All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
/Animal News Stories

News stories and articles that do not necessarily feature extinct animals.

22 03, 2020

We have Frogspawn in our Office Pond

By | March 22nd, 2020|Animal News Stories, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

Frogspawn Laid on 19th March (2020)

These might be challenging times for us humans (Homo sapiens), what with all the concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, but at least for some animals it is business as usual.  We have frogspawn in our office pond!  The first eggs were laid in the early morning of the 19th March.  We normally have frogspawn around the third week of March in our part of the world, the date of laying can vary by a couple of weeks, depending on the weather and the type of winter we have had.  However, the spawning usually takes place around this time of year (third week of March).

The First Frogspawn Spotted in the Office Pond Early on the 19th March 2020

Frogspawn in the office pond at Everything Dinosaur (March 19th 2020).

The first batch of frogspawn laid in the office pond (March 19th 2020).  The photograph was taken a few minutes after 8am in the morning.  From the size of the frogspawn we think that these are the eggs from a single female and that they had only just been laid.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Common Frog (Rana temporaria)

We have counted a total of seven frogs in the pond, the majority were males.  We tend to have the males arriving first and the females taking up residence a little time later (after all, the females tend to be pounced upon as soon as they enter the pond).  The frogs are all Common frogs (Rana temporaria), their name is a bit of a misnomer these days, as like many amphibians, they are becoming increasingly rare.

More Frogspawn was Laid that Morning (March 19th 2020)

Frogspawn spotted in the office pond - March 19th 2020.

More frogspawn laid on the morning of 19th March 2020.  Team members at Everything Dinosaur estimate that the egg masses represent the eggs from two or three females.  We shall continue to carefully monitor the pond (taking care not to disturb the frogs too much), to see if more eggs will be laid.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

As we cope with the current restrictions on our lives due to the coronavirus crisis, we will be able to observe how the tadpoles are getting on – something for us to think about in these challenging times.  At least the frogs are behaving as normal, for them at least, it is business as usual.

15 02, 2020

Global Warming Could Have a Huge Impact on Reptiles and Amphibians

By | February 15th, 2020|Animal News Stories, Main Page|0 Comments

New Study Suggests Climate Change Could Reduce Lifespan Amongst Hundreds of Species

Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast and Tel Aviv University (Israel), have carried out one of the most comprehensive studies to date to better understand what affects life expectancy among all living vertebrates in the world.  The study’s conclusions not only challenge a long-accepted theory about the lifespan of organisms, but also provide a new perspective on climate change – that global warming could have a huge impact on the life expectancy among ectothermic animals such as reptiles and amphibians.

Amphibians such as Frogs Could Be Exceptionally Vulnerable to the Consequences of Global Warming

New study suggests climate change could reduce lifespan amongst hundreds of species.

Cold-blooded animals such as frogs may be exceptionally vulnerable to climate change.

Picture Credit: Queen’s University Belfast

Research into How Organisms Age

The “rate of living” theory has long been accepted as an explanation as to why organisms age.  According to this theory, the faster the metabolic rate the shorter the lifespan.  Live fast and die after a relatively short period, in other words the “faster” the species lives in terms of the speed of its internal body functions and how quickly they start to reproduce, or how “slowly” in terms of these internal body functions and of lower reproductive rates, will determine the lifespan.  This hypothesis helps to explain why some vertebrates such as frogs and reptiles may only live for a few months, whilst other species such as elephants, the Greenland shark and turtles can live for a very long time.

Giant Tortoises Can Live for Over a Hundred Years

Lonesome George

Giant tortoises native to the Galapagos Islands can live for over 100 years.

Picture Credit: AFP/Getty Images

The Hotter the Environment – The Faster the “Rate of Living”

Until now the theory had not been tested at a global scale with all land vertebrates and there were limitations with the range of species the theory was tested on.  The scientists from Queen’s University and Tel Aviv University analysed data from over 4,100 land vertebrate species from across the planet to test the prevailing “rate of living” theory.  They discovered that “rate of living” does not affect aging rates, rejecting the previously accepted link between lifespan and metabolism.

Writing in the academic journal “Global Ecology and Biogeography”, the researchers found that rates of aging in cold-blooded organisms (ectotherms), including amphibians and reptiles are linked to high temperatures.  These findings led the scientists to put forward an alternative hypothesis: the hotter the environment is, the faster the rate of living that in turn leads to more accelerated aging and a shorter lifespan.

