All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
31 05, 2021

Jurassic June Approaches

By | May 31st, 2021|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Tomorrow, June 1st, marks the official start of summer in the UK. The weather for a change is behaving itself and #JurassicJune is trending on social media. Everything Dinosaur is expecting stock of Beasts of the Mesozoic Wave 1 ceratopsians and more Beasts of the Mesozoic “raptors” to be delivered to their warehouse along with more Rebor figures and possibly some new PNSO models too.

It is going to be a busy few weeks for team members, but perhaps there will be a little time to plan some fossil collecting expeditions. COVID-19 restrictions in England could be revised with some restrictions being lifted in June. This could permit group fossil hunting trips.

Fossil hunting at Monmouth Beach
Will you find a fossil at Lyme Regis? The warmer weather and the possibility of COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in England could permit lots of fossil hunting trips including fossil hunting on the famous “Jurassic Coast” of southern England. The photograph was taken at Monmouth Beach which lies to the west of the Dorset town of Lyme Regis.

Fossil Hunting Trips – Some Safety Tips

If you are planning to visit the coast and to do some fossil hunting, here are some safety tips:

  • Always stay away from the cliffs, rock falls can be common.
  • Do not climb on the cliffs or any recent landslips/mudflows.
  • Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you will return.
  • Have a mobile phone handy in case of emergencies.
  • Beware of the threat of landslides, especially after the recent heavy rain.
  • Note the tide times particularly high tide and take the advice of the local coastguard etc.
  • Aim to collect fossils on a falling tide, be aware of the incoming tide especially around headlands where you could easily get cut off and stranded.
  • In rough weather, be aware of strong winds and high waves and the fact that the footing underneath might be slippery.
  • Wear suitable clothing and shoes, sunscreen might prove very sensible too.
Fossil Collecting on the Dorset Coast
Three excellent guides have been published about fossil hunting on the Dorset coast. Titles by Steve Snowball and Craig Chivers. Books such as these published by Siri Scientific Press are essential reading for the serious fossil collector.

If you are looking to acquire some books about fossil hunting, then check out the range of publications from Siri Scientific Press: Books About Fossils and Fossil Hunting.

Some Advice When Collecting Fossils

  • Do not collect or hammer into the cliffs, rocky ledges or other geological features.
  • The best and safest place to find fossils is on the beach where the sea has washed away soft clay and mud – let nature do some work for you.
  • Take a fossil hunting guide with you, such as one of the books in the photograph (above).
  • Keep collecting to a minimum, don’t be greedy, perhaps select a few specimens at the end of the session to take home.
  • Avoid removing “in situ” material be content with a photograph, leave the fossils where they are for someone else to enjoy.
  • Do not collect from buildings or walls.  Take care not to undermine fences, bridges stone walls etc.
  • Take your litter and other rubbish home with you.
  • Observe all notices and signs, some land is privately owned and fossil collecting is not permitted without prior approval.

With the start of official summer time here in the UK, there are going to be a lot of people planning trips to the seaside and perhaps they will go on a fossil hunt or two. Hopefully, these tips will help them to keep safe and allow the hobby of fossil collecting to continue without causing harm to others or the environment.

A trip to the coast to collect fossils.
A trip to the coast – going on a fossil hunt?
30 05, 2021

Praising Pinacosaurus

By | May 30th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

There have been so many new model announcements made by PNSO in the last few weeks that model collectors can be forgiven for overlooking some of the recently introduced figures from this Chinese manufacturer. Take for example, Bart the Pinacosaurus. Pinacosaurus (P. grangeri) might not be the most famous member of the Ankylosauridae family, but Pinacosaurus is well-known in China, it has featured in the illustrations of prehistoric life by Zhao Chuang and PNSO introduced a model of this armoured dinosaur in early 2021.

PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus dinosaur model
A wonderful model of an armoured dinosaur. The recently introduced Bart the Pinacosaurus.

Why Bart?

