All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
//August
21 08, 2020

Lisowicia bojani – Next Everything Dinosaur Video Review

By | August 21st, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Dynamic Dicynodonts – Lisowicia bojani Video Review Planned

With the recent arrival of the remaining twelve new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal models, team members at Everything Dinosaur have been busy sorting out all the figures on reserve and picking and despatching orders to eager customers.  However, we have received numerous requests to post up a video review of the CollectA Deluxe 1:20 scale Lisowicia bojani, we intend to post up a short video showcasing this model and the small Placerias model that we also stock in the next ten days or so.

Everything Dinosaur Intends to Produce a Video Review of the CollectA Deluxe Lisowicia bojani Model

CollectA Lisowicia video review titles.

The title page for Everything Dinosaur’s planned video review of the CollectA Deluxe Lisowicia bojani 1:20 scale replica.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

As well as showcasing the new 1:20 scale figure, team members at Everything Dinosaur intend to comment briefly on the Dicynodontia clade, explain how these synapsids are on the Mammalia part of the tetrapod family tree and to discuss suitable figures to accompany the Lisowicia replica in prehistoric dioramas.  The new for 2020 CollectA figures have already featured in several short videos that have been posted up onto Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel.

The Lisowicia Model was One of Eighteen New for 2020 Figures Introduced by CollectA

CollectA Lisowicia replica

The CollectA Lisowicia bojani model compared next to a geology ruler.  The video will also permit the scale of this figure and its measurements to be discussed.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Adding a Placerias

Dinosaur fans and model collectors have for some time relied on Everything Dinosaur to supply them with another dicynodont figure, that of Placerias.  The Placerias figure has been useful when it comes to creating Late Triassic dioramas.

A Herd of Placerias Models

A trio of Placerias models.

A trio of Placerias models.  The Placerias replica is great for creating Triassic dioramas.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Placerias Model Available from Everything Dinosaur

Placerias model.

The Placerias figure available from Everything Dinosaur whilst stocks last.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To purchase the CollectA Lisowicia bojaniCollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Life Range including Lisowicia bojani.

The Placerias is part of set of dinosaur and prehistoric animal models, they can be ordered here: Placerias can be found in this section of the website, just search for the “Prehistoric Animal Models (Individual)” and then purchase a model from this set.  When passing through check-out a message box will pop up and this will allow you to state “Placerias” and a member of our packing team will ensure that this is the figure that is sent out to you.

Take a look at Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel here: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.  We recommend that you subscribe to our YouTube channel.

20 08, 2020

Oldest Evidence of Megapredation

By | August 20th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Triassic Ichthyosaur Bit Off More than it Could Chew

An international team of researchers have reported the oldest evidence found to date of megapredation, that is, when one large predator eats another large animal.  Sadly, for the 4.8 metre ichthyosaur at the centre of this research published in the on-line, open access journal iScience, the victim, a 4-metre-long thalattosaur (another type of marine reptile), turned out to be the last meal this fish lizard ever had.

Evidence of Megapredation – Thalattosaur Torso Found in Stomach of an Ichthyosaur

Guizhouichthyosaurs evidence of megapredation.

The torso of the thalattosaur in the stomach of the ichthyosaur.  Although the thalattosaur was almost as long as the ichthyosaur it was much lighter.

Picture Credit: Jiang et al/iScience

Which Marine Reptiles were Top of the Food Chain?

When it comes to mapping Mesozoic food chains it is how big the animal was and the size and shape of the teeth that are usually used to determine position in the food web.  Large animals with big, pointed teeth are usually regarded as the apex predators.  However, there is little direct evidence in terms of stomach contents to support these assertions.  A nearly complete specimen of a Guizhouichthyosaurus has been found that contained the torso of another marine reptile, nearly as big as the ichthyosaur.  Guizhouichthyosaurus is believed to have reached a length of between 6-7 metres (most specimens are much smaller).  Their teeth are not huge and they seem adapted to grabbing slippery prey such as fish and squid.  However, the evidence is quite compelling, it seems that Guizhouichthyosaurus also fed on other large marine reptiles too.  Until this fossil discovery, Guizhouichthyosaurus had not been regarded as an apex predator.

Specimen of Guizhouichthyosaurus with Stomach Contents

The skeleton of Guizhouichthyosaurus and stomach contents.

Skeleton of Guizhouichthyosaurus and stomach contents.

