All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
/Book Reviews

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

19 02, 2019

“The Dinosaurs Rediscovered” – New Book About Dinosaurs

By | February 19th, 2019|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Press Releases|0 Comments

“The Dinosaurs Rediscovered” – New Book About Dinosaurs

Everything Dinosaur has received an uncorrected proof of the eagerly awaited new dinosaur book by Professor Michael Benton.  Team members are looking forward to reading about how research into the Dinosauria has been revolutionised over the last two decades or so.  Professor Benton is one of the leading lights in vertebrate palaeontology and has written over fifty books covering a wide range of prehistoric animals and events from deep time.  As the head of the world-renowned Palaeobiology Research Group at the University of Bristol, Professor Benton has been involved in and led some of the most insightful and ground-breaking studies into the dinosaurs, helping to re-write scientific understanding.

“The Dinosaurs Rediscovered” – Exploring the Revolution in Dinosaur Research

A new dinosaur book "The Dinosaurs Rediscovered".

“The Dinosaurs Rediscovered” by Professor Mike Benton.

Picture Credit: Thames & Hudson/Everything Dinosaur

The Changing Story of the Dinosaurs

The book runs to 336 pages with 163 illustrations (23 in colour), it explores the changing story of the dinosaurs, highlighting how the application of 21st Century technologies have revealed new information about these remarkable reptiles, information that had been locked deep inside their fossilised bones and teeth.  Trace fossils are also explored in detail and Professor Benton demonstrates how biomechanical engineering combines with computer modelling and digital dinosaurs to calculate how fast Theropod dinosaurs could run.  The work of the famous Bristol Dinosaur Project is covered and naturally, Bristol’s very own dinosaur Thecodontosaurus (T. antiquus) is included, but Professor Benton does not just feature dinosaurs from the south-west of England, this impressive publication provides a global perspective on the Dinosauria.  This beautifully written book includes chapters on feathered dinosaurs and even explores whether dinosaur DNA could be used to resurrect the Dinosauria.

The Book includes Chapters on Feathered Dinosaurs and Explores Whether Dinosaur DNA could be Found Preserved in Amber

Feathered dinosaur illustration.

An illustration of the feathered dinosaur, about to become stuck in amber.  Professor Mike Benton introduces the reader to some amazing recent dinosaur discoveries.

Picture Credit: Cheung Chung-Tat

An Engaging Account

This is an engaging account of the evolution of the “terrible lizards” and is aimed at readers with a general interest in life in the past as well as academics and students.  Fans of prehistoric animals and dinosaur devotees don’t have to wait too long before this book is published.  The hardback is due out on April 25th (published by Thames and Hudson).

The Front Cover of Professor Benton’s New Book

"The Dinosaurs Rediscovered".

The jacket cover of the new book about dinosaurs “The Dinosaurs Rediscovered”.

Picture Credit: Thames & Hudson

3 02, 2019

In Praise of “Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction”

By | February 3rd, 2019|Adobe CS5, Book Reviews, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Main Page|1 Comment

A Guide to the Late Palaeozoic Ice Age World

Long journeys and hours waiting around in train stations and airport terminals have been made bearable thanks to an excellent book written by George R. McGhee Junior, a Distinguished Professor of Palaeobiology at Rutgers University.  The book is “Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction”.  At this time of year, Everything Dinosaur team members seem to have to undertake a lot of travelling, what with their project work and teaching commitments, this eminently informative and enjoyable book has proved a worthy travelling companion.

The Front Cover of “Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction”

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

“Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction” an excellent book that explains the science behind our knowledge of the Carboniferous flora and fauna and explores the impact of the End-Permian mass extinction event.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Front Cover Artwork by Richard Bizley

Artwork by Richard Bizley

One of the ironies of having read this book from cover to cover is that we have only just noticed that the front cover artwork showing a typical Late Carboniferous rainforest dominated by lycophyte scale trees, giant horsetails such as Calamites and marattialean tree ferns, was produced by our dear friend Richard Bizley.  Richard is a highly respected artist, he produces exquisite prehistoric scenes as well as landscapes and science fiction illustrations.  The huge millipede in the foreground is Arthropleura armata, which is estimated to have grown in excess of three metres long.  This giant arthropod is illustrated inside the book too, Mary Persis Williams, another highly respected scientific illustrator, shows the scale of A. armata by comparing it to an extant American Alligator (A. mississippiensis).