PNSO have given their prehistoric animals in their rapidly expanding mid-size model range nicknames. This is a trend that they have followed since their very first replicas came out. Team members are not sure whether there is actually any logic applied when it comes to naming their figures, after all, we have recently announced “Jeff” the Kronosaurus: PNSO to Add “Jeff” the Kronosaurus.

As for Bart, we don’t know why the Pinacosaurus figure was given this moniker, we thought that “Granger” would have been more suitable in honour of the American palaeontologist Walter Wallis Granger, who discovered the first fossils of Pinacosaurus in 1923.

PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus (left lateral)
The PNSO Pinacosaurus in lateral view.

A Photogenic Ankylosaur

The Pinacosaurus replica is beautifully sculpted and typifies the quality associated with this mid-size model line. Whilst working in the studio, we took the opportunity to take some more photographs of this dinosaur model, the colouration of which reminds us of the Mountain Devil lizard from Australia.

PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus (anterior view)
A close view of the front of the Pinacosaurus from PNSO (Bart the Pinacosaurus).
The Mountain Devil (Moloch) from Australia.
The very spiny Mountain Devil or Moloch (Moloch horridus) which is native to Australia.
PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus dinosaur model in dorsal view
Dorsal view – PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus dinosaur model. The colour scheme chosen for this armoured dinosaur reminds us of the Mountain Devil lizard (Moloch horridus).

We were able to take several pictures of the figure, including in dorsal view so the chosen colour scheme could be clearly seen.

An Upside-Down Dinosaur

As well as dorsal views, we wanted to depict the underside of the figure, complete with that very important CE mark (conformité européenne). After all, to a discerning dinosaur model collector it matters what a dinosaur’s undercarriage looks like.

PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus dinosaur model
PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus dinosaur model (ventral view).

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur praised the Pinacosaurus figure and congratulated PNSO for wanting to add figures of more obscure prehistoric animals to their range.

To purchase the PNSO Pinacosaurus or any other PNSO prehistoric animal figure in stock at Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Models and Figures.

29 05, 2021

Giant Moroccan Mosasaur – Pluridens serpentis

By | May 29th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

This month (May 2021), has seen yet another scientific paper published describing a new species of mosasaur from the Late Cretaceous of Morocco. The newly described Pluridens serpentis reminds us that these whale-sized animals were related to snakes and lizards (Squamata). It may have sensed its marine environment in a similar way to extant sea snakes.

A life reconstruction of Pluridens serpentis
A life reconstruction of the Moroccan mosasaur Pluridens serpentis. The orbits (eye sockets), were disproportionately small when compared to other mosasaurs, it also had very sensitive jaws that were capable of helping it to make sense of its environment (as indicated by numerous neurovascular foramina on the premaxillae). It may have specialised in hunting prey in deep water, or in poorly lit habitats. Picture credit: Andrey Atuchin.

Morocco a Hot Bed of Late Cretaceous Mosasaurs

Mosasaurs were the last, great group of marine reptiles to evolve. They originated in the early Late Cretaceous and they were around for about 20 million years, a much shorter temporal range than other marine reptiles from the Mesozoic such as the ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. However, they were extremely successful and globally widespread with more than 40 different genera described.

The extensive phosphate beds of the Ouled Abdoun Basin in northern Morocco have proved to be a hot bed of mosasaur fossil remains. Thirteen mosasaur genera have been named and described from these Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) deposits to date. For example, Everything Dinosaur wrote about the discovery of the specialised piscivore Gavialimimus almaghribensis in October 2020: Another New Species of Mosasaur from Morocco.

Based on Two Complete Skulls and Referred Jaw Material

Writing in the academic journal “Cretaceous Research”, scientists including Dr Nick Longrich (University of Bath), describe P. serpentis based on two complete skulls and referred jaw material. The skulls imply a total body length of around 6 to 8 metres, but the jaw material found indicates that Pluridens could have grown much larger, perhaps as big as 10 metres in length.

