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

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16 05, 2020

More Papo Prehistoric Animals Arrive

By | May 16th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

More Papo Prehistoric Animals Arrive

This week, team members at Everything Dinosaur were able to bring in another shipment of Papo prehistoric animal models.  In total, we were able to replenish stocks of eleven Papo figures.  As part of our planning to help maintain our mail order business in the advent of a lockdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), we put into place some contingency stock that we could draw upon quite easily to help ensure that we could keep delivering products to our customers.

Papo Pentaceratops and Gorgosaurus Gift Box Stocks Replenished

Papo Gorgosaurus and Pentaceratops box set.

The Papo Gorgosaurus and Pentaceratops box set. Stock of this popular gift set has been replenished.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The new for 2020 Papo figures remain unlikely to become available until August at the earliest.  The Papo factory has been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.  If Everything Dinosaur gets news about the new for 2020 Papo prehistoric animals we shall, of course, post this information up onto our social media platforms including this site.

A Range of Papo Prehistoric Animals

The latest delivery into our warehouse consists of a range of Papo figures.   These deliveries are all part of our planning and contingency operations to keep product stocks available to our customers.  Along with the Papo Gorgosaurus and Pentaceratops gift box, the shipment also contained a small number of Papo Pentaceratops and Gorgosaurus models so we can continue to sell these figures individually.

On Hand!  The Papo Pentaceratops Dinosaur Model

Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur model.

The Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We continue to do all we can to protect our team members and to assist the public.  Social distancing measures have been put in place as part of a suite of measures to keep us operating as normally as possible in these far from normal times.  We know how important it is for our customers when it comes to indulging a hobby or shopping for birthday gifts and presents, so far, the steps we have taken have permitted us to keep going.  Part of our strategy was to plan for a time when deliveries to our warehouse would be difficult, so we have been able to stockpile certain items that have helped us to manage inventories effectively.”

The Warehouse Delivery Also Included the Papo Carnotaurus

Papo Carnotaurus model.

“Meat-eating Bull” from Papo.  The Papo Carnotaurus dinosaur model was also included in our latest re-supply shipment.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Maintaining Product Stocks

With so much uncertainty about with regards to factory production schedules, Everything Dinosaur is doing all it can to maintain supplies.  For example, next week, further deliveries are expected from CollectA and Rebor and plans are in place to obtain more Bullyland figures.

In the meantime, to view the Papo prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

15 05, 2020

Customers Praise Everything Dinosaur

By | May 15th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Customers Praise Everything Dinosaur

These are certainly challenging times for us all.  Much of the world continues to be in lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).  We hope that everyone is keeping well and staying safe.  Our thoughts are with all those families that have been affected by this pandemic.  We would like to convey our thoughts and sympathies to all those who have been affected.

At Everything Dinosaur, we continue to do all we can to try to keep a sense of normality for our customers.  Team members have provided support and assistance as they know how important birthdays can be so they have been working extra hard to ensure parcels are despatched promptly.

We do appreciate all the kind comments and feedback that we receive.  Feefo, the independent rating company have published thousands of customer reviews about us.  We also received comments and reviews from customers on our own website.

Here are some recent examples:

Tommy wrote into Everything Dinosaur stating:

“I received my order today and can I please just say you run a fantastic website and the new dinosaurs (including the fantastic fact sheets) have made my son’s and wife’s day.  Have a fantastic day and keep up the outstanding work.”

Pam commented:

“I just wanted to say thank you for such a prompt delivery.  We are so glad we found your website.”

Dawn emailed to thank us for our speedy delivery, she wrote:

“I would like to thank you for my order.  My son was delighted with the purchase to add to his ever growing dinosaur collection.  Fast delivery; day after ordering, exceptional customer service, amazing quality dinosaur & a nice touch; the fact sheet.  We will definitely purchase again in the future.  Thank you.”

