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3 12, 2020

PNSO to Introduce a Sinoceratops Model

By | December 3rd, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

PNSO to Introduce a Sinoceratops Model

PNSO the model and figure manufacturer will be adding a replica of the Chinese horned dinosaur Sinoceratops to their mid-size model range in 2021.  Say hello to the PNSO Prehistoric Animal Models That Accompany Your Growth 40 A-Qi the Sinoceratops.  This stunning, new model of Sinoceratops will be available from Everything Dinosaur in the early part of next year (2021).

PNSO are Introducing a Model of a Sinoceratops to their Mid-size Model Range

New for 2021 PNSO Sinoceratops dinosaur model.

The new for 2021 PNSO Sinoceratops dinosaur model.  This is the second horned dinosaur figure to be announced this week after the Machairoceratops.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This is the second horned dinosaur figure to be announced by Everything Dinosaur in collaboration with PNSO this week after the Machairoceratops was premiered in our blog with a post on November 30th.  To read about the new for 2021 Machairoceratops figure: New PNSO Model Machairoceratops.

Images of the new Sinoceratops were revealed on Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page earlier this week.

Named in 2010

Sinoceratops was formally named and described in 2010 (Xu Xing et al), from fossils discovered in 2008 in eastern China.  It might be the only ceratopsid known from outside North America, (the validity of Turanoceratops tardabilis from Uzbekistan remains uncertain).  It is therefore fitting that a Chinese manufacturer should add a replica of “Chinese horned face” to their product portfolio.

A Close-up of the Beautiful Head of the New for 2021 Sinoceratops

PNSO Prehistoric Animal Models That Accompany Your Growth 40 A-Qi the Sinoceratops.

The PNSO Prehistoric Animal Models That Accompany Your Growth 40 A-Qi the Sinoceratops.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Dorsal View of the PNSO Prehistoric Animal Models That Accompany Your Growth A-Qi the Sinoceratops

PNSO A-Qi the Sinoceratops.

PNSO A-Qi the Sinoceratops (dorsal view).  From this dorsal view (viewed from the top down) the beautiful colouration of this figure can be seen, along with the detailed markings and texture on the skin.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Early, this year PNSO introduced a baby Sinoceratops figure, also called A-Qi.  It seems that this baby dinosaur has grown and matured into a magnificent specimen.

A-Qi the Baby Sinoceratops Dinosaur Model from PNSO

PNSO baby Sinoceratops dinosaur model.

A-Qi the baby Sinoceratops model (PNSO).  A replica of a newly hatched Sinoceratops was introduced earlier this year (2020).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

PNSO A-Qi the Sinoceratops Model Measurements

As this figure will be part of the ever increasing range of mid-size models offered by PNSO, no scale for this figure is given.  The model measures a fraction over 15 cm long, and those magnificent parietals are 9.4 cm off the ground.  Based on the maximum size of an adult Sinoceratops (6 metres in length), we estimate that this figure is in approximately 1:40 scale.

The PNSO A-Qi Sinoceratops Model Measurements

A-Qi The PNSO Sinoceratops model measurements.

PNSO Prehistoric Animal Models That Accompany Your Growth 40 A-Qi the Sinoceratops.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Splendid Packaging for the Sinoceratops Model

The box art for the new for 2021 PNSO Sinoceratops figure.

A-Qi the PNSO Sinoceratops packaging.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A-Qi the PNSO Sinoceratops figure is likely to be stock at Everything Dinosaur in early 2021.

To see the stock of PNSO Age of Dinosaurs models available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.

2 12, 2020

The Pathology of an Iconic Parasaurolophus

By | December 2nd, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

An Unlucky Parasaurolophus – ROM 768

A study of the holotype of the iconic duck-billed dinosaur Parasaurolophus (P.walkeri) has revealed that some of these dinosaurs led very tough lives.  Tell-tale evidence preserved in the fossilised bones suggest that this particular specimen ROM 768, suffered a major trauma, but survived, at least for a little while after the incident.

PhD student Filippo Bertozzo from the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s University Belfast, examined the skeleton of the Parasaurolophus which has been on display at the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada).  The articulated specimen (ROM 768), represents the almost complete remains of an adult animal, only elements from the lower limbs and the tail are missing.

The fossils were discovered in 1920 in Upper Cretaceous sediments exposed along the Red Deer River of southern Alberta.  The material represents the first fossils of the genus Parasaurolophus to be reported and studied.

The Iconic Parasaurolophus Skeleton on Display at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM 768)

Parasaurolophus skeleton (P. walkeri) on display

The holotype Parasaurolophus skeleton (ROM 768) on display at the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada).

