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

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12 07, 2020

Deciding on the Scale for a Prehistoric Animal Model

By | July 12th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Deciding on the Scale for a Prehistoric Animal Model

Here is our eagerly awaited YouTube video which explains how the scale for a dinosaur model is decided.  We look at the pros and cons of the 1:40 scale declaration for dinosaur models.  Determining the scale for any given prehistoric animal can be tricky and our video helps to illustrate some of the factors that need to be considered.  Tyrannosaurus rex, Edmontosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Megalosaurus and lots of other prehistoric animal figures are featured.

Determining the Scale for a Prehistoric Animal Model

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Outlining the Pitfalls when it comes to Dinosaur Scale Models

In our video, (it lasts 12 minutes), we explain some of the difficulties that manufacturers have when it comes to determining the declared scale size for a dinosaur model.  We illustrate this point using the CollectA 1:40 scale roaring feathered T. rex figure and compare it to the much smaller, but still in the declared 1/40th scale, Natural History T. rex replica.

Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube Video Compares Two Popular Dinosaur Models

Two Tyrannosaurus rex models are compared.

Comparing the declared scales (both 1/40th scale), of two popular dinosaur models.  The CollectA roaring T. rex is in the foreground with the Natural History Museum T. rex model in the background.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The CollectA roaring, feathered T. rex figure measures around 34 cm long, whilst the Natural History Museum model, also in the declared 1:40 scale size, is actually smaller, measuring about 26 cm in length.  Our video explains some of the problems that can occur when deciding on a scale model size for any particular prehistoric animal and outlines some of the decisions taken by model makers when it comes to deciding the appropriate scale for a figure.

Most Dinosaurs are Only Known from Fragmentary Remains

Although amazing dinosaur skeletons and exhibits adorn the halls of museums all over the world, the majority of the Dinosauria have been scientifically described from limited fossil remains, often fragmentary specimens representing a single individual.  Estimating the adult size of a dinosaur based on this evidence is challenging.  Even in those genera where palaeontologists have a relative abundance of fossils to study, problems over determining the maximum possible size for a given species can occur.

Allosaurus and Stegosaurus are Well-known Dinosaurs with Numerous Fossil Specimens to Study

Stegosaurus and Allosaurus fossils.

Allosaurus and Stegosaurus fossil material.  Even with a relative abundance of fossils to study, determining the size of an adult dinosaur and subsequently calculating the scale of any dinosaur model is a challenge.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Indeterminate Growth Complicates the Issue

Non-avian dinosaurs, as members of the Class Reptilia may have exhibited a biological phenomenon called “indeterminate growth”.  When a dinosaur reached adult size, its growth slowed down but it did not stop.  A section of our video explains the impact of indeterminate growth when it comes to determining the size of any dinosaur scale model.

For Example:

A sauropod reaches an adult size of 12 metres long, but it goes on to live for a further sixty years and over that time it grows at an average of just ten centimetres per year.  By the time it dies some six decades later, it is 60 x 10 cm longer (six metres) with a total body length of 18 metres.  It is fifty percent longer than when it first reached adult size.

The Effect of Indeterminate Growth on Dinosaur Body Size

Estimating the size of dinosaurs.

How indeterminate growth effects the estimation of dinosaur size.  If the size of an adult dinosaur remains uncertain, it can be difficult to assign a scale size to a scale model of that animal.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur’s examination of how scale sizes for prehistoric animals is calculated is just one of over 170 different videos on the company’s YouTube channel.

For dinosaur and prehistoric animal related videos and reviews: Subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

9 07, 2020

Voracious Xiphactinus was More Widespread than Previously Thought

By | July 9th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

The Voracious Xiphactinus was More Widespread than Previously Thought

Xiphactinus (pronounced zee-fak-tin-us), was a fast swimming voracious predator of Cretaceous seas.  With a body length of up to six metres, this bony fish was one of the top predators associated with the Western Interior Seaway of North America.  It has a formidable reputation amongst palaeontologists, as several fossils have been found which show the undigested body parts of prey, preserved inside the stomach cavity.  Perhaps, the most famous specimen that documents predatory behaviour is the Xiphactinus (X. audax), with the complete skeleton of a 1.8 metre-long fish preserved inside its skeleton which is on display at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History (Kansas).

