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

About Mike

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Mike has created 5482 blog entries.
11 01, 2021

New PNSO Pinacosaurus Dinosaur Model

By | January 11th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New PNSO Pinacosaurus Dinosaur Model

Everything Dinosaur in collaboration with PNSO announce that in 2021 a museum quality replica of Pinacosaurus will be added to the PNSO model range.  Over the last few months, Everything Dinosaur has released information about a huge range of new PNSO dinosaur models, including lots of armoured dinosaurs such as new Tuojiangosaurus, Borealopelta, Sauropelta and Miragaia.  It is wonderful to see a Chinese manufacturer adding an Asian member of the Ankylosauridae family to their product portfolio.

This new Pinacosaurus dinosaur model will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in 2021.

The New for 2021 PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus Dinosaur Model

PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus dinosaur model (lateral view).

The new for 2021 PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus dinosaur model (lateral view).   This new model is number 37 in the PNSO model series.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Pinacosaurus grangeri

Named and described in 1933 by the American palaeontologist C. W. Gilmore, the first fossils of this medium-sized member of the ankylosaur family were discovered by the famous American Museum of Natural History Museum expedition to the Gobi Desert of Mongolia in the early 1920s.  The genus name translates from the Latin as “plank lizard”, a reference to the small, plank-like dermal scutes associated with the top of the skull.  The trivial or species name honours Walter Wallis Granger one of the scientists involved with the American Museum of Natural History expedition.  It was Granger who found the first fossilised remains of this armoured dinosaur in 1923.

The dinosaur (P. grangeri) is estimated to have been around 5 metres long when fully grown.  Estimates of body weight vary, Gregory S. Paul estimates a body weight of 1,900 kilograms, whereas other researchers, suggest that this armoured dinosaur was relatively lightly-built when compared to similarly sized ankylosaurines such as Tarchia (T. kielanae), Ziapelta (Z. sanjuanensis) and Aletopelta (A. coombsi).

The New for 2021 Pinacosaurus Dinosaur Model from PNSO

PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus dinosaur model.

The new for 2021 PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus dinosaur model.   A replica of the Late Cretaceous ankylosaurine from Inner Mongolia.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Lots of Specimens to Study

The design at PNSO have been spoilt for choice when it comes to Pinacosaurus.   There are numerous fossil specimens to study including almost complete individual skeletons.  Most of the fossil material represents juveniles and as these remains tend to be found in groups, it has been suggested that these herbivores roamed their desert environment in small herds.

Pinacosaurus has been featured in a diorama by the renowned artist Zhao Chuang depicting the dinosaur dominated Late Cretaceous Asian ecosystem

A Pinacosaurus (P. grangeri) Life Reconstruction

Life reconstruction Pinacosaurus grangeri.

Pinacosaurus life reconstruction.

Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang

Inspired by the Australian Mountain Devil?

Everything Dinosaur team members noted the striking similarity between Bart the PNSO Pinacosaurus model and the extant Australian agamid lizard known as the Mountain Devil or Moloch (Moloch horridus).  The colours chosen for the PNSO model are reminiscent of the colour of the Moloch, a thorny lizard which is widespread in Australia.

A Dorsal View of Bart the PNSO Pinacosaurus Replica

PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus dinosaur model (dorsal view).

The new for 2021 PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus dinosaur model (dorsal view).  The colouration of the dermal armour reminds Everything Dinosaur team members of the Mountain Devil lizard from Australia.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Mountain Devil (Moloch) a Lizard Native to Australia

The Mountain Devil (Moloch) from Australia.

The very spiny Mountain Devil or Moloch (Moloch horridus) which is native to Australia.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The new PNSO Bart the Pinacosaurus dinosaur model will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in 2021.

To view the current of PNSO dinosaurs and prehistoric animals in stock at Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Models.

10 01, 2021

Remember School Visits – Tips and Advice

By | January 10th, 2021|Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Remember School Visits – Tips and Advice

Do you remember school visits?  With most of the schools only accommodating children of key workers or other pupils with exemptions under the current COVID-19 regulations, Everything Dinosaur’s team members have stopped all school visits and outreach work.  However, we continue to receive emails asking us about various aspects of our work in schools.

