All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
//February
28 02, 2022

Kelumapusaura: A New Hadrosaur from Patagonia

By | February 28th, 2022|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Researchers from the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales ‘Bernardino Rivadavia’ in Buenos Aires (Argentina), have described a new species of duck-billed dinosaur that roamed north-western Patagonia in the Late Cretaceous. The new dinosaur has been named Kelumapusaura machi and its discovery has helped palaeontologists to validate previously described South American hadrosaurids as distinct species.

The Largest Hadrosaur in the Allen Formation Ecosystem

Numerous fossils have been reported, representing skull and postcranial material from several individuals. Comparison of the fossils suggests that bones from sub-adults as well as bones from more mature, adult animals were found. Based on the largest fossil bones, Kelumapusaura is estimated to have been up to 9 metres in length, perhaps weighing as much as 3 Tonnes.

Kelumapusaura machi life reconstruction.
Kelumapusaura machi life reconstruction. Note scale bar = 1 metre.

Getting to Grips with South American Hadrosaurids

The fossil material was collected from exposures associated with the Allen Formation (Upper Cretaceous Campanian–Maastrichtian stage). The research team report that these fossils represent one of the most complete hadrosaurids found to date in South America. Importantly, many of the skull and postcranial bones associated with K. machi overlap with bones associated with other South American hadrosaurids that have been named and described from much more fragmentary remains.

Using the Kelumapusaura fossils the research team confidently assert that previously named South American hadrosaurids – Secernosaurus koerneri, Bonapartesaurus rionegrensis and “Kritosaurus” australis are all valid taxa.

“Kritosaurus” australis was named and described in 1984 by the world-renowned Argentinian palaeontologist José Fernando Bonaparte who sadly passed away in February 2020: José Bonaparte the Father of Palaeontology in Argentina (1928-2020). Thanks to the K. machi study, “Kritosaurus” australis is thought to be sufficiently different to other Kritosaurus species found in North America to warrant its own genus Huallasaurus australis.

A South American Saurolophinae Clade

A phylogenetic analysis of the hadrosaurid fossils included in this study unites Kelumapusaura, the closely related taxon Huallasaurus (H. australis), along with Bonapartesaurus and Secernosaurus into a clade that can be nested within the Kritosaurini tribe as part of the Saurolophinae subfamily of hadrosaurs. The Saurolophinae is comprised of those hadrosaurs that generally tend to lack spectacular head crests, as opposed to the other major subfamily within the Hadrosauridae – the Lambeosaurinae.

According to the researchers, the Kritosaurini tribe now consists of both North American and South American saurolophine hadrosaurs, which means that Kelumapusaura is related to more famous hadrosaurs such as Kritosaurus and Gryposaurus from the United States and Canada.

Gryposaurus scale drawing.
A scale drawing of the duck-billed dinosaur Gryposaurus. The newly described Kelumapusaura machi is related to Gryposaurus, several species of Gryposaurus have been named including the type species G. notabilis which lived as far north as Alberta (Canada).

Significantly, the clade status implies that these hadrosaurids shared a common ancestor, that all these different taxa that are widely distributed came from an ancestral population. The scientists conclude that the evolutionary development of Gondwanan hadrosaurids is not that well understood compared to the duck-billed dinosaurs from northern latitudes. They hope that more fossil discoveries from South America will help to further revise hadrosaur taxonomy.

The scientific paper: “A new hadrosaurid (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) from the Late Cretaceous of northern Patagonia and the radiation of South American hadrosaurids” by Sebastián Rozadilla, Federico Brissón-Egli, Federico Lisandro Agnolín, Alexis Mauro Aranciaga-Rolando and Fernando Emilio Novas published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.

27 02, 2022

A Time Traveller’s Guide to Fossil Hunting on the West Dorset Coast

By | February 27th, 2022|Adobe CS5, Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Geology, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

When visiting Lyme Regis and other parts of the Jurassic Coast we are often aghast at the huge numbers of fossil hunters to be seen on the beach. We tend to avoid the late summer months as this beautiful part of the Dorset coast will have been virtually picked clean of all the fossil material. The tide might continue to wash out the remains of creatures from an Early Jurassic sea, but the enthusiastic holidaymakers and tourists soon make short work of whatever has been deposited on the beach.

Sitting on some large rock, comfortably away from the dangerous cliffs, with a flask of tea and a local pastie to sustain us, we are often approached by beachcombers curious to ask our advice or to receive assistance in identifying their finds. Diligently and politely, we offer what assistance we can, but amongst the hubbub we often think what it would have been like to have explored the foreshore in earlier times, before this stunning coastline became a haven for tourists.

