All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
21 12, 2020

Movement of Parcels from the UK

By | December 21st, 2020|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Movement of Parcels from the UK – Everything Dinosaur Statement

The rapid spread of a new variant of the coronavirus has led to a number of European governments taking the decision to impose travel bans on the UK.  Countries that have temporarily closed their borders to the UK include Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.  Other nations too, such as Turkey and Canada have suspended UK flights.  The European Union member states are meeting this morning (21st December) to plan a co-ordinated response.

Whilst it must be acknowledged that this is a fast-moving news story, Everything Dinosaur is aware that border closures and flight restrictions will affect postal operations and delays in the delivery of parcels will occur.

UK Government Advisers on New Infections have “Moderate” Confidence that the New Corona Virus Variant is More Able to Transmit

An illustration of a virus.

The COVID-19 virus is highly infectious and is capable of making some people seriously ill.  A new variant has been detected that is more able to transmit than other variants.

Picture Credit: Getty Images

Further Delays to Overseas Deliveries

The restrictions began on Sunday, so overseas orders placed with Everything Dinosaur on Thursday (18th December), are for the most part unaffected as these will already have entered the international delivery system.  Some orders placed on Friday 19th December, will have been despatched that day, but these may now be delayed as they may not have left the UK prior to the new restrictions being put in place.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The last recommended posting dates for parcels being sent overseas have passed.  For example, the last recommended posting date for airmail services for a Christmas delivery to Belgium, France and Ireland was Friday 18th December.  Our team members have been working exceptionally hard to get parcels despatched as quickly as possible.  The international mail network is already severely congested due to the very high demand for on-line shopping and due to the social distancing and other COVID-19 restrictions that have been imposed.  Delays have been occurring with international deliveries and with the closure of many borders and the imposition of further flight restrictions, these delays are likely to be exacerbated.”

The New Coronavirus Variant

Virus populations mutant and change all the time.  The mutation of the COVID-19 virus is an expected and anticipated event.  The virus wants to spread and replicate itself in as many hosts as possible and often mutations occur within the population of a virus to permit forms which are more virulent and easier to transmit to become the dominant strain.   Everything Dinosaur understands that the first signs of a potentially more transmittable virus were detected in laboratory tests back in September.

Research is at an early stage, there are huge uncertainties when modelling and predicting changes, but some of the mutations detected have been shown to increase the ability of the virus to infect cells in laboratory tests.

Hence the statement from UK government advisors on new infections stating that they have “moderate” confidence that it is more able to transmit than other variants.

It is because of this variant that parts of the UK were placed in Tier 4 with very strict measures in place to limit mixing.  Within the UK there are now harsher restrictions on mixing at Christmas in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.  Everything Dinosaur expects other countries to impose restrictions and travel bans which will affect the movement of parcels through the international delivery network.

Everything Dinosaur’s Response

Throughout this pandemic, our mail order business has remained open for business.  We have brought in appropriate measures to protect team members and done all we can to keep them safe and well.  We will continue to operate throughout the Christmas and New Year period.  Due to the new restrictions imposed we anticipate that overseas customers will experience delays in the delivery of their orders.

We apologise for this and would like to reassure all our customers that we remain absolutely committed to doing all we can to ensure a swift despatch of parcels.  However, due to the imposition of travel bans that will affect air freight and UK ports, delays in deliveries are inevitable.

We thank you for your support and patience.

20 12, 2020

Royal Mail Service Update for UK Customers

By | December 20th, 2020|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Royal Mail Service Update (UK Customers of Everything Dinosaur)

The global mail network is severely congested at the moment.  The unprecedented demand for mail order items combined with the difficulties of trying to work whilst obeying social distance and hygiene regulations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic has put an incredible strain on delivery networks.

Everything Dinosaur is continuing to operate 7-days a week in a bid to ensure orders from customers are despatched promptly.  For UK customers please note, some first class parcels are taking up to 8 days to reach their destination.

Royal Mail Having to Cope with Extraordinary High Volumes of Parcels

Royal Mail parcels being sorted.

The UK national mail service provider Royal Mail is working flat out to ensure that gifts are delivered in time for Christmas.

Picture Credit: Press Association/Royal Mail

Royal Mail Service Delivery Update

For UK customers, here is the latest Royal Mail service delivery update (dated 19th and 20th of December 2020).