Model collector Ed reviewed the CollectA Torosaurus model that he had recently purchased from us:

“Nice to have a model of a not very well known dinosaur.  Torosaurus was in walking with dinosaurs and they made a figure as well.  A smallish model but it really shows its large head in comparison to the rest of its body.  Nice colouring to.  Good service from Everything Dinosaur.”

The CollectA Torosaurus Model is Praised Along with Everything Dinosaur

CollectA Torosaurus Prehistoric Life dinosaur model.

The CollectA Prehistoric Life Torosaurus dinosaur model.  A favourite model of Ed and lots of other dinosaur model collectors too.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Our thanks to everyone who takes the time and trouble to provide us with feedback.  We really, really appreciate your views and support.

Stay well, keep safe.

14 05, 2020

Wild Past Protoceratops Model on Display

By | May 14th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

The Photogenic Wild Past Protoceratops

Our thanks to model collector Elizabeth who sent into Everything Dinosaur a photograph of her recently acquired Wild Past Protoceratops dinosaur model on display.  Enthusiastic collector Elizabeth had combined her Protoceratops andrewsi figure with the base from the Paleo-Creatures Moschops replica.  The result is a very effective composition, highlighting the attention to detail that can be found in both these ranges, Wild Past and Paleo-Creatures.

The Wild Past 1:35 Scale Protoceratops andrewsi Displayed on the Paleo-Creatures Moschops Base

Wild Past Protoceratops model combined with the Paleo-Creatures Moschops display base.

The Wild Past Protoceratops andrewsi combined with the base from the Paleo-Creatures Moschops figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Depicting An Ancient Environment

Elizabeth’s choice of display base for her model is very appropriate.  Protoceratops fossil remains are associated with two geological formations, the Djadochta Formation epitomised by the astonishing beauty and desolation of the Flaming Cliffs site, the type locality for this formation, from which the fossil remains of Protoceratops andrewsi have been recovered.  Secondly, the larger species Protoceratops hellenikorhinus, is known from the Bayan Mandahu Formation which outcrops some 450 km (280 miles) to the south-east of the Flaming Cliffs location.  Both formations are dominated by sandstones and remarkably, the climate in these areas today is roughly comparable to the palaeo-climate of the Late Cretaceous.  Displaying the Wild Past Protoceratops andrewsi on a sandy base is an accurate reconstruction of the habitat of this neoceratopsian.

The biota associated with the Upper Cretaceous deposits of the Djadochta and Bayan Mandahu formations occupied a harsh, arid scrubland with little permanent water.  Biologists refer to such difficult habitats as “stressed environments”, the absence of large vertebrates, such as the fossils of much bigger dinosaurs, supports the hypothesis that Protoceratops and the other Late Cretaceous residents had to endure a harsh climate.

The Paleo-Creatures Moschops Model with the Sandy Display Base

Paleo-Creatures Moschops replica.

The Paleo-Creatures Moschops figure is in 1:20 scale.  Model collector Elizabeth has used the display base for her Wild Past Protoceratops figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An Exciting Start for a New Model Range

The 1:35 scale Protoceratops is the first in a new range of models (Wild Past), Elizabeth emailed to say:

“Here’s another photo for you to use if you wish.  It’s the Wild Past Protoceratops – I think this is such an exciting start to a new line.”

Ironically, both the Wild Past Protoceratops and the Paleo-Creatures Moschops have featured on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel, in a series of short videos we have entitled “turntable Tuesday”.

The Moschops and the Protoceratops andrewsi videos can be found on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

The Wild Past Protoceratops Dinosaur Model Showcased by Everything Dinosaur for “Turntable Tuesday”

Wild Past Protoceratops "turntable Tuesday" at Everything Dinosaur

The Wild Past Protoceratops ready for “turntable Tuesday” at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Commenting upon her photograph, Elizabeth added:

“She [the Protoceratops] is gate-crashing the base of the Paleo-Creatures Moschops.  She seems intent on checking out the sizeable footprint of the animal that walked over the sand previously, perhaps while she was away foraging for her minute hatchlings in the nest!”

