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

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16 07, 2021

New Market Surveillance Regulations

By | July 16th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Today, July 16th 2021, new EU regulations come into force which will have a profound effect on sales of dinosaur and prehistoric animal figures. These new regulations are entitled (EU) 2019/1020 – if you are in the European Union, if you buy dinosaur models from websites be warned, unless the seller or someone else in the distribution chain has taken steps to ensure compliance, that dinosaur model you purchased – you may never see it!

Market Surveillance Regulations (EU) 2019/1020
Under the new (EU) 2019/1020 regulations dinosaur models may not be offered for sale to EU consumers without an Economic Operator established in the EU.

Market Surveillance Regulations (EU) 2019/1020

It’s not just sales of dinosaur models that will be affected. These new regulations cover about 70 EU directives including the EU Toy Safety Directive – 2009/48/EC. Most dinosaur models are tested under this directive and therefore come within the scope of these new rules. Also, collectable figures such as Nanmu Studio, Rebor, W-Dragon, ITOY Studio models – they too come under these regulations.

Why (EU) 2009/1020?

Ecommerce has boomed, you can buy virtually anything from anyone from anywhere. This has led to new product safety challenges and issues in this global market. As a result, pressure has increased to strengthen enforcement measures.

The increasing number of illegal and non-compliant products from on-line shops has created a number of problems in the European market, disrupting competition among traditional businesses and potentially putting consumers at risk.

Put simply – these new regulations are about making sure that whatever you purchase, the product conforms to the relevant tests, certificates and safety standards.

CE marking on a dinosaur model
Whether on the model or on the packaging the CE mark provides assurances about how this item was manufactured. The international ASTM symbol is next to the EU CE mark. The ASTM symbol indicates that this model has been made to approved technical standards.
CE marking on a dinosau rmodel
The EU CE mark imprinted on the underside of a dinosaur model.

What This Means

This regulation aims to protect customers’ health and safety, the environment and other public interests by improving and modernising market surveillance.

It establishes controls on products imported into the EU. So, if you are buying a dinosaur model and you are based in the EU, then these new rules will apply to your purchases.

Key Points

  • Products may not be offered for sale to EU consumers without an Economic Operator established in the EU. This element will have a significant impact on on-line marketplaces and e-commerce sites located outside the EU. Unless these non-EU third-party retail companies have economic operators within the EU, they will not be eligible to sell their products in the region.
  • Until now, economic operators have been divided into four groups: manufacturers, authorised representatives, importers and distributors. The new regulation introduces a new role in the value chain, the Fulfilment Service Provider. The Fulfilment Service Provider is an economic operator, or any natural or legal person performing, in the course of commercial activity, at least two of the following services: warehousing, packaging, addressing and dispatching, without having ownership of the products involved. By outlining this new economic operator role, owners and operators of ecommerce sites will likely bear some of the liability in relation to product compliance and conformity, in the same way as the four existing roles currently do. This means Amazon and eBay sales platforms are covered by these new regulations too!
  • The Fulfilment Service Provider will be required to take on some of the responsibilities with regards to ensuring that products comply to safety regulations.

How Does this Affect Dinosaur Model Sales?

If you make a purchase from China, USA, the UK or any other country outside the EU for delivery into the EU, than unless someone in the supply chain has taken steps to ensure compliance to (EU) 2019/1020 it is likely that you will not receive your parcel. Getting your money back from the seller is likely to be a challenge too.

Everything Dinosaur Ensuring Compliance

Customers of Everything Dinosaur can be assured that the prehistoric animal models and figures supplied by them are compliant with the new regulations. Our parcels will carry the appropriate information to ensure that they are delivered to customers.

Parcels containing products that we have taken responsible for under these new regulations will carry the contact details of our economic operator within the EU.

Everything Dinosaur ensuring compliance with EU 2019/1020
Everything Dinosaur ensuring compliance with EU 2019/1020.

Everything Dinosaur has registered:

  • PNSO
  • Nanmu Studio
  • ITOY Studio
  • YvY Figures (Dino Hazard)
  • GR Toys/Musee
  • W-Dragon
  • Beasts of the Mesozoic

Customers can still continue to purchase from Everything Dinosaur – the products Everything Dinosaur sells including those listed above are covered. We are not able to comment on what steps if any, other suppliers have made.

