All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
9 05, 2021

Rare Rebor Models in Stock

By | May 9th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Newsletters, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Subscribers to Everything Dinosaur’s customer newsletter were tipped off about stock of rare Rebor prehistoric animal figures and replicas. Limited edition and special production runs of several Rebor figures had been organised and once the current stock had sold, many of these items would not be available again.

For example, the science fiction/fantasy Rebor Oddities Specimen: G-2016 embryo in resinite has been limited to a single production run and only 500 of these amazing replicas have been made.

The special edition Rebor Oddities Specimen: G-2016 embryo specimen in resinite
The special edition Rebor Oddities Specimen: G-2016 embryo specimen in resinite makes headlines in the latest Everything Dinosaur customer newsletter.

Rebor Oddities Specimen: G-2016 Embryos

The Everything Dinosaur newsletter also featured the G-2016 Embryo in epoxide and the G-2016 Embryo in bakelite. Like the resinite figure, only 500 of each of these replicas have been produced and newsletter subscribers were given the opportunity to snap up a figure before they sold out.

Rebor Oddities Specimen Embryos
Only 500 Rebor Oddities Specimen G-2016 embryos (bakelite and epoxide) have been produced. There are no plans to make any more once the current stock has been sold.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“These Rebor G-2016 figures are beautifully crafted science fiction replicas with engraved text and science fiction symbols and they would be a highlight in any model collection. We have had lots of sales in Asia, but we wanted to hold a few back so we could offer these limited edition figures to our newsletter subscribers.”

Compsognathus longipes Dissection Figures

Rebor has built a deserved reputation for their innovative and unusual figures. As well as introducing the embryos, Rebor commissioned a special production run of life-size Compsognathus dissection specimens. Two versions were produced, one of them being the limited edition, highly stylised “Victorian Goth” specimen. Only 500 of these figures have been made, the vast majority of these were pre-sold, however, Everything Dinosaur has held a small number in reserve so we could offer these figures to our subscribers.

Rebor Compsognathus Dissection Replicas
The Rebor Compsognathus longipes dissection replicas including the limited edition Victorian Goth version make an appearance in the latest Everything Dinosaur customer newsletter.

Rebor Abelisaurid Dinosaurs

Rebor is best known for their dinosaur models. Team members thought that they could not feature Rebor without at least drawing attention to a couple of dinosaurs and with the arrival this week of the abelisaurid pair Carnotaurus and Ekrixinatosaurus it seemed fitting to include these 1:35 scale replicas in our newsletter offering. The Rebor Carnotaurus rex “Crimson King Requiem” is a reference to the apex predator position held in southern hemisphere Late Cretaceous palaeoenvironments by members of the Abelisauridae, including Carnotaurus sastrei. The 1:35 scale model of Ekrixinatosaurus (E. novasi) represents another South American abelisaurid. Named and described in 2004, palaeontologists are uncertain as to the size of this “bruiser”. The skull was disproportionately large and this dinosaur was particularly robust – very helpful if you coexisted with Giganotosaurus, one of the largest theropod dinosaurs known to science.

Rebor 1:35 scale Carnotaurus and Ekrixinatosaurus
A pair of ferocious abelisaurids! The Rebor Carnotaurus rex “Crimson King Requiem” (right) and the new Rebor Ekrixinatosaurus “Epitaph” model (left).

Subscribe to Everything Dinosaur’s Newsletter

The Everything Dinosaur email newsletter is sent out periodically, it is free to join, there are no subscription fees to pay. To subscribe to the Everything Dinosaur newsletter simply email us and we will do the rest: Contact Everything Dinosaur.

To view the range of Rebor models and replicas in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals.

7 05, 2021

Nocturnal Dinosaurs Hunting in the Dark

By | May 7th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Key Stage 3/4, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Scientists have proposed that the bizarre, chicken-sized alvarezsaurid Shuvuuia (S. deserti) had amazing eyesight and owl-like hearing, adaptations for a nocturnal hunter in its Late Cretaceous desert environment.

The Mongolian alvarezsaurid hunting at night
Shuvuuia deserti artist’s life reconstruction. Picture credit: Viktor Radermacher.

A Very Bizarre, Tiny Theropod

Named and described in 1998 from fossil material associated with the famous Djadochta Formation (Campanian faunal stage), Shuvuuia has been assigned to the Alvarezsauridae family of theropods. It may have been small (around 60 cm in length), but its skeleton shows a range of bizarre anatomical adaptations. It had long legs, a long tail, short but powerful forelimbs that ended in hands with greatly reduced, vestigial digits except for the thumb which was massive and had a large claw. The skull was very bird-like with disproportionately large orbits.

