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5 09, 2019

Non-dinosaurian Dinosauromorphs from Colorado

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

Kwanasaurus williamparkeri – The Newest Member of the Silesauridae

Dinosaur discoveries usually grab all the headlines.  However, our attention was caught recently with the publication of a scientific paper in the academic journal “PeerJ”, describing a new species of silesaurid, a Triassic reptile that was so very closely related to the Dinosauria, but not quite a dinosaur.  The animal has been named Kwanasaurus williamparkeri and it roamed what was to become Colorado some 210 million years ago.

A Skeletal Reconstruction and a Life Reconstruction of Kwanasaurus williamparkeri

Skeletal drawing and life reconstruction of K. williamparkeri.

Skeletal drawing and life reconstruction of Kwanasaurus williamparkeri.

Picture Credit: PeerJ/Jeffrey W Martz and Bryan J Small

The picture (above), shows (A) a skeletal reconstruction with known fossil elements shaded light grey.  The skeletal reconstruction is based on the fossilised remains of several individuals all scaled to the same size.  The body plan is based on Silesaurus.  Note the scale bars equal ten centimetres given for probable largest specimen (DMNH EPV.34579) and one of the smallest specimens.(DMNH EPV.63139).

From the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation of Colorado

Numerous fragmentary fossils representing parts of the jaw, limb bones and possibly a scapula and lower leg bones along with isolated teeth have been found in the “red siltstone” member of the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation (Eagle Basin, Colorado).  The strata were deposited in the Late Triassic (215-207 mya – middle to late Norian.  Kwanasaurus  is the northernmost silesaurid known from the Americas and only the fourth taxon recognised from North America, although more specimens of silesaurids are likely to be found in the future, after all the Silesauridae was only formally erected in 2010.  In addition, the authors of the paper, report on the discovery of fossils ascribed to Dromomeron romeri, a bipedal member of the Dinosauromorpha but from another branch (the Lagerpetidae), thus, we have two non-dinosaurian dinosauromorphs from these sediments.  This is the first documented occurrence of D. romeri from the Chinle Formation of the Eagle Basin of Colorado

Upper Jawbone (Maxillae) and Accompanying Line Drawings – Kwanasaurus williamparkeri

Kwanasaurus upper jaw bone images and line drawings.

Images of upper jaw bones maxillae and accompanying line drawings of Kwanasaurus.

Picture Credit: PeerJ

“Eagle Lizard” – Probably a Herbivore

The genus name means “eagle lizard” honouring the town and county of Eagle, as the fossils were found nearby. The trivial epithet honours Dr William Parker, a vertebrate palaeontologist who has helped develop our understanding of Triassic archosaurs.  These types of archosaurs were contemporaneous with the first dinosaurs and the discovery of Kwanasaurus adds further support to the theory that for millions of years different types of archosaurs co-existed and that the Dinosauria did not have a sudden rise to ecological dominance.  The robust jaws and the teeth indicate that Kwanasaurus was probably herbivorous, this suggests a dietary specialism amongst silesaurids as most other genera are believed to have been omnivorous.

Views of the Left Dentary (Lower Jaw) of K. williamparkeri with Accompanying Line Drawings

Views and line drawings of the dentary of Kwanasaurus.

Views of the left jawbone (dentary) of Kwanasaurus.   The deep lower jaw and the shape of the teeth suggest a herbivorous diet.

Picture Credit: PeerJ

The scientific paper: “Non-dinosaurian dinosauromorphs from the Chinle Formation (Upper Triassic) of the Eagle Basin, northern Colorado: Dromomeron romeri (Lagerpetidae) and a new taxon, Kwanasaurus williamparkeri (Silesauridae)” by Jeffrey W Martz and Bryan J Small published in PeerJ.

4 09, 2019

The Schleich Diabloceratops Dinosaur Model

By | September 4th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

The Schleich Diabloceratops Dinosaur Model

The Schleich Diabloceratops dinosaur model is back in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  This recently introduced Ceratopsian figure (spring 2019), has proved to be a favourite amongst fans of Schleich and dinosaur models.  Our initial stocks sold out quickly and it is great to see “devil horned face” back in our warehouse again.