Commenting on the significance of this new study, co-author Dr Daniel Pincheira-Donoso, (School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast) stated:

“Our findings can have critical implications for our understanding of factors that contribute to extinctions, especially in modern times when we are facing a worldwide decline of biodiversity, with cold-blooded animals being particularly endangered.  Now we know that the life-expectancy of cold-blooded vertebrates is linked to environmental temperatures, we could expect to see their lifespans further reduced as temperatures continue to rise through global warming.”

A Pair of Common Frogs Mating (Rana temporaria)

Mating frogs (2017).

A pair of mating frogs (2017).  The long-term outlook for many species of amphibian including the Common frog (Rana temporaria) is not good.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Amphibians the Most Threatened Class of the Animalia

According to date from the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List (IUCN), some 30,000 species are currently threatened with extinction.  This figure represents around 27% of all the species assessed.  Amphibians are, on average, the most threatened Class, with 41% of species threatened.  A press release from the Queen’s University Belfast states that nearly one in five of the world’s estimated 10,000 species of lizards, snakes, turtles, crocodiles and other reptiles are threatened with extinction.

PhD student, Gavin Stark, the lead author of the study (Tel Aviv University), explained:

“The link between lifespan in cold-blooded animals (amphibians and reptiles) and ambient temperatures could mean that they are especially vulnerable to the unprecedented global warming that the planet is currently experiencing.  Indeed, if increasing ambient temperatures reduces longevity, it may make these species more prone to go extinct as the climate warms.”

Dr Pincheira-Donoso added:

“We need to further develop our understanding of this link between biodiversity and climate change.  Only armed with knowledge will we be able to inform future policies that could prevent further damage to the ecosystem.”

The paper entitled, “No evidence for the “rate-of-living” theory across the tetrapod tree of life” is published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.  Manuscript ID GEB-2019-0279.R4.

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

31 01, 2020

A Whale of a Time at the London Natural History Museum

By | January 31st, 2020|Animal News Stories, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

Saying Hello to “Hope” the Blue Whale Exhibit

Another busy week for Everything Dinosaur team members.  A member of staff was at the London Natural History Museum recently, although they had a busy itinerary there was still time to enter the main gallery (the Hintze Hall) and to say hello to “Hope”, the enormous Blue Whale exhibit that replaced “Dippy” the Diplodocus in 2017.  Suspended overhead, dominating the refurbished gallery, the Blue Whale skeleton (Balaenoptera musculus), symbolises the Museum’s focus on conservation and supporting efforts to save natural habitats and wildlife.

The Spectacular “Hope” Blue Whale Exhibit in the Hintze Hall (London Natural History Museum)

Blue Whale exhibit (London Natural History Museum).

The beautiful Blue Whale skeleton exhibit dominating the Hintze Hall at the London Natural History Museum.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The skeleton measures 25.2 metres in length, it weighs some 4.5 tonnes and consists of 221 individual bones.  Not all parts of the exhibit are real bone, some bones were missing from the right flipper and these have been replaced by 3-D printed mirror copies of the bones from the left flipper.  Seeing the Diplodocus exhibit in the main gallery was always a highlight of any visit to the Museum.  It became almost a ritual to say hello to “Dippy” on the way to a meeting or prior to visiting one of the various departments on site.

The Diplodocus exhibit was only a cast, a specimen that had been donated to the London Natural History Museum in 1905 by the Scottish-born billionaire Andrew Carnegie.  “Dippy” was installed into the Hintze Hall in 1979, but finally removed in January 2017 to be replaced by the Blue Whale exhibit.

We will have to get used to saying hello to “Hope” instead.

 

28 12, 2019

Everything Dinosaur’s Top Ten Blog Posts of 2019 (Part 2)

By | December 28th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Animal News Stories, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur’s Top Ten Blog Posts of 2019 (Part 2)

Today, we conclude our review of the top ten blog posts written by Everything Dinosaur team members in 2019.  We have produced a blog post for every day of the year and as a result we have covered a tremendous range of topics from new fossil discoveries, highlighting research, the introduction (and retirement) of prehistoric animal replicas, book reviews, artwork created by academic illustrators and scientific discoveries.

Here is our countdown of the top five.

5). Ngwevu intloko – New Dinosaur “Hiding in Plain Sight”

Over the summer, Everything Dinosaur published a wide range of articles.  A new bizarre, shovel-mouthed duck-billed dinosaur (Aquilarhinus), was reported and news of a fast-running Triassic theropod from Switzerland (Notatesseraptor) broke.  We had strange prehistoric parrots, an analysis of the cranial capacity of “parrot lizard” Psittacosaurus and herbivorous crocodylomorphs.  However, number five on our list concerns the discovery of a new type of Triassic herbivorous dinosaur that was found in a museum cabinet.