In our correspondence with the photographer, we highlighted a research paper published back in 2011, that examined an extremely rare event preserved in the fossil record.  A footprint of a protoceratopsid dinosaur had been found in association with the fossilised remains of a Protoceratops.  As Elizabeth’s photograph depicts a Protoceratops investigating a footprint, it could be argued that is an example of art imitating science.

Link to our blog article about the 2011 protoceratopsid body and trace fossil study: Stopping a Dinosaur Dead in its Tracks.

Our thanks to Elizabeth for sending into Everything Dinosaur such a well-composed photograph.

The Wild Past Protoceratops model can be found here: Wild Past Models.

13 05, 2020

Depicting the Western Interior Seaway

By | May 13th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Feeding Time for a Tylosaurus

Our thanks to Mark for emailing Everything Dinosaur an illustration depicting life in the Western Interior Seaway around 75 million years ago.  Lots of Everything Dinosaur customers all over the world are in lockdown and we have been receiving more prehistoric animal drawings and other artworks than we usually do over the last few weeks.  Mark’s illustration depicts one of the apex predators of marine environments in the Late Cretaceous, a Tylosaurus (T. proriger) grabbing a marine turtle.  The turtle is described as a protostegid turtle (Protostegidae), a representative of an extinct family of marine turtles whose taxonomic position within the Order Testudines remains uncertain.  One thing known about this group, which seem to be confined to the Cretaceous, is that some of these protostegids evolved into giants!  For example, the largest turtle known to science Archelon (A. ischyros), has been assigned to the Protostegidae.  At nearly five metres in length with a flipper span of four metres, Archelon inhabited the northern sector of the Western Interior Seaway during the Late Campanian of the Cretaceous.

Tylosaurus Attacks a Protostegid Turtle (Western Interior Seaway – Late Cretaceous)

A Tylosaurus attacks a protostegid turtle.

An illustration of the Western Interior Seaway in the Late Cretaceous.  Surrounded by invertebrates and small fish, the Tylosaurus lunges and grabs the unfortunate turtle, whilst hesperornithiform seabirds go about their business catching squid.

Picture Credit: Mark Massion

In Mark’s email he explained:

“Please find enclosed a drawing of the mosasaur, Tylosaurus proriger, attacking a protostegid turtle.  This incident is taking place in the Late Cretaceous, Western Interior Sea, in what we now identify as the State of Kansas.  Kansas is located in America’s Midwest.”

The artwork shows a dorsal view (top down) of the scene.  The powerful jaws of the mosasaur have grabbed the turtle whilst hesperornithiform seabirds go about their business of catching squid.  Our thanks to Mark for sending us this illustration.

Inspired by the “Oceans of Kansas”

Mark went onto explain the inspiration behind his artwork:

“An illustration in Michael J. Everhart’s Oceans of Kansas, caught my attention and became the impetus for this drawing.  I would like to acknowledge his help and suggestions on how to correctly depict Tylosaurus.  In addition, Russell Hawley’s superb drawings in Oceans of Kansas also need to be recognised.”

Many Artists Have Been Inspired by the Fossil Discoveries from the Marine Sediments of North America

The Western Interior Seaway (Late Cretaceous)

A dramatic scene from the Western Interior Seaway painted by Zdeněk Burian (1905-1981), the Czech artist and illustrator who is credited for playing a pivotal role in the development of prehistoric animal illustration.

Picture Credit: Zdeněk Burian

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“We are always delighted to receive drawings, illustrations and other artworks from fans of prehistory and prehistoric animals.  In these uncertain times, with many of our customers in lockdown, doing something creative such as drawing or model making can be very therapeutic and helpful.  We have seen a rise in the number of emails we have received which contain the results of these endeavours, we hope that indulging in these creative activities helps to keep people safe and well.”

Our thanks once again to Mark for sending in his illustration.

