All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
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14 04, 2019

Rebor Killer Queen T. rex Models Imminent

By | April 14th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Rebor Killer Queen T. rex Models Imminent

The eagerly awaited Rebor Killer Queen Tyrannosaurus rex models are due to arrive at Everything Dinosaur in the next few days.  Both versions of the Rebor T. rex are coming into stock, the brown/black-coloured model (plain) and the predominately green-coloured replica (jungle).  This is the second Rebor T. rex pairing after the successful launch of “Vanilla Ice” in the autumn of 2018.

Rebor Killer Queen T. rex Figures (Plain and Jungle) Coming to Everything Dinosaur

Rebor Killer Queen T. rex models.

The Rebor Killer Queen Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur models (jungle and plain colour variants).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Pair of “Killer Queens”

The Rebor Killer Queen models have articulated lower jaws, moveable forelimbs and a flexible tail so the tail can be posed in various positions.  When these figures arrive, Everything Dinosaur team members will be busying themselves by contacting all those who have reserved figures.  It is likely that these very collectable figures will feature in Everything Dinosaur’s next customer newsletter.

Each Tyrannosaurus rex figure measures approximately 40 centimetres in length.  At the hips, the models measure a fraction under 13 centimetres in height.

New for Spring 2019 The Rebor Killer Queen Tyrannosaurus rex (Plain)

Rebor Killer Queen Tyrannosaurus rex model (plain).

The Rebor Killer Queen T. rex dinosaur model (Plain).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Plain or Jungle Colour Variants

Collectors will have the opportunity to pick up two versions of this model.  Tyrannosaurus rex is known from Upper Cretaceous strata from the United States and Canada.  One fossilised footprint from Mexico, suggests that the “King of the Tyrant Lizards” lived in Mexico as well, but no body fossils have confirmed this assertion.  It has been suggested that T. rex was confined to more northern latitudes, even the most southerly portions of Laramidia could not be described as “jungle”, although the palaeoenvironment in the southern portion of Laramidia is regarded as sub-tropical.  T. rex would have been familiar with plains, although analysis of plant fossils indicates that the Hell Creek Formation (Maastrichtian faunal stage), deposits are representative of a riverine dominated system surrounded by forest.

Rebor Killer Queen Tyrannosaurus rex Model (Jungle Colour Variant)

Rebor Killer Queen T. rex dinosaur model.

T. rex Killer Queen (jungle).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“Congratulations to Rebor for making two more excellent Tyrannosaurus rex models.  The different colour variants provide dinosaur fans and collectors with the opportunity to get two different versions of the same model and we have received lots of emails from customers asking us to reserve figures for them.  As soon as the shipment arrives at our warehouse, we will get the cartons unpacked and checked over as quickly as possible, then it is simply a question of getting the stock on-line and contacting all those people on our priority reserve list.  The Rebor Killer Queen T. rex figures could be stock as early as tomorrow.”

It has recently been confirmed that Everything Dinosaur will be offering both “plain” and “jungle” as a set at a specially discounted price.

Purchase the Pair of Rebor Killer Queen T. rex Models Together (Jungle and Plain)

Buy the Rebor Killer Queen T.rex models as a pair (jungle and plain).

Purchase the Rebor Killer Queen T. rex models as a pair (plain and jungle).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of Rebor prehistoric animal models and figures stocked by Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Prehistoric Animal Models and Figures

13 04, 2019

Dimetrodon Confrontation

By | April 13th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Dimetrodons Battle for Dominance

Today, we feature another of those wonderful prehistoric scenes created by Safari Ltd.  Safari Ltd have produced some superb images illustrating various models within their excellent Wild Safari Prehistoric World range and today, the sail-backed, pelycosaur Dimetrodon steps into the spotlight.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Dimetrodon Diorama

Dimtrodon confrontation.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Dimetrodon diorama.

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd

In the illustration (above), a pair of Dimetrodons confront each other.  Such intraspecific conflicts may have been relatively common as animals fought for dominance, mates and territory.

Predator of the Permian

Known from North America, Europe and Russia, several species of Dimetrodon have been named.  One of the largest (D. grandis) is estimated to have weighed around two hundred kilograms and measured in excess of three metres in length.  Dimetrodon grandis would have been an apex predator within its ecosystem and it is quite probable that these reptiles (distantly related to modern mammals), would have battled each other to win mates and to gain territory in which to hunt.  In the illustration created by Safari Ltd, we see a pair of Dimetrodons confronting each other against a backdrop of a conifer forest.  It is possible, that these large reptiles may have competed with each other for the best basking sites, an example of intraspecific competition.  After all, if that large sail played a role in thermoregulation, the best places to warm up in the morning would have been at a premium for these large animals.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Dimetrodon Model

Dimetrodon model.

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Dimetrodon model.  Introduced into the model range in 2018.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Evolving Dimetrodon Models

The latest incarnation of Dimetrodon by Safari Ltd was introduced into their model range in 2018.  It ostensibly replaced an earlier figure that had been part of the Carnegie Collectibles model series.  When the Carnegie relationship ended and this part of the Safari Ltd model portfolio was retired, the company had the opportunity to introduce several new figures in subsequent years.  For example, in 2018 the new Dimetrodon replica was one of fourteen new prehistoric animal figures launched.

