All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
/2019
14 03, 2019

New CollectA Models On Their Way

By | March 14th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New for 2019 CollectA Models Due to Arrive Next Week

Exciting news for dinosaur fans and model collectors, the first batch of the new for 2019 prehistoric animal models from CollectA are due to arrive at Everything Dinosaur next week.  Stocks of the Borealopelta, the Deluxe 1:40 scale Carnotaurus, the super-sized pterosaur figure – Caiuajara and the 1:20 scale Deluxe Edaphosaurus are all on their way.  In addition, the new for 2019 set of mini prehistoric animal models are also due to arrive at the same time.

Coming into Stock at Everything Dinosaur

New for 2019 CollectA prehistoric animal models.

The first batch of new for 2019 CollectA prehistoric animal models are on their way to Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows the first four models coming into stock along with the mini prehistoric animal model set which will feature an additional twelve figures.  Back in November, when we were given the official go ahead to discuss the 2019 CollectA offering, Everything Dinosaur team members posted up the first pictures of these hand-painted models.  They were very well received.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

” We are delighted to announce that the first new prehistoric animals from CollectA are going to be in stock very soon.  These quality models capture the essence of CollectA, they don’t just focus on dinosaurs, only two of the sixteen figures represent members of the Dinosauria [Carnotaurus and Borealopelta], we know how keen model collectors are to acquire animals from the Palaeozoic and Cenozoic Eras as well.”

Heading Your Way!  The CollectA Deluxe Carnotaurus Dinosaur Model

CollectA Deluxe 1:20 scale Carnotaurus dinosaur model.

CollectA Carnotaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Detailed Prehistoric Animal Models

Many manufacturers focus on just a handful of figures, but the CollectA range is huge with a wide variety of prehistoric animals (and plants) represented.  Over recent years the company has introduced several sets of mini-prehistoric animal figures.   Later on this month, Everything Dinosaur will be receiving stocks of the prehistoric animal model set, or as we at Everything Dinosaur like to call it “the synapsids plus one”.  All the figures are synapsids, with the exception of the mini Kelenken model, which as a bird comes from the Archosaur lineage of diapsids.

The CollectA Mini Prehistoric Animal Model Set

The CollectA Box of Mini Prehistoric Animals (2019)

The CollectA box of mini prehistoric animal models which is going to be available in 2019. Twelve prehistoric animal models.  Coming into Everything Dinosaur very soon.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

How many of the twelve models in the set can you name?  As a clue and to give you a start, we have given you the name of one already.

Sailing Towards Us the Sail-backed Reptile Figure Edaphosaurus

The CollectA Edaphosaurus model.

The CollectA Edaphosaurus model.  If you look at the top right-hand corner of the photograph you can see the CollectA Carnotaurus coming into attack!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We are looking forward to getting all these new models into stock next week.  Rest assured all those dinosaur fans on our reserve lists, as soon as the models come in we will be emailing you to let you know that the figures are available and that we have set one aside.

To view the range of CollectA prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: CollectA Prehistoric Animals

13 03, 2019

New Giant Pliosaur From the Early Cretaceous of Colombia

By | March 13th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|2 Comments

Sachicasaurus vitae – Brings a Whole Town to Life

A team of scientists from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Colombia), have announced the discovery of a new species of giant brachauchenine pliosaurid from Lower Cretaceous-aged beds in central Colombia.  The monster marine reptile, estimated to have measured around ten metres in length has been named Sachicasaurus vitae and is the largest of the three pliosaurid genera discovered to date from Colombian sediments.  Ironically, the species epithet for this formidable predator is Latin for “life”, a reference to the huge impact this discovery has had on the village of  Sáchica where the fossil was found.  It seems that the normally quiet village has had a considerable upsurge in visitors and commercial trade as the excavations of the huge specimen progressed.

A Photograph of the Holotype Specimen and Accompanying Line Drawing

New pliosaurid Sachicasaurus from Columbia.

Sachicasaurus vitae photograph of fossils and skeletal line drawing.

Picture Credit: Universidad Nacional de Colombia

The photograph (above), shows a dorsal view of the holotype (MP111209-1).  The dotted lines represent parts of the skeleton found separate from the main body fossil deposit.  The scale bar located below the photograph of the fossil indicates fifty centimetres.  The skull is more than two metres long.  The fossils come from Lower Cretaceous deposits located at Sáchica (the genus name honours the village).

