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Book reviews and information on dinosaur books by Everything Dinosaur team members.

1 03, 2018

“The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs” by Steve Brusatte

By | March 1st, 2018|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

“The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs” – The Story of the Dinosauria

At Everything Dinosaur, we get sent quite a lot of books from publishers for our team members to review and comment upon.  There is certainly a wealth of publications dedicated to the science of palaeontology and the Dinosauria in particular.  Every once in a while, we discover a real gem, one that has been well-written and manages to tread that careful line between providing enough academic detail but still managing to retain an appeal to the general reader.  The forthcoming “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs” by Steve Brusatte is a case in point.

Going on Sale in Early May “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs”

"The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs"

“The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs” by Steve Brusatte.

Picture Credit: Pan Macmillan

Dr Brusatte has skilfully crafted the story of the evolution of the dinosaurs and their ultimate demise, interweaving his own reminiscences about his early career as a palaeontologist and introducing a diverse cast of characters that have illuminated dinosaur research and done much to change our perception of the “terrible lizards”.

Around One Hundred Academic Papers

Now in his early thirties, Steve has managed to cram a lot into the last decade or so.  The Everything Dinosaur blog has written numerous articles featuring his research and discoveries, several of which are discussed at length in this, what is likely to be a bestseller, when “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs” goes on sale on May 3rd (2018).

As an author of somewhere around one hundred academic papers and having undertaken fieldwork in places as far afield as China, New Mexico, Portugal and Poland, Dr Brusatte is ideally placed to provide an overview of the latest research into the Dinosauria.  In this informative and immensely enjoyable book, Stephen Brusatte chronicles the evolution of the first dinosaurs and plots their gradual rise to dominance over other Archosaurian contemporaries.  He charts their progress through the End Triassic extinction event and their emergence as the dominant terrestrial mega fauna on our planet.

Fieldwork in New Mexico, Mapping Late Cretaceous/Early Palaeocene Mammalian Fauna

Steve Brusatte and Ross Secord (New Mexico).

Stephen Brusatte (back) with Ross Secord (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) during field work in New Mexico looking for mammal fossils.

Picture Credit: Thomas Williamson/Reuters

Tyrannosaurus rex and Feathers in the Spotlight

As well as documenting the rise and eventual demise of the Dinosauria, Steve dedicates a couple of chapters to the tyrannosaurids, providing a useful update on his research into the family tree of the Tyrannosauridae as well as introducing recent additions to this great dinosaur dynasty, the long-snouted Qianzhousaurus sinensis, affectionately nick-named “Pinocchio rex” and Timurlengia euotica which roamed Uzbekistan some 90 million years ago.  Dr Brusatte has played a prominent role in the scientific study of these two large Theropods, so far, this American palaeontologist now based at the University of Edinburgh, has named ten new dinosaur species.

Timurlengia euotica – A Recently Described (2016) Late Cretaceous Tyrannosaur

The tyrannosaurid Timurlengia.

The tyrannosaurid Timurlengia wandering its flood plain home.

Picture Credit: Todd Marshall

Recommended Reading

With March 1st being World Book Day, an annual event celebrating authors, illustrators and the joy of reading, it seems appropriate to dedicate today’s blog post to promote “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs”, written by one of the leading palaeontologists of the 21st Century.  Highly recommended.

Book Details

Title: “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs”

Author: Steve Brusatte

ISBN: 9781509830060 (Hardback)

Pages: circa 390

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Release date: May 3rd 2018 (RRP = £20.00)

To pre-order a copy: Pre-order “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs”

Also available as an audio download.

14 02, 2018

The Very First Edition of “Prehistoric Times”

By | February 14th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page, Movie Reviews and Movie News, Photos, Prehistoric Times|0 Comments

“Prehistoric Times” First Edition

Two years ago, Everything Dinosaur was informed that Aardman Animations, the company behind such iconic characters as Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and films such as “Arthur Christmas”, had approached our chum Mike Fredericks, the editor of the quarterly magazine “Prehistoric Times” to request permission to utilise his magazine in a forthcoming movie.  The film entitled “Early Man” was premiered in the UK last month and is due to be released in the United States later this week.

A Still from the Animated Film “Early Man” Showing the Prehistoric Times

The first edition of "Prehistoric Times".

An early subscriber to “Prehistoric Times”.

