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

17 10, 2018

Looking Forward to “Prehistoric Times” (Autumn 2018)

By | October 17th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

Issue 127 of “Prehistoric Times” Heading to Everything Dinosaur

Team members have been reliably informed that the next edition of the amazing “Prehistoric Times” magazine is in the post and heading towards our offices.  The next issue (autumn 2018, or as our American friends would say fall 2018), will be with us in a few days.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times Magazine Issue 127

Prehistoric Times issue 127 (fall).

Prehistoric Times issue 127 (autumn 2018).

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks (Prehistoric Times)

Rajasaurus Features on the Front Cover

The powerful, Late Cretaceous predator of the Indian sub-continent Rajasaurus features on the front cover.  Rajasaurus (R. narmadensis) was formally named and described in 2003.  It is a member of the enigmatic and bizarre abelisaurids and we look forward to reading more about this large carnivore in the forthcoming edition of “Prehistoric Times”.  Specifically, we hope to learn more about any thoughts on niche partitioning between Rajasaurus and the contemporary Indosuchus, another large abelisaurid that co-existed with “princely lizard”.

A Scale Drawing of Rajasaurus narmadensis

Scale drawing of Rajasaurus.

Probably an apex predator in its environment – but how did it interact with Indosuchus?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Getting Our Teeth into Megalodon

One of the must see films of last summer was “Meg” starring Jason Statham and a population of giant prehistoric sharks.  The author of the novel on which the film was based, Steve Alten, is interviewed and we can look forward to hearing more about the marine reptiles that inspired the artwork of the famous Czech illustrator and palaeoartist Zdeněk Burian.  In issue 127, New Zealander John Lavas, provides part 10 of his long running series, this time the focus is on Burian’s depiction of plesiosaurs and pliosaurs (Plesiosauria).

“Prehistoric Times” is published four times a year and it has built up a strong reputation for its superb articles, illustrations and reader submitted artwork.  It is highly regarded by many dinosaur fans and model collectors from all over the world.

To learn more about the magazine and to subscribe: Prehistoric Times Magazine

The autumn edition of “Prehistoric Times” will also feature the “shovel-tusked” member of the Proboscidea – Platybelodon.  We look forward to Phil Hore’s article on this distant relative to extant elephants.  For much of the 20th Century, most palaeontologists thought that Platybelodon lived in swamps, but analysis of tooth wear patterns suggested that this sizeable beast fed on tough, coarse vegetation.  It is now thought that Platybelodon was an animal of relatively open, grassland and scrubland environments.  We shall have to wait for the arrival of the magazine to find out the latest information and scientific evidence.

10 09, 2018

“Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction”

By | September 10th, 2018|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

“Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction”

Our thanks to the generous staff of Columbia University Press who kindly sent into our office an inspection copy of a new book entitled “Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction” written by George R. McGhee Jr.

This well-written text documents the amazing biology, botany and geography of our planet in the Late Palaeozoic, a world of giant ice sheets, huge continents and bizarre ancient forests that harboured an array of super-sized invertebrates as well as amphibian predators the size of modern alligators.

The Late Carboniferous – Exploring the Late Palaeozoic

A new book on the Palaeozoic by George R. McGhee Junior.

“Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction” – a guide to a long extinct prehistoric world.

Picture Credit: Columbia University Press

Tropical Forests, a “Hot House” Equator and a Late Palaeozoic Ice Age

Life during the Palaeozoic consisted of a series of extremes.  Many readers will be familiar with the huge insects that inhabited the Carboniferous forests, arguably the first complex terrestrial ecosystems to develop on our planet.  The bizarre, tree-sized club mosses and horsetails, formed a backdrop to a dense undergrowth that was home to three-metre-long Arthropods and dog-sized scorpions as well as giant spiders that fed on small vertebrates.  In the air, the first winged insects had evolved and they were giants, such as Meganeura, with a wingspan of around seventy centimetres.  The land and seas surrounding the equator were so hot (temperatures exceeding forty degrees Celsius), that vast tracts of our Earth was virtually devoid of life.  Sitting over the South Pole was a huge landmass, on which the largest tropical forests to have ever existed, as well as some the biggest ice sheets to have ever formed, could be found.

Insects of the Carboniferous

A carboniferous scene.

By the Carboniferous the insects were already highly diversified and some of the Arthropoda were huge.

Picture Credit: Richard Bizley

The author, George R. McGhee Junior, is a distinguished professor of palaeobiology at Rutgers University (New Jersey, USA) and has held prominent research positions at a number of world-renowned institutions including the American Museum of Natural History in New York.  McGhee explores our strange planet in the Late Carboniferous and investigates the consequences of an intense and prolonged period of glaciation.  He examines ancient climate change and examines the fascinating flora and fauna that dominated our planet, before reflecting on the circumstances that was to lead to the greatest period of mass extinction recorded in the Phanerozoic (the Eon of “visible life”).

Highly recommended.

