All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
/2019
22 12, 2019

Dinosaurs from the “End of the World”

By | December 22nd, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Scientists Map out the Late Cretaceous Biota of the Chorrillo Formation (Patagonia)

Scientists meeting at the end of year conference of the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences have presented a new paper that provides an insight into the vertebrate biota associated with the Chorrillo Formation in the Province of Santa Cruz (Patagonia, southern Argentina).  Two new dinosaurs have been described, a basal member of the Iguanodontia estimated to have measured around four metres in length and a much bigger dinosaur, a titanosaur that is estimated to have measured around twenty-five metres long.

Numerous fossil fragments representing several individuals have been found indicating that the iguanodont material might represent a small herd of animals that died together.  This dinosaur has been named Isasicursor santacrucensis, whilst the titanosaur has been named Nullotitan glaciaris.

Two New Dinosaurs were Named at the Conference

Nullotitan and Isasicursor life reconstruction.

A life reconstruction of the titanosaur Nullotitan and the basal iguanodontid Isasicursor.

Picture Credit: CONICET

“Los Dinosaurios del fin del Mundo”

All the fossil material examined in the scientific paper, the dinosaur remains, fossilised titanosaur eggshells, fossils associated with other reptiles including a mosasaur, come from an area of approximately 2,000 square metres.  The sequential strata associated with this part of the Chorrillo Formation plot a gradual ingression of the sea eating into a coastal environment.  The dinosaurs are believed to have lived around 70 million years ago (Maastrichtian faunal stage of the Cretaceous).  As these fossils date from near the end of the Age of Dinosaurs and are geographically located in the south of Argentina, the researchers dubbed them as “Los dinosaurios del fin del mundo” – the dinosaurs from the end of the world.

Silhouette Reconstructions of Isasicursor and Nullotitan

Chorrillo Formation dinosaurs.

Silhouettes of Isasicursor santacrucensis (top) and Nullotitan glaciaris (bottom).

Picture Credit: CONICET

An Enormous Femur

Nullotitan fossil material consists of fragmentary elements from the tail (caudal vertebrae), along with a single neck bone (cervical vertebra), portions of the limbs and other scrappy fossil material.  The largest, most complete fossil bone is a humerus (upper arm bone), it measures 114 cm long, but both the distal and proximal ends of an enormous femur (thigh bone) were also recovered from the site.  The femur is estimated to have been around 190 centimetres in length.

The scientists also reported fragments of theropod eggshells as well as evidence of the presence of both large and small members of the Megaraptoridae, although no fossils associated with abelisaurs were found.  Remains of fishes, lizards, turtles and snakes were also identified along with fossil wood and a large number of terrestrial and freshwater snails.  Mammals were present in the ecosystem, two isolated vertebrae belonging to a small mammal were found.  The fossil material representing individual animals might be quite poor and scrappy in nature, but the number of fossil finds has greatly improved our understanding of the biota of the southern tip of Patagonia close to the K-Pg boundary that marks the end of the Cretaceous.

Fossil Material Ascribed to Isasicursor santacrucensis

Isascursor fossils.

The fossil material associated with Isasicursor.

Picture Credit: CONICET

21 12, 2019

Fukuisaurus Scale Drawing

By | December 21st, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page|0 Comments

Fukuisaurus tetoriensis Scale Drawing

As Everything Dinosaur prepares for the arrival of the first of the new for 2020 CollectA “Age of Dinosaurs” models and figures, team members are busy sorting out scale drawings to insert into the prehistoric animal fact sheets that we are researching and writing.  One of the first of the new CollectA models will be a Fukuisaurus, a replica of a bird-hipped dinosaur known from the Early Cretaceous of Japan.

Very little of the skeleton of Fukuisaurus (F. tetoriensis) is known.  CollectA, just like palaeontologists who have to try to reconstruct a dinosaur skeleton, from only a limited amount of material, have based their figure on better-known iguanodontids that were probably closely related to Fukuisaurus.  From the model, Everything Dinosaur team members have been able to commission their scale drawing.