Picture Credit: Queen’s University Belfast

Injured by a Falling Tree

The morphology of the dinosaur’s neck had long intrigued scientists and scientific illustrators.  Once thought to have a graceful, swan-like neck most palaeontologists now think that Parasaurolophus had a thick, bulky neck, one capable of supporting that huge, hollow crest for which this dinosaur is famous for.

Student Filippo explained:

“Our research using paleopathological markers, which help us study the diseases of ancient humans and fossil animals, means we are now fairly certain how this iconic dinosaur would have really looked.  The ROM 768 suffered numerous injuries which suggest a major incident of trauma before its death and we think a heavy object such as a tree may have fallen on top of the animal, perhaps during a storm.”

A Dramatic Incident for One Particular Dinosaur

Traumatic accident for a Parasaurolophus.

Is this how a Parasaurolophus got an injured neck?

Picture Credit: Supplied by Queen’s University Belfast

Reconstructing the Neck of an Ornithopod

The research has shown that members of the Ornithopoda, including duck-billed dinosaurs, iguanodonts and other related genera were prone to a number of injuries and diseases.

Commenting on ROM 768, the PhD student added:

“Damage to the muscles resulted in a disc-shaped overgrowth on the tip on the bony part of one its vertebrae in its neck.  We interpreted the disc as a secondary enlargement of the base of the nuchal ligament, a large elastic structure that supports the neck and the head.  This enabled us to reconstruct the anatomical structure of the neck, revealing that it was strong and muscular to support its head.”

The study of the iconic Parasaurolophus specimen revealed broken bones in the pelvis, ribs and spine.  The scientists also found evidence of a lesion in the mouth that may have been caused as a result of a heavy object falling on the animal.

The injuries show signs of healing, demonstrating how tough and resilient these types of dinosaurs were.  The Parasaurolophus (ROM 768), survived for several months or perhaps some years after the traumatic event.

Professor Eileen Murphy, a bioarchaeologist in Queen’s, stated:

Palaeopathology has been a relatively neglected aspect of palaeontology until recent years.  The study of ROM 768 clearly demonstrates the value of this approach for reconstructing the quality of life of dinosaurs and the threats from the natural environment they may have faced on a daily basis.”

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

1 12, 2020

The First Sauropod from Switzerland

By | December 1st, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Geology, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Amanzia greppini – The First Sauropod Described From Switzerland

Badly distorted and disarticulated dinosaur bones found in the 1860’s in north-western Switzerland have led to the establishment of a new genus of European sauropod.  Amanzia greppini, described from an assortment of fragmentary fossil material, representing four individuals is the first sauropod to be described from fossil remains found in Switzerland.  The fossils come from Upper Jurassic strata which form part of the Reuchenette Formation, they were discovered in a limestone quarry in the Basse Montagne, near the city of Moutier.

Limb Bones of Amazia greppini from the Late Jurassic of Switzerland

Forelimb bones associated with Amanzia greppini and interpretative drawings.

Forelimb bones associated with Amanzia greppini and interpretative drawings. Right humerus in (a) posterior and (b) anterior view with line drawings showing preserved cartilage outlined in grey.  Left radius in (c) anterior and (d) posterior view.  Left ulna in anterior view (e) and posterior view (f).  Right ulna in anterior view (g) and anterior view (h).  Views of an ungual phalanx.  Note scale bar = 5 cm.

Picture Credit: Schwarz et al (Swiss Journal of Geosciences)

The bones had been sold to a private collector, but the Swiss geologist Jean-Baptiste Greppin was notified of the find and identified the assortment of distorted and crushed bones as the remains of dinosaurs. In the early 20th these remains were associated with the English sauropod Cetiosauriscus stewarti known from fossils found in Cambridgeshire.  However, an extensive review of the Swiss fossil material conducted by Daniela Schwarz (Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin) and co-workers resulted in a new genus being erected earlier this year.

Kimmeridgian versus Callovian

The researchers who re-visited the Swiss sauropod remains identified a number of unique autapomorphies (distinctive traits) to distinguish their fossils from those of C. stewarti.  In addition, the Swiss dinosaur was much smaller, with an estimated maximum length of around ten metres compared to the proposed fifteen metres for Cetiosauriscus.  The scientists, which included Philip Mannion (University College London), Oliver Wings (University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany) and Christian Meyer (University of Basel), found differences in the caudal vertebrae (tail bones) as well as difference in the shape and proportions of the femur, humerus and coracoid.

A discrepancy in the geological age between C. stewarti and the Swiss fossil material was also noted.  Fossils of Cetiosauriscus stewarti come from strata associated with the Callovian faunal of the Middle Jurassic, whilst the fossils of Amanzia greppini come from geologically younger deposits laid down during the Kimmeridgian faunal stage (Late Jurassic).

Skeletal Reconstruction of Amanzia greppini and Size Comparison with the Geologically Older Cetiosauriscus stewarti

Amanzia skeletal drawing and size comparison with Cetiosauriscus stewarti.