Partially Articulated Specimen and Still Growing

The specimen was discovered in an articulated state and is estimated to have been around 9.9 metres long, but the researchers have concluded that the fossil remains represent a sub-adult animal so the maximum size for this marine reptile is unknown.  Pliosaurs are an extinct clade of short-necked plesiosaurs that were both temporally and geographically widespread.  Many pliosaurs were apex predators within Jurassic and Early Cretaceous marine environments.

Sachicasaurus Jaw Bones and Associated Teeth

Sachicasaurus jaws and teeth.

Sachicasaurus vitae photographs and interpretative drawings of the jaws and teeth.

Picture Credit: Universidad Nacional de Colombia

The Most Complete Pliosaur Discovered in Colombia

Sachicasaurus vitae represents the most complete pliosaurid fossil specimen found to date in Colombia, it is also the largest Pliosaur known from this part of the world.   It lived approximately 125 million years ago (Barremian faunal stage of the Early Cretaceous).  For such a large animal the front flippers seem particularly small, this suggests that it might have had a different form of propulsion, perhaps being more reliant on the rear flippers and powerful strokes of its tail (assuming the presence of tail fluke).  Although the phylogeny of this marine reptile is uncertain, as it possessed a mix of primitive and more advanced anatomical traits, it has been placed within the Brachaucheninae and it may have been closely related to Kronosaurus.

An Illustration of a Typical Pliosaur Marine Reptile

Pliosaur illustration.

An illustration of a typical pliosaurid marine reptile.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Powerful Skull of Sachicasaurus vitae

Sachicasaurus vitae skull and line drawings.

Photographs and interpretive drawings of the skull in (A) dorsal view and (B) ventral views.

Picture Credit: Universidad Nacional de Colombia

The Diversity of Colombian Pliosaurids in the Early Cretaceous

The discovery of S. vitae highlights the diversity of pliosaurs known from the Early Cretaceous of Colombia.  Two other pliosaurs have been recorded from this part of South America, both of which are smaller than Sachicasaurus.  The occurrence of different genera of pliosaurids in the Barremian beds of Colombian suggests that the environmental conditions of the Colombian sea during the Early Cretaceous facilitated the development of sufficient marine life to sustain a diverse group of predators.

The other pliosaurs known from the Early Cretaceous of Colombia:

  • Stenorhynchosaurus (S. munozi) named in 2016.  It had a more elongated snout and may have been a specialised piscivore.
  • Acostasaurus (A. pavachoquensis) named in 2017.  It had a robust snout but was approximately half the size of Sachicasaurus.
12 03, 2019

Year 5 (Jurassic World)

By | March 12th, 2019|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Year 5 Classes Explore Dinosaurs and Extinction

Children in Year 5 at Oasis Academy Short Heath (West Midlands), have been learning all about dinosaurs, prehistoric animals and extinction in their spring term topic.  With the help of the enthusiastic teaching team, the two classes have been studying prehistoric animals and linking this topic area to key parts of the national curriculum, such as English, mathematics, geography and science.  Recently, the children had been looking at electricity and learning about conductors.  When holding a cold fossil, heat (thermal energy), is conducted from your warm hand to the cold fossil.  The heat flows from the person to the colder object, this little exercise essentially helps to support learning about how heat is transferred and what makes a good conductor.  It links to the second law of thermodynamics helping to explain the properties of materials.

During our workshops with the class we explored the properties of fossils and what they can tell us about life in the past.

Year 5 Children Learning About Prehistoric Animals

Dinosaur poster (Year 5)

Lots of facts and information about prehistoric animals.

Picture Credit: Year 5 Oasis Academy Short Heath

English Curriculum – A Balanced Argument

Under the expert tutelage of the Year 5 teaching team there was plenty of evidence in support of cross-curricular activities on display in the spacious and tidy classrooms.  The Everything Dinosaur team member who visited the school to deliver the dinosaur and fossil workshops, spotted some super science posters that the children had prepared and during the workshop, the idea of bringing back the extinct Woolly Mammoth (M. primigenius) was proposed.  Would it be a good idea to make an animal  de-extinct?  This links with an aspect of the English curriculum, introducing the idea of a balanced argument.  Could the class debate the advantages and disadvantages of introducing a genetically modified elephant breeding programme to create shaggy coated elephants?

How to Clone a Mammoth – Linking to a Balanced Argument Exploring Pros and Cons

The science behind de-extinction.

The science of de-extinction by Beth Shapiro.  A recipe book for bringing back extinct animals.

Picture Credit: Princeton Press

Art and Design Dinosaurs

Many of the children had been inspired to create their very own dinosaur themed pieces of art.  There were some wonderful examples of prehistoric animal models on display in the classrooms.  Toni had created her very own blue and pink dinosaur egg, which when carefully opened revealed a baby Triceratops inside.  The children studied Triceratops (T. horridus) and had a go at scientific working to see if they could come up with a theory as to why palaeontologists have skull bones of this horned dinosaur but few examples of limb bones to study.

