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11 10, 2020

Papo in Perspective – YouTube Video

By | October 11th, 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|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Presents “Papo in Perspective”

The next YouTube video that Everything Dinosaur has planned is a perspective on how Everything Dinosaur works with the French model and figure manufacturer Papo.  Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel might have over 180 videos on it, but we have never before discussed in detail a single model making company in one of our videos.  Normally we focus on model and replica reviews and over the years we have posted dozens of videos dedicated to one Papo model or another.  However, let’s do something different and provide a perspective on some of their new for 2020 additions, consider potential retirements as well as revealing a sure-fire way to identify a legitimate Papo model supplier.

Everything Dinosaur on YouTube

Everything Dinosaur, putting Papo in perspective

Everything Dinosaur’s next YouTube review will focus on one model manufacturer rather than one prehistoric animal model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Providing Educational Video Reviews

At Everything Dinosaur, we hope to educate and inform when it comes to our video contents.  There are lots of model reviews to be found on YouTube, however, we are the only company of our kind with a very real insight into the model making industry as well as the palaeontology behind fossil finds.  You could say that Everything Dinosaur is uniquely placed to comment upon the science behind the design of prehistoric animal figures.  Our YouTube channel contains lots of helpful videos about prehistoric animal models and figures.  To visit our YouTube channel and to subscribe: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

To see the range of Papo prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Prehistoric Animal Models.

The Papo Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model will Feature in Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube Video

The Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.

Stepping into the spotlight the Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.  It will feature in Everything Dinosaur’s latest video (mid-October 2020).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Question of the Day

In addition, to looking at Papo’s current crop of prehistoric animal figures, we know that model collectors will be eagerly anticipating new figures for 2021.  Manufacturers have the plans well advanced, but just for a bit of fun, we shall challenge our YouTube subscribers and video reviewers to come up with suggestions as to what replicas Papo ought to consider making in 2022.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

” We always like to include a question or two in our video reviews and with our strong working relationship with Papo we thought it would be fun to challenge viewers to suggest what sort of figures Papo ought to make in 2022.  There are more than fifty models in the Papo Les Dinosaures range, although not all of them are dinosaurs.  There are certainly enough figures and replicas to inspire model collectors.  We look forward to reviewing the suggestions and to passing them onto our pals at Papo.”

9 10, 2020

The Sensitive Beaks of Pterosaurs

By | October 9th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Sensitive Probe Feeding Pterosaurs

Whilst it is not always sensible to compare the Pterosauria to birds, they do have a number of things in common.  As vertebrates they may not be very closely related but both birds and pterosaurs share some common anatomical characteristics that have helped them to conquer the sky.  Their skeletons show special adaptations to assist with powered flight and if we focus on modern birds for a moment, we can see that many forms have evolved to occupy different niches in ecosystems.  For example, some birds such as vultures and condors are primarily scavengers, whilst others are active predators (eagles, hawks and falcons).  Yet more are omnivores and some such as flamingos (filter feeders), swifts (aerial insect hunters) and hummingbirds (nectar feeders) occupy very specialist roles within food chains.

Although the known fossil record of the Pterosauria probably grossly under-represents these flying reptiles, palaeontologists are becoming increasingly aware of the diversity of this enigmatic clade.  Around 130 genera have been described, probably only a fraction of the total number of genera that evolved during their long history and recently a combination of fossil finds from Morocco in conjunction with a re-examination of fossils from a chalk pit near Maidstone in Kent (England), has led researchers to propose yet another environmental niche for pterosaurs.  Some pterosaurs evolved sensitive beaks that allowed them to probe sediments to help them find food just like many types of modern wading birds and members of the Aves such as the kiwi.

A Life Reconstruction of the Lonchodectid Lonchodraco giganteus Probing in the Mud to Find Food

Lonchodraco (pterosaur) probing mud for food.

A life reconstruction of a lonchodectid pterosaur using its sensitive beak to find food.

Picture Credit: Megan Jacobs (The University of Portsmouth)

Unusual Foramina in a Fossil Specimen

Researchers from the University of Portsmouth in collaboration with Dr Nicholas Longrich (University of Bath), took a close look at the fragmentary remains of the anterior of the rostrum (front of the jaws), of the pterosaur Lonchodraco giganteus (formerly referred to as Lonchodectes giganteus).  These fossils had been found in a chalk pit, close to the village of Burham, near Maidstone, Kent.  They were originally described as a species of Pterodactylus by the British naturalist James Scott Bowerbank in 1846.

Lonchodraco giganteus Holotype Jaws

Lonchodraco giganteus holotype rostrum and mandible.

Holotype rostrum and mandible of Lonchodraco giganteus (NHMUK 39412) in (a) left lateral and (b) right lateral views.  Scale bar = 1 cm.

