All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
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20 01, 2020

Stegosaurus armatus – Thank You Rebor

By | January 20th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Stegosaurus armatus – Thank You Rebor

In December, Everything Dinosaur received stocks of the 1:35 scale Rebor Stegosaurus armatus dinosaur model.  This beautiful figure is available in three colour schemes, “plain”, “woodland” and many team member’s personal favourite – “mountain”.  We had been asked to demonstrate how the tailpiece fitted into the model and we did produce a short video demonstrating how to insert the tail into the slot at the back of the figure, but we had more footage so we have posted up a slightly longer video that provides a little more detail about this excellent armoured dinosaur replica.

Thank You Rebor – Stegosaurus armatus “Mountain” Colour Scheme (1:35 Scale Dinosaur Model)

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Providing More Information About the Rebor Stegosaurus armatus Figure

In this short video, (it is a little under one minute forty-five seconds in length), we show the “mountain” colour scheme figure as well as images of the two other colour variants “plain” and “woodland”.  We comment on the tailpiece and demonstrate how to connect it to the body.  In addition, we briefly discuss the fossil material that was once the type specimen for the Stegosaurus genus.  This fossil material was very incomplete, only the rear portion of the animal was preserved and only one iconic plate was found in association.  The fossils once ascribed to S. armatus, were replaced as the designated type material for the genus by much more complete Stegosaurus stenops material in a ruling by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), in 2013.

We take this opportunity to thank Rebor for producing such an excellent dinosaur model.

Stegosaurus might be an iconic dinosaur, but compared to the horned dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous such as Triceratops and its close relatives, there remains a lot of debate as to the exact taxonomic make-up of the Stegosauridae.

The Rebor S. armatus Dinosaur Model is Available in Three Colour Variants

A trio of three Rebor Stegosaurus (S. armatus) models.

The Rebor 1:35 scale Stegosaurus (S. armatus) is available in three colour variants “plain”, “mountain” and woodland”.  Which one is your favourite?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the Rebor Stegosaurus figures and the rest of the Rebor models and figures available from Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Replicas, Models and Figures.

Committed to Making More Videos Including Product Reviews

At Everything Dinosaur, we are committed to making and posting up more videos onto our YouTube channel.  We hope to put up a new video onto our YouTube channel every week, so long as other work commitments permit.

To view a recent blog post that contains our first, short video showing how to insert the tail into Stegosaurus armatus figure: The Tale of a Tail – How to Insert the Tailpiece into the 1:35 scale Stegosaurus armatus. model.

You can find the Everything Dinosaur YouTube channel here: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

19 01, 2020

Little Dancing Dragon Sheds Light on How Dinosaurs Grew Up

By | January 19th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

The New Microraptorine Wulong bohaiensis

A new feathered dinosaur from Liaoning Province (north-eastern China), has been named and described.  The little dinosaur, not much bigger than a crow, but with a long tail, has been named Wulong bohaiensis.  The fossilised feathers associated with the beautifully preserved skeleton, include two long tail feathers, the sort of extravagant plumage associated with mature birds which use such adornments to attract a mate.  However, when an analysis of the limb bones was undertaken to determine the age of the specimen (histological analysis), the research team discovered that the specimen represented a juvenile.

Either those long, showy feathers served some other function, or dinosaurs that were closely related to birds grew up differently when compared to their living relatives.

The Newly Described Wulong bohaiensis.

Wulong bohaiensis fossil specimen.

The beautifully preserved and almost complete W. bohaiensis fossil specimen.

Picture Credit: Ashley W. Poust (University of California)

Dancing Dragon

The fossil specimen was found more than ten years ago by a local farmer.  It had resided in the vertebrate collection of the Dalian Natural History Museum (Liaoning Province), being eventually described and studied by scientists at the museum in conjunction with student Ashley Poust under the supervision of  Dr David Varricchio (Montana State University), her former advisor, prior to Ashley moving to the University of California.

The genus name is Chinese for “dancing dragon”, a reference to the posture of the preserved specimen.  A phylogenetic analysis places W. bohaiensis within Microraptorinae, this little dinosaur was therefore closely related to Microraptor.  Whether, like Microraptor, Wulong bohaiensis was capable of powered flight can be speculated upon.