The Scale Drawing of Fukuisaurus (F. tetoriensis)

Fukuisaurus illustration.

A scale drawing of the Early Cretaceous dinosaur Fukuisaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Calculating the Size of Fukuisaurus

Although the actual size of Fukuisaurus is not known (due to the scarcity and paucity of the fossil material), Everything Dinosaur team members have based their scale drawing on the size estimate given by the acclaimed dinosaur expert Gregory S. Paul who postulated a body length of around four to four and half metres.  The body weight of this herbivorous dinosaur would have fluctuated over the course of the year, depending on the availability of food.  Just like many herbivores today, this dinosaur would have laid down fat during the times when forage was plentiful and then it would have lived on its reserves during times when food was scarce, such as in the dry season.  Everything Dinosaur team members estimate that this dinosaur probably weighed around four hundred kilograms when fully grown.

At the time when Everything Dinosaur announced this 2020 edition to the CollectA Deluxe range, model designer Anthony Beeson stated that he had been inspired to introduce another dinosaur from the famous Kitadani Formation of Japan, in response to requests from Japanese collectors.  These fans will have in 2020, a model of an Early Cretaceous ornithopod to display alongside the CollectA Fukuiraptor that was introduced this year (2019).

The CollectA Fukuiraptor and the CollectA Fukuisaurus Dinosaur Models

CollectA dinosaur models Fukuiraptor and Fukuisaurus.

The CollectA Fukuiraptor (top) and the CollectA Deluxe Fukuisaurus (bottom).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To read about the first of the new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal models: New CollectA Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models (Part 1).

To view the range of prehistoric animal scale models available from Everything Dinosaur in the CollectA Deluxe model range: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Models.

20 12, 2019

Crocodiles at the Gallop!

By | December 20th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Animal News Stories, Main Page|0 Comments

Crocodiles can Gallop but Alligators Can’t

A study led by Royal Veterinary College staff has identified more species of crocodiles that can move quickly by adopting a galloping gait.  In contrast, the closely related alligator and caiman, cannot manage more than a trot.  Ironically, despite differences in locomotion, crocodiles and alligators can all move at approximately the same speed, which no more than around 11 miles per hour (4.9 metres per second).  The ability to gallop and to use an even more extreme gait called a bound, is likely down to the size and build of the member of the family Crocodylia in question.

The Locomotion Study of Crocodilians Revealed Different Gaits

Crocodile and Alligator comparison.

Crocodile (top) and Alligator (bottom).  Forty-two individuals representing 15 species from the Crocodylia family were involved in the study.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Studying Living Crocodiles Provides Information about Extinct Crocodilians

Members of the Crocodylia employ almost the full range of quadrupedal footfall patterns (gaits) used by mammals.  These forms of movement on land include asymmetrical gaits such as galloping and bounding.  Researchers at the Royal Veterinary College set up video tracking cameras at the St Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park in Florida (USA), in order to plot the movements of different crocodilians.  The St Augustine Alligator Farm houses a large number of different species and lots of different animals at various growth stages, it makes an ideal location at which to study crocodilian locomotion.  The Park has been involved in numerous studies, including one conducted by University of Ohio researchers that looked at ways in which archosaurs may have helped to keep their brains cool.  To read more about this research: T. rex had Air Conditioning.

In total the gaits and velocity of forty-two reptiles from fifteen species were studied.

The researchers found that, as expected, larger animals moved relatively more slowly, with athletic ability decreasing as size and bulk increases.  However, while many popular and scientific accounts previously assumed only a few species of crocodiles could gallop and bound, the scientists discovered that a further five species can in fact do so, including the critically endangered Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis).  This now means at least eight species in total can gallop and bound.

Professor John Hutchinson, (Royal Veterinary College), commented:

“We were really surprised at one major thing: despite the different gaits crocodiles and alligators use, they all can run about as fast.  So why do some crocodiles choose to gallop?  We suspect that bounding and galloping give small crocodiles better acceleration and manoeuvrability, especially useful for escaping from danger.  It seems like alligators and caiman stand their ground rather than run away with an extreme gait.”

