scientists from the University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada), University of Tsukuba (Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan), Hokkaido University Museum (Hokkaido, Japan), and the Royal Tyrrell Museum (Alberta, Canada), studied fifteen egg clutches laid by a theropod dinosaur.  As all the eggs were very similar, (classified as the oofamily the Dendroolithidae), it is likely that all the nests were created by the same species of dinosaur.  Communial nesting behaviour has been inferred before, but unsually, at this fossil site, the mudstone and eggshell fragments that fell inside the eggs during, or soon after hatching, along with other sediments indicates the clutches were subsequently buried during a small flood event that deposited a thin red marker bed.  It is this thin marker bed and the consistency of sediment infill among the eggs that indicates that these clutches were laid and hatched during a single season.  In scientific terms, there is a common palaeosurface associated with the dinosaur nests and eggshell fragments.

A Natural Cross Section Through an Egg Showing the Palaeosurface

Identifying the palaeosurface - evidence of communial nesting.

A natural cross section through an egg that shows the palaeosurface on which the eggs were laid, and the mudstone layers that infill and overlay the eggs.

Picture Credit: Kohei Tanaka, (University of Tsukuba).

Strong Evidence to Suggest that Some Dinosaurs Nested in Colonies Just Like Some Birds

The discovery of clutches of dinosaur eggs believed to have been laid by the same species of dinosaur, at the same level within the palaeosurface indicates that this is probably the fossilised remains of a single breeding season event.

A Hypothetical View of the Theropod Nesting Site (Therizinosaurs Nesting)

Javkhlant nesting site - theropods colonial nesting.

Life reconstruction of the theropod nesting site at Javkhlant.  It is suggested that the eggs were laid by Therizinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Masato Hattori

Using Vegetation to Incubate Eggs

The researchers conclude that despite the absence of sedimentologic evidence indicative of nest structure, statistical analyses of egg characteristics and facies association suggests that the clutches were likely incubated in covered or buried nests.  Some types of ground-nesting bird bury their eggs and use vegetation to help incubate and regulate the nest temperature.  This behaviour is also found in that other extant branch of the Archosauria, the crocodilians.  Furthermore, based on the number of nests and eggs found, the hatching success of the colony is estimated at around 60%.  This hatching success is comparable to the hatching success found in crocodile nesting sites and amongst bird species that attend their nests and, very importantly, protect their nests from predators during the incubation period.

Therefore, it is likely that colonial nesting with parental attendance, widespread in living birds, likely evolved initially among non-brooding, non-avian dinosaurs to increase nesting success.  In essence, the sort of nesting behaviours observed in living archosaurs today (birds and crocodiles), is probaby a trait that evolved quite early on in the evolutionary history of the Archosauria.

Nest Guarding Behaviour in Dinosaurs

It has been inferred that dinosaurs protected their nests, based on evidence that some dinosaurs may have nested in groups.  The percentage hatching success calculated from this site, reinforces that inference that some theropods may have defended their nest and, in all likelihood, their newly hatched offspring as well.  The oofamily Dendroolithidae is associated with Therizinosaurs, although the eggs could have been laid by another type of dinosaur.  Therizinosaurs are theropods but importantly, they are thought to be herbivorous and so in the life reconstruction, the nest builders are depicted as Therizinosaurs breeding together as a form of protection against carnivorous theropods and other predators.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the Royal Tyrrell Museum (Alberta) in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Exceptional preservation of a Late Cretaceous dinosaur nesting site from Mongolia reveals colonial nesting behavior in a non-avian theropod” by  Kohei Tanaka; Yoshitsugu Kobayashi; Darla K. Zelenitsky; François Therrien; Yuong-Nam Lee; Rinchen Barsbold; Katsuhiro Kubota; Hang-Jae Lee; Tsogtbaatar Chinzorig; Damdinsuren Idersaikhan published in the journal Geology.