The Earlier Carnegie Collection Dimetrodon Figure

Dimetrodon model.

Sail-back reptile with ferocious teeth.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Dimetrodon figure is approximately the same size as the earlier Carnegie Dimetrodon (approximately 19 cm long), but there are subtle differences between the two models.  The sails are different shapes, the supporting struts (elongated spines from the vertebrae), are more prominent in the most recently introduced version and the limbs in the 2018 model look more powerful and robust.  These changes reflect the changing interpretation of the fossil material associated with this genus.

To view the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Dimetrodon model and the rest of the figures and replicas in this range stocked by Everything Dinosaur: Safari Ltd/Wild Safari Prehistoric World Figures and Replicas

Our congratulations once again to the design team at Safari Ltd.  Not only has this company produced some excellent prehistoric animal figures, including monsters from the Palaeozoic like Dimetrodon, they have also produced fantastic promotional images of their creations.

12 04, 2019

A New Species of Therizinosaur from China

By | April 12th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Lingyuanosaurus sihedangensis – A New Species of Therizinosaur is Announced

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in collaboration with the University of Alberta, have announced the discovery of a new Therizinosaur based on fragmentary fossils from the Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of Liaoning Province (north-eastern China).   This is the third Therizinosaur to have been named from the Jehol Group, joining Jianchangosaurus and Beipiaosaurus.  These dinosaurs are approximately the same size, the researchers have put forward a number of theories to help explain why three similar-sized members of the Therizinosauridae could have potentially co-existed without directly competing.

The dinosaur has been named Lingyuanosaurus sihedangensis (pronounced: ling-you-an-oh-sore-us), the genus name honours the city of Lingyuan, whilst the trivial epithet refers to the town of Sihedang where the fossils were discovered.

Fossil Material Ascribed to Lingyuanosaurus sihedangensis Prior to Complete Preparation

Lingyuanosaurus fossils.

Lingyuanosaurus fossil material.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

The picture above shows some of the fossils used to name and describe this new species of dinosaur.  Top left (a), limb bones consisting of a right femur and left tibia, whereas, (b) contains ribs, part of the right humerus and the ischium.  Slab (c) consists of claw bones (manual unguals) and ribs, whilst (d), shows the right ankle bone (astragalus) and the left ilium.  Note the scale bar equals 5 cm.

An Intermediate Position within the Therizinosauria

Described from a single, disarticulated but associated partial skeleton, the exact age of the fossils is disputed.  The fossil-bearing strata at Sihedang have been assigned to the Yixian Formation in some studies but to the younger Jiufotang Formation in others.  A phylogenetic analysis carried out by the authors places Lingyuanosaurus in an intermediate position within Therizinosauria.  It has been placed between the early-branching Therizinosaurs such as Falcarius, Jianchangosaurus, and Beipiaosaurus and the late-branching ones such as Alxasaurus and Therizinosaurus.  Lingyuanosaurus sheds additional light on the evolution of major Therizinosaurian characteristics, including the distinctive pelvic girdle and hindlimb morphology seen in this group.

A Drawing of a Typical Therizinosaur

Drawing of a typical Therizinosaurus.

A drawing of a typical Therizinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Where Did Lingyuanosaurus Fit into the Jehol Biota?

Measuring around two metres in length, this is the third similar-sized Therizinosaur to be assigned to this Early Cretaceous biota of northern China.  The presence of three very similar types of dinosaur in the Jehol Group is unusual.  Unless the region was particularly rich in resources, these dinosaurs could have been in direct competition with each other.  The researchers put forward several possible explanations as to why three similar Therizinosaurs have been identified.

  • Firstly, the beds in which these Therizinosaurs (Jianchangosaurus, Lingyuanosaurus and Beipiaosaurus), have been found are not precisely dated.  The Yixian and the Jiufotang Formations were deposited over a span of at least 8 million years.  It is possibly that these three dinosaurs could have been separated from each other by a considerable period of time, hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
  • Secondly, these three species are known from different parts of Liaoning Province.  Whereas, Jianchangosaurus and Lingyuanosaurus were found at sites just a few miles apart, Beipiaosaurus heralds from more than 200 miles further north.   There is some, albeit limited, evidence to suggest that during the Early Cretaceous the deposition of the Jehol Group occurred in multiple small basins, suggesting that the three Jehol Therizinosaurs might have been separated by geographic barriers even if they were mutually contemporaneous.
  • Thirdly, if these three Therizinosaurs did live at the same time, in the same habitat, they might have occupied different niches in the ecosystem.  The teeth of Jianchangosaurus are different (although the holotype represents a juvenile, so comparison with fully grown animals can be problematic), this suggests that Jianchangosaurus might have fed on different types of vegetation compared to Lingyuanosaurus and Beipiaosaurus.  In addition, the ratio of limb bones in Beipiaosaurus is different to the other two dinosaurs, it might have been relatively slow in comparison with Jianchangosaurus and Lingyuanosaurus and therefore it could have had a more limited range.