Photograph of fossilised Shuvuuia deserti skeleton.
Photograph of fossilised Shuvuuia deserti skeleton. Picture credit: Mick Ellison (American Museum of Natural History).

Writing in the academic journal “Science” a team of scientists led by Professor Jonah Choiniere (University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa), used sophisticated computerised tomography to examine the skull of Shuvuuia and to map this dinosaur’s sensory abilities, as part of a wider study into non-avian dinosaur sensory abilities.

Shuvuuia deserti fossil skull
Photograph of fossilised Shuvuuia deserti skull. Picture credit: Mick Ellison (American Museum of Natural History).

The international team of researchers used CT scanning and detailed measurements to collect data on the relative size of the eyes and inner ears of nearly 100 living bird and extinct dinosaur species. There are more than 10,000 species of bird (avian dinosaurs) alive today, but only a few have evolved sensory abilities that enable them to track and hunt prey at night. Owls are probably the best known, but not all owls are nocturnal. Kiwis hunt at night using their long, sensitive beaks to probe in the leaf litter for worms, whilst another bird endemic to New Zealand, the large, flightless Kakapo (a member of the parrots – Order Psittaciformes), is also nocturnal. Other birds active at night include the globally widespread black-capped night heron and the Stone-curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) which is an occasional visitor to East Anglia in the UK.

To measure hearing ability, the team measured the length of the lagena, the organ that processes incoming sound information (known as the cochlea in mammals). The barn owl, which can hunt in complete darkness using hearing alone, has the proportionally longest lagena of any bird.

Barn owl skull CT scan showing lagena
Barn owl skull CT scan showing lagena. Picture credit: Jonah Choiniere/Wits University.

Assessing Vision

To examine vision, the team looked at the scleral ring, a series of bones surrounding the pupil, of each species. Like a camera lens, the larger the pupil can open, the more light can get in, enabling better vision at night. By measuring the diameter of the ring, the scientists could estimate how much light the eye can gather.

The researchers found that many carnivorous theropods such as large tyrannosaurs and the much smaller Dromaeosaurus had vision optimised for the daytime, and better-than-average hearing presumably to help them hunt. However, Shuvuuia, had both extraordinary hearing and night vision. The extremely large lagena of this species is almost identical in relative size to today’s barn owl, suggesting that Shuvuuia could have been a nocturnal hunter. With many predators sharing its Late Cretaceous desert environment, a night-time existence may have proved to be an effective strategy to avoid the attentions of much larger theropods.

Side by side comparison of the lagena of a Barn owl and Shuvuuia deserti
Side by side comparison of the lagena of a Barn owl (left) and Shuvuuia deserti (right). Picture credit: Jonah Choiniere/Wits University.

Commenting on the significance of this discovery, joint first author of the scientific paper, Dr James Neenan exclaimed:

“As I was digitally reconstructing the Shuvuuia skull, I couldn’t believe the lagena size. I called Professor Choiniere to have a look. We both thought it might be a mistake, so I processed the other ear – only then did we realise what a cool discovery we had on our hands!”

Extremely Large Eyes

The eyes of Shuvuuia were also remarkable. Skull measurements suggest that this little dinosaur had some of the proportionally largest pupils yet measured in birds or dinosaurs, suggesting that they could likely see very well at night.

Professor Jonah Choiniere holding a 3D Print of a Shuvuuia lagena
Professor Jonah Choiniere holding a 3D printed model of the lagena of Shuvuuia deserti. Picture credit: Jonah Choiniere/Wits University.

The Alvarezsauridae remain one of the most unusual of all the types of non-avian dinosaur known to science. Their place within the ecosystems of the Late Cretaceous remains controversial. Geographically widespread, a recently described alvarezsaurid from China Qiupanykus zhangi may have been a specialised ovivore (egg-eater), whilst other palaeontologists have postulated that these theropods used their strong forelimbs and large thumb claws to break into termite mounds. Perhaps, these small (most probably feathered), dinosaurs occupied a number of niches within Late Cretaceous ecosystems – including that of a nocturnal hunter of small vertebrates and insects.

Shuvuuia deserti artist's reconstruction.
Shuvuuia deserti artist’s reconstruction. Picture credit: Viktor Radermacher.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s blog article about Qiupanykus zhangi and the evidence behind the egg-eating theory: Did Alvarezsaurids Eat Eggs?