20 07, 2019

Mojo Fun Tropeognathus

By | July 20th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Mojo Fun Tropeognathus?

Pterosaur taxonomy is a tricky business.  Although, something like 11o different genera have been named and described at the time of writing (July 2019), the history of pterosaur research is littered with problems relating to taxonomic placement and phylogeny.  The Ornithocheiridae is one of the most notorious of groups when it comes to classification.  In the picture (below), there is the Mojo Fun Tropeognathus (T. mesembrinus), actually a pair of these flying reptiles taking to the skies.  Unfortunately, this genus has been subject to a lot of taxonomic revision too.

Illustrating an Ornithocheirid – Tropeognathus mesembrinus)

Mojo Fun Tropeognathus.

A pair of Mojo Fun Tropeognathus pterosaurs.  The Mojo Fun Tropeognathus is a very colourful and skilfully crafted flying reptile model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Problem Stems from the Middle of the 19th Century

In the middle of the 19th century, fragmentary and very worn pterosaur fossils began to be reported from the Cambridge Greensand deposits.  These marine deposits preserved pterosaur fossil material in three-dimensions, at least the specimens were not crushed as flat as a pancake, but this is probably their only redeeming feature.  These flying reptile fossils represent animals that died a long way out at sea (possibly drift deposits too).  The bones were subjected to attack from boring invertebrates and general decay until they were finally buried, only for these remains to be disinterred by ancient storms and subsequently buried again.  In the early days of the science of palaeontology, such luminaries as Richard Owen and Harry Govier Seeley strived to understand these enigmatic reptiles by studying these fragmentary fossils.  Many species were erected based on the most flimsy and scrappy fossil evidence.  Pterosaur researchers are still struggling to resolve some of these taxonomic issues today.

The Mojo Fun Tropeognathus Model – Or is it Ornithocheirus or Perhaps Criorhynchus?

Mojo Fun Tropeognathus.

The Mojo Fun Tropeognathus pterosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Criorhynchus, Tropeognathus or Ornithocheirus?

Initially named from a nearly complete skull acquired from Brazilian fossil dealers, all went well for two years and then the skull material was suggested to represent a type of anhanguerid pterosaur.  Subsequently, this skull was assigned to Coloborhynchus and then Criorhynchus before a reassessment undertaken in 2013 (Taissa, Rodrigues and Kellner), led to the conclusion that Tropeognathus mesembrinus was indeed, a valid taxon.

Perhaps, this pterosaur is best-known for its appearance in the ground-breaking BBC television documentary series “Walking with Dinosaurs”.  Episode 4, “Beneath a Giant’s Wings”, told the story of an Ornithocheirus as it made its journey to its traditional breeding grounds across the nascent Atlantic Ocean.  As if to reinforce the concerns over taxonomy, the pterosaur was described as an Ornithocheirus and the imaginary tale was set some 127 million years ago, some fifteen million years or so before, the pterosaur whose skull now comprises the holotype material for T. mesembrinus took to the skies.

The Ornithocheirus as Featured in the BBC Television Documentary.

Ornithocheirus from the BBC television documentary series.

The “Walking with Dinosaurs” Ornithocheirus.

Picture Credit: BBC World

To view the Mojo Fun Tropeognathus and the other prehistoric animals in the Mojo Fun dinosaurs range: Mojo Fun Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models

19 07, 2019

PNSO Prehistoric Animals Now in Stock

By | July 19th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

PNSO Prehistoric Animal Scale Models and Figures

New PNSO prehistoric animal scale models and figures are in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  A shipment of PNSO dinosaur and prehistoric animal models arrived at the company’s warehouse earlier this week and over the last few days Everything Dinosaur team members have been busy contacting all those customers who requested placement on reserve lists so that they could be notified when these figures arrived.

New PNSO Prehistoric Animal Models in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

New PNSO prehistoric animal models in stock.