Fossils once thought to represent an unusual specimen of Massosopondylus (M. carinatus) in the collection of the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), were assigned to their own genus. Student Kimberley Chapelle and colleagues identified a total of twenty-two characteristics that supported the establishment of a brand new dinosaur genus.  The new dinosaur was named Ngwevu intloko, this member of the Sauropodomorpha had been hiding in plain sight within the vertebrate fossil collection of the University for more than three decades.

Views of the Skull of Ngwevu intloko

Views of the skull of N. intloko.

Views of the skull of Ngwevu intloko.

Picture Credit: Kimberley Chapelle/University of Witwatersrand

4). Keresdrakon vilsoni – Toothless Pterosaur from an Ancient Desert Ecosystem

September and thirty days of blog posts covering stiff T. rex skulls and subsequently how the skull of T. rex may have helped it to keep cool, dinosaur model deliveries to hotels, the most complete dinosaur fossil from Japan (Kamuysaurus japonicus) and the Asian origins of Saurornitholestes, but our number four features a newly described species of pterosaur from Brazil.

Researchers, writing in the academic journal “Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências”, identified a new species of edentulous flying reptile that co-existed with the pterosaur Caiuajara and may have fed on its young.  Described as part of a non-tapejarid lineage of pterosaurs outside the Tapejaromorpha, Keresdrakon provides a new perspective on the paleoecology of a Cretaceous desert environment.

Keresdrakon Life Reconstruction It Feeds on the Carcase of a Contemporary Dinosaur (Vespersaurus) whilst a Second Keresdrakon is Mobbed by Juvenile Caiuajara

Keresdrakon life reconstruction.

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

Picture Credit: Maurilio Oliveira

An honourable mention to Cryodraken boreas the first pterosaur to be described which is unique to Canada.

3). A Potential Terrestrial Tetrapod that May Not Have Gone onto Land

In October, Everything Dinosaur team members covered the amazing TetZooCon event in London, the naming of a new, basal carcharodontosaurian theropod from Thailand (Siamraptor suwati) and the reclassification of crocodiles in New Guinea.  A team of researchers, writing in “Nature” put forward an intriguing new hypothesis that some of the first vertebrates that were capable of terrestrial locomotion may have never left the water.  Parmastega aelidae was a sharp-eyed predator that may have ambushed invertebrates that ventured too close to the sea.

With eyes positioned towards the top of their heads, Parmastega was capable of observing life on land and potential prey without leaving the water.

Life in a Late Devonian Coastal Lagoon (Sosnogorsk, Russia)

Parmastega aelidae life reconstruction.

Sosnogorsk lagoon with Parmastega aelidae hunting behaviour.

Picture Credit: Mikhail Shekhanov for the Ukhta Local Museum

2).  Unusual Styracosaurus Skull Might Change the Way New Dinosaurs are Identified

The first fossil evidence of feathered polar dinosaurs, plans to map extra-terrestrial space objects in a bid to prevent Earth impact events, limited edition dinosaur models, a new predatory dinosaur from Brazil – Gnathovorax cabreirai, all featured in October.  A fossil ape from the Miocene of Germany, Poland’s first pliosaur, Rebor Komodo dragons, a new megaraptorid from “Down Under” and the discovery of a Styracosaurus skull that might just turn palaeontology on its head were also discussed.  “Hannah” an asymmetrical Styracosaurus skull named after the pet dog of palaeontologist Scott Persons has cranial imperfections that could alter the way that scientists identify new species of dinosaur.  Whoops, looks like there may have to be another revision of the Centrosaurinae.

Palaeontologist Scott Persons Poses with the Two “Hannahs” in His Life “Hannah” the pet dog and “Hannah” the Styracosaurus

Scott Persons with dog and "Hannah" the Styracosaurus.

Scott Persons with “Hannah” the Styracosaurus and his dog.

Picture Credit: Scott Persons/University of Alberta

1). Asfaltovenator vialidadi – A New Basal Allosauroid from Argentina

Our blog articles this month have covered such varied topics as galloping crocodilians, 7,000 Facebook “likes”, the announcement of new for 2020 Papo prehistoric animal figures, dinosaur teeth replacement, how to distinguish teenage tyrannosaurs and Mimodactylus libanensis, a new toothy pterosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Lebanon.

