All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
12 07, 2019

New Theropod Dinosaur from the Late Triassic of Switzerland

By | July 12th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Notatesseraeraptor frickensis – A Mixture of Coelophysid and Dilophosaurid Characteristics

A new European theropod dinosaur from the Late Triassic of Switzerland has been named and described this week.  This is big news, as very little is known about Late Triassic theropods that roamed Europe more than 200 million years ago, only a handful have been described to date, just four species.  The dinosaur has been named Notatesseraeraptor frickensis (No-tah-tess-er-ray-rap-tor frick-ensis), the genus name derives from the Latin “nota” meaning feature and “tesserae”, a Latin term to describe tiles used to create a mosaic, a reference to the mixture of anatomical features (dilophosaurid and coelophysoid) identified in the fossil bones. The trivial name honours the Swiss town of Frick, where the fossils were found.

The Body Plan, Known Fossil Material and a Skeletal Reconstruction of N. frickensis

Skeletal anatomy of Notatesseraeraptor frickensis

The silhouette shows the body plan of Notatesseraeraptor, known fossil material and pictures of the blocks that make up the holotype specimen.

Picture Credit: Nature: Ecology and Evolution

Lizard-eating Dinosaur

The partially articulated specimen was collected in 2006 from the famous Gruhalde clay pit in the town of Frick (Aargau Canton, northern Switzerland).  This clay pit has yielded large numbers of Plateosaurus fossils, although Notatesseraeraptor layer is located above the classic Plateosaurus bone beds.  The strata are from the middle part of the Gruhalde Member of the Klettgau Formation and represents Late Triassic (end-Norian) sediments.  The fossils associated with N. frickensis include a nearly complete skull, articulated forelimbs, vertebrae, hip bones and ribs.  The body cavity revealed the remains of a Clevosaurus, a lizard-like rhynchocephalian, distantly related to the extant Tuatara of New Zealand.  It is likely that the Clevosaurus remains represent this dinosaur’s last meal.

The Skull of Notatesseraeraptor frickensis

Notatesseraeraptor frickensis cranial material.

A view of the skull and upper jaw (Notatesseraeraptor frickensis).  Around 90% of the cranial fossil material was recovered.

A Carnivorous Dinosaur Reported from Switzerland

Around 90% of the skull material was excavated, giving Notatesseraeraptor one of the most complete carnivorous dinosaur skulls known from before the Late Jurassic.   Although, our knowledge of early theropod dinosaurs has improved greatly since the turn of the century, thanks mainly to fossil discoveries from North and South America, very little is known about the evolution and radiation of Late Triassic/Early Jurassic European theropods, their fossil record is notably sparse.  This new theropod species is the first meat-eating dinosaur to be described from Switzerland.

Notatesseraeraptor displays a mix of characteristics typically seen either in coelophysids or in dilophosaurids.  A phylogenetic analysis suggests that it is a member of the Neotheropoda clade with affinities to Dilophosaurus of the Early Jurassic and that Notatesseraeraptor is a basal member of that line of theropods that led to the Averostra (a group, of carnivorous dinosaurs that includes the Ceratosaurs).

The Late Triassic/Early Jurassic European Theropods

The nearly complete skull will help palaeontologists to better understand the evolutionary relationships between different types of Late Triassic/Early Jurassic theropod dinosaur.  The fossil specimen suggests a sub-adult with a length of between 2.6 to 3 metres, but this is speculation based on comparative analysis with dinosaurs such as Coelophysis and Tawa as the length of the tail of Notatesseraeraptor is not known.

A Life Reconstruction of a Typical Coelophysid Dinosaur (Coelophysis bauri)

Coelophysis model.

A life reconstruction of Coelophysis bauri.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The three previously described species of Late Triassic European theropod are:

  • Liliensternus liliensterni – named in 1934 (von Huene) from the Middle and Late Norian of Germany
  • Procompsognathus triassicus – named in 1913 (Fraas) also from the Middle to Late Norian of Germany
  • Lophostropheus airelensis named in 1993 known from slightly younger rocks (Late Rhetian to Hettangian – Late Triassic to possibly Early Jurassic)

With the exception of a few scraps of bone associated with Liliensternus skull material and the recently described  Dracoraptor hanigani from south-Wales, no other skull material has been found relating to a neotheropod dinosaur from the Late Triassic/Early Jurassic  in the whole of Europe.

