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

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15 02, 2020

Global Warming Could Have a Huge Impact on Reptiles and Amphibians

By | February 15th, 2020|Animal News Stories, Main Page|0 Comments

New Study Suggests Climate Change Could Reduce Lifespan Amongst Hundreds of Species

Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast and Tel Aviv University (Israel), have carried out one of the most comprehensive studies to date to better understand what affects life expectancy among all living vertebrates in the world.  The study’s conclusions not only challenge a long-accepted theory about the lifespan of organisms, but also provide a new perspective on climate change – that global warming could have a huge impact on the life expectancy among ectothermic animals such as reptiles and amphibians.

Amphibians such as Frogs Could Be Exceptionally Vulnerable to the Consequences of Global Warming

New study suggests climate change could reduce lifespan amongst hundreds of species.

Cold-blooded animals such as frogs may be exceptionally vulnerable to climate change.

Picture Credit: Queen’s University Belfast

Research into How Organisms Age

The “rate of living” theory has long been accepted as an explanation as to why organisms age.  According to this theory, the faster the metabolic rate the shorter the lifespan.  Live fast and die after a relatively short period, in other words the “faster” the species lives in terms of the speed of its internal body functions and how quickly they start to reproduce, or how “slowly” in terms of these internal body functions and of lower reproductive rates, will determine the lifespan.  This hypothesis helps to explain why some vertebrates such as frogs and reptiles may only live for a few months, whilst other species such as elephants, the Greenland shark and turtles can live for a very long time.

Giant Tortoises Can Live for Over a Hundred Years

Lonesome George

Giant tortoises native to the Galapagos Islands can live for over 100 years.

Picture Credit: AFP/Getty Images

The Hotter the Environment – The Faster the “Rate of Living”

Until now the theory had not been tested at a global scale with all land vertebrates and there were limitations with the range of species the theory was tested on.  The scientists from Queen’s University and Tel Aviv University analysed data from over 4,100 land vertebrate species from across the planet to test the prevailing “rate of living” theory.  They discovered that “rate of living” does not affect aging rates, rejecting the previously accepted link between lifespan and metabolism.

Writing in the academic journal “Global Ecology and Biogeography”, the researchers found that rates of aging in cold-blooded organisms (ectotherms), including amphibians and reptiles are linked to high temperatures.  These findings led the scientists to put forward an alternative hypothesis: the hotter the environment is, the faster the rate of living that in turn leads to more accelerated aging and a shorter lifespan.

Commenting on the significance of this new study, co-author Dr Daniel Pincheira-Donoso, (School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast) stated:

“Our findings can have critical implications for our understanding of factors that contribute to extinctions, especially in modern times when we are facing a worldwide decline of biodiversity, with cold-blooded animals being particularly endangered.  Now we know that the life-expectancy of cold-blooded vertebrates is linked to environmental temperatures, we could expect to see their lifespans further reduced as temperatures continue to rise through global warming.”

A Pair of Common Frogs Mating (Rana temporaria)

Mating frogs (2017).

A pair of mating frogs (2017).  The long-term outlook for many species of amphibian including the Common frog (Rana temporaria) is not good.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Amphibians the Most Threatened Class of the Animalia

According to date from the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List (IUCN), some 30,000 species are currently threatened with extinction.  This figure represents around 27% of all the species assessed.  Amphibians are, on average, the most threatened Class, with 41% of species threatened.  A press release from the Queen’s University Belfast states that nearly one in five of the world’s estimated 10,000 species of lizards, snakes, turtles, crocodiles and other reptiles are threatened with extinction.

PhD student, Gavin Stark, the lead author of the study (Tel Aviv University), explained:

“The link between lifespan in cold-blooded animals (amphibians and reptiles) and ambient temperatures could mean that they are especially vulnerable to the unprecedented global warming that the planet is currently experiencing.  Indeed, if increasing ambient temperatures reduces longevity, it may make these species more prone to go extinct as the climate warms.”

Dr Pincheira-Donoso added:

“We need to further develop our understanding of this link between biodiversity and climate change.  Only armed with knowledge will we be able to inform future policies that could prevent further damage to the ecosystem.”

The paper entitled, “No evidence for the “rate-of-living” theory across the tetrapod tree of life” is published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.  Manuscript ID GEB-2019-0279.R4.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from Queen’s University Belfast in the compilation of this article.

14 02, 2020

Win, Win Win with Everything Dinosaur

By | February 14th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|5 Comments

Fantastic Mojo Fun Models Giveaway

WIN! WIN! WIN! with Everything Dinosaur!