Lots of Beautiful Dinosaur Themed Artworks on Display

Year 5 and a beatuiful dinosaur egg.

A beautiful blue and pink dinosaur egg on display.

Picture Credit: Toni (Year 5 Oasis Academy Short Heath)

The class were intrigued to hear that recent research by scientists had led to the idea that dinosaur eggs may have been coloured and not just plain white or cream.  German scientists had studied the eggs of a little dinosaur from China and found evidence of the remains of pigments within the fossil eggshell, one of the pigments identified would have given the dinosaur eggs a bluish colour.  The colour scheme chosen by Toni for her Triceratops egg is therefore highly appropriate.

Some Very Large Dinosaur Models on Display

Oasis Academy (Short Heath) Year 5 and their dinosaur themed crafts.

Year 5 children at Oasis Academy Short Heath get creative during their term topic about dinosaurs.

 

Picture Credit: Year 5 Oasis Academy Short Heath

We hope the extension ideas and suggestions we provided help with the teaching scheme of work as the budding young palaeontologists explore themes such as evolution and extinction over the rest of the term.  The children certainly enjoyed the workshops and challenged their visitor with some amazing questions that they had prepared.

11 03, 2019

New Australian Ornithopod Described

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

Galleonosaurus dorisae – A New Aussie Dinosaur

A new type of Australian dinosaur has been described from the fossilised remains of five upper jaw bones (maxillae) found at the Flat Rocks locality in the Wonthaggi Formation in the famous Gippsland Basin of Victoria.  Five small-bodied Ornithopods are now known from the state of Victoria.  The new plant-eating dinosaur has been named Galleonosaurus dorisae.  The jaw bones are of different sizes and this has permitted palaeontologists to plot growth changes in these little dinosaurs as they matured.

Writing in the Journal of Palaeontology, the researchers which include Matthew Herne (University of New England, New South Wales) and Alistair Evans (Monash University, Melbourne), used detailed CT-scans of the fossil material to gain fresh insights into the structure and morphology of the cranial anatomy and dentition of small Australian Ornithopods.  The research leading to the establishment of this new genus has also helped to define more clearly other small Ornithopods known from the Gippsland Basin and the Otway Basin located on the opposite side of Port Phillip Bay.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Ornithopod Galleonosaurus dorisae

Galleonosaurus dorisae illustrated.

A life reconstruction of the newly described Australian Ornithopod Galleonosaurus dorisae.

Picture Credit: James Kuether

“Galleon Lizard”

When the scientists were examining the maxillae, their shape reminded them of the upturned hull of an old-fashioned sailing ship – a galleon.  It was the morphology of the jaw that inspired the genus name “Galleon Lizard”.  The species or trivial name honours Doris Seegets-Villiers for her geological, palynological, and taphonomic work on the Flat Rocks fossil vertebrate locality.

Jaw Fossils and a Tooth with a CT-scan of the Fossil Material

Galleonosaurus fossiils and a CT-scan of a jaw.

Fossil jaw bones, a single tooth and a CT-scan image of a jaw bone (Galleonosaurus dorisae).

Picture Credit: Herne et al

Niche Partitioning in Ornithopods

The plethora of vertebrate fossils at the Flat Rocks site, suggests that several more dinosaurs await discovery.  However, for the moment, the researchers are confident that Galleonosaurus shared its habitat with at least one other small, light, fast-running Ornithopod – Qantassaurus intrepidus.  The jaws of Qantassaurus are more robust and more powerful.  The researchers were able to confirm that Q. intrepidus is uniquely characterised by a deep, foreshortened dentary (lower jaw).  This suggests that the robust Q. intrepidus and the more gracile jawed G. dorisae fed on different vegetation, they did not compete directly for food, an example of niche partitioning.

Dr Herne described Galleonosaurus:

“We know it would have been a two-legged, quite agile plant-eating dinosaur.  It seems that Galleonosaurus was no doubt closely related to possibly as many as four or five other species that look a little bit similar and were similar sizes, but we can tell they’re different by the anatomy of the jaws and the teeth.”