11 07, 2019

Terrestrial Bird-like Dinosaur Oldest Known from North America

By | July 11th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Hesperornithoides miessleri – Helping to Map Out the Bird Family Tree

A joint team of British and American palaeontologists have announced the discovery of a new species of dinosaur that roamed the Late Jurassic of Wyoming.  The specimen consisting of both cranial and postcranial material lived around 150 million years ago and it has been tentatively placed within the troodontid branch of the Paraves part of the Theropoda.  It could help scientists to better understand the evolutionary relationships between feathered dinosaurs and true birds and it raises intriguing questions as to when powered flight evolved within the Dinosauria.

The little dinosaur, estimated to have measured less than a metre in length (single known specimen is either an adult or a sub-adult), has been named Hesperornithoides miessleri.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Dinosaur H. miessleri

Hesperornithoides miessleri - life reconstruction.

A life reconstruction of Hesperornithoides miessleri.

Picture Credit: Gabriel Ugueto

An Inhabitant of Wetlands

Writing in the academic journal PeerJ, the authors which include scientists from the University of Manchester, report the taphonomy of the fossil material suggests that this dinosaur was an inhabitant of wetland environments for at least a portion of its life history.  The fossil material was actually discovered back in 2001, whilst excavation work was being carried out on the fossil material associated with Supersaurus.  The fossil comes from Converse County (Wyoming), from strata making up the middle portion of the famous Morrison Formation.  The fossil-bearing strata from the “Jimbo Quarry” has been variously dated to the Oxfordian and Tithonian ages of the Jurassic.

Full Skeleton of Hesperornithoides miessleri

Known fossil material associated with Hesperornithoides miessleri.

Hesperornithoides fossil material “left” (A) and “right” (B) sides of the blocks after final preparation (B).  Scale bar = one cm.

Picture Credit: Levi Shinkle

A Resident of the Famous Morrison Formation

The Morrison Formation is famous for its vertebrate fossils, including many examples of dinosaurs, such as Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Diplodocus, Brontosaurus and Camarasaurus.  The carnivorous Hesperornithoides is the smallest dinosaur described to date from Wyoming.

Palaeontologist Bill Wahl  (Wyoming Dinosaur Centre), a co-author of the scientific paper, recalled how excited the field team were when they uncovered the block containing the partially articulated bones.

He stated:

“We were removing a ledge of overburden rock and found, unfortunately with a shovel, some tiny, delicate bones poking out.  We immediately stopped, collected as much of the bones as possible and spent the next few days frantically searching for more.  Only after some of the bones were cleaned did we realise that we had found something spectacular.”

In 2005, the fossil specimen was donated to the Big Horn Basin Foundation, a research and education-based not-for-profit organisation that was merged with the Wyoming Dinosaur Centre back in 2016.  This is how Hesperornithoides miessleri came into the Wyoming Dinosaur Centre’s fossil collection.  The fossil, now known as WYDICE-DML-001, was nicknamed “Lori”  and was examined by Dean Lomax (University of Manchester) and co-author of the study back in 2008, a successful crowdfunding campaign permitted extensive research to be undertaken.

Dean commented:

“I remember the first time I laid my eyes on this little dinosaur.  Even back then, I knew it was a significant discovery.  But, it wasn’t until 2015 when our dino team formed and we began to study ‘Lori’ in much more detail than ever before.”

Reconstructed Quarry Map of “Lori” (Hesperornithoides miessleri)

A quarry map of the fossil material asociated with Hesperornithoides.

Association of skeletal elements assembled from 3-D scans of specimen blocks prior to final mechanical preparation.

Picture Credit: PeerJ

Found on Private Land

The specimen was found on private land owned by the Miessler family.  The trivial name honours their help, support and assistance in bringing this little theropod to the attention of the scientific community.  The genus name is a combination of “Hesper”, referring to its discovery in the American West and “ornis” a nod to its very bird-like anatomy.

A Reconstruction of the Skeleton of Hesperornithoides miessleri

Hesperornithoides miessleri skeleton reconstruction.

Skeletal Reconstruction Hesperornithoides miessleri (scale bar = 25 cm).

Picture Credit: Scott Hartmann

A Key Conclusion of the Study

A key conclusion of the scientific paper relates to the origin of powered flight within the Dinosauria.  Hesperornithoides was very probably entirely terrestrial.  It could not fly, but it has a very bird-like body, suggesting that many features associated with an avian anatomy evolved in dinosaurs that lived out their lives on the ground.  It is the oldest dinosaur of this type, known from more than just teeth fossils from North America.  The terrestrial and flightless lifestyle is consistent with the base of Paraves, and with the base of paravian subclades, suggesting that avian flight evolved within the Avialae, most likely in the Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous.