However, since we started this top ten countdown with a fossil discovery from North America and despite the focus on asymmetrical dinosaurs, we shall conclude with a dinosaur from the opposite end of the Americas.

Asfaltovenator vialidadi from the Cañadón Asfalto Formation (Chubut Province, Patagonia) roamed South America perhaps as early as 170 million years ago.  Its discovery is important, as most Middle Jurassic theropods are only known from quite fragmentary material and this dinosaur, described as a basal allosauroid, has traits linking it to both the allosauroids and the megalosauroids.  The fossils suggest that the Allosauroidea and the Megalosauroidea evolved from a common ancestor.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Asfaltovenator vialidadi 

Asfaltovenator illustration.

Asfaltovenator life reconstruction.  The theropod dinosaur shows a mix of anatomical characteristics linking the Allosauroidea and the Megalosauroidea.

Picture Credit: Gabriel Lio/Conicet

Team members at Everything Dinosaur look forward to posting up more blog articles that help to work out taxonomic relationships within the Dinosauria and improve our understanding of ancient life still further in the coming months.

27 12, 2019

Everything Dinosaur’s Top Ten Blog Posts 2019 (Part 1)

By | December 27th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Animal News Stories, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur’s Top Ten Blog Posts of 2019 (Part 1)

As this year draws to a close, it is time to reflect on all the work put into writing this web log by Everything Dinosaur team members.  It is also an opportunity to look back and reflect on some of the news stories and articles that we have published over the last twelve months.  Today, we start our look at the top ten articles that we have posted, the countdown from ten to number six.  This list has been compiled based on the total number of comments made, emails received requesting  further information, Facebook “likes” and comments, Pinterest shares and so forth.

So, without any further fuss, here is the first part of our top ten news stories for 2019.

10).  Prehistoric Shark Named After Video Game Character

In January, Everything Dinosaur covered a story about the naming of a new species of Late Cretaceous prehistoric shark.  Strange, unusually shaped shark’s teeth had been found preserved in some of the matrix associated with the famous “Sue” T. rex skeleton.  The tiny teeth reminded the research team of the shape of a spaceship from the 1980’s video game Galaga.  This was the inspiration behind the naming of this new species – Galagadon nordquistae.

Life Reconstruction of Galagadon nordquistae

Galagadon nordquistae life reconstruction.

A life reconstruction of the Late Cretaceous shark Galagadon nordquistae.

Picture Credit: Velizar Simeonovski (Field Museum)

9).  Bajadasaurus pronuspinax Rears its Head

Early February saw the announcement of the discovery of a new, bizarre dicraeosaurid from Neuquén Province, Argentina.  A single, cervical vertebra suggests that Bajadasaurus had a series of forward facing defensive spikes on its neck.  A sauropod that carried its own set of Victorian railings around with it.  Although, the fossil material is fragmentary, CollectA were quick of the mark and have created a stunning replica of this Early Cretaceous giant.  Everything Dinosaur expects to have the CollectA Bajadasaurus replica in stock early in 2020.

A Silhouette Showing a Reconstruction of the Neck Vertebrae of Bajadasaurus and the CollectA Bajadasaurus Dinosaur Model

CollectA Bajadasaurus model and an illustration of the strange cervical vertebrae.

The bizarre cervical vertebrae of Bajadasaurus.  In the silhouette illustration known fossil material is shown in white.

Picture Credit: Gallina et al published in Scientific Reports and Everything Dinosaur

8).  The Jurassic Mile

In March, a blog post was published recording the start of a huge collaboration between a number of European and American museums to explore and excavate an extraordinary, fossil-rich deposit located in the Badlands of Wyoming.  The site has been nicknamed the “Jurassic Mile” and these Morrison Formation deposits have already yielded a treasure trove of dinosaur bones, fossil plants and dinosaur trackways.

Everything Dinosaur will be providing more details of the fossil discoveries in blog articles over the coming twelve months, but the site is so vast that it could be decades before all the fossil material has been collected and studied.

Palaeontologist Phil Manning Sitting Next to a Diplodocid Femur from the “Jurassic Mile”

Professor Phil Manning and the diplodocid femur.

Professor Phil Manning (The University of Manchester) poses next to the diplodocid femur.