Thanks to a new, delightful book by Steve Snowball and Craig Chivers, we have the opportunity to do so.

Front cover of "Jurassic Fossils of the West Dorset Coast"
A time traveller’s guide to fossil hunting on the west Dorset coast. A fantastic collector’s guide in the form of an Edwardian diary with wonderful illustrations and photographs. Written by renowned fossil hunters and preparators Steve Snowball and Craig Chivers and available from Siri Scientific Press.

“Jurassic Fossils of the West Dorset Coast – A Time Traveller’s Journal”

The fourth collaboration between devoted fossil hunters Steve Snowball and Craig Chivers takes the form of an Edwardian diary. Imagine finding on the beach at Charmouth an old journal that catalogues the visit of two Edwardian gentlemen to the west Dorset coast at the beginning of the 20th Century. Starting at Seatown and Golden Cap, the two explorers record the geology, the fossil discoveries and the Dorset landscape over a period of eight days, culminating with a trip to Pinhay Bay where the strata records the boundary between the Triassic and the Jurassic.

"Jurassic Fossils of the West Dorset Coast" contents
Photographs of fossil finds plus lots of helpful notes – a time traveller’s guide to the west Dorset coast.

Illustrations by Andreas Kurpisz

Produced by Siri Scientific Press and with illustrations by Berlin-based artist Andreas Kurpisz, this is a novel and quirky guide to fossil hunting on the west Dorset coast. There is a copious amount of helpful information provided on each location, with notes and lots of photographs of fossils associated with the site. Talented artist Andreas Kurpisz provides colourful illustrations depicting prehistoric scenes – there are even one or two dinosaurs featured.

At around 160 pages long, this is a most informative guide, we particularly enjoyed examining the biostratigraphical maps provided and the accompanying images of strata – all helpfully labelled. Priced as we write at £19.99 plus postage and available from the Siri Scientific Press website this is a welcome and imaginative addition to the plethora of fossil hunting guidebooks that address the amazing geology of the Dorset coast.

"Jurassic Fossils of the West Dorset Coast"
Written in the form of an Edwardian gentleman’s journal, the book is packed with helpful information, fossil hunting tips and wonderful photographs of fossil discoveries.

Bringing the Past to Life

“Jurassic Fossils of the West Dorset Coast – A Time Traveller’s Journal” helps to bring the past to life and provides an echo of a time when the beaches around Lyme Regis were less busy and undoubtedly more productive. However, armed with this guide your chances of finding an incredibly special fossil are greatly enhanced.

The book concludes with our courageous Edwardian explorers coming across evidence of another visitor to the “Jurassic Coast”, this time from the 21st century. The gentlemen have been left notes on how to prepare ammonites for display from a kind-hearted collector from our own time. This device permits the authors to segue into a section of the book that provides helpful tips and advice on modern tools such as air scribes that will assist collectors with fossil preparation.

Visit Siri Scientific Press and use the search word “Jurassic” to find the books about Dorset written by Steve Snowball and Craig Chivers including the excellent “Jurassic Fossils of the West Dorset Coast – A Time Traveller’s Journal”: Siri Scientific Website.

26 02, 2022

Preparing for the Eofauna Konobelodon Model

By | February 26th, 2022|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have been busy preparing for the arrival of the new for 2022, 1/35th scale prehistoric elephant model Konobelodon atticus from Eofauna. The model is expected to be in stock in the next few days and a free fact sheet has been prepared in readiness for the model’s arrival.

The K. atticus fact sheet will be included with sales of this prehistoric elephant model from Everything Dinosaur’s website. As part of the plans for the fact sheet, a scale drawing of this Miocene proboscidean was commissioned.

Konobelodon atticus scale drawing.
A scale drawing of the Late Miocene prehistoric elephant Konobelodon atticus.

Konobelodon atticus

A gigantic and derived amebelodontid that represents the final evolutionary stage of the European shovel-tusker clade. Konobelodon is characterised by enormous body size, dorso-ventrally flattened mandibular tusks and very large, straight upper tusks. Its proboscidean lineage is ancestral to the true elephants (Elephantidae), including modern, living elephants and their extinct relatives the mammoths.