To read Everything Dinosaur’s review of this beautifully crafted book: Our Review of “Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction”

An Insight into an Alien World

Life on Earth in the Carboniferous and Permian was very different from ecosystems today.  As well as the giant arthropods found in terrestrial and marine environments, there were alien-looking plants and bizarre vertebrates some of which (synapsids), were the distant ancestors of mammals.  Top predators in the Carboniferous forests and Early Permian swamps included salamander-like amphibian batrachomorphs such as the monstrous Eryops megacephalus,  which grew to more than two metres in length and was capable of swallowing a small child whole (if humans had lived in the Palaeozoic).

An Illustration of Eryops megacephalus (Scale Drawing)

Eryops megacephalus scale drawing.

A scale drawing of Eryops.

Picture Credit: Mary Persis Williams with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

Published by Columbia University Press, “Carboniferous Giants and Mass Extinction” makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of ancient environments and the incredible plants and animals that once inhabited the Earth. It can be found here: Columbia University Press

For more information about the artwork and illustrations of Richard Bizley: Richard Bizley Art

27 01, 2019

Prehistoric Times Issue 128 Reviewed

By | January 27th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

Prehistoric Times Issue 128 Reviewed

The latest edition of “Prehistoric Times”, the quarterly magazine for fans of dinosaurs and prehistoric animal figures has arrived at Everything Dinosaur.  Issue 128 is jam-packed with features, articles and stories, there’s even a summary of recent dinosaur fossil discoveries and research.  This provides an opportunity to catch up with Saltriovenator, Tratayenia and Crittendenceratops – all new species of dinosaur.  In the winter 2018 edition, the focus is on celebrating the 100th anniversary of the trilogy of prehistoric animal themed novels by the acclaimed American author Edgar Rice Burroughs (The Caspak Trilogy).

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times Pays Tribute to Edgar Rice Burroughs

Prehistoric Times magazine issue 128.

The front cover of “Prehistoric Times” magazine issue 128 (winter 2019), marks the 100th anniversary of the book “The Land that Time Forgot”.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

The Caspak Trilogy

The three titles “The Land that Time Forgot”, “The People that Time Forgot” and “Out of Time’s Abyss”, collectively referred to as the Caspak Trilogy, after the prehistoric island where much of the action was set, are celebrated in the magazine.  Lots of readers have provided illustrations and artwork to celebrate the centenary.  The front cover artwork was created by Joshua Ballze and Phil Hore’s excellent article includes numerous illustrations, of which, for us, the contributions of Mike Landry really stand out.  Renowned Canadian palaeontologist, Phil Currie provides a perspective on the prehistoric animals within the novels and Allen Debus continues the science-fiction author theme with an article that compares and contrasts the work of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells.

Beautiful Trilobite Fossils

It might be cold and dark outside, but readers are transported to the high Atlas mountains of Morocco in a well-penned feature by Sergio Luis Fica Biston that showcases the stunning Trilobite fossils that can be found in the ancient rocks that surround the small town of Elnif.  Finding the fossil is the start of a painstaking and long process of fossil preparation.  Some individual specimens can take upwards of thirty hours to prepare before they are ready to be put on display.

A Stunning Moroccan Trilobite Fossil

The art of Trilobite fossil preparation.

A beautifully prepared Trilobite specimen from Morocco.

Picture Credit: Sergio Luiz Fica Biston

“T” is for Triceratops

Tracy Lee Ford discusses the anatomy of Triceratops and provides a guide to scientific illustration.  Torosaurus is covered too, along with a helpful illustration of the fused cervical vertebrae, a characteristic shared by all Ceratopsians and an explanation of the differences between the hand (manus) and feet (pes) of these horned dinosaurs.  The article concludes with an updated life restoration of “three horned face”.  Cress Kearny introduces part two of the article demonstrating the beauty and wonder of agatised dinosaur bones and stamp collecting fans have the chance to brush-up on their prehistoric animal themed stamp knowledge with a well-crafted feature on dinosaur stamps of the 1970’s.

