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2 08, 2020

“Early Jurassic Park” – Dilophosaurus wetherilli

By | August 2nd, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

“Early Jurassic Park” – Dilophosaurus wetherilli

Whilst working on their YouTube video explaining about the newly published scientific paper on Dilophosaurus, team members at Everything Dinosaur needed a visual to explain the importance of this North American dinosaur to palaeontologists as they try to improve their understanding about Early Jurassic dinosaur biota.  Interpreting Dilophosaurus fossil material has been hampered by their fragmentary nature and poor preservation.  Attempting to summarise the research since the University of California field work from 1942, it was decided to modify an iconic book cover “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton.  The new research suggests that Dilophosaurus may have looked very different, it was probably not a weak-jawed scavenger but an apex predator, the most dangerous dinosaur in the ecosystem.

The Importance of Dilophosaurus wetherilli – An Important Dinosaur from the Early Jurassic

"Early Jurassic Park" - Dilophosaurus wetherilli.

“Early Jurassic Park” – demonstrating the significance of the Early Jurassic theropod Dilophosaurus wetherilli.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dilophosaurus was popularised in the famous dinosaur movie “Jurassic Park” which was released in 1993.  It also appeared in the novel written by Michael Crichton, upon which the film was based.  The small venomous dinosaur with its neck frill, reminiscent of the frilled-neck lizard of Australia (Chlamydosaurus kingii) was regarded as a major departure from the science by many movie-goers although Dilophosaurus played a prominent role in one of the most significant scenes of the whole franchise when Dennis Nedry, the computer programmer who had been bribed to smuggle dinosaur embryos off the resort, was attacked and eaten.

The Dilophosaurus from the Film “Jurassic Park”

A relatively small animal was depicted.  The Dilophosaurus from the 1993 film “Jurassic Park”.

Picture Credit: Universal Pictures

In the newly published paper (Marsh and Rowe 2020), Dilophosaurus is depicted as a more robust, powerful animal and as far as the fossil record known to date goes, Dilophosaurus represents the largest terrestrial vertebrate known from the Early Jurassic of North America.

A Life Reconstruction of Dilophosaurus wetherilli Based on the 2020 Scientific Interpretation

Dilophosaurus wetherilli Makeover

An amazing puppet depicting Dilophosaurus wetherilli using the data from the newly published scientific paper was created by Brian Engh.

Picture Credit: University of Texas at Austin

To read Everything Dinosaur’s blog post about the new scientific paper: Time to Beef Up Dilophosaurus.

The Everything Dinosaur YouTube channel, is packed with lots of amazing videos all about dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.  The channel has over 175 videos on it, providing lots of information to dinosaur fans and model collectors: Subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

31 07, 2020

Time to “Beef Up” Dilophosaurus

By | July 31st, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Photos/Pictures of Fossils, Press Releases|0 Comments

Time to “Beef Up” Dilophosaurus wetherilli

A comprehensive review of the fossil material associated with the Early Jurassic crested theropod Dilophosaurus (D. wetherilli) has been published.  The consequences of this newly published paper for manufacturers of dinosaur models are profound.  It is likely that our view of “double crested lizard” will change and with the writing of this paper, all the Dilophosaurus figures and replicas are very probably all wrong!

It’s time to “beef up” Dilophosaurus and to stop depicting it as a lightly built, gracile, weak-jawed scavenger but to recognise that this dinosaur was an apex predator!

Everything Dinosaur team members have produced a short YouTube video that explains what has happened.

Time to “Beef Up” Dilophosaurus (D. wetherilli)

Video credit: Everything Dinosaur

All Dilophosaurus Dinosaur Models May be Wrong!

An analysis of the five most-complete Dilophosaurus specimens reveals that Dilophosaurus had stronger jaws than previously thought.  That distinctive notch between the premaxilla and the maxilla (the upper jaw bones), which is so carefully depicted in numerous replicas and figures, might be much less pronounced.  The original interpretation of the “kink” being put down to the fragmented and poor condition of the fossil material.  The shape of the upper jaws may be a result of taphonomy and it might not reflect the actual shape of the bones.

Lots of Dilophosaurus Dinosaur Models Feature in Everything Dinosaur’s Video

Wild Safari Dilophosaurus dinosaur model.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Dilophosaurus model came out in 2009 and it shows the characteristic anatomical traits formerly associated with this theropod dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Nasal and Lacrimal Bones Form the Crests

It is the nasal and lacrimal bones that form the famous crests.  This new paper suggests that these features were not thin and bony but the hollow, pneumatised cores were covered with keratin or keratinised skin making them much larger than previously thought.  Although their overall shape remains uncertain, these crests may have played a role in helping this large animal to lose heat.  Recently published research (Eastick et al), suggests that the casques of large, ground-dwelling birds such as cassowaries might act as thermal windows.  The casque on the top of the head of the cassowary could help this large bird to lose heat when it is very hot and restrict heat loss in cooler conditions.  At the time of publication (2019), it was proposed that these findings might have implications for the function of similar structures in avian and non-avian dinosaurs and that includes Dilophosaurus wetherilli.