Konobelodon model
Originally named in 1857, Konobelodon atticus has had a long and complicated taxonomic history. Previously assigned to the Amebelodon genus, Konobelodon was proposed as a sub-genus in 1990 (W. D. Lambert). Further revision led to the elevation of Konobelodon as a separate genus in 2014. Three species are known the Eurasian K. atticus (Wagner, 1857), K. britti from Florida (Lambert 1990) and K. robustus (Wang et al 2016) fossils of which come from the Linxia Basin of China.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We are looking forward to the arrival of the Eofauna Konobelodon model. We are expecting this prehistoric animal model to arrive shortly along with the Eofauna Diplodocus carnegii replica, which is on the same shipment.”

Originally Named Mastodon atticus

A large, left maxilla (upper jawbone), that was described by the famous German palaeontologist and zoologist Johann Andreas Wagner led to the erection of the species Mastodon atticus, in 1857. Wagner believed that this prehistoric elephant, fossils of which were found in Greece, was closely related to other European fossil elephants that had been studied by the influential French anatomist Georges Cuvier, who first used the term “Mastodon” to describe fossil elephants in 1806.

Eofauna Konobelodon model
The Eofauna Scientific Research Konobelodon figure is in approximately 1:35 scale. The model measures 23 cm long and stands around 11 cm high.

To view the range of Eofauna Scientific Research models currently in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Eofauna Scientific Research Models.

Everything Dinosaur Update (28th February 2022)

Everything Dinosaur heard from Eofauna this morning (February 28th 2022), unfortunately, there has been a delay and the Konobelodon and new Diplodocus carnegii figures will be coming into stock three to four weeks later than anticipated. Eofauna and Everything Dinosaur apologise for this and we can assure customers who have asked to be alerted as soon as these figures arrive, that we will do all we can to expediate matters and once figures are in stock they will receive a priority email alert.

25 02, 2022

Giant Trilobite was a Cannibal

By | February 25th, 2022|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Researchers have conducted an extensive review of injured trilobites and disarticulated pieces of trilobite exoskeleton from the Emu Bay Shale Konservat-Lagerstätte on Kangaroo Island (South Australia). They conclude that the injuries caused to Redlichia trilobites were from attacks by other members of this genus. This is the oldest record of cannibalism recorded in the fossil record to date.

CollectA Redlichia rex trilobite.
CollectA Redlichia rex trilobite model. A model of R. rex which was named and described in 2019. This large (up to 25 cm long) ammonite was a cannibal according to newly published research (2022).

A Study of Redlichia Fossils from the Emu Bay Shale

The Cambrian explosion represents the rapid emergence of complex marine ecosystems and a huge burst of evolutionary activity that led to the establishment of virtually all the Animalia phyla recognised today. Whilst many palaeontologists do not like the phrase “explosion” as it implies a sudden event, opting instead to use the term “Cambrian radiation” to describe the emergence in the fossil record of abundant preserved shells and exoskeletons, the reasons for this change in the Earth’s ecosystems remains controversial.

It is thought that one of the main drivers of this evolutionary event was the development of predator/prey interactions. The proliferation of biomineralised exoskeletons and shells was a response to the evolution of the first predators capable of breaking through these defences.

Writing in the academic journal Palaeogeography, Paleoclimatology, Palaeoecology, researchers from the University of New England, (Armidale, New South Wales), Uppsala University (Sweden), the University of Adelaide (South Australia), the South Australian Museum and Cambridge University conducted an analysis of 38 injured specimens representing two large trilobite species from the 515-million-year-old Emu Bay Shale deposits (Redlichia takooensis and Redlichia rex).

Redlichia rex injuries.
Healed but scarred injuries on a fossil specimen of Redlichia rex. The red squares indicate areas of damage possibly caused by an attack from another Redlichia. Picture credit: Bicknell et al (Palaeogeography, Paleoclimatology, Palaeoecology).

The team concluded that that the injuries they documented were caused by a durophagous (consuming hard parts of the skeleton) predator.

Specimens of both species show that most injuries are located on the posterior portion of the thorax, indicating that predators most likely attacked from behind or that intended prey presented the posterior portion of their trunk to the attacker when threatened or attempting to flee. Previous studies had indicated that Cambrian trilobites exhibit most injuries to their right side. This study refutes this, arguing there is no evidence for a preference for attacking either the right or left side of intended prey.

The injured specimens typically represent some of the largest individuals known for the Redlichia taxa. This suggests that bigger trilobites were more successful in fighting off an attack and recovering from their injuries. Smaller individuals were probably completely consumed and therefore the likelihood of finding evidence of an attack on a smaller fossil specimen was greatly reduced.

Redlichia rex trilobite fossil.
A near complete specimen of the large Cambrian trilobite Redlichia rex. Picture credit: University of Adelaide.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s blog post about the discovery of Redlichia rex: “King of the Trilobites” Discovered in South Australia.