Here is a general article that explains how a teaching team can get the most out of a school visitor who is there to deliver activities in support of a term topic:

Tips and Advice About Getting the Most from a School Visit

Tips and advice about school visits.

Tips and advice about school visits.  Everything Dinosaur helps out.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Advice and Tips – Frequently Asked Questions

Whether a museum, college, school or youth club here are a list of tips and helpful suggestions compiled by the Homo sapiens at Everything Dinosaur who are tasked with undertaking dinosaur themed workshops and other teaching activities.  After all, having worked with tens of thousands of people, our dinosaur experts/teachers know a thing or two about providing support for other educationalists.

  • When working in a school or college it is often best to base the teaching work in a single classroom.  It is often easier to bring the pupils to the presenter than having to move the presenter and all their equipment/resources from classroom to classroom.
  • A few days prior to every school visit the designated teacher/expert should email over a proposed, bespoke lesson plan, a suggested itinerary and further information to help the school to maximise the teaching time.  If they don’t, drop the visitor an email and chase them up.
  • The individually tailored lesson plans should indicate which sections of the national curriculum the session is related to.  Ask them to confirm how what they intend to deliver fits into the national curriculum learning objectives and intended outcomes.
  • If a parking space could be allocated close to where the teaching work is to be carried out that would be greatly appreciated and help with the unloading and loading of the vehicle.
  • Encourage the teaching team to ask questions, and feel free to pick brains with regards to follow up and extension activities.  The visitor should be able to suggest plenty of extensions and ways in which to reinforce learning.
  • A camera, Ipad, Smartphone to take pictures/video is recommended (if the school privacy and photographic policies allow).  Take lots and lots of pictures and don’t worry about making notes, use the pictures/video to test the understanding of the children.
  • When working with older students such as Key Stage 3 and beyond a useful and free resource worth exploring is the huge Everything Dinosaur web log.  It is packed with information on the latest fossil finds, explanations of scientific terms, updates on genetic research, news stories and features regarding palaeontology and other Earth sciences visit: Everything Dinosaur Web Log and review the General Teaching, EYFS and Key Stage Categories.

Classrooms May Be Empty But Everything Dinosaur Still Helping Out

Empty Classrooms But Everything Dinosaur Still Providing Free Advice and Assistance

A well appointed laboratory in a school.

Classrooms might be deserted at the moment, but Everything Dinosaur is still providing free advice and assistance to teachers.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

School visits may not be possible at the moment due to COVID-19, but Everything Dinosaur team members are still providing free advice and assistance. Everything Dinosaur helping to support teachers and teaching assistants.

9 01, 2021

Oviraptorid Overturns Ideas on Late Stage Egg Incubation

By | January 9th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Fossil of Dinosaur Sitting on Eggs (Late Stage Incubation)

Fossils of dinosaurs are rare, fossils of articulated dinosaur skeletons rarer still and any fossils that preserve evidence of behaviour, these are amongst the rarest of all, truly scientific treasures.  A newly published paper describes the fossilised remains of a Late Cretaceous oviraptorid from east China’s south-eastern Jiangxi Province, a specimen that ticks all these boxes.  The fossils represent the partial, articulated remains of oviraptorosaur preserved sitting on a clutch of eggs in a brooding position.  Such fossils have been found before, but uniquely these 70 million-year-old remains include fossils of baby dinosaurs preserved inside the eggs, the first time this has been recorded in the non-avian dinosaur fossil record.

The Partially Preserved Adult Oviraptorid On the Nest

Oviraptorid sitting on eggs with embryos identified.

The fossilised remains of an oviraptorid with preserved eggs that contain the remains of baby dinosaurs.  Note scale bar = 10 cm.

Picture Credit: Shundong Bi et al (Science Bulletin)

Sitting Atop a Nest

The multinational team of researchers includes Dr Shundong Bi (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) and Xing Xu (Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology – Beijing) along with Dr Matt Lamanna (Carnegie Museum of Natural History) and scientific illustrator Andrew McAfee.

Commenting on the significance of this discovery, Dr Bi stated:

“Dinosaurs preserved on their nests are rare, and so are fossil embryos.  This is the first time a non-avian dinosaur has been found, sitting on a nest of eggs that preserve embryos, in a single spectacular specimen.”