A Bony Fish with a Fearsome Reputation

Xiphactinus with its last meal preserved inside it.

A fossil fish within a fish.  The Xiphactinus audax specimen collected by George F. Sternberg (son of the famous American palaeontologist Charles H. Sternberg).  Inside the body cavity, a nearly complete specimen of the related ichthyodectid Gillicus arcuatus can be seen.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A team of scientists have reported this week the first occurrence of Xiphactinus from southern South America.  Writing in the academic journal “Alcheringa”, researchers from the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia” in collaboration with a colleague from Universidad Maimónides, both located in Buenos Aires, report the discovery of fragments of upper jaw bone (maxilla), as well as vertebrae from the Salamanca Formation (Chubut Province, Argentina).  It is estimated that this fish lived around 70 million years ago (Maastrichtian age of the Late Cretaceous).

Xiphactinus Geographically and Temporally Widespread

Xiphactinus has been widely reported from Upper Cretaceous strata throughout the Northern Hemisphere, although to date, equivalent discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere have been limited to a single fossil specimen consisting of elements from the skull and the spine from the Cenomanian aged limestones of the La Aguada Member, La Luna Formation, near Monay, Candelaria Municipality in western Venezuela.

A Life Reconstruction Xiphactinus

Xiphactinus life reconstruction.

A life reconstruction of the fearsome teleost Xiphactinus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This discovery extends the known geographical range for this genus and suggests that this teleost was widespread during the Cretaceous (Albian to Maastrichtian faunal stages).  It is related to the majority of fish species alive today, although the entire family of these types of predatory fish (Ichthyodectidae), became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous.

A Bony Fish with a Formidable Reputation

Xiphactinus attacks.

A bony fish with a very formidable reputation – Xiphactinus audax.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The scientific paper: “First record of the ichthyodectiform fish Xiphactinus (Teleostei) from Patagonia, Argentina” by Julieta J. De Pasqua, Federico L. Agnolin and Sergio Bogan published in Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology.

8 07, 2020

Lower Jaw Suggests Dromaeosaurids Endemic to Alaska

By | July 8th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

The First Juvenile Dromaeosaurid from Alaska

This blog has covered a lot of news stories about dinosaur fossil discoveries from Alaska, principally the remarkable Prince Creek Formation with its abundance of juvenile hadrosaurid remains.  A tiny partial lower jaw recovered from sediment screen washings indicates that dromaeosaurid dinosaurs were also present and from the size of the bone, complete with its two tiny teeth, it is likely that some dinosaurs were year-round residents and that they bred in the Arctic Circle.

A Flock of Dromaeosaurids Pursue Prey Under the Noses of Pachyrhinosaurs

The "Alaskan Raptor".

A flock of dromaeosaurids chase small mammals whilst a herd of Pachyrhinosaurs are oblivious to the hunt going on underneath their feet.  Although isolated teeth have been tentatively assigned to the dromaeosaurids, this is the first incidence of fossil bone being found that indicates the presence of members of the Dromaeosauridae within the polar ecosystem.

Picture Credit: Andrey Atuchin

Writing in the on-line academic journal PLOS One, researchers including Alfio Alessandro Chiarenza (Imperial College London) and Anthony R. Fiorillo (Southern Methodist University, Dallas Texas), report upon the discovery of the tiny jaw fragment that adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests Cretaceous Arctic dinosaurs of Alaska did not undergo long-distance migration, but rather they were year-round residents of these northern latitudes.

The fossil, which measures less than 1.5 cm in length, was collected from the Pediomys Point locality along the Colville River, some five miles (eight kilometres), upstream from the Liscomb bonebed with its abundant hadrosaurid remains.  Field team members had collected a large amount of bulk sediment over several field seasons and the specimen (specimen number DMNH21183), was recovered after screen washing and sorting of material conducted back at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Texas).