Skeletal reconstruction of A. greppini.  Known fossil elements shown in blue.  As much information is missing from the incomplete skeletal material, the dorsal vertebrae, the proportions and morphology of the cervical vertebrae and the skull were modified from Camarasaurus.  Scaled silhouette drawings (b) of Cetiosauriscus stewarti (in black) and A. greppini (in grey) demonstrating the significant size difference between the two taxa.  Note scale bar = 1 metre.

Picture Credit: Schwarz et al (Swiss Journal of Geosciences)

Honouring a Famous Swiss Scientist

The genus is named in honour of the well-known Swiss geologist Amanz Gressly (1814–1865) who introduced the term “facies” to describe rock types with different characteristics and discovered the first dinosaur fossil from Switzerland in 1856.  The trivial or specific name pays tribute to Jean-Baptiste Greppin, who was the first person to identify the jumbled remains from the quarry as coming from a member of the Dinosauria.

In addition, to the sauropod bones, a single, worn tooth from a sauropod was discovered.  This tooth (specimen number NMB M.H. 451), has been assigned to A. greppini.  Bones from an ancient marine crocodylomorph and a broken theropod tooth were also found in association with the sauropod remains.  Based on the matrix material and the study of ostracod fossils found at the quarry, the scientists concluded that the carcass of Amanzia, was buried in a shallow, temporary lake close to the sea.

Middle and Posterior Caudal Vertebrae with Accompanying Line Drawing (A. greppini)

Middle and posterior caudal vertebrae of A. greppini.

Middle and posterior caudal vertebrae of A. greppini with interpretative line drawing.  Note scale bar = 5 cm.  Differences in the length : height ratios between these bones and those tail bones associated with Cetiosauriscus stewarti helped to identify the Swiss fossil material as that of a new genus.

Picture Credit: Schwarz et al (Swiss Journal of Geosciences)

More European Sauropods to Come

When this research was published in the Swiss Journal of Geosciences earlier this year (February 2020), the researchers concluded that the first Swiss sauropod taxon helped to demonstrate the diversity of the sauropods known from the Late Jurassic of Europe.  The exact placement of Amanzia greppini within the Sauropoda remains controversial, the authors speculated that it might be a sister taxon to the Neosauropoda or a member of the Turiasauria, a geographically and temporally widespread group of sauropods with a number of European genera such as Cardiodon, Losillasaurus, Zby and Turiasaurus.

They concluded that more fossil discoveries and the reassessment of sauropod fossils held in museum collections would lead to the naming of many more European sauropod genera.

The scientific paper: “Re-description of the sauropod dinosaur Amanzia (“Ornithopsis/Cetiosauriscus”) greppini n. gen. and other vertebrate remains from the Kimmeridgian (Late Jurassic) Reuchenette Formation of Moutier, Switzerland” by Daniela Schwarz, Philip D. Mannion, Oliver Wings and Christian A. Meyer published in the Swiss Journal of Geosciences

30 11, 2020

New PNSO Model Machairoceratops

By | November 30th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

PNSO To Introduce a Machairoceratops Model

PNSO are to add another dinosaur figure to the mid-size range of models.  A replica of the horned dinosaur Machairoceratops will be available from Everything Dinosaur in early 2021.  Everything Dinosaur and PNSO have collaborated on a number of new model announcements in recent weeks.  Perez the Machairoceratops is just the latest in a long line of exciting new figures.

New from PNSO and Available from Everything Dinosaur in Early 2021 – Perez the Machairoceratops

New for 2021 PNSO Machairoceratops.

The new for 2021 PNSO Machairoceratops.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Soldier with Bent Swords

PNSO have called their new dinosaur model Perez.  The soldier with the “bent swords” is a reference to the curved parietals (bent horns on top of the neck frill), after which, this dinosaur was named.  Machairoceratops is pronounced Mak-air-oh-sera-tops and the name translates as “bent sword horned face”.

The Stunning Perez the Machairoceratops from PNSO

PNSO Machairoceratops.

The PNSO Machairoceratops model.  The PNSO Prehistoric Animal Models That Accompany Your Growth 41 Perez the Machairoceratops.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Plugging a Gap in the Horned Dinosaur Fossil Record

Fossils of this spectacular-looking horned dinosaur were recovered from strata in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument area of southern Utah (Wahweap Formation).  Palaeontologists calculate that this six-metre-long herbivore roamed the landmass known as Laramidia around 77 million years ago.  Its discovery has helped fill a four-million-year gap in the centrosaurine fossil record.

A Close-up View of the Spectacular Horns on the New PNSO Ceratopsian Model

PNSO Machairoceratops replica.