Whilst the UK has not adopted (EU) 2019/1020 this market is governed by the Regulation on Accreditation and Market Surveillance (765/2008) or GB RAMS for short. This regulation comes under the jurisdiction of the UK Govt Office for Product Safety & Standards and it sets out to ensure that any product placed on the market is compliant with safety provisions.

Greater emphasis is being placed on the monitoring of ecommerce sites and more regulations are in place to help protect consumers. When purchasing prehistoric animal models from other companies – be warned. Unless steps have been taken to ensure compliance you may well end up not receiving your model and losing your money.

15 07, 2021

The Dinosaurs Were in Decline Before Asteroid Impact

By | July 15th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

New research examining the number of different types of non-avian dinosaur roaming the planet 66 million years ago, suggests that these dinosaurs were in decline long before the extra-terrestrial impact that led to their ultimate extinction.

Researchers including Professor Michael Benton (Bristol University), Fabien Condamine and Guillaume Guinot (Université de Montpellier) along with Phil Currie (University of Alberta), compiled an extensive list of dinosaur fossils associated with the last few million years of the Mesozoic. They then subjected the data to sophisticated statistical analysis and concluded that across the six main types of dinosaur studied (three herbivorous groups and three carnivorous groups), the non-avian dinosaurs were in general decline.

The end of the non-avian dinosaurs.
An artist’s impression of the bolide about to impact with the Gulf of Mexico 66 million years ago. New research suggests that the non-avian dinosaurs were in decline long before the extra-terrestrial impact. Picture credit: Chase Stone.

Speciation-extinction Dynamics

The six different types of non-avian dinosaur studied were:

  • Tyrannosauridae (big meat-eaters such as Tyrannosaurus rex, Gorgosaurus and Daspletosaurus.
  • Dromaeosauridae – swift predators such as Velociraptor, Zhenyuanlong and Dromaeosaurus.
  • Troodontidae closely related to the dromaeosaurs – dinosaurs such as Stenonychosaurus and Latenivenatrix.
  • Ceratopsidae horned dinosaurs such as Triceratops and Pachyrhinosaurus.
  • Ankylosauridae the club-tailed, armoured dinosaurs such as Euoplocephalus, Scolosaurus and Ankylosaurus.
  • Hadrosauridae the duck-billed dinosaurs such as Edmontosaurus, Hadrosaurus and Corythosaurus.

The statistical analysis comparing speciation rates to extinction rates revealed that the number of dinosaur species was in steep decline from around 10 million years before the extra-terrestrial impact event.

End Cretaceous speciation versus extinction in the non-avian dinosaurs.
Speciation plotted against extinction rates for six dinosaur families. Dinosaurs were in decline prior to the impact event. Picture credit: Condamine et al.

Global Climate Cooling and the Success of the Hadrosaurs

The sophisticated Bayesian analysis indicates that both herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs declined and that this was a world-wide phenomenon. Some types of dinosaur declined sharply towards the end of the Cretaceous, for example the Ankylosauridae and the horned dinosaurs (Ceratopsidae). Of the six families studied, only one family, the Troodontidae shows a very small decline. This decline took place in the last five million years of the Cretaceous.

The team also found a link between the decline of herbivores and the decline of the carnivores. Plant-eaters declined first and this led shortly afterwards to a decline in the genera of meat-eating dinosaurs. It is presumed that the reduction in prey led to the demise of carnivorous dinosaurs.

The reduction in the number of armoured and horned dinosaurs might be linked to the number of hadrosaur species identified. Duck-billed dinosaurs could have outcompeted other herbivores leading to a decline in the total number of herbivore types present in an ecosystem.

Yamatosaurus izanagii Life Reconstruction with more Advance Forms of Duck-billed Dinosaur in the Background
Recent studies indicate that the hadrosaurs evolved in Asia. This group of herbivorous dinosaurs became very speciose and geographically widespread during the Late Cretaceous. It has been suggested that the duck-billed dinosaurs dominated terrestrial ecosystems and outcompeted other types of herbivorous dinosaur. Picture credit: Masato Hattori.

The research team continued conducting a statistical analysis to test theories as to why this decline occurred. They concluded that global cooling could have been a major factor in the extinction of many different types of dinosaur and the reduction in the number of new species evolving to re-populate ecosystems. The Earth cooled by around 7-8 degrees Celsius at the end of the Cretaceous. In contrast, periods of sustained global warming in the Early Cretaceous led to a rise in the diversity of the Dinosauria.