Picture Credit: © 2018 Studiocanal S.A.S. and The British Film Institute

“Prehistoric Times”

Everything Dinosaur contacted Aardman Animations and they very kindly agreed to release a still from the movie, showing one of the lead characters, Lord Nooth, the greedy leader of the Bronze Age folk, voiced by British actor Tom Hiddleston, perusing an edition of “The Prehistoric Times”.

The modern version of “Prehistoric Times” (an unintended oxymoron), is a quarterly publication which has been in circulation for more than a decade, but clearly the magazine was popular much earlier.  From this evidence, it seems that this magazine has been in vogue since the New Stone Age.

For further information about “Prehistoric Times” – the quarterly, not the scroll version: Prehistoric Times Magazine

You can even read it in the bath should you wish to do so, although the prehistoric Wild Boar is optional.

25 01, 2018

2018 Schleich Collectors Booklet in Stock

By | January 25th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Magazine Reviews, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

The New for 2018 Schleich Collectors Booklet

The new for 2018 (January to June) Schleich collectors booklet is now in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  Fans of the extensive Schleich model range can see the entire Schleich portfolio and peruse the booklet at their leisure.  Simply request Everything Dinosaur to include a booklet with your next order, or simply add it to your order when next purchasing from Everything Dinosaur.  The UK-based specialist supplier of prehistoric animal models is happy to send out collectors booklets, it’s all about keeping collectors up to date with how the Schleich range is evolving.

The New for 2018 January to June Schleich Collectors Booklet is Available from Everything Dinosaur

Schleich collectors booklet 2018.

The Schleich collectors booklet (Jan to June) 2018.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Schleich Dinosaurs

As well as covering the German company’s range of wildlife, fantasy and farm animals, the catalogue showcases the growing range of prehistoric animal models that Schleich is now producing.  The number of dinosaur models had been reduced but slowly and steadily Schleich has been building up its prehistoric animal portfolio.  So far, 2018 has seen a total of five new Schleich prehistoric animal models, including a very colourful Triceratops and a Psittacosaurus that has won plenty of praise from fossil hunters as well as dinosaur fans.

The Schleich Collectors Booklet Features the New Triceratops Figure

Schleich Triceratops dinosaur model (2018).

The new for 2018 Schleich Triceratops dinosaur model.

Picture Everything Dinosaur

The New for 2018 Schleich Psittacosaurus Figure Has Been Praised

Schleich Psittacosaurus (2018).

New for 2018, the Schleich Psittacosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur is happy to send out the Schleich collectors booklet, we don’t charge for this catalogue, just postage to pay if it is ordered on its own, but if it is requested within an order, then it is just sent out with the other items, no specific postage fee is charged.

To view the range of Schleich dinosaurs and other prehistoric animal items available from Everything Dinosaur: Schleich Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Figures

Lovingly Hand-painted Models

Every single figure made by Schleich is lovingly painted by hand.  The artists take great care and they ensure that each and every replica is produced to the very highest standards.  From the initial “story boarding” for a new model and the preliminary sketches, through to adding the final, finishing touches, the artists and designers at Schleich try their very best to get the prehistoric animal models as accurate as they can whilst still ensuring that the replica is fit for robust, creative play.

Collectors and dinosaur model fans can now pick up the new for 2018 Schleich booklet (January to June) from Everything Dinosaur.

24 01, 2018

Prehistoric Times Magazine Issue 124 Reviewed

By | January 24th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

A Review of Prehistoric Times Magazine (Winter 2018)

It might be cold (and dark) outside but no excuse is necessary when it comes to getting stuck into the latest edition of “Prehistoric Times”, that arrived at our offices a few days ago.  This is the first edition of 2018 and once again, this highly informative publication is jam-packed with news about dinosaur discoveries as well as updates on prehistoric animal models and all the views, interviews and features dinosaur fans have come to expect from this quarterly magazine.

The front cover artwork (provided by the amazingly talented Sergey Krasovskiy), depicts a scene from Hateg Island, a Hispaniola-sized landmass that, along with a few other scattered islands represented the only terrestrial environments in Europe during the Late Cretaceous.  The enormous azhdarchid Pterosaur Hatzegopteryx looms over the partially eaten corpse of an armoured dinosaur (the Nodosaur Struthiosaurus transylvanicus).