Fossils of brooding dinosaurs have been found before, perhaps the most famous is “Big Mamma” the fossilised remains of an adult Citipati osmolskae (also an oviraptorid) on display at the American Museum of Natural History (New York).

Citipati osmolskae Fossil Sitting Atop a Nest of Eggs

Citipati osmolskae fossil.

The Citipati fossil sitting on a nest “Big Mamma”.

Picture Credit: The American Museum of Natural History

Oviraptorids – Very Bird-like Dinosaurs

The Chinese fossil material has been assigned to the Oviraptoridae, although Everything Dinosaur are not aware of any new taxon being announced.  Oviraptorid dinosaurs are mainly associated with Asia, but the closely related Caenagnathidae are also known from North America.  The bones of these dinosaurs are very bird-like and they do belong to a great linage of theropods that are related to modern birds (the Maniraptora).

The specimen represents an incomplete, articulated skeleton of a large, (presumably adult) oviraptorid crouched in a bird-like brooding posture over a clutch of at least twenty-four eggs.  The adult appears to have perished whilst brooding the clutch.  The researchers identified the preserved remains of seven unhatched dinosaurs entombed inside the eggs.  The late stage of development of the embryos suggests that, just like modern birds, oviraptorids brooded their eggs, rather than simply guarding them as observed in extant crocodilians.

A Caring Parent

Dr Lamanna explained:

“This kind of discovery, in essence, fossilised behaviour, is the rarest of the rare in dinosaurs.  Though a few adult oviraptorids have been found on nests of their eggs before, no embryos have ever been found inside those eggs.  In the new specimen, the babies were almost ready to hatch, which tells us beyond a doubt that this oviraptorid had tended its nest for quite a long time.  This dinosaur was a caring parent that ultimately gave its life while nurturing its young.”

As part of their research, the scientists conducted an oxygen isotope study that demonstrated that the eggs were incubated at high bird-like temperatures, further evidence to support the idea that the adult died whilst brooding its clutch of eggs.  Analysis of the tiny baby dinosaur bones preserved inside their eggs indicate that some babies were more fully developed than others, this suggests that the eggs might have hatched at different intervals, a hatching strategy known as asynchronous hatching.  This strategy is found in many types of birds today such as Shoebill storks and numerous species of birds of prey such as raptors and owls.

Oviraptorids – Evidence that they were Caring Parents

Communal roosting in oviraptorids.

A pair of oviraptorosaurs.  Scientists suggest that these dinosaurs incubated their eggs and that they were caring parents.

Picture Credit: Mike Skrepnick

Asynchronous hatching appears to have evolved independently in oviraptorids and modern avians.

The Evolutionary Benefits of Asynchronous Hatching

If the eggs of oviraptorids did hatch at different intervals, then this too can provide an insight into the behaviour of these Late Cretaceous dinosaurs.  Biologists have identified a number of reasons why some kinds of bird alive today have evolved asynchronous hatching.

The evolutionary benefits of asynchronous hatching:

  • To reduce the losses from predators due to the whole brood not being present in the nest at the same time.
  • The younger animals are a back-up plan in case earlier hatched animals die.
  • When food resources are scarce the adults can dedicate the bulk of these scarce resources to the older babies and let the younger siblings perish.
  • Reduces the demands on the parents as they do not have to care for all the babies at the same time.

Gastroliths Identified

The researchers also noted the presence of gastroliths (stomach stones).  A cluster of tiny pebbles had accumulated in the body cavity of the adult dinosaur.  Gastroliths are associated with many different types of dinosaur, but this is the first time that undoubted gastroliths have been found in an oviraptorid.  As such, these stones may provide new insights into the diets of these very bird-like dinosaurs.

Dr Xu concluded:

“It’s extraordinary to think how much biological information is captured in just this single fossil.  We’re going to be learning from this specimen for many years to come.”

To read a related article on dinosaur parenting skills: Doting Fathers – A Parenting Strategy Amongst the Dinosauria

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (Pennsylvania).