In stock at Everything Dinosaur – new PNSO prehistoric animal models and figures.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The list of new PNSO models joining the dozens of PNSO prehistoric animal models and figures available from Everything Dinosaur is as follows:

  • Ron the Mosasaurus 1:35 scale scientific art model
  • Patton the Megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon) with an articulated jaw
  • Lucas the Giganotosaurus 1:35 scale scientific art model
  • Essien the Spinosaurus 1:35 scale scientific art model
  • Lucio the Amargasaurus 1:35 scale scientific art model
  • Dayong and Xiaobei Diorama – Dayong the Yangchuanosaurus and Xiaobei the Chungkingosaurus 1:35 scale scientific art models
  • Sede the Ankylosaurus
  • The special edition gift box containing all 48 of the PNSO “Toys that Accompany your Growth” model series

In Stock at Everything Dinosaur – PNSO Figures and Prehistoric Animal Models

Prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur.

Available from Everything Dinosaur PNSO models and figures. One of our packing rooms with a selection of the new for 2019 PNSO prehistoric animal figures and replicas.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To purchase any item from this exciting prehistoric animal model range: PNSO Prehistoric Animals

Big and Small PNSO Megalodon Shark Models

As well as some new arrivals, the shipment enabled team members to replenish stocks of some PNSO lines that had already sold out.  For example, as well as “Patton” the new Carcharocles megalodon model with its articulated jaw, the larger PNSO “Patton” Megalodon figure is also now available.

Big or Small PNSO Megalodon Models – Which do you Prefer?

PNSO Megalodon shark models.

Which of the PNSO Megalodon models “Patton” do you prefer?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from the UK-based company Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We are delighted to receive our latest shipment of PNSO prehistoric animal models and figures.  We have been involved in this exciting model range for some years now and we are most impressed with these new replicas.  We have even managed to source some of the rare special edition gift boxes.  These gift boxes contain all forty-eight of the PNSO Toys that Accompany Your Growth model series.  They are a fantastic collector’s item.”

The PNSO Special Edition Gift Box – Toys that Accompany Your Growth

Forty-eight models in the PNSO gift box.

PNSO special edition gift box.  All forty-eight of the PNSO small prehistoric animal figures are inside.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

18 07, 2019

JurassicCollectables Unboxing New Schleich and CollectA Models

By | July 18th, 2019|Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

JurassicCollectables Unboxing New Schleich and CollectA Models

Those talented and creative people at JurassicCollectables have posted up a video highlighting some of the models that they have received recently from Everything Dinosaur.  This short presentation is an unboxing video featuring the latest Schleich and CollectA prehistoric animal models to come into stock.  The models featured (in appearance order), are the Schleich juvenile Giganotosaurus, the Schleich new for 2019 Diabloceratops, the blue Plesiosaurus (the model with a flexible neck) and the CollectA Deluxe 1:20 scale Elasmotherium.  Later in the video, once the narrator has worked his way through all the protective packaging we provide, the CollectA Prehistoric Life Fukuiraptor model takes centre stage.  Finally, the new CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale Baryonyx figure is revealed.

The JurassicCollectables Unboxing Video – New CollectA and Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Handy Video Guide for Prehistoric Animal Model Collectors

A short (five minute long), unboxing video such as this one from JurassicCollectables provides dinosaur fans with an close view of some recently introduced models and figures.  There is plenty of opportunity to see the figures in this carefully constructed video, collectors can decide which models to purchase.

The Schleich Juvenile Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model is Featured

Unboxing the Schleich juvenile Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.

The unboxing video includes the new for 2019 Schleich juvenile Giganotosaurus figure.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

The YouTube channel of JurassicCollectables contains lots of informative videos about prehistoric animal models and dinosaur figure collecting.  Everything Dinosaur recommends that readers subscribe to the YouTube channel of JurassicCollectables: JurassicCollectables Videos

Everything Dinosaur Fact Sheets

For the vast majority of the dinosaur and prehistoric animal models that we provide, we send out an informative fact sheet based on the extinct animal that the figure represents.  These fact sheets are provided free with Everything Dinosaur purchases.  The narrator highlighted some of the fact sheets that we sent out with the models and the Fukuiraptor fact sheet came to his assistance when he confessed that Fukuiraptor was one dinosaur that he had not come across before.