12 05, 2020

Bullyland Ammonite Model “Turntable Tuesday”

By | May 12th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

“Turntable Tuesday” Bullyland Ammonite Model

It’s “Turntable” Tuesday at Everything Dinosaur!  The time of the week when we put another prehistoric animal model on our turntable and give it a spin.  Today, it is the turn of the Bullyland ammonite model, the first invertebrate to feature in this series and an ammonite replica that it is used by museums all over the world to illustrate the Ammonoidea.

The Bullyland Ammonite Model “Turntable Tuesday”

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Ammonite Replicas

The Bullyland ammonite is one of the most popular figures in the German company’s “Dinosaur Park” range.  It depicts a typical ammonite, with large eyes, a hypernome and a beautifully detailed beak (mouth).  The shell has an inverted keel and it is strongly ribbed, characteristics associated with a number of known genera from both the Jurassic and Cretaceous geological periods.

The Bullyland Ammonite Model

Bullyland ammonite model.

The Bullyland replica ammonite model.  The strongly ribbed shell, large eyes and the presence of a hypernome (siphon).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Ubiquitous and Important Extinct Group of Cephalopods

Although extinct, animals in the Subclass Ammonoidea are extremely important to scientists.  Ammonites are members of the Mollusca Phylum that lived in chambered shells and were entirely marine.  Many hundreds of different genera are known.  The ability to evolve rapidly, to leave abundant fossil material in the form of their fossilised shells (comprised of aragonite, a naturally occurring crystalline form of calcium carbonate), has made these molluscs ideal candidates for zonal fossils.  Outcrops of rock, although in some cases, separated by thousands of miles and composed of different constituents, limestone and sandstone for example, can be correlated due to the fact that they contain similar ammonite fossils.  The technique of using fossils to identify the relative age of sediments is called biostratigraphy.  Rock layers are divided into distinct and easily identifiable zones as they are characterised by one or more particular fossil species.  Ammonites make ideal zone fossils.

The Bullyland Ammonite Model is Often Used in Museum Exhibits

The Bullyland ammonite model next to a polished section of an ammonite fossil.

The Bullyland ammonite model is often used in museum displays to depict the living animal next to fossil material.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Used in Museum Displays and Exhibits

In the short video, the ammonite model is shown next to a fossil specimen.  Many museums use the Bullyland ammonite replica in display cases so that visitors can get an idea of what the living animal was like whilst they view the fossilised remains of the ammonite aragonite shells.

The Posterior Portion of the Bullyland Ammonite Model

Ammonite model next to a fossil specimen.

The strongly ribbed shell and the obvious keel of the ammonite replica.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The “turntable Tuesday” ammonite model video, lasts a little over two minutes, it is one of a series of videos posted on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel showcasing different replicas.  To view these videos check out our YouTube channel: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

We recommend that readers subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

To view the Bullyland ammonite model and to see the rest of the Bullyland prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: Bullyland Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

11 05, 2020

Sarcosuchus Goes for a Swim

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

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Sarcosuchus

Our thanks to Amy who sent into Everything Dinosaur some beautiful photographs of her recently acquired Wild Safari Prehistoric World Sarcosuchus model.  It looks like the recent good weather was taken advantage of so that the Sarcosuchus could patrol outside.  These are wonderful well-composed photographs, especially the ones of the Sarcosuchus in the water.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Sarcosuchus Ready to Ambush

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Sarcosuchus replica.

A Sarcosuchus takes to the water.  Our thanks to Amy for sending into Everything Dinosaur some wonderful photographs of her recently acquired Sarcosuchus model.

Picture Credit: Amy

The Sarcosuchus certainly looks very much at home in the water.  It looks like it is ready to ambush any unwary dinosaur that decides to take a drink.  Only distantly related to extant crocodylians, very little was known about this giant predator until an almost complete skull was unearthed in Niger by a French research team (1964).  A series of expeditions to the same region of Africa led by the famous American palaeontologist Paul Sereno in the mid 1990’s resulted in the discovery of six new specimens and it was from these remains that the body plan of this crocodyliform was reconstructed.

