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22 08, 2019

Praise from America

By | August 22nd, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Praise from America

Everything Dinosaur has thousands of customers all over the world.  We are always delighted to hear feedback from our customers, here at home in the UK and of course, overseas.  For example, we recently received this kind email from one of our customers in the United States, she had just purchased some Papo prehistoric animals and wrote to say:

“I just received my order from Everything Dinosaur and once again, I am just BLOWN AWAY at the quality and workmanship of the Papo dinosaur figures.  I mean, truly blown away!  They are so realistic!  I really enjoy and appreciate the info sheets that accompany my order from Everything Dinosaur as well.  I have been collecting for my four-year-old daughter since she was two years old.  I loved dinosaurs myself as a little girl.  I lived in Germany growing up and the toys in the stores there were top notch.  I collected Schleich animals as companies really didn’t have nice dinosaur figures available like this then.  It has been so fun sharing this love of dinos with my daughter and learning more about the prehistoric world through the toys we get her.”

Our thanks for the feedback and kind comments, Everything Dinosaur is a 5-star rated company as monitored by the independent survey company Feefo.

Everything Dinosaur Has Been Awarded Feefo’s Highest Accolade for Customer Service

Gold Trusted Service Award to Everything Dinosaur.

Feefo awards top marks to Everything Dinosaur.  Everything Dinosaur has been awarded the accolade of the “Gold Trusted Service Award” from Feefo for its 5-star service.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Customer Feedback

As a mail order company, Everything Dinosaur gets a large number of emails from customers offering us feedback and praise on our products and customer service.  Potential customers can view over five hundred independently verified customer reviews by clicking the “Feefo” tab on our website: Visit Everything Dinosaur.  In addition, we have over 1,800 customer and product reviews on our website.

Dinosaur model collector William, for instance, has posted up several reviews of his recent PNSO Age of Dinosaurs purchases.  One of his reviews concerned the PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Abelisaurus (Martin the little Abelisaurus).

William commented:

“PNSO’s Abelisaurus  is a mighty mini.  Paint applied to perfection and very natural markings.  Martin has a wry little cheeky expression fantastic.  GREAT SERVICE from Everything Dinosaur.”

Praise for the PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Abelisaurus Model

PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Abelisaurus dinosaur model.

PNSO prehistoric animals that accompany your growth – Martin the Abelisaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur explained that they were always pleased to receive feedback from customers and that each and every email that the company received was read by team members and the company did all it could to respond quickly to customer queries.

Wonderful Customer Service

Our American customer went onto add:

“I am very impressed with Everything Dinosaur.  Your prices are so much better than they are here in the United States and I appreciate the wonderful customer service.  Thank you so much for letting me know when all the figures I was looking for came back in stock.  I will definitely be back to shop at Everything Dinosaur in the future.”

20 08, 2019

New for 2019 Eofauna Deinotherium

By | August 20th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Eofauna Scientific Research Deinotherium Model Due October 2019

The second, new for 2019 Eofauna prehistoric animal figure has been announced.  A replica of the huge, prehistoric elephant Deinotherium (D. giganteum) is being added to this exciting range.  The model will be available in the autumn, probably in October, a short while before the Atlasaurus figure, which was announced a few days earlier.

The New for 2019 Eofauna Scientific Research Deinotherium Model

The Eofauna 1:35 scale Deinotherium model.

The beautiful, 1:35 scale Eofauna Scientific Research Deinotherium model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The “Famous Five”

With the addition of the Atlasaurus and the Deinotherium, this brings the total of Eofauna Scientific Figures to five.  Eofauna Scientific Research is staffed by researchers, creatives and specialists with a focus on prehistoric fauna.  The company has demonstrated expertise in the study of ancient members of the Order Proboscidea (elephants and their relatives), three of the five models produced so far are prehistoric elephants.   The D. giganteum figure will be joining a Straight-tusked elephant (Palaeloxodon antiquus) and the first of this range to be introduced, a Steppe mammoth (Mammuthus trogontherii).