Lead author of the paper and PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Scott Hartman stated:

“We wanted to expand the dataset used to test dinosaur-bird relationships, so we added hundreds of new species and tens of thousands of new characters.  We found that Lori is a primitive member of a group of dinosaurs that includes Troodon, but perhaps more importantly we discovered that the smaller details of the family tree of bird-like dinosaurs isn’t quite as resolved as some researchers would claim.”

Scott Hartman continued:

“For example, it only takes a few changes in the dataset for Hesperornithoides to be found as a closer relative of Velociraptor than of Troodon.  One robust finding we did come up with is that even as the interrelationships changed, the primitive members of all these groups were non-flying ground dwelling dinosaurs.  That means that some small relatives of Velociraptor such as Microraptor that looks like it could have glided evolved this separately from the modern bird family.”

Hesperornithoides Cranial Material

Fossil material and accompanying line drawings Hesperornithoides.

Hesperornithoides cranial material and interpretative line drawings.

Picture Credit: Levi Shinkle

The scientific paper: “A new paravian dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of North America supports a late acquisition of avian flight” by Hartman, S., Mortimer, M., Wahl, W. R., Lomax, D. R., Lippincott, J. and Lovelace, D. M and published in PeerJ.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the help of a media release from the University of Manchester in the compilation of this article.

10 07, 2019

Glyptodont Scutes

By | July 10th, 2019|Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Glyptodont Scutes

The bizarre xenarthrans are regarded as one of the most primitive types of placental mammals.  Anteaters, sloths and armadillos are extant members of the Xenarthra, this group seemingly confined just to the Americas, is not closely related to any other type of placental mammal alive today.  The earliest known fossil material dates from the Palaeocene of South America, but they could have originated in the Late Cretaceous.  This group certainly originated in South America and only late in their evolutionary history when Central and North America became united with South America did some of them migrate northwards.

Whilst at the National Museum of Wales (Cardiff), one of our team members spotted a fossil from a xenarthran.  A member of the armadillo branch, specifically the fossilised dermal scutes of a glyptodont.

Glyptodont Scutes on Display

Glyptodont scutes.

Some beautifully preserved Glyptodont scutes on display at the National Museum of Wales.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Armoured Xenarthrans

Superficially resembling giant armadillos, glyptodonts were covered in armour, consisting of a rigid shell of interlocking plates, often of a hexagonal (six-sided) shape.  Some species of glyptodont had this armour on the top of their short, deep skulls but not all species had armoured heads.  Some glyptodonts such as Doedicurus were giants, measuring over three metres in length and weighing more than a tonne.  Some types of glyptodont possessed heavy, armoured tails (such as Doedicurus below), that could have been as a club in intraspecific combat or in defence against an attack from predators such as sabre-toothed cats or phorusrhacids (giant flightless birds).

An Illustration of the Giant Glyptodont Doedicurus

An illustration of Doedicurus.

Bizarre armoured giant with a furry underside, a shell on top and a bony tail often with a club on the end.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

9 07, 2019

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Parasaurolophus

By | July 9th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Parasaurolophus

Safari Ltd have published a series of images depicting some of the latest introductions in the Wild Safari Prehistoric World model range.  Today, we feature the Parasaurolophus, a dinosaur that has been depicted several times over the history of Safari Ltd models.  The latest incarnation of Parasaurolophus, was introduced in 2017, one of thirteen prehistoric animal models launched by the U.S.-based company that year.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Parasaurolophus Dinosaur Model

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Parasaurolophus dinosaur model.

A pair of Parasaurolophus cooling off in the Late Cretaceous of North America.

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd/Everything Dinosaur

Parasaurolophus walkeri

Known from numerous very nearly complete and partial skeletons, Parasaurolophus was geographically widely distributed (Alberta to New Mexico – possibly), it is known from the Late Cretaceous (Campanian faunal stage), although there are some unverified reports that this dinosaur may have persisted into the Maastrichtian faunal stage of the Cretaceous.  It is easily recognisable for its long, backward pointing head crest.   Despite the amount of fossil material scientists have to study, the exact size of this herbivorous dinosaur remains open to speculation, with some estimates putting this dinosaur’s maximum length at more than ten metres.  Measurements of the femur (thigh bone), indicate that this duck-billed dinosaur may have weighed more than three tonnes.  Several species have been assigned to the Parasaurolophus genus, perhaps the best known of which is P. walkeri, mainly because this Parasaurolophus species had the more spectacular crest compared to other species in this genus.