Used for Display and Thermoregulation?

A new interpretation of Dilophosaurus wetherilli.

The new interpretation depicts Dilophosaurus as an apex predator which was very bird-like. Those crests could have played a role in thermoregulation.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur (puppet of Dilophosaurus created by Brian Engh)

Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube video highlighting the scientific paper on Dilophosaurus that may change the way models of this dinosaur are made lasts for a fraction over eleven minutes.  It provides an overview of the recent paper and discusses how future Dilophosaurus dinosaur models might look.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s blog post about the newly published research reviewing the Dilophosaurus wetherilli fossil material: Beefing Up Dilophosaurus.

Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel contains over 175 dinosaur and prehistoric animal videos, including model reviews, tips and hints about prehistoric animal model collecting, new releases, fossil discoveries, updates and insider information.

Discover Everything Dinosaur on YouTube: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.  We recommend that you subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Everything Dinosaur would like to acknowledge the help and support of University of Texas at Austin/Jackson School of Geosciences for their help in creating our YouTube video.

29 07, 2020

New Study Supports Traditional View of Dinosaur Evolution

By | July 29th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Geology, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Study Suggests that Ornithischian and Saurischian Dinosaurs Evolved Around the Same Time

An international team of scientists from Brazil and Argentina in collaboration with a geochronologist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), have provided evidence to support the hypothesis that the Ornithischia and Saurischia diverged early on in dinosaur evolution and this supports the view of the dinosaur family tree as proposed by Seeley in 1887.

Writing in the journal “Scientific Reports”, the researchers which included Jahandar Ramezani (MIT), re-examined the fossils of Pisanosaurus mertii, dating these fossils to approximately 229 million years ago (Late Carnian stage of the Triassic).  Pisanosaurus is believed to be the earliest known ornithischian dinosaur, although some palaeontologists have concluded that this one-metre-long reptile is a dinosauriform.  This new date suggests that bird-hipped dinosaurs were evolving at around the same as lizard-hipped forms (Saurischia), this challenges the hypothesis proposed by Baron et al in their 2017 paper which re-shaped the traditional view of dinosaur taxonomy.

To read more about the 2017 scientific paper: Root and Branch Reform of the Dinosaur Family Tree.

A View of the Ischigualasto Formation (Foreground)

A view of the The famous Ischigualasto Formation (foreground) the Sierra de Famattina Mountains can be seen on the horizon.

The famous Ischigualasto Formation (foreground), the Sierra de Famattina Mountains can be seen on the horizon (La Rioja province – Argentina).

Picture Credit: Desojo et al

Accurately Dating the Ischigualasto Formation

The researchers focused their fossil finding efforts on the Hoyado del Cerro Las Lajas area, where outcrops of the Ischigualasto Formation can be found, but they are less well explored compared to contemporaneous strata within the “Valley of the Moon” geological park in San Juan Province.  Volcanic deposits yielded zircons at various levels and these minerals permitted the measurement of isotopes of uranium and lead (rate of radiometric decay).  The presence of these igneous rocks allowed the geochronologist to measure the relative proportion of isotopes present in the zircon crystals.  Radiometric dating permitted the scientists to make an estimate of the age of the bedding planes and infer the age of the fossils that they contain.  The study revealed that the Ischigualasto Formation overlaps with the deposition of another important fossil-bearing formation found in North America – the Chinle Formation.

Carefully Jacketing a Specimen Prior to its Removal

Preparing a fossil specimen for removal.

A researcher carefully prepares a field specimen for removal.

Picture Credit: Desojo et al

Overlapping with the Chinle Formation of the South-western United States

The middle layers of the Chinle Formation which outcrops in the south-western part of the USA contain a variety of vertebrate fossils, including early dinosaurs.  However, very few fossils if any, are associated with the lower levels of the Chinle Formation.   The lack for fossils, prevents palaeontologists from understanding more about the early radiation and diversity of the Dinosauria from their suspected origins in the southern hemisphere.  The rocks from which fossils of the  basal ornithischian dinosaur Pisanosaurus have been found were dated to approximately 229 million years ago.  From this data, the research team were able to conclude that the earliest bird-hipped dinosaurs evolved at around the same time as the first lizard-hipped dinosaurs appear in the fossil record.

The Scientists Proposed that Pisanosaurus was Indeed an Ornithischian and it Lived Around 229 Million Years Ago

Pisanosaurus life reconstruction.

A life reconstruction of the Triassic ornithischian Pisanosaurus.