John Brueggen, Director of St Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park, added:

“We have been witnessing these behaviours in many of our specimens over the years, but it was wonderful to finally formalise these observations in a scientific study.”

Triassic Origins?

The ancestors of today’s crocodilians tended to be small, much more terrestrial in habit and long-legged. Stem members of the Crocodylomorpha, such as Terrestrisuchus (illustrated below),  needed to be fast runners in order to catch their prey and to avoid being eaten by larger predators.  The researchers suggest that either that asymmetrical gaits are ancestral for Crocodylia and lost in the alligator lineage, or that asymmetrical gaits evolved within Crocodylia at the base of the crocodile branch of the family tree.

Terrestrisuchus – A Genus of Early Crocodylomorph from the Late Triassic

Late Triassic Terrestrisuchus.

Terrestrisuchus – A genus of early crocodylomorph from the Late Triassic.  The gaits and forms of locomotion seen in extant crocodilians could be a throwback to stem crocodylomorphs.

Recently, Everything Dinosaur published an article that examined another piece of research conducted by the scientists at the Royal Veterinary College, the paper focused on the giant caiman Purussaurus (P. mirandai), from the Late Miocene of Venezuela.  This monstrous crocodilian evolved unique anatomical adaptations to help it move around on land.

Read the article about Purussaurus here: Ancient Crocodilian Evolved Unique Specialisations Due to its Size.

The scientific paper: “Divergent evolution of terrestrial locomotor abilities in extant Crocodylia” by John R. Hutchinson, Dean Felkler, Kati Houston, Yu-Mei Chang, John Brueggen, David Kledzik and Kent A. Vliet published in the journal scientific research.

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

19 12, 2019

Papo Model Retirements for 2020

By | December 19th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Maintenance on Website, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Papo Prehistoric Animal Model Retirements for 2020

Everything Dinosaur team members recently announced what new prehistoric animal models will be brought out by Papo in 2020.  In total, six new models will be introduced next year, five dinosaurs: New Papo Dinosaur Models for 2020 and for us, the stand out figure from Papo for 2020, a replica of Megaloceros New Papo Megaloceros.

Today, we publish details of those prehistoric animal figures that are being withdrawn.  Being notified about retiring figures is important to collectors, with such a notice they can secure a model for their collection before they become too rare and difficult to obtain.

In 2020 Papo will retire the following:

  • Green Stegosaurus
  • Baby Pachycephalosaurus
  • Original Feathered Velociraptor model
  • Green Parasaurolophus

Papo Prehistoric Animal Models Retired in 2020

Papo prehistoric animal model retirements.

Papo prehistoric animal model retirements (2020).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Papo Model Retirements

With the arrival of a new Stegosaurus colour variant it was always likely that the original, green Stegosaurus dinosaur model would go the same way as the Papo Allosaurus and be withdrawn from production.  This is indeed the case, the Papo green Stegosaurus dinosaur model has been retired.

The Papo Green Stegosaurus has been Replaced by a New Colour Variant Papo Stegosaurus

Two Papo Stegosaurus figures.

The retired Papo Stegosaurus (left) and the new for 2019 Papo Stegosaurus (right).

A New Papo Parasaurolophus Heralds the Demise of the Original Papo Parasaurolophus

As Papo develops a number of colour variants, then the original figures are very likely to be retired shortly afterwards.  The original Papo Parasaurolophus will be replaced by a new colour variant in 2020 and is already out of production.

The Original Papo Parasaurolophus Model is Being Retired

Papo Parasaurolophus models old and new.

The original Papo Parasaurolophus (top) is being replaced by a new colour variant (bottom) in 2020.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The new Parasaurolophus has certainly got a striking colour scheme, but many model collectors and fans of Papo will miss the original version with its more muted colours and tones.