Picture Credit: Manchester University

7). New Kid on the Block – Homo luzonensis

The discovery of fragmentary fossil remains of a diminutive hominin on the island of Luzon in the Philippines gave the human family tree a jolt in 2019.  The fossil material, dated to around 67,000 years ago, provides the earliest direct evidence of human inhabitation of the Philippines archipelago, but is Homo luzonensis, with its arboreal adaptations the descendant of a primitive African hominin that somehow migrated to south-eastern Asia or a more advanced hominin, perhaps related to Homo erectus that evolved and changed as it adapted to life on a heavily forested tropical island?

Professor Philip Piper – A Co-author of the Scientific Paper Published in April Holding a Cast of a Toe Bone

A cast of the toe bone of Homo luzonensis.

Professor Piper (Australian National University) holding a cast of a toe bone assigned to H. luzonensis.

Picture Credit: Lannon Harley (Australian National University)

6). A Terrifying Trilobite (Redlichia rex)

In the summer, Everything Dinosaur published an article about the largest trilobite to have been discovered in Australia.  A likely predator of other trilobites, this was a thirty-centimetre-long Cambrian terror. It was appropriately named Redlichia rex and was nicknamed “the king of the trilobites”.  The fossil material comes from an exceptional Lagerstätte known as the Emu Bay Shale on Kangaroo Island, South Australia.  Around fifty different species of trilobite have been identified from this location.  Intriguingly, the predatory and potentially cannibalistic Redlichia rex may also have been hunted, preserved coprolite and the injuries recorded on the exoskeleton of specimens hint at a much larger predator lurking in the shallow sea that once covered this part of Australia.

A Fossil Specimen and the New for 2020 CollectA Redlichia rex Trilobite Model

Redlichia rex fossil and model.

A Redlichia rex trilobite fossil and the new for 2020 CollectA model.

Picture Credit: University of Adelaide/Everything Dinosaur

The naming of a new Cambrian predator inspired the model makers at CollectA to create a replica of Redlichia rex, we expect this figure to make its debut on the Everything Dinosaur website around the middle of next year.  Prior to that event in 2020, we must first complete our chronicle of the top blog posts of 2019, we will conclude this feature tomorrow.

20 12, 2019

Crocodiles at the Gallop!

By | December 20th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Animal News Stories, Main Page|0 Comments

Crocodiles can Gallop but Alligators Can’t

A study led by Royal Veterinary College staff has identified more species of crocodiles that can move quickly by adopting a galloping gait.  In contrast, the closely related alligator and caiman, cannot manage more than a trot.  Ironically, despite differences in locomotion, crocodiles and alligators can all move at approximately the same speed, which no more than around 11 miles per hour (4.9 metres per second).  The ability to gallop and to use an even more extreme gait called a bound, is likely down to the size and build of the member of the family Crocodylia in question.

The Locomotion Study of Crocodilians Revealed Different Gaits

Crocodile and Alligator comparison.

Crocodile (top) and Alligator (bottom).  Forty-two individuals representing 15 species from the Crocodylia family were involved in the study.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Studying Living Crocodiles Provides Information about Extinct Crocodilians

Members of the Crocodylia employ almost the full range of quadrupedal footfall patterns (gaits) used by mammals.  These forms of movement on land include asymmetrical gaits such as galloping and bounding.  Researchers at the Royal Veterinary College set up video tracking cameras at the St Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park in Florida (USA), in order to plot the movements of different crocodilians.  The St Augustine Alligator Farm houses a large number of different species and lots of different animals at various growth stages, it makes an ideal location at which to study crocodilian locomotion.  The Park has been involved in numerous studies, including one conducted by University of Ohio researchers that looked at ways in which archosaurs may have helped to keep their brains cool.  To read more about this research: T. rex had Air Conditioning.

In total the gaits and velocity of forty-two reptiles from fifteen species were studied.

The researchers found that, as expected, larger animals moved relatively more slowly, with athletic ability decreasing as size and bulk increases.  However, while many popular and scientific accounts previously assumed only a few species of crocodiles could gallop and bound, the scientists discovered that a further five species can in fact do so, including the critically endangered Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis).  This now means at least eight species in total can gallop and bound.

Professor John Hutchinson, (Royal Veterinary College), commented:

“We were really surprised at one major thing: despite the different gaits crocodiles and alligators use, they all can run about as fast.  So why do some crocodiles choose to gallop?  We suspect that bounding and galloping give small crocodiles better acceleration and manoeuvrability, especially useful for escaping from danger.  It seems like alligators and caiman stand their ground rather than run away with an extreme gait.”