Claw Fossils (Manual Unguals) – Lingyuanosaurus sihedangensis

Manual unguals (Lingyuanosaurus).

Claw fossils of Lingyuanosaurus (manual unguals).

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

The scientific paper: “A New Transitional Therizinosaurian Theropod from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China” by Xi Yao, Chun-Chi Liao, Corwin Sullivan and Xing Xu published in Scientific Reports

11 04, 2019

A New Species of Early Human from the Philippines

By | April 11th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Another Branch on the Hominin Family Tree – Homo luzonensis

Over the last thirty years or so, our understanding of the evolution of the human family tree has moved on considerably.  Ironically, it is not so much the discovery of new fossils that have helped to fill in the significant gaps in our knowledge, although recent discoveries, most notably in South Africa have helped to improve our understanding.  Advances in our understanding of the genome of our own and closely related species such as the Neanderthal can perhaps be cited as having the greatest impact.  However, our family tree is far from understood and a new paper, published in the journal “Nature” this week, only demonstrates how much more we have to learn.  Indeed, the human family tree has another branch, step forward Homo luzonensis from Luzon Island in the Philippines.  This hominin may have been small in stature, but this is big news for anthropologists.

One of the Co-authors of the Scientific Paper (Professor Philip Piper) Holding a Cast of a Toe Bone

A cast of the toe bone of Homo luzonensis.

Professor Piper (Australian National University), holding a cast of a toe bone assigned to H. luzonensis.

Picture Credit: Lannon Harley (Australian National University)

The picture (above) shows Professor Philip Piper (School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University), holding the cast of a hominin third metatarsal (toe bone).  The fossil was found in 2007 in the Callao Cave system (northern Luzon, Philippines) and dated to 67,000 years ago.  Ascribed to the genus Homo, it provided the earliest direct evidence of a human presence in the Philippines archipelago, but to which species did this toe bone belong?

A New Species of Human

Researchers from the National Museum of Natural History (Paris), Bordeaux University and the University of Poitiers, along with colleagues from the Griffith University and the Australian National University were led by Dr Armand Mijares (University of the Philippines).  During the excavations at the Callao Cave site, a total of thirteen fossil specimens were found relating to humans, teeth, foot, finger and hand bones as well as a partial femur.  The scientists have concluded that the material represents at least three individuals.

The finger and toe bones are curved, suggesting that climbing was still an important activity for this human species.

Curved Toe and Finger Bones Indicate that Tree Climbing was Important for Homo luzonensis

The curved pedal (toe bone) of H. luzonensis.

Homo luzonensis fossil digits and toes indicate that tree climbing was very important to this human species.

Picture Credit: Florent Détroit (Natural History Museum, Paris)

Commenting on the importance of these fossils, Professor Piper stated that this discovery represents a major breakthrough in our understanding of human evolution across south-eastern Asia.

A Relatively Small Hominin

Professor Piper explained:

“The size of the teeth generally, though not always, reflect the overall body-size of a mammal.  So, we think Homo luzonensis was probably relatively small.  Exactly how small we don’t know yet.  We would need to find some skeletal elements from which we could measure body-size more precisely.”

The researchers conclude that the hands and feet are reminiscent of the hands and feet of Australopithecines.  The Australopithecines are considered to be the ancestors of the Homo genus, which includes our own species – H. sapiens.

Posing Difficult Questions

The latest branch to the human family tree is posing a number of intriguing questions to palaeoanthropologists.  Did these primitive anatomical features result in this species of hominin due to adapting to an island life, after all Luzon was heavily forested, or are these traits resulting from primitive African hominins migrating to south-east Asia?

Summarising the situation, Professor Piper stated:

“So, the question is whether some of these features evolved as adaptations to island life, or whether they are anatomical traits passed down to Homo luzonensis from their ancestors over the preceding two million years.”

The Callao Cave System Has Been the Focus of a Number of Archaeological Excavations

The Callao Cave complex (Luzon Island).

Excavations at the Callao Cave complex.

Picture Credit: Callao Cave Archaeology Project

The Origins of Homo luzonensis

Recent excavations near the Callao Cave complex have produced evidence of a butchered rhinoceros and many types of stone stool, some of which have been dated to around 700,000 years ago.

Professor Piper said:

“No hominin fossils were recovered, but this does provide a timeframe for a hominin presence on Luzon.  Whether it was H. luzonensis butchering and eating the rhinoceros remains to be seen.”

Fossil Teeth of Homo luzonensis

Homo luzonensis teeth.

The teeth are quite small and helped to support the erection of a new species.

Picture Credit: Florent Détroit (Natural History Museum, Paris)

The Significance of South-East Asia

The identification of a new species of human in the Philippines makes the whole of south-east Asia very significant.  The Philippines is made up of many thousands of islands, it is possible that other islands may have had hominin populations that could be described as a new species, indeed, within the archipelago there could be evidence for several species of hominin.  For example, stone tools dating to around 200,000 years ago have been found on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.   This suggests that ancient members of the human family tree may have inhabited many of the larger islands in south-east Asia.