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

The scientific paper: “Evolution of vision and hearing modalities in theropod dinosaurs” by Jonah N. Choiniere, James M. Neenan, Lars Schmitz, David P. Ford, Kimberley E. J. Chapelle, Amy M. Balanoff, Justin S. Sipla, Justin A. Georgi, Stig A. Walsh, Mark A. Norell, Xing Xu, James M. Clark and Roger B. J. Benson published in the journal Science.

6 05, 2021

CollectA Brontosaurus Prey Reviewed

By | May 6th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

One of the new for 2021 CollectA prehistoric animal models in stock at Everything Dinosaur is the gory Brontosaurus prey figure. Everything Dinosaur takes a look at this fascinating dinosaur model. This replica of a dead Brontosaurus is the fourth carcass model to be introduced by CollectA in their not to scale Age of Dinosaurs Popular range. The Brontosaurus prey follows on from a dead Triceratops, a Stegosaurus carcass and a deceased feathered Tyrannosaurus rex.

New for 2021 the CollectA Brontosaurus prey.
The CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Brontosaurus prey model. The wounds inflicted on the Brontosaurus reflect attack and feeding strategies that have been postulated for large theropod dinosaurs. The CollectA design team have researched extant carnivore feeding strategies and extrapolated them to apply to a sauropod carcass.

The Demise of a Sauropod

The carefully sculpted Brontosaurus prey figure shows evidence of a theropod dinosaur attack as well as feeding. There are deep wounds obvious on the tail, at the base of the neck and on the throat, which we deduce was probably the fatal bite. The exposed stomach cavity, the defleshed femur and damage immediately behind the left hind leg probably depict feeding traces.

CollectA Brontosaurus prey dinosaur model
The CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Brontosaurus prey is an ideal figure for use in dinosaur dioramas.

An Ideal Figure for Dinosaur Dioramas

The CollectA Brontosaurus prey would certainly add a degree of visceral realism to any prehistoric animal scene that is being created by a model collector. It is an ideal figure for use in dinosaur dioramas. Team members have been asked to comment on the dislocated right front leg on this particularly gruesome dinosaur model.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“The position of the right forelimb could have come about as a large theropod dinosaur such as an adult Allosaurus fragilis pulled at the limb in order to remove it from the corpse and carry it away so that this carnivore could feed in safety. Alternatively, the limb could have been dislocated as the bulky Brontosaurus collapsed as a result of the theropod attack.”

What Attacked the Brontosaurus?

As the CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Brontosaurus prey measures around 25 cm in length, it could represent a sub-adult animal in a dinosaur diorama. If this is the case, then the range of suspects that could have attacked it is enlarged to some degree. As well as an Allosaurus, the attack could have been undertaken by a Ceratosaurus such as C. dentisulcatus or perhaps the unfortunate Brontosaurus was brought down by a megalosaur. The megalosaurid Torvosaurus tanneri is known from the Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation, it was one of the largest theropods described to date from the Late Jurassic of western North America.

We shall leave it to the imagination of our readers as to whether the Brontosaurus was brought down by a single animal or as the result of an attack by a hungry pack of theropods.

Whether the Brontosaurus was attacked and killed, or the figure represents dinosaurs scavenging a corpse, this is a fascinating and very welcome addition to the CollectA range of not to scale prehistoric animal models.

The CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale Torvosaurus dinosaur model.
The CollectA Deluxe Torvosaurus dinosaur model was introduced in 2016. The Brontosaurus prey model could depict the aftermath of an attack by a Torvosaurus.

To purchase the CollectA Brontosaurus prey and the rest of the prehistoric animal figures in the CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular range: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models and Figures.

5 05, 2021

Prehistoric Times Spring 2021 Reviewed

By | May 5th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

The spring 2021 edition of “Prehistoric Times” magazine has arrived at Everything Dinosaur and team members have been busy perusing the pages, which as usual are jam-packed with amazing articles, fascinating features and lots of reader-submitted artwork. The front cover for issue 137 was provided by Glen McIntosh, an artist and animator who has worked on the “Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic World” film franchises.

The cover art features a Gorgosaurus battling an Einiosaurus and another awesome tyrannosaur, one that was contemporaneous with G. libratus – Daspletosaurus, is discussed by Phil Hore and palaeontologist Jordan C. Mallon who looks at this Late Cretaceous predator from the viewpoint of the Canadian Museum of Nature. There are some amazing Daspletosaurus drawings, the artwork by Aaron Natera, Cody Zaiser and Marcus Burkhardt are our personal favourites.