Papo Baby Pachycephalosaurus and the Feathered Velociraptor

The Papo Baby Pachycephalosaurus dinosaur model is also being retired and production of this model has already ceased.  Readers of this blog might have suspected that this figure was under threat when Everything Dinosaur released news of the introduction of a new “bonehead”, a replica of Stygimoloch , which is likely to be available in the late summer/autumn of 2020.

In addition, the original feathered Velociraptor model, released in 2016 is also being retired.  It too is being replaced by a new colour variant.

Papo Feathered Velociraptor Old and New

Papo Feathered Velociraptor Models (Old and New).

New Papo feathered Velociraptor dinosaur model (top), the 2016 Papo feathered Velociraptor (bottom).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We can now reveal which models are being retired from the Papo Les Dinosaures range.  By releasing this information now, model collectors still have the chance to acquire these figures before they become subject to inflated prices as found on internet auction sites.”

Everything Dinosaur still has stocks of these figures available, they can be found here: Papo Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Figures

18 12, 2019

Battle of the Early Vertebrates – Jawless Fish Lose Out

By | December 18th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Bite Mark Analysis in Fossils Plots Demise of Jawless Fish

If you want to survive as a marine vertebrate, then become a powerful predator of your weaker contemporaries!  That’s the conclusion in a new scientific report that plots the demise of the jawless fish and the rise to prominence of our own fishy ancestors.  Writing in the academic journal the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Biology), researchers from Manchester University conclude that a group of armoured jawless fish (heterostracans), may have been driven to extinction as a result of predation from jawed, transitional forms that show adaptations to a more terrestrial lifestyle.

In essence, one group of ancient fish may have been eradicated by a lineage of fish (sarcopterygians), that led eventually to the first land animals.

Plotting the Demise of the Jawless Fish

Research suggests predation by Sarcopterygians could have led to the extinction of the jawless fishes.

New research suggests that predation could have eradicated some types of jawless fish.

Picture Credit: Julio Lacerda/The University of Manchester

Plotting a Changing Pattern of Bite Marks Preserved in the Fossil Record

Palaeontologists from the University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, examined over 2,800 fossil specimens, ranging over a timespan of some fifty million years (Wenlock series of the Silurian to the Late Devonian – 430 to 370 million years ago).  The research revealed a changing pattern in preserved bite marks on early vertebrates and led to the conclusion that transitional sarcopterygians such as Panderichthys may have played a significant role in the demise of the jawless fishes (the agnathans).

It was a Fish Eat Fish World as Sarcopterygians Probably Played a Role in the Extinction of Most of the Jawless Fish

Tiktaalik fossil (anterior portion).

 Fossil Material (Late Devonian).  Predation by advanced tetrapodomorphs such as Tiktaalik and Panderichthys could have resulted in the demise of most members of the jawless fish Superclass Agnatha.

Picture Credit: University of Chicago/Harvard/Academy of Natural Sciences

Diverse Agnathans

Nearly all the extant vertebrates have jaws, this includes birds, reptiles, mammals, amphibians and most types of fish.  However, in the Silurian things were different.  The jawless fish, the agnathans, were widespread, specious and very diverse.  Towards the end of the Devonian, these types of fish seem to have gone into decline.  Previous theories that examined the faunal turnover from jawless forms to fish with jaws considered climate change, environmental factors, competition and even predation by eurypterids (sea scorpions).  This new study, proposes that it was jawed vertebrate predators that performed the “coup de grâce” on the majority of agnathans.

Scientists Dr Emma Randle and Dr Robert Sansom (University of Manchester), found that the frequency of bite marks increased through time, reaching a peak toward the extinction of most of the Agnatha.  The pathology, interpreted as signs of predation on the fossil specimens studied, included gouges, scratches and puncture marks on the skeletons of heterostracans.  The pattern of these bite marks correlated with the occurrence of jawed vertebrates and as such, those fish that are linked to the evolution of the tetrapods, including ourselves, may have predated upon and contributed to the extinction of most of the jawless fishes.