Back in Stock at Everything Dinosaur – the Schleich Diabloceratops Dinosaur Model

Schleich Diabloceratops dinosaur replica.

The Schleich Diabloceratops dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Diabloceratops eatoni

Known from a single skull discovered in 2002 and a second skull specimen found eight years later, Diabloceratops is the oldest known ceratopsid, it having roamed the upper parts of the United States some 79 million years ago.  It is regarded as a basal centrosaurine and it was the first member of the Centrosaurinae to be have been discovered south of Montana.  Zuniceratops (Z. christopheri), which is known from the mid Turonian of New Mexico, is regarded as the sister taxon.

To view the Schleich Diabloceratops model and the rest of the replicas in the Schleich model range: Schleich Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models

A Close-up View of the Schleich Diabloceratops Dinosaur Model

Schleich Diabloceratops dinosaur model.

A close up of the front end (anterior portion) of the Schleich Diabloceratops dinosaur model.  The model has beautiful detailing on the skin and the Ceratopsian frill is very striking.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

What’s in a Name?

The genus name reflects the remarkable pair of horns that stick out from the back of the neck frill, whilst the species name honours vertebrate palaeontologist Jeff Eaton of Weber State University. The geosciences professor has been honoured for his work in Utah (where the Diabloceratops specimens originate), Professor Eaton has had a trace fossil, a lizard and a marsupial, as well as a dinosaur named after him.  The holotype Diabloceratops fossil material consisting of a partial skull and elements from the jaw, along with a second skull ascribed to this genus in 2010, are housed in the Natural History Museum of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah).

The fossils were excavated from the Wahweap Formation near Last Chance Creek in southern Utah.

The Schleich Diabloceratops has received many favourable reviews, including this one from a French-speaking Everything Dinosaur customer:

“Beau modèle avec couleurs splendides”, which translates as “beautiful model with splendid colours”.

A Scale Drawing of Diabloceratops eatoni

A scale drawing of Diabloceratops eatoni.

A scale drawing of Diabloceratops eatoni (human figure provides scale).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

3 09, 2019

Colourful Creative Dinosaurs

By | September 3rd, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Colourful Creative Dinosaurs

Our thanks to young Nataliya (Year 2), who sent into Everything Dinosaur a beautiful illustration of a dinosaur that she had designed following a visit to her school by one of our team members.  Nataliya and her classmates had taken up our challenge to design a dinosaur as part of an extension exercise that arose following one of our dinosaur and fossil workshops at the school.  The dinosaur was named “spikeraptor” and despite its fearsome name, Nataliya explained that this dinosaur was a herbivore and even included a picture of some leaves that the dinosaur was grazing upon in her prehistoric portrait.

A Colourful Dinosaur Design – “Spikeraptor”

A colourful green dinosaur - Spikeraptor the product of the imagination of young Nataliya (Key Stage 1).

A colourful green dinosaur – Spikeraptor the product of the imagination of young Nataliya (Year 2).

Picture Credit: Nataliya (Key Stage 1) and Everything Dinosaur

Lovely Labels!

As part of a writing exercise we asked the children to label their prehistoric animal’s body parts.  Nataliya was keen to emphasis the spikes and prickles on her dinosaur and our congratulations to Nataliya and the rest of the class for sending in some super drawings with fantastic examples of handwriting.  These drawings have made our day and we shall post them up in our warehouse so that all the Everything Dinosaur team members can view them.

2 09, 2019

Ammonite Biozones and the Biostratigraphic Column

By | September 2nd, 2019|Geology, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Ammonite Biozones and the Biostratigraphic Column

It was the English engineer William Smith (1769-1839), who pioneered the idea that different strata located in different places could be correlated using the fossils that were contained therein.  Although, his astonishing feat of compiling the world’s first geological map did not receive all the recognition it deserved, after all, it was only later in his life that his achievements gained prominence in scientific circles, William Smith is regarded by many as the “father of geology”.