PNSO Machairoceratops – a model of a horned dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur 

Fossils of an earlier centrosaurine called Diabloceratops eatoni have been found in rocks that date to around 80 million years ago. The fossil material related to Machairoceratops plugs the gap between Diabloceratops and the later, centrosaurine Nasutoceratops titusi, whose fossils are associated with the overlying Kaiparowits Formation and date to approximately 75 million years ago.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s blog post from 2016 about the naming and scientific description of Machairoceratops: Plugging a Four Million Year Gap in the Centrosaurinae.

PNSO Machairoceratops Model Measurements

This new PNSO dinosaur model measures 15.7 cm long and those curved parietals are around 7.9 cm off the ground.  Several models from PNSO are currently in production and Everything Dinosaur will be making more new model announcements from this fascinating series in the near future.

PNSO Machairoceratops Model Measurements

Measurements of the PNSO Machairoceratops dinosaur model.

PNSO Machairoceratops measurements.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Hinting About Future Model Announcements

Sharp-eyed readers might spot the figure of A-Qi the Sinoceratops (top left in the picture below), this is an image of a new PNSO replica that has yet to be officially announced.  At least one more member of the Ceratopsidae can be expected from PNSO.

Hinting About Future Model Announcements

Four PNSO ceratopsians.

Four PNSO ceratopsians with Sinoceratops, Pachyrhinosaurus, Machairoceratops and Triceratops featured.  the Sinoceratops figure (top left) hints at a future model announcement.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The spectacular Perez the Machairoceratops model is likely to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in early 2021.

To see the existing range of PNSO Age of Dinosaurs models available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.

29 11, 2020

Everything Dinosaur Celebrates Publishing 5,000 Blog Articles

By | November 29th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Celebrates Publishing 5,000 Blog Articles

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have published blog post number 5,000!  The UK-based company has posted up articles most days since the blog was started back in the late spring of 2007.  This year (2020), has seen the dedicated staff celebrate the posting up of their 5,000th article.

Everything Dinosaur Celebrates Posting Up 5,000 Blog Articles

Everything Dinosaur celebrates publishing 5,000 blog posts.

Everything Dinosaur celebrates publishing 5,000 blog articles all about fossil finds, dinosaur discoveries, prehistoric animal model collecting and a huge range of other topic areas related to palaeontology.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Blog Objectives

A key objective of the Everything Dinosaur blog was to provide updates on research, fossil finds and dinosaur discoveries.  Since it was established in May 2007, our blog has provided open access to news about palaeontology, providing an informed insight into the Earth sciences.

Our dedicated team of teachers, parents and dinosaur enthusiasts who write about anything and everything to do with dinosaurs, fossils and other prehistoric animals are looking forward to sharing more news and stories about the extinct creatures that once roamed our planet or swam in ancient seas.

A spokesperson for the company exclaimed:

“We are all immensely proud of this achievement, to have produced 5,000 articles and posts.  By the end of 2020, we will be onto blog post number 5,030 or thereabouts.  Our thanks to all the readers, commentators and contributors to our blog posts over the last thirteen years.”

28 11, 2020

Falcatakely forsterae – A Strange Bird from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar

By | November 28th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Small Skull of Fossil Bird Has Big Implications (Falcatakely forsterae)

A team of international researchers including scientists from Ohio University, Stony Brook University (New York) and University College London have published a scientific paper describing a new type of enantiornithine bird from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar.

Named Falcatakely, this crow-sized early avian offers a new perspective on the evolution of face and beak shape in the ancestral group leading to modern-day birds.

A Life Reconstruction of Falcatakely forsterae in the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar Surrounded by Other Archosaurs

Falcatakely forsterae life reconstruction.

A pair of Falcatakely birds are about to be disturbed an approaching group of titanosaurs.

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

A Mesozoic Toucan?

Although palaeontologists are aware of a wide range of Mesozoic birds such as enantiornithines and hesperornithiforms which vary in size, flight adaptations and lifestyles, they all exhibit relatively conservative patterns of beak shape and development.  Modern birds (neornithines), such as the finches studied by the famous naturalist Charles Darwin, show a huge range of beak morphologies, all associated with different feeding and behavioural ecologies.  Falcatakely forsterae bucks this trend for birds from the Late Cretaceous, it has a beak morphology unlike other Mesozoic birds, one that is superficially similar to that of extant toucans.

Falcatakely forsterae, a combination of Latin and Malagasy words inspired by the small size and the scythe-like shape of the beak, which represents a completely novel face shape in Mesozoic birds.

Co-author of the scientific paper Dr Ryan Felice (University College London), explained how the study of birds have helped many scientists understand the subtleties of convergent evolution:

“Ever since Charles Darwin’s observations of Galapagos finches with differently-shaped beaks, birds have shaped our understanding of evolution through natural selection.  This new discovery tells us even more about how the predecessors of modern birds evolved, by showing how different forces in different places can contribute to similar traits in distantly related animals.”