Picture Credit: Martill et al (Cretaceous Research)

Like many pterosaur fossils from southern England, the fossilised remains are extremely scrappy, more recent studies have assigned these remains to the little-known lonchodectid pterosaurs (Lonchodectidae family).  These types of pterosaurs are united by having low profile jaws, raised teeth sockets and uniformly small teeth.  In a study of the holotype rostrum and mandible of L. giganteus, dozens of tiny holes (foramina) were discovered in the beak tip.  These are thought to represent sensory areas on the beak, where nerves pass through the bone and make contact with the beak’s surface.  Although foramina have been observed in the Pterosauria before, the pattern identified on the tip of the rostrum of Lonchodraco is unique.

Lonchodraco giganteus Holotype (Anterior View)

Lonchodraco giganteus holotype (anterior view).

Lonchodraco giganteus (NHMUK 39412).  Two views of anterior rostrum and mandible.  Photograph ( a) showing anterior margin of mandible with small, triangular symphysial process and (b), anterior view of rostrum showing the rounded termination of the beak and the fine perforations of the dental borders.  Black arrows indicate symphysial process/odontoid.  Scale bar = 1 cm.

Picture Credit: Martill et al (Cretaceous Research)

These types of nerve clusters are reminiscent to those found in living birds such as kiwis, sandpapers, spoonbills, geese, ducks and snipes.  These birds rely on their sense of touch when finding and catching food.  Typically, they either probe in water, mud, sand or soil to locate and catch prey.  This research, in combination with a second paper that also postulates on probe-feeding behaviour in the Pterosauria, suggests that just like modern birds, the pterosaurs were capable of evolving into a myriad of forms to exploit different food sources.

Concentration of Foramina at the Jaw Tips (Lonchodraco giganteus)

Lonchodraco line drawing showing concentration of foramina at the jaw tips

Hypothetical restoration of the jaw tips of Lonchodraco giganteus.  The black dots represent sensory areas (foramina).

Picture Credit: Martill et al (Cretaceous Research)

The scientific paper: “Evidence for tactile foraging in pterosaurs: a sensitive tip to the beak of Lonchodraco giganteus (Pterosauria, Lonchodectidae) from the Upper Cretaceous of southern England” by David M. Martill, Roy E. Smith, Nicholas Longrich and James Brown published in Cretaceous Research.

A Second Example of Probe Feeding

Recently, Professor David Martill, along with colleagues from Portsmouth University, pterosaur expert Samir Zouhri (Université Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco) and Nicholas Longrich (University of Bath), published a paper in Cretaceous Research describing a new species of long-jawed pterosaur from Morocco that also could have been a probe feeder.  The flying reptile was described as having exceptionally long jaws for its body size, which terminated in a flattened beak with thickened bony walls.  The shape of these jaws superficially resembled the beaks of probing birds such as kiwis, ibises and curlews.  The research team hypothesised that like these living birds, this pterosaur probed in soft sediments in search of invertebrates.  The age of the fossils is not certain, although an Albian to Cenomanian age was postulated.  This pterosaur was tentatively assigned to the azhdarchoids, but if it is a member of the Azhdarchoidea, then it represents an extremely atypical form.

The scientists conclude that this Moroccan pterosaur adds to the remarkable diversity of the Pterosauria known from the Cretaceous.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of media releases from the University of Portsmouth and the University of Bath in compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “A long-billed, possible probe-feeding pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea: ?Azhdarchoidea) from the mid-Cretaceous of Morocco, North Africa” by Roy E. Smith, David M. Martill, Alexander Kao, Samir Zouhri, and Nicholas Longrich published in Cretaceous Research.

8 10, 2020

Two-fingered Oviraptosaur Sheds Light on the Success of the “Egg Thiefs”

By | October 8th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Oksoko avarsan – New Species of Oviraptorosaur with Two Fingers

That inappropriately named clade of “Egg Thief Lizards”, the Oviraptorosauria has a new member.  Standing around one metre high at the hips, the newly described Oksoko avarsan (Oak-soak-oh), which had just two digits on each hand, instead of the default Oviraptor setting of three, is helping palaeontologists to understand the radiation and success of these feathered dinosaurs.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Oksoko avarsan

Oksoko avarsan life reconstruction.

A trio of oviraptors – a life reconstruction of Oksoko avarsan.

Picture Credit: Michael Skrepnick

The First Evidence of Digit Loss in the Oviraptorosaurs

Over the last forty years or so, lots of new oviraptorosaur theropods have been named and described, principally from fossil finds made in China and Mongolia.   These feathered dinosaurs were highly successful and although their origins are uncertain, this type of dinosaur probably evolved in the Early Cretaceous of northern China and by the Late Cretaceous they had spread across much of Asia and into North America.