Everything Dinosaur Supplies Fact Sheets with Prehistoric Animal Models

Everything Dinosaur fact sheets, supplied with prehistoric animal models.

The unboxing video features some Everything Dinosaur fact sheets.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

Unboxing the New for 2019 CollectA Prehistoric Life Fukuiraptor Dinosaur Model

Unboxing the CollectA Prehistoric Life Fukuiraptor dinosaur model.

The unboxing video includes the new for 2019 CollectA Prehistoric Life Fukuiraptor model.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

JurassicCollectables have promised the 80,000 or so subscribers to their channel that they will post up more detailed video reviews of these new prehistoric animals on YouTube, staff at Everything Dinosaur are looking forward to watching these video reviews too.

To see the range of Schleich prehistoric animals including the new for 2019 Schleich juvenile Giganotosaurus model available from Everything Dinosaur: Schleich Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

To view the range of CollectA prehistoric animals including the recently introduced Fukuiraptor figure: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models

17 07, 2019

The Etymology of Aquilarhinus and Mystery Fossil Material

By | July 17th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|2 Comments

How Did Aquilarhinus Get its Name?  Mystery Fossils from Rattlesnake Mountain

Recently, team members at Everything Dinosaur wrote a blog article announcing the discovery of a primitive, “shovel-billed” hadrosaurid from the Big Bend National Park in south-western Texas.  We received an email asking us how this dinosaur got its name, here is a quick explanation of the etymology.

Aquilarhinus palimentus – What’s in a Name?

A life reconstruction of the head of Aquilarhinus.

An illustration of Aquilarhinus with a crest along its snout and its unusual beak that may have been used to shovel up soft plants.  Anatomical features related to the skull and jaws gave this dinosaur its name.

Picture Credit: ICRA Art

Aquilarhinus palimentus

The genus name is derived from the Latin “aquila” which means eagle and the from the Greek “rhinos” meaning nose.  The combination of these two words – “eagle nose” describes the shape of the rostrum of this newly described dinosaur.  It had a bony crest on its snout.  The species or trivial epithet is derived from a combination of Latin words – “pala” meaning shovel and “mentus” which is translated as chin.  The species name has therefore been erected to describe the assumed front portion of the lower jaw (predentary), that resembled a shovel.  It is thought that this broad-skulled, shovel-mouthed dinosaur fed by scooping up marsh plants.

Could the Scientists Have Found Another Hadrosaurid in the Big Bend National Park?

In addition to the fossil material found and ascribed to Aquilarhinus palimentus, researchers have also found additional fossils which are from a hadrosaurid, but they remain unsure whether these fragments of bone from the skull represent A. palimentus or another type of duck-billed dinosaur.  All the fossils ascribed to Aquilarhinus palimentus were found within four square metres, but these other bones were found just a short distance from the Aquilarhinus remains.  The researchers writing in the “Journal of Systematic Palaeontology”, state that this material might pertain to A. palimentus but none of these isolated bones exhibit diagnostic features that would allow for certain attribution.  For this reason, the research team describes this material separately and refrain from referring it to as A. palimentus, instead it is regarded as Hadrosauridae incertae sedis.  The term “incertae sedis” is from the Latin, it means “uncertain placement”, the palaeontologists are unsure which type of dinosaur the fossils represent.

Hadrosaurid Skull Elements from Rattlesnake Mountain (Big Bend National Park)

Hadrosauridae incertae sedis fossil material.

Hadrosaurid facial and cranial material from Rattlesnake Mountain (south-western Texas). Hadrosauridae incertae sedis.  The fossils from the skull are not diagnostic of a species, therefore the material is incertae sedis.