Described from a single skull specimen which had remained uncatalogued for several years since its discovery in 2010, lead author Patrick O’Connor (Ohio University) and his colleagues used high resolution CT scans to build up a picture of the skull and beak.

The Skull of Falcatakely forsterae with CT Scans and Interpretative Line Drawing

Falcatakely skull, scans and line drawing.

The skull of Falcatakely (top) with two diagrams from CT scans and an interpretative line drawing.

Picture Credit: O’Connor et al

Bird fossils are rare.  Their light fragile bones tend not to fossilise well.  Bird skulls are especially rare, but although crushed, the powerful CT scans have been able to reveal many unique features of the bones and the beak.  For example, the researchers were able to identify a single preserved tooth in the premaxilla, probably one of several teeth lining the beak of this resident of north-western Madagascar some 68 million years ago.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the University of Ohio and University College London in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Late Cretaceous bird from Madagascar reveals unique development of beaks” by Patrick M. O’Connor, Alan H. Turner, Joseph R. Groenke, Ryan N. Felice, Raymond R. Rogers, David W. Krause and Lydia J. Rahantarisoa published in Nature.

27 11, 2020

New CollectA Models for 2021 (Final Part)

By | November 27th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|6 Comments

New CollectA Models for 2021 (Fourth and Final Part)

Today, we complete our look at the new for 2021 prehistoric animal models that are coming out from CollectA.  In collaboration with CollectA Everything Dinosaur announces a further three new figures, they are an iconic prehistoric mammal, an updated version of perhaps the most extensively studied Early Jurassic theropod and an amazing Late Cretaceous ammonite with an incredible shell.

  • A CollectA Deluxe 1:20 scale Doedicurus – a wonderful replica of a prehistoric mammal.
  • A CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale Dilophosaurus – a model of an Early Jurassic theropod.
  • A CollectA Pravitoceras model – a stunning replica of a heteromorph ammonoid known from the Late Cretaceous of Japan.

All three figures will be available from Everything Dinosaur around the middle of 2021.

The New for 2021 CollectA Deluxe Doedicurus Replica

CollectA Deluxe Doedicurus model.

The CollectA Deluxe 1:20 scale Doedicurus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

CollectA Deluxe Doedicurus Model

This is a stunning replica of the South American giant, distantly related to sloths and anteaters.  First described by the famous English anatomist Richard Owen in 1847.  Once assigned to the genus Glyptodon, Doedicurus was placed in its own separate genus in 1874 following an extensive revision of glyptodont fossil material.

Model designer Anthony Beeson commented:

“I wanted to get away from the rather cartoonish appearance of some of the Doedicurus models on the market.  I have rejected the idea of long spikes on the club as these would be in danger of snapping and not so practical in what was probably its main purpose in mating conflicts between males where the idea is to show strength and not to kill rivals.  One can give a harder blow with a knobbly club. although no doubt used as well in defence, the limited movement afforded to the head would rather limit the animal’s ability to use the club effectively against an attacker.”

The CollectA Deluxe 1:40 Scale Dilophosaurus

CollectA 1:40 scale Dilophosaurus dinosaur model.

The new for 2021 CollectA Age of Dinosaurs 1:40 scale Dilophosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

CollectA Deluxe 1:40 Scale Dilophosaurus Dinosaur Model

The last new for 2021 dinosaur figure to be announced by CollectA is a colourful, updated version of this Early Jurassic carnivore.  A recently published paper (Marsh and Rowe 2020), revised how scientists viewed this theropod.  The shape of those famous double crests changed and Dilophosaurus was depicted as a much more robust and powerful predator.  The perception that this was a weak-jawed scavenger was replaced with the view that Dilophosaurus represents the largest terrestrial vertebrate known from the Early Jurassic of North America.  Our congratulations to CollectA for producing a new Dilophosaurus replica so quickly after the publication of the research.

With the introduction of this Dilophosaurus scale model, the Age of Dinosaurs Popular Dilophosaurus figure will be retired.

The CollectA Pravitoceras Model

CollectA Pravitoceras model.

The colourful heteromorph ammonoid model – CollectA Pravitoceras.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The final new for 2021 CollectA figure is this spectacular model of the Late Cretaceous heteromorph ammonite Pravitoceras.  This colourful model extends the number of invertebrates featured in the CollectA range following the introduction of a horseshoe crab, Orthoceras, a belemnite, a trilobite, the nautilus (N. pompilius) and an ammonite with a regularly coiled shell – Pleuroceras, in 2020.