The research team concludes that the scarred Emu Bay Shale trilobites represent the oldest record of cannibalism known to science.

The scientific paper: “Cambrian carnage: Trilobite predator-prey interactions in the Emu Bay Shale of South Australia” by Russell D. C. Bicknell, James D. Holmes, Stephen Pates, Diego C. García-Bellido and John R. Paterson published in Palaeogeography, Paleoclimatology, Palaeoecology.

24 02, 2022

The Last Day of the Mesozoic – It was Boreal Spring

By | February 24th, 2022|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

An international team of researchers led by scientists from the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (Brussels), Uppsala University (Uppsala, Sweden) in collaboration with colleagues from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, (Grenoble, France), have published a scientific paper that concludes the Chicxulub impact event took place in the northern hemisphere spring.

Writing in the academic journal “Nature”, the researchers postulate that the timing of this devastating event could have had a bearing on the types of animals that survived the mass extinction. For example, animals in the Northern Hemisphere spring (boreal spring), could have been rearing young that would have been extremely vulnerable to the dramatic, planet-wide changes. However, in the Southern Hemisphere winter was approaching (austral autumn), many mammals could have been in hibernation or sheltering in a bid to avoid the worst of the approaching wintry weather.

The research team postulates that the timing of the Chicxulub impact in boreal spring and austral autumn was a major influence on selective biotic survival across the Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary.

Earth impact event.
Cataclysmic impact event that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs occurred in the boreal spring according to new research utilising data from the famous Tanis site in North Dakota (USA). Picture courtesy of astro-virginia.edu.

The Remarkable Tanis Site

The Tanis Konservat-Lagerstätte preserves the devastation to a river system flowing into the Pierre Seaway (remnants of the Western Interior Seaway). The Tanis site would have been around 2,000 miles away from the impact in the Gulf of Mexico, earthquakes led to an immense water surge (a seiche), that shattered the ecosystem.

Palaeontologists have estimated that this event took place within an hour of the bolide impact. Enormous volumes of sediment engulfed fishes, ammonites and other creatures and buried them alive while impact spherules rained down from the sky.

Tanis Site Destruction
An artist’s impression of the seiche hitting the Tanis location. Picture credit: Joschua Knüppe.

To read an Everything Dinosaur article from last year (2021), summarising research that came to broadly similar conclusions as this study: Spring/Summer End to the Reign of the Dinosaurs.

Analysing Fish Fossils

Histological analysis of thin sections of material extracted from six fish fossils found at the site enabled the researchers to conclude that the Tanis Konservat-Lagerstätte was formed in the Northern Hemisphere spring. The fish would have grown rapidly in the spring and summer when food was abundant, but much more slowly during the autumn and winter months when food was scarce. Lines of arrested growth (LAG) preserved in the fossils show that all the fish (paddlefish and sturgeons) died shortly after beginning a new period of rapid growth. This evidence indicates these fish died in the spring and therefore if the Tanis site is a record of the immediate aftermath of the Chicxulub impact – the bolide must have hit Earth in the boreal spring.

Tanis Fish Bone Histology
Osteohistological thin sections of five fish fossils from the Tanis site. The red arrows indicate LAGs and indicate that these fish died in the spring. Scale bar in images a-e = 0.5 mm. Picture credit: During et al.

BBC Studios Productions have created a special documentary entitled “Dinosaurs: The Final Day” narrated by Sir David Attenborough. The one-off programme, will piece together the events that marked the end of the Mesozoic Era, using evidence from the remarkable Tanis site.

Sir David Attenborough stated:

Dinosaurs were among nature’s most extraordinary creatures, dominating the planet for over 150 million years before they became extinct. Tanis could be a place where the remains can give us an unprecedented window into the lives of the very last dinosaurs, and a minute-by-minute picture of what happened when the asteroid hit.”

The television programme is likely to be broadcast in the spring.

The scientific paper: “The Mesozoic terminated in boreal spring” by Melanie A. D. During, Jan Smit, Dennis F. A. E. Voeten, Camille Berruyer, Paul Tafforeau, Sophie Sanchez, Koen H. W. Stein, Suzan J. A. Verdegaal-Warmerdam and Jeroen H. J. L. van der Lubbe published in the journal Nature.

23 02, 2022

Schleich Amargasaurus Video Showcase

By | February 23rd, 2022|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur team members have produced a short YouTube video highlighting the new for 2022 Schleich Amargasaurus dinosaur model. The video was posted up onto the company’s YouTube channel earlier today and is part of a project to help customers make informed purchase decisions by creating videos showcasing prehistoric animal models and figures.