Picture Credit: Journal of Systematic Palaeontology

To read our previous blog post about the discovery of Aquilarhinus palimentusAn Unusual Shovel-billed Hadrosaurid

16 07, 2019

An unusual “shovel-billed” Hadrosaurid

By | July 16th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Aquilarhinus palimentus from the Early Campanian of Texas

Researchers writing in the “Journal of Systematic Palaeontology” have announced the discovery of a new species of duck-billed dinosaur (hadrosaurid), although this dinosaur possessed a very peculiar “duck-bill”.  The dinosaur named Aquilarhinus palimentus, seems to have had a shovel-shaped beak, suggesting that it had a unique way of feeding.   The front of the jaws of duck-billed dinosaurs meet in a U-shape to support a cupped beak used for cropping vegetation.  Aquilarhinus was different, analysis of the front of the lower jaw (anterior portion of the dentary), indicate that the jaws of this plant-eater met in a strange W-shape, creating a wide, flattened shovel.

A Life Reconstruction the Newly Described Late Cretaceous Hadrosaurid Aquilarhinus palimentus

Life reconstruction of Aquilarhinus palimentus

Aquilarhinus palimentus life reconstruction.

Picture Credit: ICRA Art

From the Lower Shale Member of the Aguja Formation of Big Bend National Park (Texas)

In 1985, Tom Lehman, then a geology master’s student at the University of Texas was exploring Upper Cretaceous-aged outcrops in south-western Texas.  Whilst working on the western side of Rattlesnake Mountain, which is in the Big Bend National Park, he and his fellow field team members came across some badly weathered dinosaur fossil bones cemented together in an ironstone nodule.  For some years, the material remained in storage, a preliminary study of the skull material back in the 1990s identified a broad nasal crest and it was thought that this dinosaur was related to Gryposaurus.  This new research has identified a number of unique anatomical characteristics that merit these fossil bones being placed in their own genus.  Furthermore, Aquilarhinus was a more primitive hadrosaurid then Gryposaurus and as such, these fossils can perhaps help palaeontologists to understand how the huge variety of different duck-billed dinosaurs evolved.

Line Drawings Showing Views of the Skull and Jaws of Aquilarhinus palimentus

Views of the skull and jaws of Aquilarhinus.

Line drawing showing various views of the skull and jaws of Aquilarhinus palimentus.

Picture Credit: Journal of Systematic Palaeontology with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

The picture (above), shows line drawings that reconstruct the skull and jaws of A. palimentus.  The areas coloured brown indicate bones belonging to the holotype specimen.  Note (B), showing the skull viewed from the front, Everything Dinosaur has added an illustration of the symphyseal processes of the dentary indicating the unique “W-shaped” component to the lower jaw.  These bony struts are elongated and pushed upwards, causing the dentaries to meet with a “W-shaped” anterior profile.

The shales from which the fossil bearing nodules were recovered (Aguja Formation), date from the lower Campanian (about 80 million years old) and suggest that Aquilarhinus roamed a tidal marshland.  It may have been semi-aquatic using its “shovel-like” jaws to scoop vegetation out of the silt and mud.

The Lower Jaw of Aquilarhinus

The dentary of Aquilarhinus (lower jaw.

The lower jaw of Aquilarhinus palimentus (left lateral view).  Note, the white material is filler.

Picture Credit: Albert Prieto-Marquez

Much Smaller than Gryposaurus

Comparisons with the skull bones of Gryposaurus suggest that Aquilarhinus was probably about half the size of Gryposaurus, indicating an animal around five metres in length, although the size of Aquilarhinus is only conjecture.  More fossil material is required in order to make a more certain diagnosis.