Whilst most palaeontologists confronted with the wealth of fossil material would concede that these theropods were geographically widespread, little research has been undertaken to ascertain the reasons for their evolutionary success.  The discovery of Oksoko with its reduced forelimb with only two functional digits suggests that this group could alter their diets, behaviours and habits which enabled them to diversify and multiply.  In essence, variation in forelimb length and hand morphology provides another example of niche partitioning in oviraptorosaurs, which may have contributed to their incredible diversity in the latest Cretaceous of Asia.

The Holotype Block Containing Three Specimens of O. avarsan

The holotype block consisting of three individuals (Oksoko avarsan).

The holotype block of Oksoko avarsan MPC-D 102/110 with an explanatory line drawing.  The holotype fossil is individual A coloured blue.

Picture Credit: Funston et al (Royal Society Open Science)

Gregarious Behaviour in Oviraptorids

Oksoko is known from four specimens, a group of three (see picture above) and a fourth specimen found in the same crouched position that is believed to come from the same location.  All the fossil material was confiscated from poachers so the exact discovery site of these fossils remains unknown.  However, the researchers have confidently assigned them to the Nemegt Formation of the Gobi Desert and the material is estimated to be around 68 million years old.  It had long been suspected that oviraptorosaurs were gregarious social animals.  The finding of three individuals preserved together represents the first, definitive evidence that these animals probably lived in groups and that they were gregarious.  The fossil bones of all four individuals have provided the researchers with an almost complete skeleton of this two-metre-long dinosaur to study.

Key Fossils Representing the Anatomy of Oksoko avarsan

Key fossils associated with Oksoko avarsan.

Skeletal anatomy of Oksoko avarsan with key fossils including skull in lateral view (b) with line drawing (c).

Picture Credit: Funston et al (Royal Society Open Science)

A Three-headed Eagle

The scientists which included Dr Gregory Funston (Edinburgh University) and Phil Currie (University of Alberta), named this dinosaur after the three-headed eagle of Altaic mythology, a reference to the holotype block which contains the skulls of three individuals.  The species or trivial name is from a Mongolian word for “rescued”, it alludes to the fact that these fossils were recovered from poachers.

The remarkably well-preserved fossil material provides the first documented evidence of digit loss in the usually three-fingered Oviraptorosauria.  The holotype block material represents the remains of three dinosaurs that were approximately the same size and bone histology reveals that these animals died when they were around a year old.  The fourth specimen is believed to represent an older animal that died around the age of five.

Commenting on the discovery, Dr Funston remarked:

“Oksoko avarsan is interesting because the skeletons are very complete and the way they were preserved resting together shows that juveniles roamed together in groups.  But more importantly, its two-fingered hand prompted us to look at the way the hand and forelimb changed throughout the evolution of oviraptors — which hadn’t been studied before.  This revealed some unexpected trends that are a key piece in the puzzle of why oviraptors were so diverse before the extinction that killed the dinosaurs.”

Finger Loss in a Dinosaur Family

Oksoko is the sixth genus of the Oviraptoridae family to be named from fossils associated with the Nemegt Formation.  This demonstrates the diversity of these types of dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous of China.

The other five oviraptorids known from the Nemegt Formation of Mongolia as stated by Everything Dinosaur team members are:

  • Rinchenia mongoliensis
  • Nomingia gobiensis
  • Nemegtomaia barsboldi
  • Gobiraptor minutus
  • Conchoraptor gracilis

In addition, a number of closely related dinosaurs are known from the Nemegt Formation including the caenagnathid Elmisaurus rarus

The scientists produced a phylogeny of the Oviraptorosauria based in a reduction in size and eventual loss of digit III as shown in the most derived form described to date (O. avarsan) and a corresponding increase in size and robustness of digit I.  They concluded that the arms and hands of these dinosaurs changed radically in conjunction with migrations into new geographical areas and presumably different habitats – specifically to what is now North America and the Gobi Desert.

Plotting the Change in Hand Morphology and the Radiation of the Oviraptorosauria

Phylogeny, biogeography and digit reduction in Oviraptorosauria.

Phylogeny, biogeography and digit reduction in Oviraptorosauria.  The map (top left) shows the distribution of oviraptorids during the Late Cretaceous of Asia.

Picture Credit: Funston et al (Royal Society Open Science)

To read a related article that considered the holotype block as evidence for communal roosting in oviraptorids: Three Theropods Preserved in a Resting Pose.

The scientific paper: “A new two-fingered dinosaur sheds light on the radiation of Oviraptorosauria” by Gregory F. Funston, Tsogtbaatar Chinzorig, Khishigjav Tsogtbaatar, Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, Corwin Sullivan and Philip J. Currie published in Royal Society Open Science.