Picture Credit: Jiang et al/iScience

A Surprise in the Abdominal Region

The ichthyosaur specimen, likely to represent a new species of Guizhouichthyosaurus was found in 2010 and excavated from the Ladinian (Middle Triassic) Zhuganpo Member of the Falang Formation in Xingyi, Guizhou Province, in south-western China.  During preparation, a large block of bones was identified in the stomach cavity.  It soon became clear that these bones were not from the ichthyosaur but represented a thalattosaur, identified as Xinpusaurus xingyiensis.  The seventy-four centimetre mass was classified as a bromalite, a trace fossil representing the remains of material sourced from the digestive tract of the ichthyosaur.  The lack of evidence of damage from stomach acids suggests that the unfortunate Xinpusaurus had been swallowed shortly before the Guizhouichthyosaurus itself died.  Attempting to consume such a large item of prey probably killed the ichthyosaur.

Skeletal Reconstruction of the Ichthyosaur and Thalattosaur

Demonstrating the predator/prey relationship

(A) = Skeletal reconstruction of the predator, Guizhouichthyosaurus, with (B) approximate skeletal map of the prey, Xinpusaurus xingyiensis.  Skeletal reconstruction of X. xingyiensis holotype (C) and photograph of X. xingyiensis holotype fossil (D).  A natural mould of the isolated, articulated tail of Xinpusaurus found 23 metres away from the ichthyosaur/thalattosaur specimen (E).  Scale bars 1 metre (A-C), 10 cm (D) and 25 cm for (E).

Picture Credit: Jiang et al/iScience

Scavenging a Carcase Discounted

An articulated Xinpusaurus tail was found some twenty-three metres away from the ichthyosaur/thalattosaur specimen.  Whilst it is not possible to definitively match this tail to the bromalite, the researchers suggest that the tail could have come from the prey.  The presence of limb bones in the stomach cavity indicate that the Xinpusaurus was attacked and that the ichthyosaur was not scavenging a carcase.  If the Guizhouichthyosaurus had been feeding on a rotting corpse, it is likely that the Xinpusaurus limb bones would have become detached from the body as the soft tissue eroded.

It has been proposed that the ichthyosaur attacked the slightly smaller Xinpusaurus at the water’s surface.  The predator employed a “grip and tear” strategy, as seen in extant aquatic predators such as large crocodilians and killer whales (Orcinus orca).  By grabbing the victim and thrashing its powerful body and tail, the Xinpusaurus could have been ripped to pieces by the ichthyosaur.  This might explain why the head and neck of the Xinpusaurus is missing whilst a detached tail was found nearby.

The Skull of the Guizhouichthyosaurus and a Close View of the Teeth

Guizhouichthyosaurus skull showing close-up of jaws lined with small, closely spaced teeth.

The skull of the ichthyosaur with the red rectangle highlighting the area shown in close up view.  Dotted line in (B) indicates the gumline.  The small, closely spaced teeth of Guizhouichthyosaurus do not look typically like the dentition of an apex predator.

Picture Credit: Jiang et al/iScience

The remarkable fossils most likely represent the oldest record of megafaunal predation by a marine reptile and the oldest example of megapredation.  If Guizhouichthyosaurus was capable of such carnage then it seems the many more Mesozoic reptiles, not previously considered as top predators could also have indulged in megapredatory behaviour.

The scientific paper: “Evidence Supporting Predation of 4-m Marine Reptile by Triassic Megapredator” by Da-Yong Jiang, Ryosuke Motani, Andrea Tintori, Olivier Rieppel, Cheng Ji, Min Zhou, Xue Wang, Hao Lu and Zhi-Guang Li published in iScience.

19 08, 2020

Everything Dinosaur Maintains 5-Star Service

By | August 19th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Maintains 5-Star Service

Things might be a little difficult for a lot of people at the moment.  The COVID-19 global pandemic continues to have a negative effect on international business and logistics, but our dedicated and enthusiastic team members continue to work around the clock to ensure that customer orders are picked, packed and despatched as quickly as possible.

Throughout this pandemic we have been able to maintain our 5-star customer service rating with Feefo the independent ratings company.  Top marks for Everything Dinosaur!