Commenting on the contribution of the dating of the strata to the paper, Jahandar Ramezani stated:

“We can now say the earliest ornithiscians first showed up in the fossil record roughly around the same time as the saurischians, so we shouldn’t throw away the conventional family tree.  There are all these debates about where dinosaurs appeared, how they diversified, what the family tree looked like.  A lot of those questions are tied to geochronology, so we need really good, robust age constraints to help answer these questions.”

Uranium-bearing Zircon Crystals Allowed an Accurate Date for Parts of the Ischigualasto Formation to be Established

Zircon crystals help to date parts of the Ischigualasto Formation in Argentina.

Microscopic crystals of the uranium-bearing mineral zircon were identified in rock samples and these crystals permitted an accurate date for the rock layers to be calculated.

Picture Credit: Desojo et al

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences department of MIT in the compilation of this article

The scientific paper: “The Late Triassic Ischigualasto Formation at Cerro Las Lajas (La Rioja, Argentina): fossil tetrapods, high-resolution chronostratigraphy, and faunal correlations” by Julia B. Desojo, Lucas E. Fiorelli, Martín D. Ezcurra, Agustín G. Martinelli, Jahandar Ramezani, Átila. A. S. Da Rosa, M. Belén von Baczko, M. Jimena Trotteyn, Felipe C. Montefeltro, Miguel Ezpeleta and Max C. Langer published in Scientific Reports.

27 07, 2020

Microraptor Moulted Just Like Many Modern Birds

By | July 27th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Evidence of Sequential Moult Identified in Microraptor gui

A team of Israeli scientists in collaboration with colleagues from China have found evidence in the holotype specimen of Microraptor (M. gui) that this flying dinosaur sequentially moulted its feathers.  All living birds have to replace their feathers periodically in order to maintain their function, feathered dinosaurs underwent the same process to.  The way in which the feathers are shed and replaced provides palaeontologists with an opportunity to infer habits and behaviours about a long extinct animal.

The Holotype Fossil Material of Microraptor gui

Microraptor fossil.

Feathers are found preserved in many dinosaur fossils from China and a new study suggests that Microraptor sequentially moulted which has implications for the habit and behaviour of this volant dromaeosaurid.

Writing in the academic journal Current Biology, the scientists from the University of Haifa, the Society of Protection of Nature and the Jerusalem Bird Observatory (Israel), along with co-workers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences identified signs of sequential moulting on the fossilised wing of Microraptor gui.

Moulting Strategy Links to Habitat Selection and Flight Ability

Living birds generally moult their feathers in one of three main ways or strategies:

1).  A gradual direct replacement of all flight feathers in a slow moult with both wings showing similar stages of moult at the same time – referred to as sequential moulting.

2).  Simultaneous replacement of all the flight feathers – referred to as simultaneous moulting.

3).  A gradual, but not ordered moult in which feather replacement has no predictable sequence or direction – referred to as an irregular moult.

Different Moulting Strategies Identified in Extant Birds

Different strategies of feather moulting in living birds.

Examples of moult strategies in living birds.  Marbled godwit (Limosa fedoa) in (A) showing a gradual sequential moult.  The flightless cormorant (Nannopterum harrisi) during a non-sequential moult with both wings showing old, new and growing feathers without any order or symmetry.  The common loon (Gavia immer) after simultaneous shedding of all the wing’s feathers as part of a non-sequential simultaneous moult.  An African darter (Anhinga rufa) in (D) that is characterised by a non-sequential moult in which its flight feathers grow simultaneously.

Picture Credit: Kiat et al plus Gartner, Salmond, S. P. d’Entremont, Francey (Journal of Current Biology)

In total, the moulting strategies of 302 living bird species were studied, including active fliers and ground-dwelling birds incapable of powered flight.  These findings were than applied to the feather arrangement, composition and morphology as found in the wing of the Microraptor gui holotype specimen.  The researchers were unable to distinguish between simultaneous and irregular moulting (strategy 2 and 3), so they confined their study to a direct comparison between sequential moulting (strategy 1) and non-sequential moulting (strategies 2 and 3).

The moulting strategy adopted by a bird species impacts on their ability to fly and provides clues about their habitat.

For example,  those birds that spend much of their time in the air or live in habitats which are open with few hiding places to help them avoid predators, sequential moulting tends to be adopted.  This ensures that the birds can still fly even during moulting.  Birds that do not fly frequently, or that have access to plenty of hiding places in their habitat so that they can avoid detection by predators tend to shed a large number of feathers simultaneously and have a relatively rapid moult, typically no more than 2-3 weeks, but if they are a volant species their ability to fly is severely impeded during this time.

Implications for Microraptor

A detailed examination of the wing feathers preserved on the holotype specimen of Microraptor led the researchers to identify six feathers of differing sizes (a-g in the diagram below).  These feather lengths were in a sequence indicating that Microraptor moulted gradually and sequentially.