John Brueggen, Director of St Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park, added:

“We have been witnessing these behaviours in many of our specimens over the years, but it was wonderful to finally formalise these observations in a scientific study.”

Triassic Origins?

The ancestors of today’s crocodilians tended to be small, much more terrestrial in habit and long-legged. Stem members of the Crocodylomorpha, such as Terrestrisuchus (illustrated below),  needed to be fast runners in order to catch their prey and to avoid being eaten by larger predators.  The researchers suggest that either that asymmetrical gaits are ancestral for Crocodylia and lost in the alligator lineage, or that asymmetrical gaits evolved within Crocodylia at the base of the crocodile branch of the family tree.

Terrestrisuchus – A Genus of Early Crocodylomorph from the Late Triassic

Late Triassic Terrestrisuchus.

Terrestrisuchus – A genus of early crocodylomorph from the Late Triassic.  The gaits and forms of locomotion seen in extant crocodilians could be a throwback to stem crocodylomorphs.

Recently, Everything Dinosaur published an article that examined another piece of research conducted by the scientists at the Royal Veterinary College, the paper focused on the giant caiman Purussaurus (P. mirandai), from the Late Miocene of Venezuela.  This monstrous crocodilian evolved unique anatomical adaptations to help it move around on land.

Read the article about Purussaurus here: Ancient Crocodilian Evolved Unique Specialisations Due to its Size.

The scientific paper: “Divergent evolution of terrestrial locomotor abilities in extant Crocodylia” by John R. Hutchinson, Dean Felkler, Kati Houston, Yu-Mei Chang, John Brueggen, David Kledzik and Kent A. Vliet published in the journal scientific research.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the Royal Veterinary College in the compilation of this article.

18 11, 2019

Surprise Unboxing – Everything Dinosaur

By | November 18th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Animal News Stories, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Surprise Unboxing – Everything Dinosaur

With the advent of the new Rebor GrabNGo range, team members at Everything Dinosaur thought it would be appropriate to send out some Komodo dragon models, the first model to be introduced into this range, to customers so that they could see for themselves the attention to detail and quality of manufacture.

Several unboxing videos and reviews are in the process of being posted up on social media, so today we thought we would feature one such unboxing video from the “Plastic Prehistorica” YouTube channel.

Plastic Prehistorica – Surprise Unboxing Everything Dinosaur

Video Credit: Plastic Prehistorica

The video itself lasts for a little under six and half minutes and it documents the unboxing of the new Rebor 1:6 scale GrabNGo Komodo dragon model.

Commissioning Cardboard

The narrator points out the Everything Dinosaur had to commission special cardboard packaging to accommodate this new figure.  The model measures nearly half a metre in length, so we worked with our packaging suppliers to create a bespoke box, one that was double-walled so that this beautiful varanid could be protected in transit.  After all, we don’t want our customers receiving a Komodo dragon that has been damaged in the post.  We do all we can to ensure that our customers receive parcels that are well packed and that the figures inside have plenty of protection.

As part of our environmental policy, all the cardboard boxes that we commission are made from 60-70% recycled material.  Only the outer face of our cardboard boxes is made from new wood pulp, this in turn is sourced from sustainable managed forests.  In the unboxing video, the narrator highlights the point that producing models of endangered animals helps to raise awareness about their plight.  Everything Dinosaur has ensured that the current conservation status of the Komodo dragon has been highlighted in the company’s promotional materials.  On the subject of materials, Everything Dinosaur is currently working towards 100% recycling of all waste paper and cardboard at the company.

The Komodo Dragon Model (1:6 Scale Replica)

Unboxing the Rebor Komodo dragon model.

A still from the video showing a close-up view of the Komodo dragon model.  The hand provides a scale.

Picture Credit: Plastic Prehistorica

A Megalania Model

In this informative video, the narrator comments that this figure could also represent Megalania, a giant, extinct varanid known from the Pleistocene of southern Australia.  The actual size of Megalania is disputed, however, size estimates based on fossilised vertebrae suggest a length of between five and seven metres for this lizard.  If this is the case, then the Rebor replica would represent a 1:12 scale model or thereabouts of Megalania.

A Close-up View Highlighting the Detailing on the Komodo Dragon Figure

Rebor GrabNGo 1:6 scale replica.

Holding the new Rebor GrabNGo Komodo dragon replica, the hand provides a scale.

Picture Credit: Plastic Prehistorica

The Plastic Prehistorica YouTube channel is full of informative and helpful prehistoric animal and dinosaur model reviews, to visit the channel: Plastic Prehistorica on YouTube.