Ashley Poust explained the significance of this research stating:

“The specimen has feathers on its limbs and tail that we associate with adult birds, but it had other features that made us think it was a juvenile.”

In order to determine the age of the dinosaur when it died, staff at the Dalian Natural History Museum gave permission for the tibia, fibula and humerus bones to be examined histologically.  Essentially, cross-sectional slices of these bones were removed from the skeleton, prepared and then examined under a microscope so that the seasonal/annual growth of the animal could be identified.  Such a technique is invasive and will cause damage to the fossil specimen, fortunately, the curators at the Dalian Natural History Museum took the decision that in order to benefit science the invasive procedures had to be undertaken.

Ashley commented:

“Thankfully, our co-authors at the Dalian Natural History Museum were really forward thinking and allowed us to apply these techniques, not only to Wulong, but also to another dinosaur, a close relative that looked more adult called Sinornithosaurus.”

A Life Reconstruction of Wulong bohaiensis

Life reconstruction of Wulong bohaiensis.

A life reconstruction of Wulong bohaiensis.  The sharp, small teeth in the jaw of Wulong suggest that this dinosaur was a piscivore, or perhaps feeding on insects.

Picture Credit: Ashley Poust (University of California)

Sinornithosaurus Provides a Surprise

The histology of a specimen of another feathered dinosaur associated with the Early Cretaceous Jehol biota was also examined.  The research team wanted to compare their immature, juvenile Wulong to what they thought was a specimen of an adult Sinornithosaurus.  However, analysis of the bone structure of the Sinornithosaurus provided a surprise.  The histology revealed that both specimens were young and still growing at death, indicating an age for Wulong of about one-year-old.

Commenting on the results of the histological analysis on the Sinornithosaurus specimen, Ashley explained:

“Here was an animal that was large and had adult looking bones.  We thought it was going to be mature, but histology proved that idea wrong.  It was older than Wulong, but seems to have been still growing.  Researchers need to be really careful about determining whether a specimen is adult or not.  Until we learn a lot more, histology is really the most dependable way.”

An Illustration of Sinornithosaurus

Sinornithosaurus

The fearsome dromaeosaurid Sinornithosaurus, in reality this dinosaur was about 1-1.2 metres in length, although it might have preyed upon the smaller Wulong bohaiensis.

Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang

This new study suggests that either young dinosaurs developed elaborate tail feathers for some other purpose, or that they were growing feathers in a different way from their close living relatives the Aves (birds).

The Paraves Clade

The Paraves is a clade of theropod dinosaurs.  It is defined as containing all the dinosaurs which are more closely related to birds than to oviraptorosaurs.  As such it includes troodontids, dromaeosaurids and avialians, which encompasses extant birds.  Much of what we know about the diversity of this group in the Early Cretaceous comes from fossil specimens found in Liaoning, China.  However, many taxa are represented by specimens of unclear ontogenetic age.  With a better understanding of how dinosaurs may have changed in their appearance as they grew up, scientists can be more confident about their phylogeny, their evolutionary relationships and which character traits can be used to infer biology and the dinosaur’s position within the complex Jehol ecosystem.

This scientific paper identified several different types of feather associated with Wulong bohaiensis – pennaceous primary feathers, filamentous feathers and long tail feathers.  The team established that such plumage preceded skeletal maturity and full adult size in some dromaeosaurids.  Histological analysis of the Wulong holotype and a Sinornithosaurus specimen revealed that they developed mature feather coverings associated with adult animals after their first year, but before they had become fully grown.  This has implications for Paraves research as assumptions made about the adult age of a fossil specimen may not be accurate in the absence of histological analysis.

The scientific paper: “A new microraptorine theropod from the Jehol Biota and growth in early dromaeosaurids” by Ashley W. Poust, Chunling Gao, David J. Varricchio, Jianlin Wu, and Fengjiao Zhang published in The Anatomical Record.