Everything Dinosaur has Managed to Maintain the Top Rating for Customer Service

Feefo award for Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur has been awarded the Platinum Trusted Service award from Feefo.  Everything Dinosaur has managed to maintain top marks for customer service during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Feedback from Everything Dinosaur Customers

Some of the recent comments and feedback recorded by Feefo on behalf of Everything Dinosaur:

Remko provided feedback:

“I forgot to add some items to my order and they cancelled my first one so I could reorder the correct items.  Shipping was very fast as well.  Received the shipping notice on Monday, and the package was delivered on Wednesday.”

Leonardo provided a comment:

“Everything was perfect, from customer service to packaging to professionalism in general.”

Michael added:

“Fantastic range of high quality products at great prices.  Better than amazon for dinosaur products.  Have ordered several times in the last few weeks and always received products within 24 hours.”

Rafael from Alberta (Canada), exclaimed:

“As always, great service.  I love the customer service that everything dinosaur have.  Shipping was fast.  No more than 10 days all the way to Canada.  Thank you ED for all the work and logistics that you put into getting this REBOR Titanoboa in our hands.  Much appreciated!!”

Des, one of our many overseas customers sent feedback:

“Took a couple of weeks to get here but quality and size of mammoth very impressive!”

Michael from Ireland was very pleased with our speedy service and delighted to receive the free prehistoric animal fact sheet that we included in the parcel.  He stated:

“Great fast service, the fact that they also add an information sheet with the models is wonderful.”

David one of Everything Dinosaur’s many customers in Spain wrote:

“Perfecto, servicio impecable, como siempre.”  This translates as “perfect, impeccable service, as always.”

Everything Dinosaur Won the Feefo Platinum Service Award for 2020

Platinum Standard Service from Everything Dinosaur.

Everything Dinosaur has won the Feefo Platinum Service Award for 2020.  This is the highest award provided by the independent ratings company Feefo.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur thanked customers for their kind comments and feedback stating that the company had put into place a number of contingency plans to ensure that team workers could sort out and pack orders over the weekend if required and that staff had made sure that the warehouse and offices were COVID secure environments.

The company remains on track to be recognised for its excellence in customer service in 2021.

To visit Everything Dinosaur’s website: The Everything Dinosaur Website.

18 08, 2020

Rebor Swarm X-REX in Stock

By | August 18th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Rebor Swarm X-REX (Plague Variant) in Stock

The Rebor Swarm X-REX (plague variant colour version) is now in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  This is the second in a series of four planned by Rebor, it follows on from the “Broodlord” figure that was introduced earlier on this year (2020).

The Rebor Swarm X-REX Replica (Plague Variant) is now in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

 Rebor X-REX Swarm (Plague Variant).

The Rebor X-REX Swarm (Plague Variant).  The amazing Rebor X-REX Swarm has a flexible tail, a removeable alien internal jaw and rotatable arms.   It is 43 cm long and approximately in 1/35th scale.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A 1:35 Scale Figure

The model measures around forty-three centimetres in length once the tail has been added.   It should be noted that due to the weight of the head, the figure will not stand up without the addition of the tailpiece to act as a counterbalance.   The same is true for the Rebor Broodlord model that was introduced in January (2020).  The model is tentatively scaled at 1:35, although as this is a fantasy, science-fiction figure the stated scale is arbitrary.

The Superb Skull of the Figure (Rebor Swarm)

Swarm - plague variant.

A close view of the amazing head of the Rebor X-REX Swarm (plague variant).  The large head is heavy, too heavy for the head and body to stand without the assistance of the addition of the tailpiece.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the Rebor X-REX Swarm and Broodlord at Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Models and Figures.

Team members are currently preparing a video for the Everything Dinosaur YouTube channel that shows how to assemble this Rebor alien xenomorph model.

Four Figures Planned in Total

A total of four figures had been planned in this science-fiction inspired series.   The aim had been to introduce one each quarter for 2020, however, the COVID-19 global pandemic delayed production and Swarm has been released some seven months after the first in the series – Broodlord was introduced.  The other two replicas are Broodlord “organic” and the intriguingly titled Swarm “radioactive”.

The Back Cover of the Box Highlights Future Figures (Broodlord Organic and Swarm Radioactive)

Broodlord organic and Swarm radioactive models.

The Broodlord “organic” and Swarm “radioactive” replicas.  These figures will be available from Everything Dinosaur in the future, although no release date from the factory has been confirmed.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Team members are busy contacting all those customers who asked to be informed when the X-REX Swarm arrived.  This exciting line of science-fiction, fantasy figures has certainly attracted a lot of interest from collectors and dinosaur model fans.”