7 10, 2020

Little Juravenator Had Sensory Scales on its Tail

By | October 7th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Juravenator and a “Tale” of Sensory Scales

Researchers writing in the academic journal “Current Biology”, have revealed how dinosaurs may have made sense of their surroundings using special sensory nodes embedded in the scales on their skin.  A new paper focusing on the small, theropod Juravenator starki from the Torleite Formation (upper Kimmeridgian), Solnhofen, Bavaria, (Germany), reports on the discovery of dermal structures along the side of the dinosaur’s tail resembling the integumentary sense organs found in extant crocodiles.

Getting a Sense of Dinosaur Senses

Identifying integumentary sense organs in the Juravenator holotype specimen.

Integumentary sense organs identified in the Juravenator starki holotype.  The black arrow points to the sensory organ, which are found on polygonal scales covering the lower part of the tail

Picture Credit: Bell et al Current Biology with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

Juravenator starki

Once thought to be a close relative of the contemporary Compsognathus longipes, Juravenator is known from a single, beautifully preserved fossil specimen (JME Sch 200), found in a limestone quarry in 1998.  Although squashed flat, the specimen is mostly articulated and complete with only some caudal vertebrae missing.  It is a juvenile and as such, placing it within the Theropoda has proved problematic.  The taxonomic position is uncertain, but it has been suggested that it could represent a basal member of the Coelurosauria or perhaps a primitive member of the Maniraptora.

The genus name is derived from the Bavarian Jura mountains and “venator” – Latin for “hunter”.  The species (trivial) name honours the Stark family who owned the quarry where the sixty-centimetre-long dinosaur fossil was discovered.

Soft tissue representing body scales have been identified associated with the lower leg bones and between the 8th and 22nd caudal vertebrae.  Other soft tissue structures have been found probably representing preserved tendons and ligaments.  It is these dermal structures that have been the centre of this new study.

A Life Reconstruction of the Late Jurassic Theropod Juravenator starki

Juravenator starki illustrated.

An illustration of the theropod Juravenator starki.

Picture Credit: Jake Baardse

Specialised Scales

Scientists are aware that early in the evolution of the first truly terrestrial tetrapods epidermal scales evolved to provide an effective barrier against ultraviolet radiation and to prevent excessive water loss.  This evolutionary development meant that stem reptiles were no longer constrained by having to stay close to freshwater like their amphibian ancestors.  Epidermal scales in extant reptiles are not simple, inert structures but can perform a suite of functions and assist in how the animal senses its environment.

Researchers Dr Phil Bell (University of New England) in Armidale, Australia along with his colleague Dr Christophe Hendrickx, from the Unidad Ejecutora Lillo in San Miguel de Tucumán, (Argentina), both specialists in dinosaur dermatology, identified a unique scale type with distinctive, prominent circular nodes on the preserved integumentary covering on the tail of Juravenator. They interpret these raised nodes as integumentary sense organs, analogous to those found today in living crocodilians.

Dr Bell commented:

“Few people pay much attention to dinosaur skin, because it is assumed that they are just big, scaly reptiles.  But when I looked closely at the scales on the side of the tail, I kept finding these little ring-like features that didn’t make sense; they were certainly unlike other dinosaur scales.”

Integumentary Sense Organs Identified in a Dinosaur

Crocodilian integumentary sense organs.

Crocodilian integumentary sense organs, circular objects visible on the dermal scales.

Picture Credit: Bell et al Current Biology

The surprising presence of such structures suggests the tail of Juravenator played a role in how this dinosaur sensed the world around it.  This is the first direct evidence of such structures being present on the skin of a dinosaur.

The shape and the orientation of the teeth, especially those in the upper jaw suggest Juravenator ate fish (piscivore).  During the Late Jurassic, this part of Europe was covered by a warm, tropical, shallow sea with numerous small islands.  This archipelago was home to a number of dinosaurs including the famous “urvogel” Archaeopteryx.  As crocodiles are aquatic predators, the research team speculate that Juravenator may have been an aquatic hunter too.  Alligators have integumentary sense organs on their snout, whereas crocodiles have these special scales all over their body including the tail.  These sensory nodes help these reptiles to detect temperature changes, chemical signals in the water as well as having tactile properties.  Although the entire integumentary covering of Juravenator is unknown, this lithe dinosaur could have submerged its tail to help it detect the movement of prey underwater.

To read an article about the sense of smell in the Dinosauria: Don’t Get Sniffy About Dinosaur Sense of Smell.

The scientific paper: “Crocodile-like sensory scales in a Late Jurassic theropod dinosaur” by Phil R. Bell and Christophe Hendrickx published in Current Biology.