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times (Issue 124)

Prehistoric Times issue 124

The front cover of Prehistoric Times (Winter).

Picture Credit: Prehistoric Times/Sergey Krasovskiy

Phil Hore does a fantastic job providing a write up on the bizarre and unique palaeofauna of Hateg Island.  His article also profiles the influential Franz Nopsca, a polymath who did so much to place Romania on the geological map and to document the prehistoric animals of the region.  Everything Dinosaur team members note with interest Phil Hore’s comments about Balaur bondoc.  Once thought to be a Theropod, recent research suggests that the “stocky dragon” could be a flightless bird.  The absence of skull material limits what can be concluded about this enigmatic animal.  With team members preparing a fact sheet on B. bondoc for our launch of the “Beasts of the Mesozoic” model range, we are all too aware of the current identity crisis concerning this unusual biped, Phil Hore summarises the present situation very nicely.

Nopsca may have posited the idea of “insular dwarfism”, but there is nothing small about the amazing dinosaur model collection of William Heinrich.  The winter edition of “Prehistoric Times” features an interview with this passionate collector and it is illustrated with a number of photographs that show the size and scale of the result of a life-time of collecting.  New Zealander, John Lavas provides another article on the astonishing artwork of Zdeněk Burian, this time the focus is on the Therapsida.  Look out for a super article from Tracy Lee Ford that “broadly”outlines the hip structures of a variety of different examples of the Dinosauria and this issue (number 124), includes three tales penned from the imaginations of “Prehistoric Times” readers.

For further information about this magazine and to subscribe: Prehistoric Times Magazine

The Year in Review (2017)

The American palaeontologist Steve Brusatte, currently based at the University of Edinburgh, provides a comprehensive overview of dinosaur and fossil news from 2017.  Everything Dinosaur team members are reading Steve’s new book, all about the rise and fall of the Dinosauria, this book is due to be published in the late spring.  We don’t know how Steve manages to keep up with all his commitments, but we are very glad he did take time out to write this most informative and helpful article.

Sea scorpions, new model news, Mesozoic media, this issue is crammed full of fascinating features, articles and lots and lots of readers’ artwork.   We even spotted an illustration that seems to have been influenced by the Hatzegopteryx drawing the editor, Mike Fredericks, provided for our fact sheet on this Late Cretaceous Pterosaur.

10 01, 2018

Fossils of Folkestone, Kent by Philip Hadland

By | January 10th, 2018|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Geology, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils, Press Releases|0 Comments

A Review of the Fossils of Folkestone, Kent

Fossil collecting is a popular hobby and there are a number of excellent general guide books available.  However, the newly published “Fossils of Folkestone, Kent” by geologist and museum curator Philip Hadland, takes a slightly different perspective.  Instead of focusing on lots of fossil collecting locations, Philip provides a comprehensive overview of just one area of the Kent coast, the beaches and cliffs surrounding the port of Folkestone.  Here is a book that delivers what its title implies, if you want to explore the Gault Clay, Lower Greensand and Chalks around Folkestone then this is the book for you.

The Fossils of Folkestone, Kent by Philip Hadland – A Comprehensive Guide

Fossil collecting guide to the Folkestone area.

Fossils of Folkestone, Kent by Philip Hadland and published by Siri Scientific Press and priced at £12.99 plus postage.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

A Comprehensive Overview of the Geology and the Palaeoenvironment of the Folkestone Area

The author clearly has a tremendous affection for this part of the Kent coast.  His enthusiasm is infectious and the reader is soon dipping into the various chapters, dedicated to the rock formations exposed along the cliffs and the fossil delights to be found within them.  Folkestone is probably most famous for its beautiful Gault Clay ammonites, the clay being deposited around 100 million years ago and a wide variety of these cephalopods can be found preserved in the rocks.  The book contains more than 100 full colour plates, so even the beginner fossil hunter can have a go at identifying their fossil discoveries.

Clear Colour Photographs Help with Fossil Identification

Ammonite fossils from Folkestone (Anahoplites praecox).