A Lush Conifer Dominated Rift Valley with an Immense Volcanic Mountain Chain to the East

Extensive research on the Otway Formation material to the west of Port Phillip Bay in conjunction with research on the geology of the Gippsland Basin have permitted scientists to build up a picture of what life was like in this part of Australia during the Early Cretaceous.  The dinosaurs lived in an extensive rift valley that had formed as Australia began to separate from Antarctica. Conifer forests dominated and at such high latitudes, the lush environment would have been subjected to long periods of extensive daylight in the summer, but conversely the winters would have been cold with little daylight each day.  Although the Earth’s climate was much warmer than today during the Early Cretaceous, it is quite possible that these little dinosaurs would have had to endure winter temperatures close to freezing.

Gondwana in the Early Cretaceous (Barremian Faunal Stage)

Gondwana in the Early Cretaceous.

Around 125 million years ago, although Gondwana was breaking up, Australia was still linked to Antarctica with a large volcanic mountain range to the east.

Picture Credit: Herne et al

A Skeletal Reconstruction of the Skull of Galleonosaurus and the Anatomical Position of Jaw Material

Jaw fossils of Galleonosaurus dorisae.

An illustration of the skull of Galleonosaurus dorisae with fossil elements placed in the correct anatomical position.  The lower jaw shown in the image might pertain to G. dorisae based on a reassessment of other known lower jaw elements associated with Q. intrepidus and Atlascopcosaurus loadsi.

Picture Credit: Herne et al

A Phylogenetic Analysis

The scientists conclude that a highly diverse, small-bodied Ornithopod fauna flourished in the periodically disturbed, high-latitude, riverine floodplain environment of the Australian-Antarctic rift valley during the Early Cretaceous (Barremian to Early Albian faunal stage).  A phylogenetic analysis places Galleonosaurus as the earliest member of the Elasmaria, a clade of Gondwanan Ornithopods distantly related to the Hypsilophodonts.

The Five Victorian Ornithopods – Spanning 12 million years

The Lower Cretaceous rocks either side of Port Phillip Bay were laid down at different times during the Cretaceous.  The Gippsland Basin deposits close to the town of Inverloch, were laid down around 125 million years ago, however, the Otway Basin deposits (Eumeralla Formation), represent younger material laid down in the Early Albian (113 million years ago).

  1. Leaellynasaura amicagraphica – named in 1989 (Early Albian faunal stage), from the Eumeralla Formation (Otway Basin).
  2. Atlascopcosaurus loadsi – also named in 1989 from the Eumeralla Formation.
  3. Diluvicursor pickeringi – named in 2018 (Eumeralla Formation).  To read an article about the discovery of this dinosaur: Fast-running Ornithopod from Victoria.
  4. Qantassaurus intrepidus named in 1999 from the Wonthaggi Formation (Gippsland Basin) – older strata associated with the Barremian faunal stage of the Early Cretaceous.
  5. The newly described Galleonosaurus dorisae (2019), also from the Wonthaggi Formation.

Dr Herne stated:

“The interesting thing about that whole coast line is it gives us a decent age range over quite a long period.”

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It is likely that many more small dinosaurs are going to be named and described in the future.  Fossil finds from Victoria will, most likely, lead to further revisions of Gondwanan Ornithopod taxonomy.”

10 03, 2019

Bring Back the Original Papo Green Standing T. rex?

By | March 10th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|4 Comments

Bring Back the Original Papo Green Standing T. rex?

In one of our recent discussions with the management team at Papo, Everything Dinosaur team members were asked to provide feedback on the introduction for 2019 of the Papo brown running T. rex dinosaur model.  Tyrannosaurs have been a staple of the Papo range ever since their first Tyrannosaurus rex, the famous green standing T. rex figure was introduced.  Sales of the brown running Tyrannosaurus rex continue to be strong, but this got us thinking, what if Papo was to produce a limited production run of their original T. rex model?

The Iconic Papo Standing T. rex Dinosaur Model

The Papo Green Standing T. rex dinosaur model.

The last of its kind, the Papo green standing T. rex dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Officially Retired

The original Papo T. rex was officially retired after the 2011 production run, however, Everything Dinosaur was able to use its influence to acquire the very last stocks of this dinosaur replica, but these very soon sold out.  With its articulated lower jaw and peg-like, blunt teeth, this award winning dinosaur model had been very popular with young dinosaur fans and model collectors.  It was replaced by the brown colour variant with a new head sculpt in May 2012, but Everything Dinosaur still receives periodic requests from model fans eager to get hold of this dinosaur figure.

Since then, the Papo range of prehistoric animal replicas has expanded considerably, but as the Papo imagery associated with their first “tyrant lizard king” seems to be out of copyright, young dinosaur fans have been increasingly exposed to images of this figure, but unable to obtain it.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s Papo prehistoric animal models: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

At the time the original green standing T. rex figure from Papo was retired, a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The Papo model T. rex with the product code 55001, has been replaced with a new, brown coloured version, but we have been inundated with requests to see if we could get hold of any models.  It is pleasing to note that our influence and relationship with Papo is strong and we have been able to secure the remaining stock.”