As he examined different layers of rock he perceived that any succession of fossils could represent particular periods of geological time.  Furthermore, the age of widely separated strata could be compared and correlated using the fossils that they contained.  These fossils helped to indicate the relative age of various rock formations.  Thus, Smith helped to lay the foundations for the science of biostratigraphy.  Ammonites and other invertebrate fossils are extremely important in the relative dating process.

Different Fossils of Ammonites Associated with Different Layers of Rock – Building a Biostratigraphical Column

Ammonite Biozones

Demonstrating a sequence of ammonite fossils identified from specific strata that helps to form a biostratigraphic column.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The above photograph was taken by an Everything Dinosaur team member on a recent visit to the Naturmuseum Senckenberg (Frankfurt, Germany), it demonstrates that different types of ammonite fossils are associated with different layers of rocks in a sequence of deposition.  The stratigraphic column can therefore be divided into zones (biozones), that are characterised by one or more particular type of fossil.  The sequence of these biozones in the correct order, creates a biostratigraphical column.

Ammonites are ideal zone fossil candidates.  These cephalopods were ubiquitous in Mesozoic marine deposits, their shells formed abundant fossils and ammonites evolved rapidly into many distinctive types (species).  We congratulate the Museum for such a beautifully created and instructive display.

1 09, 2019

New Brazilian Pterosaur Announced

By | September 1st, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Keresdrakon Lived Alongside Caiuajara

A new species of large, toothless pterosaur has been described based on fossil specimens excavated from the “cemitério dos pterossauros” (pterosaur graveyard), in southern Brazil.  This new flying reptile has been named Keresdrakon vilsoni.  The researchers, writing in the academic journal “Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências” conclude that Keresdrakon co-existed with another, smaller and, based on the fossil evidence more numerous, pterosaur (Caiuajara dobruskii).  In addition, the two distinct pterosaurs coexisted with a theropod dinosaur (Vespersaurus paranaensis) and together they provide an unique insight into an ancient desert ecosystem.

The Palaeoenvironment of the “Cemitério dos Pterossauros”

Keresdrakon life reconstruction.

Keresdrakon life reconstruction, feeding on the carcase of a Vespersaurus.

Picture Credit: Maurilio Oliveira

Interpreting the Palaeoenvironment

The age of the strata is disputed.  Some authors favour a Turonian to Campanian age indicating Upper Cretaceous deposits, whilst other scientists have suggested that the rocks might be Lower Cretaceous in age (Aptian to Albian).  The bonebeds associated with these sandstones indicate a congregation of vertebrates in what was probably an interdunal wetland in the middle of a desert.  Caiuajara is interpreted as a likely frugivore, a feeding behaviour associated with other members of the Tapejaridae family.  Although, the much larger, edentulous (toothless), Keresdrakon probably filled a different niche in the ecosystem.  Its fossils are much rarer than those of Caiuajara, the researchers infer that Keresdrakon vilsoni might have behaved as an opportunistic predator or a scavenger.  Analysis of this pterosaur’s beak suggest that it did not have a strong bite, so overcoming larger prey such as the theropod Vespersaurus might have been difficult for Keresdrakon, but it could have fed on carrion, as depicted in the above illustration.

The authors of the scientific paper, which include pterosaur expert Alexander Kellner of the Museu Nacional/Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), consider Keresdrakon to be the equivalent of a modern-day Marabou stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer), which scavenges but also eats any small animal that it can swallow.  The scientists speculate that K. vilsoni might have eaten juvenile Caiuajara or even hatchlings and eggs.  Given the geological and fossil evidence, it is likely that these two pterosaurs along with Vespersaurus co-existed together and that the “cemitério dos pterossauros”, demonstrates evidence of sympatry in the Pterosauria, if this is the case, then these sandstone deposits of uncertain age in Paraná State represent an extremely significant discovery for vertebrate palaeontologists.

The Holotype Fossil Material of Keresdrakon vilsoni

Holotype of Keresdrakon vilsoni.

Holotype of Keresdrakon vilsoni gen. et sp. nov. (CP.V 2069).  Skull and lower jaw are presented in right lateral view.  Note scale bar = 10 cm.