Everything Dinosaur has teamed up with those clever, creative people at Mojo Fun and to celebrate the roll out of the new for 2020 Mojo Fun dinosaurs, Everything Dinosaur is giving away two very special Mandschurosaurus models.

We have one of the production models for the new Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus, the one that collectors will find in the new Mojo Fun 2020 catalogue AND a second Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus, the original prototype figure, one with a different colour scheme.

A Pair of Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus Dinosaur Models to Give Away

Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus dinosaur models.

Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus dinosaur model giveaway.  A pair of Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus dinosaur models to give away- courtesy of Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Win the two marvellous Mandschurosaurus models in Everything Dinosaur’s Competition.

All you have to do is “Like” Everything Dinosaur’s FACEBOOK page, then comment on the “Mojo Fun Competition” picture, perhaps you could tell us your favourite dinosaur, or maybe suggest a name for these two rare figures and we will enter you into our free prize draw.

Everything Dinosaur on FACEBOOK: “LIKE” our Facebook page and enter the competition!

We will draw the lucky winners at random and the “Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus” competition closes on midnight Friday 28th February.  Good luck, we hope you win this pair of highly sought after dinosaur models.

The new for 2020 Mojo Fun Prehistoric Life models are due in stock shortly, to view the Mojo Fun range: Mojo Fun Prehistoric and Extinct Animals.

Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus

The genus Mandschurosaurus was erected ninety years ago, the species name Mandschurosaurus amurensis translates as “Chinese lizard from the Amur River”, given the current difficulties in China due to the COVID-19 outbreak it seems appropriate to express our support and sympathy for all those people affected and to celebrate the Mojo Fun factory’s excellent production values by giving away these two very special dinosaur models.

Win the Pair of Special Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus Dinosaur Models

Two Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus models to win in Everything Dinosaur's giveaway.

Win the pair of special Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus dinosaur models.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Terms and Conditions of the “Everything Dinosaur Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus” Competition

Automated entries are not permitted and will be excluded from the draw

Only one entry per person

The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered

The “Everything Dinosaur Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus” competition runs until midnight Friday 28th February 2020.

Winner will be notified by private message on Facebook.

Prize includes postage and packing

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges a complete release of Facebook by each entrant/participant

For full terms and conditions contact: Contact Everything Dinosaur

Win, Win, Win with Everything Dinosaur!

Win a Wonderful Pair of Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus Dinosaur Models with Everything Dinosaur

Win a pair of dinosaur models.

Win a pair of Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus dinosaur models from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To visit Everything Dinosaur’s website: Everything Dinosaur.

13 02, 2020

An Unusual New Sauropod from Asia

By | February 13th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Abdarainurus barsboldi – A New Species of Late Cretaceous Sauropod from Mongolia

A researcher from the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St Petersburg, Russia), in collaboration with a colleague from the Borissiak Paleontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences located in Moscow, have published a description of a new type of long-necked dinosaur from Mongolia.  The dinosaur has been named Abdarainurus barsboldi (pronounced Ab-darah-in-you-rus bars-bold-eye).  Named from fragmentary caudal material (fossil tail bones), the scientists conclude that this new long-necked dinosaur represents a highly specialised lineage of Asian sauropods that was previously unknown to science.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Mongolian Sauropod A. barsboldi

Life reconstruction of the newly described Asian sauropod Abdarainurus barsboldi.

Abdarainurus barsboldi life reconstruction.

Picture Credit: Andrey Atuchin

The picture (above), shows a speculative life reconstruction of Abdarainurus barsboldi wandering across a floodplain with the soft-shelled turtle (Trionychidae spp.) in the foreground close to the bleached tree stump, whilst a pair of unconcerned ankylosaurus (Pinacosaurus) wander past in the background.  Described from a series of eight caudal vertebrae from the base of the tail, along with some middle tail bones and associated chevrons, the fossil material was originally discovered during an expedition to the northern Gobi Desert in 1970, however, the fossils remained unstudied until recently.  Tail bones of sauropods can be very diagnostic with numerous autapomorphies (distinctive features), that can help the identification of fossil remains down to the species level (in this case a new species).

The Alagteeg Formation of Mongolia

The Upper Cretaceous deposits that make up the Alagteeg Formation, from whence the fossil material came, represent an extensive, low-lying floodplain.  A number of dinosaur species have been identified from these Campanian-aged rocks, including Protoceratops, as well as the armoured dinosaur Pinacosaurus.  The genus name for this new sauropod is derived from the Russian spelling for the Abdrant Nuru locality (Abdarain Nuru) and urus, the Latinised term for the tail, a reference to the holotype fossil material.  The species name honours Dr Rinchen Barsbold, a Mongolian vertebrate palaeontologist who has done much to improve understanding regarding the geology of Mongolia and worked tirelessly to excavate the fossil rich deposits of the Gobi Desert and better understand the ancient palaeofauna of Asia.