The decline of the Dinosauria
The research showed that all six dinosaur families declined in the number of species in the last few million years before the end of the Mesozoic. Only the Troodontidae showed a marginal decline, but this became more pronounced in the last 5 million years of the Cretaceous. Picture credit: Condamine et al.

The scientific paper: “Dinosaur biodiversity declined well before the asteroid impact, influenced by ecological and environmental pressures” by Fabien L. Condamine, Guillaume Guinot, Michael J. Benton and Philip J. Currie published in Nature Communications.

14 07, 2021

New Corporate Clothing for Everything Dinosaur

By | July 14th, 2021|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Photos, Press Releases|0 Comments

The move into our bespoke offices and warehousing has prompted us to revamp and revise our corporate clothing. Although, very pleasant and cool in the summer, a characteristic of our premises much appreciated by all the couriers and delivery people who visit us, our offices and warehouse are very chilly in winter. When the offices and other facilities were being built in February and March it was noticed that it was very cold. Several layers were required. In the light of this, we have invested in new corporate clothing including beanie hats for team members.

Everything Dinosaur beenie hats.
The new Everything Dinosaur beanie hats are proving to be very popular.

Incorporating the Everything Dinosaur Logo

The practical workwear includes sweatshirts, polo shirts, shorts and waterproof jackets, all of which will prominently display the Everything Dinosaur logo. We work very long hours and weekends, so we might as well be comfortable and warm especially when picking orders prior to sorting them in the packing room and preparing them for despatch.

Everything Dinosaur Corporate Clothing
Some of the new corporate clothing that arrived at Everything Dinosaur. The range includes polo shirts, shorts, sweatshirts, jackets and beanie hats.

Sue from Everything Dinosaur commented that the new clothing was quite smart, practical and sensible and would also prove beneficial when going out fossil hunting. Even the polo shirts had been given pockets – a handy place to store a small fossil if one was spotted whilst walking in a quarry or along a beach.

13 07, 2021

PNSO to Add Nanotyrannus

By | July 13th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur can confirm that PNSO will add a replica of the controversial tyrannosaur Nanotyrannus to their mid-size model range. Logan the Nanotyrannus should be available from Everything Dinosaur in the late summer.

PNSO Nanotyrannus dinosaur model.
The new for 2021 PNSO Nanotyrannus dinosaur model.

The Controversy over Nanotyrannus

Nanotyrannus lancensis is a disputed taxon, attributed to fossil skeletal and skull specimens that overlapped in time and space with Tyrannosaurus rex. The shape of the skull that was constructed based on the disputed Nanotyrannus material is very different from that of T. rex, but palaeontologists now know that the body shape and skull morphology of the “king of the tyrant lizards” changed dramatically as this predator grew and matured.

Named and described in 1988 (Bakker et al), based on a slender skull (CMNH 7541) from Lance Formation exposures in Montana, at the time the researchers concluded that the skull represented an adult animal, but this has been refuted by a number of authors since publication.

PNSO Nanotyrannus dinosaur model with an articulated jaw.
Like most of the other mid-size PNSO theropod figures, Logan the Nanotyrannus has an articulated lower jaw. The long and slender snout of Nanotyrannus on the PNSO model. Named and described in 1988, fossils assigned to N. lancensis are now believed to represent juvenile specimens of T. rex.

Nanotyrannus Model Measurements

The new for 2021 Nanotyrannus is the latest tyrannosauroid to be added to the PNSO mid-size model range following the introduction of the introduction of A-Shu the Qianzhousaurus and the recent announcements concerning Chuanzi the Tarbosaurus and Yinqi the Yutyrannus which are due to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur very soon (summer 2021).

The model measures 17 cm long and although PNSO does not propose a scale for their mid-size models, team members speculate that based on the original holotype material associated with Nanotyrannus which suggests an animal around 5.2 metres in length, the figure is in approximately 1:30 scale.

PNSO Logan the Nanotyrannus model measurements.
PNSO Logan the Nanotyrannus model measurements. The dinosaur figure is approximately 17 cm long with a head height of 6.5 cm.

It Could Represent a Model of a Juvenile T. rex

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“Whilst this taxon remains is dispute, model collectors and dinosaur fans will be delighted to see a replica of Nanotyrannus come into the PNSO model series. Recently, PNSO has focused on showcasing some of the remarkable fauna associated with the Late Cretaceous of North America and Logan the Nanotyrannus will be a welcome addition. It will no doubt foster a debate about whether Nanotyrannus is a valid genus but after all, this figure could always represent a juvenile T. rex and as such it will work well with the other Tyrannosaurus rex models that PNSO offers”.