Anahoplites praecox fossil from Folkestone.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

Surprises on the Shoreline

The book begins by explaining some of the pleasures of fossil hunting, before briefly outlining a history of fossil collecting in the Folkestone area and introducing some of the colourful characters who were prominent fossil collectors in their day.  The geology of the area is explored using terminology that the general reader can understand and follow, but academics too, will no doubt gain a lot from this publication.  Intriguingly, the Cretaceous-aged sediments were thought to have been deposited in a marine environment, however, the Lower Greensand beds have produced evidence of dinosaur footprints.  The palaeoenvironment seems to have been somewhat more complex than previously thought, the Lower Greensand preserving evidence of inter-tidal mudflats, that were once crossed by dinosaurs.  Isolated dinosaur bones have also been found in the area and the book contains some fantastic photographs of these exceptionally rare fossil discoveries.

Helping to Identify Fossil Finds

Folkestone fossils - ammonites.

Folkestone fossils – ammonites.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

Prehistoric Mammals

To help with identification, the colour plates and accompanying text are organised by main animal groups.  There are detailed sections on bivalves, brachiopods, corals, crustaceans, gastropods, belemnites and ammonites.  There are plenty of photographs of vertebrate fossils too and not just fish and reptiles associated with the Mesozoic.  Pleistocene-aged deposits are found in this area and these preserve the remains of numerous exotic prehistoric animals that once called this part of Kent home.

Fossil Teeth from a Hippopotamus Which Lived in the Folkestone Area During a Warmer Inter-glacial Period

Folkestone fossils - Teeth from a Hippopotamus.

Pleistocene mammal fossils from Folkestone (Hippopotamus upper canine and molar).

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

The author comments that the presence of hippos, along with other large mammals such as elephants as proved by fossil finds, demonstrates how very different Folkestone was just 120,000 years ago.  It is likely that humans were present in the area, evidence of hominins have been found elsewhere in England and in nearby France, but as yet, no indications of human activity or a human presence in this area have been found.  Perhaps, an enthusiastic fossil hunter armed with this guide, will one day discover the fossils or archaeology that demonstrates that people were living in the area and exploiting the abundant food resources that existed.

A Partial Femur from a Large Hippopotamus Provides Testament to the Exotic Pleistocene Fauna

Folkestone fossils - partial femur from a Hippopotamus.

A partial femur (thigh bone) from a Hippopotamus.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

With a foreword by renowned palaeontologist Dean Lomax, “Fossils of Folkestone, Kent” is an essential read for anyone with aspirations regarding collecting fossils on this part of the English coast.  The book, with its weather-proof cover, fits snugly into a backpack and the excellent photographs and text make fossil identification in the field really easy.

If your New Year’s resolution is to get out more to enjoy the wonders of the British countryside, to start fossil hunting, or to visit more fossil collecting locations, then the “Fossils of Folkestone, Kent” by Philip Hadland would be a worthy addition to your book collection.

For further information on this book and to order a copy: Siri Scientific Press On-line

21 12, 2017

Sneak Peek of Prehistoric Times (Issue 124)

By | December 21st, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

The Front Cover of the Next Edition of Prehistoric Times Magazine

Editor Mike Fredericks has sent Everything Dinosaur an image of the front cover of the next issue of Prehistoric Times.  Inside, there is a special article on the fauna of the Hateg Island, an isolated landmass in the middle of the shrinking Tethys Ocean that had a unique ecosystem with giant Pterosaurs such as Hatzegopteryx (H. thambema) the likely apex predators.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times Magazine

Prehistoric Times issue 124

The front cover of Prehistoric Times (Winter).

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks (Prehistoric Times)

Dinosaurs of Romania

The rocks that formed the Cretaceous island are in Romania (Transylvania) and many of the dinosaurs found in these sediments are not found anywhere else.  It was the famous Hungarian palaeontologist Franz Nopcsa who postulated that the finite resources on an island would lead to a reduction in body size for animals over subsequent generations.  Nopcsa proposed a theory called “insular dwarfism”, that over time, island dwellers, due to limited resources such as food and space would become smaller.  This idea is also known as the “island rule”.

Azhdarchid Pterosaurs were capable of flying great distances and therefore, these giants were not constrained by islands.  Giants like Hatzegopteryx have been depicted stalking horsetail groves snatching up dwarf Titanosaurs such as a juvenile Magyarosaurus and swallowing it whole.

Fighting Over the Carcass of a Struthiosaurus

Prehistoric Times issue 124.