The question is whether with the introduction of a brown running T. rex figure, should Papo bring back the original green standing T. rex?

The Papo Green Standing T. rex Dinosaur Model – Long Extinct but Should it Come Back?

The Papo green standing T. rex dinosaur model.

The Papo green standing T. rex dinosaur model. Should we start a campaign to re-introduce this long extinct figure?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Should Papo bring back for a limited time their original green standing Tyrannosaurus rex?

9 03, 2019

The CollectA Rearing Diplodocus – Demonstrates Niche Partitioning

By | March 9th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Teaching|0 Comments

The CollectA Rearing Diplodocus – Niche Partitioning

The beautifully sculpted and skilfully painted CollectA rearing Diplodocus dinosaur model helps us to demonstrate a concept called niche partitioning.  The term niche partitioning is used by ecologists to explain how organisms use the resources in an environment differently to avoid competition and therefore, by doing this, they can all co-exist.  Diplodocus is known to have co-existed with several other long-necked dinosaurs in the Late Jurassic, but they were able to share the same environment as they very probably fed on different types of vegetation.  They were probably not directly competing with each other for resources.

The CollectA rearing Diplodocus can be posed in a rearing position, as if it is reaching high into the upper canopy of a forest in order to reach the leaves and branches at the very top of the trees that other dinosaurs could not reach.  We created a short video (45 seconds), that demonstrates how the CollectA Diplodocus can be balanced to demonstrate niche partitioning.

The CollectA Diplodocus Demonstrates Niche Partitioning in the Sauropoda

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Providing a Challenge to Schoolchildren During a Dinosaur Workshop

When Everything Dinosaur team members visit schools, we explain this concept using dinosaurs as an example and then challenge the class to think of examples of niche partitioning within modern ecosystems.  This helps reinforce understanding about food chains/food webs and how ecosystems are constructed.  It also helps to demonstrate an important principle in palaeontology, the idea that we use comparisons from living creatures and environments today to help us understand life in the ancient past.

A Sauropod Dinosaur Rears Up

A long-necked dinosaur rears up.

A rearing Sauropod.  As well as reaching food, the ability to rear could have had a secondary function as a defensive response to an attack from a predator.

Picture Credit: M. V. Eashwar

Niche Partitioning

Many types of extant herbivorous animal, normally quadrupedal, are able to rear up onto their hind legs in order to reach food that otherwise they would not be able to access.  As an extension to this exercise in schools, we ask the pupils to construct food webs to reflect how the chosen ecosystem functions.

A Gerenuk Antelope Feeding

A Gerenuk antelope.

A South African antelope a Gerenuk rears up to reach foliage.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Our team members have posted up numerous articles exploring this topic area on this blog.

To read an article about niche partitioning within Jurassic marine environments: Marine Reptile Teeth Tell the Tale of Changing Seas

An examination of why the Cretaceous of northern Africa seems to have had large numbers of super-sized predators: Why so Many Large Predators in Cretaceous Africa?

The CollectA Rearing Diplodocus Dinosaur Model

CollectA have included several Sauropod figures within their “Prehistoric Life” model range.  The CollectA rearing Diplodocus model is one of the larger figures within this not-to-scale range, with a rearing height of approximately 23 centimetres.

The CollectA Diplodocus Dinosaur Model

CollectA rearing Diplodocus dinosaur figure.

The CollectA rearing Diplodocus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the CollectA rearing Diplodocus and the other CollectA models available from Everything Dinosaur: The CollectA Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Model range

8 03, 2019

Celebrating International Women’s Day

By | March 8th, 2019|Educational Activities, Main Page, Photos/Schools, Press Releases, Teaching|0 Comments

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Today, March 8th is International Women’s Day, an annual event that has its origins in the early part of the 20th century.  Over the last few years, with women’s rights and inequality issues gaining much greater media attention, this day has provided an opportunity to highlight the many challenging issues and barriers women face, for team members at Everything Dinosaur, it allows us a platform to celebrate and commemorate the huge contribution women have made and continue to make to science.

Spotted in a London Primary School – Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientists

School poster acknowledges the role of women in science.

Celebrating the role of women in science.

Picture Credit: Ilderton Primary/Everything Dinosaur

The theme for International Women’s Day 2019 is: “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”.  International Women’s Day has become an important date in the international calendar as it provides an opportunity to focus on the achievement of women and amongst other things to celebrate the role women play in the advancement of human knowledge and their contribution to society.  It also provides a focal point to address gender inequality.