Homo floresiensis and the Denisovans

Scientists are aware that south-eastern Asia was home to another species of human, the enigmatic Denisovans, which are known from just a handful of fossil bones found in the mountains of Siberia, but DNA studies have revealed that the Denisovans interbred with early modern humans in this region.  No fossil remains relating to the Denisovans have been found in south-eastern Asia thus far.

In addition, the Indonesian island of Flores was home to a hominin species (Homo floresiensis).  These diminutive people, nicknamed Hobbits because the scientific paper was published at the height of the interest in the “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy, are thought to have lived as recently as 50,000 years ago.

An article on Homo floresiensisDid Modern Humans Drive the Hobbit (H. floresiensis) to extinction?

Intriguingly, anthropologists have argued that H. floresiensis exhibits physical features that are reminiscent of those found in Australopithecines.   However, other researchers have argued that the Hobbits were descended from Homo erectus but that some of their anatomy reverted to a more primitive state, perhaps as a result of living on an island with limited resources.

For an article that discusses the significance of south-east Asia in human evolution: Did Humans Evolve Independently in Asia?

10 04, 2019

New Look for Everything Dinosaur Website

By | April 10th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Maintenance on Website, Press Releases|0 Comments

New Look for Everything Dinosaur Website

Regular visitors to Everything Dinosaur’s main website (Everything Dinosaur), will notice some subtle changes to the theme and the website’s framework.  Customers can still expect our award winning 5-star service, that has not changed, nor have we reduced the range of dinosaur and prehistoric themed products that we stock, however, our use of sliders and animation has been reduced to help maintain fast page load times when our site is viewed on mobiles and other devices.

A Fresh, New Look for Everything Dinosaur’s Website

Dinosaur themed workshops in schools.

Dinosaur workshops in schools, Everything Dinosaur offers dinosaur and fossil workshops in schools.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Constantly Working to Improve our Customer’s On Site Experience

Team members at Everything Dinosaur are constantly working to improve and enhance the experience visitors and customers have when they visit our websites.  Making such improvements are part of a long-term and on-going programme of investment to help this UK-based company stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technical developments.  After all, with our knowledge of the Dinosauria, we don’t want Everything Dinosaur going extinct!

The changes we have made will have no bearing on how the site is viewed.  It will have no impact on the site pages, all the customer benefits are retained, the changes just permit those visitors using mobiles and other devices (not viewing the site from a personal computer), to have slightly quicker load times, for the pages that they wish to view or the landing pages that they are directed to.

The Front Page Will Still Inform Customers About New Products and New Models

Promoting Eofauna Scientific Research figures and models.

New slides helping to promote the Eofauna Scientific Research prehistoric animal models and figures.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Website Functionality

The functionality of the website will not be affected by these changes.  The front page of our website will continue to inform visitors about new arrivals/new products and the Feefo ratings along with the chat live options will continue to be prominently displayed.  The “contact us” email link will still be accessible, but in the near future another, additional “contact us” link will be provided nearer the top of the page, just for customer convenience.

The First of the New Website Slides Promotes the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box Articulated Tyrannosaurus rex Models

Promoting Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex dinosaur figures.

New Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex models feature in the first of our new promotional slides.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“These changes are part of an on-going process to reflect changes in technology and the preferences of customers.  We continue to monitor the performance of our various websites on a daily basis and to adjust them so that we can continue to meet the needs of our ever-growing and international customer base.  The first slides we have put up on Everything Dinosaur’s home page support our work with Eofauna Scientific Research and Kaiyodo.  These slides also give us the opportunity to promote our very popular dinosaur and fossil workshops in schools.  We now have greater flexibility in the sort of slides and other visuals that we can use to keep our website refreshed and up to date.”

A Programme of Further Investment

Just like when writing a scientific paper or report, the work done so far is part of a continuing process.  As with science, things move on and the Everything Dinosaur websites are constantly being reviewed and updated to meet the changing needs of the market place.

9 04, 2019

More Improvements to the Everything Dinosaur Website

By | April 9th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

More Improvements to the Everything Dinosaur Website

Everything Dinosaur team members have set aside much of the time this week to schedule some adjustments and improvements to the company’s website.  Some minor changes are being made to the way in which pictures are being uploaded onto the site, these alterations are part of Everything Dinosaur’s on-going plans for continuous improvement and customers will not notice any difference in the operation of our various platforms.

As part of the changes, some of the visuals have been updated to include images of recently introduced or items that are being introduced in the very near future.

Changing Some of the Visuals on the Everything Dinosaur Website

The new design for the learning category (Everything Dinosaur).

Updating the learning category at Everything Dinosaur.  Changes are being made to some visuals and images to further improve the experience of visitors and customers.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Continuous Improvement – Kaizen

The Everything Dinosaur website is being constantly examined and analysed in order to detect areas where improvements can be made.  Our aim is to build a culture of continuous improvement and these goals and aims are reflected in the way in which we try to maintain and develop our on-line presence.   All team members have a role to play in helping to develop continuous improvement.  Take for example, some of the visuals that we use to promote various categories and sub-categories of products.  These are updated and refreshed in order to reflect the latest additions to our product range.

Updating the Papo Sub-category Image

The new design for the Papo category.