Evidence of Sequential Moulting in Microraptor (M. gui)

Sequential moulting in Microraptor.

The holotype specimen exhibits an active moult in the primaries (the arrow points to the moult-related wing gap).  The bottom right inset shows how the researchers identified seven primaries in the specimen’s wing, marked as P(a)–P(g).

Picture Credit: Kiat et al (Journal of Current Biology)

This suggests that Microraptor probably spent a considerable portion of each day in the air and that it needed to be able to fly to avoid predators and to forage for food.  Furthermore, Microraptor required this capability on a daily basis, including during the moulting process.

Wing Moult (Sequential Shedding) in Microraptor

Wing moult in Microraptor.

Illustration (A) shows fully grown primary feathers on the wing, whilst (B), shows light grey feathers which have yet to be shed.

Picture Credit: Kiat et al (Journal of Current Biology) with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

Microraptor is the earliest known feathered vertebrate to demonstrate sequential moulting and this suggests that this strategy is nested very deep within the Maniraptora lineage that led to the evolution of birds.  Microraptor likely maintained its flight ability throughout the entire year.  These findings support the hypothesis that Microraptor was a strong, capable flier.  The researchers conclude that flight was essential for either its daily foraging or escaping from predators and that sequential moulting is the outcome of evolutionary pressures to maintain flight capability throughout the entire annual cycle in both extant birds and non-avialan paravian dinosaurs from 120 million years ago.

Microraptor Probably Sequentially Moulted Which Infers it was a Strong Flier

The CollectA Deluxe Microraptor Model.

Showing the iridescent feathers and the bifurcated tailfan of the CollectA Deluxe Microraptor model.  New study of the Microraptor gui holotype suggests sequential moulting and from this it is inferred that flight was essential for either Microraptor’s daily foraging or to avoid predators.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The scientific paper: “Sequential Molt in a Feathered Dinosaur and Implications for Early Paravian Ecology and Locomotion” by Yosef Kiat, Amir Balaban, Nir Sapir, Jingmai Kathleen O’Connor, Min Wang and Xing Xu published in the journal Current Biology.

26 07, 2020

An Ornithopod Diorama

By | July 26th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

CollectA Fukuisaurus and CollectA Mantellisaurus Get Makeovers

A very big thank you to dinosaur model collector Elizabeth who sent us pics of the CollectA 1:40 scale Fukuisaurus and the CollectA drinking Mantellisaurus that had been customised by the very talented Martin Garratt so that they represent the same species.  Elizabeth had commissioned the model maker to create a diorama featuring a pair of ornithopods, one female and one male.  With the addition of the 1:40 scale Fukuisaurus into the CollectA range this year, her plan to use two similar models to represent a male and a female of the same species came into fruition.

A Stunning Dinosaur Diorama Created by Martin Garratt

Two customised dinosaur models.

A beautiful pair of CollectA dinosaur models that have been customised on behalf of a client by the very talented model maker Martin Garratt.

Picture Credit: Elizabeth

Two Herbivorous Dinosaurs at a Watering Hole

This beautiful diorama features the two CollectA figures and model maker Martin has placed them on the margins of a small pond, thereby taking advantage of the head down pose of the CollectA Mantellisaurus figure.

A Close-up View of the Two Dinosaur Figures

CollectA Fukuisaurus and Mantellisaurus have been customised by a model maker.

Customised Fukuisaurus and Mantellisaurus.  A model maker has created a superb diorama featuring two different dinosaur replicas but portraying them as one species of ornithopod.

Picture Credit: Elizabeth

Fukuisaurus and Mantellisaurus

Although these two figures work exceptionally well in the diorama and they may have been contemporaneous, in reality Fukuisaurus and Mantellisaurus were separated by thousands of miles when these two herbivorous dinosaurs lived in the Early Cretaceous.  Mantellisaurus (M. atherfieldensis), is known from the Vectis Formation (Isle of Wight and Dorset in southern England), as well as equivalent level beds from western Europe).  In contrast, Fukuisaurus (F. tetoriensis), comes from exposures of the Kitadani Formation on the Japanese island of Honshu.

Customised Dinosaur Models – Fukuisaurus and Mantellisaurus

Customised CollectA Mantellisaurus and Fukuisaurus.

A pair or ornithopods customised by Martin Garratt.  The CollectA Mantellisaurus (left) and the CollectA Fukuisaurus (right).

Picture Credit: Elizabeth

In addition, although the size of Mantellisaurus is not known, it was considerably bigger and heavier than Fukuisaurus.  Although, it was more gracile than other Hadrosauriformes, palaeontologists have estimated that this dinosaur could have exceeded seven metres in length and weighed more than 1,000 kilograms.  Fukuisaurus, which is known from many more fossil specimens, the majority of which come from a single horizon, is estimated to have measured around 4.5 metres in length.  Fukuisaurus is estimated to have weighed around 400 kilograms.