The Tiny Fossil Specimen (Assigned to a Saurornitholestinae Dromaeosaurid)

The tiny Arctic dromaeosaurid fossil jaw.

The tiny fossil dromaeosaurid jaw with one tooth erupted and one unerupted tooth present in the bone.

Picture Credit: A. A. Chiarenza

Anatomical features such as the fibrous bone surface coupled with the small size of the fossil suggest a juvenile.

Commenting on the significance of the fossil find, Anthony Fiorillo stated:

“Years ago, when dinosaurs were first found in the far north, the idea challenged what we think we know about dinosaurs.  For some time afterwards, there was a great debate as to whether or not those Arctic dinosaurs migrated or lived in the north year round.  All of those arguments were somewhat speculative in nature.  This study of a predatory dinosaur jaw from a baby provides the first physical proof that at least some dinosaurs not only lived in the far north, but they thrived there.  One might even say our study shows that the ancient north was a great place to raise a family and now we have to figure out why.”

What Type of Dromaeosaurid?

At least four different subclades of dromaeosaurid are known from the Late Cretaceous of North America (Dromaeosaurinae, Microraptorinae, Saurornitholestinae, and Velociraptorinae).  A phylogenetic assessment of the specimen suggests that this fossil represents a member of the Saurornitholestinae.  This subfamily consists of two species of Saurornitholestes and Atrociraptor, between them these dromaeosaurs, although restricted to the Late Cretaceous, do have a widespread palaeo-geographical range, with fossils found as far north as Alberta (Canada) and as far south as New Mexico in the USA.

The scientific paper: “The first juvenile dromaeosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from Arctic Alaska” by Alfio Alessandro Chiarenza , Anthony R. Fiorillo, Ronald S. Tykoski, Paul J. McCarthy, Peter P. Flaig and Dori L. Contreras published in the academic journal PLOS One.

To read our recent blog article about the hadrosaurids associated with the Prince Creek Formation: Is this the demise of a duck-billed dinosaur?

4 07, 2020

Looking at Scale Model Dinosaurs

By | July 4th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Looking at the Declared Scale for Prehistoric Animal Models

As collectors, we may be very familiar with many different product lines having a declared scale of 1:40 for dinosaur figures and a scale of 1:20 for prehistoric mammals such as Woolly Mammoths and Sabre-toothed cats, but not all manufacturers use these scales.  Even if two dinosaur models from two different manufacturers are in 1:40 scale, this does not necessarily mean that these models are going to be the same size.

The Manufacturer CollectA Declares a Variety of Scale Sizes for its Prehistoric Animal Models

CollectA scale models of prehistoric animals.

Many model manufacturers declare a scale for their prehistoric animal figures.  What do these scales mean?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

What Do These Declared Scales Mean?

Everything Dinosaur team members have been busy working on a short YouTube video that looks at how model manufacturers use varies scales in relation to their prehistoric animal replicas.  In this video, we intend to explain how scale sizes are calculated and we urge caution when looking at any declared scale for a given prehistoric animal figure.  A myriad of declared scales are used.  For example, the Bullyland “Museum Line” range has a declared scale of 1:30, whereas Rebor and PNSO tend to use 1:35 scale, especially for some of their larger models.  Papo in contrast, tend not to declare a scale for their “Les Dinosaures” at all.

Even when manufacturers claim the same scale for their figures, the actual models within those ranges can be very different sizes.

In our informative video, scheduled to be around twelve minutes long, we explore this theme and compare the 1:40 scale Natural History Museum Tyrannosaurus rex model with the CollectA Deluxe roaring, feathered T. rex which also has a declared scale of 1:40.

The London Natural History Museum T. rex Figure is Compared to the CollectA Roaring, Feathered T. rex Model

Comparing dinosaur models.

Comparing T. rex dinosaur models.  Although both the CollectA roaring, feathered T. rex and the Natural History Museum T. rex are in 1:40 scale, these models are different sizes.  The Natural History Museum T. rex figure is on the left, whilst the CollectA model is shown on the right.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Our YouTube video looking at how the scale for dinosaur and prehistoric animal models is calculated, aims to help collectors to appreciate some of the difficulties behind working out just how big some dinosaurs were.  If palaeontologists are uncertain as to just how big a dinosaur could grow, then it is very challenging for a model manufacturer to accurately scale a figure.  The manufacturer has to consider other factors too and we outline some of the issues that need to be considered before deciding how big to make a prehistoric animal model.”

