Team members at Everything Dinosaur have been asked to cast their eyes over a display panel being prepared to accompany an exhibition featuring the bizarre South American sauropod Amargasaurus.
“Reptile from Amarga Canyon”
Known from a single, partial skeleton discovered in 1984 in northern Patagonia (La Amarga Formation), Amargasaurus was related to Diplodocus although it was much smaller measuring around 10 metres in length with an estimated weight of approximately 5 tonnes.
Unlike most other sauropods, the neck was disproportionately short and it was probably a specialist browser of small trees and bushes, a feeding strategy that prevented it from competing directly with the numerous other types of sauropod dinosaur that shared its habitat.
This dinosaur had two rows of tall, thin spines sticking up from the vertebrae that ran from the top of the head down to the base of the short neck. These spines then tapered into a single row of smaller spines that continued down the animal’s back to the tail. When first scientifically described in 1991, it was suggested that these spines were defensive weapons used to deter attacks from predators or in combat between rivals. Some palaeontologists have suggested that these spines supported skin membranes that formed two parallel sail-like structures. These sails could have played a role in thermoregulation, visual communication between herd members or perhaps they were used in courtship displays.
The discovery in northern Patagonia, of the closely related Bajadasaurus with its equally spiky array of neck spines that curve forward towards the head has led some palaeontologists to conclude that the neck spikes on these dinosaurs were indeed primarily defensive structures.
The first of the new for 2021 CollectA prehistoric animal models are in stock at Everything Dinosaur. Team members have been busy contacting all those customers who wanted to be emailed when these figures came into stock.
Mamenchisaurus (CollectA Deluxe)
By far the largest figure, in fact the biggest dinosaur model that CollectA will introduce this year is the Mamenchisaurus. It measures around 40 cm in length and that well-proportioned and detailed head stands some 24 cm high. CollectA state that this figure is in approximately 1:100 scale, so the figure represents a specimen around 40 metres long. This suggests that when creating this replica, the design team at CollectA had in mind one of the larger species known from this genus such as Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur praised CollectA for adding a model of this sauropod to their model range.
CollectA know what fans of dinosaurs like to see, lots of gore and blood and the new for 2021 CollectA Brontosaurus prey does not disappoint. It has been beautifully sculpted and depicts a deceased sauropod that is in the process of being consumed by a large theropod dinosaur, perhaps a member of the allosaur family. This would be appropriate as last year, CollectA introduced a model of an Allosaurus roaring.
Formally named and described in 2019, Kamuysaurus continues the CollectA trend to include dinosaurs known from Japan in their product portfolio. Although known only from a single specimen, the fossils found represent a considerable proportion of the skeleton and as a result Kamuysaurus has been confidently assigned to the Edmontosaurini tribe.
Two British Dinosaurs
The other two models that have just arrived in stock are the Megalosaurus in ambush figure and the Neovenator scenting prey. Both these dinosaurs are associated with Britain, although Megalosaurus has become a bit of a taxonomic waste basket over the last 200 years or so since this dinosaur was scientifically described.
Replacing Earlier CollectA Models
The new for 2021 Megalosaurus and the new Neovenator figures replace earlier sculpts in the CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular range that were introduced around ten years ago. The models have been updated to more accurately represent the known skeletal material and the dinosaurs have been given lips to reflect the current debate about this amongst palaeontologists.
PNSO have announced that they will be adding a model of the bone-headed dinosaur Pachycephalosaurus to their mid-size model range. Say hello to Austin the Pachycephalosaurus, this exciting new for 2021 dinosaur model is likely to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in the early summer.
This new figure is a replica of Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis, the largest known member of the bone-headed dinosaur group (Pachycephalosauridae). The dinosaur model shows meticulous detail and has been exquisitely painted.
Model Measurements and Scale?
Austin the Pachycephalosaurus measures 17. 8 cm long and its beautifully detailed head is a fraction under 7 cm off the ground. PNSO does not publish a scale for their mid-size figures but based on an estimated length of P. wyomingensis of approximately 4.6 metres, this figure is in around 1:26 scale.
The Famous Hell Creek Formation
Pachycephalosaurus fossils (mostly cranial material), are associated with the famous Hell Creek Formation, although they are exceptionally rare compared to other ornithischians such as members of the Ceratopsidae and hadrosaurids. Austin the Pachycephalosaurus joins Doyle the Triceratops, Sede the Ankylosaurus and Wilson the T. rex dinosaur models in the PNSO portfolio that celebrates the dinosaur fauna of Hell Creek.