The CollectA Models Next to Their Customised Counterparts

Customised CollectA dinosaur models (Fukuisaurus and Mantellisaurus).

The CollectA Fukuisaurus and Mantellisaurus compared to the customised figures.  Clockwise from left to right – customised CollectA Mantellisaurus, the CollectA Fukuisaurus in the manufacturer’s colour scheme, customised CollectA Fukuisaurus figure and finally, the CollectA Mantellisaurus in the factory livery.

Picture Credit: Elizabeth

In her email to Everything Dinosaur, Elizabeth stated:

“CollectA models of Fukuisaurus and Mantellisaurus, repainted and based by Martin Garratt [UMF Models] to create a diorama of two dinosaurs of the same species at a pond – take your pick as to whether to call them Fukuisaurus or Mantellisaurus.”

A Pair of Customised Ornithopods

Customised dinosaur models.

Ornithopod pair (CollectA Fukuisaurus and CollectA Mantellisaurus).  A pair of stunning customised figures on a small pond diorama.

Picture Credit: Elizabeth

Our thanks once again to Elizabeth for sharing her superb photographs with Everything Dinosaur.

25 07, 2020

Beefing Up Dilophosaurus

By | July 25th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Comprehensive Review of Dilophosaurus – Paints New Picture of Predator

Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and the Petrified Forest National Park have published a comprehensive review of Dilophosaurus wetherilli fossil material and revealed that “double-crested lizard” had stronger jaws than previously thought.  Those famous skull crests turn out to be more robust as well.  Instead of being regarded as a delicately-jawed scavenger, this iconic dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of North America may have been an apex predator.

Previously Thought to be Quite Lightly Built with Delicate Jaws

Comparing Wild Safari dinosaur models.

Wild Safari Dinosaurs compared.  Dilophosaurus had been thought to be much more lightly built than other Jurassic theropods.  However, a comprehensive review of fossil material suggests that our perceptions regarding Dilophosaurus may have to change.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Not a Member of the Ceratosauria Clade?

Writing in the “Journal of Palaeontology”, researchers Adam Marsh (University of Texas Austin) and Timothy Rowe (Division of Resource Management, Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona), conducted an extensive review and re-examination of all the know specimens of Dilophosaurus wetherilli and concluded that this large-bodied theropod was probably not a member of the Ceratosauria or indeed, the Coelophysoidea, but was a stem-averostran theropod, a member of the Averostra clade.  As such, D. wetherilli shows a phylogenetic relationship with Cryolophosaurus ellioti which is known from the Early Jurassic of Antarctica and Zupaysaurus rougieri, fossils of which come from the Late Triassic of Argentina.

The Review Included A Reassessment of the Holotype Skull Material

Dilophosaurus wetherilli holotype material.

Dilophosaurus wetherilli holotype specimen (UCMP 37302): (1–4) articulated right side of the skull and line drawings.  Plus (5, 6) nasolacrimal crest, (7, 8) left postorbital, (9, 10) left lacrimal, (11, 12) left quadratojugal, and (13, 14) left squamosal in (1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13) lateral and (3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14) medial view.

Picture Credit: Marsh et al (Journal of Palaeontology)

Dilophosaurus wetherilli

With an estimated body length of around six metres, D. wetherilli is one of the largest terrestrial predators known from the Early Jurassic of North America.  Despite extensive study of the fossil material and this dinosaur’s on-going popularity with the public due to its depiction as a venom-spitting, frilled dinosaur in the first “Jurassic Park” film released in 1993, much of the animal’s skeleton, anatomy, ontogeny and taxonomic relationship with other members of the Theropoda remains unknown.

Using fossils collected from the middle and lower portions of the Kayenta Formation (Navajo Nation, northern Arizona), the scientists comprehensively reviewed the holotype cranial material (UCMP 37302).  In addition, previously undescribed specimens were analysed and it was concluded that the fossils represent a single species, a large, crested theropod within the Kayenta Formation.   This suggests that Dilophosaurus, as a species, persisted for a long time – several million years.

Dilophosaurus Fossil Finds in the Navajo Nation

Dilophosaurus fossil finds (location and stratigraphcial map).

Localities from which Dilophosaurus wetherilli (Welles, Reference Welles 1954) has been collected in northern Arizona.  The shaded region in the north-eastern corner of the state represents the Navajo Nation.  The inset stratigraphic column idealizes the section near Tuba City and Gold Spring, Arizona.  The dark green unit underlying the Kayenta Formation represents the Moenave Formation and the Wingate Sandstone in the western and eastern half of the Navajo Nation, respectively.  Outcrop area modified from Cooley et al (1969). 

Picture Credit: Marsh et al (Journal of Palaeontology)

It is noted that many anatomical characteristics of the skeleton are more derived when compared to Late Triassic theropods, adaptations to a larger body size and a more robust macropredatory habit.