Picture Credit: Kellner et al

What is Sympatry?

Sympatry is a term used in biology to describe the situation when two or more related species co-exist in the same environment at the same time.  Caiuajara and Keresdrakon are contemporaneous, occupying the same space and time in the fossil record.

To read about the discovery of Caiuajara dobruskiiNew Species of Flying Reptile Identified from Pterosaur Graveyard.

To read about the theropod dinosaur associated with this fossil site: The First Dinosaur from the Caiuá Group – Brazil.

Classifying Keresdrakon

A phylogenetic analysis suggests that Keresdrakon sits outside the Tapejaridae family but is still quite closely related to these types of flying reptiles.  It is described as part of a non-tapejarid lineage within the wider Tapejaromorpha.

A Sandstone Block Showing Keresdrakon vilsoni and Caiuajara dobruskii Fossils in Association

Keresdrakon and Caiuajara in association.

Sample (CP.V 5697) from bonebed C showing on the right (a) a partial skeleton of the Caiuajara dobruskii the left (b) elements of Keresdrakon vilsoni gen. et sp. nov. separated by the white line.  Scale bar = 10 cm.

Picture Credit: Kellner et al

The scientific paper: “A new toothless pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea) from Southern Brazil with insights into the paleoecology of a Cretaceous desert” by Kellner, Alexander W. A.; Weinschütz, Luiz C.; Holgado, Borja; Bantim, Renan A. M.; Sayão, Juliana M. and published in the Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências.

31 08, 2019

The Lost Kingdom of the Purbeck Group

By | August 31st, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page|0 Comments

The Lost Kingdom of The Purbeck Group

Our thanks to Thomas for sending into us the third and final article that he has compiled over the summer holidays.  Thomas has chosen to feature the biota associated with the Lower Cretaceous deposits of the Purbeck Group of south-eastern England.

The Purbeck Group consists of limestone, mudstones and evaporites representing a series of freshwater, brackish and marine environments laid down in the Upper Jurassic and into the Early Cretaceous, approximately 145 to 139 million years ago.  The fossils associated with these sedimentary rocks provide evidence of changing palaeoenvironments and also of faunal turnover, including a record of different types of dinosaur.

This world is not talked about often but is very interesting for at some point during the Late Jurassic allosauroids became extinct in the British Isles only to return sometime in the Early Cretaceous (around 140-139 million years ago).  Falling sea levels are thought to have contributed to the reintroduction of these theropods to their former territory.  During their absence, tyrannosauroids evolved to fill the niche left by the allosauroids, although in the Jurassic, they were not apex predators.

Let’s Meet the Dinosaur Fauna of this Lost Kingdom

  • Nuthetes destructor – known from extremely fragmentary fossil material, possibly a dromaeosaurid or perhaps a member of the Tyrannosauroidea (Proceratosauridae?).  The size of this dinosaur is unknown, although based on measurements of the anterior portion of the partial dentary associated with this species, a length of approximately 1.6 metres has been speculated.
  • Echinodon becklesii – represented by isolated teeth, one fragmentary skull and a handful of isolated jaw bones, this dinosaur is thought to be a member of the Heterodontosauridae.  It was a relatively small dinosaur with a body length of approximately 60 centimetres.
  • Owenodon hoggii – regarded as an ornithopod and known from a badly crushed right dentary found at Durleston Bay (Dorset) in 1860.  Hind limb material from near Speeton, (Yorkshire), recovered from Berriasian-aged deposits and a single tooth from Spain have also been tentatively assigned to O. hoggii.  The size of Owenodon remains unknown but it has been suggested that it could have been around 6 metres long.  Its taxonomic position remains uncertain.  When first described in the mid 1870’s it was thought the fossils represented a type of Iguanodon.

A Life Reconstruction of the Ornithopod Owenodon hoggii

Life reconstruction Owenodon hoggii.