Parasaurolophus walkeri – Scale Drawing

Scale drawing Parasaurolophus walkeri.

A crested, duck-billed dinosaur.  A scale drawing of the Late Cretaceous lamebeosaurine dinosaur Parasaurolophus walkeri.  Note the thick-set upper legs and the wide tail.  Recent studies indicate that this facultative biped was very robust.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

8 07, 2019

Preparing for PNSO Models

By | July 8th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Preparing for PNSO Models

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have been kept very busy preparing for the arrival of the latest delivery of PNSO dinosaur and prehistoric animals at the company’s warehouse.  The shipment will contain a number of new PNSO models including Lucas the Giganotosaurus, Lucio the Amargasaurus and the battling pair of Dayong the Yangchuanosaurus and Xiaobei the Chungkingosaurus.  In preparation for the arrival of a Yangchuanosaurus replica, we have commissioned a scale drawing as well as researching and writing a fact sheet about this theropod from the Middle Jurassic of south-western China.

A Scale Drawing of the Middle Jurassic Chinese Theropod – Yangchuanosaurus (Y. shangyouensis)

Scale drawing of Yangchuanosaurus shangyouensis

A scale drawing of Yangchuanosaurus shangyouensis.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

PNSO Prehistoric Animal Models and Replicas

PNSO have created a range of different prehistoric animal models and figures.  They have a small prehistoric animal model range, (toys that accompany your growth), which currently has forty-eight figures within it and then there are the larger PNSO models (some of them are huge).  These models are promoted as the “Age of Dinosaurs” model range but not all of them are dinosaurs.  For instance, PNSO recently introduced a large model of the ichthyosaur Ophthalmosaurus, joining substantial models of Basilosaurus and the ferocious Megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon).

Naturally, Everything Dinosaur has produced fact sheets for all these replicas and all these fact sheets include a scale drawing.

An Illustration of the Early Jurassic Sauropod Mamenchisaurus

An illustration of the long-necked dinosaur (sauropod) Mamenchisaurus

Mamenchisaurus drawing.  An illustration commissioned as Everything Dinosaur prepares a fact sheet on this dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

PNSO Dayong the Yangchuanosaurus and Xiaobei the Chungkingosaurus

The latest shipment of PNSO models will include the Dayong the Yangchuanosaurus and Xiaobei the Chungkingosaurus diorama.  Construction projects in Sichuan Province have unearthed a variety of different types of dinosaur.  These fossil finds rival the amazing Morrison Formation of the western United States, although the Chinese rocks are older.  Numerous sauropods and stegosaurs have been described and two distinct biotas identified.

The Dayong the Yangchuanosaurus and Xiaobei the Chungkingosaurus

PNSO Yangchuanosaurus and Chungkingosaurus dinosaur diorama.

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

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We are expecting a large shipment of PNSO models.  It is going to be a very busy couple of weeks for our warehouse team, what with all these new PNSO figures coming into stock along with deliveries from Papo, Mojo Fun, CollectA and Safari Ltd.  We planned to provide at least fifty new models this year, we are well on target to achieve this and in fact, with all these new additions, this target is going to be exceeded.  These are exciting times for dinosaur fans and model collectors.”

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

7 07, 2019

Everything Dinosaur and 3-D Secure Ecommerce Transactions

By | July 7th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Preparing for New Ecommerce Legislation – PSD2

PSD2 might sound like the name of a droid from the forthcoming “Star Wars” movie, but for anyone who shops on-line, PSD2 is going to become very significant.  New legislation is coming into force across the whole of the European Union, part of a global roll out of new rules to help protect consumers who make electronic payments either through a website such as Everything Dinosaur’s or via contactless payments or chip and pin card machines.  New, additional security authentications for ecommence transactions are being introduced.  These will help to protect consumers against fraud and these new rules come into force on Saturday, 14th September 2019.

Everything Dinosaur Working Towards PSD2 Compliance

Working towards compliance with PSD2 directive.