A phylogenetic analysis carried out by the authors of the scientific paper places A. barsboldi as a basal titanosaurian sauropod, but the researchers urge caution with regards to this placement due to a lack of consensus with regards to the taxonomy of basal titanosaurs.  They conclude that it is likely that Abdarainurus represents a highly specialised lineage of Asian macronarian sauropods that was unknown to science previously.

The scientific paper: “An unusual new sauropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia” by Alexander O. Averianov and Alexey V. Lopatin published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.


12 02, 2020

“Cracking” the Mystery of Dinosaurs Being Warm-Blooded

By | February 12th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|2 Comments

Eggshell Geochemistry Suggests Endothermy Deeply Rooted in the Dinosauria

The puzzle of dinosaur metabolism has been a subject of debate amongst vertebrate palaeontologists for a very long time.  Numerous studies have been published, drawing on a variety of research methods and lines of enquiry to determine whether the non-avian dinosaurs were warm-blooded like their avian (bird) relatives, or whether they were cold-blooded like today’s crocodilians.  A study published in the journal “Science Advances”, one that looked at the geophysical and chemical properties of dinosaur eggshell, has concluded that non-avian dinosaurs had the ability to metabolically raise their temperatures above their environment – in essence they were endothermic, that is to say “warm-blooded”.

A Thin Cross-section of Fossilised Eggshell Viewed under Cross-polarising Light to Reveal Internal Structure

Dinosaur eggshell fossil in cross-section under a microscope using cross-polarising light.

A dinosaur eggshell fossil in cross-section under a microscope using cross-polarising light.  Eggshell analysis has provided compelling evidence to suggest that dinosaurs were endothermic.  Note scale is 500 microns.

Picture Credit: Robin Dawson/University of Yale

Cold-blooded or Warm-blooded – A Quick Explanation

The terms cold-blooded and warm-blooded are found frequently in articles about dinosaurs.  These terms are very misleading and have been disregarded for a long time by most of the scientific community.  For example, most lizards, regarded as cold-blooded, actually maintain a surprisingly high body temperature in their normal environment during the daytime.  Internal body temperatures around 42 degrees Celsius have been recorded in some species, much higher than the normal 37˚ Celsius associated with our own “warm-blooded” species.  In simple terms, cold-blooded animals (ectotherms), are largely unable to regulate their own body temperature without the assistance of external sources.  Lizards bask in the early morning sun to warm up and then during the heat of the day, they seek shade to help them to keep cool.  In contrast, “warm-blooded” organisms such as mammals and birds (endotherms), are able to maintain a body temperature that is higher than the temperature of the environment.  They can generate their own body heat.  This heat comes from the animal’s metabolism, the chemical reactions that take place in the body (although there are other methods of keeping cool and warming up).

The Debate over Endothermic or Ectothermic Dinosaurs

warm-blooded or cold-blooded dinosaurs?

Where on the spectrum between endothermic and ectothermic are the Dinosauria?  Organisms can demonstrate a range of adaptations to assist them in maintaining an optimal body temperature.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Understanding the Metabolism – So What?

Understanding the metabolism of a long extinct group of animals such as the non-avian members of the Dinosauria, can provide valuable insight into all sorts of areas, such as energy requirements, food consumption, behavioural traits and activity levels.  It can also help scientists to understand how extinct animals adapted to a wide range of environments, such as dinosaurs being found at high latitudes, dinosaur fossils being discovered in Antarctica for example.

In this newly published study, the researchers used a technique known as clumped isotope palaeothermometry.  It is based on the fact that the ordering of oxygen and carbon atoms in a fossil eggshell are determined by temperature.  Once the order of the atoms has been plotted, the scientists can calculate the internal body temperature of the egg-layer.

Based on this analysis, the research team were able to demonstrate that potentially, the three major clades of dinosaurs, Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha and Theropoda, were characterised by warm body temperatures.

Commenting on the significance of this study, lead author of the research Robin Dawson, who conducted the research while she was a doctoral student in geology and geophysics at Yale University stated:

“Dinosaurs sit at an evolutionary point between birds, which are warm-blooded, and reptiles, which are cold-blooded.  Our results suggest that all major groups of dinosaurs had warmer body temperatures than their environment.”