Updating the Papo figures and models category.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Updating Papo Images

As part of our revision of the images we use on the website, the visual associated with the Papo website has been updated to include the recently introduced brown, running Tyrannosaurus rex figure.  The image also depicts the Papo Pentaceratops and the Gorgosaurus, both models are due to in stock later on this year (summer 2019).

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Updating the visuals is important for our customers, it helps them to see how a product range is changing.  We not only take care to include upcoming, new items but also we ensure that out of production items are removed from these visuals.  After all, we don’t want to confuse our visitors.”

Updating Wild Safari Prehistoric World Images to Improve Page Loading

In addition to the Papo category being adjusted, other model categories have been revamped too.  Take for example, the Wild Safari Prehistoric World range of prehistoric animal models and figures.  Virtually all of the new for 2019 models are already in stock at Everything Dinosaur, but plans are well advanced to receive the last of this year’s new models – the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Allosaurus.  As a result, the visual used to promote this sub-category has also been revised.  The new Allosaurus model has been added to this image.

Updating the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Model Sub-category

The new design for the Safari Ltd category.

Updating the Safari Ltd figures and models category.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Find Everything Dinosaur’s main website: Everything Dinosaur

8 04, 2019

Praising the Pegasus Spinosaurus Model Kit

By | April 8th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Praising the Pegasus Spinosaurus Model Kit

At Everything Dinosaur, we get sent lots of pictures from model collectors and dinosaur fans of prehistoric animal landscapes, completed kits and dinosaur themed dioramas.  We always enjoy seeing how the items that we supply are used and we are amazed at how talented some of our customers can be when it comes to customising models and replicas.  Take for example, the Pegasus Spinosaurus model kit pictures sent into to us by model collector Martin.  We have been lucky enough to receive lots of photographs of finished kits, Martin’s beautifully crafted model took many hours to complete, but we think you will agree that the end result is stunning.

That’s a fantastic Spinosaurus replica Martin!

The Pegasus Spinosaurus Model Kit

The finished Pegasus Spinosaurus model kit.

The completed Pegasus Spinosaurus model kit.

Picture Credit: Martin

Pegasus Dinosaur Model Kits

There are three figures in the Pegasus Hobbies dinosaur model series, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus rex and Spinosaurus.  All the kits comprise of PVC vinyl pieces, in the case of the Spinosaurus kit, there are eleven pieces that make up the Spinosaurus and a further six pieces that make up the unfortunate fish victim, plus a detailed display base.  Model collectors please note, paints and glue are not included in the kits.

The Assembled Kit Ready for Painting

Pegasus Spinosaurus model kit ready for painting.

Pegasus Spinosaurus model assembled ready to paint.

Picture Credit: Martin

When assembled the kit is ready for painting.  The Spinosaurus (S. aegyptiacus), has a stated scale – 1:24 and when it comes to painting and the use of washes, the model maker is free to choose any combination of colours they like, after all, no person has ever seen a living spinosaurid.

Highly Detailed Pegasus Model Kit (Spinosaurus)

Pegasus Spinosaurus model kit (front view).

The anterior portion of the Pegasus Spinosaurus model kit showing the partly painted Xiphactinus.

Picture Credit: Martin

The picture above, shows the anterior portion of the model, the skin of the Spinosaurus is finely detailed, even the morphology of the fingers and claws reflect what is known about spinosaurids and Theropods in general.  From this angle, the well-sculpted and detailed interior of the mouth can also be viewed.  Note, the subtle differences in the shape and size of the teeth in the lower jaw.

Catching a Xiphactinus

In Martin’s finished model, the fish that has been caught by the dinosaur has been beautifully painted too.  The delicate and astute brush work demonstrates the care and attention given to the painting, the pool of blood coalescing by the carcase provides a nice, gory touch.  Ironically, although Spinosaurus is often depicted as a piscivore, it would never have caught the fish represented in the Pegasus Hobbies model kit.  The fish is a Xiphactinus (pronounced Zee-fak-tin-us), a bony fish (Teleost) and although, the Teleosts have an extensive fossil record and evolved long before Spinosaurus, Xiphactinus is confined to the Late Cretaceous of North America.  With some Xiphactinus fossil specimens indicating a length of six metres or more, this fish would have made a sizeable meal for a hungry Spinosaurus.

The Finished Fish Victim Xiphactinus

Pegasus Spinosaurus model kit Xiphactinus.

Pegasus Spinosaurus model kit Xiphactinus fish accessory.

Picture Credit: Martin

A Close-up View of the Skilfully Painted Head of the Pegasus Spinosaurus Model

Pegasus Spinosaurus model.

A close-up view of the head of the Pegasus Spinosaurus model.

Picture Credit: Martin

Our thanks once again to Martin for sending in photographs of his splendid Spinosaurus.