18 01, 2020

Diplodocus Features on a Thank You Note

By | January 18th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Diplodocus Says Thank You

Our thanks to dinosaur and fossil fan Caroline who on receipt of her delivery from Everything Dinosaur was inspired to send us a little thank you card illustrated with a sauropod sketch.  What a beautiful illustration of a dinosaur!  The drawing is entitled “Young Diplodocus Going for a Dip”.

A “Young Diplodocus Going for a Dip”

Young Diplodocus going for a dip.

A young Diplodocus going for a dip.

Picture Credit: Caroline Smalley.

Inside the card, Caroline had written:

“Thank you for your kindness, fantastic customer service and speedy delivery.”

You are most welcome, happy to help out where we can and thank you again for your card with the wonderful dinosaur illustration.

17 01, 2020

Extra-terrestrial Impact Wiped Out the Dinosaurs

By | January 17th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Geology, Main Page|2 Comments

Mass Extinction Event Caused by Impact Event

One of the greatest controversies surrounding the Dinosauria is what actually caused the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs?  Around the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event, there was an enormous extra-terrestrial impact in the Gulf of Mexico.  A worldwide layer of clay, saturated in the rare Earth element iridium, marking the K-Pg geological boundary was first publicised by American father and son Luis and Walter Alvarez.  They postulated that an Earth impact event had resulted in this deposition and it was speculated that such a catastrophic event might have been responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs.

New Study Suggests Dinosaur Extinction Due to the Extra-terrestrial Impact Event

Chicxulub impact event.

A reconstruction of the Chicxulub impact which marked the extinction of many terrestrial and marine forms of life, including the non-avian dinosaurs.

The “Smoking Gun” Evidence

Such an impact would have left an enormous crater, the search was on to find the “smoking gun” to support the theory regarding a meteorite, asteroid or perhaps a comet hitting the Earth.  Most researchers now agree, that the Yucatan peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico was ground zero.  However, there is a problem, as scientists are aware of a number of other potential candidates responsible for the extinction of a large amount of the planet’s biota some sixty-six million years ago.  For example, the Late Cretaceous was characterised by extensive volcanism.  Huge amounts of lava from the Deccan traps led to the formation of thousands of miles of  flood basalt.  The out-pouring of noxious gases as a result of this extensive volcanism could well have played a significant role in the extinction of many different kinds of organisms too.

Asteroid impact theory challenged: Blame the Deccan Traps.

In a new paper, a team of international researchers led by Dr Celli Hull from Yale University, conclude that the volcanism did not play a huge role in the extinction, but it may have played a significant role in shaping the rise of different species after the extinction event had occurred.

Impact Event the Most Likely Cause of End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction

The extinction of the dinosaurs.

An international team of scientists conclude that it was the extra-terrestrial bolide impact that caused the mass-extinction event.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Analysis of Ancient Ocean Sediments

In order to disentangle the relative effects of the volcanism and the impact event, the scientists analysed deep sea sediment sections drilled from the North Atlantic, Pacific and South Atlantic Oceans.  They found that volcanic activity in the Late Cretaceous period caused only a gradual global warming of about two degrees Celsius, but this had no significant effect on marine ecosystems, and cooler conditions had returned prior to the extinction.

Hull et al investigated the timing of the Deccan outgassing by modelling in several scenarios, the effects of the gases ejected by volcanoes (sulphur and carbon dioxide).  Their results suggest that more than half of the total Deccan outgassing occurred well before the impact event, not just before it.  The scientists concluded that the timing of most of the atmospheric pollution from the extensive volcanism, just did not fit the extinction event.  The major volcanism is likely to have occurred at least 200,000 years before the extinction event.

One of the co-authors of the study, Professor Paul Bown (University College London), explained.

“Most scientists acknowledge that the last, and best-known, mass extinction event occurred after a large asteroid slammed into Earth 66 million years ago, but some researchers suggested volcanic activity might have played a big role too and we’ve shown that is not the case.”

The team’s models showed that the changes in the carbon cycle that resulted from the volcanism was mitigated by the oceans absorbing vast quantities of CO2.  This would have limited any global warming.