It had long, slender jaws lined with over a hundred tiny snake-like teeth which were well-adapted to grabbing small fish and squid. When compared to other mosasaurs, Pluridens had relatively small eyes, suggesting it had poor vision. It probably relied on other senses to understand its environment and to hunt. The upper snout (premaxilla), had dozens of openings for nerves (neurovascular foramina), hinting at the ability to hunt by sensing water movements and changes in pressure. These nerves may have been sensitive to tiny variations in water pressure, an adaptation seen in sea snakes.

The prepared skull of the newly described Moroccan mosasaur Pluridens serpentis
The prepared skull of the newly described Moroccan mosasaur Pluridens serpentis. Picture credit: Dr Nick Longrich.

Lead author of the study, Dr Longrich, (senior lecturer at the Milner Centre for Evolution, University of Bath), commented:

“Typically, when animals evolve small eyes, it’s because they’re relying more heavily on other senses. If it wasn’t using the eyes, then it’s very likely that it was using the tongue to hunt, like a snake. Many aquatic snakes and lizards – sea snakes and water monitors flick their forked tongues underwater, using chemical cues to track their prey. Mosasaurs would have resembled whales and dolphins, so it’s tempting to assume they lived like them. But they’re very different beasts – they’re huge lizards – so they probably acted like them.”

Thick, Robust and Heavy Jawbones

The researchers, who include scientists from the Natural History Museum of Sorbonne University (France), the University Cadi Ayyad in Marrakech and the OCP Group S. A. (both in Morocco), noted that the dentary (lower jaw bone) becomes massive and robust in the largest individuals, suggesting sexual selection and perhaps sexual dimorphism. In some species of extant beaked whales, the males use their jaws in combat (intraspecific combat). It is postulated that male Pluridens behaved in a similar way with the mandibles possibly functioning for combat as in modern beaked whales and some lizards such as Komodo dragons.

A close-up view of the jaw of Pluridens serpentis
A close-up view of the jaws of Pluridens showing the fang-like teeth and small holes in the jaw bones (foramina) -openings for nerves, hinting at the ability to hunt by sensing water movements and changes in pressure. Picture credit: Dr Nick Longrich.

Pluridens serpentis

The newly described Pluridens serpentis lends weight to the theory that mosasaurs were continuing to specialise and diversify until the very end of the Cretaceous. It is the thirteenth species of mosasaur to be identified from Morocco and very probably not the last. Team members at Everything Dinosaur are looking forward to the publication of future scientific papers, once again highlighting the remarkable diversity of North African mosasaurs during the Maastrichtian faunal stage of the Cretaceous.

The scientific paper: “Pluridens serpentis, a new mosasaurid (Mosasauridae: Halisaurinae) from the Maastrichtian of Morocco and implications for mosasaur diversity” by Nicholas R. Longrich, Nathalie Bardet, Fatima Khaldoune, Oussama Khadiri Yazami and Nour-Eddine Jalil published in Cretaceous Research.

28 05, 2021

PNSO to Add a Kronosaurus Model

By | May 28th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

PNSO will add a 1:35 scale model of a Kronosaurus to their scientific art range of figures. The marine reptile figure entitled Jeff the Kronosaurus will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur later in the summer (2021).

PNSO Jeff the Kronosaurus marine reptile model
PNSO Jeff the Kronosaurus – a close-up view of the mouth and a full body shot showing the new for 2021 marine reptile model.

Two Distinctive Kronosaurus Species

This monstrous short-necked pliosaur measured around ten metres in length. It was a fearsome, apex predator of Early Cretaceous seas (Aptian to Albian faunal stages of the Early Cretaceous) and two species have been named. Kronosaurus queenslandicus was formally named and described in 1924 and this Australian species was joined by Kronosaurus boyacensis from Columbia which was named in 1992.