To view the range of Pegasus kits available from Everything Dinosaur: Pegasus Dinosaur Model Kits

7 04, 2019

The First Alaskan Lambeosaurine Dinosaur Identified

By | April 7th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Lambeosaurine Reported from the Liscomb Bonebed (Alaska)

The first fossil evidence of a lambeosaurine duck-billed dinosaur has been reported from the Liscomb Bonebed (Prince Creek Formation) of Alaska.  Part of the top of a skull, a bone called the supraoccipital (it forms part of the braincase), has been found during field work on the famous Alaskan fossil site on the banks of the Colville River.  This discovery demonstrates that both lambeosaurine and hadrosaurine dinosaurs lived in the high Arctic during the Late Cretaceous.  It also suggests that the crested lambeosaurines may have preferred inland environments, whilst their cousins, the hadrosaurines dominated the ecosystem in coastal and low-lying, near shore environments.

Evidence to Indicate that Lambeosaurines Lived in the Arctic During the Late Cretaceous

Co-existing lambeosaurines and hadrosaurines (Liscomb Bonebed).

Hadrosaurines and lambeosaurines co-existed in low-lying, coastal areas of the Late Cretaceous of Alaska.

Picture Credit: Masato Hattori

Writing in the on-line, academic journal “Scientific Reports”, researchers from Hokkaido University (Japan) and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, Texas), confirm the discovery of a skull bone associated with a lambeosaurine (crested duck-billed dinosaur) in the hadrosaurine dominated Liscomb Bonebed, a site that has to date, yielded some 6,000 dinosaur bones.  The fossils exposed on the banks of the Colville River in a region of Alaska known as the North Slope, represent one of the most important Maastrichtian-aged dinosaur fossil sites in the world.  It has provided evidence of a high latitude Late Cretaceous dinosaur dominated ecosystem.  The bonebed is described as a monodominant, multitaxic unit as although 98.5% of all the fossils found represent just one species – the hadrosaurine Edmontosaurus* other types of dinosaur including three Theropods have been identified from fossils found at this site too.  The supraoccipital confirms the presence of lambeosaurines at this location as well, although, based on the ratio of hadrosaurine to lambeosaurine fossils found, crested duck-billed dinosaurs probably only made up a tiny portion of the entire plant-eating dinosaur community.

Views of the Single Skull Bone (Supraoccipital) Identified as Lambeosaurine

Lambeosaurine supraoccipital (DMNH 2014-12-266) from the Liscomb Bonebed.

Lambeosaurine supraoccipital (DMNH 2014-12-266) from the Liscomb Bonebed (a) dorsal view, (b) ventral view, (c) left lateral view, (d) posterior view, (e) anterior view and (f) right lateral view.  Note scale bar = 2 cm.  The dorsal (a) and posterior views (d) show the two, prominent bumps (squamosal bosses) that helps to identify this bone as lambeosaurine material.  Abbreviation sqb = squamosal bosses.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

The newly described supraoccipital differs from those of hadrosaurines as it has large, prominent bumps towards the back of the bone (squamosal bosses).  It is also a different shape when compared to supraoccipital bones associated with members of the Hadrosaurinae such as Edmontosaurus.  For example, it is proportionally shorter in length (when measured from the front to the back of the bone – anterior to posterior).

Lambeosaurine and Hadrosaurine

The dinosaur family known as the Hadrosauridae is split into two main, but closely related lineages, the Lambeosaurinae and the Hadrosaurinae.  Traditionally, these two groups have been distinguished by their skulls, lambeosaurines having hollow crested skull crests, whilst the hadrosaurines lack bony crests.  This assessment might prove too simplistic, but for the time being, the general classification of Hadrosaurs into these two sister lineages remains the consensus.

Classifying the Hadrosauridae (Duck-billed Dinosaurs)

The evolution of the duck-billed dinosaurs.

Tracing the Evolution of Duck-billed Dinosaurs.  Two distinct but sister lineages are recognised the non-crested Hadrosaurinae and the hollow crested Lambeosaurinae.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Co-author of the scientific paper, Dr Anthony Fiorillo (Perot Museum of Nature and Science) stated:

“This first definitive evidence of a crested hadrosaur in the Cretaceous Arctic tells us that we still have much to learn about the biodiversity and the biologically productive environments of the ancient north and that the story these fossils tell us is continually evolving.”

Field Team Members Excavating Part of the Liscomb Bonebed on the Banks of the Colville River (Alaska)

Excavating the Liscomb Bonebed.

Field team members excavating the Liscomb Bonebed.

Picture Credit: Dr Anthony Fiorillo (Perot Museum of Nature and Science)

A Link Between the Lambeosaurines of North America and Asia

The single fossil bone might not be sufficient to erect a new genus of lambeosaurine dinosaur, but the discovery is extremely significant as it links the dinosaur biota of the most northerly portions of North America to dinosaur faunas from the Late Cretaceous of northern Asia.  For example, Nipponosaurus (N. sachalinensis) from the North Pacific island of Sakhalin, is also a lambeosaurine.

Commenting on the connection between Arctic dinosaur faunas and those of the North Pacific, co-author Ryuji Takasaki (Hokkaido University) said:

“This new discovery illustrates the geographic link between lambeosaurines of North America and the Far East.  Hopefully, further work in Alaska will reveal how closely the dinosaurs of Asia and North America are connected.”