Find “Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction” by George R. McGhee Jr at the Columbia University Press site: Columbia University Press

22 07, 2018

Prehistoric Times Issue 126 Reviewed

By | July 22nd, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page, Prehistoric Times|0 Comments

A Review of Prehistoric Times (Summer 2018)

The latest issue of Prehistoric Times, the magazine for dinosaur fans and prehistoric model collectors has arrived at the Everything Dinosaur offices.  Issue 126 came with a little bit extra, one of the stamps on the carefully prepared envelope to ensure safe despatch from America and arrival in the UK, had a scratch and sniff element.  This edition of Prehistoric Times came with a hint of strawberries!

Our thanks to the sender for highlighting this feature for us, we probably would have missed it.

On the subject of features, issue 126 is crammed full of top-class articles and features.  The front cover depicts a painting of a Nothosaur by the influential Czech artist Zdeněk Burian.  John Lavas builds on his piece incorporated into issue 125 on Burian’s Ichthyosaurs, writing about Placodonts, Nothosaurs and primitive turtles.

The Front Cover of Issue 126 Features a Nothosaur

Prehistoric Times magazine (summer 2018)

Prehistoric Times magazine (issue 126).  The front cover features a Nothosaur.

Picture Credit: Prehistoric Times (Summer 2018)

Wendiceratops, Cynognathus and Dunkleosteus

This issue covers not two but three prehistoric animals.  Phil Hore treats us to a run down on Wendiceratops, a Centrosaurine named in 2015.  To read Everything Dinosaur’s article about the discovery of Wendiceratops: Wendiceratops pinhornensis from Southern Alberta, in addition Phil has penned a most informative article on Cynognathus, a bizarre Triassic critter that has been studied for more than 120 years, still there is lots more to learn about this therapsid.  Matt Bille describes that Devonian delight Dunkleosteus, so there are Placodonts and Placoderms in the summer 2018 edition.

Dunkleosteus terrelli – First King of the Ocean

The CollectA Dunkleosteus

The CollectA 1:20 scale Dunkleosteus replica which was introduced in 2018.  Dunkleosteus described by Matt Bille as the “first king of the ocean”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Look out for some amazing reader’s artwork that accompanies these articles.  Special mentions to Meg Berstein, Kevin Hedgpeth and Jake Walsh (Wendiceratops), Jorge Blanco, Giovanni De Benedictis and John Sibbick for their contributions to the Cynognathus piece.  The editor of Prehistoric Times magazine gets so many pictures from readers that an entire page (page 7), of this issue is allocated to showcasing some of the work that has been submitted.

An Interview with Palaeontologist Dr Thomas Carr

Expert on the Tyrannosauroidea, vertebrate palaeontologist Dr Thomas Carr discusses T. rex and makes the case for a new species of Daspletosaurus, as well as explaining the trend for reduced arms in Late Cretaceous Theropods in what is a most in-depth and interesting interview.  In Tracy Lee Ford’s excellent regular slot, Tyrannosaurus rex takes centre stage and the writer describes how to reconstruct the body of the most famous dinosaur of all from the tip of the snout down to the last caudal vertebra.

Dr Thomas Carr Discusses Daspletosaurus

Skull and jaws of D. horneri with line drawings.

Views of the skull and jaws of the holotype fossil material (D. horneri).

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

To read Everything Dinosaur’s article about a new species of Daspletosaurus being announced: New Species of Daspletosaurus – D. horneri

Dino Gardens and Prehistoric Zoo

Editor Mike Fredericks discusses what’s new in the world of prehistoric animal and model collections as well as covering new book releases.  He has also found time in his very congested diary to write about the history of Ossineke’s Prehistoric Zoo, an early version of a dinosaur theme park that was the work of artist and dinosaur enthusiast Paul N. Domke.  The black and white photographs showing some of the models are exquisite, look carefully and you can read some of the original notes written on the photos.

Allen Debus writes about two influential dinosaur books, plus there is an update on new fossil discoveries, a step-by-step guide in Wendiceratops model building and a fascinating piece on the history of a single replica series written by Robert Telleria.

There is certainly a lot to commend this edition and Everything Dinosaur recommends that dinosaur fans and model collectors subscribe to this quarterly publication.

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

30 04, 2018

Prehistoric Times Issue 125 Reviewed

By | April 30th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|1 Comment

Prehistoric Times Magazine Spring 2018 Reviewed

The latest edition of Prehistoric Times, the quarterly magazine for fans of dinosaurs and collectors of prehistoric animal models, has arrived at Everything Dinosaur.  A veritable cornucopia of long extinct creatures is included in issue 125, from the false sabre-toothed cat Barbourofelis, to giant Titanosaurs (Patagotitan), Burian’s Ichthyosaurs, Tracy’s Tyrannosaurus rex and a dramatic Pleistocene tar pit diorama with a Smilodon feeding on a trapped Mastodon.