Fellow co-author Professor Paul Wilson (Southampton University), added:

“There’s been a big row about the cause of the mass extinction for decades.  The demise of the dinosaurs was the iconic event but they were large animals and there weren’t really that many of them so it’s tough to use them to figure out the cause.  We studied microscopic marine organisms called foraminifera and there are thousands of them in a teaspoon-full of ocean sediment.  To get them we drilled into the sea bed in waters nearly 5 kilometres deep not far from the watery grave of RMS Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland using a sort of geology time machine – a drill ship called the JOIDES Resolution run by one the world’s most successful international scientific collaborations, the International Ocean Discovery Program.”

The authors postulate that the volcanism may have played a role in shaping the evolution of Palaeogene species in the aftermath of the end-Cretaceous extinction event.

What About Hell Creek – Were Dinosaurs Already in Decline?

From a scientific perspective, it makes much more sense to examine the fossil record of planktonic foraminifera.  Relying on the non-avian dinosaurs as an indicator of palaeo-climate change some sixty-six million years ago is fraught with difficulties.  For instance, although many different types of life were affected by the end-Cretaceous extinction event, it is often only the dinosaurs that are mentioned by the media.  It is worth remembering that many other lifeforms died out.  There are not that many windows into the end of the Maastrichtian and the earliest part of the Palaeocene (Danian faunal stage).  One such example is the Hell Creek Formation, which provides a record of the last few million years of the Mesozoic.

Hell Creek – Prospecting for Fossils in the Upper Cretaceous Sediments

Looking for fossils - Hell Creek Formation.

Prospecting for fossils – Hell Creek Formation (Montana).

Picture Credit: University of California Museum of Palaeontology

Studies of the number and variety of dinosaur fossils excavated from the Hell Creek Formation and other slightly older geological formations, suggest that in the last ten million years of the Cretaceous, the number of dinosaur species fell by more than fifty percent.

An analysis of the youngest fifteen metres of sediments from the Hell Creek Formation, revealed just eleven different types of dinosaur.  In the uppermost strata, the last three metres of the Hell Creek Formation representing the end of the Cretaceous, only three types of dinosaur were recorded.  Whilst it can be difficult to accurately date and assess the chronology of strata, the study of dinosaur fossils from Hell Creek suggests that the Dinosauria may have been in decline (at least in this part of Laramida), prior to the impact event.  This decline, if it was a decline, could have been caused by the environmental effects of the extensive volcanism, or other factors for that matter.

We suspect that just like the Deccan Traps, this debate is going to rumble on for a considerable period of time.

16 01, 2020

A Tale of Tail – Tail Insertion (Rebor Stegosaurus armatus)

By | January 16th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

How to Insert the Tail – Rebor Stegosaurus armatus 1:35 Scale Figure

Just before Christmas, Everything Dinosaur received stocks of the 1:35 scale Rebor replica Stegosaurus armatus.  Dinosaur fans and model collectors will probably know that this figure is available in three colour schemes – “mountain”, “plain” and “woodland”.  Since these exciting figures came into stock, Everything Dinosaur team members have posted up several pictures of these dinosaurs.  Today, following a request from a Rebor collector, we have produced a short video which shows how to connect the tail to the model.

A Tale of a Tail – How to Insert the Tailpiece into the Rebor Stegosaurus armatus 1:35 Scale Replica

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Sixty Seconds – Dinosaur Model Update

The video lasts approximately sixty seconds.  The model is shown and the narrator explains how the figure is supplied (the tail piece can be found in the box, adjacent to the rest of the figure), then how the tail slots into the model is demonstrated.  One firm push should do the trick, the tail fitting snuggly into the aperture.  In the video, the flexibility of the tail is illustrated and compared to the neck which is also flexible.

The Tail Insertion Video Features the Rebor Stegosaurus armatus in the “Mountain” Colour Scheme

Rebor Stegosaurus 1:35 scale dinosaur model "mountain".

The Rebor Stegosaurus armatus “mountain” colour scheme.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To purchase the Rebor Stegosaurus armatus figure and to view the rest of the Rebor range: Rebor Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

The Rebor Stegosaurus Figure – All Three Colour Schemes

Rebor Stegosaurus armatus "Garden" colour variants.