A Fact Card will be Supplied with the New for Autumn 2019 Eofauna Scientific Research Deinotherium Model

The Eofauna Deinotherium model (2019)

Eofauna Deinotherium (2019) will be supplied with its own Eofauna fact card as well as an Everything Dinosaur Deinotherium fact sheet.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Deinotherium giganteum

Deinotherium fossils are known from Africa, Europe and parts of Asia.  It was not closely related to extant elephants or the Mammuthus genus.  The Eofauna model shows the long legs and long, low skull associated with this genus.  It is believed Deinotherium became extinct around 2.5 million years ago.

Everything Dinosaur has opened a priority reservation list for this figure, which should be in stock in October.  To join our no obligation, priority reserve list for the Eofauna Scientific Research Deinotherium, just drop us an email: Email Everything Dinosaur.

To view the range of Eofauna models currently in stock including the Straight-tusked elephant and the beautiful Steppe mammoth: Eofauna Scientific Research Models.

The New Eofauna Scientific Research Deinotherium Model

The Eofauna Scientific Research 1:35 scale Deinotherium model.

Striding confidently into view the Eofauna Deinotherium model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We are delighted to announce that this figure will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur during the autumn.  We should have stocks of this new exciting prehistoric elephant figure and the sauropod Atlasaurus in plenty of time to ensure a happy Christmas for collectors of Eofauna models.”

Deinotherium Model Measurements – Tale of the Tape

The new Eofauna Deinotherium model has a stated scale of 1:35.  The model measures around 20 centimetres in length and stands and impressive 13 cm high.  Observant model collectors will note that this new figure is depicted on the move.  Elephants do not have the gaits associated with faster moving, large mammals such as the trot and the gallop.  Instead, when an elephant moves slowly, its limbs remain relatively straight and column-like.   Locomotion studies have shown that when moving quickly, the limbs become more mobile and flexible acting like “pogo sticks”,  helping the animal to maintain velocity.  Even when moving at full speed, the four feet of the elephant do not leave the ground simultaneously, as opposed to the limbs of a horse when galloping.

18 08, 2019

Prehistoric Predator with a Mouth Like a Slice of Pineapple

By | August 18th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

The Predatory Cambroraster falcatus from the Burgess Shale

Palaeontologists at the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Toronto have announced the discovery of a new 500-million-year-old predator, adding to the diversity associated with the Cambrian-aged Burgess Shale biota.  The animal, a distant relative of today’s spiders, insects and crustaceans, has been named Cambroraster falcatus.  At around thirty centimetres in length C. falcatus was one of the biggest animals around in the Late Cambrian and it was a distant relative of the formidable Anomalocaris, the apex predator on Earth during this time in our planet’s history.

A Life Reconstruction of Cambroraster falcatus

Illustrating the newly described Cambroraster from the Burgess Shale biota.

Cambroraster life reconstruction (dorsal view) and top, a view of the animal’s underside.

Picture Credit: Royal Ontario Museum

Providing New Information About the Diversity of Early Arthropods

Fossils of this newly described species were found in the Kootenay National Park in the Canadian Rockies.  Cambroraster has rake-like claws and a pineapple-slice-shaped mouth at the front of an extremely large head, it probably used its rake-like claws to sift through sediment and trap prey.

Lead author of the scientific paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Biology), Joe Moysiuk, based at the Royal Ontario Museum stated:

“Its size would have been even more impressive at the time it was alive, as most animals living during the Cambrian Period were smaller than your little finger.  Cambroraster was a distant cousin of the iconic Anomalocaris, the top predator living in the seas at that time, but it seems to have been feeding in a radically different way.”

Revealing a Fossil of a Cambroraster at the Kootenay National Park Field Site

Cambroraster fossil excavation.

Excavating a Cambroraster fossil from the Burgess Shale. Although flattened, enough detail has been preserved in the fine sediments for paleaontologists to reconstruct the animal.

Image Credit: Royal Ontario Museum

Remarkable Claws and the Millennium Falcon

The name Cambroraster refers to the remarkable claws of this animal, which bear a parallel series of outgrowths, looking like forward-directed rakes.   With the space between the spines on the claws at typically less than a millimetre, this would have enabled Cambroraster to feed on very small organisms, although larger prey could also likely be captured, and ingested into the circular tooth-lined mouth.  It is this specialised radial mouth that links Cambroraster to the Radiodonta, a clade of stem arthropods that were geographically widespread during the Cambrian, with many genera evolving into large nektonic predators.  The species or trivial name “falcatus”, is in honour of another of this marine animal’s distinctive features – the large, shield-like carapace covering the anterior part of the body.  This shield reminded the scientists of the iconic spaceship the Millennium Falcon from the Star Wars movie.