6 10, 2020

Rebor T. rex Carcass “Bites the Dust” Reviewed

By | October 6th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

A Video Review of the Rebor T. rex Carcass Models “Bites the Dust”

With the recent arrival of the excellent Rebor Tyrannosaurus rex carcass models “Bites the Dust”, team members at Everything Dinosaur set about producing a video review of these 1:35 scale replicas and providing a guide to some of the science behind cannibalism in tyrannosaurs.  The YouTube video we subsequently created reviews both “plain” and “jungle” colour variants as well as discussing intraspecific competition, pathology on tyrannosaur fossils and examines the injuries preserved on two famous T. rex fossil specimens.

Everything Dinosaur’s Review of the Rebor T. rex Carcass Models “Bites the Dust”

Video credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the Rebor replica range including the Rebor Tyrannosaurus rex models: Rebor Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

Pointing out the Pathology

As well as providing potential purchasers of a figure the opportunity to have a really good look at the model, at Everything Dinosaur, we try and build in a little bit of the science behind the study of prehistoric animals into our YouTube video reviews.  For example, in this video review we examine the evidence which suggests that tyrannosaurs engaged in face biting and that they would have competed with each other for finite resources such as hunting grounds, access to water and territory.  Our video review provides details of the injuries identified on two famous T. rex fossil specimens, interpreted as evidence of fights between members of this species.  We use our video review of the two “Bites the Dust” carcasses to point out some of the pathology associated with Tyrannosaurus rex fossil bones.

Pointing Out the Pathology on a Tyrannosaurus rex Carcass

The pathology on a T. rex carcass (Rebor "Bites the Dust").

Pointing out the pathology on a T. rex carcass.  The Rebor T. rex carcass “Bites the Dust” in the plain colour scheme is used to highlight the injuries depicted on the corpse.  Evidence of a brutal fight between two apex predators.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Using Rebor T. rex Models to Explain Intraspecific Competition

Building upon our objective of making videos that inform and educate, competition between members of the same species is examined and we look at the evidence that suggests that intraspecific competition, occurred in tyrannosaurs.  We utilise Rebor dinosaur models to illustrate how animals of the same species might come into conflict with each other.  The Rebor T. rex models, known as the “Killer Queen” figures make an appearance in the video review and the narrator comments on the similarity in the colour schemes between the “Bites the Dust” tyrannosaurs and the “Killer Queen” models.

Using Rebor Replicas to Illustrate Intraspecific Competition

Rebor T. rex models helping to illustrate intraspecific competition.

Using Rebor T. rex replicas to discuss the biological concept of intraspecific competition. Animals of the same species competing with each other for finite resources such as food and territory.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Find Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube video channel here: Our YouTube Channel (we recommend that you subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube).

5 10, 2020

Papo Stygimoloch Dinosaur Model

By | October 5th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|0 Comments

The Papo Stygimoloch Dinosaur Model

In stock at Everything Dinosaur is the last dinosaur model to be introduced by the French figure and replica manufacturer Papo for 2020, the Papo Stygimoloch.  This model represents a genus of bone-headed dinosaur that was formally named and described back in 1983 (Galton and Sues), from very fragmentary fossils associated with the Hell Creek Formation of North America.

The New for 2020 Papo Stygimoloch Dinosaur Model

New for 2020 Papo Stygimoloch model.

The new for 2020 Papo Stygimoloch dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Stygimoloch spiniferNomen dubium

The fragmentary remains that led to the erection of this genus included an unusual, piece of a left squamosal (bone from the top part of the back of the skull).  This partial squamosal was ornamented by “three or four massive horn cores”.  In their scientific paper describing S. spinifer, Galton and Sues referred other fragmentary pieces to this new genus including a skull bone that had previously thought to have come from a Triceratops.

As many pachycephalosaurs have been described based on very poorly preserved and extremely fragmentary remains this has led to the original interpretations being challenged by other academics.  When dealing with small pieces of bone, a more cautious approach is usually taken, palaeontologists being all too aware of founding a new genus on a paucity of fossil remains.

Stygimoloch in Everything Dinosaur’s Studio

The Papo Stygimoloch dinosaur model.

Displaying those prominent spikes on the back of the skull – Stygimoloch spinifer.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A number of reviews of the taxonomy and phylogeny of the pachycephalosaurs have taken place.  Confusion has arisen as it is thought that these dinosaurs changed radically in appearance as they grew up and matured.  Many palaeontologists regard Stygimoloch as a Nomen dubium, a genus of dinosaur whose validity is doubted.  It is thought that the fossils associated with S. spinifer represent material from juvenile Pachycephalosaurus specimens (Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis).

The Papo Stygimoloch figure measures approximately thirteen centimetres long and it stands a little over eight centimetres high.