When team members visit schools, we provide information to help the teachers to identify suitable role models for the children to learn about.  We have been lucky to have worked with some amazing scientists from all over the world and we can provide lots and lots of examples supporting the cause of gender equality in science, after all, the word scientist does not distinguish between male and female.

We Try and Breakdown Stereotypical Views about a Career in the Sciences

Developing scientists in schools.

Developing the next generation of scientists.  Helping to break down gender stereotypes.

Picture Credit: Lego

Celebrating the Life and Work of Mary Anning

One of the role models we suggest is Mary Anning (1799-1847).  This famous fossil hunter from Dorset and her story has become synonymous with elements of the national curriculum for schools (primary school level).  When we visit schools, we provide lots of additional teaching resources and we often challenge the class to research and write about Mary Anning (independent learning and non-chronological reporting).

A Challenge to a Key Stage 1 Class – Ten Questions About Mary Anning

Mary Anning Non-chronological report.

A non-chronological report exercise based on the life and work of Mary Anning.  Helping to promote the role of women in science.

Picture Credit: Mary Anning

Tomorrow, March 9th, is the anniversary of the death of Mary Anning, at just 47 years of age.  As well as working with Key Stage 1 children exploring the fossils that Mary Anning found and her role in helping to improve our understanding of prehistoric life, when working with older children in Upper Key Stage 2, we introduce other issues that are reflected in the life and work of the famous fossil hunter.  For example, in Georgian and early Victorian times, the academic world largely shunned the idea of women making a contribution to scientific enquiry.  During her lifetime, Mary Anning received little credit and very little reward for her efforts.  These days, we live in somewhat more enlightened times, although many might argue that there is still a long way to go before true equality is achieved.

When working with Year 5 and Year 6 students we explore how other scientists treated Mary and her endeavours.  She was not permitted to join the Geological Society of London, being a woman, this was forbidden and many of her male contemporaries not only refused to give her credit for her discoveries and insights, they actually took much of the credit for themselves.  Sadly, Mary died all too soon having spent much of her life in abject poverty.  When Everything Dinosaur team members visit Lyme Regis, where Mary was born, we make a pilgrimage to her grave at St Michael’s church and pay our respects.

Mary Anning’s Grave at Lyme Regis She is Buried Alongside Her Brother Joseph

Mary and Joseph Anning are buried here.

The grave of Mary and Joseph Anning.  It has become the custom to leave a fossil at the grave as a tribute to Mary’s contribution to science.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Royal Society Acknowledges Mary Anning

In 2010, the Royal Society published a list of the top ten British women who had most influenced the history of science.  Mary Anning was included in this list.  Much has changed in terms of gender equality in the sciences, however, despite the Royal Society having its roots in the early 1660’s, it is worth remembering that the first female Fellow was not elected until 1945 (we think).

Another female scientist included in the Royal Society list was the chemist, biologist and physicist Rosalind Franklin.  Rosalind was an outstanding polymath who made an enormous contribution to our understanding of DNA and RNA and pioneered X-ray crystallography (XRC).  Rosalind Franklin is commemorated on the poster we spotted in the primary school.

Rosalind Franklin is Featured on the School Poster Praising the Contribution of Women in Science

Highlighting the work of Rosalind Franklin.

The work of Rosalind Franklin is highlighted.

Picture Credit: Ilderton Primary/Everything Dinosaur

7 03, 2019

Everything Dinosaur Achieves 6,000 “Likes” on Facebook

By | March 7th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Prehistoric Times|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Reaches 6,000 “Likes” on Facebook

Today, Everything Dinosaur celebrates the benchmark of having achieved 6,000 “likes” on Facebook.  Our Facebook page (@EverythingDinosaur), provides a reliable source of information on new prehistoric animal models, figure retirements, updates on fossil finds and we post up lots and lots of images of prehistoric animals, especially dinosaurs.   We even publish surveys and polls too!

The Everything Dinosaur Facebook page reached the landmark of 5,000 “likes” at the end of July 2018, a little over seven months later, we have smashed through the 6,000 “likes” threshold on our page.  A huge thank you to all those followers and friends who have “liked” our page.

6,000 Facebook “Likes” for Everything Dinosaur

Facebook and 6,000 "likes"

6,000 Facebook “likes” click to “like” Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Reaching Facebook Milestones

In June 2015, the Everything Dinosaur Facebook page passed the landmark of 2,000 “likes”.  By early November 2017, this had been doubled to more than 4,000 and now we have had a fifty percent increase on this with an additional 2,000 “likes” added in less than fifteen months.