17 08, 2020

CollectA Bajadasaurus Gets a Makeover

By | August 17th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

CollectA Deluxe Bajadasaurus Gets a Makeover

Whilst we wait for the arrival of the remainder of the new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal models, we can reacquaint ourselves with one of their earlier releases from the spring.  The CollectA 1:40 Bajadasaurus model was one of six figures that Everything Dinosaur was able to secure stocks of, before the COVID-19 pandemic began to disrupt the global economy.  Dinosaur model collector Elizabeth commissioned Martin Garratt to repaint her Bajadasaurus model.  The result is a spectacular reimagining of this Early Cretaceous, spiky dinosaur.

The Repainted CollectA Deluxe Bajadasaurus Dinosaur Model (Martin Garratt)

A repainted CollectA Bajadasaurus.

CollectA Bajadasaurus pronuspinax repainted.  The new for 2020 CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale Bajadasaurus dinosaur model has been repainted by Martin Garratt.

Picture Credit: Elizabeth

A Remarkable Turnaround

The CollectA model has been turnaround very quickly.  Bajadasaurus (B. pronuspinax) was formally named and scientifically described in February 2019 (although the fossils were found back in 2010),  the design team at CollectA were able to move from the prototype stage to full production remarkably swiftly to ensure that this model was available in early 2020.

A Beautiful Interpretation of the Bajadasaurus Colour Scheme

Anterior portion of the CollectA Bajadasaurus repaint.

A close view of the head and the neck of the Bajadasaurus model.  The anterior portion of the model showing those spectacular neural spines that projected forwards.

Picture Credit: Elizabeth

Our thanks to Elizabeth for sending into Everything Dinosaur some photographs of her repainted figure.

Elizabeth commented:

“I’m absolutely thrilled with what Martin achieved.  I’ve never had a piece from him that I didn’t like, of course, but inevitably some pieces strike a particular chord.  This one does.  I just wish I’d ordered a base as well!”

The Factory Colouration of the CollectA Bajadasaurus

The CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale Bajadasaurus dinosaur model.

The new for 2020 CollectA Bajadasaurus dinosaur model is in stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Team members have already been informed as to which of the remaining new for 2020 CollectA models are wanted by Martin Garratt.  Staff will be busying sorting out the models and responding to all those customers on our reservation lists when the new CollectA figures come in.

A Magnificent Modified Dinosaur Model

Collecta Bajadasaurus repaint.

A CollectA 1:40 scale Bajadasaurus has been repainted by Martin Garratt.

Picture Credit: Elizabeth

To view the CollectA Deluxe range of prehistoric animal scale models: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Life Models.

The Painted Model (Dorsal View) Showing the Delicate Stripes on the Top of the Body and Tail

CollectA Bajadasaurus repainted.

A dorsal view of the repainted CollectA Bajadasaurus.

Picture Credit: Elizabeth

16 08, 2020

New for 2020 CollectA Models Due in Stock in a Few Days

By | August 16th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Remaining New for 2020 CollectA Models Due in Stock

The rest of the new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal models are due to arrive at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse in a few days.  The remaining figures, the last of what are eighteen new figures introduced by CollectA this year are expected in about six days.  The models include the 1:60 scale megalodon model with an articulated jaw, the 1:2 scale pterosaur Caviramus and the Early Jurassic theropod Saltriovenator (S. zanellai).

Everything Dinosaur Will Have All the Remaining CollectA Prehistoric Animal Models in Stock Soon

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.  The rest of the new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal figures will be in stock very soon.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

CollectA Dinosaurs, Pterosaurs, Prehistoric Sharks and Invertebrates (plus a Dicynodont)

The production of these models has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   Everything Dinosaur was able to bring in some of the new for 2020 figures earlier in the year, but the likes of the hunting Mapusaurus, the Allosaurus, the cephalopods, the horseshoe crab and the replica of the huge dicynodont Lisowicia bojani were all held up.  Team members have been busy sorting out reservation lists for these figures, making room to accommodate the models in the company’s warehouse as well as researching and writing fact sheets to accompany sales.