Graduate student Moysiuk added:

“With its broad head carapace with deep notches accommodating the upward facing eyes, Cambroraster resembles modern living bottom-dwelling animals like horseshoe crabs.  This represents a remarkable case of evolutionary convergence in these radiodonts.”

The researchers conclude that such convergence is likely reflective of a similar environment and mode of life, like modern horseshoe crabs, Cambroraster may have used its carapace to plough through sediment as it fed.

A Large Number of Specimens Found

Co-author of the paper, Dr Caron, an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto commented:

“The sheer abundance of this animal is extraordinary.  Over the past few summers we found hundreds of specimens, sometimes with dozens of individuals covering single rock slabs.”

Based on over a hundred exceptionally well-preserved fossils now housed at the Royal Ontario Museum, the researchers were able to reconstruct Cambroraster in unprecedented detail, revealing characteristics that had not been seen before in related species.

Dr Caron added:

“The radiodont fossil record is very sparse, typically, we only find scattered bits and pieces.  The large number of parts and unusually complete fossils preserved at the same place are a real coup, as they help us to better understand what these animals looked like and how they lived.  We are really excited about this discovery.  Cambroraster clearly illustrates that predation was a big deal at that time with many kinds of surprising morphological adaptations.”

A View of the Underside of Cambroraster with a Close-up View of the Radial Mouth

Cambroraster Life Reconstruction

A life reconstruction of Cambroraster showing the underside (ventral view) and the unusual mouth parts with the pair of raking appendages.

Picture Credit: Royal Ontario Museum

The Significance of the Burgess Shale

The fossils from the Burgess Shale of British Columbia document a remarkable time during the evolution of life on Earth.  There was a huge increase in biodiversity and food chains became much more complex as most of the major Phyla of animals that are around today evolved.  The Cambroraster fossil material comes from several locations in the Marble Canyon area of Kootenay National Park.  These locations and others like them are being explored and mapped by field teams from the Royal Ontario Museum.  These sites are about 25 miles (40 km) away from the original Burgess Shale fossil site in Yoho National Park that was discovered in 1909.  Scientists are confident that more new species will be discovery in this area of Kootenay National Park

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the Royal Ontario Museum in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “A new hurdiid radiodont from the Burgess Shale evinces the exploitation of Cambrian infaunal food sources” by J. Moysiuk and J.B. Caron published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

17 08, 2019

A Ferocious Carnotaurus

By | August 17th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Main Page|0 Comments

A Ferocious Carnotaurus

The image below is an illustration of the Late Cretaceous South American abelisaurid Carnotaurus (C. sastrei), by the renowned Chinese palaeoartist Zhao Chuang.  This is one of our favourite illustrations of the dinosaur known as “meat-eating bull”.

The Illustration of Carnotaurus (C. sastrei)

Carnotaurus illustrated by the renowned artist Zhao Chuang.

An illustration of the fearsome theropod dinosaur Carnotaurus by Zhao Chuang.

Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang

The artwork (above), was produced as part of a series of commissioned pieces to illustrate the science/art world by Zhao Chuang and Yang Yang for PNSO (Peking Natural Science-Art Organisation).

Carnotaurus sastrei

Known from an almost complete skeleton found in Argentina, this large, carnivorous dinosaur was scientifically described in 1985.  Zhao Chuang has chosen to focus on the remarkable skull of this Late Cretaceous abelisaurid.  The head is short and blunt with two imposing horns positioned over the eye sockets sticking out sideways.  The deep skull contrasts with the slender lower jaw which for such a large dinosaur (estimated at more than seven metres in length), indicates a relatively weak bite.  For many years, Carnotaurus was regarded as a hunter of large prey, however, analysis of the bite force exerted by the jaws indicated a surprisingly weak bite for a carnivore weighing in excess of a tonne.  Research (Mazzeta et al 2009), indicated that this dinosaur could generate a bilateral bite force – measured on both sides of the jaw, of around 3,400 Newtons.  In contrast, the much smaller extant lion (Panthera leo) and the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) are capable of generating bite forces of at least 1.3 times the bite force calculated for Carnotaurus, even though these living carnivores are considerably smaller.