Prehistoric Times Front Cover Spring 2021
The front cover image of the latest “Prehistoric Times” magazine was created by Glen McIntosh. It features an Einiosaurus battling a Gorgosaurus.

Superb Sauropods

John Lavas continues to tell the story of the influential Czech artist Zdeněk Burian with the second part of his feature on the Sauropoda. The article includes some stunning Brontosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Diplodocus illustrations. A Cetiosaurus even makes an appearance.

Burian's famous Brachiosaurus brancai painting.
Giant Dinosaurs Dwelling in Swamps! The famous Burian Brachiosaurus painting which was completed in 1941.

The “Scowl” of Hypsilophodon

Tracy Lee Ford explains how the position of the palpebral (a small bony extension) in relation to the orbit (eye socket) of the ornithopod Hypsilophodon would have given this dinosaur a permanent scowl. He provides detailed drawings of the triangular-shaped skull and suggests how it should be fleshed out when creating a life reconstruction. There is even a mention of the iconic Neave Parker illustration of a tree-living hypsilophodont.

Hypsilophodon in a Tree
Hypsilophodon was once thought to have been arboreal. Tracy Lee Ford’s article provides information on how to illustrate this small ornithopod.

The UK’s Mike Howgate contributes two articles, the first detailing the work of naturalist Edward Kay Robinson to provide three-dimensional images of exhibits on display at the British Museum (now the Natural History Museum), at the beginning of the 20th century. The second, related article, looks at the commissioning of Cenozoic mammal models and the work of Vernon Edwards. These articles provide a sense of how museums have changed and how the exhibits within them have changed also.

Father and son team, Tony and James Pinto have been working on a television documentary entitled “Why Dinosaurs?”, it examines the public’s fascination for the Dinosauria, a challenging project even without the extra problems caused due to the global pandemic. Magazine editor Mike Fredericks provides book reviews including a new biography of Mary Anning “Dinosaur Lady: The Daring Discoveries of Mary Anning, the First Palaeontologist”, a title that emphasises how our fascination with dinosaurs seems to overshadow research into marine reptiles and the Pterosauria.

The “Paleonews” section covers a broad range of topics from how Parasaurolophus evolved fancy headgear, to titanosaur discoveries and agile Permian predators (Anteosaurus).

With new prehistoric animal model information and the ever-reliable Randy Knol providing insight on how gamers use models and replicas within their genre, there is certainly a lot to praise about this latest issue.

To learn more about “Prehistoric Times” magazine and to subscribe: Subscribe to “Prehistoric Times” Magazine.

4 05, 2021

CollectA Neovenator Scenting Prey Reviewed

By | May 4th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur team members have been so impressed with the first batch of new for 2021 CollectA prehistoric animal figures that they have decided to review them all. Today, it is the turn of the CollectA Neovenator scenting prey dinosaur model. This figure replaces an earlier version of the theropod Neovenator within the CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular range.

The CollectA Neovenator scenting prey dinosaur model
The new for 2021 CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Neovenator scenting prey.

Neovenator salerii

The CollectA Neovenator scenting prey has been beautifully painted. The light green tones contrast well with the striking darker green stripes that run from the nape of the neck right down to the model’s long tail. The tail makes up around 50% of the entire figure’s length. The body proportions of the Neovenator model reflect the graceful and lightweight nature of the dinosaur’s skeleton. Neovenator being regarded as relatively lightly built for a large predator with a gracile body plan. The grasping hands have been sculpted extremely well and the claws are skilfully painted. Their battleship grey colour matches the toe claws.

The pale underside provides a sharp contrast to the colouration on the flanks and the CollectA model has been given a row of small wattles that run down the neck. There is a row of similarly coloured spines that extend from the back of the skull to the tip of the tail. These spines are enlarged over the hips and immediately behind the head.

CollectA Neovenator Scenting Prey Dinosaur Model
The CollectA Neovenator scenting prey figure reflects a much more modern interpretation of this theropod dinosaur.