Royal Mail operated the usual collection services on Saturday (19th December).  Deliveries took place as normal on Saturday and in most areas, Sunday, as staff work hard to get all the Christmas gifts and parcels delivered to customers.

Royal Mail continues to work hard to deliver the most comprehensive and high quality service they can to all their customers, all over the UK, large and small.  The combination of greatly increased uptake of on-line, mail order Christmas shopping, in no small part driven by the recent lockdown, and the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions mean that all delivery companies are experiencing exceptionally high volumes of parcels and packets this year.

Each and every single parcel, letter and card that Royal Mail handles is important.  Significant investment has been put in to provide extra staff and other resources to cope with this huge surge in demand.  However, some customers may experience longer delivery timescales than Royal Mail’s usual service standards.  These delays are due to the enormous volume of parcels and packets, exacerbated by the coronavirus-related measures they have put in place in delivery depots and local mail offices.  Everyone at Royal Mail is working extremely hard to get back to their usual level of customer service and delivery times.

Royal Mail would like to take this opportunity to thank its many millions of customers for their patience and understanding at this time of unprecedented strain on the UK delivery network.

Most of the Royal Mail delivery depots and customer service points are open over the weekend to permit customers to collect urgent items, such as those parcels that could not be delivered and a “something for you” card has been left at the delivery address.

Everything Dinosaur would like to reassure its customers that they are doing all they can to pack and despatch parcels, sadly, however, delays in deliveries are likely to occur.

19 12, 2020

PNSO to Introduce New Version of T. rex “Wilson”

By | December 19th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|26 Comments

PNSO to Introduce New Version of T. rex “Wilson”

PNSO are going to introduce a new version of the Tyrannosaurus rex replica known as “Wilson”.  This beautifully crafted model, which is based on a real T. rex fossil specimen discovered by the famous American palaeontologist Barnum Brown, will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in 2021.

The New PNSO “Wilson” the Tyrannosaurus rex Model

PNSO "Wilson" Tyrannosaurus rex model.

The new PNSO “Wilson” Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur model.  The new T. rex model stands a fraction under 13 cm tall and is approximately 34.5 cm long.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Based on AMNH-5027

The new Tyrannosaurus rex figure is based on the first, substantial skeleton of this iconic theropod dinosaur to be reconstructed and mounted for display.  The fossil specimen (AMNH-5027), consists of an almost complete skull (the first virtually complete T. rex skull to have been discovered), the pelvis, rib cage and a nearly complete vertebral column, including cervical vertebrae that proved that this dinosaur had a relatively short neck.  In total, about 45% of the skeleton was recovered and this famous fossil is on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The PNSO “Wilson” Figure is Based on an Actual T. rex Specimen

PNSO "Wilson" is based on an actual fossil exhibit.

The new PNSO “Wilson” the Tyrannosaurus rex replica is based on the museum specimen AMNH-5027.  The replica has an articulated lower jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Replica with a Deeper Chest

As this figure is based on fossil material the design team at PNSO have been very keen to get the body proportions correct.  The chest is much deeper and as a result, the arms look disproportionately much smaller.  The powerful and muscular legs that would have provided adequate support for the living animal are not quite up to the job when it comes to this new model.  In order to keep the feet anatomically correct, the model is supported by a transparent rod which helps to prop up the chest.

The New Model Packaging and a Diagram Showing the Chest Support in Use

The model is supplied with a transparent support stand (PNSO T. rex).

The model packaging and a diagram showing the use of the support stand to help stabilise the T. rex figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A 1:35 Scale Model of Tyrannosaurus rex

The new PNSO “Wilson” the Tyrannosaurus rex measures around 34.5 cm long and it has a declared scale of 1:35.  The head stands 12.9 cm high and this beautifully designed dinosaur model is going to tick all the boxes for collectors who like their figures to represent real animals recorded in the fossil record.

An Inspirational Fossil (AMNH-5027) and the PNSO Tyrannosaurus rex Replica

PNSO T. rex model "Wilson" based on a real fossil specimen.

The new for 2021 PNSO “Wilson” the Tyrannosaurus rex figure is based on a real museum specimen.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Recognising the Importance of the Hell Creek Formation

With the introduction of “Sede” the Ankylosaurus, “Doyle” the Triceratops and “Wilson” the Tyrannosaurus rex, PNSO are recognising the significance of the famous Hell Creek Formation.  All three of these iconic dinosaurs have been reported from the Hell Creek Formation, although Ankylosaurus fossil material is exceptionally rare when compared to the Ceratopsidae and tyrannosaurids.