Balaur bondoc on the front cover of Prehistoric Times issue 124.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks (Prehistoric Times)

The Unique Palaeofauna of Hateg Island

The close-up view of the cover (above) shows a trio of Theropods fighting over the carcass of an armoured dinosaur.  We suspect the victim is the nodosaurid Struthiosaurus, which at two metres long, typifies the concept of “insular dwarfism”.  The animals fighting over the remains of the plant-eater, we think represent Balaur bondoc, a strange animal known from two specimens.  When first described in 2010, it was thought B. bondoc was a dromaeosaurid, albeit one with two sickle-shaped claws on each foot.  However, recent studies have interpreted it as a large, flightless bird, ironically flightless birds are another natural phenomenon associated with islands.

To read more about the discovery of Balaur bondocThe Stocky Dragon from Hateg Island

We look forward to receiving the next issue of Prehistoric Times.

For more information about this excellent magazine and to enquire about subscribing: Prehistoric Times Magazine

29 10, 2017

Prehistoric Times (Autumn 2017) Reviewed

By | October 29th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

A Review of Issue 123 of Prehistoric Times

Time to get our teeth into Prehistoric Times issue 123 (autumn 2017).  Once again, this quarterly magazine is jam-packed with prehistoric animal fossil news, interviews, reader art, updates on dinosaur models and top-quality articles.  The front cover of the latest edition, features beautiful artwork created by the world-famous palaeoartist and dinosaur aficionado Mark Hallett and inside, there is a comprehensive overview of the Titanosauria produced by Mark in collaboration with renowned palaeontologist Mathew J. Wedel.

The artwork on the front cover depicts a young Rapetosaurus being attacked by a bask* of crocodilians (Majungasuchus).  Mark has imaginatively captured a moment in the Early Cretaceous of Madagascar and eagle-eyed readers will spot the juvenile Majungasuchus, just slightly obscured by the cover text.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times Magazine (Issue Autumn/Fall 2017)

Prehistoric Times issue autumn 2017.

Prehistoric Times issue 123 (autumn 2017).

Picture Credit: Prehistoric Times

What is a bask*?  Well, we learned the other day from a reptile expert (herpetologist), that the collective noun for crocodilians is a bask.

Prehistoric Times is the magazine for dinosaur model fans and collectors, published four times a year, it is a wonderful addition to any prehistoric animal fan’s bookshelf and taking out a subscription would make a terrific Christmas present.

For more information on Prehistoric Times magazine and to subscribe: Prehistoric Times Magazine

The Azhdarchidae and the Ceratosaurus Genus

The featured prehistoric animals in this issue are the enigmatic and spectacular azhdarchids, plus the Late Jurassic superstar Ceratosaurus.  Lots of amazing reader artwork has been submitted (note to self, we must ask Mike Fredericks (editor), whether there is a collective noun for reader submitted art).  Our favourite flying reptile illustrations include Quetzalcoatlus by Eivind Bovor and Sergey Krasovskiy’s fantastic Zhejiangopterus along with the montage from Julio Garza.  When it comes to Ceratosaurus, it is brilliant to see the work of our chum Luis Rey, included amongst the submitted pictures.  The artwork created by Bob Nicholls as part of the Natural History Museum’s Stegosaurus “Sophie” exhibit is also shown.  The Ceratosaurus in Bob’s beautiful image has just received a hefty whack from a thagomizer.  Look out for an image of Bob himself in the article by Allen A. Debus that concludes his look at how palaeo-images have advanced as new scientific breakthroughs occur.  Allen examines the work of Bob Nicholls on Psittacosaurus countershading, the fossil material lucky members of Everything Dinosaur got the chance to view in Germany, but we have yet to see Bob’s Psittacosaurus up close, described by many as “the most accurate dinosaur model ever made”.

A Typical Member of the Azhdarchidae – Hatzegopteryx

Hatzegopteryx drawing.

Huge Pterosaur – Hatzegopteryx drawing.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur / Mike Fredericks

More Burian – This Time Pelycosaurs

John Lavas continues his exploration of the artwork of the influential  Zdeněk Burian, an artist and palaeo illustrator from Czechoslovakia.  This time, the author focuses on Burian’s interpretation of the Pelycosaurs – plenty of sail-backs on display and wonderful illustrations of Permian landscapes.  Look out for the second part of the autobiography of palaeoartist John Gurche, in this concluding part, John talks about his work on early hominins and this article is beautifully illustrated with numerous images.  Issue 123, also features the second and final part of Tracy Lee Ford’s most illuminating feature on Ceratopsian pathology, there are certainly plenty of bruised and battered Centrosaurines included in this well-written piece.