PNSO Logan the Nanotyrannus.
A close view of the stunning head, neck and torso of the new for 2021 Nanotyrannus dinosaur model.

Supplied with a Transparent Support Stand

Logan the PNSO Nanotyrannus is supplied with a handy, transparent support stand to aid the replica’s stability when it is on display.

PNSO Nanotyrannus packaging
The new PNSO mid-size range Nanotyrannus is supplied with a clear support stand.

The PNSO Logan the Nanotyrannus dinosaur model is expected to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in the late summer (summer 2021), to view the range of PNSO figures in models currently in stock: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.

12 07, 2021

Miniature Alvarezsauroids under the Spotlight

By | July 12th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

A new study into those bizarre theropods the alvarezsauroids, indicates that they became much smaller in the Late Cretaceous. Newly published research in “Current Biology” suggests that these dinosaurs reduced in size about 95 million years ago when they became specialised insectivores.

The research team, which included PhD student Zichuan Qin and Professor Michael Benton (Bristol University), along with researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, George Washington University (USA) and Jonah N Choiniere from the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), conclude that the miniaturisation of the alvarezsauroids probably coincided with adaptations to feeding on termites and ants. It has been a busy week for Professor Choiniere, as Everything Dinosaur recently published an article summarising a study of Heterodontosaurus that Professor Choiniere had co-authored: Breathing Life into the Dinosauria.

Typical alvarezsauroids.
Life reconstruction of four representative alvarezsauroids, Haplocheirus sollers (left), Patagonykus puertai (upper middle), Linhenykus monodactylus (lower middle) and Bannykus wulatensis (lower right), illustrating the body size and dieting change in alvarezsauroid dinosaurs. Picture credit: Zhixin Han.

Miniaturisation in the Dinosauria is Very Rare

The research team define sustained miniaturisation within a group of animals as a drop in body size of at least two orders of magnitude from ancestors to descendants. This trait has been recorded many times in terrestrial vertebrates such as dwarf hippos and elephants, diminutive chameleons and tiny frogs. Miniaturisation is often associated with animals living in environments with limited resources such as islands and as such dwarf forms of dinosaurs associated with “island dwarfism” are known. However, in general terms miniaturisation within the Dinosauria is rare.

Miniaturisation is recorded twice within the Dinosauria:

  • Once in the avialan theropods as powered flight evolved (the lineage leading to birds).
  • Once in the Alvarezsauroidea -a bizarre group of dinosaurs nested within the Maniraptora.
Chinese fossils shed light on the evolution of the specialised Alvarezsaurian monodactyl hand.
Known mainly from China, although fossils have been found in the Americas and Europe, the Alvarezsauroidea had bird-like skeletons with many derived species having significantly reduced front limbs and digits. The oldest and most primitive alvarezsauroids are known from the early Late Jurassic Shishugou Formation of north-western China. Picture credit: Viktor Radermacher.

Measuring Alvarezsaurs and Calculating their Age

The scientists measured the fossilised remains of dozens of these dinosaurs and assessed bone histology to separate juvenile, not fully grown specimens from adult fossil remains. They demonstrated that alvarezsaurs ranged in size from about 10 kilograms up to 70 kilograms for most of their evolutionary history, but from about 95 million years ago, very much smaller, chicken-sized forms, weighing less than 5 kilograms evolved. This miniaturisation coincided with these dinosaurs adopting a more specialised diet, that of consuming ants and termites.

Towards the end of the Cretaceous alvarezsauroids became much smaller and many more species evolved
Study shows a rapid Late Cretaceous alvarezsauroid miniaturisation and radiation. Picture credit: Bristol University.

Professor Michael Benton commented:

“Perhaps competition with other dinosaurs intensified through the Cretaceous. The Cretaceous was a time of rapidly evolving ecosystems and the biggest change was the gradual takeover by flowering plants. Flowering plants changed the nature of the landscape completely, and yet dinosaurs mostly did not feed on these new plants. But they led to an explosion of new types of insects, including ants and termites”.

The Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution

The rapid evolution of flowering plants (angiosperms), led to a dramatic change in ecosystems with modern-looking woodlands and forests evolving with a diverse flora and fauna, including an enormous increase in insects that specialised on feeding on the leaves, nectar, petals and pollen of the flowering plants. This restructuring of ecosystems has been called the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution.

Whilst most other types of dinosaurs got bigger as they evolved, the alvarezsaurs seem to be the exception. When the first of these bizarre theropods evolved some of them were ostrich-sized, such as Haplocheirus, with sharp teeth and strong, flexible forelimbs suggesting a mixed and varied diet. However, from about 95 million years ago, body size plummeted and claw shapes changed from grabbing and tearing types to more robust forms. Arms became reduced as did the number of digits.

Mononykus (M. olecranus) typifies the Late Cretaceous alvarezsaurids. It roamed southern Mongolia around 70 million years ago and it measured about a metre in length and weighed around 3.5 kilograms. The forelimbs of Mononykus were tiny and they terminated in a hand that had just one digit topped with a very robust probe-like claw. This claw seems ideally suited to punching holes in termite mounds.

Beasts of the Mesozoic Desert Accessory Pack.
The assembled Beasts of the Mesozoic Desert Accessory Pack featuring Mononykus.

The Second Case of Miniaturisation within the Dinosauria

Whilst most scientists accept the link between getting smaller and the evolution of powered flight within the branch of the Dinosauria leading to the evolution of birds, not much research had been undertaken into alvarezsauroid miniaturisation.

Professor Xing Xu (Chinese Academy of Sciences), a co-author of the study added:

“This is a very strange result, but it seems to be true. All other dinosaurs were getting bigger and bigger, but one group of flesh-eaters miniaturised and this was associated with living in trees and flying. They eventually became birds. We’ve identified a second miniaturisation event – but it wasn’t for flight, but to accommodate a completely new diet, switching from flesh to termites.”

The scientific paper: “Growth and miniaturization among alvarezsauroid dinosaurs” by Zichuan Qin, Qi Zhao, Jonah N. Choiniere, James M. Clark, Michael J. Benton and Xing Xu published in Current Biology.

11 07, 2021

Heterodontosaurus Breathes Life into Dinosauria Respiratory Studies

By | July 11th, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

A beautifully preserved and almost complete fossil specimen of the early ornithischian Heterodontosaurus (H. tucki) has provided palaeontologists with a fresh perspective on how bird-hipped dinosaurs breathed.

An international team of scientists including Richard Butler, a professor of palaeobiology at the University of Birmingham, Jonah Choiniere, a professor of comparative palaeobiology at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, Kimberley Chapelle, a postdoctoral fellow at the American Museum of Natural History (New York), subjected the 200-million-year-old fossil to a series of extremely powerful X-rays courtesy of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, (France). The data from these scans permitted the researchers to construct computer models reassembling the skeleton in unprecedented detail and to learn how this dinosaur breathed.

Heterodontosaurus breathing study.
A life reconstruction of the early ornithischian Heterodontosaurus – its breath shows as a vapour trail in the early morning light. Picture credit: University of Witwatersrand.

Getting to Understand the Unique Ornithischian Dinosaurs

Vertebrates like reptiles, birds and mammals all move air through their lungs in different ways. Mammals like us have a diaphragm, whilst lizards use rib movements to help them move air through their lungs. Birds have another, very different respiratory system which is more efficient than our own. Birds have thin-walled air sacs connected to their lungs. These air sacs fill a considerable portion of the body cavity. They are not involved directly in gas exchange but function as bellows to direct airflow through the lungs in one direction, from back to front. This increases lung efficiency. To read an article from 2007 that examines how non-avian dinosaurs might have breathed: Dinosaur Breathing Study.

This study showed that Heterodontosaurus was using its oddly shaped ribs connected to its sternum to breathe, but that it also showed the first steps towards a muscle attached to the hips that would inflate the lung – similar to how crocodiles breathe.

Heterodontosaurus respiration study
Each of the blocks making up the Heterodontosaurus fossil material (AM 4766) were scanned by the synchrotron and then the skeleton was digitally recreated with a focus on the trunk. Gastralia ribs are shown in blue. Picture credit: Viktor Radermacher.

Lead author of the scientific study published in the journal eLife, Viktor Radermacher (PhD student in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences), commented:

“This specimen represents a turning point in understanding how dinosaurs evolved”.