Swimming into view the PNSO Kronosaurus marine reptile model (Jeff the Kronosaurus)
Swimming into view the PNSO Kronosaurus marine reptile model (Jeff the Kronosaurus)

Colouration of a Killer Whale

The new for 2021 Jeff the Kronosaurus model has a dark topside and a contrasting lighter, almost white shading underneath. Like extant Orcas (Orcinius orca), this colouration would help to break-up this predator’s outline in the water. The lighter underside would have been difficult to spot when viewed from below against a sunlit water surface. The dark markings on the top of the body, would have camouflaged Kronosaurus and made it difficult to pick out from the murky depths when viewed from above in the water column. The colouration of Kronosaurus is unknown, but team members at Everything Dinosaur recognise that the design team at PNSO have been influenced by living marine animals when it came to Jeff’s colouration.

Coming in for the attack, the PNSO Kronosaurus marine reptile model.
The new for 2021 PNSO Kronosaurus marine reptile model.

Kronosaurus Model Measurements

The Kronosaurus model measures 24.6 cm in length and it is 13.1 cm wide across the rear flippers. Although the figure is stated as being in 1:35 scale, based on these measurements, the PNSO model represents and animal around 8.6 metres in length.

PNSO Jeff the Kronosaurus in ventral view
PNSO Jeff the Kronosaurus (ventral view). In a ventral view the stunning counter shading on the model can be clearly seen.

In Stock at Everything Dinosaur in the Summer of 2021

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that PNSO intended to bring out a lot of prehistoric animal figures in 2021. Jeff the Kronosaurus will likely be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in the summer.

PNSO Jeff the Kronosaurus model
PNSO Jeff the Kronosaurus model takes a dive.

This new PNSO figure joins Levy the Eurhinosaurus and Paulwin the Dakosaurus marine reptile figures that were introduced by PNSO in 2019. As with the Dakosaurus figure, Jeff the PNSO Kronosaurus has an articulated jaw.

PNSO Jeff the Kronosaurus (articulated jaw)
The new for 2021 Kronosaurus model will have an articulated lower jaw.
PNSO Jeff the Kronosaurus Product Packaging
The product packaging for the PNSO Kronosaurus figure. Beautiful artwork from Zhao Chuang.

Expected to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in the summer of 2021, Jeff the Kronosaurus marine reptile model is a fantastic addition to the PNSO model range. To view the PNSO models and figures available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.

27 05, 2021

Win, Win, Win with Everything Dinosaur

By | May 27th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|17 Comments

Everything Dinosaur has another fantastic, prehistoric animal themed giveaway. We have a copy of the new book “Locked in Time” by palaeontologist Dr Dean Lomax with illustrations by Bob Nicholls and we are giving you the chance to win it.

Please note this competition has now closed.

Win a copy of the fantastic book "Locked in time"
Your chance to win a copy of “Locked in Time” by Dean Lomax illustrated by Bob Nicholls. Simply, like our Facebook page and leave a comment naming the two dinosaurs featured on the front cover.

Win a Copy of “Locked in Time”

The internationally recognised, award-winning palaeontologist Dean Lomax has spent a decade researching and writing “Locked in Time” which looks at prehistoric animal behaviour that can be discerned from extraordinary fossil evidence. This fantastic publication is illustrated by the very talented Bob Nicholls and Everything Dinosaur is giving you the chance to win a copy in our free to enter competition.

All you have to do to enter is visit Everything Dinosaur on Facebook “Like” our page, then leave a comment on the competition post naming the two dinosaurs illustrated by Bob Nicholls that feature on the front cover.

Like Everything Dinosaur on /Facebook
Like our Facebook page and enter the competition.

Visit Everything Dinosaur on Facebook: Our Facebook Page.

Or, if you are not on Facebook, just leave a comment on this blog post to enter.

Please note this competition has now closed.

On our Facebook “Locked in Time” competition post leave a comment naming the two dinosaurs on the book’s front cover. For example, if you think that they are Triceratops and T. rex put these answers in a comment under the post.

Win a copy of "Locked in Time"
Win a copy of “Locked in Time” in Everything Dinosaur’s free to enter competition.

Don’t forget to name the two dinosaurs and to “Like” our Facebook Page: Everything Dinosaur on Facebook.