Everything Dinosaur on YouTube

The YouTube channel of Everything Dinosaur was started nearly ten years ago.  It aims to provide product reviews, hints and tips as well as useful and informative videos to help model collectors make the most of their prehistoric animal collections.

The Everything Dinosaur YouTube channel has over 170 dinosaur and prehistoric animal related videos and reviews: Subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

3 07, 2020

Preparing for Sinoceratops

By | July 3rd, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Preparing for Sinoceratops

Everything Dinosaur is expecting its latest shipment of PNSO products to arrive at the company’s warehouse in the next few days.  The products have cleared customs and inspection and team members are awaiting to hear the scheduled time of delivery from the transport company.  The two new for 2020 baby dinosaur figures (young T. rex and the young Sinoceratops), will be in stock very soon at Everything Dinosaur.

A-Qi the Baby Sinoceratops Figure from PNSO

PNSO baby Sinoceratops dinosaur model.

A-Qi the baby Sinoceratops model (PNSO).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

PNSO Aaron the Baby T. rex Dinosaur Model

Aaron the baby T. rex dinosaur model (PNSO).

Aaron the baby Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur model (PNSO).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Sinoceratops Fact Sheet

Just like the vast majority of prehistoric animal models that Everything Dinosaur supplies, we intend to provide a free Sinoceratops fact sheet with the PNSO A-Qi Sinoceratops figure.  Our team members have been busy preparing for the arrival of the PNSO figures by researching and writing a fact sheet on the only undisputed ceratopsid known from Asia – Sinoceratops zhuchengensis.  Just where within the Ceratopsidae family of horned dinosaurs does Sinoceratops fit remains uncertain.  Although classified as a member of the Centrosaurinae, it shares a number of anatomical traits with the chasmosaurs too.  At around six metres in length and weighing two tonnes, it is much larger than other basal centrosaurines, more the size of some of the earliest members of the Chasmosaurinae such as Utahceratops (U. gettyi) from Utah and the geologically older Judiceratops (J. tigris) from Montana.

The Scale Drawing of Sinoceratops (S. zhuchengensis) Prepared for the Everything Dinosaur Fact Sheet

Sinoceratops scale drawing.

Sinoceratops scale drawing prepared for the Everything Dinosaur fact sheet.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Splitting the Ceratopsidae – Chasmosaurs and Centrosaurs

The Ceratopsidae family of horned dinosaurs is further divided into two broad sub-families, the Chasmosaurinae and the Centrosaurinae.  In general terms, chasmosaurs are distinguished by their long brow horns with reduced nose horns and tall neck frills.  The centrosaurs, in contrast, have large nose horns, reduced brow horns and smaller neck frills.  As more and more horned dinosaurs have been discovered and described including basal members of each sub-family, this rather simplified approach has fallen out of favour, the anatomical traits between the Chasmosaurinae and the Centrosaurinae becoming somewhat blurred.

Simplified Illustration Defining Ceratopsid Sub-families

Chamosaurine compared to centrosaurine.

A simplified comparison between the Chasmosaurinae and the Centrosaurinae.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In the scientific paper describing Sinoceratops (Xu Xing et al 2010), the authors commented that the Sinoceratops taxon was considerably larger than most other centrosaurines but similar in size to basal chasmosaurines.  In addition, the researchers stated that Sinoceratops is more similar to chasmosaurines than to other centrosaurines in several features, thus blurring the distinction of the two ceratopsid subgroups.

The discovery of the first member of the ceratopsids known from outside North America provided significant information on the morphological transition from non-ceratopsid to ceratopsid dinosaurs, but also complicated the biogeography of the Ceratopsidae family as a whole.