The Everything Dinosaur YouTube video showcasing the new for 2022 Schleich Amargasaurus dinosaur model.

New for 2022 Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models

In early 2022, Everything Dinosaur received five new prehistoric animal models that had been introduced by Schleich, there was a model of the Triassic marine reptile Nothosaurus and four dinosaurs namely Majungasaurus, Styracosaurus, Parasaurolophus and an Amargasaurus. All five of these new Schleich models featured in short YouTube videos, the first to be posted up was the Parasaurolophus model, the last new Schleich figure to be put into the video spotlight was the Amargasaurus model.

Schleich Amargasaurus.
The Schleich Amargasaurus dinosaur model. One of five new Schleich prehistoric animal models recently introduced.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur explained that as the company physically stocked the models, storing them in their own warehouse, they could shoot short videos that highlighted the features of the replicas and figures giving potential customers the opportunity to view actual models rather than just relying on the manufacturer’s product images.

Schleich Amargasaurus dinosaur model
The new for 2022 Schleich Amargasaurus dinosaur model shown in lateral view. The Amargasaurus figure is on a turntable which permits the viewer to see the model from various angles.

Videos Under 45 Seconds in Length

Tests were still being carried out to see how best to upload product showcase videos onto Everything Dinosaur’s website without the loading time of the site being compromised. Videos had been kept to a maximum length of around 45 seconds, permitting viewers to see the figure in plenty of detail. The models are placed on a turntable so that they can be viewed from various angles.

The video showcase highlights features such as the beautifully painted eye on the figure and the wonderful, intricate skin texture. Highlights that could be missed when relying solely on the images provided by Schleich.

New for 2022 Schleich Amargasaurus
The new for 2022 Schleich Amargasaurus dinosaur model – a close-up view of the head with its shiny black eye.

To view the new for 2022 Schleich Amargasaurus and the rest of the prehistoric animal models in the Schleich range: Schleich Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

22 02, 2022

Fantastic Pterosaur Fossil from the Isle of Skye

By | February 22nd, 2022|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Around 170 million years ago, a toothy terror soared over the mudflats close to a tropical sea. Today, this land is the Isle of Skye and a team of researchers have published details of the remarkably well-preserved remains of that flying reptile. The fossil material found in Lealt Shale Formation exposures on the rocky coastline at Brothers’ Point (Rubha nam Brathairean), represents the most complete skeleton of a Middle Jurassic pterosaur ever found in the UK. With an estimated wingspan of 2.5 metres Dearc sgiathanach was a giant for this time in the Mesozoic.

Skye pterosaur artwork
Dominating the skies on the Isle of Skye. Several pterosaurs flying over the coastline (Dearc sgiathanach). Picture credit: Natalia Jagielska.

A Spectacular Fossil

Pterosaurs were the first vertebrates to evolve powered flight. Their evolutionary origins remain obscure and in comparison to the Dinosauria, their light, hollow bones have a poor fossil preservation potential. Very little is known about pterosaur evolution in the Early and Middle Jurassic, due to a global lack of fossils. The Middle Jurassic strata on the Isle of Skye are regarded as hugely important due to the number of vertebrate fossils preserved therein and the island has recently been awarded greater protection from the Scottish Government: Legal Protection for Isle of Skye Fossil Sites.

The spectacular specimen, discovered by PhD student Amelia Penny (University of Edinburgh), in 2017 during a field trip led by Professor Steve Brusatte (Personal Chair of Palaeontology and Evolution, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh), is now part of the National Museums Scotland vertebrate fossil collection.

Natalia Jagielska with the pterosaur fossil.
Lead author of the newly published paper, PhD student Natalia Jagielska unveils the 170-million-year-old pterosaur fossil: Picture credit: Stewart Attwood.

A Gaelic Name for a Scottish Pterosaur

The new species has been named Dearc sgiathanach (pronounced jark ski-an-ach) which translates as “winged reptile”. The species name also references the Gaelic term for the Isle of Skye (An t-Eilean Sgitheanach), in Gaelic, the Isle of Skye is known as the “winged isle”. A phylogenetic assessment of D. sgiathanach places it within the long-tailed pterosaur family the Rhamphorhynchidae. Comparing bones from specimens of Rhamphorhynchus and the related rhamphorhynchid Dorygnathus, permitted the research team to estimate that Dearc sgiathanach probably had a wingspan of around 2.5 metres when fully grown. Bone histology using a wing finger bone from the Isle of Skye specimen indicates that this individual was over two years old when it died, but it was still actively growing and it had not reached adult size.