Corresponding author of the scientific paper, Dr Albert Prieto-Márquez from the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (Spain) commented:

“This new animal is one of the more primitive hadrosaurids known and can therefore help us to understand how and why the ornamentation on their heads evolved, as well as where the group initially evolved and migrated from.  Its existence adds another piece of evidence to the growing hypothesis, still up in the air, that the group began in the south-eastern area of the United States.”

A Life Reconstruction of the Head of Aquilarhinus palimentus

A life reconstruction of the head of Aquilarhinus.

An illustration of Aquilarhinus with a crest along its snout and its unusual beak that may have been used to shovel up soft plants.

Picture Credit: ICRA Art

A Non-saurolophid Hadrosaurid

Phylogenetic analysis undertaken by the research team reveals Aquilarhinus to be superficially similar to dinosaurs like Kritosaurus and Gryposaurus but more likely to be more closely related to Latirhinus from the Late Campanian of Mexico.  As such, Aquilarhinus does not fit with the main group of duck-billed dinosaurs known as Saurolophidae.  It is more primitive than this group, suggesting there might have been a greater number of lineages than previously recognised that evolved before the great radiation that gave rise to the bewildering array of unadorned, solid and hollow-crested forms of duck-billed dinosaurs that thrived in northern latitudes during the Late Cretaceous.

Most saurolophids had bony head crests of many different shapes and sizes.  Aquilarhinus also sported a bony crest, albeit a simple one shaped like a humped nose.  The discovery of a solid crest outside the major radiation of hadrosaurids supports the hypothesis that all crests derived from a common ancestor that had a simple humped nose.

The scientific paper: “An unusual “shovel-billed” dinosaur with trophic specialisations from the Early Campanian of Trans-Pecos Texas, and the ancestral hadrosaurian crest” by Albert Prieto-Márquez, Jonathan R. Wagner and Thomas Lehman published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.

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

15 07, 2019

Celebrating the Arrival of Rebor Dilophosaurus Models

By | July 15th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|1 Comment

Rebor Green Day and Oasis Models Get Their Portraits Painted

Our thanks to the young and talented Caldey who sent into us a wonderful illustration of two of her latest prehistoric animal acquisitions – the Rebor Dilophosaurus pair “Green Day” and “Oasis”. The Rebor models represent a male and female Dilophosaurus (D. wetherilli), from the Early Jurassic of the western United States.  These carnivores have a significant, distinguishing feature, a pair of thin, bony, semi-circular crests the run the length of the skull.  Caldey has captured this anatomical detail exceptionally well in her drawing.

An Illustration of the Pair of Dilophosaurus Dinosaur Models “Green Day” and “Oasis”

Rebor Dilophosaurus models illustrated.

An illustration of the Rebor Dilophosaurus dinosaur models “Green Day” and “Oasis” by young artist Caldey.

Picture Credit: Caldey

The Rebor models have lots of amazing detail and Caldey’s illustration demonstrates the subtle variations between the two models and their different paint schemes.  Her depiction of the fine scales on the figures is exquisite.  It took many hours to produce this drawing, we congratulate Caldey on her efforts.

The Rebor Dilophosaurus Replicas “Green Day” and “Oasis”

Rebor Dilophosaurus models "Green Day" and "Oasis"

The Rebor Dilophosaurus replicas “Green Day” and “Oasis”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Illustrating Rebor Figures

Caldey has sent in several illustrations to Everything Dinosaur.  A number of these drawings are based on other Rebor models and figures.  For example, in the autumn of last year (2018), Caldey kindly sent in an illustration of the recently introduced Rebor Ankylosaurus “War Pig”.  We have included a picture of this rare Rebor figure below, so that readers can compare Caldey’s interpretation to the actual Rebor figure.

An Illustration of the Rebor Ankylosaurus Model “War Pig” – Colour Variant = Plain

An illustration of an Ankylosaurus.

A drawing of the Rebor Ankylosaurus model “War Pig” – colour variant – “plain”.

Picture Credit: Caldey

The Rebor Ankylosaurus “War Pig” – Plain Colour Variation

Rebor Ankylosaurus "War Pig" model.