It is Likely that Sarcosuchus was an Ambusher of Animals that Ventured to Close to the Water

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Sarcosuchus.

Ready to ambush!  The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Sarcosuchus model.

Picture Credit: Amy

Sarcosuchus Going for a Swim

The Sarcosuchus model looks quite at home in Amy’s garden pond.  The model of “flesh crocodile” measures an impressive 26.5 centimetres long and it is one of the largest prehistoric animal models introduced this year by Safari Ltd.  Only the Edmontosaurus replica surpasses it in size.  In keeping with the scientific paper published in 2001 by Sereno et al when the fossilised specimens found during the 1990’s were formally described, Amy has chosen to depict her Sarcosuchus as a semi-aquatic animal.  It would have basked on the riverbank and occasionally moved around on land, but it probably did not stray too far from water.

Sarcosuchus Probably Did Not Stray Far from Water

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Sarcosuchus model.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Sarcosuchus model takes a stroll in the sunshine.

Picture Credit: Amy

A Beautifully Painted Crocodyliform

The design team at Safari Ltd studied the scales and markings on living crocodiles in order to create their detailed prehistoric crocodile model.  The photograph (above), shows the different sized scales on the replica, smaller rounded scales on the flanks with larger, rectangular scales on the legs and the underside of the animal.  The parallel rows of osteoderms that run down from the neck to the tail have been skilfully recreated and the model demonstrates the bulbous upper jaw tip first identified in that almost complete fossil skull found in the Gadoufaoua region of northern Niger in 1964.

A Close View of the Head of the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Sarcosuchus Model

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Sarcosuchus model.

A close view of the beautifully painted head and jaws of the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Sarcosuchus model.

Picture Credit: Amy

Fossils from Africa and also from Brazil

Two species of Sarcosuchus have been scientifically described.  Fossils from Africa associated with Lower Cretaceous outcrops of the Elrhaz Formation have been ascribed to S. imperator, whereas, the much older strata from the Ihas Group outcropping in north-eastern Brazil have yielded specimens that have been ascribed to the species S. hartti.  The holotype material associated with S. hartti resides at the London Natural History Museum, but given the huge temporal range which spans the African and Brazilian material, it is very likely that other Sarcosuchus species and closely related genera will be identified.

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Sarcosuchus

Sarcosuchus on the prowl.

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Sarcosuchus on the prowl.  A carefully composed shot with an effective use of perspective to give the impression of a sizeable animal walking by.

Picture Credit: Amy

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Our thanks to Amy for sending into us some splendid and carefully composed photographs of her Sarcosuchus model.”

To view the Sarcosuchus replica and the rest of the models in the Safari Ltd range: Wild Safari Prehistoric World models and figures.

10 05, 2020

Papo Tyrannosaurids

By | May 10th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Papo Tyrannosaurids – A Pair of Papo Tyrannosaurs

At Everything Dinosaur, we like to do our best when it comes to assisting our customers.  Take for example, a fan of Papo prehistoric animal models who asked us to photograph a Papo brown Tyrannosaurus rex model and the Papo Gorgosaurus replica prior to making a potential purchase.  Our team members were happy to oblige and emailed over several photographs from the company’s own studio of the two tyrannosaurids including a picture of the two prehistoric animals together on one of the turntables we use for our YouTube videos.

The Papo Brown Tyrannosaurus rex Model and the Papo Gorgosaurus

Papo Brown standing T. rex and the Papo Gorgosaurus dinosaur models.

The Papo brown T. rex model (introduced in 2012) on the left with the 2019 Papo Gorgosaurus adjacent.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

These two tyrannosaurs make an attractive pair.  The Papo brown T. rex model was introduced in 2012 replacing the “classic” green version of this dinosaur.  The Papo Gorgosaurus is a much more recent addition to the Papo “Les Dinosaures” range.  This figure was introduced in 2019.