2 07, 2020

Tiny Dinosaur Eggs from Japan Reveal Small Theropods

By | July 2nd, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Geology, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Dinosaur Eggs Provide a View on a “Hidden Ecosystem”

Not all the dinosaurs that ever existed are likely to be named and described by scientists.  Identifying these long extinct creatures relies on there being a fossil record of some sort to study.  A team of researchers writing in the journal “Cretaceous Research”, report on a new Lower Cretaceous fossil egg locality in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, that provides a tantalising glimpse into a hidden dinosaur dominated ecosystem.

The researchers, which include Kohei Tanaka (University of Tsukuba, Japan) and Darla Zelenitsky (University of Calgary, Canada), describe eggs and eggshell fragments associated with four ootaxa, two of which are new to science.  The site reveals a hidden diversity of small dinosaurs, particularly non-avian theropods, in the Hyogo region and indicates the area was utilised for nesting by various small dinosaur species in the Early Cretaceous.

The Newly Erected Ootaxa Himeoolithus murakamii the Most Abundant Ootaxa from the Quarry Site

Himeoolithus murakamii a new ootaxa from Japan.

Himeoolithus murakamii egg fossil, high resolution image, line drawing of egg showing elongated shape and life reconstruction.

Picture Credit: University of Tsukuba and Museum of Nature and Human Activities Hyogo Prefecture with life reconstruction by Ayaka Nagate

The Kamitaki Locality

The fossil site, known as the Kamitaki locality lies close to the  Sasayama River in Kamitaki, Sannan-cho, Tamba City,  Hyogo Prefecture.  One horizon has yielded a variety of small vertebrate fossils including frogs and lizards, plus a partial tail from a titanosaur that was formally named and described in 2014 (Tambatitanis amicitiae).  Eggshell fragments are also associated with this part of the site.  However, a horizon some 5.5 to 6.75 metres above the bonebed layer has yielded an astonishing quantity of egg fossils, including a nearly complete egg, several partial eggs and hundreds of eggshell fragments.  The researchers conclude that this horizon represents a nesting area in which a variety of small theropods raised their young.

As a result of this research, two new theropod egg taxa have been named – Himeoolithus murakamii and Subtiliolithus hyogoensis.  Although no skeletal remains of these little dinosaurs have been found, the presence of all the egg fossils suggests that there were numerous different types of small theropod co-existing in this ancient ecosystem.

The Location of the Fossil Site within Hyogo Prefecture

Fossil site location.

The location of the Kamitaki fossil site.

Picture Credit: University of Tsukuba and Museum of Nature and Human Activities Hyogo Prefecture/Cretaceous Research with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

The mudstone deposits are thought to have been laid down around 110 million years ago (Albian faunal stage of the Lower Cretaceous) and the palaeoenvironment has been described as floodplain which was subjected to a extremes of seasonality with long periods of very dry conditions punctuated by a very wet season that led to flood events.

The most abundant ootaxon at the quarry, Himeoolithus, is represented by four eggs and over 1300 scattered eggshell fragments. Himeoolithus accounts for over 96% of all the egg fossils associated with this site.  Himeoolithus is the smallest non-avian theropod egg known to date, the scientists estimate that the egg probably weighed about as much as a quail egg (around 9.9 grammes).  It is also a very unusual shape, being elongate with its length 2.25 times its width (length : width ratio 2.25).  The new egg fossil horizon was discovered in 2015 and was mapped and intensively excavated in the winter of 2019.  In total, the egg fossil horizon and the lower Kamitaki Bonebed (Ohyamashimo Formation), have yielded six small theropod ootaxa.

The Stratigraphy of the Kamitaki Locality and Examples of Associated Ootaxa

Stratigraphy of the Kamitaki locality with examples of theropod ootaxa from the site.

The stratigraphy of the Kamitaki locality with examples of theropod ootaxa from the site.  Subtiliolithus hyogoensis is the second of the new ootaxa to be reported in the scientific paper.

Picture Credit: University of Tsukuba and Museum of Nature and Human Activities Hyogo Prefecture/Cretaceous Research

Notable Biodiversity

The ootaxa demonstrate that this ancient habitat was home to a variety of small theropod dinosaurs.  It is likely that many other palaeoenvironments associated with the Lower Cretaceous were also home to a diverse variety of small theropods too, these animals being currently under-represented in the fossil record.