Available in the Summer
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that this figure was due to be announced at 10am on the 17th of April (Beijing time), but as images had been already leaked on-line by other companies, Everything Dinosaur received permission from PNSO to publish details about Austin the Pachycephalosaurus earlier than scheduled.
The PNSO Austin the Pachycephalosaurus is likely to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in the summer of 2021.
The Rebor Compsognathus longipes stained dissection replicas have been delayed. Neither the limited-edition C. longipes Victorian Goth stained dissection specimen or the other Rebor Oddities Compsognathus longipes preserved dissection specimen are going to be available tomorrow (16th April), as planned. Customers who had placed pre-orders for one or both of these eagerly anticipated figures were expecting to receive news of their availability. Everything Dinosaur had a release date of 16th April scheduled for these replicas. However, the shipment remains stuck in customs and neither ourselves or Rebor are able to obtain any information as to when these items will be released.
Global Logistics Badly Affected by the Pandemic
We do apologise for this, we are as frustrated as our customers are with regards to this situation. There are severe delays at most ports and global logistics remains under considerable strain due to the pandemic. Whilst we continue to work closely with the port authorities to work towards a resolution, there is, sadly, very little we can do at this moment and this issue is beyond our control. We have therefore decided to push back the release for this figure until May 13th (May 13th, 2021),
Team Members Working Hard to Find a Solution
Once again, we at Everything Dinosaur apologise for the inconvenience and we want to assure you that Rebor and ourselves are doing all we can to get these goods released and delivered to our warehouse.
The other Rebor Compsognathus longipes dissection specimen is also on the same shipment and therefore subject to the same delay. This product also had a release date of 16th April (tomorrow), but due to the on-going issue at the port we have also pushed back the release date for this figure until May 13th (May 13th, 2021).
Everything Dinosaur apologises for the inconvenience and we want to assure you that we are doing all we can to get these goods released and delivered to our warehouse.
At Everything Dinosaur, we work seven days a week and we are doing everything we can to try to resolve this problem. However, there is in reality very little we can do. We thank everyone for their patience and understanding at this difficult time.
Still Available for Pre-order
Ironically, both Rebor Oddities Compsognathus longipes figures are still available for pre-order. Whilst Everything Dinosaur will continue to honour all the pre-orders placed by customers for these models and they guarantee that customers will be given the chance to acquire one or both of these figures when they finally arrive in stock, there are a handful of these replicas still available.
To view the Rebor range available from Everything Dinosaur and to pre-order the Rebor Oddities Compsognathus models, visit this section of our website: Rebor Models and Figures.
PNSO intend to create a limited production of bronze Sinosauropteryx sculptures to commemorate the company having been in existence for ten years. Only fifty of the three hundred beautiful bronze Sinosauropteryx statues have been offered for sale outside China. Everything Dinosaur’s initial allocation was snapped up within hours, but the UK-based company has been offered a handful more of these highly sought after figures.
Only 300 Figures Made
The bronze figure is one of a series of designs created by Zhao Chuang and Yang Yang from PNSO. The piece is entitled Gallery Series Yuyan the Sinosauropteryx. It is made from bronze and 1:3 scale. Due to the weight of this item, it is not intended for general sale. However, because of Everything Dinosaur’s long term relationship with PNSO a few more bronze figures have been offered for sale.
Available Pre-order from Everything Dinosaur
Most of the figures have been snapped up by officials within China. Some are heading for museums and art collections. Only a very few have been offered for sale outside China and most of these have been already allocated.
The PNSO Yuyan the Sinosauropteryx 1:3 scale bronze sculpture is available on pre-order from Everything Dinosaur at £299.00 GBP including tax (if applicable) plus secure postage.
Here is a sneaky peek at the forthcoming edition of “Prehistoric Times” magazine, the quarterly publication aimed at fans of prehistoric animals, model collecting and artwork depicting dinosaurs and other long extinct creatures. This stunning illustration of interspecific combat within the Dinosauria will adorn the front cover of issue 137 (spring 2021).
“Prehistoric Times” Magazine
Editor Mike Fredericks, who sent Everything Dinosaur the front cover image says that issue 137 is going to be jam-packed with all the articles, artwork and features that makes this publication so popular.
“We have an interview with Glen McIntosh one of the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World animators who is also a great artist who designed the Indominus rex, plus much more.”