The Golden Age of Palaeo-art – Burian

Issue 128 also includes part eleven of the comprehensive overview of the work of the Czech illustrator Zdeněk Burian by John Lavas.  In the previous issue of “Prehistoric Times” how the Plesiosauria were portrayed was covered, this edition focuses on the Mosasauridae.

A Vibrant Dynamic Depiction of the Western Interior Seaway

The Western Interior Seaway (Late Cretaceous)

Dramatic scene from the Western Interior Seaway painted by Burian.

Picture Credit: Zdeněk Burian

Purchasers of the magazine will also have the chance to see pictures of new prehistoric animal model releases as well as to read an article all about Sabre-toothed cats including the Nimravidae by John Tuttle and there are lots and lots of reader submitted artworks to admire.

For further information about “Prehistoric Times” and to subscribe: Subscribe to Prehistoric Times Magazine

12 01, 2019

Prehistoric Times Winter Edition 2019

By | January 12th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

Prehistoric Times Issue 128 Is Coming!

The next edition of the quarterly magazine for dinosaur fans and prehistoric animal model collectors “Prehistoric Times”, is due to arrive very soon.  Issue 128 (winter 2019), celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel “The Land that Time Forgot”, hence the intriguing front cover where a tyrannosaurid is in combat with a Woolly Mammoth.  Mammoths and members of the Tyrannosauridae family have featured on the front cover of this popular magazine before, but we can’t remember an edition of “Prehistoric Times”, where these two iconic but temporally distant creatures have appeared on the cover together.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times Magazine – Issue 128

Prehistoric Times magazine issue 128.

The front cover of “Prehistoric Times” magazine issue 128 (winter 2019.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

“The Land that Time Forgot”

American author Edgar Rice Burroughs, set the story at the height of World War I.  A ship carrying the main protagonist of the book, Bowen Tyler, is sunk by a German U-boat U-33, the submarine also attacks the British vessel that attempts to pick up survivors of the first attack.  A fierce struggle takes place between the British sailors and the German submariners and the U-boat is captured. The survivors board the submarine and attempt to take it to an Allied port, but this proves too dangerous as all Allied shipping treats the U-boat as a potential target.  Meanwhile, a saboteur disrupts the navigation and the vessel ends up in Antarctic waters.  Low on food and fuel, the submariners find a huge island, surrounded by gigantic cliffs and when this landmass is explored, the German and Allied sailors discover it is populated by a pot-pourri of prehistoric animals.

The plot may sound familiar, as the story has featured in many publications, since its first inception a hundred years ago.  In the mid 1970’s a film with the same title as the novel came out with American actor Doug McClure playing the lead role of Bowen Tyler.

Trilobites, Triceratops and a famous Canadian Palaeontologist

The forthcoming edition of “Prehistoric Times” will feature a profile of one of the most famous dinosaurs of all, “three-horned face” – Triceratops.  There is the latest instalment in the long running feature on the influential artwork of the Czech artist Zdeněk Burian by John Lavas, this time it is the Mosasauridae that are put into the spotlight.   One of the most successful types of arthropod in evolutionary history, the Trilobita are given top billing.  Team members are looking forward to reading more about this biostratigraphically important Class.

Last but not least, Professor Phil Currie is interviewed.  This internationally renowned palaeontologist needs no introduction.  Professor Currie’s scientific accomplishments have led to a greater understanding of dinosaurs and their historic significance and he was instrumental in helping to set up with the University of Alberta the first free-to-access on-line course on the Dinosauria – Dino 101.

Trilobites, Triceratops and Top Palaeontologist Phil Currie Share Top Billing

In "Prehistoric Times" winter 2019.