Commenting on the research, Dr Robert Sansom stated:

 “It is really exciting to be able to find direct evidence of an ecological interaction between fossil organisms from millions of years ago, especially one that helps us construct our own distant evolutionary history.”

Dr Emma Randle, currently a Scientific Associate at Birmingham University added:

“Heterostracan jawless fishes are really interesting as they are some of the first vertebrates to have bone – in the form of an armour-like ‘exoskeleton’.  They thrived for many millions of years and came in a variety of beautiful forms often dominating the environments they were found within.  Ultimately, like other varieties of armoured jawless vertebrates, they became extinct towards the end of the Devonian Period, but leave us a fossil record that helps us reconstruct the early evolutionary history of all vertebrates.”

The Fossilised Remains of a Silurian Agnathan (Ateleaspis)

Agnathan (jawless fish) fossil.

A fossil of a jawless fish (Ateleaspis) from the Silurian.  The typical body plan of a jawless fish, the broad head was protected by an armoured, bony shield.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The groups implicated as the main predators were placoderms, heavily armoured jawed vertebrates and sarcopterygians, the lobe finned fish.  The predator most associated with bite marks was Panderichthys, regarded as a key transitional fossil leading to the evolution of the first terrestrial vertebrates.

The scientific paper: “Bite marks and predation of fossil jawless fish during the rise of jawed vertebrates” by Randle E. and Sansom R. published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

17 12, 2019

Ancient Crocodilian Evolved Unique Specialisations Due to its Size

By | December 17th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Purussaurus mirandai – Had an Extra Vertebra to Assist Movement

The giant, prehistoric caiman Purussaurus mirandai, known from Miocene-aged deposits of Venezuela, had unique anatomical adaptations to help it move.  New research, published in the on-line journal “eLife” by an international team of scientists led by Dr Torsten Scheyer of the Palaeontological Institute and Museum of Zurich, demonstrate that this three-tonne predator was able to support its huge bulk by having an extra vertebra in its hip region (sacrum) and the shoulder girdle had also become specially adapted to assist terrestrial movement.

Comparing the Anatomy of P. mirandai to an Extant Caiman (C. Yacare)

P. mirandai compared to a living caiman (C. Yacare).

Comparing the anatomy of P. mirandai to a living caiman (C. Yacare).

Picture Credit: JA Chirinos/The Royal Veterinary College

A Swamp Dweller But Capable of Moving Around on Land

The unusual characteristics suggest that although Purussaurus would have been very much at home in rivers and swamps it was also able to move around on land, although not all that quickly, but over rough terrain and a short distance, this 8-metre-long reptile could have threatened to catch a typical member of our own species .  This research links nicely into a study carried out on the locomotion of modern crocodilians undertaken recently by the Royal Veterinary College, a study that Everything Dinosaur intends to report upon in the near future.

It is the only crocodilian to date to have an extra vertebra in its sacrum.  Purussaurus had three sacral vertebrae not the usual two.  This development requires changes to the “Hox genes” that control where certain body parts are formed.  The scientists noticed that some living crocodilians suffer malformations that cause an extra vertebra to be created in their sacrum, so it is evident that the Hox genes that can make these evolutionary changes remain available to crocodilians today.

Commenting on the findings, co-author of the study, Professor John Hutchinson (Royal Veterinary College) stated:

“We didn’t think that Purussaurus moved quickly on land.  Our findings are important because they help show how development can be altered in order to enable biomechanical changes as animals evolve into larger body sizes.”

Selected Forelimb Bones of Purussaurus from the Urumaco Formation of Venezuela

Purussaurus forelimb fossils.

(A) Interpretative reconstruction of the complete body outline of P. mirandai showing the preserved and assembled bones and the lower jaw in tentative live position.  Left shoulder blade (B) in lateral, medial, and posterior view.  Right shoulder blade (c) in medial view.  Right lower shoulder girdle (coracoid) (D) in dorsomedial, ventrolateral, and anterior view.  Note bony armour osteoderms (in upper part of trunk) and ribs (in lower part of trunk) are not in life position.