We will draw our lucky winner at random and the “Locked in Time” competition closes at midnight (BST) on Thursday 17th June. Good luck!

Please note this competition has now closed.

Terms and Conditions of the “Locked in Time” Dinosaur Book Competition

Automated entries are not permitted and will be excluded from the draw.

Only one entry per person.

The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered.

The Everything Dinosaur “Locked in Time” runs until midnight Thursday 17th June 2021.

Winner will be notified by private message on Facebook or the Everything Dinosaur Blog.

Prize includes postage and packing.

For full terms and conditions contact: Email Everything Dinosaur.

26 05, 2021

Rebor Oddities Specimen: G-2016 Embryos (Resinite, Epoxide and Bakelite)

By | May 26th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur received an email from a potential customer asking for some more information and pictures on the recently introduced Rebor, limited edition specimens G-2016 embryos. We were happy to oblige and to send more photographs of the actual figures and to answer the queries.

Our packing rooms might be very busy with all the parcels being prepared for despatch but we found a quiet work bench, set up the figures and took several photographs of these remarkable Rebor replicas.

The images and information were emailed to the person who had enquired and a few hours later a parcel was despatched containing the G-2016 embryo selected.

Rebor Oddities Specimen: G-2016 Embryos (Resinite, Epoxide and Bakelite)
The three, stunning Rebor Oddities specimens – bakelite (right), epoxide (centre) and resinite (left). Special limited edition science-fiction replicas from Rebor.

Model Measurements

Each block measures 18.5 cm long and stands 10.6 cm tall. The width of each block is 3 cm. They are imposing science-fiction/fantasy figures and Rebor has been praised for producing such innovative and intriguing models. These are radical departments from their usual dinosaur and other prehistoric animal replicas.

As the Rebor Oddities Specimen G-2016 are so unusual, team members at Everything Dinosaur have received a lot of enquiries about them from collectors. We have been happy to take extra photographs of these figures and to email these images and respond to specific questions.

Rebor Oddities Specimen: G-2016 Embryos (resinite, epoxide and bakelite)
Very creative and innovative designs. The Rebor Oddities G-2016 specimens resinite (left), epoxide (centre) and bakelite (right). Limited edition figures from Rebor. Team members at Everything Dinosaur took several photographs of the different replicas to help potential customers with their enquiries.

Limited Edition Figures

The Rebor Oddities G-2016 figures (epoxide, bakelite and resinite) are limited edition items, only a few hundred of each have been produced.

To view these models (whilst stocks last) and to see the rest of the spectacular Rebor range: Rebor Replicas Models and Figures.

25 05, 2021

Dinosaur Bones from Western Queensland

By | May 25th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have received reports from Australian media sources that dinosaur bones have been discovered at Eromanga in western Queensland. The fossil bones believed to be cervical vertebrae (neck bones) represent the remains of a titanosaur. A field team from the Eromanga Natural History Museum has begun excavations and they suspect that the fossils, representing a titanosaur will end up being described as a new species.

The director of the Eromanga Natural History Museum holds a fossil bone.
Robyn Mackenzie, Director and palaeontologist for the Eromanga Natural History Museum, holds one of the recently excavated dinosaur bones. Picture credit: Dan Llewellyn/Eromanga Natural History Museum).

Land of Giant Titanosaurs

Several dinosaurs have already been named and described from fossil remains found in this region. The sandstones, mudstones and silts represent deposits from an ancient river network. Given the depth of the formation (the Winton Formation), that exceeds 400 metres deep at some locations, palaeontologists have postulated that this part of Australia around 98-95 million years ago was home to a huge river comparable to the Mississippi today.

Palaeontologist and director of the Eromanga Natural History Museum, Robyn Mackenzie explained that the excavations were looking promising and that she was optimistic that more elements from the skeleton of the large herbivore would be found.