Everything Dinosaur team members working towards compliance with new consumer protection legislation (EU Payment Services Directive – PSD2).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Providing Extra Security and Protection

If you sell on-line, then you need to prepare for this new legislation.  Everything Dinosaur’s plans are well advanced, at the heart of our business is the belief in doing what is right for our customers.  We already have very strong protections in place including 3-D security, but these new rules require strong customer authentication to help prevent the possibility of fraudulent transactions taking place.

Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), was introduced as a follow up to earlier legislation, its aim is to further increase consumer protection when it comes to making on-line transactions such as buying dinosaur models from Everything Dinosaur.  In essence, it introduces the need for stronger consumer authentication, that is, the person using a credit/debit card to make a purchase is actually the person they say they are.

Strong Consumer Authentication Provides Extra Protection and Security for On-line Shoppers

PSD2 legislation - helping to protect our customers.

PSD2 legislation may require shoppers to give additional authentication at checkout.  This is all about extra security and protection.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)

Your payment journey through websites, might look a little different after September 14th.  By this date all ecommerce transactions must be processed via secure industry protocols such as 3-D secure, for Everything Dinosaur we already operate this system, however,  in addition, someone making a purchase from us may need to provide proof of their identity.  Shoppers may need to give additional authentication at the checkout.

Everything Dinosaur team members are already working through the requirements to ensure compliance with the new regulations.  A key component of these new rules is that ecommerce transactions will require (in most cases), additional authentication.  Strong customer authentication requires at least two independent factors in the authentication process.

Here are the three types of factors for authentication:

  • Something you know [knowledge] such as a PIN number or password.
  • Something you have [possession] such as a card, smartphone etc.
  • Something that you are (inherence) such as a fingerprint or your biometric identity.

Each electronic payment (there will be some exemptions), must be authenticated by at least two of these factors.  This helps to protect you from fraud and it is known as two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA).

What Will Be Different?

At the moment, when making a purchase at Everything Dinosaur an authentication is performed as part of the card transaction process.  You might get re-directed to your card provider’s website to validate the transaction under 3-D security protocols.  If your card provider (bank), deems the transaction risk to be ‘high’, the cardholder will be required to prove their identity.  From September 14th 2019, authentication will become the new default and cannot be bypassed (unless an exemption applies).  Although authentication will be performed,  it is expected that only 5% to 10%  of authentications will result in the cardholder having to be re-directed to their banks 3-D Secure page to enter two factor authentication (2FA and challenge authentication).

The majority of the authentication requests will result in a frictionless authentication, where the cardholder is not re-directed to their banks 3-D Secure page to enter 2FA.  At Everything Dinosaur, are plans to accommodate this new legislation are already well-advanced and our existing consumer protection measures ensure that we only need to make a few minor adjustments to our security systems.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We take the protection of our customers extremely seriously.  We are currently working on responsive payment pages that will enable our customers to make a payment even more safely and securely.  In addition, we are working with our commercial partners such as SagePay to make improvements and to ensure that strong customer authentication is delivered and maintained throughout the transaction process.”

Testing of these new systems and measures will take place over the next few weeks on Everything Dinosaur’s beta sites.  This will ensure that all is ready when the new legislation comes into force on September 14th.  Furthermore, the current 3-D Secure Implementation (3DSv1) will operate until the end of 2020, but new protections entitled 3DSv2 will come into force making 3-D security systems mandatory worldwide.  Everything Dinosaur is well placed to incorporate these changes into its already very secure systems.

To read an article about https security protocols: All Everything Dinosaur Websites Upgraded to “https”

6 07, 2019

Rebor Dilophosaurus Figures “Green Day” and “Oasis” are in Stock

By | July 6th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Rebor Dilophosaurus Figures “Green Day” and “Oasis” are in Stock

The two new Rebor Dilophosaurus figures “Green Day” and ” Oasis” are in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  These are the latest additions to the impressive Rebor range of scale model prehistoric animal replicas and Everything Dinosaur team members have been busy contacting dinosaur model fans on the company’s priority reserve list to ensure customers are aware of the arrival of these two exciting dinosaur figures.