Picture Credit: The Royal Veterinary College

Lead author of the research, Dr Torsten Scheyer commented:

“We have been extremely lucky to find such a high amount of fossils in the badlands of Venezuela, which allowed the recognition of the unique condition in the hip region of the giant Purussaurus in the first place.  These old bones show us once again that the morphological variation seen in animals that are long extinct extends well beyond that of what is known in living animals, and thereby broadens our knowledge of what animals can do in evolution.”

An Illustration of the Fearsome Crocodilian Purussaurus mirandai 

Purussaurus mirandai illustrated.

Purussaurus mirandai illustrated, scale bar = 50 cm.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The scientific paper: “Giant extinct caiman breaks constraint on the axial skeleton of extant crocodylians” by Torsten M Scheyer, John R Hutchinson, Olivier Strauss, Massimo Delfino, Jorge D Carrillo-Briceño, Rodolfo Sánchez and Marcelo R Sánchez-Villagra published in eLife.

16 12, 2019

Everything Dinosaur Achieves 7,000 Facebook “Likes”

By | December 16th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Achieves 7,000 Facebook “Likes”

Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page has hit the landmark of 7,000 “likes” we would like to say a very big thank you to all our customers, followers and fans who have “liked” Everything Dinosaur on Facebook.

Everything Dinosaur Has Achieved 7,000 “Likes on Facebook”

7,000 "likes" on Facebook for Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur has achieved 7,000 “likes” on Facebook.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Over 7,000 people follow Everything Dinosaur on Facebook and our popularity has steadily increased.  For example, team members celebrated the landmark of reaching 5,000 “likes” at the end of July 2018 and then the threshold of 6,000 “likes” was reached and then passed in March of this year (2019).

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We are truly humbled to have achieved the benchmark of 7,000 likes on Facebook.  We know how important social media platforms are to our customers and we do our best to post up information, respond to questions and share images of dinosaur fossils, new prehistoric animal models and to put up news about the latest dinosaur discoveries onto our pages.”

The spokesperson added:

“I would like to thank all our followers, friends, customers, dinosaur fans and collectors of prehistoric animal replicas and figures who have taken the time and trouble to visit the Facebook page and to give Everything Dinosaur’s page a “like”.  We really do appreciate this gesture and, unlike some Facebook sites, all of our “likes” are genuine.  The increase in our page’s popularity has come from organic growth and not a single “like” has come from any form of paid for advertising and promotion.  We all feel very humbled and honoured.”

Visit Everything Dinosaur on Facebook

The “like” button on the Facebook social media platform permits users to easily interact with Everything Dinosaur.  The page provides status updates, photos, links, news, polls and comments.  Gaining genuine and legitimate “likes” on Facebook provides an organisation with authority and gives reassurance to other Facebook visitors.   This helps to build up a community around the company and helps to reinforce customer trust and loyalty.

Like” Everything Dinosaur on Facebook

Like Everything Dinosaur on /Facebook

Like our Page (please).  Click the Facebook logo (above) to visit our Facebook page and to give Everything Dinosaur a “like”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur has exciting plans for 2020, these include posting more frequently on the company’s Facebook page, aiming for “Platinum” standard customer service from the independent ratings organisation Feefo and recording more videos for Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel.

We look forward to posting more Facebook updates.

15 12, 2019

CollectA 2020 Prehistoric Animal Models

By | December 15th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

CollectA 2020 Prehistoric Animal Models

Taking a short break from all the picking and packing we are doing in order to get parcels out to customers as quickly as we can in readiness for the 25th December, team members at Everything Dinosaur took some pictures of the illustrations we have of the new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal models.  What an eclectic mix of ancient creatures they are!

Illustrating the New for 2020 CollectA Prehistoric Animal Models

What a collection? The new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animals.