Eggshell ascribed to a troodontid (theropod) tested at 38˚, 27˚, and 28˚ Celsius (100.4, 80.6, and 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit).  Eggshells from the large, duck-billed dinosaur Maiasaura (an ornithischian dinosaur), yielded a temperature of 44˚ Celsius (111.2 degrees Fahrenheit).  Both the troodontid and Maiasaura eggshells were collected from Alberta, Canada.

In addition, the fossilised eggs associated with the oospecies Megaloolithus from the Hateg Formation of Romania tested at 36˚ Celsius (96.8 degrees Fahrenheit).  The taxonomy of the Romanian material remains uncertain.  The eggshells could represent the dwarf titanosaur Magyarosaurus, the much larger titanosaur Paludititan or indeed, the dwarf hadrosauroid Telmatosaurus.  If this fossil material does represent a Sauropodomorph, then these results could suggest that metabolically controlled thermoregulation was the ancestral condition for the Dinosauria.

The Taxonomic Relationships of the Taxa Involved in the Study

Simplified phylogeny of the archosaur taxa involved in the study.

The phylogeny of the taxa involved in the study.

Picture Credit: Science Advances

The picture (above), shows living ectotherms in blue, whilst extant endotherms (birds) are shown in orange.  The Maiasaura silhouette represents the major dinosaurian subclade Ornithischia.  The asterisk (*) indicates the uncertainty over the taxonomy of the oospecies Megaloolithus, but the fossil eggshells could represent the dwarf sauropod Magyarosaurus.  The troodontid material is assigned to the Theropoda.

The researchers conducted the same analysis on cold-blooded invertebrate shell fossils (molluscs) from the same locations as the dinosaur eggshells.  This helped the scientists determine the temperature of the local environment — and whether dinosaur body temperatures were higher or lower.

Dawson, now a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, explained that  the troodontid samples were as much as 10˚ Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), warmer than their environment, the Maiasaura samples were 15˚ Celsius warmer (59 degrees Fahrenheit) and the Megaloolithus samples were 3 to 6˚  Celsius (37.4-42.8 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer.

She added:

“What we found indicates that the ability to metabolically raise their temperatures above the environment was an early, evolved trait for dinosaurs.”

This new research may have other implications as well.  For instance, the study shows that a dinosaur’s body size and growth rate may not necessarily be a good indicator of body temperature.  The researchers also stated that their findings might add to the ongoing discussion about the role of feathers in early bird evolution.  Dense coats of feathers may have evolved to help insulate the bodies of dinosaurs, secondary functions such as for use in visual displays or as part of adaptations towards powered flight occurred later.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from Yale University in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Eggshell geochemistry reveals ancestral metabolic thermoregulation in Dinosauria” by Robin R. Dawson, Daniel J. Field, Pincelli M. Hull, Darla K. Zelenitsky, François Therrien and Hagit P. Affek published in the journal Science Advances.

11 02, 2020

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Camarasaurus Wins Award

By | February 11th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Camarasaurus Dinosaur Model Wins Award

Prehistoric Times magazine readers have voted the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Camarasaurus dinosaur model the best dinosaur figure of 2019.  Subscribers to the quarterly magazine have acknowledged the hard work and dedication of the design team at Safari Ltd by awarding the 2019 Camarasaurus figure the accolade of best dinosaur model of the year.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Camarasaurus Dinosaur Model Wins Award

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Camarasaurus dinosaur model.

The award-winning Wild Safari Prehistoric World Camarasaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The sauropod replica measures approximately 35 cm long and the head stands some 16 cm in the air.  The Camarasaurus model was one of eleven prehistoric animal figures introduced in 2019, although Everything Dinosaur was able to get some stock earlier, prior to the end of 2018.

The Reptilian Models Introduced by Safari Ltd for 2019

Wild Safari Prehistoric World - reptiles 2019.

Some of the new for 2019 prehistoric animal figures from the Wild Safari Prehistoric World range.  The Camarasaurus figure was the largest dinosaur model introduced by Safari Ltd last year.  Safari Ltd also introduced a model of a Woolly Rhinoceros (not shown).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The 2019 figure replaced the earlier production model, a Camarasaurus figure, a 1:40 scale model that was introduced into the Carnegie Collection range in 2002 and retired back in 2015.

The Now Retired Carnegie Collection Camarasaurus Model

Camarasaurus dinosaur model.

Camarasaurus – the Carnegie Collection 1:40 scale dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Commenting on the award, a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur said:

“Safari Ltd have won this special award in previous years.  It is great to see the 2019 Camarasaurus figure continuing this trend.  The Wild Safari Prehistoric World range of models are ideal for creative, imaginative play as well as being extremely popular with collectors.  It is a fantastic collection, representing a wide variety of ancient creatures and long extinct animals.”