Dearc sgiathanach main fossil block.
Dearc sgiathanach main fossil block. Picture credit: Gregory Funston.

Commenting on the estimated size of Dearc sgiathanach Steve Brusatte stated:

“Dearc is the biggest pterosaur we know from the Jurassic period and that tells us that pterosaurs got larger much earlier than we thought, long before the Cretaceous period when they were competing with birds, and that’s hugely significant.”

Professor Steve Brusatte holding the pterosaur skull.
Professor Steve Brusatte holding the fossilised skull of Dearc sgiathanach. Picture credit: Callum Bennetts.

A Battle Against the Incoming Tide

After Amelia Penny had alerted the rest of the field team about her discovery on the beach, a painstaking operation ensued to extract the fossil, led by Dugald Ross of Staffin Museum, involving the use of diamond-tipped saws to cut it from the rock, all while racing against time as the tide came in. The fossil had to be abandoned as the tide returned and its removal was only completed once the tide had begun to recede again.

Preparation of the beautifully preserved specimen was carried out by Nigel Larkin who is involved with the conservation of the Rutland ichthyosaur, the discovery of which was announced last month: The Giant Rutland Ichthyosaur.

Lead author of the paper, published in “Current Biology”, Natalia Jagielska stated:

“Dearc is a fantastic example of why palaeontology will never cease to be astounding. Pterosaurs preserved in such quality are exceedingly rare and are usually reserved to select rock formations in Brazil and China. And yet, an enormous superbly preserved pterosaur emerged from a tidal platform in Scotland.”

Carefully removing the pterosaur fossil from the beach.
Removing the pterosaur fossil from the beach. Picture credit: Steve Brusatte/National Museums of Scotland.

A Lot to Learn from the Fossil

CT scans of the skull revealed large optic lobes indicating that Dearc had excellent eyesight. The conical teeth in the jaws suggest that this pterosaur was a piscivore. The discovery of Dearc sgiathanach reveals that pterosaurs, during the Middle Jurassic were capable of reaching sizes comparable to the largest living, volant birds alive today. Fragmentary pterosaur fossils had previously indicated that flying reptiles with wingspans in excess of 1.8 metres in diameter were present in the Middle Jurassic and the Isle of Skye fossil provides definitive proof.

The claws on the foot of Dearc sgiathanach.
A close-up view of the claws on the foot of Dearc sgiathanach. The fossil was prepared by conservator Nigel Larkin. Picture credit: Gregory Funston.

The four slabs that comprise the D. sgiathanach specimen will be the subject of further analysis and study by Natalia Jagielska. It promises to reveal important insights into the anatomy, phylogeny, aerial abilities, feeding habits and favoured habitats of Middle Jurassic pterosaurs.

The research team are confident that this remarkable fossil will help palaeontologists to gain a better understanding of the taxonomic relationships and evolution of Middle Jurassic members of the Pterosauria.

We can expect to hear more from Dearc sgiathanach in the near future.

Isle of Skye pterosaur (Dearc sgiathanach).
The Isle of Skye 170 million years ago. A theropod dinosaur hopes to catch a Dearc sgiathanach, but this large pterosaur is too quick and avoids capture. Picture credit: Natalia Jagielska.

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

The scientific paper: “A skeleton from the Middle Jurassic of Scotland illuminates an earlier origin of large pterosaurs” by Natalia Jagielska, Michael O’Sullivan, Gregory F. Funston, Ian B. Butler, Thomas J. Challands, Neil D. L. Clark, Nicholas C. Fraser, Amelia Penny, Dugald A. Ross, Mark Wilkinson and Stephen L. Brusatte published in Current Biology.

21 02, 2022

Schleich Styracosaurus Video Showcase

By | February 21st, 2022|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

The latest product video showcase has been posted up on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel and in this short video, it is the new for 2022 Schleich Styracosaurus dinosaur model that has been put into the spotlight.

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have embarked on a project to embed short videos highlighting some of the prehistoric animal models that they sell into the award-winning company’s website. The aim of a video showcase is to help customers to make an informed purchase decision when choosing a figure.

The Everything Dinosaur Schleich Styracosaurus Video Showcase

The Schleich Styracosaurus Dinosaur Model

The Schleich Styracosaurus is one of five new for 2022 prehistoric animal releases recently announced by the German manufacturer. Everything Dinosaur has already posted up three short videos highlighting models, namely the Majungasaurus, the Parasaurolophus and the marine reptile figure – Nothosaurus.