A representative from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“I would like to thank all our friends, followers, customers, dinosaur enthusiasts and collectors of prehistoric animal figures who have taken the time and trouble to visit our Facebook page and to give Everything Dinosaur’s page a “like”.  We really do appreciate this 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 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 legitimate and genuine “likes” on Facebook gives an organisation authority and provides reassurance to other Facebook visitors.   This helps to build up a community around the company and helps to reinforce customer loyalty and trust.

 

We believe customer service is the key to getting "likes".

“Like” our Facebook page.

Everything Dinosaur Celebrating 6,000 “Likes” on Facebook

6,000 "Likes" on Facebook for Everything Dinosaur.

Everything Dinosaur achieves 6,000 “likes” on Facebook.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Once again, a very big thank you from all of us at Everything Dinosaur to all of you.

6 03, 2019

Twisting and Turning Tyrannosaurs Made them Top Predators

By | March 6th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

New Study Suggests Tyrannosaurids More Manoeuvrable than Other Large Theropods

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the Oklahoma State University Centre for Health Sciences have applied mathematical models to assess the manoeuvrability of predatory dinosaurs.   This research, published in the on-line journal PeerJ, involving numerous collaborators, suggests that large bodied Tyrannosaurs were more agile and able to turn more sharply than other similar sized Theropods such as Allosaurs and carcharodontosaurids.

A Large Tyrannosaur Attacks a Styracosaurus

Daspletosaurus fighting a horned dinosaur.

Tyrannosaur fighting a horned dinosaur.  A new study suggests that large bodied Tyrannosaurs may have been surprisingly agile.

Picture Credit: John Gurche

A Factor in the Evolutionary Success of Tyrannosaurs

The research involving complex mathematics, a study of animal anatomy and physics compared how rapidly meat-eating dinosaurs could turn their bodies.  In summary, the scientists concluded that Tyrannosaurs could attack smaller, faster and more dangerous prey.  It is suggested that the greater manoeuvrability of these carnivores may have been a factor in their evolutionary success.

Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Eric Snively, in collaboration with co-author Haley O’Brien (Oklahoma State University Centre for Health Sciences) along with several other leading palaeontologists such as Professor Phil Currie (University of Alberta), demonstrated that whether a Tyrannosaur was dog-sized or a fully-grown, mature adult, it retained its agility and manoeuvrability.

Three-dimensional Computer Models Used to Test Tyrannosaurid Manoeuvrability

Assesing the agility of tyrannosaurids.

Computer models were created to examine the agility of tyrannosaurids.

Picture Credit: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Enhanced Agility Compared to Other Super-sized Theropods

Tyrannosaurs were assessed to be more agile as they had relatively short bodies (anteroposteriorly short thoracic regions, and cervical vertebrae that aligned into posterodorsally retracted necks).  In summary, shorter bodies meant less turning resistance and even their tiny arms helped!  In addition, long, tall ilia bones (part of the hip), provided plenty of room for huge leg muscle attachments that gave the power needed for rapid turns and pivots.

The Size of the Ilia (Hip Bones) was Used to Infer Muscle Size Along with Postulated Tail Depth

Tyrannosaur agility, mapping the position of leg locomotor muscles.

Mapping muscle groups to assess the agility of tyrannosaurids.  Tyrannosaur musculature was compared to that of an extant alligator.

Picture Credit: PeerJ

In terms of the fastest results from the Tyrannosaur family, a horse-sized juvenile T. rex turned the quickest for its size, followed by the giant T. rex “Sue”, the enormous, mature adult from the Field Museum (Chicago).

Eric Snively described the T. rex turn as something akin to a “slow-motion-ten-tonne figure skater from hell,” quite apt in a way as T. rex fossils are known from the Hell Creek Formation.

Biomechanical Model Has Implications for Large Theropod Hunting Strategies

The researchers used very accurate anatomical assessments and rigorous statistics to create three-dimensional models that could then be tested for their range of movements.  Different Theropods were examined including Dilophosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Giganotosaurus, Sinraptor as well as numerous Tyrannosaurs at different growth stages as well as smaller members of the Tyrannosauroidea Superfamily such as Raptorex.  With respect to other Theropods, tyrannosaurids were found to be increasingly agile without compromising their large body mass, such that in a pairwise comparison, tyrannosaurids were achieving the same agility performance as much smaller Theropods.  For example, a 500 kg Gorgosaurus had slightly greater agility scores than the 200 kg Eustreptospondylus, and an adult Tarbosaurus nearly twice the agility scores of the lighter Sinraptor.