A photograph of the Rebor Ankylosaurus magniventris model (1:35 scale replica) – Rebor “War Pig” in the “plain” colour scheme.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We are always delighted to receive illustrations of prehistoric animals from our customers.  We know what a talented group our customers are and we get sent lots of artwork as well as examples of customised models, prehistoric animal dioramas and even pictures of models that our customers have built.  We enjoy looking at them all.  Our thanks to Caldey for sending into us a super illustration of the two Rebor Dilophosaurus models Green Day and Oasis.”

To view the Rebor “Green Day” and “Oasis” Dilophosaurus models, along with the rest of the impressive Rebor range of prehistoric animals in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

14 07, 2019

Customising a Pegasus Hobbies Spinosaurus

By | July 14th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Pegasus Hobbies Spinosaurus Made Ready for Warhammer

At Everything Dinosaur, we are always amazed at how talented and creative some of our customers can be.  For example, we were sent some photographs recently from model maker ANTi GRAV who had been busy customising a Pegasus Hobbies Spinosaurus in readiness for participation in Warhammer games.  We are aware that a number of the prehistoric animal models that we supply get modified for use in various wargaming activities, however, we congratulate ANTi GRAV for such a splendid piece of creative model making.

Work in Progress – Pegasus Spinosaurus Getting Customised

A fearsome modified Pegasus Spinosaurus kit.

The modified Pegasus Spinosaurus kit ready for Warhammer.

Picture Credit: ANTi GRAV/Everything Dinosaur

Spinosaurus and Warhammer

For the uninitiated, Warhammer is a table top battle game that involves players taking control of armies comprised of an amazing array of fantasy creatures and figures.  Participants build up their forces of miniature, skilfully crafted models, all with different powers and specialities when it comes to combat.  These figures are then sent to battle it out on behalf of their human masters in what is a highly complex and addictive strategy game.  Generals can move their forces and the fate of the pieces are decided by dice rolls.  The Pegasus Spinosaurus kit has been customised and is being prepared to do battle.

Commenting on his partially completed work, ANTi GRAV stated:

“Here is some work in progress after I’ve primed it, all of the elongated teeth and decoration are custom made.”

Spinosaurus Being Prepared for Battle

Customising a Pegasus Kit Spinosaurus

Modified Pegasus Spinosaurus kit ready for Warhammer.

Picture Credit: ANTi GRAV/Everything Dinosaur

Combat with a Spinosaurus

Many palaeontologists consider Spinosaurus (S. aegyptiacus), to be largest carnivorous dinosaur known to science.  Its exact size remains controversial, a lack of fossils of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus keeps palaeontologists speculating, but Spinosaurus has been estimated at around sixteen metres in length with a body mass in excess of seven tonnes.

A Completed Pegasus Spinosaurus Model Kit

The finished Pegasus Spinosaurus model kit.

The completed Pegasus Spinosaurus model kit.  It depicts Spinosaurus as a dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Martin

The Warhammer series of games has been around for several decades, it is extremely popular.  We are aware that many of the different types of dinosaur model we supply have been customised for use in fantasy battles and dioramas, this is a superb custom-made Spinosaurus, our congratulations to the model maker.  Just like the Dinosauria, Warhammer evolves, it has gone through numerous editions and we think this fearsome, feisty Spinosaurus will fit right in when table top battle commences.

Our thanks to ANTi GRAV for sending in these photographs of the work in progress.  He has promised to send in some more pictures once the model has been completed – we can’t wait!