In Stock at Everything Dinosaur – Rebor Dilophosaurus Models “Green Day” and “Oasis”

Rebor Dilophosaurus models "Green Day" and "Oasis"

The Rebor Dilophosaurus replicas “Green Day” and “Oasis”.  Spectacular Rebor prehistoric animal figures in stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Rebor Dilophosaurus Dinosaur Models

The Rebor models can be purchased separately, or as a pair from Everything Dinosaur.  Each model has an articulated lower jaw, a flexible, bendy tail and articulated forelimbs.  Subtle variations in the paint scheme of each model highlight the perceived differences between the male figure “Green Day” and the female “Oasis”.  In an earlier blog article, Everything Dinosaur posted up information on how collectors can customise their Dilophosaurus figures by adding a colourful ruff, an adornment inspired by a very famous movie.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s article featuring the Dilophosaurus dinosaur ruff: Dinosaur Ruffs

The Rebor Dilophosaurus Dinosaur Model “Oasis”

Rebor Dilophosaurus "Green Day".

The Rebor Dilophosaurus model “Oasis”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Beautiful Display Pieces

These beautiful display pieces are provided with their own bases and the models can be put together to make a two dinosaur replica diorama.  The male Dilophosaurus model “Green Day” measures over 23 centimetres in length and the female figure “Oasis” is comparable in size.  They are certainly stunning prehistoric animal models and their bases are very detailed too.

The Base for the Female Dilophosaurus Features an Early Jurassic Tree Stump

Rebor Dilophosaurus "Oasis" - display base.

The base for the Rebor Dilophosaurus figure “Oasis”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

It is the different sized bases that explains the difference in the packaging sizes.  The Rebor Dilophosaurus “Oasis” model is supplied in a larger box.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“These two new Dilophosaurus models are just the latest in a number of theropod models that have been added to the range.  The Rebor range includes Tyrannosaurs, Carnotaurus, Compsognathus, Ceratosaurus, Acrocanthosaurus and of course, lots of dromaeosaurids, colloquially known as the “Raptors”.  We are delighted to be able to add these Dilophosaurus models to our inventory.”

To view the Rebor Dilophosaurus dinosaur models and the other figures in the Rebor range available from Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals

5 07, 2019

Repeated Evolution of Herbivorous Crocodyliforms

By | July 5th, 2019|Animal News Stories, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Fossil Teeth Suggests Lots of Different Types of Mesozoic Crocodiles

Researchers from the University of Utah have studied the teeth of extinct crocodyliforms and concluded that crocodiles occupied a large range of different ecological niches during the Age of Dinosaurs.  Furthermore, these geographically widespread and speciose reptiles adapted to a variety of diets and that herbivorous crocodyliforms evolved at least three times independently.  This suggests that plant-eating was a beneficial dietary strategy and not a unique occurrence.  Many of these crocodyliforms lived alongside omnivorous or herbivorous synapsids, illustrating an ecological partition that is not found today.

The Diets of Extinct Crocodyliforms were Diverse with Many Examples of Herbivory Identified

Extinct crocodyliforms had different shaped teeth.

Life reconstructions of extinct crocodyliforms. Differences in tooth shape are related to differences in diets.

Picture Credit: Jorge Gonzalez

Writing in the academic paper “Current Biology”, the researchers Keegan Melstrom and Randall Irmis at the Natural History Museum of Utah at the University of Utah, discovered that multiple ancient groups of crocodyliforms (the group including living and extinct relatives of crocodiles and alligators), were not all carnivorous.  Research has been conducted before on the various potential dietary niches of ancient crocodiles, but this new study proposes that vegetarianism arose at least three times within this group.

Commenting on the significance of this new study, doctoral student Keegan Melstrom stated:

“The most interesting thing we discovered was how frequently it seems extinct crocodyliforms ate plants.  Our study indicates that complexly shaped teeth, which we infer to indicate herbivory, appear in the extinct relatives of crocodiles at least three times and maybe as many as six.”

Teeth Variation within Crocodyliforms (Extinct and Extant)

Heterodonty in Crocodyliforms.

False colour 3-D images showing the range in shape of crocodyliform teeth.  Carnivores (left), such as the living Caiman, have simple teeth, whereas herbivores (right) have much more complex teeth.

Picture Credit: Keegan Melstrom (The Natural History Museum of Utah)

The Tip of the Crocodyliform Iceberg

The twenty plus species of crocodylians alive today possess a similar general body shape and ecology.  They are mainly generalist hypercarnivores and semi-aquatic, confined to lower latitudes.  Although, consuming fruit and vegetable matter has been observed in several extant species.  In 2013, Everything Dinosaur wrote an article about fruit consumption (frugivory), in crocodiles.

To read the article: New Study Suggests a Number of Different Types of Crocodylian Consume Fruit.