PNSO Recognising the Importance of the Upper Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation

PNSO recognising the significance of the Hell Creek Formation.

PNSO recognises the significance of the Hell Creek Formation.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur Model with an Articulated Jaw

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur confirmed that this eagerly anticipated Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur model would have an articulated lower jaw and that “Wilson” will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in 2021.

PNSO Tyrannosaurus rex Model with an Articulated Jaw

PNSO "Wilson" with an articulated lower jaw.

PNSO “Wilson” the T. rex model has an articulated lower jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the current range of PNSO prehistoric animals available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Models and Figures.

18 12, 2020

Interactive “I-Book” Provides Readers with Unprecedented Access to Archaeological Sites

By | December 18th, 2020|Book Reviews, Educational Activities, Main Page, Photos, Teaching|0 Comments

Interactive “I-Book” Provides Readers with Unprecedented Access to Archaeological Sites

An interactive ‘”I-Book” which allows users to virtually walk around otherwise inaccessible historical sites has been shortlisted as a finalist in a major award.  Entitled “The Shetland in the Iron Age”, this  Interactive “I-Book” gives anyone a VIP pass to three distant archaeological sites and has been highly commended in an industry awards ceremony.

The concept of providing virtual access to sites of great historical significance was developed by Archaeological and Forensic Sciences PhD student Li Sou from the University of Bradford.  The “I-Book” offers a no-holds barred tour of three “broch”, Iron Age drystone hollow-walled structures found in the Shetland Islands, Scotland.  The technology is so simple to use, that anyone aged nine or over can use the “I-Book” and visit relatively remote and inaccessible sites.

University of Bradford Student Li Sou Demonstrates the “I-Book”

Archaeological and Forensic Sciences PhD student Li Sou from the University of Bradford.

Archaeological and Forensic Sciences PhD student Li Sou from the University of Bradford demonstrates the new “I-Book”.

Picture Credit: University of Bradford

The “I-Book” provides 360° virtual maps of the interiors that users can explore.  Virtual visitors can wander around their inner workings, exploring different buildings, accessing staircases and corridors, as though they were there in the Shetlands themselves.

Providing Lots of Associated Information and Data

The cleverly designed “I-Book” includes clickable information hotspots that link to a wealth of associated data, including historic photographs and videos from experts in the field.  The concept was shortlisted in the Association for Learning Technologists Awards and the “I-Book” was highly commended.  The judges describing it as an “incredibly varied, engaging and accessible digital educational resource.”

Historic Environment Scotland have been developing this technology for use at other historic properties in their care and these will launch in 2021, both on site and freely downloadable online.

An Overhead Photograph of a Broch

An overhead photograph of a broch on the Isle of Shetland.

An aerial shot of a broch.

Picture Credit: University of Bradford

The judging panel stated that the project:

“Has excelled in developing a range of versatile digital assets to aid in learning about complicated archaeological and academic themes.”

Commenting after the prestigious award ceremony, student Li Sou exclaimed:

“This is the culmination of a six-month project and brochs are complicated archaeological sites to understand and are not physically accessible to everyone.  The I-Book format is not very well known in the heritage sector, so the project was an excellent opportunity to design a resource that gives readers a chance to explore the sites as if they were there in real life, with integrated accessibility features to make them accessible to all.”

A Useful Resource in the Midst of a Global Pandemic

The use of technology such as this has significant implications for the support of archaeology and general education in the midst of a global pandemic.  The emergence and spread of COVID-19 has curtailed travel and restricted the opening times for heritage monuments.  “I-Books” such as this permit sites that might be closed to the public and otherwise difficult to reach due to the need to restrict travel or to self-isolate, to still be accessible to students, archaeologists and the general public.

“I-Book” Development Team Photo (in an Age of Social Distancing)

Team photo of all those involved in the project

Team photo of all those involved in the “I-Book” project.

Picture Credit: University of Bradford

The interactive “I-Book”  entitled “The Shetland in the Iron Age” was developed in collaboration with the Shetland Amenity Trust with a working group from Historic Environment Scotland, along with the co-operation and assistance of the Visualising Heritage group within the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences, University of Bradford.

Implications for Palaeontology Departments

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that this type of technology has applications within the Earth sciences.  For example, interactive “I-Books” could be provided to help students and researchers virtually visit remote dig sites and fossil quarries.  It could also be used in other research areas such as allowing observations of fossil collections and other material that would otherwise be very difficult to access.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the University of Bradford in the compilation of this article.