The Mapusaurus model (CollectA Age of Dinosaurs – Prehistoric Life)

CollectA hunting Mapusaurus

CollectA Mapusaurus hunting dinosaur model.  Due in stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson for the UK-based company commented:

“It has been a while, but the hard-working and enthusiastic team at CollectA have been doing all they can to expediate the delivery of these excellent figures into our warehouse.  We are looking forward to receiving them and we have prepared plans to ensure that we contact all those people on our reserve lists for these models as quickly as possible.  We have even ensured that we can work through next weekend if required to make sure we swiftly dispatch orders.”

“Something Fishy” – The CollectA Deluxe 1:60 scale Megalodon will Swim into Stock

CollectA Deluxe Megalodon shark model.

The CollectA 1:60 scale Megalodon shark model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of CollectA not-to-scale models and figures: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models.

CollectA deluxe and supreme scale models: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Models and Figures.

15 08, 2020

Late Triassic Island Dwarfs?

By | August 15th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Bristol Channel Could Provide Oldest Evidence of Insular Dwarfism

The flamboyant Baron Franz Nopcsa did much to establish the concept of island dwarfism, that is animals on islands with limited resources often evolve into much smaller forms.  Baron Nopcsa was the first person to suggest dwarf dinosaurs based on specimens associated with the Late Cretaceous Hateg Island, but a team of researchers including scientists from Bristol University, have uncovered evidence of island dwarfism in strata laid down in the Upper Triassic millions of years before the Hateg biota evolved.

Writing in the “Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association”, the researchers report on an analysis of fossil remains from strata laid down around 205 million years ago that suggests ancient North American reptiles lived on an island archipelago in the area that now forms South Wales and the Bristol Channel.

Student Matthew Skinner, (School of Earth Sciences at Bristol University), studied a treasure trove of fossil material that had been collected from Ruthin Quarry back in the 1950s and housed as part of the fossil collection at the National Museum of Wales (Cardiff).  The fragmentary and very fragile material documented life on a small tropical island during a time in Earth’s history when the Atlantic Ocean did not exist and Europe and North America were only partly separated and what division there was consisted of narrow, shallow seaways dotted with small islands.

World Map (Late Triassic) The Black Square Shows the Approximate Location of the Island Archipelago

Position of continents in the Late Triassic.

Pangaea in the Late Triassic, the black square highlights the island archipelago linking Europe and North America.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In total eleven different taxa were identified, many of the vertebrates identified from the Ruthin Quarry fossils were reminiscent of fossils associated with much older strata in North America.  The researchers describe the Ruthin Quarry biota as “relictual”, they are the remnants of a population that was once much more widely distributed.  The Ruthin Quarry specimens are some 25 million years younger than the similar fossils known from North America.

Matthew Skinner commented:

“We were amazed to discover that most of the Ruthin beasts showed greatest similarity to relatives from North America.  Of course, at that time, one could just hop across from South Wales to New York.  The islands provided little space and food and so regular-sized animals couldn’t survive on them; the Ruthin animals were all dwarf versions of their closest mainland relatives, maybe half the size on average.”

Professor Mike Benton (Bristol University), who supervised the research study, explained:

“Our other questions were about the effects of island life.  We know today that animals on remote islands can evolve in different ways from on the mainland.  Often they become smaller, as there is less food, and they might be anachronistic – meaning they are throw-backs to much more ancient animals from the mainland.”

As most of the taxa identified from the site possess closest relatives that are found in much older strata and their body size is small, the scientists have concluded that these fossils record evidence of island dwarfism, also referred to as insular dwarfism.  This is the oldest known record of this biological phenomenon.

A New Species – Smilodonterpeton ruthinensi

The team identified cartilaginous fish including the primitive shark Rhomphaiodon minor from a single tooth which helped to date the material.  Numerous reptiles were described including parareptiles from the Procolophonidae family, one procolophonid is a new species and has been named Smilodonterpeton ruthinensis (chisel-toothed reptile from Ruthin).  Other reptiles identified include three species of rhynchocephalians (beak lizards, distantly related to the living Tuatara of New Zealand), the herbivore Tricuspisaurus thomasi and archosaurs including a small, predatory crocodylomorph similar to Terrestrisuchus.  Although less than a metre in length, this crocodylomorph may have been the top predator on the island.  From this inventory, a simple food chain for the Ruthin Quarry fossil site could be constructed.

Location of the Fossil Finds and the Ruthin Quarry Food Chain

Ancient islands and a food web for the Late Triassic Ruthin Island.