The three new for 2019 Rebor Stegosaurus dinosaur models – left to right “plain”, “mountain” and “woodland”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We intend to post up more videos including reviews of actual models in the future.  Everything Dinosaur has had a YouTube channel for many years now, over that time we have posted nearly 150 videos, but we intend to increase our output and do more using various media including Instagram and YouTube.  Our aim is to put up new content on the company’s YouTube channel once a week or so.”

Everything Dinosaur on YouTube

The Everything Dinosaur YouTube channel features information about new model releases, tips on working with figures, display suggestions and of course, lots of prehistoric animal facts and information.  Everything Dinosaur, in response to requests from collectors intends to increase the number of videos that are put up on this platform.  Blog articles will continue and where possible, more videos will be used in conjunction with blog articles and other social media posts.

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

Look out for more YouTube content being posted from Everything Dinosaur very soon…

15 01, 2020

Ediacaran Fossil Site Gains Protection

By | January 15th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Geology, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

South Australian Fossil Site Purchase Supported by Billionaire

With so much bad news about the environment coming out of Australia due to the devastating bush fires, it is pleasing to report on a conservation success story.   A $1 billion (USD), nature fund has been used to buy a vast tract of outback South Australia containing some of the oldest animal fossils on Earth.  The acquisition safeguards an extremely important fossil site and helps support the Australian Government’s plans to gain World Heritage Site status for the area.

The Nilpena Fossil Fields (South Australia)

The Nilpena fossil fields (South Australia).

The Nilpena fossil fields preserve examples of Precambrian biota.

Picture Credit: Jason Irving

The 60,000-hectare (150,000 acre) Nilpena West property is 370 miles (600 kilometres), north of the South Australian capital Adelaide and was previously part of Nilpena Pastoral Station.  The property includes the Ediacara Fossil Site (Nilpena), which is listed on Australia’s National Heritage List and records a remarkable marine biota, documenting some of the earliest, large, multicellular creatures to have evolved on Earth.

Global not-for-profit organisation The Nature Conservancy, sourced funding from an anonymous donor in October 2019 to allow the purchase and protection to go ahead after the South Australian Government announced in March that it had reached an agreement with the land’s owners to purchase the site.  The purchased land is adjacent to the Ediacara Conservation Park and increases the size of the protected area ten-fold.

The Importance of the Flinders Range

Strange fossils, preserved in the sandstone of the Ediacaran hills of South Australia provided the first substantial evidence for the existence of complex life in the late Precambrian.  In 1946, Australian geologist Reginald Spriggs discovered fossilised impressions in this part of the Flinders Range, his unexpected discovery failed to enthuse the scientific community at first, his paper outlining the discovery was rejected by the academic journal “Nature”.  However, the significance of these exquisitely preserved fossils and what they represented – organisms associated with an ancient marine community, was soon realised.

An Example of Dickinsonia – One of the Fossilised Ediacaran Organisms Associated with the Nilpena Fossil Fields

Dickinsonia costata fossil.

The Ediacaran fossil Dickinsonia costata, specimen P40135 from the collections of the South Australia Museum.  The disc-like Dickinsonia is one of the creatures preserved at the Nilpena fossil site.

Picture Credit: Dr Alex Liu (Cambridge University)

To read an article about the bizarre Dickinsonia: Dickinsonia Definitely an Animal.

The sale has now been finalised with The Nature Conservancy announcing this week that funding from the Wyss Campaign for Nature, the once anonymous donor, had helped secure the acquisition.  The Wyss Campaign for Nature was founded two years ago, by the wealthy, Swiss-born philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss.  The purchased land will be permanently protected and managed by the South Australian Government.  It will be formally allocated to the Ediacara Conservation Park later this year.

A Map Showing the Location of the Nilpena Fossil Fields Relative to the Ediacara Conservation Park

A map of the Nilpena fossil fields site.

Nilpena fossil fields site.  The Nilpena Station purchase will greatly increase the protected area for the fossils.

Picture Credit: The Government of South Australia

The South Australian property is now permanently protected and managed for conservation by the South Australian Government. It will be added to the Ediacara Conservation Park later this year.