The crocodiles alive today, all have similar, simple conical teeth but the fossil record shows that extinct crocodyliforms were much more diverse.  Today’s crocodiles are just the remnants from a once much richer and more specious group of reptiles, consider the living crocodylians as the “tip of the crocodyliform iceberg”.

Living Crocodiles are Generalist Ambush Predators (Hypercarnivores)

Saltwater crocodile (Estuarine crocodile).

A Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), the largest living reptile which is an apex predator (hypercarnivore).

The researchers identified different teeth morphologies (heterodonty) and this suggests that in the past crocodile-like creatures had a variety of diets.

Melstrom added:

“Carnivores possess simple teeth whereas herbivores have much more complex teeth.  Omnivores, organisms that eat both plant and animal material, fall somewhere in between.  Part of my earlier research showed that this pattern holds in living reptiles that have teeth, such as crocodylians and lizards.  So, these results told us that the basic pattern between diet and teeth is found in both mammals and reptiles, despite very different tooth shapes, and is applicable to extinct reptiles.”

Keegan Melstrom (The Natural History Museum of Utah) with Some of the Casts Used in the Study

Examing three-dimensional prints of fossil jaws.

Keegan Melstrom, the study’s lead author, with the fossil jaw of Brachychampsa and 3-D prints of other extinct crocodyliforms (blue).

Picture Credit: The Natural History Museum of Utah

Comparing Tooth Complexity – Extinct versus Extant

To deduce what long dead crocodyliforms most likely consumed, Melstrom with the assistance of his graduate advisor ( Randall B. Irmis), compared the tooth complexity of extinct crocodyliforms to those of living animals using a research methodology originally designed to study mammalian heterodonty.  In total, 146 teeth from 16 different species of extinct crocodyliforms were incorporated into the study.

Using a combination of quantitative dental measurements and an assessment morphological features, the scientists reconstructed the diets of those extinct animals.  The results indicate that these animals had a wider range of dental complexities and presumed dietary ecologies than had been appreciated previously.  Quantitative analyses also revealed that some species with complex dentition were likely to be herbivorous.

The researchers conclude that plant-eating crocodyliforms appeared early in the group, perhaps shortly after the end-Triassic mass extinction event and herbivory persisted until the end of the Age of Dinosaurs.  The analysis suggests that herbivory arose independently a minimum of three times, and possibly six times, in Mesozoic crocodyliforms.

Melstrom stated:

“Our work demonstrates that extinct crocodyliforms had an incredibly varied diet.  Some were similar to living crocodylians and were primarily carnivorous, others were omnivores and still others likely specialised in eating plants.  The herbivores lived on different continents at different times, some alongside mammals and mammal relatives, and others did not.  This suggests that herbivorous crocodyliforms were successful in a variety of environments!”

As many of these herbivorous crocodyliforms co-existed with plant-eating synapsids including Mammaliaformes, some of which were the ancestors of today’s mammals, this was an ecological partition that is no longer found on our planet.

The scientific paper: “Repeated Evolution of Herbivorous Crocodyliforms during the Age of Dinosaurs” by Keegan M. Melstrom and Randall B. Irmis published in Current Biology.

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

5 07, 2019

“Footprints from the Past”

By | July 5th, 2019|General Teaching|Comments Off on “Footprints from the Past”

International Primary Curriculum “Footprints from the Past”

Plans are well advanced for dinosaur and fossil themed workshops to be delivered in the new academic year.  Team members are busy with their lesson planning and preparations including writing schemes of work to support the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and the topic area “Footprints from the Past”.

Everything Dinosaur staff have prepared workshops for Foundation Stage classes through to Upper Key Stage 2, helping to enthuse and motivate, working with classes when the children will be investigating dinosaurs and fossils.

Dinosaurs and Fossils Provides Lots of Cross-curricular Learning Opportunities

Learning about dinosaurs

Children excited to be learning about dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We do a lot of work with schools and our workshops are built around the International Primary Curriculum aims and objectives including developing writing skills, aiding literacy, exploring ideas, problem solving, building confidence and encouraging an understanding of materials and the wider world.  There is certainly a big “wow factor” with a visit from ourselves but everything our teaching team does, attempts to reinforce learning and help achieve the teaching outcomes required.

Footprints from the Past

The “Big Idea” behind this element of the IPC curriculum entitled Footprints from the Past, is that nobody has ever seen a living a dinosaur and therefore how do we know so much about them?  This introduces the concept of “dinosaur detectives”, challenging the class to explore ideas and to work scientifically.