As to what Carnotaurus ate, this is open to speculation, but it could have specialised in catching smaller animals or perhaps it was a specialised scavenger, the narrow jaws proving adept at removing flesh from corpses.  Whatever, Carnotaurus consumed, we still take time out to admire this marvellous illustration by the very talented Zhao Chuang.

16 08, 2019

Posing the Papo Pentaceratops

By | August 16th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Posing the Papo Pentaceratops

The Papo Pentaceratops model has a rearing pose, but the model is so well designed that it can rest in a horizontal position with three legs resting on the floor.  The Papo Pentaceratops is a beautiful figure, but it is also so well balanced that it can be placed in a couple of different poses if model collectors don’t want to feature it rearing up in their model displays.  To illustrate this point, we created a short video demonstrating the Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur figure in a rearing pose and showing how it can be displayed in other poses too.

Posing the Papo Pentaceratops Dinosaur Model

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Papo Pentaceratops Model

Although the French manufacturer (Papo), has produced several ceratopsian models in the past (Triceratops, baby Triceratops, Styracosaurus and Pachyrhinosaurus), this is the first horned dinosaur to be depicted in a rearing pose.   Much praise has been heaped on the broad shoulders of the Pentaceratops figure, it has proved to be a big hit with collectors and dinosaur model fans.

The New for 2019 Papo Pentaceratops Dinosaur Model

The new for 2019 Papo Pentaceratops and the Papo Gorgosaurus dinosaur models.

The new for 2019 Papo Gorgosaurus (left) and the Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur model (right).  The Papo Pentaceratops figure is much larger than the Gorgosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Attracting 5-star Reviews

The Pentaceratops may only have been out for a short while, but it has already received several 5-star reviews from Everything Dinosaur customers.  For example, Ryan left a review on the Everything Dinosaur website saying:

“Fantastic figure!  A really dynamic pose, plenty of finer details and a great realistic paint job.  This one will really stand out amongst my collection.”

Our thanks for your comments, Ryan, we really like the cryptic quip about the model “standing out”, it certainly does with its upright rearing pose.

Model collector David, also piled praise on the model exclaiming:

“Beautiful model!  Very convincing sculpt, full of life with lovely colouration.  Excellent service from Everything Dinosaur!”

For David, the Papo Pentaceratops and our awarding winning customer service are two things worth praising.  A great big thank you to all those very kind people who have taken the time and trouble to review our models, both on our website also via our Feefo feedback pages.

The Papo Pentaceratops and the Papo Gorgosaurus model for that matter, are available from Everything Dinosaur, to view these models and the rest of the extensive Papo prehistoric animal model range: Papo Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models

15 08, 2019

What Killed the Cave Bears? Probably Us

By | August 15th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Who rather than What Killed the Cave Bears?

A team of international researchers writing in the academic journal “Scientific Reports” have concluded that the extinction of the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus), could probably be put down to the impact of our own species – Homo sapiens.  Anatomically modern humans would have competed with this large, mostly herbivorous bear for caves as our species migrated into Europe.  This competition and our hunting of the bear, along with our impact on the populations of other species of large mammal, put increased pressure on the species leading it into a terminal decline before final extinction some 24,000 years ago.

The Papo Cave Bear (U. spelaeus) Model

The new for 2017 Papo Cave Bear model.

Lateral view of the Papo cave bear model.  Specimens from Europe including France were used in this new cave bear study.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Spectacular Mammalian Fauna – Until about 50,000  – 40,000 Years Ago

Today, Europe has a relatively impoverished big mammal fauna, however, this was not always the case.  As recently as 50,000 years ago, some of the largest terrestrial mammals known roamed the extensive European forests, grasslands and steppes.  By the onset of the Holocene Epoch, the vast majority of terrestrial mammals more than fifty kilograms in weight had disappeared.  The reasons for the demise of the once relatively ubiquitous cave bear has been the subject of numerous scientific studies.  In this latest paper, the researchers used an analysis of mitochondrial DNA taken from cave bear fossils from several European countries.   Specimens from Switzerland, Serbia, Italy, Germany, Spain and France were involved in the study (59 specimens).  The DNA analysis, in combination with a statistical evaluation, was used to plot the decline of the cave bear, which was related to the extant brown bear (Ursus arctos).