With the current COVID-19 difficulties, Everything Dinosaur has been able to put in place a series of contingency measures to help the company to continue operating its mail order business.  For example, making commitments to stock figures earlier than normal and putting in place plans to hold various products in readiness to bring them into the company’s warehouse.  These measures and the other steps that Everything Dinosaur have taken have enabled the company to maintain the availability of a number of product lines, including the popular Papo prehistoric animals.

To view the range of Papo prehistoric animal models and figures available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

9 05, 2020

Reconstructing a Late Cretaceous Ecosystem

By | May 9th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Reconstructing a Dinosaur Dominated Ecosystem

A team of international researchers including scientists from the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto, Canada), have provided a new perspective on the palaeoenvironment of western North America during the Late Cretaceous.  An extensive study mapping stable isotopes identified in fossilised teeth has provided the research team with detailed information on how some dinosaurs co-existed in a floodplain environment on the landmass of Laramidia around 75 million years ago.

Many Different Types of Dinosaur are Associated with the Late Cretaceous of Laramidia

Dinosaur dominated ecosystem of Laramidia.

A large variety of different types of dinosaur co-existed on Laramidia.  Ornithischian dinosaurs such as ankylosaurs, ceratopsians, hadrosaurs as well as Saurischian dinosaurs such as dromaeosaurs, ornithomimids and tyrannosaurs.  They shared their tropical environment with turtles and numerous types of crocodilian.

Picture Credit: Danielle Dufault (Royal Ontario Museum)

Niche Partitioning in the Dinosauria

Palaeontologists had puzzled over how so many different types of large tetrapod could co-exist together and it had been thought that extensive niche partitioning between species must have been taking place.  Niche partitioning describes the natural selection process whereby different species reduce competition amongst themselves by becoming more specialised and adopting specific roles within an ecosystem.  They become adapted to a particular niche and by doing this competition between species is reduced.

Niche Partitioning Between Ceratopsids and Hadrosaurids

The fauna and flora of Alberta 75 million years ago

Alberta around 75 million years ago (Dinosaur Park Formation).  This part of the western North American landmass (Laramidia), was home to a large number of different types of dinosaur including a number of ceratopsians and duck-billed dinosaurs.  It had been suggested that niche partitioning permitted these mega-herbivores to co-exist with each type of plant-eating dinosaur specialising on feeding upon different types of vegetation.

Picture Credit: Julius Csotonyi

Stable Isotope Analysis

Researchers from the Royal Ontario Museum in collaboration with colleagues from the Field Museum in Chicago (USA), compared the compositions of stable isotopes identified in the fossilised teeth of different dinosaur taxa.  Stable isotopes are naturally occurring varieties of chemical elements such as oxygen and carbon that don’t alter and change into other elements over time. When water and food is consumed the stable isotopes of the elements that make up these resources (for example, nitrogen, carbon and oxygen), are passed on to the animal’s tissues including their teeth enamel.

Lead author of the research paper, published by the Geological Society of America, Dr Thomas Cullen (University of Toronto/Royal Ontario Museum), stated:

“Differences in the sources of water and types of food being consumed, as well as the physiology of the animal itself and the habitats they live in, will all result in small differences in the relative amounts of the stable isotopes of a given element, for example, carbon-13 versus carbon-12, present in their body tissues.  Measuring the ratios of the different isotopes of elements such as carbon or oxygen in tissues like tooth enamel gives us a unique window into the diet and habitat of an animal which has been extinct for millions of years.”

One of the Largest Studies of its Type Conducted

This research is one of the largest studies of its kind conducted on a dinosaur dominated ecosystem.  Over 350 isotopic measurements from 17 different taxa from fossils representing the Campanian fauna of Alberta.  Uniquely, this ancient data set was then compared and contrasted with measurements from 16 living species sampled from a modern coastal wetland in Louisiana, which closely resembles the climate conditions with northern Laramidia during the Late Cretaceous.