Fossil Discovered in 2009

The specimen, representing a sub-adult Heterodontosaurus was discovered in 2009, eroding out of a riverbed. It is the most complete Heterodontosaurus fossil known to science. The surrounding matrix is very hard, so removal of the individual bones was not possible, but employing extremely powerful X-rays allows the scientists to peer inside the matrix and reconstruct the anatomy of this dinosaur.

In 2016, the fossil of the turkey-sized dinosaur was transported to the ESRF for a week-long study. Huge amounts of data on this early member of the Ornithischia were compiled: Heterodontosaurus visits the European Synchrotron.

The Distinctive and Successful Ornithischia

Described in 1962, Heterodontosaurus is thought to one of the most primitive members of the Ornithischia (bird-hipped dinosaurs), although the exact taxonomic placement of the Heterodontosauridae is still debated and their early evolution remains obscure. Ornithischian dinosaurs include the armoured dinosaurs, pachycephalosaurs, ceratopsians and the ornithopods – which encompasses such well-known dinosaurs as Iguanodon and the duck-billed dinosaurs.

Research team member Richard Butler (Birmingham University), explained the importance of this study:

“We’ve long known that the skeletons of ornithischian dinosaurs were radically different from those of other dinosaurs. This amazing new fossil helps us understand why ornithischians were so distinctive and successful”.

Not All Dinosaurs Breathed in the Same Way

The research revealed that Heterodontosaurus possessed numerous gastralia (belly ribs), the first time this anatomical feature has been found in an ornithischian and several other, unique autapomorphies (characteristics), that are unknown in other bird-hipped dinosaurs. For example, it had paddle-shaped sternal ribs and a forward projecting sternum. The team concluded that this suite of anatomical features enabled Heterodontosaurus to breathe in a different way when compared to other members of the Dinosauria. Heterodontosaurus forced air into its lungs by expanding both its belly and chest.

Lead author Viktor Radermacher stated:

“We have actually never known how these ornithischians breathed. The interesting thing is that Heterodontosaurus is the ancestor of this group and it has these [newly discovered] pieces of anatomy, but its descendants don’t. What that means is that Heterodontosaurus is a missing link between the ancestors of dinosaurs and the bigger, charismatic species we know. This gives us a whole bunch of information and fills in some pretty glaring gaps in our knowledge of the biology of these dinosaurs.”

Lead author of the research, University of Minnesota PhD student Viktor Radermacher
Lead author of the research, University of Minnesota PhD student Viktor Radermacher, poses next to some skull casts and dinosaur models that represent suborders of the Ornithischia. Picture credit: Sebastian Alfonzo.

Different Solutions to the Need to Breathe

Viktor Radermacher explained that this research demonstrates that there is still a lot to learn about the Dinosauria and that many different types of tetrapod evolved different solutions when it came to getting oxygen to their muscles.

He added:

“The takeaway message is that there are many ways to breathe. The really interesting thing about life on Earth is that we all have different strategies to do the same thing, and we’ve just identified a new strategy of breathing. This shows that utilising dinosaurs and palaeontology, we can learn more about the diversity of animals on Earth and how they breathe.”

The scientific paper: “A new Heterodontosaurus specimen elucidates the unique ventilatory macroevolution of ornithischian dinosaurs” by Viktor J Radermacher, Vincent Fernandez, Emma R Schachner, Richard J Butler, Emese M Bordy, Michael Naylor Hudgins, William J de Klerk, Kimberley E J Chapelle and Jonah N Choiniere published in eLife.

10 07, 2021

Drawing Prehistoric Fish

By | July 10th, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

A few days ago, Everything Dinosaur published a drawing of the marine reptile Elasmosaurus that we had commissioned. Today, we publish an illustration of the monstrous fish that was a contemporary of Elasmosaurus, another resident of “Hell’s Aquarium” otherwise known as the Western Interior Seaway. The fish is Xiphactinus and we have commissioned an illustration of this predator as we prepare for the arrival of the 1:40 scale CollectA Deluxe Xiphactinus replica in a few weeks’ time.

Xiphactinus drawing
The Xiphactinus drawing that was commissioned by Everything Dinosaur as the company prepares for the arrival of the CollectA Deluxe Xiphactinus 1:40 scale replica.

Xiphactinus “Sword Ray”

Xiphactinus was a large, bony fish that was both geographically and temporally widespread. The genus name is from the Latin and Greek and translates as “sword ray”, with some specimens over six metres in length, this was one very voracious predator and prehistoric animal model collectors have been keen to get a figure of Xiphactinus introduced into a mainstream model series.