The team members at Everything Dinosaur congratulate Safari Ltd for having their Camarasaurus declared the best dinosaur figure of 2019 by readers of Prehistoric Times magazine.

A Dinosaur Model Wins a Prestigious Award

Dinosaur model wins award.

The award-winning Wild Safari Prehistoric World Camarasaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the award-winning Camarasaurus and the rest of the models and figures in the Wild Safari Prehistoric World range: Safari Ltd – Wild Safari Prehistoric World.

10 02, 2020

The First Non-pterodactyloid Pterosaur Tracks

By | February 10th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Rhamphorhynchids – “Good Climbers and Rare Walkers”

One of the great mysteries regarding the Pterosauria may have finally be solved.  Palaeontologists are one “step” closer to better understanding how these flying reptiles moved about on the ground.  Researchers studying six pterosaur trackways preserved in the sandstone that once comprised part of a Late Jurassic beach have been able to examine the locomotive abilities of non-pterodactyloid pterosaurs for the first time.

This is a big deal, tracks of pterosaurs have been known about for some time, but all the trace fossils suggesting tracks up until now were believed to have been made by pterodactyloid pterosaurs, (Pterodactyloidea), essentially flying reptiles with short tails, relatively long metacarpal bones and a fifth toe that is greatly reduced or absent.  Virtually nothing was known about the terrestrial abilities of other types of pterosaur that dominated the skies of the Jurassic, the dimorphodonts, Anurognathidae and the rhamphorhynchids for example.

However, scientists from the remarkable Musée de la Plage aux Ptérosaures, writing in the academic journal “Geobios”, describe six trackways related to three non-pterodactyloid new ichnotaxa and determine that these animals moved quadrupedally and that they were quite at home on the ground.

A Life Reconstruction of a Rhamphorhynchid Pterosaur Walking Across a Beach

Rhamphorhynchus walking on a beach.

The long-tailed Rhamphorhynchus leaves a series of five-toed tracks on the Jurassic beach.

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

“Good Climbers and Bad Walkers”

Over the last two hundred years or so, a variety of theories have been put forward by palaeontologists regarding the way in which these flying reptiles moved about on the ground.  For most of that time, these ideas were based on anatomical analysis of fossil bones.  Trackways preserving evidence of a flying reptile moving about on the ground were exceptionally rare.  Ironically, when such evidence did come to light, such as the trackway found in Wyoming in 1952 (Sundance Formation), these trace fossils received little scientific scrutiny.

The lack of tracks from non-pterodactyloid pterosaurs preserved in the fossil record, led many palaeontologists to believe that these animals rarely left the trees or the water and moved around on land.  When they did, it was thought that they would have been clumsy and slow-moving, very vulnerable to predation.

A Non-pterodactyloid Trackway from the Upper Jurassic (Plage aux Ptérosaures)

Non-pterodactyloid pterosaurs were very much at home on the ground.

Pterosaur trackway (non-pterodactyloid) from south-western France.

Picture Credit: Musée de la Plage aux Ptérosaures/Geobios

“The Pterosaur Beach of Crayssac”

The fossil finds come from the remarkable “la Plage aux Ptérosaures” (the pterosaur beach), located close to the village of Crayssac in the Occitanie region of south-western France.  The site provides a trace fossil record of activity on a Late Jurassic beach around 150 million years ago (lower Tithonian faunal stage).  Both dinosaur and pterosaur trackways are preserved.  The authors of the scientific paper, conclude that the tracks may have been made by rhamphorhynchids and they propose that non-pterodactyloids, at least during the Late Jurassic, were quadrupedal with digitigrade hands and plantigrade to digitigrade feet.  Analysis of the tracks indicates that these animals were good walkers, even if their hind legs were hampered by the uropatagium (the membrane of skin that spanned the back legs).  The idea that these types of flying reptiles were “good climbers but bad walkers”, seems to have been refuted.

The authors state that based on this new study and contrary to current hypotheses, non-pterodactyloid pterosaurs seem to have been good walkers even though their trackways are very rare or unidentified to date.  Each of the trackways is around a metre in length, the individual prints measuring approximately three centimetres long.  Jean-Michel Mazin and his co-author Joane Pouech (from the museum at la Plage aux Ptérosaures), were aware of the significance of these trace fossils as pterodactyloids tracks tend to produce four toe marks in the trace fossil, whereas, non-pterodactyloids had five toes, so five toe marks would be expected in the majority of the hind prints.