The scientific paper: “An oviraptorid preserved atop an embryo-bearing egg clutch sheds light on the reproductive biology of non-avialan theropod dinosaurs” by Shundong Bi, Romain Amiot, Claire Peyre de Fabrègues, Michael Pittman, Matthew C. Lamanna, Yilun Yu, Congyu Yu, Tzuruei Yang, Shukang Zhang, Qi Zhao and Xing Xu published in Science Bulletin.

8 01, 2021

How Far Might Plant-eating Dinosaurs Have Dispersed Seeds?

By | January 8th, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

How Far Might Plant-eating Dinosaurs Have Dispersed Seeds?

During the imposed lockdown due to COVID-19 lots of people have attempted to learn new skills, perhaps studying a musical instrument, mastering a new language or taking an on-line course as part of a planned career move.

For Professor George Perry of the School of the Environment at the University of Auckland, time away from his students gave him the opportunity to conduct a study into the pooping habits of plant-eating dinosaurs. This is not simply a case of an educated man with too much time on his hands but a serious examination in the role played in seed dispersal by ancient megaherbivores.

How Far Might Plant-Eating Dinosaurs Have Dispersed Seeds?

The new Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus deluxe dinosaur model.

A scientist has examined the role large, herbivorous dinosaurs may have had in the dispersal of seeds.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Plotting Frequency of Pooping Against Walking Speed

Herbivores play and important role in seed dispersal in modern ecosystems and it has been proposed that herbivorous dinosaurs might have been important seed dispersal agents in the Mesozoic. It is likely that a proportion of the plant seeds ingested by plant-eating dinosaurs would have passed through the gut, ending up being deposited with a helpful quantity of dung to act as fertiliser.

How far dinosaurs of different body sizes might have dispersed seeds remains uncertain.

Professor Perry modelled the likely travelling speeds of various dinosaurs along with the likely frequency of defecation (both factors that can be estimated based on an assessment of body mass).

It is known that large vertebrates are capable of transporting seeds considerable distances.  For example, African elephants (Loxodonta africana africana) can deposit seeds as a far away as 36 miles (60 kilometres), from their parent plant.  Using statistical analysis to assess the spread of seeds from members of the Dinosauria, Professor Perry concluded that the simulations demonstrated that dinosaurs likely moved some seeds very long distances, comparable distances to those observed in extant megaherbivores.

It is not possible to infer from the fossil record the effect on germination on seeds having passed through the gut of a dinosaur, or indeed, whether plants evolved seed dispersal strategies to take advantage of browsing and grazing dinosaurs, but this research does suggest that dinosaurs such as Triceratops and Stegosaurus may have spread seeds around 20 miles (more than 30 kilometres) away from their parent plants.

A Champion at Seed Dispersal (Triceratops)

Triceratops dinosaur illustration.

Triceratops was one of the last dinosaurs to evolve.  It is likely that ornithischian dinosaurs played an important role in seed dispersal during the Mesozoic.

Picture Credit: Julius Csotonyi

The scientific paper: “How far might plant-eating dinosaurs have moved seeds?” by George L. W. Perry published in Biology Letters.

7 01, 2021

A Herd of Woolly Mammoths (Charles R. Knight)

By | January 7th, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

A Herd of Woolly Mammoths (Charles R. Knight)

The weather might be decidedly chilly (at least here in the UK), at the moment.  With this in mind, time to post up an iconic Ice Age scene painted by the renowned American palaeoartist Charles Robert Knight, depicting a herd of Woolly Mammoths on the move.  This talented artist might be most famous for his depictions of dinosaurs but he also produced many artworks and illustrations of prehistoric mammals and hominins.

A Herd of Woolly Mammoths a Famous Illustration by the American Artist Charles R. Knight (1874-1953)

The Woolly Mammoth an iconic animal of the Ice Age.

A Woolly Mammoth herd (Charles R. Knight).  An iconic painting of a herd of Mammuthus primigenius.  An ideal illustration given the chilly weather here in the UK.

Picture Credit: Charles R. Knight

The artwork, illustrations and murals of Charles R. Knight can be found on display in numerous museums in the United States, such as the National Museum of Natural History (Washington – District of Columbia), the Field Museum (Chicago) and perhaps most famously of all, the American Museum of Natural History (New York).

He also painted many extant animals and several of these illustrations can be found in American Zoos such as the Bronx Zoo (New York) and the National Zoo (Washington – District of Columbia).