Triceratops, palaeontologist Phil Currie and the Trilobita all feature in issue 128 of “Prehistoric Times”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur, University of Alberta and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

9 12, 2018

“A Guide to Fossil Collecting on the West Dorset Coast”

By | December 9th, 2018|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Geology, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils, Press Releases|0 Comments

“A Guide to Fossil Collecting on the West Dorset Coast” – Book Review

At a conference in a rather chilly Helsinki held seventeen years ago this week, delegates of the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), confirmed that World Heritage Site status would be conferred upon a 95-mile stretch of the coastline of southern England covering the east Devon and Dorset coast.

In the minutes of the conference, the reason for this award was recorded:

“The Dorset and East Devon Coast provides an almost continuous sequence of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous rock formations spanning the Mesozoic Era, documenting approximately 185 million years of Earth history.  It also includes a range of internationally important fossil localities – vertebrate and invertebrate, marine and terrestrial – which have produced well-preserved and diverse evidence of life during Mesozoic times.”

However, this description does not convey the true majesty of this location, nor does it provide a sense of awe that this part of the British Isles inspires in so many people.  Neither does it do justice to the simple pleasure of finding a fossil, gazing at it and realising that you are the first living creature in 180 million years to set eyes upon the petrified remains of what was once another inhabitant of our planet.

Then a book is published, a book that provides a sense of the stunning natural landscape, a book that transports the reader back in time, a book that conveys the sense of excitement and achievement associated with fossil collecting – “A Guide to Fossil Collecting on the West Dorset Coast” – does all this and more.

The Front Cover of “A Guide To Fossil Collecting on the West Dorset Coast”

"A Guide to Fossil Collecting on the West Dorset Coast" published by Siri Scientific Press

A beautifully illustrated guide to fossil hunting on the West Dorset coast.  RRP of £18.95 – highly recommended.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

Conveying a Sense of Beauty, Conveying a Sense of Wonder

Authors Craig Chivers and Steve Snowball focus on one part of the “Jurassic Coast”, that beautiful coastline that runs east from Lyme Regis to the foreboding cliffs of Burton Bradstock.  First the scene is set.  There is a brief description of the geological setting and an outline of the contribution to science of arguably Dorset’s most famous former resident, Mary Anning, and then the reader is taken in Mary’s footsteps through a series of guided walks travelling eastwards along the coast and forwards in time to explore the geology and remarkable fossil heritage of this unique sequence of sedimentary strata.

The Book is Filled with Stunning Photographs of Fossil Discoveries

Prepared specimen of Becheiceras gallicum.

A Lower Jurassic ammonite (Becheiceras gallicum) from the Green Ammonite Member (Seatown, Dorset).

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press (fossil found and prepared by Lizzie Hingley)

A Reference for All Collectors and Fossil Enthusiasts

Drawing on their detailed knowledge of fossil collecting, Craig and Steve describe what to look for and where to find an array of fossil specimens along this part of the “Jurassic Coast”.  The landscape is vividly portrayed and the book provides a handy, rucksack-sized reference for fossil collectors, whether seasoned professionals or first time visitors to Dorset.  We commend the authors for including copious amounts of helpful information on responsible fossil collecting and for publishing in full the West Dorset Fossil Collecting Code.

Breath-taking Views of the Natural Beauty of the Coastline

Fossil hunting around Seatown.

Golden Cap – excursions around Seatown.  Majestic views of the “Jurassic Coast”.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

Recreating Ancient Environments

Talented palaeoartist Andreas Kurpisz provides readers with digital reconstructions of ancient environments and brings to life the fossil specimens, showing them as living creatures interacting with other prehistoric animals in a series of Jurassic landscapes and seascapes.  These reconstructions help to document the changing environments that are now preserved within the imposing cliffs of this remarkable part of the British coastline.

Crinoids (Sea Lilies) from the West Dorset Coast

Crinoids from the "Jurassic Coast".

The book contains stunning photographs of fossils from the “Jurassic Coast”.

Picture Credit: Siri Scientific Press

Spokesperson for Everything Dinosaur, Mike Walley commented:

“This guide manages to capture the beauty and the fascination of this part of the “Jurassic Coast”.  It is a “must have” for all fossil collectors and if ever the delegates at that UNESCO conference needed to reaffirm their decision to grant this stunning part of the British coastline World Heritage Site status, this book provides ample evidence to justify their original decision.”