A map of the Bristol Channel/South Wales area during the Late Triassic showing the ancient islands in relation to the modern coastline. With (below) a food web for Ruthin Island.

Picture Credit: Bristol University

 CT Scans and Three-Dimensional Computer Models

A number of the delicate fossil specimens were subjected to non-destructive CT scans to help reveal their anatomical details.  Tricuspisaurus had been named and scientifically described in 1957, but its taxonomic relationship with other reptiles was unclear.  This research has enabled the scientists to challenge the view that Tricuspisaurus was a procolophonid.

Co-author of the paper, Dr David Whiteside (Bristol University and the Palaeontology Department of the London Natural History Museum), stated:

“It has been questioned for many years how Tricuspisaurus is related to the other reptiles.  I was keen we found out what it really was, and Matthew was able to CT scan the specimens and this showed that its teeth were located in tooth sockets and it had a beak at the front of its jaws.  This confirms it was not a procolophonid, as had been thought, but a distant relative of birds, crocodiles and dinosaurs.”

CT Scan and Digital Image of the Lower Jaw of Tricuspisaurus

Tricuspisaurus CT scan and computer model of the lower jaw.

CT scan and 3-D digital computer model of the lower jaw of Tricuspisaurus.  The scan shows the base of its teeth embedded in tooth sockets.  A clear tooth socket lacking a tooth is visible at the back of the jaw.  Scale bar equals 5 mm.

Picture Credit: Bristol University

For a related article on the Bristol Channel/South Wales archipelago: Getting to Grips with the Jaws of Clevosaurus.

The scientific paper: “Late Triassic island dwarfs?  Terrestrial tetrapods of the Ruthin fissure (South Wales, UK) including a new genus of procolophonid” by M. Skinner, D. Whiteside, and M. Benton published in the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association.

14 08, 2020

Eustreptospondylus from Summertown (Oxfordshire)

By | August 14th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|1 Comment

Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis from Summertown (Oxfordshire)

After the recent hot weather and to coincide with the gradual opening up of museums as some of the COVID-19 restrictions are eased in England, we wanted to feature the fossilised remains of one of the most complete theropod dinosaurs known from the Middle Jurassic of Europe – Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis.  Why Eustreptospondylus?  It’s fossils were discovered in a clay pit at Summertown, Oxfordshire.  The marine sediments revealed a single, disarticulated skeleton, probably representing a young animal.  The specimen (OUMNH J. 13558) is on display at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.  As we reach high summer in the northern hemisphere, we think it fitting to remember the dinosaur from Summertown.

Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis on Display at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Eustreptospondylus fossil specimen on display.

The mounted skeleton of Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis on display at the museum.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Discovered in 1871?

The fossilised remains of this theropod were discovered in 1871 according to the Oxford University museum, but some sources claim the fossils were found in the previous year.  The dinosaur has not always been displayed like this, for many years the fossils were posed in a “kangaroo-like” posture with the tail bones dragging on the ground.  In addition, a replica of the head of an adult Eustreptospondylus was added to the exhibition case to demonstrate that this dinosaur would have grown up into a formidable predator, had it lived for a few years longer.

The Reconstructed Head of the Fearsome Eustreptospondylus (E. oxoniensis)

A reconstruction of the head of Eustreptospondylus.

A reconstruction of the head of Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis on display at the Oxford University Natural History Museum.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

As we move into high summer, it’s a pleasure to remember one resident of Summertown.

13 08, 2020

Edmontosaurus – Not a Helpless, Hapless Hadrosaur

By | August 13th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Respect to Edmontosaurus

Everything Dinosaur team members have produced a short YouTube video praising the Late Cretaceous duck-billed dinosaur Edmontosaurus.  A juvenile Edmontosaurus might be on display at the moment, stuck in the jaws of a life-size replica of “Sue” the famous Tyrannosaurus rex exhibit, but Edmontosaurus was more than just lunch for a large theropod.  In our short video, we highlight just how successful the Edmontosaurus spp. were.  Indeed, the genus may have persisted for as much as seven million years and roamed over an enormous part of the western northern hemisphere.

It’s time to show Edmontosaurus some respect!