Scores of Species

Palaeontologists have excavated many hundreds of specimens representing three dozen different species, most of which are more than 550 million years old.  The fossils provide the first evidence of locomotion and sexual reproduction.  The space agency NASA, has examined the Ediacaran biota in a project to assess how life could evolve on other worlds.

The Nature Conservancy’s Australian Director of Conservation Dr James Fitzsimons explained that this purchase which would permit the formal protection of the 60,000 hectare property was a big win for conservation in South Australia.

He commented:

“The property contains significant biodiversity values including two threatened ecological communities and a number of threatened species.  Most critically, the property also covers extremely important sites that contain the oldest fossilised animals on Earth.”

South Australian Environment and Water Minister David Speirs said Nilpena West would soon be added to the South Australian public protected area estate and managed by the Department for Environment and Water.

The minister added:

“Its inclusion in the conservation estate will link the Ediacara Conservation Park to the Lake Torrens National Park and will support our nomination for the listing of areas of the Flinders Ranges as a World Heritage Site.”

When did life on land evolve?  An Ediacaran related article: When Did Life on Land First Evolve – Does the Ediacaran Biota Provide the Answer?

A recent article about how computerised tomography and other sophisticated research techniques are providing new insights into how the first animals evolved: Chinese Fossils Suggest Animal-like-embryos Evolved Before Animals.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from The Lead South Australia in the compilation of this article.

13 01, 2020

New for 2020 Wild Safari Prehistoric Animal Models in Stock

By | January 13th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New for 2020 Wild Safari Prehistoric Animal Models in Stock

The new for 2020 Wild Safari Prehistoric World prehistoric animal models are in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  All nine of the new models are now available, Concavenator, Dilophosaurus, Deinonychus, Edmontosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus and Qianzhousaurus, six dinosaurs plus Shringasaurus, Sarcosuchus and the marine reptile Ichthyosaurus.

The New for 2020 Wild Safari Prehistoric World Models (All Nine) are in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

Nine new models in stock at Everything Dinosaur

The new for 2020 Wild Safari Prehistoric World prehistoric animal models are in stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view all the new models and the rest of the prehistoric animal figures in the Safari Ltd range: Wild Safari Prehistoric World Models and Figures.

A Range Noted for its Scientific Accuracy

Safari Ltd has continued to build on its reputation for producing accurate prehistoric animal models and figures that reflect some of the latest scientific research and thinking.  For example, joining this award-winning range, is a replica of the Late Cretaceous hadrosaur Edmontosaurus.  Recent studies of fossil specimens from North America have led to palaeontologists postulating that this large ornithischian sported a soft comb-like crest on the top of its skull.  The Edmontosaurus figure has been given such an adornment, all part of Safari Ltd’s drive to reflect actual research into the Dinosauria and other long-extinct creatures from the past.

The New for 2020 Wild Safari Prehistoric World Edmontosaurus Has a Soft Comb

The new for 2020 Edmontosaurus model.

A close-up view of the new Edmontosaurus dinosaur model with its soft comb-like crest.  In this closer view of the model, the crest can be clearly seen, but not also the detail on the beak and the attention given to sculpting scales of different sizes and shape across the dinosaur’s body.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We are delighted to have all nine of the new for 2020 prehistoric animal models in stock.  The range and the quality of these models demonstrates Safari Ltd’s commitment to model collecting.  Everything Dinosaur has more than a hundred Safari Ltd figures available, in what is, a most impressive range of prehistoric animal and plant models.”

New Models Based on Recent Fossil Discoveries

Safari Ltd are quick to introduce models and figures that reflect relatively recent fossil discoveries.  Take for example, the excellent Shringasaurus model, it represents an extinct reptile (archosauromorph), that was only formally named and described in August 2017.

The Middle Triassic Horned Reptile of India – Shringasaurus

Shringasaurus indicus model.

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Shringasaurus indicus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

12 01, 2020

Everything Dinosaur Maintains Customer Service Standards

By | January 12th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Maintains Customer Service Standards

Many companies struggle to maintain their customer service standards over the festive period.  The Christmas and New Year week in 2019 was particularly challenging with only Friday 27th December available to despatch orders that had been placed since the morning of the 24th December.  With only the Friday (27th), available to send parcels out prior to the weekend, when most of the mail network shuts down, these parcels would not have made much progress until being inevitably delayed again due to the New Year holidays.