17 12, 2020

Schleich Brontosaurus Dinosaur Model in Stock

By | December 17th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Schleich Brontosaurus Arrives at Everything Dinosaur

The last of the new for 2021 prehistoric animal models that have been recently announced by Schleich, the beautiful Brontosaurus dinosaur model, is now in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  Our shipment of Schleich Brontosaurus figures was separated from the other new figures that were scheduled to be delivered this week.  The Ceratosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Kaprosuchus and the marine reptile model Mosasaurus arrived yesterday, now the quintet of figures is complete with the delivery of the Brontosaurus.

Arrived Safely!  The New for 2021 Schleich Brontosaurus Dinosaur Model is Available from Everything Dinosaur

Schleich Brontosaurus dinosaur model.

The new for 2021 dinosaur model (Schleich Brontosaurus) has arrived at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse and is now available to purchase.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Bully for Brontosaurus

Brontosaurus is one of those dinosaurs that is popular and easily identified by the general public.  This is in part to it being featured in lots of films, television shows and books.  A Brontosaurus featured in the original King Kong movie that was distributed by Radio Pictures, released in 1933 and starring Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot and of course, King Kong himself.  King Kong was a giant gorilla that shared its home (Skull Island), with a variety of dinosaurs including a fearsome, supposedly carnivorous Brontosaurus.

The genus name was erected by the eminent American palaeontologist Othniel Charles Marsh in 1879.  However, for many years it was regarded as a junior synonym of the closely related Apatosaurus that had been named earlier.  The name Brontosaurus was regarded as “nomen dubium”.

An extensive revision of the diplodocid dinosaurs, at the time the most comprehensive review of dinosaur fossil material ever undertaken (2015), led to establishment once again of Brontosaurus as a valid genus.

The scientific review of the Diplodocidae family of sauropods was undertaken by Dr. Emanuel Tschopp, Professor Octávio Mateus, (Museu da Lourinhã, Portugal), Dr. Roger Benson (Oxford University) and edited by Dr. Andrew Farke (Raymond M. Alf Museum of Palaeontology, California).  Schleich have added a replica of this famous Jurassic dinosaur to their range and it joins other long-necked dinosaur figures such as Barapasaurus, Brachiosaurus and the model of the South American sauropod Agustinia, which was only introduced a few months ago (2020).

A Close-up View of the Anterior Portion of the New Brontosaurus Dinosaur Model

Schleich Brontosaurus dinosaur model

A close-up view of the front end (anterior portion) of the latest long-necked dinosaur to join the Schleich range of prehistoric animal replicas and figures.  This is the new for 2021 Brontosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

One of our Dinosaurs is Missing!

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Just like in the 1975 Walt Disney production “One of our Dinosaurs is Missing”, Everything Dinosaur were missing a long-necked dinosaur.  Ports around the world have been very congested and delivery networks so stretched that sometimes cargoes are separated from each other, even though they are in the same shipment.  Within 24-hours all the Schleich figures were safely in our warehouse.”

To view the range of Schleich prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur, including the Schleich Brontosaurus model: Schleich Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Figures.

16 12, 2020

New Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models Arrive

By | December 16th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models Arrive at Everything Dinosaur

The first of the new for 2021 Schleich prehistoric animal models are now in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  Four of the five new figures, the Schleich Mosasaurus with the articulated jaw and the Kaprosuchus (also with an articulated jaw), along with the dinosaur figures (Pachycephalosaurus and Ceratosaurus), have been safely delivered to Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse.  The fifth and final figure to be announced by Schleich for the time being, a magnificent replica of Brontosaurus will arrive shortly.

Four New Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

New for 2021 Schleich prehistoric animal models.

New for 2021 Schleich prehistoric animal models (Ceratosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, the marine reptile Mosasaurus and the prehistoric crocodile Kaprosuchus).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

New for 2021 Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models

The quartet of figures represent three prehistoric animals associated with the Cretaceous (Mosasaurus, Kaprosuchus and Pachycephalosaurus) and one theropod dinosaur from the Jurassic (Ceratosaurus).  Each model has been hand-painted and three of them have articulated jaws, the exception is the Pachycephalosaurus.  Model collectors like to know the measurements for any figures that Everything Dinosaur supplies.  With the Schleich range no scale for these models has been declared, but with an idea of the size of the actual figure, collectors can work out the scale themselves if they happen to know the approximate size of the animal, as calculated from the fossil record.