A reconstruction of Owenodon hoggii.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Undiagnostic Specimens

The Purbeck Limestone Group has also yielded a variety of other dinosaur fossils.   For example, a single, beautifully preserved tooth and a partial tail bone (caudal vertebra), which represent an armoured dinosaur.  These fossils lack any specific autapomorphies (distinct features or traits), they are regarded as indeterminate, although it could be speculated that these fragmentary fossils represent a member of the Nodosauridae family, possibly a member of the subfamily Polacanthinae.  A single, partial metacarpal from a sauropod has also been found.

Thrombolites – Preserved Evidence of Ancient Microbial Communities are Associated with the Purbeck Group Limestones

Thromobolite structures are associated with the Purbect Group

A thrombolite around a former tree stump (fossil forest, Lulworth, Dorset).  Preserved in the limestone – evidence of microbial communities that formed around tree stumps and other organic debris.   This photograph was probably taken at the fossil forest ledges that lie to the east of Lulworth Cove.

Picture Credit: University of Southampton

Numerous trace fossils consisting of dinosaur tracks have been identified.  Footprint fossils suggest  the presence of other types of dinosaurs such as small ornithopods within the Purbeck Group ecosystem, there is even a track-way which may have conceivably been left by the “Purbeck giant tyrannosauroid”.

The Purbeck Giant Tyrannosauroid

Dinosaur tracks (natural casts), along with a single metatarsal bone indicate the presence of large theropods.  Classifying this material has proved difficult.  It has been suggested that these trace fossils and the body fossil (single foot bone), could represent a member of the Tyrannosauroidea.  This theropod superfamily is now known to have been both geographically and temporally wild spread during the Late Jurassic and the Early Cretaceous.

Large Theropod Metatarsal (Purbeck Group)

A large metatarsal (foot bone) - the Purbeck Giant.

The “Purbeck Giant”, a single theropod metatarsal.

Picture Credit: NHM Data Portal

Evidence linking this fossil to the Maniraptora is limited.  Based on comparative studies of other theropod toe bones, it has been estimated that the “Purbeck giant” could have been around 6.7 metres long with a hip height of approximately 1.9 metres.  To put into perspective why the “Purbeck giant” can’t be a maniraptoran, comparative analysis based on the foot bones of members of the Maniraptora suggest that this toe bone represents a maniraptoran that would have measured in excess of 9 metres in length.  The fossil bone (metatarsal III), could have come from a tyrannosauroid.  Until the arrival of the carcharodontosaurids in this part of western Europe, the “Purbeck giant” was most likely the apex predator.   This specimen was collected from Durlston Bay on the Isle of Purbeck (Lulworth Formation subdivision of the Purbeck Group).

Outdated Reconstructions of the “Purbeck Giant” and Neovenator compared to a Human and Nuthetes

Purbeck Group theropods.

A scale drawing showing some of the theropods associated with the Purbeck Group.  Neovenator (grey), “Purbeck giant” light red, Nuthetes (N. destructor) dark red.  Note scale bar = 1 metre.

Picture Credit: Eotyrannu5 (Dan Folkes)

When allosauroids (carcharodontosaurids), recolonised what was to become the southern British Isles, there may have been a faunal turnover event with the carcharodontosaurids replacing members of the Tyrannosauroidea as apex and secondary predators.  The youngest strata associated with the Purbeck Group (the Durlston Formation), partly overlaps with the Ashdown Formation of the Wealden Group (both Berriasian in age).  The dinosaur fossils associated with the Ashdown Formation and the younger elements that between them form the Hastings Subgroup, represent a different dinosaur fauna than what is associated with the Purbeck Group.

Neovenator salerii – Known from the Isle of Wight (Barremian Stage)

A model of Neovenator.

“New Hunter” from the Isle of Wight – N. salerii.  Did these types of theropod dinosaur replace the Tyrannosauridea in western Europe?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The climate at the time would have been like the Late Jurassic and it gradually became more temperate.  The fossil forest ledges, preserved east of Lulworth Cove, represent an interesting and integral part of this ecosystem.  Imagine a coastal conifer forest, now cover the floor of it in mosses and algae and dried up seaweed.  The ingress of the tides permitted bacterial colonies to form large doughnut-shaped concretions around many tree stumps, these structures, termed thromobolites, can be observed today.  Some of these circular structures are big enough for a person to sit in.