Lead author of the paper, Professor Kohei Tanaka, confirmed that the research team thought that the new egg fossil horizon was a nesting site and the deposit was not the result of a transportation and subsequent burial of egg material from another location:

“Our taphonomic analysis indicated that the nest we found was in situ, not transported and redeposited, because most of the eggshell fragments were positioned concave-up, not concave-down like we see when eggshells are transported.”

The professor added:

“The high diversity of these small theropod eggs makes this one of the most diverse Early Cretaceous egg localities known.  Small theropod skeletal fossils are quite scarce in this area.  Therefore, these fossil eggs provide a useful window into the hidden ecological diversity of dinosaurs in the Early Cretaceous of south-western Japan, as well as into the nesting behaviour of small non-avian theropods.”

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the University of Tsukuba (Japan), in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Exceptionally small theropod eggs from the Lower Cretaceous Ohyamashimo Formation of Tamba, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan” by
Kohei Tanaka, Darla K. Zelenitsky, François Therrien, Tadahiro Ikeda, Katsuhiro Kubota, Haruo Saegusa, Tomonori Tanaka and Kenji Ikuno published in the journal Cretaceous Research.

1 07, 2020

Guineafowl Contribute to a Better Understanding of Early Jurassic Dinosaur Tracks

By | July 1st, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Guineafowl – Walking Like Dinosaurs

Researchers from Brown University (Rhode Island, USA) and Liverpool John Moores University, have plotted the tracks made by living birds in a bid to reveal new information about how some of the early theropod dinosaurs walked.  In a paper, published today in Biology Letters, the scientists describe how they analysed the locomotion of guineafowl (Order Galliformes) and discovered that dinosaurs may have moved in a similar way, despite the absence of a long, counter-balancing tail in modern Aves.

A X-ray Imagery was Used to Map the Movement of Bones in the Foot of Guineafowl

Modern birds help to interpret dinosaur tracks.

Plotting the foot movements of extant Guineafowl to help interpret Early Jurassic dinosaur footprints.

Picture Credit: Turner et al/Liverpool John Moores University

Retaining Features of Their Non-avian Dinosaur Ancestors

The researchers used X-rays to image and plot the bird tracks in three-dimensions, as the guineafowl walked through a variety of substrates with different properties.  The feet of ground-dwelling birds retain many features of their dinosaurian ancestors, after all, living birds are members of the Order Theropoda along with famous dinosaurs such as Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus rex.  The locomotion of the guineafowl permits insights into the complex interplay between anatomy, foot motion (kinematics) and substrate.  The results can then be used to assess the tracks made by dinosaurs.

Studying Avian Dinosaur Tracks Provides a Fresh Perspective on Ancient Non-avian Dinosaur Fossil Tracks

Dinosaur footprint.

A dinosaur footprint from the Isle of Skye.  This new study can shed light on ancient dinosaur trackways.

Picture Credit: Scottish National Heritage

A Looping Pattern Below the Ground Identified

Despite substantial step-to-step variability, the foot consistently moves in a looping pattern below the ground, matching the “looping motion” of dinosaur feet captured in the fossil record from the Early Jurassic.

One of the scientific paper’s authors, Dr Peter Falkingham, a senior lecturer in vertebrate biology at Liverpool John Moores University stated:

“Dinosaurs were moving in very similar ways to modern birds even 200 million years- ago (many millions of years before birds evolved), even though they were quite different, having long, muscular tails, for instance.  The similarity of motion, and the similarity of foot shape (three-toed) between dinosaurs 200 million years ago and birds today tells us how successful and versatile that foot has been evolutionarily.”

A Lateral View Showing the Foot Movement and the Looping Pattern of the Toes

The consistant looping pattern.

Plotting the movement of digit III through a variety of substrates revealing the consistent looping pattern identified below the ground.