A Mounted Skeleton of a Cave Bear (Ursus spelaeus)

A mounted cave bear fossil from an auction.

Cave bear up for sale!  This Late Pleistocene megafauna species is represented by one of the largest fossil records in Europe.  The study looked at specimens from fourteen different locations.

Picture Credit: Associated Press

Five Major Mitochondrial DNA Lineages

The researchers discovered five major mitochondrial DNA lineages resulting in a noticeably more complex biogeography of the European lineages during the last 50,000 years than had been previously thought.  In addition, the team propose that there was a drastic decline in the cave bear population commencing around 40,000 years ago, which coincides with the arrival of anatomically modern humans.  This study supports a potential significant human role in the general extinction and local extirpation (localised extinctions) of the European cave bear and illuminates the fate of this megafauna species.

Lead-author of the study, Professor Verena Schuenemann (University of Zurich, Switzerland), stated:

“It is the clearest evidence we have so far that humans might have played a big role in the extinction of the cave bear.”

Biogeologist Hervé Bocherens of the University of Tuebingen (Germany), a co-author of the scientific paper added:

“There is more and more evidence that modern humans have played a determinant role in the decline and extinction of large mammals once they spread around the planet, starting around 50,000 years ago.  This happened not just by hunting these mammals to extinction, but by causing demographic decline of keystone species, such as very large herbivores, that led to ecosystems’ collapse and a cascade of further extinctions.”

The scientific paper: “Large-scale mitogenomic analysis of the phylogeography of the Late Pleistocene cave bear” by Jocsha Gretzinger, Martyna Molak, Ella Reiter et al published in Scientific Reports.

14 08, 2019

The “Scunthorpe Pliosaur”

By | August 14th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|1 Comment

The “Scunthorpe Pliosaur” – What is it?  When and Where Did it Live?  What it May Have Eaten and Lived Alongside

A few weeks ago, we set young palaeontologist Thomas a challenge, could he research and write an article for posting up onto the Everything Dinosaur blog.  Thomas has taken up our offer and here is the first of his articles, it provides information on a prehistoric animal close to Thomas’s  heart the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur”.

The “Scunthorpe Pliosaur”, a specimen announced earlier this year, was a large plesiosauroid belonging to the family Pliosauridae and is related to the better known pliosaurs such as Pliosaurus and Liopleurodon in fact, it may have lived alongside and directly competed with these two better-known pliosaurs at some point.  It has been estimated at 8 metres long.

The “Scunthorpe Pliosaur” on Display at North Lincolnshire Museum

Rose Nicholson, Richard Forrest and Darren Withers with the Scunthorpe Pliosaur.

Rose Nicholson from North Lincolnshire Museum, palaeontologist Richard Forrest and Darren Withers from Stamford and District Geological Society with the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur”.

Picture Credit: North Lincolnshire Museum

When and Where Did it Live and Where was it Found?

The “Scunthorpe Pliosaur” lived around 160 to 155 million years ago in what is now north Lincolnshire (England).  These fossils date from the Late Jurassic and the United Kingdom 160 million years ago was a very mysterious place.  Whilst marine fauna is decently represented in the fossil record, there is still much science does not know about the seas from this time and this new specimen may help open up a new window into that mysterious world.  The terrestrial fauna on the other hand, is poorly represented and full of mystery with one of the only described theropods being the British Metriacanthosaurus from Dorset (a close relative of Sinraptor from China).  The pliosaur specimen was recovered from a CEMEX quarry.

Partially Excavated Fossils at the Excavation Site

Ribs and a vertebra fossil in situ.

Ribs and a vertebra in situ.

Picture Credit: Yorkshire Geological Society

What Did it Live With and What Might it Have Eaten?

Inhabiting the seas alongside the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur” were other pliosaurs, plesiosaurs, turtles, fish, ichthyosaurs, squid, ammonites, marine crocodiles, sharks and more.  Some of these animals include the pliosaurs Liopleurodon, Simolestes and Pliosaurus which would have competed with it and the plesiosaurs Cryptocleidus and Colymbosaurus which could have been prey of the pliosaur especially the latter plesiosaur’s young.