With the latest instalment of the “Jurassic Park/Jurassic World” movie franchise due to hit cinemas shortly, the timing of this interview could not have been better.
Look out for a special feature on the Late Cretaceous North American tyrannosaur Daspletosaurus, an apex predator known from Montana and Alberta.
Subscribe to Prehistoric Times
Team members at Everything Dinosaur recommend that blog readers subscribe to “Prehistoric Times”. Published four times a year, this is a fantastic magazine for followers of palaeoart, collectors of dinosaur models and for the general reader with an interest in prehistoric life.
An opposable thumb gives us apes a huge advantage, just ask a dog to hold a spoon for you, however, opposable thumbs are not just limited to gorillas, chimps, orangutans and our own genus Homo. Other apes have them too, as do some marsupials and tree frogs. In reality, opposed thumbs are rare in the Kingdom Animalia, but an international team of scientists including researchers from the University of Birmingham, have just described a new species of flying reptile and it’s the earliest example known to science of a vertebrate with an opposed thumb.
The new Jurassic pterosaur has been named Kunpengopterus antipollicatus, it was discovered in the Tiaojishan Formation of Liaoning, China.
It is a small-bodied darwinopteran pterosaur, with an estimated wingspan of 85 cm. Most importantly, the specimen was preserved with an opposed pollex (“thumb”) on both hands. The species name “antipollicatus” means “opposite thumbed” in ancient Greek, in light of the opposed thumb of the new species. This is the first discovery of a pterosaur with an opposed thumb. It also represents the earliest record of a true opposed thumb in the fossil record.
Kunpengopterus lived in a forested environment approximately 160 million years ago. It was nicknamed “monkeydactyl” as a true opposed thumb (pollex) is extremely rare amongst extant reptiles, only chameleons possess opposed thumbs. They use their thumbs to help them climb, the researchers writing in the academic publication “Current Biology”, also suggest that Kunpengopterus evolved such dexterity to help it to climb.
In order to test the arboreal interpretation, the team analysed K. antipollicatus and other pterosaurs using a set of anatomical characters related to arboreal adaptation. The results support K. antipollicatus as an arboreal species, but not the other pterosaurs from the same ecosystem. This suggests niche-partitioning among these pterosaurs and provides the first quantitative evidence supporting the theory that at least some darwinopteran pterosaurs were arboreal.
Minimising Competition Amongst Pterosaurs
Lead author Xuanyu Zhou (China University of Geosciences) commented:
“Tiaojishan palaeoforest is home to many organisms, including three genera of darwinopteran pterosaurs. Our results show that K. antipollicatus has occupied a different niche from Darwinopterus and Wukongopterus, which has likely minimised competition among these pterosaurs.”
Micro-CT Imaging Assists in Discovery
Fion Waisum Ma, co-author of the study and PhD researcher (University of Birmingham) explained:
“The fingers of “Monkeydactyl” are tiny and partly embedded in the slab. Thanks to micro-CT scanning, we could see through the rocks, create digital models and tell how the opposed thumb articulates with the other finger bones. This is an interesting discovery. It provides the earliest evidence of a true opposed thumb, and it is from a pterosaur – which wasn’t known for having an opposed thumb”.
Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the University of Birmingham in the compilation of this article.
The scientific paper: “A new darwinopteran pterosaur reveals arborealism and an opposed thumb” by Xuanyu Zhou, Rodrigo V. Pêgas, Waisum Ma, Xuefang Wei, Caizhi Shen and Shu’an Ji published in Current Biology.
“The Plesiosaur’s Neck” by Dr Adam S. Smith and Jonathan Emmett with illustrations by Adam Larkum.
Expert on the Plesiosauria, Dr Adam S. Smith (Curator of Natural Sciences at the Nottingham Natural History Museum at Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire), has teamed up with award-winning children’s author Jonathan Emmett to create a delightful tale explaining how some prehistoric marine reptiles developed long necks.
Poppy is an Albertonectes, a plesiosaur named after the Canadian province of Alberta, where fossils of this giant with a seven-metre-long neck have been found, but what was that extremely long neck used for?
Poppy the Plesiosaur
Did Poppy use her enormous neck to help keep herself free of parasites? Or was she the equivalent of an electric eel generating electricity to shock any unsuspecting fish that happened to swim too close? In “The Plesiosaur’s Neck”, budding young palaeontologists get the opportunity to explore these entertaining hypotheses in a plesiosaur-themed prehistoric puzzle.