The New for 2021 Schleich Ceratosaurus Dinosaur Model

Schleich Ceratosaurus dinosaur model.

A close-up view of the new for 2021 Schleich Ceratosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Schleich Model Measurements

Here are those model measurements, the information provided by Everything Dinosaur team members who have carefully measured each figure.

  • Schleich Ceratosaurus dinosaur model – length = 21.5 cm approximately with a head height of around 10.5 cm.
  • Schleich Pachycephalosaurus dinosaur model – length = 23 cm approximately.
  • Schleich Kaprosuchus prehistoric crocodile model – length = 23 cm approximately.
  • Schleich Mosasaurus marine reptile model – length = 30 cm approximately.

The Schleich Pachycephalosaurus Dinosaur Model

Schleich Pachycephalosaurus dinosaur model.

The new for 2021 Schleich Pachycephalosaurus dinosaur model.  This new dinosaur replica from Schleich is approximately 23 cm long.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Schleich Kaprosuchus Model (Prehistoric Crocodile)

Schleich Kaprosuchus model.

The Schleich Kaprosuchus prehistoric crocodile model has an articulated lower jaw.  A model of a terrestrial crocodilian, a formidable predator of the Cretaceous.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Many companies have had their plans for new models and figures severely disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is wonderful to see Schleich introduce five new figures into the prehistoric animal model range.  The fifth figure, the Brontosaurus, is expected to arrive at Everything Dinosaur in the next 24-hours or so.  Our fans and followers on social media will be updated once we have confirmation that the Brontosaurus model is definitely on its way.”

The Schleich Mosasaurus Marine Reptile Model

Schleich Mosasaurus marine reptile model.

The Schleich Mosasaurus marine reptile, a new for 2021 figure with an articulated lower jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the new models and to see the rest of the Schleich prehistoric animal figures and replicas available from Everything Dinosaur: Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models.

15 12, 2020

One Very Flashy New Dinosaur – Ubirajara jubatus

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

Ubirajara jubatus – One Very Flashy Dinosaur

News about the discovery of a species of feathered dinosaur has now become relatively commonplace.  Yet, it is worth remembering that it was just twenty-four years ago, back in 1996, that the first, non-avian dinosaur species with evidence of fuzzy feathers was described.  Named Sinosauropteryx this lithe meat-eater literally “rocked” scientists as the long-awaited proof of feathered dinosaurs was revealed to the world.  Sinosauropteryx was a compsognathid, a team of researchers, including scientists from the University of Portsmouth have described another feathered dinosaur, this new feathered theropod is a compsognathid too, but with a more elaborate and spectacular integumentary covering.  The newly described Ubirajara jubatus is the first Gondwanan non-avian theropod with preserved filamentous integumentary structures.  It is also the first non-maniraptoran possessing elaborate integumentary structures that were most likely used for display.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Brazilian Compsognathid Ubirajara jubatus

Ubirajara jubatus life reconstruction.

Ubirajara jubatus life reconstruction by the very talented palaeoartist Bob Nicholls.

Picture Credit: Bob Nicholls/Paleocreations

Dressed to Impress

Described as the most elaborately dressed-to-impress dinosaur described to date, the research team co-led by Professor David Martill and researcher Robert Smyth (University of Portsmouth), propose that U. jubatus will shed new light on how birds evolved elaborate display structures.

This chicken-sized dinosaur possessed a mane of long bristles running down its back and stiff ribbons projecting out and back from its shoulders, a combination of features never seen before in the fossil record.

The scientific paper has been published in the journal of Cretaceous research and involved a collaboration between the University of Portsmouth and the appropriately named Professor Dino Frey at the State Museum of Natural History, Karlsruhe, Germany, who discovered the new species while examining fossils in Karlsruhe´s collection and Héctor E. Rivera-Sylva of the Departamento de Paleontología, Museo del Desierto in Saltillo, Mexico.  The fossil was authorised by the Brazilian authorities for export some time ago, but was only recently studied.

The bizarre integumentary structures must have had a purpose, whilst the body covering may have originally evolved to provide insulation, the stiff ribbons on either side of the shoulders were probably used for display, perhaps to attract a mate, deter a rival or to frighten a potential predator.