Palaeontologist Richard Forrest Holding a Fossil Tooth

The pliosaur tooth examined by Richard Forrest.

Richard Forrest holding a pliosaur tooth.

Picture Credit: North Lincolnshire Museum

Looking at the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur’s” dentition, the known teeth of this pliosaur are reminiscent of teeth associated with Pliosaurus (Pliosaurus brachydeirus),  a species which has been found in Lincolnshire.  From this comparison, it can be concluded that the Scunthorpe individual possibly preyed upon other marine reptiles and other large marine fauna.  Stomach content of related pliosaurs and bite marks left by them on their prey show that pliosaurs like the Scunthorpe specimen would have been hunting a wide range of hard bodied marine prey from large ammonites to plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs, however, they wouldn’t have shied away from preying on softer bodied animals.

Like most pliosaurs, the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur” probably had a very powerful sense of smell, good eyesight, acute hearing and a powerful bite, all necessary adaptations for a hunting pliosaur to have in order to hunt effectively.

Holding a Fossilised Pliosaur Tooth

Holding a pliosaur tooth.

Holding a fossil tooth.

Picture Credit David Haber

The ecology at the time would have consisted of kelp forests, reefs, coastal shallows and a steep pelagic drop-off that plummets into a benthic zone.  Pliosaurs such as Liopleurodon, Pliosaurus and the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur” probably used these drop-off points as ambush spots to strike unsuspecting prey from below.

When attacking prey, Pliosaurs would have come up from below like white sharks and either rammed or bitten prey in one massive disabling blow to the prey item to prevent it’s escape.   In conclusion, the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur “was a large pliosaur which could have occupied the apex predator niche in its warm, shallow coastal ecosystem hunting all manners of prey from fish and squid to marine reptiles using sight, hearing and smell to track down its prey and applying similar hunting strategies to modern Great Whites to secure and catch that prey.  This discovery is an important one as it opens up a window into a little known area of the Late Jurassic British seas and helps palaeontologists piece together that ancient ecosystem over 155 million years ago.

Holding the Ancient History of North Lincolnshire

Pliosaur fossils.

History in your hands, part of the fossilised skeleton.

Picture Credit: The Stamford and District Geological Society Facebook page

Our thanks to Thomas for compiling this article on the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur”.

13 08, 2019

Monster Penguin from the Palaeocene of New Zealand

By | August 13th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Crossvallia waiparensis – Monster Penguin from New Zealand

Sixty-six million years ago, the non-avian dinosaurs became extinct.  The end-Cretaceous mass extinction event also resulted in the extinction of the majority of the marine reptiles, the mosasaurs and the plesiosaurs.  Nature abhors a vacuum and in some parts of the world, the apex piscivore niche became occupied by man-sized penguins.  This idea of prehistoric penguin super-predators has been boosted with the naming and scientific description of a “monster penguin” from Palaeocene-aged deposits on New Zealand’s South Island.  Weighing in at an estimated eighty kilograms, and standing around 1.6 metres tall, Crossvallia waiparensis is one of the largest penguins known to science.

The Newly Described Crossvallia waiparensis Compared to an Average-height Woman

Crossvallia waiparensis compared to a human.

Crossvallia waiparensis compared to an average-height woman.

Picture Credit: Canterbury Museum

One of the World’s Oldest Species of Penguin

Writing in the scientific journal “Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology”, researchers Dr Paul Scofield and Dr Vanesa De Pietri (Canterbury Museum), in collaboration with their colleague Dr Gerald Mayr (Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, Germany), describe C. waiparensis based on leg bones representing an individual animal and tentatively referred partial humeri (upper arm bones).  The fossils were found by amateur palaeontologist Leigh Love last year, during field work at the Waipara Greensand fossil site located north of Canterbury.

The sediments were laid down in the Palaeocene Epoch (66 to 56 million years ago), making C. waiparensis is one of the world’s oldest known penguin species.  The discovery also reinforces the idea that penguins (Sphenisciformes), attained large size early in their evolutionary history.  The biggest extant penguin is the Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), which can weigh more than twenty kilograms and stands around 1.2 metres high.