Fossils of Mammals

The sedimentary rocks associated with the Purbeck Group has also yielded fossils of many other types of vertebrate including fragmentary jaws and teeth of several types of Early Cretaceous mammal: Early Placental Mammals Identified.  It is likely that pterosaurs were present, the fossil record of flying reptiles is particularly poor, but tracks preserved in sediments that represent intertidal flats have been ascribed to the ichnogenus Purbeckopus pentadactylus and these tracks suggest the presence of large pterosaurs.

The speed in which the carcharodontosaurids outcompeted tyrannosauroids, like the “Purbeck giant”, might lead to the conclusion that carcharodontosaurids were more successful, efficient and effective predators than either the Pantyrannosauria, a recently proposed clade consisting of all those theropods related to T. rex and Dilong paradoxus but not including Proceratosaurus bradleyi and the Proceratosauridae.  Owenodon was a bit like a blend between Camptosaurus and Mantellisaurus – fast but still of decent size.  Nuthetes would have mainly hunted the mammals, reptiles, baby dinosaurs and Echinodon.

Our thanks to Thomas for sending in the information which helped us to compile this article.

To read an article published in 2018, which provides information on the discovery of sauropod tracks on the Isle of Purbeck: Dorset Dinosaur Tracks Discovered

30 08, 2019

T. rex to Feature on U.S. Postal Service Stamps

By | August 30th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

“King of the Tyrant Lizards” on American Postage Stamps

The United States Postal Service saluted one of natural history’s superstars this week, with the introduction of a set of stamps depicting Tyrannosaurus rex, which has been known to science for over a hundred years.  One of the apex predators of the tail-end of the Mesozoic is commemorated with new Forever stamps, reflecting current scientific thinking about T. rex which roamed North America around sixty-six million years ago.

The Four U.S. Postal Service Stamps (2019) that Feature Tyrannosaurus rex

New T. rex postage stamps issued by the U. S. Postal Service.

Four new stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service celebrate Tyrannosaurus rex.

Picture Credit: U.S. Postal Service

Two of the four designs show movement when rotated.  See the skeletal remains with and without flesh and watch as an approaching T. rex suddenly lunges forward.  This printing method was first used by the Postal Service to produce the Rabbit and Hat stamp on the Art of Magic souvenir pane in 2018.

A Dinosaur that has Stirred the Public’s Imagination for over a Hundred Years

Speaking at the dedication ceremony for these stamps held at the prestigious Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (Washington D.C.), Isaac Cronkhite, the U.S. Postal Service’s chief human resources officer and executive vice president stated:

“With the dedication of these dazzling new Forever stamps today, the Postal Service pays tribute to the king of dinosaurs.  More than any other dinosaur, since its discovery more than a century ago, the T. rex has stirred the public imagination.  We are proud to bring the powerful T. rex on stamps that will whiz through the mail stream on millions of birthday cards, letters and thank-you notes.”

Available in Panes of Sixteen Stamps with Four Designs

U. S. Postal Service T. rex pane.

Available as a set of sixteen stamps.

Picture Credit: U.S. Postal Service

The Digital Artwork of Julius T. Csotonyi

The artwork for these dinosaur-themed stamps was created by renowned palaeoartist Julius T. Csotonyi and these stamps are available in sets of sixteen with four different designs depicting this iconic dinosaur at different growth stages and reflecting inferred behaviours.  Julius T. Csotonyi created photorealistic illustrations of T. rex with depictions based on the growing body of research on these dinosaurs.  The artist painted digitally using a stylus on a computer screen, an approach he likens to acrylic painting.  Art director Greg Breeding designed the pane.

The Newly Hatched T. rex – Artwork Created by Julius T. Csotonyi

A baby T. rex features on an American stamp.

A newly hatched T. rex features on one of the Tyrannosaurus rex stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service.