Popular Due to the Film “Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom”

With such spectacular head gear, Stygimoloch continues to be a firm favourite amongst model collectors and fans of the Dinosauria.  Stygimoloch found a whole generation of new admirers when a pachycephalosaur resembling it made a dramatic appearance in the 2018 film release “Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom”.  This highly successful film grossed more than $1.3 billion USD in cinema ticket sales worldwide.  The film features a short scene in which a pachycephalosaur breaks down a wall, thus permitting the main protagonists of the film, Owen Grady (played by Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), to escape their captors.

To purchase the Papo Stygimoloch dinosaur model and the rest of the Papo model range: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

30 09, 2020

Sabre-toothed Predators Evolved Different Hunting Styles

By | September 30th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page|0 Comments

Sabre-toothed Predators Evolved Different Hunting Styles Over the Last 250 Million Years

New research suggests that sabre-toothed predators evolved an unknown diversity of hunting and killing methods over the last 250 million years or so.

Sabre-toothed cats are among the most iconic of all the prehistoric animals known to science.  However, not all the tetrapods that evolved long, knife-like canine teeth were members of the cat family (Felidae).  Some animals that evolved sabre-like teeth even predate the Dinosauria.

Enlarged canine teeth, some of which in some species reached sizes in excess of thirty centimetres in length, evolved independently in seven different evolutionary lines of carnivores.  Due to similar skull morphology and tooth shape, it had long been assumed that all these predators occupied very similar niches in ecosystems and hunted and killed prey in the same manner.

The Six Different Types of Sabre-toothed Tetrapod included in the Study

Skulls and life reconstructions of the 6 different sabre-tooth species used in the study.

Skulls and life reconstructions of the six different sabre-tooth species used in the study.

Picture Credit: Stephan Lautenschlager, University of Birmingham

That assertion has been challenged and now refuted in a new study published today in the “Proceedings of the Royal Society B.”

An international team of scientists from Spain, Germany and the UK, analysed over sixty different sabre-tooth species. Using computer models and simulations the researchers investigated the functional capabilities of the teeth and skulls, such as calculating bite forces, the stresses on the skull and bending strength.

Computer Simulations Assessed Bite Forces and Skull Stress in the Sabre-toothed Predators

Computer model and simulation results for three fossil sabretooth species compared to a modern lion showing maximum jaw gape and stress distribution in the lower jaw.

Computer simulation results for three fossil sabretooth species compared to a modern lion showing maximum jaw gape and stress distribution in the lower jaw.

Picture Credit: Stephan Lautenschlager, University of Birmingham

Lead author of the scientific paper, Dr Stephan Lautenschlager (Lecturer for Palaeobiology at the University of Birmingham), commented:

“It is fascinating to see that so many different species have evolved elongated canine teeth to subdue prey, but our results show that they used these sabre-like teeth differently to do so.”

The analysis of the skull material in combination with the computer simulations revealed that sabre-toothed predators may have looked superficially similar, but they used their canine teeth in different ways.  Some species specialised in hunting small prey using the canine teeth to inflict deep, debilitating wounds, whilst other species were probably pack hunters specialising in tackling larger prey.  Those species that were probably pack hunters specialising in hunting and killing larger prey had reinforced bone structures to help stabilise their jaws.

Dr Lautenschlager added:

“We know that different sabre-tooth species shared the same ecosystem.  Using computational methods, we can show that their specialisation on different prey allowed them co-exist and to avoid competition.”

A Sabre-Toothed Cat – An Iconic Animal from the Cenozoic

Smilodon illustration.

An iconic animal from the fossil record – a sabre-toothed cat (Smilodon).  However, not all animals that evolved enlarged canines were members of the cat family (Felidae).

Picture Credit: Herbert Art Gallery and Museum/BBC

To read a related article also co-authored by Stephan Lautenschlager (University of Birmingham), which proposed that Thylacosmilus atrox was primarily a scavenger: New Study Suggests Marsupial Sabre-tooth was a Scavenger.

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

29 09, 2020

Newly Described Species of Trilobite Named After Doctor Who Actor

By | September 29th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Gravicalymene bakeri – Trilobite Named After Actor Tom Baker

Two Australian scientists have named a new species of trilobite in honour of Tom Baker, the English actor, perhaps most famous for portraying the fourth incarnation of the long-running BBC television series Doctor Who.  The trilobite fossils, preserved in mudstone, come from Ordovician-aged strata in the Gunns Plains area of northern Tasmania.  The new species has been named Gravicalymene bakeri.  This genus had never been found in Australia before, it is known from Europe and North America, so this discovery significantly raises the distribution of this genus.  The discovery reported in the “Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology”, raises the intriguing possibility that around 450 million years ago, oceanic currents could have somehow linked eastern and western hemispheres.

A Photograph of the Newly Described Gravicalymene bakeri with an Explanatory Line Drawing

Gravicalymene bakeri trilobite fossil.

Gravicalymene bakeri trilobite fossil with line drawing.  Note scale bar equals 1 cm.