An Articulated Hindlimb Assigned to D. wetherilli 

Dilophosaurus wetherilli articulated right hindlimb.

Dilophosaurus wetherilli referred specimen (TMM 43646-1): articulated right hindlimb.

Picture Credit: Marsh et al (Journal of Palaeontology)

Dilophosaurus an Apex Predator

Previous research had suggested that Dilophosaurus had weak jaws and this may have influenced how this dinosaur was depicted in the “Jurassic Park” franchise.  This review identified areas of attachment for powerful jaw muscles and that the skeleton was pneumatised (air pockets) and these structures would have helped to both lighten and strengthen the skull.  The authors state that whilst Dilophosaurus could catch small animals and even catch fish in the fluvial environment with which its fossils are associated, the robust upper jaw and strong grasping hands suggest that it was equipped to tackle far larger prey.

The idea of Dilophosaurus being a much more powerful and dangerous animal is supported by the discovery of partially articulated specimens of the early sauropodomorph Sarahsaurus (S. aurifontanalis) containing large bite marks alongside shed teeth and a skeleton of Dilophosaurus wetherilli within the same quarry as reported by Rowe et al in 2011.

A Dilophosaurus Braincase

During the comprehensive review, the researchers were able to assign to the Dilophosaurus genus a number of other specimens that had come from the Kayenta Formation, including a remarkably-well preserved small braincase from a juvenile.

Commenting on their fortuitous find Dr Marsh stated:

“In the midst of the analysis, we discovered that a small braincase in the Jackson School’s collections belonged to a Dilophosaurus wetherilli.  We realised that it wasn’t a new type of dinosaur, but a juvenile Dilophosaurus wetherilli, which is really cool.”

The More Robust Rebor Figures Introduced in 2019 May Represent a More Accurate Depiction of Dilophosaurus wetherilli

Rebor Dilophosaurus models "Green Day" and "Oasis"

The Rebor Dilophosaurus replicas “Green Day” and “Oasis”.  A new study suggests that the jaws and bony crests of Dilophosaurus wetherilli were more robust than previously thought.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The strong jaws coupled with the powerful forelimbs suggests that Dilophosaurus was an active predator rather than a scavenger.  It seems that many palaeontologists perceptions regarding Dilophosaurus wetherilli will have to be reconsidered, science as well as the film industry might have got this dinosaur all wrong.

The scientific paper: “A comprehensive anatomical and phylogenetic evaluation of Dilophosaurus wetherilli (Dinosauria, Theropoda) with descriptions of new specimens from the Kayenta Formation of northern Arizona” by Adam D. Marsh and Timothy B. Rowe published in the Journal of Palaeontology.

22 07, 2020

PNSO “Wilson” T. rex Dinosaur Model Reviewed

By | July 22nd, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|2 Comments

A Video Review of the new for 2020 PNSO “Wilson” T. rex Dinosaur Model

Everything Dinosaur team members have been busy in the studio producing a YouTube video review of the new for 2020 “Wilson” the Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur model from PNSO.  This new, free-standing replica replaces the original “Wilson” T. rex figure from PNSO and Everything Dinosaur took the opportunity to compare and contrast these two models.

Everything Dinosaur’s Video Review of “Wilson” the PNSO T. rex Dinosaur Model

Video credit: Everything Dinosaur

PNSO T. rex Wilson Video Review

In Everything Dinosaur’s short video review (the YouTube video lasts 9:43), the new 2020 Tyrannosaurus rex model is introduced and the articulated jaw is demonstrated and commented upon.  The beautifully detailed head of the theropod dinosaur is discussed and the bony crests over the eyes highlighted.  These crests may have served a variety of functions, helping to protect the eyes during intraspecific combat or whilst attacking prey, shading the eyes and helping T. rex to see in bright, sunny conditions and the potential role in visual communication.  The video narrator provides further information and explains some of the science behind the interpretation of the tyrannosaur skull morphology.

A Closer View of the Head of the New for 2020 PNSO “Wilson” T. rex Dinosaur Model

Highlighting the eye crests in the new PNSO T. rex figure

The new for 2020 PNSO “Wilson” T. rex dinosaur model has prominent eye crests which reflect skull morphology seen in the fossils.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view “Wilson” and all the other PNSO prehistoric animal figures available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Models and Figures.

Looking at the Packaging and Artwork

The video examines the dinosaur model in detail, but also provides information on how the packaging and box contents between the first “Wilson” figure produced by PNSO and this new version has changed.  The 2020 figure is presented in a beautiful box adorned with the artwork of Zhao Chuang one of the co-founders of PNSO.  The video also looks at the product leaflet that accompanies the model and comments on the contribution of Yang Yang, the other co-founder of this Chinese company.

The Box Art is Commented Upon in the Video Review

PNSO "Wilson" box art.