The Oxford University Specimen of Eustreptospondylus Used in the Study

Eustreptospondylus dinosaur skeleton exhibit.

The fossil specimen on display (E. oxoniensis).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Siri Scientific Press

Enhanced agility and tight manoeuvrability in tyrannosaurids suggest that T. rex et al had superior abilities when it came to pursuing and subduing prey.  This new research may have important implications when it comes to examining how large Theropods hunted.

If tyrannosaurids were more agile and able to manoeuvre faster than other large predators they may have been more adept than earlier, super-sized, apex predators when it came to catching agile prey.  It is postulated that this capability of tyrannosaurids is consistent with coprolite evidence that indicates that tyrannosaurids fed on juvenile Ornithischians.  Furthermore, it is proposed that healed Tyrannosaur bite marks on fossilised remains of adult horned dinosaurs and Hadrosaurs indicate an ability to outmanoeuvre quadrupedal prey.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Whilst this is a fascinating piece of research, it is important that we don’t entirely discount observations of modern-day predator/prey interactions.  Often an apex predator will select a weakened, or sick animal within a herd to attack.  In addition, young animals are particularly vulnerable as they are smaller and less experienced in avoiding predators compared to adult animals.”

The largest non-tyrannosaurids, including Giganotosaurus, often lived in habitats alongside Sauropod dinosaurs.  These associations may suggest that allosauroids may have preferred less agile prey than did tyrannosaurids.  It is also possible that stability conferred by high rotational inertia, as when holding onto giant prey, was more important for allosauroids than turning quickly.

The researchers intend to undertake research to assess the manoeuvrability of ceratopsids and other prey such as duck-billed dinosaurs before applying the same techniques to examine Tyrannosaur bite forces.

5 03, 2019

Designing Dinosaur Models

By | March 5th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Designing Dinosaur Models

Designing dinosaur and prehistoric animal models is a tricky business.  With the advent of three-dimensional printing technology and modelling software, things have got a little easier but there is still all the work involved in creating prototypes, mould building and so on.  Today, we feature the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex figure, a dinosaur model that was developed to demonstrate how scientific thinking regarding the stance of Theropod dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex has changed over the last hundred years or so.

The Japanese model maker Kaiyodo has employed state-of-the-art modelling techniques to produce fantastic, highly collectable dinosaur models and figures.  The design team excelled themselves when developing a collectable figure with ten points of articulation.  Many models have an articulated lower jaw, but for the design team at Kaiyodo, doing the ordinary was out  of the question, in their limited edition T. rex Toy Box figures, they opted for an articulated upper jaw instead.

Demonstrating the Articulated Upper Jaw on the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex Figure

Video credit: Everything Dinosaur

Articulated Dinosaur Models

There has been a trend in recent years for dinosaur models to have articulated jaws and front limbs.  One of the benefits of an articulated jaw for example, is this feature does permit collectors to be able to close the mouth of their figure.  Many Theropod dinosaur models tend to depict these animals with their mouth open, not a natural pose at all.  Most tetrapods don’t walk round all day with the jaws wide open.  It is the lower jaw that is articulated in the vast majority of these figures. However, in order to demonstrate their engineering credentials, the design team at Kaiyodo gave their Sofubi Toy Box T. rex an articulated upper jaw (premaxilla and maxilla), as demonstrated in this short forty-five second video.

The Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex in “Kangaroo” Pose

Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex

Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex in a “kangaroo” pose.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

From Kangaroo to a Balanced See-saw

When first scientifically described, Tyrannosaurus rex was illustrated as a biped whose tail dragged on the ground.  The articulated tail of the Sofubi Toy Box T. rex permits the model to displayed in this position, a pose described as a “kangaroo pose” or sometimes a “kangaroo stance”.  However, the ingenious engineering allows this figure to be displayed in what is thought to be a more anatomically accurate pose, with the centre of balance over the hips and the tail lifted off the ground – a sort of pose described as a “balanced see-saw”.

The Kaiyodo Sofubi T. rex Model in a “Balanced See-saw” Stance

The Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box articulated T. rex model.

The Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box articulated T. rex figure with the tail lifted off the ground.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

When it comes to the engineering behind the design of dinosaur models, you have to hand it to Kaiyodo…

A Handy Dinosaur Model

T. rex dinosaur model (Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box - T. rex A).

Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex dinosaur figure (T. rex A).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex figure is suitable for collectors from fifteen years and above and it can be found here: Kaiyodo Prehistoric Animal Models

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