Overview of the Leg Bones of C. waiparensis

Fossils of Crossvallia waiparensis.

Fossils of Crossvallia waiparensis a giant penguin from the Palaeocene of New Zealand.

Picture Credit: Mayr et al

The photograph (above), shows an overview of the leg bones of Crossvallia waiparensis (A-L), along with views of the tentatively referred proximal end of a left humerus (M-O), scale bar = 5 centimetres.

The team have concluded that the closest known relative of C. waiparensis is a fellow Palaeocene species Crossvallia unienwillia, which was identified from a fossilised partial skeleton found in the Cross Valley in Antarctica.  This newly described “monster penguin” is not the first giant penguin to have been discovered.  For example, the Eocene taxa Anthropornis and Palaeeudyptes were comparable in size, if not bigger and this suggests that giant penguins evolved several times in the evolutionary history of the penguin family.

To read a related article from Everything Dinosaur: Gigantism in Penguins

The scientific paper: “Leg bones of a new penguin species from the Waipara Greensand add to the diversity of very large-sized Sphenisciformes in the Paleocene of New Zealand” by Gerald Mayr, Vanesa L. De Pietri, Leigh Love, Al Mannering and R. Paul Scofield published in Alcheringa; An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology.

12 08, 2019

The Next Eofauna Model Will Be… Atlasaurus

By | August 12th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|3 Comments

Atlasaurus – The Fourth Prehistoric Animal Figure from Eofauna Scientific Research

Today, Everything Dinosaur can announce that the fourth figure in the Eofauna Scientific Research range will be… Atlasaurus (A. imelakei), a peculiar sauropod from the Middle Jurassic of North Africa, whose taxonomic affinity within the Sauropoda remains uncertain.  Known from a single specimen, representing an individual animal, this is one very untypical member of the long-necked dinosaurs.  The model is one of two new for 2019 Eofauna Scientific Research figures, both will be available around October, possibly early November.

The Eofauna Scientific Research Atlasaurus Dinosaur Model

The Eofauna Scientific Research Atlasaurus dinosaur model.

Atlasaurus (Eofauna Scientific Research).

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research/Everything Dinosaur

A Peculiar Sauropod Trying to Fit In

Named and described in 1999 (Monbaron, Russell and Taquet),  a significant proportion of the skeleton of Atlasaurus (A. imelakei) is known to science.  The type specimen, housed in the Musée des sciences de la Terre de Rabat (Morocco), is just missing a few pieces of bone and about half the caudal vertebrae (tail bones).  This is one very peculiar Sauropod, for instance, despite having been named and described quite recently, the type specimen lacks a specific, unique specimen number.  When first studied, it was thought that this dinosaur was similar to Brachiosaurus which was believed to have roamed both Africa and North America.   Subsequently, following a review of brachiosaurid fossils, the African material has largely been attributed to the genus Giraffatitan.   It has been suggested that Atlasaurus may not be closely related to Brachiosaurus at all, it could be a more basal sauropod and a member of the Turiasauria, long-necked dinosaurs that were geographically widespread during the Middle Jurassic.

Unlike Most of the Sauropoda, the Skull of Atlasaurus is Known

Close-up view of the beautifully painted head of the Eofauna Scientific Research Atlasaurus model.

A close-up view of the beautifully painted head of the Eofauna Scientific Research Atlasaurus model.  Is it us, or is this dinosaur model smiling?

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research/Everything Dinosaur

Bizarre Body Proportions

At first glance, the Eofauna Scientific Research figure might look a little strange.  This has nothing to do with the model, it’s just that Atlasaurus was a very strange-looking dinosaur.  The limbs of this dinosaur were proportionately longer than those of any other sauropod.  It had taken a different evolutionary route when compared to its relatives.  The limbs had become elongated and lengthened, whilst in contrast, the neck remained relatively short.  Relative to the length of its dorsal vertebral column Atlasaurus had a much shorter neck, a longer tail and long legs.  In addition, it had a bigger head.  It roamed North Africa around 168-164 million years ago and it has been suggested that its bizarre body proportions evolved so that it could exploit a particular niche in the ecosystem.  It lived in a seasonal, forested environment close to the coast and it is thought that this sauropod was a medium to high-level browser of the forest canopy.