Eofauna Steppe Mammoth

Page 34 of 62 showcases the spectacular Eofauna Steppe Mammoth model, a replica that Everything Dinosaur has had a role in bringing this stunning figure to a wider audience.  Mike Fredericks summarises the model’s development very nicely.

The Eofauna Steppe Mammoth Makes its Debut in Issue 123

The Eofauna Scientific research 1:40 scale Steppe Mammoth model.

The Eofauna Scientific research Steppe Mammoth model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the Eofauna Steppe Mammoth for sale at Everything Dinosaur: Eofauna Scientific Research Models

Watch out for a balanced article on the role of commercial fossil hunters by Zach Fitzner and a fun piece penned by Robert Telleria that continues his examination of dinosaurs in recorded music – Led Zeppelin covers and all.

For further information on this excellent magazine and to subscribe: Prehistoric Times Magazine

2 08, 2017

A Review of “Recreating an Age of Reptiles”

By | August 2nd, 2017|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

“Recreating an Age of Reptiles” by Mark Witton

Visit a museum to marvel at the fossils of dinosaurs or the majesty of the prehistoric mammals on display and in all likelihood, the scientific exhibits will be accompanied by illustrations that depict how the animal may have looked when it lived and breathed.  The art of bringing to life long extinct creatures requires a very special set of skills, an understanding of comparative anatomy, an ability to interpret fossil evidence combined with the flair to create credible portrayals of the past.  These “palaeoartists”, those who attempt to reconstruct prehistoric life, are a rare breed.  Top-quality palaeoartists are even rarer.  Step forward Dr Mark Witton, a leading exponent of palaeoartistry, a person with the required skill set to comfortably straddle both scientific and artistic worlds.

An insight to how Mark depicts landscapes along with the ancient animals and plants that once existed within them is provided in a fascinating new book – “Recreating an Age of Reptiles”.  The publication focuses on the Mesozoic Era and highlights the way in which this talented illustrator recreates prehistoric fauna and flora.

The Front Cover of “Recreating an Age of Reptiles” by Mark Witton

"Recreating an Age of Reptiles" front cover.

The front cover of “Recreating an Age of Reptiles” by Mark Witton.

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

The Art of Illustrating What No Human Being has ever Seen!

From the lumbering Barilium dawsoni (an iguanodontid), adorning the front cover, to the swimming pair of Plesiosaurs that appear just prior to the comprehensive index, this book is crammed full of wonderful illustrations that cover that immense period of geological time from the Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous.  Over ninety beautiful and extremely detailed paintings are featured and the author provides an insight into each one, explaining how inferred behaviours are portrayed.   From sunbathing troodontids, through to a remodelling of Dimorphodon and accident-prone Theropods, Mark’s unique style helps to bring to life dinosaurs and their contemporaries and depict them as animals interacting with their environments and the other fauna and flora that co-existed with them.  It is truly a rare gift being able to provide a glimpse into long vanished worlds, that no human has ever witnessed.

Big Meat-eating Dinosaurs Did Not Have Everything Their Own Way!

The Theropod Aucasaurus slips and falls.

When Theropods go wrong! Aucasaurus takes a tumble.

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

Published by The Crowood Press “Recreating an Age of Reptiles” is just one of those “must-haves” for anyone with an interest in dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.  For further information and to purchase this book: Recreating the Age of Reptiles by Mark Witton

Palaeontologist and Palaeoartist Combined

Dr Witton might be best known for his work on the Pterosauria and there are a number of flying reptile illustrations in this book, (look out for the iconic azhdarchid/giraffe comparisons), but it is his attention to detail and the way in which Mark utilises his observations of animals alive today that elevate these illustrations above those of fellow artists.  For example, there are many different interpretations of Baryonyx (B. walkeri), but Mark chooses to recreate this gigantic piscivore muscling in on a prime fishing spot at the expense of a group of ancient crocodilians, in a similar way that a large lion might oust a group of Nile crocodiles from the water’s edge.

Baryonyx Makes an Entrance

Baryonyx walkeri strides through a swamp watched by wary Goniopholis.

Baryonyx walkeri by Mark Witton.