Some of the illustrations we used in our recent videos announcing the new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal models.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

From Terrific Trilobites to Mighty Megalodon

CollectA have certainly developed a diverse range of models to be introduced over the next twelve months or so.  There is quite a range of geological deep time represented by the different taxa, from terrific Trilobites of the Late Cambrian through the remainder of the Palaeozoic, the Mesozoic into the Cenozoic and with the nautilus, to the present.

We congratulate the design team at CollectA for providing such a variety of new models.  The first of these models such as the Protoceratops in 1:6 scale, are due out in quarter 1 of 2020, the rest of the figures will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur over the following few months.

With so  many models it is difficult to pick a favourite, however, team members are excited about the Orthoceras and it is great to see a representative of the elephant-sized dicynodont Lisowicia bojani coming into stock.  Our Polish customers are going to be particularly pleased to see L. bojani.

To view the current range of CollectA Age of Dinosaurs – Popular size figures: CollectA Prehistoric Life.

To view the first of the 2020 CollectA prehistoric animals to be announced: New CollectA Prehistoric Animals (Part 1).

To read about the second set of new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animals: New CollectA Prehistoric Animals (Part 2).

To read the third part in our series introducing new CollectA figures: New CollectA Models (Part 3).

To read the fourth part in this series: New CollectA Models (Part 4).

To view the CollectA scale model series: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Life.

14 12, 2019

A New Basal Allosauroid from Argentina

By | December 14th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|2 Comments

Asfaltovenator vialidadi – Linking Megalosaurs and Allosaurs

This week has seen the formal publication of a scientific paper announcing the discovery of a new type of meat-eating dinosaur from Chubut Province in the Patagonia of Argentina.  This dinosaur named Asfaltovenator vialidadi shows a range of anatomical characteristics which are similar to both Allosaurs and Megalosaurs and whilst it poses a bit of a phylogenetic puzzle when it comes to classifying tetanuran theropods (stiff tails), it does suggest that the Allosauroidea  and Megalosauroidea have a common ancestor.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Asfaltovenator vialidadi

Asfaltovenator illustration.

Asfaltovenator life reconstruction.

Picture Credit: Gabriel Lio/Conicet

Predator of Patagonia Around 175 to 170 Million Years Ago

Discovered back in 2002, from lacustrine deposits (sediments from an ancient lakebed), located about a mile north-east of the village of Cerro Cóndor (Patagonia), the fossil material consists of most of the front portion of the skeleton, including a well-preserved skull.  The genus name honours the geological formation from whence it came, the Cañadón Asfalto Formation and the word “venator” from the Latin for hunter.  The trivial epithet honours the Administración de Vialidad Provincial of Chubut and the Dirección Nacional de Vialidad, for their help with field expeditions of the Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio.

Dating the deposits associated with the Cañadón Asfalto Formation has proved difficult.  Isotope analysis using material from volcanic ash layers has yielded varying results, but in the paper published in the academic journal “Scientific Reports”, the age of the strata associated with this fossil find is stated as late Toarcian to Bajocian, indicating that this predatory dinosaur roamed Gondwana around 175 to 170 million years ago.

Views of the Skull and Jaws of Asfaltovenator with Line Drawings

Skull and jaws of Asfaltovenator with accompanyin line drawings.

Cranial anatomy of Asfaltovenator vialidadi, MPEF PV 3440.  (A) composite reconstruction of the skull and lower jaws, based on disarticulated cranial elements.  (B), graphic reconstruction of articulated skull.  (C), braincase in occipital view.  (D,E) posterior end of left mandible in dorsal view; (D) photo; (E) outline drawing.  Note scale bar (A,B and C) is 10 cm, scale bar (D, E) is 5 cm.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

The skull is estimated to be around 80 cm in length and the overall body size of Asfaltovenator is estimated at between seven to eight metres in length.