Features of the Skull

The figure is named “scenting prey” as an analysis of Neovenator cranial material published in 2017 revealed a substantial network of neurovascular canals in the upper jaw (premaxilla and maxilla) that were linked to the external surfaces of the bones in the jaw. The scientists concluded that this may have been a specialised tactile organ, enabling Neovenator to sense its environment through its jaw. These canals could have sensed jaw pressure, assisting this dinosaur to avoid bone when feeding, or this sensory organ could have played a role in intraspecies recognition and behaviour, or even assisted Neovenator in locating suitable nesting sites. The large nostrils suggest that this dinosaur had a powerful sense of smell. To read more about this research: The Sensitive Face of Neovenator.

Neovenator scenting prey
The elevated head of the CollectA Neovenator scenting prey model. The posture of the CollectA dinosaur model reflects the 2017 scientific paper that revealed a network of neurovascular canals linked to the premaxilla and the maxilla bones.

Taxonomic Position Uncertain

The taxonomic classification of Neovenator remains uncertain, despite nearly 70% of the fossil skeleton being known to science. When first described in 1996, it was thought to have affinities with the Allosauridae family. Subsequent studies have challenged this suggesting a placement within the carcharodontosaurids.

The elevated head shows lots of amazing detail. The dark green markings that run from the eye socket down to the bottom jaw and then up to the postorbital bone are in stark contrast to the bright yellow jaw tips and the yellow patch that surrounds the eye.

CollectA Neovenator scenting prey and the CollectA Brontosaurus Prey
The CollectA Neovenator dinosaur model has used its sensitive snout to detect a sauropod carcass (CollectA Brontosaurus prey model).

This is an exquisitely created dinosaur model and Everything Dinosaur highly recommends the CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Neovenator scenting prey.

To view the CollectA Neovenator scenting prey figure and the rest of the models in the CollectA Prehistoric Life range: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models and Figures.

2 05, 2021

CollectA Megalosaurus in Ambush Reviewed

By | May 2nd, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Megalosaurus was scientifically described way back in 1824 (Buckland), over the last 197 years, this dinosaur has had a number of makeovers. The lizard-like quadruped as depicted in the world-famous Crystal Palace dinosaur sculptures may be long gone, but its appearance is still debated. For example, did theropod dinosaurs have lips? The new CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus model provides collectors with a very modern interpretation of “Big Lizard”, lips are included along with a plume of bristles beginning at the back of the hips and running about a quarter of the tail’s length.

CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus in Ambush
The CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus in ambush figure. The muted tones would have provided excellent camouflage for this Jurassic hunter.

CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus

Part of the extensive CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular range, this new for 2021 Megalosaurus replica replaces an early CollectA Megalosaurus that was first introduced around eleven years ago. The “kangaroo posture” has gone, the hands are not pronated and the feet have been correctly proportioned.

The model is more scientifically accurate and it has been posed “mouth shut” a more natural pose than the previous figure with its large, open jaws revealing a set of beautiful but unrealistic white teeth.

CollectA Megalosaurus dinosaur model (circa 2010)
The original CollectA Megalosaurus that was introduced in 2010. This original Megalosaurus figure from CollectA has been replaced with a more scientifically accurate model.

Iconic Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We think William Buckland, Richard Owen and indeed Robert Plot who first published a description of a Megalosaurus fossil bone back in 1676, would be most impressed with this figure. They probably would not recognise this interpretation. It reflects how far our understanding of the Dinosauria has changed.”

CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus in Ambush
The CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus in Ambush dinosaur model. It looks like it has a smug expression on its face – a “Mona Lisa Megalosaurus”.

That Knowing Expression

The design team at CollectA have given their new Megalosaurus model lips. This is in line with some of the latest scientific thinking. As a result, our Megalosaurus in ambush has an intriguing expression on its carefully painted face. It’s as if it knows something we don’t!

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have nicknamed this dinosaur model “Mona Lisa Megalosaurus” – our tribute to the enigmatic look on this little figure.

Lips depicted on the new for 2021 CollectA Megalosaurus dinosaur model.
The new CollectA Megalosaurus has lips. Say hello to “Mona Lisa Megalosaurus”.

Skilfully Painted

Measuring around 16 cm in length, this is a skilfully painted model. The obvious counter shading on the previous model has gone, being replaced with more muted and subtle tones. The dark spots and stripes on the body and on the anterior portion of the muzzle contrast nicely with the underlying tan colouration.

The new CollectA Megalosaurus dinosaur model has been given a short row of bristles, a nod perhaps to megalosaur fossil material from Germany that reputedly showed evidence of an integumentary covering: Megalosaurs join the “Tufty” club.

To view the CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Megalosaurus and the rest of the figures in the CollectA Prehistoric Life range: CollectA Prehistoric Life Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

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