In 2015, Everything Dinosaur reported on the fossilised bones of Australia’s largest dinosaur going on public display for the first time. These fossils were found in the same region and represent an animal around thirty metres in length. The dinosaur was nicknamed “Cooper”.

To read more about the titanosaur nicknamed “Cooper”: A super-duper titanosaur called “Cooper”.

A scale drawing of an Australian Titanosaur.
Scale drawing of “Cooper”. This titanosaur, whose bones were found in 2007 and went on display in 2015 has yet to be formally scientifically described and named.

Fossils Found by Director’s Son

The site was first discovered in 2018 by Robyn Mackenzie’s son and daughter-in-law. Whilst out rounding up cattle dinosaur vertebrae were spotted exposed on the surface of the red clay soil.

Dinosaur Bones Exposed on the Surface
Dinosaur bones exposed on the surface.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated that dinosaur bones from the early Late Cretaceous were relatively rare globally and the fossils from this part of western Australia are helping palaeontologists to better understand the dinosaur biota of southern Gondwana.

24 05, 2021

Spinosaurus and Daspletosaurus Models in Stock

By | May 24th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

The new for 2021 Wild Safari Prehistoric World Spinosaurus and Daspletosaurus dinosaur models are in stock at Everything Dinosaur. These are the last of five new prehistoric animal models that were introduced by Safari Ltd this year, after the armoured T. rex and Triceratops and the Baryonyx figures that came into stock at Everything Dinosaur earlier in 2021.

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Daspletosaurus dinosaur model.
The new for 2021 Wild Safari Prehistoric World Daspletosaurus dinosaur model. This figure is now available from Everything Dinosaur (May 2021).
Wild Safari Prehistoric World Spinosaurus dinosaur model.
The 2021 Wild Safari Prehistoric World Spinosaurus dinosaur model available from Everything Dinosaur.

Two New Dinosaur Figures

Safari Ltd may have reduced the number of new prehistoric animal models they have introduced this year compared to 2020, (nine prehistoric animal models were introduced in 2020), but there is no denying the quality of these new additions. Each model is beautifully painted and reflect the very latest scientific thinking. It is wonderful to see a new model of a tyrannosaur introduced into a product range, a refreshing change from the ubiquitous T. rex models.

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Daspletosaurus dinosaur model
The new for 2021 Wild Safari Prehistoric World Daspletosaurus dinosaur model. The Daspletosaurus figure measures approximately 23 cm in length and that impressive head with jaws wide open stands around 11 cm high.

The Spinosaurus Tail

Last year (2020), a team of international scientists including researchers from the University of Portsmouth, the University of Detroit Mercy and Leicester University published a paper in the journal “Nature” that concluded that Spinosaurus was indeed an aquatic dinosaur. A review of fossil tail bones (caudal vertebrae), revealed that it had a wide and flexible tail which was very fin-like. The tail of Spinosaurus was well adapted to propelling this huge predator through the water. The design team at Safari Ltd have worked hard to incorporate this research into their model. The tail of the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Spinosaurus, is broad and accounts for around half the model’s entire length. It seems ideally suited to propelling this dinosaur through the rivers and lakes of early Late Cretaceous North Africa.

The deep tail on the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Spinosaurus dinosaur model
The deep and powerful tail of the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Spinosaurus.

Attractive Markings

Collectors have contacted Everything Dinosaur and commented on the beautiful markings and colouration. The Spinosaurus figure has attracted praise for its striking paintwork.

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Spinosaurus dinosaur model
The beautiful markings on the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Spinosaurus dinosaur model. Collectors and fans of dinosaur models have praised the colour scheme.

The new for 2021 Wild Safari Prehistoric World Daspletosaurus and Spinosaurus figures along with the rest of the prehistoric animal models in this range can be found here: Wild Safari Prehistoric World.

23 05, 2021

A Predator Becomes Prey

By | May 23rd, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

A team of scientists have interpreted a remarkable fossil from southern Germany as a rare example of predation in the fossil record. A belemnite (a squid-like animal), has been preserved with the remains of a crustacean still held in its arms. However, the belemnite (a cephalopod), never had a chance to finish its meal, its fossilised remains display damage that indicate that it too was predated upon.