The Front Cover of Issue 125 Features Barbourofelis

Prehistoric Times magazine (spring 2018).

The front cover of Prehistoric Times magazine (issue 125).

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks/Photograph by Everything Dinosaur

The artwork for the front cover was provided by the talented Spanish, palaeoartist Mauricio Anton and this issue features lots of reader art too.  A special mention to Phil Wilson for a superb depiction of a pair of Carnotaurus causing mayhem and a big dinosaur thumbs-up to Marcus  Burkhardt for highlighting Mesozoic plant life with a beautiful illustration of a cycad (Cycadeoidea family).   Cycads were globally distributed during the Age of Dinosaurs, the contributors to this, the 25th anniversary edition of Prehistoric Times, are also spread world-wide with articles from New Zealanders, residents of Brazil, Englishmen, Canadians and an interview with the American palaeontologist Steve Brusatte, currently based at Edinburgh University (Scotland).

Patagotitan Profiled

The huge Titanosaur Patagotitan (P. mayorum) is profiled in this issue.  Phil Hore does an excellent job on telling the story of one of the largest terrestrial animals known to science, yet another giant from South America.  Look out for the interview with palaeontologist Steve Brusatte, which along with Tracy Lee Ford’s feature on illustrating T. rex is a highlight of this edition.

The Giant Titanosaur Patagotitan Features in Issue 125

Patagotitan mayorum at the American Museum of Natural History (New York).

Titanosaur exhibit (Patagotitan mayorum).

Picture Credit: D. Finnin/American Museum of Natural History

For further information about the magazine and details on how to subscribe to Prehistoric Times: Subscribe to Prehistoric Times Magazine

Silver Jubilee Edition

The spring edition of Prehistoric Times marks twenty-five years of publication.  A lot has happened in palaeontology and dinosaur model making since this magazine first came out in 1993.  Some of these developments are covered in the Mesozoic media section, which includes an excellent review of “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs” penned by Steve Brusatte.  The latest fossil finds and dinosaur discoveries are collated in the “Paleonews” section and there is the first part of a series of articles about prehistoric animals that have featured on stamps by Jon Noad.  British model collector Mike Howgate outlines the origins and the evolution of the Dinocrats range of toys.

Tucking in to Prehistoric Times

The first edition of "Prehistoric Times".

Subscribe to “Prehistoric Times”.

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

As always, this issue of the magazine is jam-packed with lots of fantastic articles, illustrations, news and features.  A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented on the silver jubilee of Prehistoric Times.

“Our congratulations to everyone who has contributed to Prehistoric Times magazine.  We are looking forward to reading the 50th year anniversary issue.”

24 04, 2018

Congratulations to Prehistoric Times Magazine

By | April 24th, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

Twenty-Five Years of Prehistoric Times Magazine

Congratulations to Prehistoric Times magazine it has just published issue number 125 (Spring 2018).  The 125th edition of this quarterly publication marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of this magazine, a firm favourite amongst dinosaur fans and model collectors.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times (Issue 125)

Prehistoric Times magazine (spring 2018).

The front cover of Prehistoric Times magazine (issue 125).

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks/Prehistoric Times

Just Arrived in the Mail

Everything Dinosaur’s copy has just arrived in the post and we are looking forward to publishing a full review of this issue in the very near future.

For a review of the previous edition (winter 2017): Everything Dinosaur Reviews Prehistoric Times Magazine (issue 124)

A lot has happened in the fields of palaeontology, fossil hunting and prehistoric animal model production since the magazine’s first issue was published way back in 1993, but the magazine continues to act as forum for palaeoartists to highlight their work.  The front cover features a pair of squabbling Barbourofelis, an illustration by the amazingly talented Mauricio Anton.  Over the years, a large number of world-renowned palaeoartists have had their work grace the front cover of Prehistoric Times.  The front covers are a real “who’s who” in this specialist area of artwork.  Don’t let the image of the Barbourofelis duel on the front cover, fool you.  Just because the genus Barbourofelis (false Sabre-Toothed cat), was endemic to North America, do not think this magazine is only for those who reside in the USA and Canada.  The publication has a world-wide (and growing) readership.

Celebrating 25 Years – Prehistoric Times Magazine

Prehistoric Times Silver Jubilee Edition.

Prehistoric Times magazines celebrates 25 years.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks/Prehistoric Times

Prehistoric Times Magazine

The magazine is aimed at prehistoric animal enthusiasts and collectors of dinosaur merchandise.  Every full colour issue has around sixty pages and it includes updates on the latest research, news and reviews of models and model kits plus interviews with artists and palaeontologists.  Readers can submit their own dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed artwork and illustrations too.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We congratulate Prehistoric Times magazine for reaching this landmark.  We do appreciate how much work is involved in producing this quarterly bulletin.  We would like to thank all those involved in its production and we wish all the staff and contributors every success.  We are looking forward to another twenty-five years of Prehistoric Times.”

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

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|2 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

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