One of the co-authors of the study, Dr David Evans (Royal Ontario Museum), commented:

“Most of the time when these types of studies are done, the size of the dataset is much smaller and doesn’t take into consideration how dinosaur ecosystems compared to modern ones.  Louisiana was the perfect place to use as a comparison with the dinosaur communities we studied.  The environmental conditions were probably quite similar, and a number of the animals there probably had similar lifestyles to those found in dinosaur ecosystems.  That gives us a great deal of control when exploring our data.”

Typical Dinosaur Biota from the Campanian Faunal Stage of Northern Laramidia

Dinosaur Park Formation dinosaurs.

Typical dinosaur fauna of the Dinosaur Park Formation (Alberta, Canada).  A typical dinosaur dominated fauna associated with the study.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Challenges Existing Theories

The team’s results challenge existing theories about niche partitioning and habitat exploitation.  For example, it had been suggested that the horned dinosaurs tended to congregate in coastal areas, whereas hadrosaurids preferred inland habitats.  The stable carbon and oxygen isotope ranges for these large herbivores were found to strongly overlap, providing direct evidence against different types of mega-herbivore segregating.

Large herbivores did not appear to be separating across different habitats.  The researchers conclude that these animals may have been doing something different to avoid interspecific competition.  Perhaps herds of horned dinosaurs moved around the region in a different pattern compared to the herds of duck-billed dinosaurs.  In this way, they may have avoided being in the same part of the habitat at the same time, or perhaps they were feeding on different parts of the same plants.  With the high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the high average temperatures of 16-20 degrees Celsius and the extended daylength at certain times of the year due to the high latitude, competition for food might have been somewhat less intense than it is in modern ecosystems.

Extensive Vertebrate Fossil Deposits Have Helped to Inform Scientists About Ancient Ecosystems

Excavating an Edmontosaurus.

Extensive bonebeds and other fossil deposits have helped to inform scientists about the ancient ecosystem.

Picture Credit: Victoria Arbour

Results Helping to Understand the Implication of Global Warming

The isotope analysis enabled the scientists to accurately estimate the climate in this northern Laramidian palaeoenvironment.  By using an approach that combined average oxygen isotope compositions from the sampled species, new estimates of mean annual temperatures for the region could be made.  The team found that 75-million years ago, this area of southern Alberta to northern Montana had a mean annual temperature of about 16-20 °Celsius, a stark contrast to the current range of about 5-7 °Celsius that is experienced today.

Dr Cullen explained:

“Dinosaurs lived in a weird world: broad-leafed and flowering plants were much less common, it was warm enough in high latitudes to support crocodilians, CO2 in the atmosphere was higher than it is today, and there was little to no ice at the poles.  It’s not like anything we as humans have any direct experience with, but it may be the direction we are headed, so it’s critical that we understand how ecosystems and environments function under those sorts of conditions so we can better prepare ourselves for the future.”

The scientists conclude that that this approach is a simple and effective method that enables accurate palaeoenvironmental reconstruction.  These results indicate that dinosaur niche partitioning was much more complex than previously thought.  This study can provide a framework for future research on dinosaur-dominated Mesozoic floodplain communities.

The scientific paper: “Large-scale stable isotope characterization of a Late Cretaceous dinosaur-dominated ecosystem” by T.M. Cullen, F.J. Longstaffe, U.G. Wortmann, L. Huang, F. Fanti, M.B. Goodwin, M.J. Ryan and D.C. Evans published by the Geological Society of America.