The belemnite was attacking the crustacean, when it too was attacked, presumably by a vertebrate predator which the researchers postulate was a type of prehistoric shark.

Shark Attacks Belemnite Attacking a Crustacean
Possible scenario explaining the taphonomy of the belemnite. Hybodus hauffianus (prehistoric shark), is known to have fed on belemnites, although it is unclear whether some individuals learned how to avoid the swallowing of the calcitic rostrum. The belemnite Passaloteuthis laevigata holds remains of the exuvia of Proeryon in its arms. Picture credit: Klug et al.

Discovered in 1970

The specimen was discovered in 1970 by amateur fossil collector Dieter Weber. The fossils come from the famous Lower Jurassic, Posidonia Shale from near Holzmaden (Germany). These marine shales which are exposed in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria and Holland as well as Germany, are famous for their beautifully preserved but crushed fossil specimens including many types of Early Jurassic marine reptile and fish. In Germany, these shales are known as the Posidonienschiefer Formation. The name of the formation is derived from the extensive and abundant fossils of the bivalve Posidonia bronni. Günter Schweigert (Natural History Museum Stuttgart), had been invited to view Herr Weber’s extensive private collection when he noted the fossilised remains of a belemnite (Passaloteuthis bisulcata) in close proximity to a crustacean. The remains of the crustacean, identified as an example of the decapod Proeryon, were still held in the arms of the belemnite and some soft tissue of the cephalopod had been preserved.

Evidence of Predation in an Early Jurassic Fossil Specimen
Taphocoenosis of a Passaloteuthis bisulcata with preserved arm crown and remains of its prey, SMNS 70514, Early Toarcian, Tenuicostatum Zone, Semicelatum Subzone, Ohmden, Germany. Photo of the specimen and its prey (a) Line drawing of fossil. Picture credit: Klug et al.

Damage to the Belemnite

When examined closely, the soft parts of the belemnite were far from complete and the scientists, which included researchers from the University of Zurich (Switzerland), Friedrich-Alexander-University (Erlangen, Germany), the Luxembourg National Museum of Natural History and the Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany), proposed that this was possible evidence of the belemnite having been attacked whilst in the process of subduing its prey.

Fossilised “Leftovers” – Pabulite

The specimen is interpreted as evidence of incomplete predation. The belemnite was attacked but not all of it was eaten. The assailant dropped the belemnite, which was still clutching the decapod, the remains settled on the seabed to be covered over in sediment and eventually turned to stone.

For this kind of fossil, one that provides circumstantial evidence to indicate these are the preserved remains of a dropped meal, the researchers coined the term “pabulite”. This word is derived from the Latin word “pabulum” for food and the Greek word “lithos” for stone.

What Sort of Animal Attacked the Belemnite?

As most of the belemnite soft parts between the arm crown and the calcitic rostrum are missing, the scientists postulate that this represents remains of a meal of a vertebrate predator, possibly of the Early Jurassic shark Hybodus hauffianus which is known to have eaten belemnites.

One remarkable fossil (SMNS 10062), in the collection of the Natural History Museum Stuttgart, depicts one of these small sharks which had at least 93 part or complete belemnite rostra wedged in its stomach. It has been suggested that this indigestible material probably killed the shark.

Hybodus shark fossil with stomach clogged by belemnite rostra
The Early Jurassic elasmobranch Hybodus hauffianus with its stomach clogged by belemnite rostra; SMNS 10062, Posidonia Shale, Toarcian, Holzmaden (Germany). Picture credit R. Böttcher.