CollectA Deluxe Xiphactinus model.
The CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale Xiphactinus prehistoric fish model. A fantastic replica of a very formidable marine predator.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that this figure, along with the other remaining new for 2021 CollectA prehistoric animal figures should be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in August or thereabouts.

The spokesperson went onto explain that the Xiphactinus (pronounced Zee-fak-tin-us), drawing would be used in a fact sheet that would be sent out with purchases of this CollectA model.

Fact sheets prepared for the Beasts of the Mesozoic range of models.
A collection of fact sheets created by Everything Dinosaur. These fact sheets are sent out free of charge to accompany sales of prehistoric animal models and figures.

Xiphactinus and Elasmosaurus

As well as being contemporaries in the marine biota of the Western Interior Seaway, Everything Dinosaur expects these two models to arrive at their UK warehouse at the same time. These figures will no doubt provide double delight for fans of marine monsters.

To view the range of not to scale prehistoric animal models in the CollectA Age of Dinosaurs/Prehistoric Life Series: CollectA Age of Dinosaurs/Prehistoric Life.

To view the range of scale prehistoric animal models produced by CollectA and available from Everything Dinosaur: CollectA Deluxe and Supreme Models.

9 07, 2021

Providing Advice About Visiting Lyme Regis

By | July 9th, 2021|Dinosaur Fans, General Teaching, Geology, Main Page|0 Comments

As Everything Dinosaur team members have written quite a lot about staying safe when visiting the beaches around Lyme Regis on the famous Jurassic Coast of southern England, we are now receiving emails from first time visitors to Dorset asking for our advice.

Our dedicated team members are happy to provide assistance and to direct these enquiries to the local tourist information office and various visitor centres.

Some of the recently built sea defences around Lyme Regis. Stonebarrow and Golden Cap can be seen in the background. The stunning and very beautiful part of the UNESCO World Heritage site around the picturesque town of Lyme Regis (Dorset) – the “Jurassic Coast”.

Our Advice

As the school holidays approach many families are wanting to have a vacation in the UK rather than travel abroad. The Dorset coast is a popular destination and first-time visitors have turned to Everything Dinosaur for advice on staying safe when visiting the beaches. Whilst team members can provide general information and guidance it is important that visitors obey any local notices that have been posted up.

Avoid the cliffs, don’t go near them and whatever you do please do not attempt to climb them. For further information about visiting the beaches around Lyme Regis: Visiting Lyme Regis in Summer. If you are at Charmouth, pop into the local Heritage Centre and ask their advice, you may also be able to book a fossil walk or at least enquire about availability.

Supervised fossil walks are always a good idea, most are now fully booked but it might be worthwhile emailing local guides and enquiring. Brandon Lennon is one of the most respected in the area, he can be contacted here: Lyme Regis Fossil Walks.

For further advice you can visit the local Lyme Regis Tourist Information centre located in the town centre of Lyme Regis – 62, Church Street, Lyme Regis DT7 3BS. Local knowledge can be invaluable.

If you want specific information about tides and beach safety, you can enquire at the lifeboat station down on the Cobb at Lyme Regis. Alternatively, there are a number of websites that provide information about high and low tides on this part of the coast, or for a small fee, an annual tide timetable can be purchased.

It is a good idea to go fossil collecting on a falling tide and to keep away from the steep cliffs. Everything Dinosaur team members provide general advice and guidance to visitors to Lyme Regis and Charmouth.
8 07, 2021

Dino Hazard Irritator challengeri Safety Assessment

By | July 8th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

The results of the independent tests undertaken by Eurofins on the YvY Figures Dino Hazard 1:20 scale Irritator challengeri dinosaur model have arrived. In Everything Dinosaur’s next YouTube video, we will announce the results and explain a little more about the steps required in order to allow Everything Dinosaur to bring this replica into the company’s UK warehouse.

Irritator challengeri product safety tests
The independent product safety test under the General Product Safety Directive for the YvY Figures Dino Hazard Irritator challengeri 1:20 scale dinosaur model.

Independent Product Tests

Once a sample of the Dino Hazard Irritator challengeri figure had been received, Everything Dinosaur set about commissioning independent product safety tests under the General Product Safety Directive. Eurofins was the testing company that Everything Dinosaur sent this dinosaur model to so that an assessment could be carried out.