To view the range of dinosaur models in the Pegasus Hobbies series available from Everything Dinosaur: Pegasus Hobbies Dinosaur Model Kits

13 07, 2019

Microraptor Ate Lizards

By | July 13th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Stomach Contents Reveal New Species of Early Cretaceous Lizard

Scientists writing in the academic journal “Current Biology”, have described a new specimen of Microraptor (M. zhaoianus) from Liaoning Province (north-eastern China), that preserves the remains of a small lizard in its body cavity.  The remains of the lizard, inside what would have been the stomach of this little feathered dinosaur, are largely intact and articulated.  This indicates that the unfortunate lizard was swallowed head first, a feeding behaviour seen in extant carnivorous birds and many small reptiles.  The fossilised bones of the lizard represent a new species, it has been named Indrasaurus wangi.

Microraptor is now known to have fed on a variety of small vertebrates, supporting the interpretation that it was an opportunistic predator.

Microraptor About to Swallow the Unfortunate Indrasaurus

Microraptor feeds on Indrasaurus.

A life reconstruction of a Microraptor consuming the lizard Indrasaurus.  The position of the lizard’s remains inside the body cavity of Microraptor indicate that the lizard was swallowed head first.

Picture Credit: Doyle Trankina

Direct Evidence of Predator-Prey Interactions from the Jehol Biota

Direct evidence of diet and predator-prey relationships are extremely rare in the fossil record.  However, the exceptional preservation conditions associated with the Liaoning deposits have resulted in four examples of stomach contents in Microraptor specimens having been identified.  Microraptor is now known to have been a generalist, eating a variety of small vertebrates including  mammals, birds, fish, and with this new discovery, lizards.

Photograph of the Microraptor Specimen (STM5-32) Preserving the Lizard Indrasaurus wangi in the Body Cavity

Microraptor ate lizards.

The Microraptor fossil specimen (STM5-32) the white box indicates location of lizard remains.

Picture Credit: O’Connor et al (Current Biology)

The white lines in the photograph indicate the body cavity area of the Microraptor and show the location of the lizard fossil remains.  The genus name Indrasaurus comes from Hindu scriptures in which the deity Indra was swallowed by the dragon Vritra during their battle.  The species (trivial name), honours Yuan Wang, for his extensive work on the Jehol Biota and his assistance in helping to promote Chinese fossils through museum events and exhibitions.

An Interpretative Line Drawing Showing the Remains of Indrasaurus (I. wangi) in the Abdominal Cavity

The remains of the lizard inside the Microraptor.

A line drawing showing the remains of the lizard Indrasaurus wangi within the stomach cavity of a Microraptor (M. zhaoianus).

Picture Credit: O’Connor et al (Current Biology)

The interpretative drawing (above), shows the contents within the white box outlined in the specimen (STM5-32).  Analysis of the lizard’s bones indicate that it was probably a sub-adult when it met its doom.  Ironically, the Microraptor itself died shortly after eating the lizard, although this would probably have not been much comfort to Indrasaurus had it known this at the time.

Most scientists believe that Microraptor could fly, it is not known whether this little lizard was caught in a tree or captured on the ground after a terrestrial pursuit.  Perhaps Microraptor swooped down onto its prey from a lofty vantage point, a tactic common to many carnivorous birds today.  The probable troodontid Anchiornis from the older Late Jurassic Yanliao Biota is roughly the same size as Microraptor and fossils of Anchiornis reveal that this dinosaur ate lizards too.  However, comparison of the fossilised remains of prey suggests that dromaeosaurids such as Microraptor ingested prey that were fully digested, whereas, Anchiornis may have regurgitated undigested body parts, bringing up a pellet as demonstrated in many bird species alive today.  This feeding behaviour supports a closer relationship between true birds and Anchiornis and suggests that powered flight did not precipitate the evolution of pellet regurgitation (egestion), in these reptiles.

The scientific paper: “Microraptor with Ingested Lizard Suggests Non-specialized Digestive Function by Microraptor with Ingested Lizard Suggests Non-specialized Digestive Function” by Jingmai O’Connor, Xiaoting Zheng, Liping Dong, Yan Wang, Xiaomei Zhang and Zhonghe Zhou published in the journal “Current Biology”.

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