Pterosaur expert Mark Witton provides a well-written and comprehensive overview of pterosaur anatomy and discusses the theories associated with their terrestrial locomotion in his excellent book simply entitled “Pterosaurs”.

A review of this publication can be found here: Pterosaurs by Mark Witton – a book review.

The Front Cover of the Comprehensive Book on Pterosaurs by Mark Witton

Pterosaurs by Mark Witton.

A very well researched and documented publication from an authority on the Pterosauria.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The scientific paper: “The first non-pterodactyloid pterosaurian trackways and the terrestrial ability of non-pterodactyloid pterosaurs” by Jean-Michel Mazin and Joane Pouech published in Geobios.

9 02, 2020

Lots of Different Types of Carnivorous Dinosaur in the Late Jurassic of Europe

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

Lots of Different Types of Theropod Dinosaur Identified from a German Quarry

During the Late Jurassic, much of the landmass we now know as Europe was covered by shallow, tropical seas.  The islands that dotted this seascape were dominated by dinosaurs and a great deal of research has been undertaken to identify and map the ancient terrestrial fauna.  A new study published in the journal PeerJ, reveals that there were a wide variety of different types of meat-eating dinosaur present on these islands.  Fossils associated with allosauroids, ceratosaurs and megalosauroids have been identified in a single bonebed dominated by the dwarf sauropod Europasaurus.

Views of a Single Claw (Pedal Ungual) and Toe Bones (Pedal Phalanges) Tentatively Ascribed to the Allosauroidea

Fragmentary fossils from the Langenberg Quarry associated with theropod dinosaurs.

A fossilised foot claw and fossil toe bones tentatively ascribed to the Allosauroidea.

Picture Credit: PeerJ

Dwarfism in the Dinosauria

Scientists from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) in association with the Martin-Luther-Universität (Germany), examined the fragmentary theropod dinosaur remains associated with the Europasaurus bonebed found at the Langenberg Quarry site in Germany’s Harz Mountains, near the town of Goslar (Lower Saxony).  These marine deposits have yielded a variety of vertebrate fossils, representing the corpses of terrestrial fauna washed into the marine depositional environment from a nearby island.  All the meat-eating dinosaur fossils described represent relatively small individuals.  It is not known whether these fossils represent juveniles or whether they might be evidence of insular dwarfism.  Animals living on islands with limited food resources can evolve into dwarf forms, becoming much smaller in size than their mainland relatives.

The incompleteness of the theropod fossil remains and their rarity when compared to the Europasaurus material had discouraged scientific analysis.  This is the first academic paper to describe these types of fossils from the Langenberg Quarry.  The fragmentary material can only be classified on higher taxonomic levels, the new occurrences reported add to our understanding of the regional tetrapod fauna and to theropod diversity in Europe in general.

Partial Fibulae (Lower Leg Bones) Ascribed to the Theropoda

Partial lower leg bones ascribed to the Theropoda.

Partial left fibula (top) and partial right fibula (below) both assigned to the Theropoda and described as potentially megalosauroid.

Picture Credit: PeerJ

Several Different Types of Theropod Dinosaur Present

This research confirms the presence of several different types of theropod dinosaur in the Late Jurassic northern European archipelago and will help palaeontologists to better understand the diversity and evolution of the Theropoda during the Late Jurassic of Europe.  The incomplete material can be assigned to ceratosaurian, megalosauroid, and allosauroid theropods.  These identifications agree with previous reports of the presence of these theropod groups in the Late Jurassic of Northern Germany based on fossil teeth.  Although the Langenberg theropod fauna is not as rich as some other European localities, such as the Lourinhã Formation of Portugal, these findings confirm a varied dinosaur fauna in central Europe during the Late Jurassic.

The scientific paper: “Late Jurassic theropod dinosaur bones from the Langenberg Quarry (Lower Saxony, Germany) provide evidence for several theropod lineages in the central European archipelago” by Serjoscha W. Evans and Oliver Wings published in the journal PeerJ.

8 02, 2020

How to Assemble the Rebor X-REX (Broodlord)

By | February 8th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

How to Assemble the Rebor X-REX (Broodlord)

The 1:35 scale Rebor Broodlord figure, a cross between an alien and a tyrannosaurid, has wowed collectors and model fans.  It is the first of four figures to be introduced in this series.  A second Broodlord is planned, the second model will have an “organic” colour scheme.  The other two figures will be known as “Swarm” and just like Broodlord, two colour variants will be offered “plague” and “radioactive”.

In order to protect the carefully sculpted back spikes, the typically tyrannosaurid arms and that beautiful, intricate extended jaw, during transit, Rebor has not attached them to the replica, the model has to be assembled, but this does not take too long.  Everything Dinosaur has created a short video that explains how to assemble the model and provides a few tips and tricks along the way.