To view the Rebor 1:6 scale Komodo dragon model and the rest of the figures in the Rebor range: Rebor Models and Replicas.

14 11, 2019

We Have Dragons! Komodo Dragon Model in Stock

By | November 14th, 2019|Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Rebor Komodo Dragon Model in Stock

The Rebor GrabNGo Komodo dragon model is now in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  Yes, we have dragons!  Team members have been busy contacting all those customers on our reserve lists who asked us to set aside one (sometimes two), of these amazing replicas for them.  Model collectors have been excited about the Rebor GrabNGo range ever since this exciting development was announced and now they can get their hands on the first of the figures in this new range, a 1:6 scale replica of the largest living lizard.

Behold!  We have Dragons!  The Rebor GrabNGo Komodo Dragon Replica is in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

Rebor Komodo dragon 1:6 scale replica.

Rebor GrabNGo Komodo dragon model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To see the Rebor GrabNGo Komodo dragon and the rest of the Rebor replicas at Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Replicas and Figures.

A Very Realistic Model

The Komodo dragon figure is very realistic.  Team members have taken a number of photographs of this large model outside in various locations, when these images were shown to laypeople as well as herpetologists and other scientists, a few eyebrows were raised.  At first glance it looked like we had a live lizard wandering close to the warehouse!

The Rebor 1:6 Scale GrabNGo Komodo Dragon Model

Rebor GrabNGo Komodo dragon.

The new for 2019 Rebor GrabNGo Komodo dragon replica (1:6 scale model).  This picture provides an idea of the size of the figure, it measures nearly half a metre in length.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The Komodo dragon model is the first figure in the GrabNGo range from Rebor.  Collectors have the chance to judge for themselves the quality of production and the attention to detail.  This really is a super replica of Varanus komodoensis, or perhaps we should refer to it as “biawak raksasa”, which we believe is one of the names for this lizard used on the Island of Komodo.”

The New Komodo Dragon Model Has Won Praise for its Attention to Detail

Rebor GrabNGo Komodo dragon model.

Rebor Komodo dragon 1:6 scale replica.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The first orders for this exciting new figure will be despatched later today.  Such is the size of this new Rebor model, that Everything Dinosaur has had to invest in bespoke cardboard packaging to accommodate it and to ensure it arrives at our customers safe and sound.  As in line with our environmental policy, these new boxes are constructed from recycled card.  Everything Dinosaur hopes to achieve 100% utilisation of recycled card and paper packaging materials in the very near future.  For the time being, we have been using this new Rebor replica to help raise awareness regarding the plight of the Komodo dragon, an animal which is currently listed as “Vulnerable” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) database.

Quite an unusual conversation with our packaging suppliers – “hello, we need recycled, double-ply boxes so that we can post out a half-metre-long lizard”!

13 10, 2019

Rebor Komodo Dragon Preparations

By | October 13th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Animal News Stories, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Rebor GrabNGo Komodo Dragon Preparations

Team members at Everything Dinosaur are busy preparing for the arrival of the next new Rebor model, the GrabNGo Komodo dragon figure in 1/6th scale.  This model has created quite a lot of interest from herpetologists – those scientists and academics that specialise in the study of amphibians and reptiles.  We have it on good authority that this new Rebor figure has even been discussed at the prestigious Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP), annual meeting in Brisbane, a sizeable reservation list for this lizard replica has been built up over the last few weeks and Everything Dinosaur staff will be very busy contacting all these customers when the models arrive next month.

Rebor GrabNGo Komodo Dragon Models

Rebor GrabNGO Komodo dragon replicas.

A collection of Rebor GrabNGo Komodo dragon models.  We are not sure about the collective noun for a group of Komodo dragons, we have been informed that the collective noun is a “bank”, but there must be a better term for six of these fantastic figures together.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The 1:6 Scale Komodo Dragon Model

The picture (above), shows production samples ready to be sent out to zookeepers and specialists.  We are not sure what the collective noun for a group of Komodo dragons is called (we have been told it is a “bank of Komodos”), but who knows.  Rebor commented that when all the models were put together it reminded them of Billingsgate fish market, all we know is that the figures look splendid and we are looking forward to receiving our stock in just a few weeks’ time.

One of the models is being used to help us design a new cardboard box for use as packaging.  The model is so long (around 50 cm in length), that we are having to commission a special, double-walled cardboard box to accommodate this model and to provide protection when it is sent out to customers.