The new for 2020 “Wilson” T. rex dinosaur model box art.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Comparing the 2020 “Wilson” with the Original PNSO Model

The video review also permits Everything Dinosaur team members to compare the new figure from PNSO with the earlier Tyrannosaurus rex “Wilson” model, the figure that was supplied with a base.  In the video, we demonstrate how to convert the new for 2020 model so that it can be displayed on the base which was provided with version 1.

Comparing Two PNSO “Wilson” T. rex Dinosaur Figures in the Video Review

Comparing T. rex dinosaur models.

Comparing the new for 2020 PNSO “Wilson” T. rex dinosaur model to the original figure.  The original figure can be seen on the right of this screen capture from the video review.  The new for 2020 PNSO “Wilson” is shown on the left.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

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This video review of a Tyrannosaurus rex figure 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.

21 07, 2020

Preparing for the New CollectA Invertebrates

By | July 21st, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Preparing for the New CollectA Invertebrates

Everything Dinosaur team members are busy making space in their warehouse for the arrival of the new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal models.  The new CollectA releases were exclusively revealed in a series of blog posts and YouTube videos in the autumn of 2019.  Unfortunately, the COVID-19 global pandemic has interrupted production plans and many new models and figures have been delayed.  In total, CollectA planned to introduce eighteen new replicas in 2020.  Everything Dinosaur was able to secure release and delivery of six figures earlier this year (1:6 scale Protoceratops, 1:40 scale Fukuisaurus, 1:40 scale Bajadasaurus, 1:6 scale Microraptor, Prehistoric Life Baryonyx and the rearing Diplodocus colour variant).

Six of the planned new figures are invertebrates, namely a nautilus, a horseshoe crab, a belemnite, an example of a straight-shelled nautiloid cephalopod – Orthoceras, an ammonite, specifically Pleuroceras and a replica of a large trilobite – Redlichia rex.  Everything Dinosaur team members are optimistic about having these superb figures in stock soon.

The New for 2020 CollectA Models (including Invertebrates) are on Their Way

CollectA Arthropods and Cephalopods new for 2020.

New CollectA Arthropods and Cephalopods.  Everything Dinosaur hopes to have in stock in the next few weeks (as of late July 2020), all six of the new for 2020 CollectA invertebrate figures.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Unfortunately, the planned release of many new for 2020 figures and replicas have been seriously compromised due to the global coronavirus pandemic.  The CollectA range has been affected too.  We are doing all we can to keep our customers informed and updated with regards to developments and we hope that these exciting figures, the remaining new prehistoric animals from CollectA, will be available from Everything Dinosaur in the very near future.”

CollectA and Everything Dinosaur Previewed the Extensive Range of New Figures in Late 2019

What a collection? The new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animals.

Some of the illustrations we used in our recent videos (autumn 2019), announcing the new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal models.  Some of the new models expected in 2020 from CollectA.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Preparing Fact Sheets for New Figures

As part of the company’s preparations as they anticipate the arrival of the new models, several new fact sheets have been added to the database.  In addition, scale drawing for a number of these new figures have been commissioned and completed.

An Orthocone/Orthoceras Scale Drawing an Early Design for the New Everything Dinosaur Fact Sheet

Orthocone/Orthoceras scale drawing.

An early scale drawing design for the Orthoceras/Orthocone fact sheet.  The straight-shelled nautiloids show an enormous variation in size with giants such as Cameraceras with a shell length of up to 10 metres and a total body length approaching 12 metres.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of CollectA Prehistoric Life figures available from Everything Dinosaur: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models and Figures.

To view the range of scale models (CollectA Deluxe range): CollectA Deluxe Scale Models of Prehistoric Animals.

14 07, 2020

Reviewing New PNSO Dinosaurs

By | July 14th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

New PNSO Dinosaurs Video Review

Everything Dinosaur has posted up a short video review of the two, new for 2020 PNSO young dinosaurs.  Our review focuses on Aaron the young T. rex and its counterpart figure, A-Qi the young Sinoceratops.  These PVC models arrived at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse a few days ago and team members were keen to post up a review as these baby dinosaur figures as they are very different from other PNSO prehistoric animals.

A Focus on Two Very Cute and Adorable PNSO Dinosaurs

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Focus on Aaron and A-Qi

The video review lasts four minutes and twenty four seconds.  It begins with an introduction and then the two figures are shown and compared.  Aaron the Tyrannosaurus rex model is highlighted first and the narrator comments that PNSO have taken great care to make the body proportions of their baby tyrannosaurid as scientifically accurate as possible.  The awkward-looking long hind limbs and the big feet are very reminiscent of a young bird and the colouration reminded the reviewer of the countershading associated with the Chinese compsognathid Sinosauropteryx.   To read more about this: Sinosauropteryx article.

Comparing the Two PNSO Models Together

PNSO young dinosaur models.