Everything Dinosaur has already opened a reserve list for this eagerly awaited, 1:40 scale figure.  The model itself, measures around 30 cm in length and has a head height of approximately 22.5 cm.

A Reserve List for the Eofauna Scientific Research Atlasaurus is Now Open

Email Everything Dinosaur to join our priority reserve list for Atlasaurus.

Email Everything Dinosaur to join our reserve list for Atlasaurus.

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research/Everything Dinosaur

To join our reserve list for the Eofauna Atlasaurus model: Email Everything Dinosaur to Join the Atlasaurus Reserve List

To view the rest of the Eofauna Scientific Research models available from Everything Dinosaur: Eofauna Scientific Research Prehistoric Animal Models

11 08, 2019

PNSO Megalodon (2019) Video Review

By | August 11th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

A Video Review of the PNSO Megalodon Model (Patton)

Our thanks to the talented “Matthew the Dinosaur King” for posting up a video review of the recently introduced PNSO Megalodon model with an articulated lower jaw.  In this short video review, the narrator discusses the taxonomy of this famous prehistoric shark and then examines the model in detail.

The Video Review of the PNSO Megalodon Shark Model

Video Credit: Matthew the Dinosaur King

Ancestor of the Great White Shark?

In this very informative video, Matthew comments on the problems involved with classifying this prehistoric fish when palaeontologists have only got the teeth and a few calcified vertebrae to study.  He points out that most scientists consider this shark to be a member of the Odontidae family (pronounced Oh-don-tid-day).  It had been thought that this prehistoric shark was closely related to and the direct ancestor of the Great White shark (Carcharodon carcharias).    It is likely that Megalodon filled a similar position in the marine ecosystem as the extant Great White, that of an apex predator, hunting and consuming a wide variety of prey including marine mammals.  Any resemblance between Carcharodon carcharias and Megalodon (now, commonly described as Carcharocles megalodon), could be attributed to convergent evolution.  In 2012, Everything Dinosaur produced a short article about a fossil discovery that indicated that Great White sharks could be descended from ancient Mackerel sharks: Getting Our Teeth into the Origins of the Great White Shark.

The Video Review Also Shows the PNSO Megalodon Packaging

The packaging of the PNSO Megalodon model "Patton".

The beautifully designed box of the PNSO Megalodon model “Patton”.  This aspect of the new PNSO “Patton” model is commented upon in detail in the video review.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

What’s in the Box?

The reviewer takes time to examine the packaging of this model.  The box is examined in detail and the clear plastic support base that helps to protect the model in transit is shown.  The plastic base can be used to help display this figure, although it does balance quite well on its pectoral and small pelvic fins.

In the video, the articulated jaw of this figure is highlighted.  Other models of Megalodon have been produced before, for example, the narrator comments on the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Megalodon model (introduced in 2014), but “Patton” as PNSO has named this shark figure, has an articulated lower jaw.

A Close View of the Articulated Lower Jaw of the PNSO “Patton” the Megalodon Shark Figure

Mind your fingers! A view of the PNSO "Patton" Megalodon model.

A close up view of the PNSO “Patton” Megalodon model.  Mind your fingers!

Video image credit: Matthew the Dinosaur King

This new for 2019 PNSO figure has certainly proved popular with collectors.  This is the second Carcharocles megalodon model to have been produced by PNSO, both figures are available (whilst stocks last from Everything Dinosaur).  Our thanks to model collector Luke who sent into us a photograph of his recently purchased pair of “Pattons”.  Both the figure with the articulated jaw and the larger model with a stand, are called “Patton”.

The Two PNSO Megalodon Models on Display

Thank you Luke for sending in pics of his two PNSO Megalodon shark models.

Thanks to Luke for sending in pics of his two PNSO Megalodon shark models.

Picture Credit: Luke

We thank Luke for his photograph and for “Matthew the Dinosaur King” for providing such an excellent video review.

Everything Dinosaur recommends that readers subscribe to the YouTube channel of “Matthew the Dinosaur King”: “Matthew the Dinosaur King” on YouTube.

To see all the PNSO prehistoric animal models currently in stock at Everything Dinosaur, including the two PNSO Megalodon figures: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

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