Eurofins is one of the largest and most respected testing companies in the world. It employs over 50,000 staff across a network of more than 900 independent companies and it has more than 800 laboratories located in 50 countries. The Eurofins Group is committed to providing the highest quality services, accurate results and expert advice from its highly qualified staff. The reliability and accuracy of their analytical services help customers like Everything Dinosaur make decisions about which dinosaur models to bring into the UK and then sell around the world.

The Irritator challengeri dinosaur model
An Everything Dinosaur team member holds the Dino Hazard Irritator challengeri dinosaur model, which in turn is holding in its claws the replica of a lungfish (Equinoxiodus alcantarensis) which is supplied as an accessory with this dinosaur figure. The independent test results for this 1:20 scale dinosaur model are in and Everything Dinosaur’s next YouTube video will discuss them.

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In a few days, Everything Dinosaur will post up a short video on the company’s YouTube channel discussing the Eurofins assessment and the next steps that the UK-based company needs to take in order to bring this exciting dinosaur model out of China.

The Everything Dinosaur YouTube channel is packed with lots of prehistoric animal model reviews, collecting hints and tips and lots of helpful information. There are over 170 videos on the channel, we recommend that you subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

7 07, 2021

New Dinosaur Described from Spain

By | July 7th, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

A new species of dinosaur has been named and described from a jawbone found in Castellón, Spain. The dinosaur has been named Portellsaurus sosbaynati and it has been classified as a member of the Ornithopoda subgroup Styracosterna. Its discovery could help shed light on the evolution of the Hadrosauroidea – the duck-billed dinosaurs, from other large-bodied dinosaurs more closely related to the iguanodontids.

Portellsaurus sosbaynati life reconstruction
A life reconstruction of the newly described Spanish styracosternan hadrosauroid named Portellsaurus sosbaynati. Picture credit: Universitat Jaume I.

Portellsaurus sosbaynati

The fossil material, consisting of a right dentary (lower jawbone), specimen number MQ98-II-1, comes from Mirambell Formation exposures at a site near Mas de Curolles, Portell, Castellón (Spain). The fossil is around 129-130 million years old (Barremian faunal stage of the Early Cretaceous). The strata represent a shallow lagoon and although no other fossil material has been described, unique characteristics associated with the dentary combined with the fossil’s geological age, permitted the research team to erect a new genus of herbivorous dinosaur.

Views of the right dentary of Portellsaurus
View of the right dentary (MQ98-II-1) of Portellsaurus sosbaynati. Labial (A), lingual (B), and occlusal (C) views. (D) Enlargement (2x) of a dental crown fragment at the tooth row. Note scale bar = 10 cm. Picture credit: Santos-Cubedo et al.

Writing in the on-line academic journal PLoS One, the researchers from Universitat Jaume I, Grup Guix and Valencia University, conclude that Portellsaurus is closely related to Ouranosaurus (O. nigeriensis) from Africa and Bolong (B. yixianensis) from north-eastern China.

Based on comparisons with other fossil material from other better-known iguanodontids and hadrosauroids, the scientists estimate that Portellsaurus could have been up to 8 metres long. The genus name for this new Spanish dinosaur honours the town of Portell, whilst the trivial name honours Vicente Sos Baynat, a Spanish geologist born in Castelló de la Plana and the first scientist to be awarded the accolade of honorary doctorate by the Universitat Jaume I.

Time-calibrated phylogeny of Portellsaurus sosbaynati.
Time-calibrated phylogeny of Portellsaurus sosbaynati. This analysis suggests that this Spanish styracosternan hadrosauroid was closely related to Ouranosaurus from Africa and Bolong from China. Picture credit: Santos-Cubedo et al.

Not Closely Related to Other Large-bodied Iberian Ornithopods

In addition, the scientists including corresponding author Andrés Santos-Cubedo (Universitat Jaume I), conclude that Portellsaurus sosbaynati is less closely related to other Iberian taxa such as Iguanodon bernissartensis and Proa valdearinnoensis than it is to the other Early Cretaceous Iberian styracosternans Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis and Morelladon beltrani, although Portellsaurus is geologically several million years older than both Mantellisaurus and Morelladon.

The scientific paper: “A new styracosternan hadrosauroid (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) from the Early Cretaceous of Portell, Spain” by Andrés Santos-Cubedo, Carlos de Santisteban, Begoña Poza and Sergi Meseguer published in PLoS One.

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