A Tweak to the Tetanurae

Asfaltovenator demonstrates an unusual combination of anatomical characteristics.  Its discovery could have implications for the way in which palaeontologists arrange the family tree of meat-eating dinosaurs.  The Suborder Theropoda, the lizard-hipped, primarily carnivorous dinosaurs, is further divided up into several sub-groups, for example the allosauroids, megalosauroids, ornithomimosaurs, tyrannosauroids, maniraptorans and their close relatives, the birds.  Arguably, the most successful part of the Theropoda was the Tetanurae (stiff tails), a clade that is defined as all theropods more closely related to modern birds than to Ceratosaurus.  It is thought that the Tetanurae diverged from its sister clade, the Ceratosauria, during the Late Triassic.

The discovery of Asfaltovenator is important, as most Middle Jurassic theropods are only known from quite fragmentary material and this dinosaur, described as a basal allosauroid, has traits linking it to both the allosauroids and the megalosauroids.  This suggests that the Allosauroidea and the Megalosauroidea evolved from a common ancestor and that these two parts of the Tetanurae are more closely related to each other than they are to the Coelurosauria, that part of the Tetanurae that gave rise to the tyrannosaurs, ornithomimids, Maniraptora and the birds.

Postcranial Material and a Skeletal Drawing Showing the Known Fossil Material (Asfaltovenator vialidadi)

Skeletal drawing of Asfaltovenator and postcranial fossil material.

Skeletal reconstruction and postcranial anatomy of Asfaltovenator vialidadi.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

Scientists hope that more large tetanurans can be found in Middle Jurassic strata, as further discoveries will help to hone Theropoda classification.

13 12, 2019

New for 2020 Papo Megaloceros

By | December 13th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New for 2020 Papo Megaloceros

Yesterday, Everything Dinosaur published details of five new dinosaur models coming out from Papo in 2020.  These models caused quite a lot of reaction, as was to be expected.  However, there is a sixth prehistoric animal due out from Papo next year, one that we deliberately chose not to include in our dinosaur themed blog post, it was only late in the afternoon that we posted up pictures of this sixth model on our social media sites.

Today, we can give this new for 2020 Papo prehistoric animal the platform it deserves, as there is going to be a Papo Megaloceros!

New for May 2020 the Papo Megaloceros

Papo Megaloceros model.

Papo adds a prehistoric mammal to its model range in 2020.  The Papo Megaloceros.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Magnificent Megaloceros!

Megaloceros is an extinct member of the deer family (Cervidae).  One species, the largest and type species M. giganteus, is often referred to as the “Irish Elk”, although it was not restricted to Ireland and it is not that closely related to the Elk.  The Papo model depicts this giant deer (the largest species exceeded two metres in height at the shoulder), as a magnificent animal, those colossal antlers have been skilfully crafted and the paintwork and detailing are superb.  There have been models of Megaloceros produced before, perhaps most famously by Bullyland of Germany, but this figure has long since been retired.

It is great to see such a staple of European natural history museum extinct mammal galleries depicted as a model.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur explained:

“With five dinosaur models to announce we thought it best to introduce these first before turning our attention to the magnificent Megaloceros figure.  With many prehistoric mammal models, they can be lost in the swirl of excitement and debate that accompanies the release of information about new dinosaur replicas and figures, we wanted to give the new Papo Megaloceros room to breathe, as this in our view is a wonderful figure, our personal favourite of the new for 2020 Papo prehistoric animals.”

The Fossilised Remains of a Megaloceros on Display at the National Museum of Scotland

A giant Irish Elk on display.

A Megaloceros skeleton on display.  Many specimens of Megaloceros adorn the mammal galleries of European natural history museums.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Due Out in May 2020

The Megaloceros model is likely to be available from Everything Dinosaur around May 2020, beating the introduction of the Papo dinosaur figures by several months.  We promise our blog readers that we keep them all posted about this model’s production and when it is going to be in stock.

To read about the five dinosaur models coming out from Papo late in quarter three 2020: Everything Dinosaur Announces New Papo Dinosaurs for 2020.

To view the range of Papo dinosaurs, pterosaurs, marine reptiles and of course, prehistoric mammals stocked by Everything Dinosaur: Buy Papo Prehistoric Animal Models at Everything Dinosaur.

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