Whilst members of the public might be quite familiar with those types of ammonites with tightly coiled shells, as epitomised by the CollectA Pleuroceras (an example of a homomorph shell), in the Late Jurassic a number of new types of marine cephalopod began to appear in the fossil record with varying degrees of uncoiled shells.  These ammonites became increasingly abundant during the Cretaceous and by the Late Cretaceous they were widespread and extremely diverse with a myriad of different types of shell.  So numerous were these ammonites, that just like their coiled relatives, many genera have become important zonal fossils assisting with the relative dating of strata.

Unlike some of the more bizarre shells of other heteromorphic ammonites, the final shell coil of Pravitoceras forms a distinctive “S” shape and the body chamber is folded back on itself to form a retroversal hook.  Pravitoceras would have been able to swim with a minimal amount of drag due to its shell shape, whereas other more irregularly coiled ammonites with much more complicated shell configurations would have been encumbered by their shells when attempting to swim.

Palaeontologists speculate that these types of ammonites were either entirely epifaunal (dwelling on the sea floor), perhaps scavenging or hunting slow moving animals such as bivalves or snails, or they floated passively in the water column, like many types of extant jellyfish, feeding on zooplankton.

Whatever, part of the Cretaceous marine ecosystem Pravitoceras occupied it makes a great addition to the CollectA portfolio.

Model Measurements

  • A CollectA Deluxe 1:20 scale Doedicurus – length 18 cm, height of the carapace 7.6 cm, width 7.6 cm.
  • A CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale Dilophosaurus – length 18.4 cm, height 7.1 cm.
  • A CollectA Pravitoceras model – length 11 cm, height of shell 8.6 cm and width 7.1 cm.

All of these models will be available from Everything Dinosaur in the middle of 2021 or thereabouts.

Links to the CollectA Model Range at Everything Dinosaur

To view the existing range of CollectA Deluxe models: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Models.

CollectA models and figures: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models and Figures.

Links to the Previous Everything Dinosaur Articles (Parts 1-3) About New for 2021 CollectA Figures

New CollectA Models (Part 1) 1:40 scale Mamenchisaurus, Kamuysaurus, Brontosaurus prey: New CollectA Models for 2021 – Part 1.

New CollectA Models (Part 2): Megalosaurus, Neovenator and the 1:15 Deluxe Pteranodon: New CollectA Models for 2021 – Part 2.

New CollectA Models (Part 3) – Elasmosaurus, 1:40 scale Xiphactinus and the new mini prehistoric animals: New CollectA Models for 2021 – Part 3.

26 11, 2020

Kholumolumo ellenbergerorum – A Dinosaur from a “Rubbish Dump”

By | November 26th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Kholumolumo ellenbergerorum – A Dinosaur from a “Rubbish Dump”

This year (2020), saw the publication of a scientific paper describing a new species of Late Triassic non-sauropodan sauropodomorph from southern Africa.  The dinosaur named Kholumolumo ellenbergerorum, at around nine to ten metres in length, was one of the largest animals living in that part of Gondwana during the Norian stage of the Triassic.   Surprisingly, for such a big animal, the fossils indicate that this dinosaur was bipedal.

A Life Reconstruction of Kholumolumo ellenbergerorum

Life reconstruction Kholumolumo ellenbergerorum.

Kholumolumo ellenbergerorum life reconstruction.  Note scale bar equals 1 metre.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The fragmentary fossils consisting of post-cranial material, including most notably, a robust lower leg bone (tibia), represent several individuals and these fossils first came to light in 1930, when Samuel Motsoane, a leading member of the Paris Evangelical Mission School located at Bethesda in Lesotho, found several disarticulated dinosaur bones.

It was not until 1955 that a formal survey and excavation of the area was carried out.  Brothers Paul and François Ellenberger mapped and excavated a small area uncovering a mono-dominant bonebed representing numerous individuals.  The dig took place behind the back of a hut, within a few metres of the village rubbish dump.  Undeterred the brothers completed their work, publishing a preliminary description that year with a more detailed paper following in 1956 which was published by the French Geology Society (Societe Geologique de France).

The Maphutseng assemblage has been mentioned in several papers and named on two occasions but never formally published.  Back in the spring, this omission was rectified and this dinosaur was finally formally scientifically described (Peyre de Fabrègues & Allain).  Two months before the scientific paper came out, the UK Government Foreign and Commonwealth Office via The National Archives made available on-line thousands of rare images of Africa, showing a century of British involvement on the continent.

One of those black and white images in the Lesotho section showed a dinosaur fossil excavation.  There was a photographic record of the “Maphutseng dinosaur”.

Excavating Dinosaur Fossils in Lesotho

Excavating dinosaur fossils in Lesotho (circa 1955).

A photograph from The National Archives showing a dinosaur fossil excavation in Lesotho.  The photograph is believed to show the excavation of the Late Triassic sauropodomorph Kholumolumo ellenbergerorum.