Professor Martill commented:

“We cannot prove that the specimen is a male, but given the disparity between male and female birds, it appears likely the specimen was a male, and young, too, which is surprising given most complex display abilities are reserved for mature adult males.  Given its flamboyance, we can imagine that the dinosaur may have indulged in elaborate dancing to show off its display structures.”

Not Scales or Fur

The ribbons are not fur or scales, they are not feathers in the modern sense, as seen on an extant bird.  They appear to be structures unique to this animal.

Mr Smyth added:

“These are such extravagant features for such a small animal and not at all what we would predict if we only had the skeleton preserved.  Why adorn yourself in a way that makes you more obvious to both your prey and to potential predators?  The truth is that for many animals, evolutionary success is about more than just surviving, you also have to look good if you want to pass your genes on to the next generation.”

The Holotype of Ubirajara jubatus Preserved as a Slab and Counter Slab

Holotype of Ubirajara jubatus preserved as slab and counter slab.

The holotype of Ubirajara jubatus preserved as slab and counter slab.  Note scale bar = 50 mm.

Picture Credit: Smyth et al /Cretaceous Research

From the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian) Crato Formation of North-eastern Brazil

Fossil discoveries starting with the ground-breaking Sinosauropteryx specimen that was described in 1996 have fundamentally changed our understanding of the phylogenetic relationships between birds and dinosaurs as well as the origin and evolution of feathers.  A variety of elaborate integumentary coverings and structures are now known from the Theropoda and from ornithischian dinosaurs too.  They have been linked to behaviours including egg incubation, mating displays and thermoregulation.

The Colourful PNSO Model of the Chinese Compsognathid Sinosauropteryx

PNSO Sinosauropteryx dinosaur model.

PNSO Yuyan the Sinosauropteryx dinosaur model.  The PNSO model of the compsognathid Sinosauropteryx.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Within the Theropoda, such features have only been previously recorded within the Maniraptoriformes, a theropod clade which includes birds and is defined as “the most recent common ancestor of the ostrich mimic Ornithomimus and Aves (birds) and all descendants of that common ancestor.”

The majority of theropods preserving integumental structures come from the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous of China or the Upper Jurassic of southern Germany and all are of Laurasian origin.  Ubirajara jubatus from the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian) Crato Formation of north-eastern Brazil, is the first non-maniraptoran possessing elaborate integumentary structures that were most likely used for display.

It is also the first non-avian theropod with preserved filamentous integumentary structures to have been described from the southern hemisphere landmass of Gondwana.

The researchers compare Ubirajara to living birds stating that many modern Aves are famed for their exotic and colourful plumage along with their complex displays that are used to win mates.  Male peacocks with their stunning tails and male birds of paradise are examples of this.

A Goldie’s Bird of Paradise Male Bird Displays to Attract a Mate

Goldie's bird of paradise (male) displays.

A Goldie’s bird of paradise displays.  New Guinea is famous for its exotic and flamboyant birds of paradise.

Picture Credit: Tim Laman/National Geographic Image Collection

Ubirajara jubatus (pronounce You-bi-rah-jar-rah jew-bay-tus), lived approximately 110 million years ago (Aptian faunal stage of the Early Cretaceous).  The genus name is derived from the local Tupi dialect and translates as “lord of the spear”, whilst the trivial or specific name is from the Latin for “mane” a reference to the integumentary covering on its back.

Able to Raise its Hackles Like a Dog?

The mane running down its back is thought to have been controlled by muscles allowing it to be raised, in a similar way a dog raises its hackles or a porcupine raises its spines when facing a threat. Once the danger had passed, Ubirajara could lower its mane close to the skin allowing this little dinosaur to move quickly through the undergrowth without getting tangled up.

Professor Martill explained:

“Any creature with movable hair or feathers as a body coverage has a great advantage in streamlining the body contour for faster hunts or escapes but also to capture or release heat.”

The unique body plan of Ubirajara with its long, flat, stiff shoulder ribbons of keratin, each with a small sharp ridge running along the middle, described by the authors as “enigmatic” might have looked cumbersome, but in reality they were located on the body in such a way as not to impede movement allowing Ubirajara to preen, hunt, move around and display unencumbered.