Evidence of Behaviour Preserved in the Fossil Record

These fossilised leftovers provide a glimpse into a marine food web that existed 180 million years ago. In the recently published scientific paper, the researchers speculate that vertebrate predators of belemnites, animals such as ichthyosaurs, sharks and metriorhynchid crocodiles learned to avoid the hard, indigestible rostra of these cephalopods. Instead, they bit off the soft parts and consumed them leaving the rostrum of their victim to descend to the seafloor. The researchers suggest that the association of the complete belemnite arm crown with a complete rostrum and some soft parts represent the remains of the meal of a vertebrate predator, which had learned enough about belemnite anatomy to avoid the rostrum. This idea lends further credibility to the hypothesis that belemnite predation might contribute to belemnite accumulations (so-called battlefields, where huge numbers of fossilised belemnite guards are found together) under certain circumstances.

Some belemnite guard fossils, the coin shows scale.
Belemnite guard fossils from the “Jurassic Coast”. Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur.

The scientific paper: “Fossilized leftover falls as sources of palaeoecological data: a ‘pabulite’ comprising a crustacean, a belemnite and a vertebrate from the Early Jurassic Posidonia Shale” by Christian Klug, Günter Schweigert, René Hoffmann, Robert Weis and Kenneth De Baets published in the Swiss Journal of Palaeontology.

22 05, 2021

PNSO to Add More Stegosaurus Models

By | May 22nd, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

In the summer of 2021, Everything Dinosaur will be stocking the new Biber and Rook 1:35 scale scientific art dinosaur models from PNSO. These new dinosaur figures were announced yesterday and the box set will feature an adult Stegosaurus with a juvenile.

PNSO Stegosaurus dinosaur models (Biber and Rook)
The PNSO Stegosaurus dinosaur models (Biber and Rook) in anterior view, these two figures are due to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in the summer (2021).

PNSO Biber and Rook Stegosaurus Models

Biber is the name of the adult Stegosaurus figure and Rook is the epithet given to the baby armoured dinosaur. It is not certain whether the adult Stegosaurus in this set is a male or a female. The figures join an earlier PNSO Stegosaurus replica that was introduced in 2019. The adult Stegosaurus in this new set is a different figure to the 2019 Stegosaurus.

PNSO Stegosaurus models (Biber and Rook) in lateral view
The mother Stegosaurus is protecting her baby. Whether it is a male or female Stegosaurus is immaterial, this pair of stegosaurs joins Bieber the Stegosaurus that was introduced in 2019.

A Wide Range of Armoured Dinosaurs

Biber and Rook the Stegosaurus models are the latest editions to a wide range of armoured dinosaur models offered by Everything Dinosaur and PNSO. The PNSO portfolio includes Rosana the Miragaia, Qichuan the Tuojiangosaurus in the mid-size model range that were introduced in 2020 along with several smaller armoured dinosaur figures such as a Wuerhosaurus and a Kentrosaurus in the “Prehistoric Animal Toys that Accompany Your Growth” series.

The adult Stegosaurus (Biber) measures around 21.5 cm in length and those beautiful plates stand 11 cm high. Everything Dinosaur estimates that on this scale, the baby stegosaur (Rook) is about 5 cm long.

PNSO Stegosaurus (Biber and Rook) model measurements.
The adult PNSO Stegosaurus figure is 21.5 cm long and those magnificent plates are 11 cm tall. We estimate the baby stegosaur to be around 5 cm in length.

Representing Dinosaurs from the Famous Morrison Formation

PNSO have expressed a desire to introduce models that represent prehistoric animals from famous geological formations. These two new figures represent animals from the famous Morrison Formation of western North America. They join the likes of the recently announced Allosaurus figure (PNSO Paul the Allosaurus), as representatives of the dinosaur biota from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation.

PNSO Paul the Allosaurus attacks a pair of PNSO stegosaurs
PNSO are keen to highlight prehistoric animals known from the famous Morrison Formation of the western United States. Biber and Rook join Paul the Allosaurus in the PNSO model range.
New for 2021 PNSO Biber and Rook Stegosaurus Models
PNSO Stegosaurus dinosaur models (Biber and Rook).

Biber and Rook are expected in stock at Everything Dinosaur in the summer (2021). To view the PNSO figures available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.

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