His illustration of a herd of mammoths is in keeping with the cold weather we are currently experiencing.  The detailed and beautifully crafted artworks of Charles R. Knight are all the more remarkable given his poor eyesight.  For most of his life, this highly talented and gifted person who has left a legacy of superb artworks, was virtually blind.

6 01, 2021

Everything Dinosaur Stocks Nanmu Studio Models

By | January 6th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|3 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Stocks Nanmu Studio Models

The first shipment of Nanmu Studio prehistoric animal models has arrived at Everything Dinosaur.  The precious cargo was delivered to the UK-company’s warehouse earlier this morning and team members have been busy contacting all those customers who asked for Nanmu Studio models and figures to be reserved.  This is the first shipment of these figures to arrive, they had been delayed due to COVID-19 and there had been plans to bring them in during 2020, but nevertheless and true to their word, Everything Dinosaur stocks Nanmu Studio models.

Everything Dinosaur Stocks Nanmu Studio Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Figures

Everything Dinosaur stocks Nanmu Studio models and figures.

Nanmu Studio models are now available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

5-Star Customer Service

With their own warehousing and the ability to send parcels to anywhere in the world, the arrival of this product range is great news for dinosaur fans and model collectors.  The prestigious Nanmu Studio range of scale models is now supported by the only specialist mail order company in this area of retail with a 5-star customer service rating* in addition, Everything Dinosaur is one of just a select few companies with a “Platinum” customer service rating, the highest rating a company assessed by FEEFO can have.

*Customer service rating independently verified by FEEFO.

The Beautiful Tyrannosaurus rex Model (Alpha) – Brown Colour Variant

Nanmu Studio Tyrannosaurus rex model (Alpha) in the brown colouration.

The Nanmu Studio Tyrannosaurus rex model (Alpha) in the brown colouration.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Nanmu Studio is a highly respected producer of prehistoric animal models.  It is great to be able to welcome them on board and to give collectors the opportunity to acquire these fantastic figures from a company that is based in Europe.  We look forward to bringing in even more wonderful Nanmu Studio models in the near future.” 

The Stunning Spinosaurus (Supplanter) Figure

Nanmu Studio Spinosaurus in stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Nanmu Studio Spinosaurus dinosaur model (Supplanter) is in stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An Extensive Model Range

A total of nine models have been brought in by Everything Dinosaur.  Nanmu Studio staff have been working hard with Everything Dinosaur team members to ensure that things go smoothly and efficiently, with figures from the factory being shipped into Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse.  The range of models offered by Nanmu Studio has rapidly increased and they have some exciting new figures planned for 2021.

An Awesome Apatosaurus (The Nanmu Studio Bastion in the Red/Brown Colour Scheme)

Nanmu Studio Apatosaurus dinosaur model (Bastion) in the red/brown colour scheme.

The Nanmu Studio Apatosaurus dinosaur model (Bastion) in the red/brown colour scheme.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

It is a great day for fans of dinosaur replicas, they can now source the Nanmu Studio range from Everything Dinosaur.  Top quality prehistoric animals from a top quality retailer of prehistoric animal models.

To view the range of Nanmu Studio dinosaurs and prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: Nanmu Studio Models and Figures.

5 01, 2021

PNSO Domingo the Carnotaurus Model

By | January 5th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

PNSO Domingo the Carnotaurus Model

Having announced the introduction of a replica of the giant South American theropod Carnotaurus (C. sastrei), on their various social media platforms, Everything Dinosaur have dedicated a blog post to this new for 2021 PNSO dinosaur model.  This provides the UK-based Everything Dinosaur the opportunity to post up some more images of this eagerly anticipated dinosaur, a figure that will be in stock later this year, perhaps in just a few weeks.

The New for 2021 Domingo the PNSO Carnotaurus Model

The PNSO Domingo the Carnotaurus dinosaur model.

PNSO Domingo the Carnotaurus dinosaur model.  The colouration and detailing on this new for 2021 theropod replica are quite remarkable.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Domingo the PNSO Carnotaurus

It is appropriate that the PNSO Carnotaurus (number 36 in the PNSO prehistoric animal models that accompany your growth series), has been given a Latin name (Domingo).  Fossils of this famous abelisaurid are known from southern Argentina.  Indeed, the majority of the abelisauroids described to date herald from the southern hemisphere (the ancient landmass of Gondwana).