Picture Credit: U.S. Postal Service based on original artwork by Julius T. Csotonyi

The “Nation’s T. rex

The young, sub-adult T. rex that is featured on two of the stamps, is specimen number MOR-555, discovered in 1988 on federal land in Montana.  When first brought to the attention of the scientific community, this specimen was nick-named “the Wankel T. rex” in honour of the person who found these fossilised remains, which represent about 45% of the skeleton of a single T. rex.  Painstaking excavation revealed what would become one of the most studied and important tyrannosaur specimens ever found, including the first T. rex arms ever recovered.  The Nation’s T. rex is now exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

This is not the first time that dinosaurs have featured on a set of postage stamps.  Many stamps featuring prehistoric animals have been issued.  For example, back in 2013, Everything Dinosaur team members were asked to help write the press releases for a set of prehistoric animal stamps produced by Royal Mail: Royal Mail Issues New Prehistoric Animal Stamps.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It is great to see that such an iconic animal from North America’s natural history being honoured in this way.  These stamps are ‘roarsome’!”

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the United States Postal Service in the compilation of this article.

29 08, 2019

Fabulous Fukuiraptor

By | August 29th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Praising the CollectA Prehistoric Life Fukuiraptor

Japan might not be that famous for its dinosaurs, although several Japanese dinosaurs have been named and described and we are expecting a new hadrosaurid to be announced from a substantial fossil found on the island of Hokkaido shortly*.  Fukuiraptor, from Fukui Prefecture on the largest island that makes up the country of Japan (Honshu), is known from fragmentary remains and its taxonomic affinity remains controversial.  However, those clever and talented model makers at CollectA were undeterred and this year, saw the introduction of a Fukuiraptor dinosaur model into the company’s “Prehistoric Life” model range.

The CollectA New for 2019 Fukuiraptor Dinosaur Model

CollectA Fukuiraptor dinosaur model.

CollectA Fukuiraptor model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the Fukuiraptor dinosaur model and the rest of the figures in the not to scale, CollectA Prehistoric Life range: CollectA Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models (Prehistoric Life Range).

Lower Cretaceous Predator

The vast majority of the fossil material ascribed to Fukuiraptor (F. kitadaniensis), comes from excavation sites located along the banks of the Sugiyama River.  The strata are estimated to be around 120 million years of age (late Barremian to Aptian faunal stages of the Early Cretaceous).  This dinosaur was scientifically described nineteen years ago (Phil Currie and Yoichi Azuma), in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.  It had been suggested that these fossils represented a large dromaeosaurid, however, more recent taxonomic assessment has suggested affinities with the Megaraptora.

A CollectA Fukuiraptor Dinosaur Model on Display

The CollectA Fukuiraptor dinosaur model (CollectA Prehistoric Life 2019).

The new for 2019 CollectA Prehistoric Life Fukuiraptor dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Creating a Favourable Impression

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The CollectA Fukuiraptor dinosaur model has created a very favourable impression amongst dinosaur fans and model collectors.  Models representing relatively obscure species are always appreciated and this finely detailed and well-painted figure has proved to be very popular.”

Everything Dinosaur has compiled several reviews of this recently introduced dinosaur figure, including one from a French customer who described it as a “beau modèle”.  It is pleasing to note that this figure has such an international appeal.

*A new species of hadrosaurid, assigned to the Edmontosaurini subfamily has been announced.  It has been named Kamuysaurus japonicus and it lived at least forty million years after Fukuiraptor became extinct.  To read Everything Dinosaur’s article about this newly described (September 2019) hadrosaurid: Japan’s Greatest Dinosaur Discovery Gets a Name – Kamuysaurus japonicus.

Perhaps CollectA will make a model of Kamuysaurus in the future.

28 08, 2019

The Doubtful Sauropod Bothriospondylus

By | August 28th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

The Dubious Sauropod Bothriospondylus

Occasionally, Everything Dinosaur features the artwork of the talented Chinese palaeoartist Zhao Chuang on this blog.  Today, we feature one of his illustrations of a dubious species of sauropod named from fragmentary fossils found in Wiltshire.