Picture Credit: Australian Museum

A Serendipitous Discovery

Co-author of the scientific paper Dr Malte Ebach of the University of New South Wales, explained that the first evidence of a new species of trilobite was found by chance.  Whilst driving through the Gunns Plains area, a “call of nature” break was required.  It was whilst on this “call of nature”, that a boulder was spotted that was covered in the remains of these ancient, marine invertebrates.

As for the species name, fellow co-author Dr Patrick Smith, (Australian Museum, Sydney, New South Wales), stated that both he and Dr Ebach wanted to honour Tom Baker as his stint as the fourth doctor had inspired them both to pursue a career in the sciences.

Dr Smith commented:

“I’m not old enough to remember Tom Baker’s episodes which were originally aired in 1974-81.  However, growing up as a teenager when the series re-aired in the early 2000’s, I followed the show religiously and became convinced that a career in science was guaranteed to improve the world.”

Actor Tom Baker (AKA Doctor Who from 1974-1981)

Actor Tom Baker as the Doctor.

Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor Who.  Tom Baker played the Doctor for a total of 172 episodes.

Picture Credit: Archive/Sydney Morning Herald

Actor Tom Baker expressed his delight when he was told the news that he had been honoured by having a Tasmanian trilobite name after him.

The actor who has enjoyed a long career in film, television and radio commented:

“I am delighted to be entitled at last.  I hope the Who World will share my joy.  Will I be allowed to tack “Fossil” on official correspondence?  I hope the Who World will celebrate this fresh honour and will spread the news to those who live in remote places.  Happy days to all the Who fans everywhere.”

The Gravicalymene genus  is known from marine deposits associated with Avalonia, Baltica and Laurentia (Europe and North America) but this is the first time this genus has been reported from eastern Gondwana (Australasia).

The scientific paper: “A new Ordovician (Katian) calymenid, Gravicalymene bakeri sp. nov., from the Gordon Group, Tasmania, Australia” by Patrick M. Smith and Malte C. Ebach published in Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology.

26 09, 2020

Rebor “Bites the Dust” and New Fossil Skulls

By | September 26th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Newsletters, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Rebor “Bites the Dust” and Oddities Fossil Studies Skulls

Everything Dinosaur despatched a special newsletter to its subscribers earlier this month announcing the arrival of the two T. rex carcasses in the Rebor “Bites the Dust” model line.  In addition, the newsletter announced that pre-orders were being taken for the exciting Rebor Oddities Fossil Studies Skulls (Wave 1).  All three, beautiful theropod skulls, Yutyrannus huali, Ceratosaurus dentisulcatus and Carnotaurus sastrei were available to pre-order from Everything Dinosaur at very special prices.

The offers don’t just stop there, the newsletter included a special offer on the duo of dead dinosaurs too!

The Rebor “Bites the Dust” Tyrannosaur Carcasses (Plain and Jungle)

Rebor T. rex carcasses "Bites the Dust" plain and jungle colour variants.

The Rebor T. rex carcasses “Bites the Dust” provide the headlines for the latest Everything Dinosaur customer newsletter.  Buy the pair at a special discounted price courtesy of Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

T. rex Didn’t Always Win!

The Rebor “Bites the Dust” figures are available in two colour schemes.  Firstly, there is a brown dominated model called “plain”, there is a second model “jungle” with more of a greenish hue.  These carefully constructed carcasses are in 1:35 scale and reflect the fact that tyrannosaurs like most predatory dinosaurs had very tough, short lives.  Most dinosaurs did not make it to adulthood and for tyrannosaurs such as T. rex, life at the top of the food chain was particularly hard.  It was a question of kill or be killed, not only did these theropods have to battle horned dinosaurs and hadrosaurs, they also had to contend with attacks from their own kind as well.  The fossil record provides evidence of tyrannosaurs biting other tyrannosaurs, for example, in 2010, a paper was published in PLOS One entitled “Cannibalism in Tyrannosaurus rex”.  The eminent authors, Longrich, Horner, Erickson and Currie identified four T. rex specimens that preserved potential T. rex bites on their bones.

The Two T. rex Bites the Dust Carcass Models (Plain and Jungle)

The two Rebor "Bites the Dust" T. rex carcasses.

The Rebor T. rex carcass plain (left) and the Rebor T. rex carcass jungle (right) two beautiful 1:35 scale replicas of a deceased Tyrannosaurus rex.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The scientists concluded that Tyrannosaurus rex routinely hunting full-grown members of its own species was unlikely, however, it is possible that intraspecific combat led to casualties, with the dead becoming a convenient source of food for the victorious T. rex.  These figures show bite marks from another very large predator, since T. rex is the only enormous terrestrial carnivore known from the latest Upper Cretaceous deposits of North America, it can be inferred that these two Rebor models show the result of an intraspecific combat.