For further information and to order this exquisite guide book: Order “A Guide to Fossil Collecting on the West Dorset Coast”

24 10, 2018

Prehistoric Times Issue 127 Reviewed

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

A Review of Prehistoric Times Magazine (Issue 127)

Autumn is very much with us, the long summer seems a distant memory already.  Our chums across the Atlantic refer to this season of mellow fruitfulness as the Fall, so time to review the latest copy of “Prehistoric Times” magazine, issue 127 (autumn/fall).  This issue of the quarterly magazine features “Prince Lizard” – Rajasaurus, on the front cover, the illustration has been created by renowned palaeoartist J. A. Chirinos.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times Issue 127 (Autumn/Fall 2018)

Prehistoric Times issue 127 (fall).

Prehistoric Times issue 127 (autumn 2018).

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks/Prehistoric Times

The Prehistoric Times Interview: Steve Alten

Mike Fredericks  has included a summary of his recent YouTube interview with Steve Alten, the author of the book “Meg”, upon which the summer blockbuster movie of the same name starring Jason Statham was based.  The interview script is accompanied with some amazing illustrations featuring the giant prehistoric shark but look out for a marine reptile too.  On the subject of marine reptiles, New Zealander John Lavas discusses the artwork of Zdeněk Burian that portrays plesiosaurs and pliosaurs, as he continues his comprehensive overview of the work of the influential Czech artist and illustrator.

Burian’s Painting of the Pliosaurid Peloneustes philarchus Features in Prehistoric Times

Peloneustes illustrated.

An illustration of the mid-Jurassic pliosaurid Peloneustes by Burian.

Picture Credit: John Lavas/Prehistoric Times

Dinosaurs with Lips

The debate as to whether dinosaurs had lips is discussed at length in a most informative article written by Gregory S. Paul, we wait to see whether future editions of “Prehistoric Times” will include the counter argument, perhaps Tracy Lee Ford, a regular contributor, can provide a summary of the evidence that contradicts this hypothesis.  For the time being, the aforementioned Tracy Lee Ford focuses on the skull of Triceratops in his regular feature “How to Draw Dinosaurs”.  This article is part one of a two part series, in the winter edition, the emphasis will be on drawing the body of this famous horned dinosaur.  Jordan Mallon of the Canadian Museum of Nature continues the horned dinosaur theme with an article on the safe removal of a Chasmosaurus skull from a dig site located near the South Saskatchewan River in Alberta.

As well as contributions from leading scientists, this magazine provides a platform for dinosaur fans to showcase their artwork.  A highlight for us was reading about the Rajasaurus inspired artwork produced by students at Brandywine Heights High School in Pennsylvania.  Look out also for the superb Leptoceratops painting supplied by Mohamad Haghani and Mike Landry’s beautiful Platybelodon artwork that is included in Phil Hore’s article on the “shovel tuskers”.

For further information on “Prehistoric Times” magazine and for details how to subscribe: Prehistoric Times Magazine

Hunting Behaviour in Allosaurus

Jack Wilkin writes about Allosaurus, sometimes referred to as the “Lion of the Jurassic”.  The hunting behaviour of this iconic Theropod is explored and the author suggests that Allosaurus hatchlings probably fed on insects before moving on to vertebrates.  Evidence for Allosaurus/prey interaction is presented and the theory that Allosaurus used its jaws like an axe to overcome its victims is explained.

Allosaurus and Hunting Behaviour is Explored

The hunting strategy of Allosaurus is explored.

Allosaurus attacks!  How did it hunt?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

What with information about new prehistoric animal models, fossil discoveries, classified advertisements and reviews of books related to palaeontology, there is certainly a lot going on inside the latest edition.  Look out also for a review of Tracy Lee Ford’s and Mike Frederick’s book “What Colour were Prehistoric Mammals?” which also features in this jam-packed publication.

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.”

Load More Posts