How to Assemble the 1:35 Scale Rebor Broodlord X-REX

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An Impressive Extra-terrestrial Figure

The model measures an impressive 43 cm in length and Broodlord stands around 14 cm high at the shoulders.  In our video, (it lasts a fraction over 9 and 1/2 minutes), we examine the model in detail, discuss the other figures in this xenomorph/tyrannosaurid line and explain how to fix the four back spikes into their slots behind the animal’s shoulders without them wobbling.  We also demonstrate how to insert the two-fingered, small arms and then we show how the top of a ballpoint pen can be used to help secure the jaw extension into the lower jaw.

The Rebor Broodlord X-REX Model (Metallic Variant)

Measuring the Rebor Broodlord X-REX model.

The Rebor 1:35 scale Broodlord X-REX replica is one of the biggest figures that Rebor has made to date.  The figure measures approximately 43 cm long.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Insert the Tail Before Adding the Arms

The narrator provides plenty of help and advice to assist with figure assembly.  For example, it is recommended that the tail is inserted in place prior to adding the arms.  To secure the tail requires a firm push and by not adding the arms you can give yourself a greater purchase on the body to help you ensure that the flexible tail piece is inserted neatly and securely into place.

It is fitting that we have made one of our longest videos featuring one of Rebor’s longest (if not the longest replica) produced by this exciting company to date.  This video is available on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel, a channel dedicated to dinosaur and prehistoric animal model collecting.

Visit Everything Dinosaur on YouTube here: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

To purchase the fantastic Rebor 1:35 Broodlord X-REX model and to see the rest of the Rebor range: Rebor Models, Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals.

7 02, 2020

New for 2020 Papo Giganotosaurus (Sneak Peek)

By | February 7th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

New for 2020 Papo Giganotosaurus (Sneak Peek)

Everything Dinosaur team members have been busy over the last few days posting up pictures of the new for 2020 Papo prehistoric animal models.  They have featured the new colour variant feathered Velociraptor, Chilesaurus, the pachycephalosaur Stygimoloch, Megaloceros and have even made a short video featuring the new colour variant Parasaurolophus dinosaur model.  The largest dinosaur figure to be introduced this year by Papo is the Giganotosaurus, naturally our staff have posted up plenty of pictures of this new replica too.

In addition, we have produced a short video on this new model, a dinosaur replica that has divided opinions.  In our video (it lasts three minutes), we show the prototype production model and then discuss some of the features of this new sculpt.

The New for 2020 Papo Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model (Sneaky Peek)

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

How to Pronounce Giganotosaurus

Named and described in 1995, this South American theropod (Giganotosaurus carolinii), is regarded as one of the largest, if not the largest, meat-eating dinosaurs known to science.  Whilst waiting for news of this Papo figure, our team members checked the correct pronunciation of the genus name.  Thanks to the scientists who specialise in the Dinosauria from the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP), we can confidently state that the accepted scientific pronunciation is Gig-ah-note-oh-sore-us, think of terms like gigabyte or for that matter, gigametre.

The Papo Giganotosaurus (Gig-ah-note-oh-sore-us) Dinosaur Model

Papo Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model

The new for 2020 Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.  It has an articulated lower jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Controversial Dinosaur Model

When the first images of this new model were released, the pose of this dinosaur attracted a lot of comments.  In Everything Dinosaur’s brief video review, we look at the prototype figure and then discuss some of the other features of the sculpt, such as the detailed paint scheme and the quality of the skin tone and texture.  The detail on the head of the dinosaur is remarked upon.  The narrator comments on the skull shape and the attention to detail that can be seen in the depiction of the skull fenestrae.

A View of the Papo Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model (Prototype)

The new for 2020 Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.

A photograph of the Papo Giganotosaurus prototype model in a display case.  Can you see the head of the new for 2020 Papo Chilesaurus by the right foot of the theropod?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The video can also be found on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel.  Our YouTube channel contains lots of helpful videos about prehistoric animal models and figures.  To visit our YouTube channel and to subscribe: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

To see the range of Papo prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Prehistoric Animal Models.

6 02, 2020

Rhamphorhynchus Fed on Squid

By | February 6th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Pterosaur Tooth Discovered in Jurassic Squid Fossil

The pterosaur Rhamphorhynchus, probably fed by grabbing soft-bodied creatures such as squid as it flew close to the surface of the sea.  That is the conclusion made by a group of researchers reporting on the remarkable fossil of a squid-like animal with a pterosaur tooth embedded in its body found in Germany.  Writing in the academic journal Scientific Reports, the authors of the paper, describe the beautifully preserved remains of the octobrachian (eight-armed) cephalopod Plesioteuthis subovata which has a pterosaur tooth embedded in its left flank.