Known Geographical Distribution of Lambeosaurine Dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous

The known distribution of lambeosaurines during the Late Cretaceous

Palaeogeographical records of lambeosaurines during the Late Cretaceous.  The red star represents the Liscomb lambeosaurine fossil find.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

Hadrosaurines and Lambeosaurines Had Different Habitat Preferences

The Liscomb Bonebed might be dominated by fossil material assigned to the Hadrosaurinae, but the discovery of a single fossil bone indicates the presence of lambeosaurines.  This site is representative of a coastal, near-shore environment and it differs from the lambeosaurine dominant structures of localities in Russia and China interpreted as inland environments.  The researchers postulate that crested duck-billed dinosaurs (lambeosaurines), preferred inland habitats, whilst the non-crested duck-bills (hadrosaurines), favoured coastal habitats.   Different habitat preferences might have been a strategy to avoid excessive competition between these two groups of closely related dinosaurs.

Lambeosaurine and Hadrosaurine Habitats (Inferred from the Liscomb Bonebed)

Differential habitat preference between hadrosaurines and lambeosaurines.

Hadrosaurines (grey) may have preferred lowland coastal habitats whilst the lambeosaurines (black) may have dominated faunal ecosystems further inland.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

Note: Edmontosaurus*

Things are never that straight forward in vertebrate palaeontology.  In 2015, a new taxon of hadrosaurine was erected based on the Liscomb duck-billed dinosaur bones.  The new species was named Ugrunaaluk kuukpikensis and although it was believed to be closely related to Edmontosaurus, it was established as a separate taxon.  However, in 2017 subsequent analysis challenged this conclusion.  Ugrunaaluk had been erected based on the study of fossil bones from immature individuals of various growth stages.  The hadrosaurine bones from the Liscomb Bonebed overwhelmingly represent the remains of juveniles.  The establishment of a unique duck-billed dinosaur taxon for northern Alaska remains controversial.  Many palaeontologists now consider Ugrunaaluk to be nomen dubium (not a valid genus).

To read Everything Dinosaur’s 2015 article about Ugrunaaluk kuukpikensisAlaska’s Latest Dinosaur Ugrunaaluk kuukpikensis

The scientific paper: “The First Definite Lambeosaurine Bone From the Liscomb Bonebed of the Upper Cretaceous Prince Creek Formation, Alaska, United States” by Ryuji Takasaki, Anthony R. Fiorillo, Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, Ronald S. Tykoski and Paul J. McCarthy published in Scientific Reports.

6 04, 2019

Book Celebrates “Golden Age of Dinosaurs”

By | April 6th, 2019|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

The Dinosaurs Rediscovered

The official press release to accompany the recently published “The Dinosaurs Rediscovered” by Professor Michael Benton (University of Bristol), states that we are “living in a golden age of dinosaur science“.  With so many new dinosaurs being named and described, the last one we blogged about was the small, Australian Ornithischian dinosaur Galleonosaurus dorisae, named just a few weeks ago, it is hard to disagree.

To read about Galleonosaurus: New Australian Ornithopod Described

The Front Cover of the Recently Published “The Dinosaurs Rediscovered”

"The Dinosaurs Rediscovered".

The jacket cover of the new book about dinosaurs “The Dinosaurs Rediscovered”.

Picture Credit: Thames and Hudson

The Press Release

The official press release states that over the past twenty years, the study of dinosaurs has changed from natural history to a true scientific discipline.  The utilisation of advanced technologies has revolutionised the study of prehistoric animals and life in the past.  This book, written by eminent palaeontologist Professor Mike Benton, combines first-hand accounts and anecdotes from a lifetime of fossil collecting with an updated review of Dinosauria research.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s review of the book: The Dinosaurs Rediscovered – a brief review

The press release goes on to state that “The Dinosaurs Rediscovered” presents all the latest palaeontological evidence which has transformed the study of dinosaurs.  Team members were asked the other day to select our favourite chapter.  This was not an easy task as all the chapters are beautifully compiled, but when pressed, we opted for chapter 9.  Chapter 9 outlines the reasons for the mass extinction event and explains in terms that the general reader can easily follow, the research into the Chicxulub impact crater.  This chapter also informs the reader that the extra-terrestrial bolide crashed into Earth probably in June – how can scientists make such an assertion; we suggest you read the book to find out!

Tale of the Tape

Title: “The Dinosaurs Rediscovered”

Author: Michael J. Benton

Publication: April 2019

Pages/Extent: 336

Illustrations: 163

Size: 23. 4 centimetres by 15.3 centimetres

ISBN: 978 0 500 052006

Published by: Thames & Hudson.

For further information visit the website of the publisherThe Dinosaurs Rediscovered can be found here

5 04, 2019

Four-Legged Whale Ancestor from the Eocene of Peru

By | April 5th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Peregocetus pacificus – The Travelling Whale that Reached the Pacific

A team of international researchers including scientists from Peru, France, Belgium, Italy and Holland have announced the discovery of an ancient four-legged whale from Peru.  The fossil discovery suggests that early whales crossed the South Atlantic more than 42.6 million years ago (Lutetian faunal stage of the Eocene).  The fossil material comes from the Playa Media Luna, in Peru’s desert-like Pisco Basin.  It is the oldest fossil of a whale found to date in the New World.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Early Cetacean – Peregocetus pacificus

Peregocetus pacificus life reconstruction.