The Schleich Styracosaurus video follows a similar format. The video lasts under forty-five seconds and shows the dinosaur model revolving on a turntable. Viewers get the chance to see the figure from various angles. Model measurements are given and a pronunciation guide is provided.

 Schleich Styracosaurus video showcase.
The new for 2022 Schleich Styracosaurus dinosaur model is the latest prehistoric animal figure stocked by Everything Dinosaur to be given a video showcase.

A spokesperson for the UK-based, mail order company stated:

“The Styracosaurus dinosaur model is our favourite of the new Schleich prehistoric animal model releases. We are delighted to have been able to produce a short video highlighting this figure. We hope this video showcase proves helpful to potential purchasers.”

Schleich Styracosaurus dinosaur model
The Schleich Styracosaurus dinosaur model shown in oblique anterior view.

Testing Product Videos on Everything Dinosaur’s Beta Site

The spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur explained that the company was working with developers and technicians to perfect the look and positioning of the new video showcases on Everything Dinosaur’s beta site. When all tests and checks had been completed the plan is to introduce model videos on the company’s live site.

More short videos featuring dinosaurs were promised, including one for the new for 2022 Schleich Amargasaurus.

To view the range of Schleich prehistoric animal models and figures in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Schleich Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals.

20 02, 2022

New Spinosaur from Portugal

By | February 20th, 2022|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Scientists have announced the discovery of a new species of spinosaur from Portugal. Iberospinus (I. natarioi), from Lower Cretaceous deposits associated with the Papo Seco Formation. Its discovery further supports the theory that these enigmatic theropods originated in western Europe.

Estimated to have been around eight metres in length, Iberospinus is the third spinosaur* to have been described based on fossil material found on the Iberian Peninsula. The scientific description of this taxon reinforces the idea that Iberia was a hotspot for spinosaur biodiversity, with several endemic genera having been identified from fossils found in this region.

Iberospinus natarrioi reconstruction showing musculature.
Life reconstruction of Iberospinus natarioi (ML1190) showing three-dimensional digitalisation of some of the fossil bones, along with reconstructed musculature. Upper picture – right lateral view; lower picture – anterolateral left view. Picture credit: Victor Feijó de Carvalho.

Iberospinus natarioi “Natário’s Iberian Spine”

Researchers Octávio Mateus and Darío Estraviz-López (NOVA School of Science and Technology, Caparica, Portugal), writing in the open-access journal PLOS One reassessed fossil material, originally found in 1999 and attributed to Baryonyx, combining this new study with an analysis of further fossil material recovered from the excavation site in the summer of 2020.

The scientists, both of whom work at the famous Museu da Lourinhã, Lourinhã (Portugal), identified a number of unique characteristics in the fragmentary fossils that permitted them to propose a new taxon. For example, CT scans revealed Iberospinus has a unique neurovascular system associated with the Meckelian groove in the lower jaw. The anterior portion of the lower jaw has a straight-profile and does not point upwards, an anatomical trait seen in other spinosaurs. The partial pubis is thickened towards its distal end and these autapomorphies permitted the erection of a new taxon. Iberospinus has been classified as a basal member of the Spinosauridae as its skeleton shows an intermediate condition between early tetanuran theropods and spinosaurids.

The dinosaur’s genus was inspired by the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula and “spinus” from the Latin for spine in recognition of the long neural spines associated with spinosaurids. The species name honours amateur fossil collector Carlos Natário, who discovered the holotype fossil (specimen number ML1190) in 1999 and helped to ensure that it was placed within the vertebrate fossil collection of the Museu da Lourinhã.

Iberospinus skeletal reconstruction.
A skeletal drawing of the newly described basal spinosaurid Iberospinus natarioi. The red coloured bones represent known fossil material. Note the scale bar = 1 metre. Picture credit: Octávio Mateus and Darío Estraviz-López modified from an original figure by Scott Hartman.

Different Spinosaurs Co-existing in the Same Environment.

The large tooth complete with root was also described in the scientific paper. It possesses characters associated with the Baryonychinae subfamily of spinosaurs. The tooth crown is strongly recurved whilst more advanced and geologically younger members of the Spinosauridae such as Spinosaurus aegyptiacus tend to have straighter, conical teeth.

This reassessment of Iberian theropod fossil material demonstrates that different spinosaurid taxa co-existed within the same environment. The occurrence of more than one spinosaurid genus in a relatively restricted geographical area has been reported before, most recently with the naming of two new genera of spinosaurs (Riparovenator milnerae and Ceratosuchops inferodios) that co-existed in the Lower Cretaceous of southern England with Baryonyx (B. walkeri).