Edmontosaurus Not a Helpless, Hapless Hadrosaur

Video credit: Everything Dinosaur

Edmontosaurus regalis and Edmontosaurus annectens

In our short video, it lasts a fraction under eight minutes fifteen seconds, we discuss Edmontosaurus and explain that this genus was extremely successful.  It made up a considerable portion of the Late Cretaceous biota of Laramidia and some individuals may have grown to truly gigantic proportions.  The narrator discusses both Edmontosaurus regalis and E. annectens looking at some of the unpublished fossil evidence that suggests that this herbivore could have reached lengths in excess of fifteen metres.  A large, mature adult Edmontosaurus could perhaps have weighed as much as nine tonnes.

In the Video Edmontosaurus was Compared to the Chinese Hadrosaur Shantungosaurus 

Edmontosaurus compared to Shantungosaurus.

Comparing hadrosaurs.  Shantungosaurus compared to Edmontosaurus.  Could Edmontosaurus have rivalled Shantungosaurus giganteus for the title of the largest facultative biped that ever existed?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

—Video Contents—
0:00 – Introduction, an outline of the video’s contents and objectives.
0:28 – Introducing Edmontosaurus, you might think you know Edmontosaurus, but be prepared for some surprises.
0:54 – Field Museum Life-size T. rex, the amazing replica created by Blue Rhino Studios.
1:32 – Subscribe!  To view Everything Dinosaur on YouTube, we recommend subscribing to our YouTube channel: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.
1:43 – Two species of Edmontosaurus, an explanation of where, in general, fossils of E. regalis and E. annectens are found.
2:12 – Edmontosaurus roamed Alaska?  Hadrosaur fossils associated with the Prince Creek Formation of northern Alaska, could represent a species of Edmontosaurus.
2:43 – Edmontosaurus versus T. rex.  Tyrannosaurs predated upon Edmontosaurus, probably targeting the young, the old, or injured/sick individuals.
3:12 – How Big was Edmontosaurus?  Fossils provide evidence with regards to the size of this genus.
3:48 – Edmontosaurus “mummies”.  Analysis of soft tissues associated with Edmontosaurus specimens indicates that these herbivores were bigger than previously thought.
4:07 – Which species was Bigger?  Comparing the two species of Edmontosaurus that have been described to date.
4:21 – Super-sized Edmontosaurus!  Just how big could Edmontosaurus be?
4:55 – Biggest Biped that Ever Lived!  It may have rivalled Shantungosaurus giganteus for the title of the largest facultative biped that ever lived.
5:13 – Two Edmontosaurus models.  Looking at the Wild Safari Prehistoric World 2020 Edmontosaurus and the 2011 replica (see image below).
5:45 – Soft Crest on Edmontosaurus?  Did Edmontosaurus have a crest of soft tissue on the top of its skull?  We look at the fossil evidence.
6:02 – Successful Edmontosaurus!  Time to show Edmontosaurus some respect, it was a truly amazing member of the Dinosauria.
6:32 – Question of the Day!  Which T. rex model would you display next to the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Edmontosaurus figure?
7:10 – Respect to Edmontosaurus.  Concluding our video, it’s time to show some respect to Edmontosaurus spp.

The Two Safari Ltd Edmontosaurus Models Compared

Safari Ltd Edmontosaurus models.

Two Safari Ltd Edmontosaurus models (2020 and 2011).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Respect to Edmontosaurus

Time to show Edmontosaurus some respect.

Respect to Edmontosaurus!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Purchase the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Edmontosaurus and other Safari Ltd dinosaurs here: Wild Safari Prehistoric World Models and Figures.

Subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

The life-size Tyrannosaurus rex at the Field Museum (Chicago): Lifelike Replica of “Sue” T. rex Goes on Display.

12 08, 2020

Vectaerovenator inopinatus – “Unexpected Air Filled Hunter”

By | August 12th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Geology, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Vectaerovenator inopinatus – “Unexpected Air Filled Hunter from the Isle of Wight”

This week has seen the announcement of the discovery of four fossil bones from the foreshore near Knock Cliff, south of the town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight that led to the naming of a new species of carnivorous dinosaur.  The new theropod has been named Vectaerovenator inopinatus (pronounced: Vec-tare-row-ve-nay-tor in-op-pin-ar-tus).  Most of the media outlets that have covered this story have focused on the dedicated people who found the fossils and the research team responsible for describing them.  The fossils were found over a period of several weeks in 2019 in three separate discoveries, two by individuals and one by a family group, who all handed in their finds to the nearby Dinosaur Isle Museum (Sandown).