Picture Credit: Alwyn Bisschoff/The National Archives (catalogue reference Part of CO 1069/209)

The photograph (above), might be just one of thousands of rare images of Africa made available on-line by The National Archives in a project entitled “Africa Through a Lens”, but it shows (most likely), one of the Ellenberger brothers carefully exposing the Kholumolumo fossil material.

Everything Dinosaur is not aware of a photographic record of the rubbish dump being preserved for posterity.

Kholumolumo ellenbergerorum

Despite the large size of this taxon (around 9-10 metres in length), with an estimated body mass of approximately 1.7 tonnes, the researchers (Peyre de Fabrègues & Allain), did not think Kholumolumo was linked to the origin of the Sauropoda, an Order of the Dinosauria famous for consisting of the largest terrestrial vertebrates known to science.

Kholumolumo (pronounced Ko-lum-oh-loo-mo) is derived from the local Sotho dialect for a mythical reptilian beast, whilst the specific or trivial name honours the Ellenberger brothers.

25 11, 2020

First Dinosaur Remains from Ireland

By | November 25th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

First Dinosaur Remains from Ireland

Scientists from the University of Portsmouth, National Museums of Ireland and Queen’s University Belfast have confirmed that fossils found by the late Roger Byrne on the east coast of County Antrim (Northern Ireland), are dinosaur bones.  These are the only dinosaur bones known from the island of Ireland.  Roger Byrne donated a number of specimens to Ulster Museum but they had not been closely studied, a scientific paper published in the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association remedies that and confirms that two of the pieces are Dinosaurian and although they were found at the same location, they represent bones from two different dinosaurs.

Lead Researcher Dr Mike Simms Holding the Two Dinosaur Fossil Bones

Dr Mike Simms holds the two precious fossils.

Dr Mike Simms (National Museums Northern Ireland) holds the theropod tibia on the left and the thyreophoran femur on the right.

Picture Credit: The University of Portsmouth

Lead author of the research Dr Mike Simms stated:

“This is a hugely significant discovery.  The great rarity of such fossils here is because most of Ireland’s rocks are the wrong age for dinosaurs, either too old or too young, making it nearly impossible to confirm dinosaurs existed on these shores.  The two dinosaur fossils that Roger Byrne found were perhaps swept out to sea, alive or dead, sinking to the Jurassic seabed where they were buried and fossilised.”

Lias Group Exposures

The two fossil bones found by the Roger Byrne, a schoolteacher and avid fossil collector, come from Lower Jurassic strata exposed in Islandmagee.  They had been suspected of representing dinosaur bones, although they were found in marine deposits.  A detailed analysis of their histology and shape indicated that two of the pieces that Roger donated were indeed the bones of dinosaurs.  Originally, it had been thought that the bones represented a single type of dinosaur but the research team were surprised to discover that they represent bones from two very different types.

One specimen has been interpreted as the proximal end of the left femur of a basal thyreophoran ornithischian.  It has been tentatively assigned to Scelidosaurus, a primitive armoured dinosaur, fossils of which are known from Dorset (southern England) and date from the Sinemurian to the Pliensbachian faunal stages of the Early Jurassic.  The strata from which the femur fragment was found dates from slightly earlier, both the fossil bones are around 200 million years old.

A Model of the Early Armoured Dinosaur Scelidosaurus

CollectA Scelidosaurus model.

A model of a Scelidosaurus.  The CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale Scelidosaurus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Evidence of a Meat-eating Dinosaur

The second fragment of bone has been identified as the proximal part of the left tibia of an indeterminate neotheropod, perhaps a member of the averostran-line similar to Sarcosaurus, or a megalosauroid.  Sarcosaurus fossils are associated with Lower Jurassic strata (Hettangian-Sinemurian faunal stages), of England.  Together, the two fossil bones represent the first dinosaur remains reported anywhere in Ireland and some of the west westerly in Europe.

An Illustration of Sarcosaurus

Sarcosaurus drawing.

Sarcosaurus scale drawing.  A speculative drawing of the Early Jurassic theropod Sarcosaurus.  It is not known whether this dinosaur had head crests like the distantly related Dilophosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The researchers used high-resolution, three-dimensional replicas to confirm the identity of the items donated by Roger Byrne.

University of Portsmouth researcher Robert Smyth explained:

“Analysing the shape and internal structure of the bones, we realised that they belonged to two very different animals.  One is very dense and robust, typical of an armoured plant-eater.  The other is slender, with thin bone walls and characteristics found only in fast-moving two-legged predatory dinosaurs called theropods.”

An Illustration of the Fossil Bones from County Antrim

Illustrations of the dinosaur bones from County Antrim.