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

The book is divided into a series of chapters, with each one focusing on a different aspect of Mark’s work and a different group of prehistoric creatures.  Amongst Everything Dinosaur team members, personal highlights include the chapter on how Mesozoic mammals are depicted and the section that brings to life some of the more bizarre reptiles that lived during the Triassic.

Dr Witton concludes by reflecting on how palaeoart has evolved and changed to accommodate new ideas and scientific thinking and admits that many, if not all of his own sumptuous artworks may have to be altered and redrawn as new scientific evidence is presented.  Palaeoart reflects our changing perceptions of prehistoric life.  The way we depict ancient landscapes changes as science itself changes and new ideas and theories find favour.  Mark is comfortable straddling the scientific and artistic worlds, he is equally at home depicting moments in the lives of long extinct creatures, snapshots into the evolution of life on Earth as palaeoart itself evolves.

Book Details

“Recreating an Age of Reptiles”

ISBN: 978-1-78500-334-9

Pages: 112

Publisher: The Crowood Press

Release date: July 2017 (RRP = £16.99)

To purchase a copy: Recreating the Age of Reptiles by Mark Witton

20 07, 2017

Prehistoric Times Issue 122 Reviewed

By | July 20th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page, Prehistoric Times|0 Comments

Prehistoric Times (Summer 2017) Reviewed

Time for another “Prehistoric Times” magazine review and this issue (summer 2017), is as packed as a palaeontologist’s rucksack after a successful day of fossil hunting!  The front cover features a rearing Sauropod image, one of the amazing prehistoric scenes created by the remarkable John Gurche, a paleoartist, whose work has adorned many museums around the world and numerous dinosaur books.  Inside, John provides an insight into how he started his career at the Smithsonian Institute and his involvement with Steven Spielberg and “Jurassic Park”.  The concluding part of this most informative article will be featured in issue 123.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times (Summer 2017)

Prehistoric Times (issue 122)

The front cover of Prehistoric Times (summer 2017).

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

One Hundred Not Out

Regular contributor Tracy Lee Ford reaches a landmark with issue 122.  Inside the magazine, readers will discover his 100th, “How to Draw Dinosaurs” article.  It is part one, of a series that looks at pathology preserved in fossils – everything from fused metatarsals to the damage caused by a Stegosaur’s thagomizer.  Everything Dinosaur congratulates the author on reaching this milestone and a special thank you for taking the time and trouble to include some excellent images showing the damaged skull of the Tyrannosaur known as “Stan”.

The Cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex (Stan) BHI3033 on Display at Manchester Museum

T. rex specimen (cast)

The pathology of “Stan” is explained by Tracy Lee Ford.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Edmontosaurus and Kronosaurus

Phil Hore delves into the deep blue sea to discuss the fearsome predator Kronosaurus and takes us back onto land (Laramidia) to update readers on the large, Late Cretaceous Hadrosaur Edmontosaurus.  Both articles incorporate lots of reader submitted artwork, it is fascinating to see how the concept of a soft “comb” on Edmontosaurus has been adopted by numerous artists.  Amongst our favourites is the stylised illustration of Edmontosaurus sent in by Meg Bernstein, the skeletal drawing showing head and neck movement by John Sibbick and the beautifully detailed composition of Kronosaurus by long-time customer of Everything Dinosaur Luis Rey.

Prehistoric Times magazine is the magazine for fans of prehistoric animals and dinosaur models.  Published four times a year, it’s a great way to stay in touch with developments in the world of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.

For further information about the magazine and to subscribe: Prehistoric Times Magazine

The First Dinosaur Films

Long before John Gurche’s collaboration with Steven Spielberg, prehistoric animals had already featured in numerous dinosaur films and an article by Sylvia Czerkas tells the story of one of the early pioneers of dinosaurs in the movies, Major Herbert M. Dawley.  One of the great things about “Prehistoric Times” is the breadth of the articles for example, in addition to the regular book reviews, updates on palaeontology, replica news, classifieds and such like, Allen A. Debus expounds on the developments in how ancient landscapes are depicted and editor Mike Fredericks, even manages to find room to squeeze in a couple of drawings from Allen’s grandson Tyler.

Daspletosaurus Attacks Styracosaurus (John Gurche)

Daspletosaurus fighting a horned dinosaur.