The Carcass of Vectaerovenator inopinatus Floats Out to Sea

The Vectaerovenator inopinatus floats out to sea.

Vectaerovenator inopinatus – carcass floating out to sea.  The fossil bones come from the marine Ferruginous Sandstone Formation of the Lower Greensand Group.

Picture Credit: Trudie Wilson

A Vital Contribution to the Earth Sciences

The contribution from amateur fossil hunters cannot be underestimated, such enthusiastic and knowledgeable fossil hunters continue to make a hugely significant contribution to the Earth sciences.  The fossil material, consisting of four vertebrae (one cervical, two dorsal and one caudal), are, with the exception of some isolated teeth, the youngest non-avian theropod remains reported from Mesozoic strata from the British Isles.

The fossils come from the Aptian (Early Cretaceous), Ferruginous Sandstone Formation of the Lower Greensand Group and as these are marine deposits, it is likely that the carcass was washed out to sea and floated for some time before eventually settling on the seabed.  Most Early Cretaceous dinosaur fossil material known from the British Isles come from the Wealden Group or the older Purbeck Limestone Group.  Exposures of the generally younger Ferruginous Sandstone Formation can be found in Dorset as well as the southern part of the Isle of Wight.  These sediments were laid down during a period of rising sea levels.  The rising seas engulfed the lower lying coastal swamps, floodplains and deltas that had been home to many different types of dinosaur.  Dinosaur fossils are exceptionally rare in these strata.  For example, a single, isolated theropod tooth found at Punfield Cove, Dorset represents the very first record of a dinosaur from the Lower Greensand of Dorset.

As the four fossil bones ascribed to V. inopinatus are consistent in size and have the same adhering matrix, it is very likely the all four bones came from a single, individual dinosaur.

Silhouette of Vectaerovenator inopinatus with the Fossil Bones in Approximate Life Position

Vectaerovenator inopinatus silhouette showing placement of fossil bones.

A silhouette of V. inopinatus showing the placement of the four fossil bones. Although the material was collected on separate occasions, it is thought that they all come from a single skeleton.

Picture Credit: Darren Naish

One of the Few Valid British Greensand Taxa

What fossils that are associated with the Lower Greensand Group, are often highly fragmentary, substantially eroded and often the result of re-deposition from older strata.  The four vertebrae represent the youngest non-avian theropod remains reported from the British Mesozoic.  Described as a mid-sized tetanuran, the Vectaerovenator specimen is estimated to represent a four-metre-long animal, one that roamed Europe approximately 1115 million years ago.  It is the first diagnosable theropod taxon to be named from Aptian deposits associated with Europe.

“Unexpected Air-filled Hunter from the Isle of Wight”

The scientific name translates as unexpected, air-filled hunter from the Isle of Wight.  The neck and back bones are chambered (camerate) and full of air pockets (highly pneumatic).  These are adaptations to help lighten the skeleton and extensions to the lungs, part of an extremely efficient respiratory system seen today in living birds.  The shape of the cervical vertebra, along with the evidence of highly pneumatised bones indicate that Vectaerovenator was a member of the Tetanurae, a clade of theropod dinosaurs defined as all theropods more closely related to birds than they are to the genus Ceratosaurus.   As such, this is by far the largest clade of theropods known, it includes the tyrannosaurs, Maniraptora, megalosaurs, allosaurs, ornithomimosaurs and the Aves.  It is not possible to classify these bones any further, down to the family or the genus name for example.

The formal scientific paper is expected to be published next month in the journal Papers in Palaeontology.

The continuing transgression of the sea led to much of the land in this region becoming fully submerged.  Deposition from deltas stopped, land-derived sediments to this part of the world ceased and for millions of years the only material to accumulate on the seabed were the microscopic remains of eukaryotic phytoplankton (coccolithophoroids).  Many coccolithophorids are covered in overlapping scales made of calcium carbonate.  Their remains formed the beautiful white cliffs, (which gave the Isle of Wight its name) and formed the stunning white cliffs associated with the coast of south-eastern England and elsewhere in Europe.

White Cliffs Highlighting the Cretaceous Sea Level Rise

White cliffs formed from the remains of coccolithophoroids.

Stevns Klint chalk cliffs (Denmark).  These cliffs are formed from the fossilised remains of microscopic phytoplankton (coccolithophoroids).

Picture Credit: PLOS One

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