The pair of PNSO young dinosaur models that feature in Everything Dinosaur’s short video.  Aaron the young T. rex and A-Qi the young Sinoceratops.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The video goes on to provide an overview of the Sinoceratops figure (A-Qi), before highlighting the product leaflet that can be found in each box.

To purchase PNSO models and figures from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Models and Figures.

Photographs Taken by Fans of PNSO

The short video review also permitted team members to post up some of the amazing photographs sent into the company by fans of the PNSO model range.  Prior to the summary section, concluding the review, we were able to feature a few of the numerous photos that we had been sent by customers.  Our thanks to all those who gave us permission to use their images.

Two Very Photogenic Dinosaur Figures from PNSO

Sharing pictures of the two new for 2020 PNSO young dinosaur models.

Sharing customer photographs of the two new PNSO dinosaur figures.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Aaron and A-Qi are certainly two very photogenic dinosaur models.  We really do enjoy receiving these pictures and where possible we like to share photographs and images with our Facebook fans and Instagram followers.

The YouTube channel of Everything Dinosaur contains over 175 videos featuring lots of prehistoric animal models.  The company aims to post up at least one new video each week and our YouTube presence has already attracted thousands of followers and subscribers.

To visit Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel: Visit Everything Dinosaur on YouTube and Subscribe.

12 07, 2020

Deciding on the Scale for a Prehistoric Animal Model

By | July 12th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Deciding on the Scale for a Prehistoric Animal Model

Here is our eagerly awaited YouTube video which explains how the scale for a dinosaur model is decided.  We look at the pros and cons of the 1:40 scale declaration for dinosaur models.  Determining the scale for any given prehistoric animal can be tricky and our video helps to illustrate some of the factors that need to be considered.  Tyrannosaurus rex, Edmontosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Megalosaurus and lots of other prehistoric animal figures are featured.

Determining the Scale for a Prehistoric Animal Model

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Outlining the Pitfalls when it comes to Dinosaur Scale Models

In our video, (it lasts 12 minutes), we explain some of the difficulties that manufacturers have when it comes to determining the declared scale size for a dinosaur model.  We illustrate this point using the CollectA 1:40 scale roaring feathered T. rex figure and compare it to the much smaller, but still in the declared 1/40th scale, Natural History T. rex replica.

Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube Video Compares Two Popular Dinosaur Models

Two Tyrannosaurus rex models are compared.

Comparing the declared scales (both 1/40th scale), of two popular dinosaur models.  The CollectA roaring T. rex is in the foreground with the Natural History Museum T. rex model in the background.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The CollectA roaring, feathered T. rex figure measures around 34 cm long, whilst the Natural History Museum model, also in the declared 1:40 scale size, is actually smaller, measuring about 26 cm in length.  Our video explains some of the problems that can occur when deciding on a scale model size for any particular prehistoric animal and outlines some of the decisions taken by model makers when it comes to deciding the appropriate scale for a figure.

Most Dinosaurs are Only Known from Fragmentary Remains

Although amazing dinosaur skeletons and exhibits adorn the halls of museums all over the world, the majority of the Dinosauria have been scientifically described from limited fossil remains, often fragmentary specimens representing a single individual.  Estimating the adult size of a dinosaur based on this evidence is challenging.  Even in those genera where palaeontologists have a relative abundance of fossils to study, problems over determining the maximum possible size for a given species can occur.

Allosaurus and Stegosaurus are Well-known Dinosaurs with Numerous Fossil Specimens to Study

Stegosaurus and Allosaurus fossils.

Allosaurus and Stegosaurus fossil material.  Even with a relative abundance of fossils to study, determining the size of an adult dinosaur and subsequently calculating the scale of any dinosaur model is a challenge.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Indeterminate Growth Complicates the Issue

Non-avian dinosaurs, as members of the Class Reptilia may have exhibited a biological phenomenon called “indeterminate growth”.  When a dinosaur reached adult size, its growth slowed down but it did not stop.  A section of our video explains the impact of indeterminate growth when it comes to determining the size of any dinosaur scale model.

For Example:

A sauropod reaches an adult size of 12 metres long, but it goes on to live for a further sixty years and over that time it grows at an average of just ten centimetres per year.  By the time it dies some six decades later, it is 60 x 10 cm longer (six metres) with a total body length of 18 metres.  It is fifty percent longer than when it first reached adult size.

The Effect of Indeterminate Growth on Dinosaur Body Size

Estimating the size of dinosaurs.

How indeterminate growth effects the estimation of dinosaur size.  If the size of an adult dinosaur remains uncertain, it can be difficult to assign a scale size to a scale model of that animal.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur’s examination of how scale sizes for prehistoric animals is calculated is just one of over 170 different videos on the company’s YouTube channel.

For dinosaur and prehistoric animal related videos and reviews: Subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

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