The scientific paper: The scientific paper: “A maned theropod dinosaur from Gondwana with elaborate integumentary structures” by Robert S.H. Smyth, David M. Martill, Eberhard Frey, Héctor E. Rivera-Sylva and Norbert Lenz published in Cretaceous Research

14 12, 2020

Revising the Mamenchisauridae – Analong chuanjieensis

By | December 14th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Revising the Mamenchisauridae – Analong chuanjieensis

2020 has proved to be an important year for that enigmatic family of sauropods the Mamenchisauridae, which are predominantly associated with the Early Jurassic of China, although, as with most things relating to vertebrate palaeontology, there are exceptions to the consensus.  For example, the Late Jurassic Tanzanian genus Wamweracaudia is regarded by many scientists as a mamenchisaurid, based on the shape and structure of its tail bones (caudal vertebrae).

That’s the point with the mamenchisaurids.  They are one of the most extensively researched of all the Sauropodomorpha, thanks almost entirely to the numerous fossil bones found near Zigong in the Chinese Province of Sichuan.  However, even the most well-researched group of dinosaurs are subject to revision.

This is the case with a specimen of Chuanjiesaurus (C. anaensis) which is pronounced Chu-an-je-sore-us, a twenty-five metre long giant known from the Middle Jurassic Chuanjie Formation of Yunnan Province located in south-western China.

Chuanjiesaurus was named and described in 2000, from fossils found near to the town of Chuanjie in Lufeng County (Yunnan Province).  Intriguingly, a recent assessment of the disarticulated sauropod fossil remains found just a few metres away in the same quarry have demonstrated that these fossils are not the remains of a second Chuanjiesaurus as previously thought.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Mamenchisaurid Analong chuanjieensis

Analong chuanjieensis life reconstruction.

A life reconstruction of the recently erected mamenchisaurid taxon Analong chuanjieensis.  Fossils of this dinosaur, once regarded as a specimen of the related Chuanjiesaurus come from the Chuanjie Formation (Bajocian faunal stage of the Middle Jurassic).  Analong roamed China around 170-168 million years ago.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In a scientific paper published in the International Journal of Paleobiology, Ren at al erected a new mamenchisaurid taxon based on a revision of specimen number LFGT LCD 9701-1.  Analong chuanjieensis is based on several autapomorphies (unique characteristics).  This reassessment has important implications for the Mamenchisauridae as a whole.  Analysis of the bones of the newly described Analong with other related mamenchisaurids indicate that Analong chuanjieensis is the earliest branching of the Mamenchisauridae family, whereas the contemporary Chuanjiesaurus represents a later branching of these types of dinosaurs.

In Recognition of the Increasing Public Awareness of the Mamenchisauridae CollectA are Introducing a Scale Replica of Mamenchisaurus in 2021

CollectA Deluxe Mamenchisaurus dinosaur model.

CollectA Deluxe Mamenchisaurus a 1:100 scale replica of an Asian sauropod.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur 

Thus, the establishment of a the new Analong taxon not only increases the number of long-necked dinosaurs known from the Middle Jurassic of China but also suggests that the ecosystem which was dominated by these herbivores was more complex and nuanced.  Furthermore, this reassessment of the fossil material suggests that the evolution of the Mamenchisauridae is more convoluted than previously realised.

For a related article on Chinese mamenchisaurs: Another Mamenchisaurid from Anhui Province – Anhuilong diboensis is described.

The scientific paper: “A revision of the referred specimen of Chuanjiesaurus anaensis Fang et al., 2000: a new early branching mamenchisaurid sauropod from the Middle Jurassic of China” by Xin-Xin Ren, Toru Sekiya, Tao Wang, Zhi-Wen Yang and Hai-Lu You published by An International Journal of Paleobiology (Historical Biology).

13 12, 2020

Everything Dinosaur Working Hard to Ensure Christmas Deliveries

By | December 13th, 2020|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Working Hard to Ensure Christmas Deliveries

Team members at Everything Dinosaur are working as hard as they can to ensure that parcels are picked, packed and despatched as quickly as possible to give orders every chance to be delivered in time for the festive season.  Team members will once again be working throughout the day (Sunday), ensuring that as many orders placed on Friday evening and Saturday are sent out with the special Sunday collections that the UK-based company has organised.

Shoppers are reminded to place orders as early as possible in a bid to give the maximum time possible to allow a parcel to be delivered given the congested global distribution network.

Everything Dinosaur has published a helpful table showing the last recommended posting dates for Christmas 2020.

The Last Recommended Posting Dates for Christmas 2020 (Data Supplied by Royal Mail)

Last recommended posting dates for Christmas 2020.