Domingo the Carnotaurus Makes an Appearance on the Everything Dinosaur Blog

The PNSO Domingo the Carnotaurus dinosaur model.

PNSO Domingo the Carnotaurus dinosaur model.  The tiny forelimbs can be seen in this view of the dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Model Measurements

The PNSO Carnotaurus figure measures around 23.5 cm in length.  The height of those prominent head crests, the helped to give this dinosaur its name (Carnotaurus means meat-eating bull), are around 11.5 cm off the ground.  Although PNSO do not declare a scale for their mid-size range of dinosaurs, Everything Dinosaur team members estimate that this new for 2021 figure is in around 1/32th scale.

The Model Measurements and a Skeletal Reconstruction of Carnotaurus sastrei

The PNSO Domingo the Carnotaurus dinosaur model (model measurements).

PNSO Domingo the Carnotaurus dinosaur model (model measurements).  The model is approximately 23.5 cm long and the head height is around 11.5 cm.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Dinosaur Model with an Articulated Jaw

In common with other recently announced PNSO theropod replicas (A-shu the Qianzhousaurus and the new Wilson Tyrannosaurus rex model), this new Carnotaurus has an articulated lower jaw.

Domingo the Carnotaurus (PNSO) Complete with an Articulated Lower Jaw

PNSO Domingo the Carnotaurus dinosaur model (close-up view of the head).

The PNSO Domingo the Carnotaurus dinosaur model (close-up view of the head).  The close up view of the head of the new dinosaur model with its articulated lower jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The new PNSO Carnotaurus has been very carefully modelled on the fossil material and the body proportions including those reduced front limbs and that deep skull have been skilfully reproduced.  The hind legs are in the correct body proportions too.  A clear plastic support stand is provided to help stabilise the figure when on display.”

The Carnotaurus Packaging and a Diagram Showing the Chest Support for the Dinosaur Model

The PNSO Carnotaurus model (product packaging).

PNSO Carnotaurus (product packaging).  With realistic body proportions the model requires a support stand to help stabilise the figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This remarkable model of a Late Cretaceous carnivorous dinosaur will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in 2021.

To view the huge range of PNSO prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.

4 01, 2021

Early Dinosaur’s Brain Reveals New Insights into Sauropodomorpha

By | January 4th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

The Brain of Thecodontosaurus

Analysis of the brain and inner ear of the Late Triassic basal Sauropodomorpha Thecodontosaurus (T. antiquus), reveals that it may have been bipedal, able to hold a steady gaze whilst running and possibly predatory.  These are some of the conclusions drawn by researchers from the University of Bristol and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in a new study published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.

The Research Team Used CT-scans and 3-D Modelling to Construct the Brain and Inner Ear of Thecodontosaurus

CT-scans and computer modelling used to construct the brain of Thecodontosaurus.

Building up a picture of the brain and the inner ear based on the fossilised braincase of Thecodontosaurus antiquus.

Picture Credit: Antonio Ballell et al

Named in 1836 (it was only the fourth dinosaur to be scientifically described), Thecodontosaurus is regarded as a basal member of the lizard-hipped Sauropodomorpha, a clade of dinosaurs that includes Brontosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus and Argentinosaurus.  Thecodontosaurus was much smaller than its illustrious Jurassic and Cretaceous descendants.  It was approximately two metres long, more than half its body length was made up by its long, thin tail and it was lightly built with most palaeontologists estimating that it weighed around 20-25 kilograms, about as heavy as a border collie.

As an early member of the lineage of long-necked dinosaurs, a study of the fossilised remains of Thecodontosaurus can provide palaeontologists with a better understanding of the evolutionary history of the Sauropodomorpha.

Bristol University has Researched the “Bristol Dinosaur” For Decades

Thecodontosaurus study.

Thecodontosaurus fossil block with life reconstruction in the background.  In the picture (above), from 2009, a researcher stands in front of a block of Thecodontosaurus bones with a life reconstruction of the dinosaur in the background.  Note that in 2009, Thecodontosaurus was thought to be quadrupedal, this new study suggests that it may have been bipedal.