8 05, 2020

Happy Birthday Sir David Attenborough

By | May 8th, 2020|Animal News Stories, Famous Figures, Main Page, TV Reviews|0 Comments

Happy Birthday Sir David Attenborough

Today, May 8th, is Sir David Attenborough’s birthday.  Sir David Attenborough has enjoyed the best part of seventy years as a broadcaster, narrator and television presenter.  His energy and enthusiasm for the natural world shows no sign of deteriorating despite him being just six years short of his centenary.  Over recent years, the veteran broadcaster has become an active campaigner raising awareness about climate change, global warming and the impact of our species on the planet.  He remains as busy as ever, with the BBC producing a new five-part television series narrated by Sir David, highlighting how natural forces such as ocean currents, seismic activity, sunshine and volcanoes contribute to maintaining a sustainable natural world.  A source close to Everything Dinosaur has stated that the series is entitled “A Perfect Planet”.

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough.

A gentleman and a scholar.  Sir David Attenborough is 94 years old today.

Many Happy Returns

The television programmes will also highlight how some animals such as snub-nosed monkeys, wolves and bears are having to adapt as the world around them changes.  Birdlife from the Galapagos islands including vampire finches will also feature in the series.

Commenting on the significance of these programmes, Sir David stated that:

“To preserve our perfect planet we must ensure we become a force for good”.

The fifth and final episode will look at how our species has impacted upon the environment and the billions of other organisms that share our world.

Sir David added:

“Our planet is one in a billion, a world teeming with life.  But now, a new dominant force is changing the face of Earth: humans”.

Team members have been lucky enough to have corresponded with Sir David Attenborough, he remains as enthusiastic as ever and passionate about conservation.  Many happy returns Sir David, stay safe, keep well.

Sir David Attenborough – A Nonagenarian Passionately Campaigning to Raise Awareness About Climate Change

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough veteran naturalist and broadcaster.  An active campaigner raising awareness about climate change and global warming.

Picture Credit: BBC

7 05, 2020

Missing Fossil Collecting

By | May 7th, 2020|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Missing Fossil Collecting

Everything Dinosaur team members had lots of plans for fossil collecting expeditions over the late spring and summer months.  Like lots of people at the moment we have had to postpone these activities (COVID-19).  Instead, team members are busy planning some projects and fieldwork for the late autumn and for 2021.

A Lot of Plans for Fieldwork are Having to be Redrawn

Media day at Devil's Coulee (Alberta).

An audience for an excavation.  Field work for many palaeontologists has had to be curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Picture Credit: Devil’s Coulee Dinosaur and Heritage Museum

A point often overlooked when discussing fossil collecting as a hobby, is that if fossils were not found and collected, many important specimens would be lost to the elements.  Fossils eroding out of the cliffs along the Dorset coast for example, they could easily be lost to the sea as there are very few visitors permitted to the “Jurassic Coast” at the moment.

With Many Countries in Lockdown Fossil Finding Expeditions for Many People are not Possible at the Moment

Heading east from Lyme Regis to Burton Bradstock.

The view towards West Bay and Burton Bradstock.  Much of the “Jurassic Coast” is devoid of visitors at the moment (COVID-19).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Museums Closed Too

Important research work has also had to be postponed or suspended.  Researchers wanting to access museum specimens will probably have to wait until these institutions and other academic bodies such as universities can function properly with a full complement of staff.

Access to Museum Collections is Restricted for the Time Being

Dean Lomax and Judy Massare examining Ichthyosaur specimens.

Dean Lomax and Judy Massare examining Ichthyosaur specimens in the marine reptile gallery at the Natural History Museum (London) as part of their research into the Ichthyosauria.

Picture Credit: Dean Lomax

Everything Dinosaur team members have lots to keep them occupied.  Ironically, a few weeks before the lockdown came into effect, we were at the London Natural History Museum undertaking some project work ourselves.  We visited various parts of the museum including the marine reptiles gallery, although if you know that part of the museum quite well, it is not only the marine reptile specimens that are on display, we were there for the ichthyosaurs, the Metriorhynchidae (marine crocodyliforms) as well as one other very important fossil specimen that is located there but we won’t mention this…

The Marine Reptiles Gallery at the London Natural History Museum

Marine reptiles gallery at the London Natural History Museum.

The famous marine reptiles gallery at the London Natural History Museum.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

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