Everything Dinosaur posts up information about the last recommended posting dates for Christmas 2020.  Information provided by Royal Mail.

Table Credit: Royal Mail

For example, yesterday (Saturday 12th December) was the last recommended posting date for parcels going from the UK to the USA, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Finland and Italy.

Royal Mail Service Update

Royal Mail has recently published information detailing the problems being encountered with a congested network.

Royal Mail is working hard to deliver the most comprehensive and high quality service we can to all our customers.  The combination of greatly increased uptake of on-line Christmas shopping, in no small part driven by the recent lockdown and other coronavirus measures and the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions means that all delivery companies are experiencing exceptionally high volumes of parcels at the moment.

For Royal Mail and for Everything Dinosaur, every single parcel is important.

Royal Mail went onto state:

“Despite our best efforts and significant investment in extra resources, some customers may experience slightly longer delivery timescales than our usual service standards.  This is due to the exceptionally high volumes we are seeing, exacerbated by the coronavirus-related measures we have put in place in local mail centres and delivery offices.  In such cases, we always work hard to get back to providing our usual level of service as quickly as we can.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

Royal Mail Staff Working Hard to Cope with Unprecedented Demand from On-line Shoppers

Royal Mail industrial action threatened (October 2017).

Royal Mail which are responsible for the delivery of the majority of parcels from Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse, are working hard to minimise disruption and ensure speedy deliveries despite unprecedented demand and the impact of a global pandemic.

Picture Credit: Royal Mail

The Impact of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic

Royal Mail are working with their airline and postal/courier partners across the globe to maintain services, however delays should be expected.  Many countries have implemented special measures to combat the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19, especially for signature services so that staff can maintain social distancing.

The number of countries that Royal Mail can access is changing daily.  Most major export routes remain open, and the hard-working and dedicated staff at Royal Mail continue to accept and process mail, although customers may experience varying levels of delay.

Both Everything Dinosaur and Royal Mail recommend that you try and post early when sending gifts and care packages for Christmas.

12 12, 2020

Customising Caiuajara

By | December 12th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Customising Caiuajara dobruskii

Our thanks to model collector Elizabeth who sent into Everything Dinosaur a superb selection of photographs of her customised Collect Deluxe Caiuajara flying reptile figures.  CollectA have introduced several large pterosaur figures in recent years, the Caiuajara (C. dobruskii) model was introduced in 2019, following the earlier introduction of a Dimorphodon (2017) and a Guidraco figure in 2015.  These large figures provide plenty of scope for modellers to add their own slant when it comes to depicting these long extinct archosaurs.

A Pair of Customised CollectA Caiuajara Figures

Two beautiful customised pterosaur figures (CollectA Supreme Caiuajara models).

A pair of customised CollectA Supreme Caiuajara pterosaur models,  the models could represent a male and a female, the models have been customised by Ben Van Steenberge (left) and Martin Garratt (right).

Picture Credit: Elizabeth

The flying reptile figures have been given custom make-overs by the extremely talented Ben Van Steenberge and Martin Garratt, what fantastic efforts too.

Caiuajara dobruskii

This large crested tapejarid, fossils of which herald from southern Brazil, was formally described back in 2014 (P. Manzig et al).  To read an article about the discovery of Caiuajara: New Species of Flying Reptile Identified from Pterosaur Graveyard.

Although the dating of the strata in which the pterosaur fossils were found has proved controversial, several palaeontologists estimate that this flying reptile with its 2-3 metre wingspan was flying over southern Brazil between 93 to 75 million years ago (Turonian to Campanian faunal stages of the Cretaceous).

The CollectA Deluxe Caiuajara Model (Original Colour Scheme)

The CollectA Caiuajara with a moveable jaw.

The CollectA Deluxe Caiuajara pterosaur model.  This figure has an articulated lower jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Leaving feedback on the CollectA Deluxe Caiuajara figure on Everything Dinosaur’s website, Elizabeth commented:

“The CollectA Supreme line is a dream for lovers of pterosaurs.  I have leapt to buy each one!  This is a particularly striking creature with its massive crest.  I like the way that CollectA chose to paint it brightly to indicate a display feature to other Caiuajara.  The model is large and well made – an asset to any collection.”

To view the CollectA Supreme pterosaur figures including the Deluxe Caiuajara figure: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Life.

Our thanks to Elizabeth for sending us a link to the album of images that showcase these excellent customised flying reptile figures.

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