From a scientific perspective, dinosaurs are technically not extinct.  So, when working with Lower Key Stage 2 for example, we like to challenge their understanding of dinosaurs and extinction, develop some themes through the tactile, visual and kinaesthetic elements of the class workshop and then set the class extension activities based around exploring some of the ideas that we have covered.

Did an Extra-terrestrial Impact Wipe Out All the Dinosaurs?

Asteroid impact crater.

Theories for the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur is manned by teachers and real fossil experts and we visit schools to conduct dinosaur and fossil themed workshops whilst working with the learning objectives and intended outcomes as set by the teaching team.  We undertake a lot of work in support of the pupil premium in England.  We add into our workshops real aspects of palaeontology, enabling children to experience some of the science behind the study of dinosaurs, fossils and other extinct animals.  Our costs are made up of a subsidised amount for the teacher/palaeontologist’s time, plus travelling expenses and a small charge to cover the packing of fossils and any materials used.

It looks like our team members are going to have very busy autumn and spring terms.

4 07, 2019

Celebrating New Schleich and CollectA Models

By | July 4th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Newsletters, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Newsletter Features New Schleich and CollectA Prehistoric Animals

New prehistoric animal models and figures are coming into stock at Everything Dinosaur at an express pace.  Our latest newsletter features another seven new figures, four from Schleich and three from CollectA in what will be a stunning summer of new model additions to our ranges.  It is going to be a very busy time for our team members but we have made contingency plans to ensure that orders get despatched super quick!

The Early July CollectA Newsletter Features New CollectA and Schleich Prehistoric Animal Figures

A Schleich Elasmotherium and a Schleich juvenile Giganotosaurus

The early July Everything Dinosaur newsletter features new Schleich and CollectA prehistoric animal models.  The new for 2019 CollectA Deluxe Elasmotherium and the Schleich juvenile Giganotosaurus are in stock.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

At the end of last year, Everything Dinosaur team members predicted that 2019 would see a further fifty prehistoric animal models added to the company’s already impressive range.  The new CollectA models are the “Prehistoric Life” Fukuiraptor, the CollectA Deluxe Elasmotherium and the 1:40 scale Deluxe Baryonyx.  The four new Schleich figures comprise, a Plesiosaurus and three dinosaurs, namely Dracorex, Diabloceratops and a juvenile Giganotosaurus.

Exciting New Prehistoric Animal Models from CollectA and Schleich

Schleich and CollectA models feature in the newsletter.

The early July Everything Dinosaur newsletter features new CollectA and Schleich prehistoric animal models.  The models are the Schleich Diabloceratops (top left), the CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale Baryonyx (top right), the Schleich Plesiosaurus (bottom left) and the CollectA Fukuiraptor (bottom right).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of Schleich prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: Schleich Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

All Figures Supplied with a Fact Sheet

Everything Dinosaur has prepared fact sheets for all seven of these new models.  Customers purchasing these figures from Everything Dinosaur will be sent a fact sheet with their purchase.  The fact sheet includes a scale drawing of the prehistoric animal along with fascinating facts and snippets of information.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“For virtually every prehistoric animal figure we sell, we supply a fact sheet about that animal.  We take care to research these long extinct creatures and then we produce an A4-sized fact sheet which is then sent out with model purchases.  We are currently working on a further three new fact sheets so that we can provide these sheets when other new models come into stock.”

The Schleich Dracorex Dinosaur Model and Please “Like” our Facebook Page

Schleich Dracorex and please "like" us on Facebook.

The Schleich Dracorex (left) and a request for newsletter subscribers to please “like” us on Facebook.


Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Schleich Dracorex

The North American Dracorex (D. hogwartsia) is the last of the new models to be featured.  Measuring over nineteen centimetres in length this is a beautifully detailed model of a pachycephalosaur.  Our newsletter subscribers have also been asked to “like” Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page.  Our Facebook page is followed by a large number of dinosaur fans and our posts reach thousands of enthusiasts every week.  We currently have a total of over 6,400 genuine page likes which makes us extremely proud.  We hope to get to 6,500 Facebook page likes by the end of this month.

To view the CollectA Baryonyx and the Deluxe Elasmotherium model: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Life Models

For the CollectA Fukuiraptor figure, a stunning model of a dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Japan: CollectA Prehistoric Life

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