To read Everything Dinosaur’s earlier article about the recently described Isle of Wight spinosaurs: Two New Spinosaurids Described from the Isle of Wight.

Iberospinus tooth.
Tooth from the upper jaw of I. natarioi (specimen number ML1190-3) in A, lingual, B, mesial, C, lingual, D, distal, E, occlusal, and F ventral views. Note the scale bar = 25 mm. The tooth crown is strongly curved and the tooth morphology is similar to that seen in members of the Baryonychinae. Later spinosaurs had teeth that were straighter. Picture credit: Octávio Mateus and Darío Estraviz-López.

Iberian Spinosaurs*

Despite the lack of relatively complete fossil material, specimens collected from the Iberian Peninsula represent one of the best accumulations of spinosaurid fossils found to date. After Baryonyx (B. walkeri) was formally named and described in 1987, several fossils from this region were ascribed to this taxon. However, more recent analysis and further fossil discoveries has led to a revision and at present three contemporaneous spinosaur taxa have been attributed to this region.

  • Camarillasaurus cirugedae – from Teruel Province (north-eastern Spain). Formally named and described in 2014. Previously thought to represent a ceratosaur, now regarded as a member of the Spinosauridae.
  • Vallibonaventrix cani – from the Castellón Province (north-eastern Spain). Named and described in 2019, the taxonomic position of this genus remains uncertain although the current consensus is that the fossils do represent a member of the Spinosauridae family, but there is an on-going debate as to whether Vallibonaventrix is a member of the Baryonychinae or whether it is more closely related to Spinosaurus aegyptiacus.
  • Iberospinus natarioi – newly described (2022, Mateus and Estraviz-López) from the Papo Seco Formation of Cabo Espichel, Sesimbra, Portugal.

The scientific paper: “A new theropod dinosaur from the early cretaceous (Barremian) of Cabo Espichel, Portugal: Implications for spinosaurid evolution” by Octávio Mateus and Darío Estraviz-López published in PLOS One.

19 02, 2022

Everything Dinosaur to stock PNSO Tsintaosaurus

By | February 19th, 2022|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Press Releases|2 Comments

Everything Dinosaur will be stocking the new for 2022 1:35 scale PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus dinosaur model. This fantastic model, complete with display base, a full-colour booklet and posters, part of the PNSO Scientific-Art range of scale models, will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in a couple of weeks (March 2021).

The Tsintaosaurus model is already on the water and heading for Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse, it being part of a shipment of PNSO figures destined for the UK.

PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus dinosaur model
PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus model.

PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus Dinosaur Model

The PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus dinosaur model is a replica of a Chinese hadrosaurid (T. spinorhinus) which was formally named and described in 1958 (Yang Zhongjian often referred to in western literature as Chung Chien Young). A member of the lambeosaurine sub-family, the shape and function of the dinosaur’s crest has been an area of much debate amongst palaeontologists. The design team at PNSO have opted to give their figure a hatchet-shaped crest, reminiscent of the crest of Lambeosaurus, to which Tsintaosaurus was distantly related.

PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus model.
The PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus model.

Tsintaosaurus Model Measurements

The PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus has a declared scale of 1:35. The model measures 21.8 cm in length and the model stands around 9.1 cm high.

PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus model measurements.
The PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus measures 21.8 cm long and stands 9.1 cm high.

Commenting on the imminent introduction of a Tsintaosaurus model a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur confirmed that they had known about this new for 2022 figure for some time.

The spokesperson explained:

“When arranging shipping we were given the opportunity to add the PNSO Xiaoqin Tsintaosaurus to the container manifest and knowing how good other recently introduced PNSO hadrosaur figures such as Caroline the Corythosaurus and Ivan the Olorotitan were, we jumped at the chance.”

PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus dinosaur model posters.
PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus dinosaur model Sci-Art posters.

Supplied with Full-colour Booklet and Sci-Art Posters

This superb replica of a duck-billed dinosaur is supplied with a display base and comes with a full-colour, 48-page illustrated booklet and a set of posters inspired by the fossil material and highlighting the artwork of Zhao Chuang.

PNSO have also prepared a short video explaining how the figure was developed.

PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus posters and booklet
The PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus comes complete with 20 posters, a 48-page, full-colour booklet and a special video has been created explaining how the model was developed.

The new for 2022 PNSO Xiaoqin the Tsintaosaurus dinosaur model will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in 2-3 weeks, if all goes to plan (March 2022).

To view the range of PNSO dinosaur and prehistoric animal figures currently in stock at Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Models and Figures.

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