Picture Credit: Turner et al/Liverpool John Moores University

The scientists report that when a foot sinks into the sediment, a) the sub-surface motion gets recorded and b) the foot has to get out again.  Where it exits relative to where it went in can tell us how the foot was moving.  Despite substantial kinematic variation, the foot consistently moves in a looping pattern below ground.  As the foot sinks and then withdraws, the claws of the three main toes create entry and exit paths in different locations.  Sampling these paths at incremental horizons captures two-dimensional features just as fossil tracks do, allowing depth-based zones to be characterised by the presence and relative position of digit impressions.

Analysis of Early Jurassic Theropod Tracks

Analysis of Early Jurassic dinosaur tracks.

Exit features and depth zone attribution in Early Jurassic theropod fossil tracks.

Picture Credit: Turner et al/Liverpool John Moores University

When the fossilised tracks of a small, theropod dinosaur were examined, the scientists found an equivalent looping response to soft substrates.  This study, comparing extant and extinct track-makers provides important new data on substrate properties and will assist with the interpretation of dinosaur tracks providing a fresh perspective on these important trace fossils.

This paper provides a new theoretical framework and vocabulary for describing relative positions of entry and exit traces, offering a new way of studying fossil footprints.

For a related article where researchers from Brown University in collaboration with international colleagues conducted earlier research on dinosaur footprints using guineafowl: Walking with Dinosaurs – the Birth of a Dinosaur Footprint.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of Liverpool John Moores University in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “It’s in the loop: shared sub-surface foot kinematics in birds and other dinosaurs shed light on a new dimension of fossil track diversity” by Morgan L. Turner, Peter L. Falkingham and Stephen M. Gatesy published in Biology Letters.

30 06, 2020

Mojo Prehistoric Mammals – “Turntable Tuesday”

By | June 30th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|0 Comments

“Turntable Tuesday” – Mojo Prehistoric Mammals

For Everything Dinosaur’s weekly video feature “Turntable Tuesday”, we wanted to do things a little differently.  Usually, we showcase a single prehistoric animal figure in a short video review.  However, with the addition of a whopping sixteen new Mojo dinosaurs into the “Prehistoric and Extinct” range, team members were concerned that some of the excellent prehistoric mammal models made by Mojo might get overlooked.  Rather than highlighting a single figure, the “Turntable Tuesday” feature was extended so that we could display the Cenozoic mammals produced by Mojo.

Prehistoric Mammal Models Take a Spin for “Turntable Tuesday”

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To purchase Mojo prehistoric animal models (dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures): Mojo Prehistoric Animal Models and Figures.

Often Overlooked Elements from a Range

Prehistoric mammal models, Smilodon, Woolly Mammoths, Brontotheres and such like are not going to sell as well as models of Triceratops, Stegosaurus and T. rex.  Manufacturers have to make commercial decisions as to which models they continue to make as their range expands.  For collectors, the addition of a lot of new models in a particular product range can sometimes be bad news, as figures of less high profile animals are retired and taken out of production to make room.

The Mojo “Prehistoric and Extinct” Range Contains Some Excellent Prehistoric Mammal Figures

Prehistoric mammal models from Mojo.

A selection of prehistoric animal models from the Mojo “Prehistoric and Extinct” range.  From left to right – Brontotherium, Daeodon, Hyaenodon gigas and the baby Woolly Mammoth model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

“Turntable Tuesday” – Mojo Prehistoric Mammals

The “Turntable Tuesday” video lasts for four and a half minutes.  Following a brief introduction in which we outline some of the problems that can occur when a model range is expanded dramatically, the Mojo Brontotherium model is discussed.  The video swiftly moves on introducing the baby Woolly Mammoth model and the Hyaenodon gigas.  Rare, out of production figures are also discussed such as the excellent Mojo Quagga and the recently retired Thylacine replica.

The Mojo Quagga Figure

Mojo Quagga replica.

The Mojo Quagga model.  This model has been retired and it is now out of production.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur’s video concludes with a look at the Mojo Smilodon, the entelodont (Daeodon) and provides further information on the Mojo “Prehistoric and Extinct” range.

The Mojo Smilodon Model is also Featured in the Video

A selection of prehistoric mammal models from Mojo.