Drawings of the dinosaur fossil bones by the late Roger Byrne and incorporated into the scientific paper.  Illustrations e, f, k and l are views of the theropod partial tibia and d, e are illustrations of the partial femur assigned to Scelidosaurus.  Note scale bar 5 cm.

Picture Credit: Roger Byrne/National Museums of Ireland

Very Important Fossil Discoveries

Despite their fragmentary and weathered nature, these fossils are extremely important as they date from the Hettangian stage of the Early Jurassic, shortly after the End Triassic extinction event when the Dinosauria start to diversify and become more widespread.  Very few dinosaur fossils are known from this stage of the Early Jurassic, so Roger’s fossils are globally significant.

One of the other items donated by Roger Byrne probably represents an element from the skull or jawbone from a large marine reptile, perhaps an ichthyosaur or a pliosaur, whilst a polygonal-shaped piece was determined not to be a fossil at all, but a piece of Palaeocene basalt, similar to that found at the famous Giant’s Causeway on the northern coast of County Antrim.

Scelidosaurus a Beachcomber?

Commenting on the number of Scelidosaurus fossils associated with marine deposits, Professor Martill (University of Portsmouth), suggested:

“Scelidosaurus keeps on turning up in marine strata, and I am beginning to think that it may have been a coastal animal, perhaps even eating seaweed like marine iguanas do today.”

The fossils were on display at the Ulster Museum during the “Dippy on Tour” exhibition in 2018, but it is hoped that these important fossil bones will be able to go on permanent display once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

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

The scientific paper: “First dinosaur remains from Ireland” by Michael J. Simms, Robert S.H. Smyth, David M. Martill, Patrick C. Collins and Roger Byrne published in the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association.

25 11, 2020

CollectA New for 2021 Models (Part 3) Video

By | November 25th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|0 Comments

CollectA New for 2021 Models (Part 3) Video

Having posted up information about the latest batch of new for 2021 prehistoric animal models to be introduced by CollectA, team members put together a video review for Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel.  The video review provides information about the new Age of Dinosaurs Popular Elasmosaurus, discusses the famous mistake made by the American palaeontologist Edward Drinker Cope and looks at the scientific evidence for giving this huge plesiosaur a tail fin (fluke).

The Everything Dinosaur Video Review of the New for 2021 CollectA Prehistoric Animal Figures (Part 3)

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Summarising the Scientific Evidence for a Tail Fluke in Plesiosaurs

Did Elasmosaurus have a tail fluke?

Providing information about the scientific evidence for a tail fluke in members of the Plesiosauroidea.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

CollectA Deluxe 1:40 Scale Xiphactinus Model

The YouTube video review lasts about thirteen and a half minutes and provides a comprehensive review of the new CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale Xiphactinus, a contemporary of Elasmosaurus.  However, team members stress that this prehistoric fish was much more widely distributed and it was not limited to the Western Interior Seaway.

Looking at the Distribution of the Ancient Predatory Fish Xiphactinus

Distribution of Xiphactinus (geological and chronological evidence).

The widespread Xiphactinus (geographically and temporally).  Xiphactinus fossils are known from North America, Europe, Venezuela and even from the southern hemisphere (Argentina).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We recommend that you take a look at Everything Dinosaur on YouTube where you will find this new CollectA video review.  Here is a link to our YouTube channel: Everything Dinosaur – YouTube.

Everything Dinosaur encourages you to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

The New Set of CollectA Mini Prehistoric Animal Models

As well as providing information on fossils relating to Xiphactinus and Elasmosaurus, the new for 2021 set of mini prehistoric animal models is also discussed.  This set will feature ten figures, nine of which are entirely new sculpts.  These models are great for use in prehistoric landscapes or dinosaur dioramas where they can represent juveniles or sub-adults.

Reviewing the New for 2021 CollectA Mini Prehistoric Animal Model Set

CollectA mini prehistoric animal figures (set 3).

The new for 2021 set of mini prehistoric animals from CollectA features 10 figures.  There are 8 dinosaurs (Alamosaurus, Argentinosaurus, Iguanodon, Mapusaurus, Mercuriceratops, Oviraptor, Therizinosaurus and Utahraptor).   Also included in this set is a miniature replica of the marine reptile Pliosaurus and a flying reptile figure – Guidraco.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We aim to educate and inform with our CollectA model reviews.  Our intention is to provide some of the scientific information that is reflected in the figures.  For example, we examine amazing fossils showing the preserved remains of a victim entombed within the stomach cavity of a Xiphactinus audax specimen.  We discuss elasmosaurids and we provide pictures of plesiosaur tail bones that might indicate the presence of a tail fluke.  We have one more video to produce about new CollectA models for next year.  This video will be posted up on our YouTube channel next week.”

To see the existing range of CollectA Deluxe models: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Models.

CollectA prehistoric animal models and figures: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models and Figures.

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