However, at Everything Dinosaur we are happy to report that we have maintained our 5-star customer service and continue to lead the way in terms of our standard of customer support.

Everything Dinosaur Maintains a 100% Customer Service Record (Feefo)

100% service rating (Everything Dinosaur).

Everything Dinosaur service rating 100%.  This standard of service was maintained over the Christmas and New Year period.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Feefo Independent Customer Reviews

Let’s take a look at some of the reviews and comments recorded by the independent ratings company Feefo over the busy festive period.

A review received from Jennifer stated:

“I have used this shop numerous times and always have had a first class service and I have a very happy son with the dinosaurs he wanted.”

Aldo from the Philippines, provided the following feedback:

“Excellent customer service, very quick to reply on my queries, fast shipping!”

Danielle from the USA writing about the Rebor foetus replicas (T. rex and Velociraptor) stated:

“The embryo dinosaurs were awesome…..the coolest things!  The delivery (to the U.S.) was fantastic….they got here superfast.”

Jacqui from Buckinghamshire, who had purchased a T. rex slap watch for her grandson wrote:

“Excellent service – the product arrived next day delivery”

Everything Dinosaur was a Recipient of Feefo’s Highest Award for Customer Service in 2019

Gold Trusted Service Award to Everything Dinosaur.

Feefo awards top marks to Everything Dinosaur.  A top customer service standard has been maintained throughout the busy holiday period by Everything Dinosaur

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We know how important it is to support customers during the busy holiday period.  We were determined not to let our high standards slip and we are delighted to receive such positive feedback from our customers.”

Feefo will launch a new top standard of customer service this year.  The Feefo Platinum Trusted Service award recognises those businesses that go above and beyond to provide a consistently high level of customer service all the time.  This is the highest service recognition that Feefo has ever offered.  Everything Dinosaur team members are quietly optimistic that they might be considered for this award, having stuck their collective necks out and made a prediction about this at the turn of the year.

The first of these awards are expected to be announced towards the end of January, not too long to wait for our team members.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s predictions for 2020: What will this year have in store for us – our predictions.

A very big thank you to all our customers who leave feedback, reviews and comments.

11 01, 2020

Thin-skinned, Grey Duck-billed Dinosaurs

By | January 11th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Thin-skinned, Grey Duck-billed Dinosaurs

Scientists writing in the journal of The Palaeontological Association have published a remarkable study on the properties of the skin of duck-billed dinosaurs.  Analysis of fossilised hadrosaur skin, from the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (New Haven, Connecticut), suggests that the skin structure of these dinosaurs had more in common with living birds than with reptiles.  In addition, the skin is much thinner when compared to large, terrestrial mammals of comparable size such as elephants and rhinos.  In a blow to palaeoartists who like to adorn their ornithischian illustrations with a multitude of colours, the scientists conclude from an analysis of potential preserved skin pigments that hadrosaurids were grey in colour.

Hadrosaurs Could Have Been Largely Grey in Colour Just Like Big Terrestrial Mammals Alive Today Such as Elephants

Gryposaurus - Hadrosaur Model available from Everything Dinosaur.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Gryposaurus dinosaur model.  The model’s colouration being largely grey may actually reflect the true colouration of duck-billed dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Getting Under the Skin of a Dinosaur

Scientists from Yale University, in collaboration with colleagues in Italy, investigated the chemical properties of a section of fossilised duck-billed dinosaur skin that had been preserved in three dimensions. The specimen (YPMPU 016969) was also subjected to detailed chemical mapping and microspectroscopy as well as scanning electron micrographs to establish the anatomical structure.

Two of the three layers associated with skin in tetrapods were identified, the outer layer (epidermis) and the dermis. The innermost layer, the subcutis, could not be identified in this study.  The dinosaur’s scales on the skin surface are very well-preserved.  They form an irregular, pebbly pattern with individual scales ranging in size from under one millimetre in diameter to much larger scales around 12 millimetres across.