At more than eleven metres long, Albertonectes was a giant. The huge neck made up almost two-thirds of the animal’s entire body length and this delightful book examines some of the ideas that palaeontologists have proposed to explain this peculiar, plesiosaur body plan.
A mixture of playful, rhyming text and prehistoric puns guides the reader through the story. Members of the Mollusca have a prominent role to play with Alfie the ammonite and Bella the belemnite chiming in with cheeky comments whilst Dr Adam Smith ensures a smorgasbord of facts and information about life in the sea during the time of the dinosaurs. The book will entertain and inform children from 5 years and upwards in equal measure.
Beautifully illustrated by Adam Larkum, a graduate of the Edinburgh College of Art, “The Plesiosaur’s Neck” combines colourful characters with a cornucopia of fun facts. It is an entertaining exploration of a genuine palaeontological puzzle focused on a plesiosaur with an astonishing seventy-six bones in its neck.
Published in May 2021
“The Plesiosaurs Neck” ISBN number 9781912979424 is due to be published on the 6th of May (2021), by Uclan Publishing. Priced at £7.99 it can be purchased here: Purchase “The Plesiosaur’s Neck”.
The W-Dragon Giraffatitan is certainly a very impressive figure. Team members at Everything Dinosaur have received a number of enquiries regarding this replica over the last few days and one of the most common questions we get asked is just how big is the Giraffatitan model?
Always Trying to Help our Customers
We try our best to help our customers and we have responded to all the enquiries that needed a reply. We can confirm that this 1:35 scale dinosaur model measures approximately 38 cm in length and that the superbly detailed head is around 43.5 cm in the air.
Providing model measurements is sometimes not enough. In order to demonstrate the size of the W-Dragon Giraffatitan we placed it behind a Papo standing T. rex. The Papo T. rex figure is quite a sizeable figure, but it is dwarfed when compared to the enormous Giraffatitan model.
Comparing Dinosaur Models
When the size of the largest tyrannosaurs is related to the biggest members of the Brachiosauridae family, the Papo T. rex and the W-Dragon Giraffatitan compare quite well to each other in terms of scale.
Whilst the likes of Giraffatitan (the Brachiosauridae too), had been extinct for millions of years before the super-sized tyrannosaurs evolved, the two models photographed together does give the viewer an insight into the “scale” of the problem the large theropod dinosaurs that co-existed with brachiosaurs had to face if they wanted to bring down one of these leviathans.
Whilst the lighting in the packing room that we used to set up the shots may not be that great, we were able to send out these images to customers who had asked for more information about the size of the W-Dragon Giraffatitan.
We even include a Giraffatitan fact sheet with says of this colossal figure too.
A new species of Late Cretaceous South American mammal has been named and described. The omnivorous Orretherium tzen is only the second mammal from the Mesozoic known from Chile. The newly described O. tzen joins Magallanodon baikashkenke which was named in 2020. Orretherium has been described from a partial lower jawbone, which had 5 teeth in situ and a single isolated tooth found just a few metres away from the jaw fragment. It is thought to have been about the size of a modern skunk, although it was only distantly related to modern mammals.
The Mammal Quarry
The fossils were found in exposures of the Dorotea Formation (late Campanian to early Maastrichtian faunal stages of the Late Cretaceous), on a small hill nicknamed “the mammal quarry”, reflecting the significance of the site in terms of Late Cretaceous mammalian fossil finds. Although the isolated tooth that helped describe this species was found close to the jaw fragment, the researchers cannot unambiguously refer this tooth to the same individual animal although it is highly probable taking in account their compatible size, wear and close proximity.
Classified as a member of the Meridiolestida
Orretherium has been classified as a member of the Meridiolestida, an extinct group of mammals known from South America and Antarctica.
Co-author of the research paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, Sergio Soto-Acuña (University of Chile), commented:
“This mammal is a primitive lineage of the group of meridiolestids, very successful at the end of the Age of dinosaurs in South America. The jaw found has five teeth in place that indicate omnivorous habits, it probably fed on plants and insects”.
The scientific paper: “New cladotherian mammal from southern Chile and the evolution of mesungulatid meridiolestidans at the dusk of the Mesozoic era” by Agustín G. Martinelli, Sergio Soto-Acuña, Francisco J. Goin, Jonatan Kaluza, J. Enrique Bostelmann, Pedro H. M. Fonseca, Marcelo A. Reguero, Marcelo Leppe and Alexander O. Vargas published in Scientific Reports.