The Mojo Smilodon also features in Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube video.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Focus on the Mojo Smilodon Model

Views of the Mojo Smilodon.

Various views of the Mojo Smilodon model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Everything Dinosaur YouTube channel has over 170 dinosaur and prehistoric animal related reviews and features: Subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

29 06, 2020

A Preview of the Next Edition of “Prehistoric Times”

By | June 29th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

The Front Cover of Issue 134 “Prehistoric Times”

Team members at Everything Dinosaur are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the next edition of the quarterly magazine “Prehistoric Times”.  We have not got too long to wait and just to whet the appetites of subscribers we have published a picture of the front cover of the next issue (issue number 134).  The front cover features an illustration of Allosaurus by the distinguished and extremely influential Zdeněk Burian.  In the summer issue of the magazine, John Lavas continues his long-running series of articles discussing the work of the famous Czech artist.  In this edition, the focus in on Burian’s theropod dinosaur artwork.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times (Issue 134 – Summer 2020)

"Prehistoric Times" magazine, the front cover of issue 134.

The front cover of “Prehistoric Times” magazine (summer 2020).

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

The editor of the magazine, Mike Fredericks commented:

“John Lavas has finally reached the dinosaurs painted by Burian so we celebrate with a rare painting of his of Allosaurus on the front cover.  We include Diplodocus and Mark Hallett also writes an article about this dinosaur with much of his art.”

As always, the next issue of “Prehistoric Times” will be crammed full of informative articles, news, model reviews and updates on dinosaur fossil discoveries.  The fearsome ancient crocodyliform Kaprosuchus (K. saharicus) from the Upper Cretaceous Echkar Formation of Niger also features in the forthcoming issue.

To subscribe to “Prehistoric Times” magazine: Learn more about “Prehistoric Times” magazine.

28 06, 2020

Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube Trailer

By | June 28th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube Trailer

Everything Dinosaur team members made a commitment in 2020 to post up at least fifty new videos on the company’s YouTube channel.  This is quite a challenge considering all our other activities on social media, such as this blog site for example.  However, Everything Dinosaur is on track to achieve this and recently the company posted up a new YouTube channel trailer to help promote Everything Dinosaur on the YouTube platform.

Everything Dinosaur’s New YouTube Channel Trailer

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube: Subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

YouTube Channel Trailer

Our YouTube promotional trailer explains what we do and why we do it!  The video lasts a fraction over 2 minutes and it attempts to explain our passion for dinosaur and prehistoric animal model collecting.  If you want to learn some of the science behind the prehistoric animal models and figures in your own collection, then watch the trailer through as it packed with examples of our work and highlights of our videos.

Everything Dinosaur’s Trailer Showcases the Variety of Videos the Company has Produced

Showcasing Everything Dinosaur's YouTube channel.

The YouTube channel hosts a wide variety of dinosaur and prehistoric animal videos.  The channel has over 170 prehistoric animal themed videos posted on it.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An Award-winning Dinosaur Company

Everything Dinosaur is a multi-award-winning mail order company, with thousands of customers all over the world.  We have customers in something like 160 countries and as our trailer video points out, we have even sent dinosaur models to the North Pole!  We really enjoy talking about life in the past, deep time and the amazing creatures that inhabited prehistory.  It’s great to be able to share ideas and explore the fascinating hobby of model collecting with fellow dinosaur fans and enthusiasts, so we developed a YouTube channel as a natural extension of our social media outreach.

Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube Channel

Everything Dinosaur's YouTube Channel.

Everything Dinosaur on YouTube over 170 dinosaur and prehistoric animal videos are now on-line.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur has a Large Social Media Presence

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We get lots and lots of emails, our Facebook and social media pages are very active and the Everything Dinosaur blog has over 4,800 articles and features.  We have had a YouTube channel for some years, but it has recently been revamped and we are on course to post up at least fifty new videos this year.”

Lots of Videos on the YouTube Channel of Everything Dinosaur

Lots of videos to view on Everything Dinosaur's YouTube channel.

Some of the videos on the YouTube channel.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

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