Picture Credit: Simon Powell/University of Bristol

Three-dimensional Modelling Techniques

Research, led by the University of Bristol, used advanced imaging and 3-D modelling techniques to digitally rebuild the brain of Thecodontosaurus.  The scientists suggest that Thecodontosaurus could have eaten meat, although the substantial part of its diet was plant matter, its brain morphology indicates that this little dinosaur had a good sense of balance and that it was agile, traits that may have helped it supplement its vegetarian diet with the occasional meal of captured prey.

Lead author of the study, Antonio Ballell stated:

“Our analysis of Thecodontosaurus’ brain uncovered many fascinating features, some of which were quite surprising.  Whereas its later relatives moved around ponderously on all fours, our findings suggest this species may have walked on two legs and been occasionally carnivorous.”

The research team was able to deploy imaging software to extract new information from the fossils in a non-destructive manner.  Numerous three-dimensional models were generated from CT scans by digitally extracting the bone from the rock, identifying and classifying anatomical details about the brain and the inner ear which were previously unknown in this taxon.

PhD student Antonio explained the basis of the research:

“Even though the actual brain is long gone, the software allows us to recreate brain and inner ear shape via the dimensions of the cavities left behind.  The braincase of Thecodontosaurus is beautifully preserved so we compared it to other dinosaurs, identifying common features and some that are specific to Thecodontosaurus.  Its brain cast even showed the detail of the floccular lobes, located at the back of the brain, which are important for balance.  Their large size indicate it was bipedal.  This structure is also associated with the control of balance and eye and neck movements, suggesting Thecodontosaurus was relatively agile and could keep a stable gaze while moving fast.”

The Diet of Thecodontosaurus

The diet of Thecodontosaurus, nicknamed the “Bristol dinosaur” as a result of its association with the city, remains uncertain, although this new study suggests that it may have been omnivorous.

Antonio added:

“Our analysis showed parts of the brain associated with keeping the head stable and eyes and gaze steady during movement were well-developed.  This could also mean Thecodontosaurus could occasionally catch prey, although its tooth morphology suggests plants were the main component of its diet.  It’s possible it adopted omnivorous habits.”

The researchers were also able to reconstruct the inner ears, allowing them estimate how well it could hear compared to other dinosaurs.  Its hearing frequency was relatively high, potentially inferring some sort of social complexity, an ability to recognise varied squeaks and honks from different animals.

Comparing the Brain Cast of Thecodontosaurus to Other Dinosaurs

The changing shape of sauropod brains.

Structure, size and shape of the inner ear and brain examined in relation to the evolution of the Sauropodomorpha.

Picture Credit: Antonio Ballell et al with additional notation by Everything Dinosaur

Comparing Thecodontosaurus to Other Members of the Sauropodomorpha

The application of these technologies enabled the research team to compare the brain and inner ear of Thecodontosaurus to Saturnalia tupiniquim – an earlier basal sauropodomorph which roamed the southern hemisphere around twenty-five million years before Thecodontosaurus evolved.  Comparisons were also carried out between Plateosaurus, which is also known from the Late Triassic and the much later sauropod Spinophorosaurus (S. nigerensis) from the Middle Jurassic.

Professor Mike Benton, study co-author, said:

“It’s great to see how new technologies are allowing us to find out even more about how this little dinosaur lived more than 200 million years ago.”

The distinguished professor added:

“We began working on Thecodontosaurus in 1990, and it is the emblem of the Bristol Dinosaur Project.  We’re very fortunate to have so many well-preserved fossils of such an important dinosaur here in Bristol.  This has helped us understand many aspects of the biology of Thecodontosaurus, but there are still many questions about this species yet to be explored.”

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

The scientific paper: “The braincase, brain and palaeobiology of the basal sauropodomorph dinosaur Thecodontosaurus antiquus” by A. Ballell, J. L. King, J. M. Neenan, E. J. Rayfield and M. J. Benton published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.