The CE Mark is Clearly Shown on the Underside of the Figure

The CE mark on the underside of the Rebor GrabNGo Komodo dragon replica.

Highlighting the CE mark on the underside of the Rebor GrabNGo Komodo dragon model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The production samples will be sent out to various specialists and researchers next week, in the meantime, team members will be working hard to ensure that all is ready in our warehouse for the arrival of the Komodo dragon figures.

To see the current range of Rebor models and figures in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Models, Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Replicas

6 10, 2019

New Species of Crocodile Honours Researcher

By | October 6th, 2019|Animal News Stories, Geology, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

Crocodylus halli – A New Species of Crocodile is Announced

The crocodile family has undergone yet another revision.  It seems that the Crocodylidae are a more specious family than previously thought.  The New Guinea Crocodile (Crocodylus novaeguineae), is actually two species and not one and the second species has been named Crocodylus halli after Philip Hall, a University of Florida researcher who sadly, passed away before his work on these three-metre-long reptiles could be completed.

A New Crocodile Species has been Discovered – Hall’s Crocodile (Crocodylus halli)

New crocodile species discovered.

A new crocodile species has been discovered.  The picture (above), shows Jen Brueggen, Park social media manager, researchers Caleb McMahan, Christopher Murray and John Brueggen, Park director, with a specimen of Crocodylus halli, that seems rather reluctant to pose for a photograph.

Picture Credit: Southeastern Louisiana University

Crocodile Nesting Behaviour Hinted at Different Species

The late scientist Philip Hall, noticed subtle differences in osteoderm patterns on the backs of crocodiles and in the nesting behaviours of crocodile populations in the north and the south of the island of New Guinea.  He speculated that there could be two species living on New Guinea, but unfortunately, he died before his research could be completed.  Southeastern Louisiana University Assistant Professor of Biology Christopher Murray and his co-author Caleb McMahan (Field Museum, Chicago), were inspired to continue this research and they have published their findings in the academic journal “Copeia”, the journal of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

A chain of high hills and mountains known as the Central Highlands divides the island of New Guinea.  It is thought this geological feature was formed in the last 8 million years or so.  Geographically isolated crocodile populations, each living on different drainage basins that came about as a result of the uplift, have been identified as different species.

The Island of New Guinea 

Distribution of crocodile populations on New Guinea.

The Central Highlands of New Guinea permits two distinct drainage basins to form. This geographical barrier has led to the evolution of two distinct species of crocodile.

Picture Credit: Copeia/Murray and McMahan with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

The illustration of the island of New Guinea (above), shows the location of the Central Highlands and the red dots south of the mountain chain denote sampling areas for C. halli in the study, whilst the brown dots north of the chain indicate sampling sites for C. novaeguineae.

Careful analysis of museum specimens along with a study of the crocodiles kept in captivity at the St Augustine Alligator Zoological Park (Florida), confirmed the hypothesis.  Subtle differences in the shape of bones and the observed behaviour differences indicates the presence of two distinct species on the island.  This has been confirmed by molecular analysis.

Difference in the Shape of the Skull and Jaws

Comparing Crocodile Skulls from Papua New Guinea.

Dorsal view of skulls from  New Guinea crocodiles.  Crocodylus novaeguineae (left) with its extended maxilla and proportionately reduced postcranial elements compared with two examples of Crocodylus halli (middle and right).  In contrast, the C. halli skulls show much shorter maxillae and proportionately enlarged postcranial elements.

Picture Credit: Copeia/Murray and McMahan

The Importance of Museum Specimens

The researchers comment that this new insight into the Crocodylidae would not have been possible without access to the collections from numerous museums.  The museums involved in this research included The Field Museum (Chicago), the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, the American Museum of Natural History (New York), Queensland Museum, Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science and the Florida Museum of Natural History.  The careful curation and collection of a large number of specimens permitted the scientists to build up a substantial database on crocodilian skull morphology that allowed them to tease out the subtle differences between the two species.

Crocodylus halli – Hall’s Crocodile

Newly described crocodile species from New Guinea Crocodylus halli.

One of the residents at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park – Crocodylus halli.

Picture Credit: Copeia/Murray and McMahan

Implications for Crocodile Conservation

Identifying a separate species has important implications for the conservation of both populations of crocodile.

Commenting on the significance of this discovery, Caleb McMahan stated:

“Now that we know the evolutionary history of these species, we need to re-inform the conservation status of them given that the distribution has changed and conservation threats are different in different areas.”

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