An Illustration of the Sauropod Bothriospondylus (B. suffossus) by Zhao Chuang)

The sauropod Bothriospondylus illustrated by Zhao Chuang.

An illustration of the dubious (nomen dubium) sauropod Bothriospondylus by the Chinese artist Zhao Chuang.

Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang (from the Science Art World by Zhao Chuang and Yang Yang)

Named and described by Richard Owen in 1875, based on four dorsal vertebrae collected from Upper Jurassic strata (Kimmeridgian faunal stage), a number of species have subsequently been assigned to this genus including a species based on fossils from as far afield as Madagascar.

The four vertebrae (along with three unfused, fragmentary sacral vertebrae), referred to this species are now regarded as non-diagnostic.  They lack distinctive characteristics to permit the establishment of a new genus, therefore Bothriospondylus is regarded by most palaeontologists as nomen dubium.

What Does Nomen Dubium Mean?

Nomen dubium is a term that we have explained in previous articles on this blog.  It simply means that the name given to the organism is doubted.  Any organism whose validity is in doubt is regarded as nomen dubium.

27 08, 2019

Picturing a Papo Gorgosaurus

By | August 27th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Picturing a Papo Gorgosaurus

The recently introduced Papo Gorgosaurus model has been very well received by dinosaur fans and model collectors.  Everything Dinosaur team members have been sent lots of photographs from customers showing us how this tyrannosaurid figure has fitted into their prehistoric animal collections.  We have also received some wonderful outdoor shots of this dinosaur model.  Take for example, some photographs sent to us by Amy.

The Papo Gorgosaurus Goes for a Wander Around the Garden

The Papo Gorgosaurus has a wander in the garden.

A Gorgosaurus in the garden.

Picture Credit: Amy

Our thanks to Amy for sending in such a splendid set of photos.

Gorgosaurus in the Garden

Amy has skilfully used the available light and ensured that the model is the central focal point.  The dinosaur is shown in stark contrast to the blurred background, permitting the fine details on this excellent dinosaur replica to be displayed.

The Papo Gorgosaurus Dinosaur Model Roars as the Sun Sets

The Papo Gorgosaurus model has an articulated lower jaw.

Roaring at the sunset – the Papo Gorgosaurus.

Picture Credit: Amy

Having a Stroll and Sniffing the Air – the Papo Gorgosaurus Figure

On display in the garden, the Papo Gorgosaurus dinosaur model.

The Papo Gorgosaurus dinosaur model displayed in the garden.

Picture Credit: Amy

Amy sent us a Facebook message, commenting:

“Hi, I recently made my first purchase with your company and bought the new Papo Gorgosaurus and was amazed by the quick and easy service I received.  Here are some snaps I took of my new model, I will definitely be coming back to you guys again!”

A Dinosaur in Water

Amy has produced some very clever shots, including a very well composed photograph of her Papo model in water.  Water lilies were around when Gorgosaurus roamed the Late Cretaceous landscape of Laramidia.  Gorgosaurus would have been familiar with these flowering plants.  The model is waterproof and the spines along the back make this dinosaur look a little crocodilian.

A Gorgosaurus Goes for a Dip

The Papo Gorgosaurus dinosaur model goes for a swim.

A Papo Gorgosaurus takes a dip.

Picture Credit: Amy

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We really appreciate the photographs sent into us by Amy.  The Papo Gorgosaurus has been one of the most eagerly anticipated models this year and in these pictures, the details on this replica are superbly displayed. Our congratulations to Amy for her imaginative and creative pics.”

A Gorgosaurus Lurks!  Gorgosaurus is Ready to Ambush Other Dinosaurs

Setting an ambush the Papo Gorgosaurus dinosaur model in the garden.

A Gorgosaurus sets an ambush.

Picture Credit: Amy

The Papo Gorgosaurus Roars

A roaring Papo Gorgosaurus dinosaur model in the garden.

Papo Gorgosaurus roars.  A “roarsome” dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Amy

To view the Papo Gorgosaurus and the other prehistoric animal figures in the Papo “Dinosaures” range: Papo Prehistoric Animals and Dinosaurs

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