Tyrannosaur fighting a horned dinosaur.

The picture above shows one of the spectacular artworks by John Gurche which can be seen in the latest edition of “Prehistoric Times” magazine.

Our thanks to all the contributors and a special mention to Steve Kelley for the extremely well-written article on his collection of Aurora Prehistoric Scenes kits.  That’s a fantastic collection you have their Steve and a very special thank you for including the “Jungle Swamp” images.

6 05, 2017

New Children’s Dinosaur Book “Thomas T. rex”

By | May 6th, 2017|Book Reviews, Educational Activities, Main Page|0 Comments

Mum Inspired to Write Dinosaur Story Books

Nicole Mills has a background in publishing, so when she took an interest in her son’s dinosaur obsession, photographing him with his various prehistoric animal models and toys, her mind began to wonder how she could help other children share his fascination for these long extinct creatures.  Mum and son’s imaginations were certainly sparked, whilst Henry made up stories about his dinosaurs, Nicole decided to turn these into a series of dinosaur themed story books, aimed at young readers.

Nicole Mills and Son Henry

Dino-Mom and Dino-Boy

Nicole with Henry (dinosaur toys).

Picture Credit: Lavide (Phoenix)

Ideas can come from all kinds of places, you never quite know when inspiration will strike.  When Henry told his mum that he needed a detective to solve a dinosaur mystery, the idea of publishing a series of dinosaur detective story books was born.

“Dinosaur Detective: Thomas T. rex and the Case of the Angry Ankylosaurus”, is the first title, in which detective “Thomas the T. rex” attempts to solve the riddle of some disappearing ferns by following a set of clues including some dinosaur footprints.  The press release provided with the inspection copy that was sent to Everything Dinosaur, states that children will be exposed to valuable life skills such as problem solving and the power of emotions, whilst the humour within the simple text will keep adult readers entertained.

Reading Together

Studies have shown that if parents enjoy reading and have a house filled with lots of books, then their children are more likely to become avid readers too.  Immersing children in literacy activities at an early age can help them gain confidence with their own reading and writing.  Exposure to books, with parents taking time to read to their offspring will help the child develop a bigger vocabulary and assist with spelling.  The large font and the adoption of a simple rhyming motif make the words in this story book very accessible for young children, although parents and guardians on this side of the Atlantic might struggle with the American spelling, “armor” and “favorite” being cases in point.

Creative, Imaginative Play can Help Children Prepare for Formal Education

Tyrannosaurus rex model and a young dinosaur fan.

T. rex model and a young dinosaur fan.

Picture Credit: Schleich

“Dinosaur Detective: Thomas T. rex and the Case of the Angry Ankylosaurus” is the debut book in this series, the author hopes to publish one book for each letter of the alphabet, after all, enough dinosaurs have been named and described to easily fill an alphabetical list.  The tone and text of this book accommodates aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), elements of the English national curriculum.  For example, within the statutory framework of the English national curriculum, literacy is a priority, with children being encouraged to link sounds and letters and to commence reading and writing independently.  The framework stipulates that children should be given access to a wide range of reading materials including poems to help ignite their interest.

Actual Dinosaur Models Feature in the Stories

Observant children will be able to recognise several of their dinosaur and prehistoric animal toys within the book.  For example, illustrations of the eponymous hero “Thomas the T. rex” suggests to us that the Papo brown standing T. rex dinosaur figure plays the detective role in Henry’s imaginative tales.  Using familiar models will help young readers to buy into the story, they can even recreate some of the story lines themselves (as well as inventing a few new ones).

The Papo Standing Tyrannosaurus rex Model (Brown)

Papo T.r ex figures.

The Papo brown T. rex figure with the Papo baby Tyrannosaurus rex.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Available from Archway Publishing Online Bookstore: “Dinosaur Detective – Thomas T. rex and the Case of the Angry Ankylosaurus”

ISBN: 978-1-4808-3766-9 (soft cover) or hardback version 978-1-4808-3767-6 and in addition, a downloadable E-book is available.

Author, Nicole commented:

“It’s important for children and parents to read, play and discover together, so what better way to do it than with dinosaurs?  Through Henry’s obsession with dinosaurs, he has not only learned an encyclopaedic wealth of information, but I have too.”

We wish mum and son the very best of luck and we hope that “Thomas the T.rex” is able to crack all his cases.

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