Reconstruction of the Hunting Behaviour of Rhamphorhynchus muensteri

Rhamphorhynchus hunting behaviour.

Reconstruction of the hunting behaviour of Rhamphorhynchus muensteri.

Picture Credit: C. Klug and Beat Scheffold

Discovered in 2012

The cephalopod fossil was found in 2012 and it heralds from the world-renowned Solnhofen Lagerstätte in south-eastern Germany.  The strata from which the remarkable specimen was gathered has been dated to the Upper Jurassic Altmühltal Formation (lower Tithonian faunal stage – ammonite Hybonoticeras hybonotum biozone).  The fossil is kept at the Paläontologisches Institut und Museum, Universität Zürich, Switzerland (PIMUZ 37358).

Views of the Plesioteuthis subovata Specimen Showing the Pterosaur Tooth

Pterosaur tooth embedded in the fossilised remains of Plesioteuthis.

Views of the Plesioteuthis subovata specimen in natural and UV light showing the embedded pterosaur tooth.

Picture Credit: R. Hoffmann et al (Scientific Reports)

The picture above shows (A), the 28 cm long fossil of the coleoid Plesioteuthis subovata with highlighted areas (B and D).  The pterosaur tooth measures 19 mm long and picture (C) shows the tooth viewed under ultraviolet (UV) light.  The tip of the tooth is partially covered with phosphatised mantle tissue, thus ruling out the association of the tooth during the fossilisation process.  Insert (D), shows the posterior portion of the mantle with faint imprints probably representing a terminal fin.  Under UV light analysis no evidence of fin musculature could be identified (E).

Direct Evidence of Hunting/Feeding Behaviour

Such direct evidence of hunting/feeding behaviour is rarely preserved in the fossil record.  The authors of the scientific paper, which include a researcher from the University of Leicester (UK), suggest that the adult Plesioteuthis subovata was swimming close to the surface when a pterosaur (suspected of being Rhamphorhynchus muensteri), made a grab for it.  It is not known whether the injury sustained to the squid proved fatal, or whether the animal lived for a period of time before finally dying and becoming preserved in the fine-grained sediments associated with the Solnhofen Archipelago.

The tooth most likely came from the front or middle regions of either the upper or lower jaw.  As rhamphorhynchid teeth associated with very young or juveniles tend to be much smaller and straighter, the researchers conclude that the tooth came from a mature adult pterosaur with a wingspan of at least one metre.

A Model of Rhamphorhynchus (Wild Safari Prehistoric World)

Rhamphorhynchus model

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Rhamphorhynchus figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Helping to Construct Ancient Food Webs

The coleoid/pterosaur fossil will help scientists to better understand the palaeo-ecosystem associated with the Solnhofen Lagerstätte.  Whilst it is true that many different types of predator may have fed upon Plesioteuthis subovata, the size, shape and the lack of longitudinal ridges discounts marine reptiles such as ichthyosaurs, pliosaurs and crocodyliformes.  The tooth coming from a type of predatory fish has also been discounted.

The single tooth is most likely from a mature Rhamphorhynchus in a failed hunting attempt.  This seems to be the most plausible interpretation of the fossil evidence.  Furthermore, several Rhamphorhynchus fossils are known where the pterosaur is entangled within the jaws of the predatory fish Aspidorhynchus.  It has been assumed that these types of fish hunted close to the water surface and would have grabbed pterosaurs as they swooped to feed.  These fossils indirectly corroborate the suggestion that this pterosaur-cephalopod interaction occurred near the water surface.

Sometimes the Hunter Became the Hunted (Rhamphorhynchus Entangled with the Jaws of Fish)

Rhamphorhynchus and fish fossil.

A fatal encounter between two Jurassic hunters.  The Rhamphorhynchus is entangled within the jaws of a predatory fish (Aspidorhynchus acutirostris).

Picture Credit: PLOS One

Skim-feeding had been proposed for marine pterosaurs such as Rhamphorhynchus but subsequent studies suggested that this was too energy expensive.  It is more likely that Rhamphorhynchus captured prey on the wing just above the water surface or while floating on the water surface.

The scientific paper: “Pterosaurs ate soft-bodied cephalopods (Coleoidea)” by R. Hoffmann, J. Bestwick, G. Berndt, R. Berndt, D. Fuchs and C. Klug published in Scientific Reports.

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