Rebor Oddities Fossil Studies Skulls

The newsletter also provided subscribers with details of the forthcoming Rebor Oddities Fossil Studies skulls, a set of three amazing theropod skulls, namely, C. sastrei, Y. huali and C. dentisulcatus.  These museum quality replicas are available to pre-order from Everything Dinosaur.

The Rebor Ceratosaurus dentisulcatus and Yutyrannus huali Fossil Skulls

The Rebor Oddities Fossil Skulls (Ceratosaurus and Yutyrannus).

The Rebor Oddities Fossil Skull Ceratosaurus dentisulcatus (left) with the Rebor Oddities Fossil Skull Yutyrannus huali.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Buy All Three at a Discount!

The three fossil skulls, regarded as the first wave in an intended series of skull models are likely to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in November (2020).  Customers have the opportunity to pre-order the replicas and to take advantage of a special offer to purchase all three Rebor Oddities Fossil Studies models.

A Trio of Amazing Fossil Skulls

Rebor Oddities Fossil Studies skulls.

The Rebor Oddities Fossil Studies Carnotaurus sastrei model (left) and the opportunity to pre-order all three skulls at a special discounted price (right).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Rebor “Bites the Dust” T. rex carcasses and the pre-order options for the fossil skulls can be found here: Rebor Models and Figures.

To subscribe to Everything Dinosaur’s newsletter, simply email the company and request a subscription: Email Everything Dinosaur to Subscribe to Newsletters.

25 09, 2020

New Rebor Titanoboa Models Ready to Pre-order

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

New Rebor Titanoboa Models Ready to Pre-order

The stunning Rebor Titanoboa Museum Class Maquette Monty Resurgent and the Rebor Titanoboa Museum Class Maquette Brian Diccus are available to pre-order at Everything Dinosaur.  These amazing models of a Titanoboa (T. cerrejonensis) swallowing a crocodilian are going into production in the next few months and both replicas are expected in stock at Everything Dinosaur sometime around quarter two of 2021.

The New for 2021 Rebor Titanoboa Museum Class Maquette Monty Resurgent Figure

Rebor Titanoboa Museum Class Maquette Monty Resurgent.

The Rebor Titanoboa Museum Class Maquette Monty Resurgent.  A stunning replica of the largest snake known to science – Titanoboa cerrejonensis complete with its unfortunate crocodilian victim which is in the process of being swallowed whole.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Hot on the Heels of Monty

This year (2020), saw the release of the limited edition Rebor Titanoboa figure “Monty”, this beautiful replica of the largest snake described to date, sold out very quickly.  Aware of how popular this prehistoric animal is Rebor have plans to introduce two more Titanoboa replicas.  Each one “Monty Resurgent” and “Brian Diccus”, will have a single production run and they are going to be made in a few months’ time.  Customers of Everything Dinosaur have the chance to secure their figures early.

The New for 2021 Rebor Titanoboa Museum Class Maquette Brian Diccus Replica

Rebor Titanoboa Museum Class Maquette Brian Diccus.

The Rebor Titanoboa Museum Class Maquette Brian Diccus.  Each model has a different colour scheme and this extends to the crocodilian prey as well with the “Monty” Titanoboa having a brown crocodilian victim, whilst Brian Diccus has a green crocodilian prey item.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Pre-order Available from Everything Dinosaur

Both colour variants are available for pre-order.  Customers can choose which figure they want and then add it to their shopping cart and go through the checkout process as per usual.  However, with Everything Dinosaur, there are no fees to pay, no upfront costs, no surcharges, no deposit required.

Customers also need to note that due to the complexity of the pre-order checkout process, an order may contain only a single pre-order Titanoboa product, and no other products, pre-order or otherwise.  If a customer adds a pre-order product to a non-empty cart, the cart will be automatically emptied and the pre-order product will be added. This means that if you want both Titanoboa colour variants, customers will have to place two pre-orders (one for each prehistoric snake figure).

The Rebor Titanoboa Museum Class Maquette Brian Diccus

Rebor Titanoboa Museum Class Maquette Brian Diccus.

The Rebor Titanoboa Museum Class Maquette Brian Diccus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“These are two beautifully crafted figures.  Each replica shows the anterior portions of the giant snake emerging out of the water as it gulps down its unfortunate victim.  We look forward to bringing these products into our warehouse sometime around the early summer of 2021.”

Swallowed Whole the Rebor Monty Resurgent Titanoboa Makes Short Work of a Large Crocodile

Rebor Titanoboa Museum Class Maquette Monty Resurgent.

The Rebor Titanoboa Museum Class Maquette Monty Resurgent.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The two Rebor Titanoboa figures can be found on this part of Everything Dinosaur’s website: Rebor Models and Figures.

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