Specimen Number YPMPU 016969 – The Fossilised Skin Studied

Fossilised duck-billed dinosaur skin.

The skin preserved in YPMPU 016969 (A), three‐dimensional skin and (B), the fossil counterpart. Scale bar represents 2 cm.

Picture Credit: Yale University

Three-dimensionally Preserved Pigment Bearing Bodies and  Blood Vessels

The detailed analysis of the fossilised skin and the samples taken permitted the scientists to identify three-dimensionally preserved eumelanin‐bearing bodies.  This enabled the researchers to propose that the dinosaur was mostly dark grey in colour, a skin colouration that reflects ecological parallels seen in today’s large, terrestrial animals such as elephants and rhinos.  However, caution is urged when it comes to determining the colouration of these types of dinosaurs.  There might be a preservation bias in favour of pigment cells that produce darker skin tones, other pigments may not have been preserved.  The section of fossil skin also permitted the researchers to trace blood vessels and dermal cells.

The Study Suggests That Large-bodied Hadrosaurids Were Similar in Colour to Today’s Large-bodied Terrestrial Mammals

Analysis suggests grey-coloured hadrosaurids.

A life reconstruction of a grey-coloured duck-billed dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Yale University

Surprisingly Thin Skin

The skin was found to be much thinner than that of living mammals of similar size.  The outer layer of skin is around 0.2 mm in thickness, whilst the dermis is estimated to have been up to 3 mm thick.  Although, no measurements for the subcutis layer could be made, in living elephants the skin is around 10-15 mm thick and in extant rhinos a skin thickness (all three layers, epidermis, dermis and subcutis), of 25 mm is not uncommon.

The relative thickness of the epidermis and dermis in YPMPU 016969 resembles that in birds more closely than that of reptiles.

If the skin of these large, Cretaceous herbivores is so much thinner than previously thought, then how does it fossilise more readily than the integumentary coverings of other dinosaurs?  After all, the most commonly preserved soft tissues associated with ornithischian dinosaurs are skin remains.  The researchers postulate that the unusual layering and the microstructure of hadrosaur skin may play an important role in its fossilisation potential.

The scientific paper: “Three-dimensional soft tissue preservation revealed in the skin of a non-avian dinosaur” by Matteo Fabbri, Jasmina Wiemann, Fabio Manucci and Derek E. G. Briggs published in Palaeontology – the journal of The Palaeontological Association

10 01, 2020

Spotting a Gomphotherium

By | January 10th, 2020|Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Spotting a Gomphotherium

Whilst on a visit to a school to deliver a series of dinosaur and fossil themed workshops to lower Key Stage 2 classes, one of our team members at Everything Dinosaur was given the opportunity to view some of the work carried out by the Year six children as they studied Darwinism and natural selection as part of their curriculum.  Several of the children had collaborated on poster displays providing an outline of Darwin’s ground-breaking theory regarding how populations change due to the transfer of heritable traits from one generation to another.  The posters included details of Darwin’s life such as his voyage on the Beagle, his work on the finches on the Galapagos Islands and of course, the publication of his book “The Origin of Species” and its consequences for academia and the wider world.

One part of the display focused on the evolution of the elephant family (Order Proboscidea) and our eagle-eyed team member spotted an image of the CollectA Deluxe 1:20 scale Gomphotherium model that had been used to help illustrate different genera of ancient elephants.

An Image of the CollectA Deluxe 1:20 Scale Gomphotherium Model Features in the Display

CollectA Deluxe Gomphotherium model features in a school poster.

The CollectA Deluxe 1:20 scale Gomphotherium model features in a display on the evolution of elephants.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Many different types of prehistoric elephant were featured in the posters.  For example, one of the earliest and most primitive members of the elephant family – Moeritherium was featured, along with Deinotheres and representatives of the Mammuthus genus.

The CollectA Deluxe Gomphotherium Model

CollectA Gomphotherium.

The CollectA 1:20 scale Gomphotherium model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Our team member suggested that Everything Dinosaur would be happy to assist the children with their studies by providing scale drawings of a number of proboscideans.

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