Life reconstruction Peregocetus pacificus.  Note: the tail fluke is speculative.

Picture Credit: A Gennari/Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

In 2011, an international team of palaeontologists excavated a well-preserved skeleton of a four-legged whale ancestor.  Writing in the academic journal, “Current Biology”, the scientists conclude that P. pacificus illustrates a key phase in the evolution and dispersal of early whales.  It represents the first record of an amphibious whale for the whole Pacific Ocean and its discovery supports the hypothesis for an early dispersal of primitive cetaceans to the New World across the South Atlantic.

Field Team Members Working on a Block of Fossil Bones

Peregocetus pacificus fossil excavation.

Field team members working on a block of bones (Peregocetus pacificus).

Picture Credit: Christian de Muizon (Natural History Museum – Paris)

A Quadruped with a Powerful Tail to Assist with Swimming

The first whales are believed to have evolved around fifty million years ago, from terrestrial, hoofed, quadrupeds such as Indohyus from Kashmir.  To read an article about Indohyus: Deer-like Fossil Confuses Whale Evolution.  The discovery of  Peregocetus pacificus will help to fill in some of the gaps in the fossil record of early members of the Cetacea.  Dr Olivier Lambert of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and a co-author of the scientific paper stated:

“This is the most complete specimen ever found for a four-legged whale outside of India and Pakistan.”

A View of a Fossilised Rib of Peregocetus pacificus

Peregocetus pacificus rib bone (in situ).

Peregocetus pacificus rib bone partially excavated at the dig site.

Picture Credit: G. Bianucci (University of Pisa)

The Oldest Four-Legged Whale of the New World

Peregocetus combines terrestrial locomotion abilities and use of the tail for swimming, although the presence of a partial tail fluke as seen in the above illustration is speculative.  Measuring between 3.4 to 4 metres in length, it probably resembled a large otter and like extant otters, it most likely hunted in the water and preyed on fish.  The scientific name translates as “the travelling whale that reached the Pacific Ocean”, a reflection of this being the oldest New World whale fossil discovered to date.  Although, not a complete skeleton, the fossil material represents the most complete skeleton of a four-legged whale outside India and Pakistan.

Olivier Lambert added:

“The animal could carry its own weight and crawl about on land.  We can see this, among other things, because the pelvis is firmly attached to the sacrum and the front and hind legs are very similar to those of Peregocetus’s ancestors from India and Pakistan.  You can even see marks of small hooves on the toes and fingers.”

Line Drawings Illustrating the Known Skeletal Material of Peregocetus in Swimming and Terrestrial Positions

Peregocetus pacificus line drawings (swimming and on land).

Preserved parts of the skeleton showing proposed terrestrial and swimming positions.

Picture Credit: Olivier Lambert (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences)

The picture (above), shows schematic drawings of the skeleton of Peregocetus in a swimming (top) and a walking stance (bottom), showing the main preserved bones.  Stippled lines indicate reconstructed parts.

Like a Giant Otter

The researchers are confident that Peregocetus was an accomplished swimmer, perfectly at home in the water.  The last few tail bones (caudal vertebrae), have not been found, so it is not possible to state whether this early whale had a tail fluke, but Lambert observed:

“The anatomy of the first vertebrae of the tail resembles that of amphibious mammals such as otters and beavers.  So, we think the animal propelled itself through the water by wave-like movements of the posterior part of the body, including the tail, and by moving its large feet and long toes that were most likely webbed.”

Cranial and Postcranial Material (Peregocetus pacificus)

The lower jaw and postcranial fossil bones of Peregocetus pacificus.

Mandible and postcranial bones of Peregocetus pacificus.

Picture Credit: G. Bianucci (University of Pisa)

A Very Long Journey

The scientists suggest that the ancestors of Peregocetus crossed the Atlantic Ocean between North Africa and the northernmost portion of South America.  During the Eocene, the Atlantic Ocean was only half as wide as it is today and the prevailing surface currents from Africa to South America would have helped the ancestors of Peregocetus to reach the other side.  Once on the eastern coast of South America, the population gradually moved further northwards and populations were eventually established on the western (Peruvian) coast of South America.  Later, relatives of Peregocetus would spread further north, to the east coast of North America.

The Prepared Lower Jaw of P. pacificus

Peregocetus pacificus lower jaw.

The left mandible (lower jaw) of Peregocetus pacificus.

Picture Credit: Olivier Lambert (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences)

The Pisco Basin in Peru is proving to be hot-spot for whale fossils.  In 2017, the international team with Olivier Lambert found, 200 metres away from the spot where Peregocetus pacificus was excavated, a 36.4 million-year-old descendant of the basilosaurids, identified as the oldest known member of the mysticete group – Mystacodon selenensis.  Basilosaurids were fully aquatic and mainly used their tail fluke to propel themselves.  Their front limbs had evolved into paddles and the rear legs were much reduced and vestigial.

There are two main types of whale alive today.  Firstly, there is the Odontoceti (toothed whales), such as sperm whales, dolphins and porpoises.   Secondly, there is the Mysticeti, the baleen whales such as the blue, humpback and gray whale.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in the compilation of this article.

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