3 01, 2021

ITOY Studio Resurrection Dilophosaurus

By | January 3rd, 2021|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|0 Comments

ITOY Studio Resurrection Dilophosaurus

The ITOY Studio Resurrection Dilophosaurus dinosaur model has certainly caused a stir with prehistoric animal fans and dinosaur model collectors since its arrival at Everything Dinosaur.  This beautiful replica, depicting what is now believed to have been one of the largest terrestrial carnivores on the planet during the Early Jurassic.  It ticks all the boxes when it comes to dinosaur replicas, with its innovative colouration, stability and stunning detail.

The ITOY Studio Dilophosaurus Dinosaur Model

ITOY Studio Dilophosaurus dinosaur model.

The ITOY Studio Dilophosaurus dinosaur model.  This dinosaur figure comes with its own beautifully detailed display base, complete with plants, logs and water.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Revising Dilophosaurus

A recent revision of Dilophosaurus fossil material (D. wetherilli) revealed that the lower jaw (dentary), was more robust than previously realised and it has been suggested that this dinosaur was a much more formidable predator, a terror of the contemporary Sarahsaurus, a member of the Sauropodomorpha.  The large crests on the ITOY figure reflect the latest thinking in terms of the crest size and the design team have given their figure crimson head crests, possibly a nod towards the idea that these crests were primarily used for display.  The inside of the mouth is particularly well painted.  The Dilophosaurus has an articulated jaw, so the figure can be posed with mouth closed, mouth open or indeed somewhere in between.

Here’s Looking At You!  A Very Formidable Dilophosaurus Model

Staring at you! The ITOY Studio Dilophosaurus dinosaur model.

Here’s looking at you!  A stare from the ITOY Studio Dilophosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Model Measurements

The Model measures a fraction over twenty centimetres in length.  The head is some seven and a half centimetres off the ground.  Naturally, when placed on its display base the figure appears a little taller.  Team members at Everything Dinosaur have enjoyed taking photographs and videos of this replica.  There are plans to make a more detailed video in the future showcasing this model and revealing just how securely this dinosaur stands on its base.

The Fantastic Colours and Detail on the ITOY Studio Dilophosaurus Dinosaur Model

Late Jurassic Predator Dilophosaurus

ITOY Studio Dilophosaurus.  Has it gone camera shy?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Product Packaging

We have been asked to show the product packaging.  Many collectors prefer never to take their purchase out of its box.  We are only to happy too oblige and to include a picture of the front of the box with its striking artwork (below).

Standing Proud in Front of the Product Packaging

ITOY Studio Dilophosaurus and the product packaging.

The gorgeous ITOY Studio box art with the Dilophosaurus figure in front of the packaging.  Standing proud in front of its packaging.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the ITOY Studio Dilophosaurus dinosaur model and the rest of the prehistoric animals in the ITOY range: ITOY Studio Models.

2 01, 2021

A Komodo Dragon in the Snow

By | January 2nd, 2021|Animal News Stories, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

A Komodo Dragon in the Snow

A good artist can turn their hand to using a variety of materials and techniques to express themselves.  Take for instance, this excellent illustration of a Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), created after a recent snowfall by Caldey.  A fine example of snow art, depicting the largest living lizard, a reptile that would have been very uncomfortable in such a cold environment, however Caldey’s Komodo dragon looks very much at home in her back garden.

A Komodo Dragon in the Snow

Komodo dragon in the snow

Creating a Komodo dragon in the snow.

Picture Credit: Caldey

Plotting Proportions and Adding Details

When working on a large project, many professional artists sketch out their design at first and use this as a blueprint for the much larger artwork. By taking this approach, the proportions can be plotted prior to the outline being made and the details added.  We are not sure how Caldey created her lizard, but she has done well to plot the proportions and scale the animal to fit the space that was available.  Our congratulations!  What a clever and innovative piece of work.

Getting Creative in the Snow – Creating a Komodo Dragon

Komodo dragon in the snow.

Getting creative in the snow.  An illustration of a Komodo dragon by Caldey.  A close-up view of the head of the Komodo dragon snow drawing.

Picture Credit: Caldey

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“With the recent snowfalls in the UK, we have seen lots of pictures of snowmen on social media, but we can’t recall ever seeing a Komodo dragon before.  Our congratulations to Caldey for her clever and innovative use of “solid precipitation”.  We suspect there are not many gardens graced with drawings of lizards.”

Sadly, given the vagaries of the British weather, the Komodo dragon will not be on view for very long.

Load More Posts