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

31 05, 2019

The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs – The Theropods

By | May 31st, 2019|Adobe CS5, Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs – The Theropods Reviewed

Ask a layperson to name a dinosaur and it is very likely that names such as Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor will be volunteered, these dinosaurs are members of the Theropoda, one of three great groups that make up the Dinosauria.  However, these two meat-eating dinosaurs are not typical of this group, there is a lot more to the theropods than meets the eye.  The beautifully illustrated “Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods”, aimed at general readers as well as students and academics, helps to flesh out the story of the Theropoda and is essential summer reading for dinosaur enthusiasts.

The English Language Version of “The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods”

Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods"

The “Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods” (front cover.

Details of 750 Theropod Dinosaurs

Written by Rubén Molina-Pérez and Asier Larramendi, the founders and scientific directors of Eofauna Scientific Research, this volume contains over three thousand records giving facts and detailed information on over 750 theropod species.  Indeed, it is claimed that every single theropod dinosaur described before 2016 is included, this book reflects an enormous amount of research into what is, the most diverse and speciose of this suborder of dinosaurs.

Hundreds of Theropod Dinosaurs are Featured in the Book

Diverse Theropoda.

The diverse and speciose suborder of the Dinosauria (Theropoda).

 

Stunning Full-colour Illustrations

Crammed full of full-colour reconstructions and illustrations  by Andrey Atuchin and Sante Mazzei, this book, within the portfolio of the Natural History Museum (London), is not laid out like most dinosaur books.  For example, each record has bibliographic references, permitting the reader the opportunity to explore the topic area in more detail.  Divided into eight sections the “Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods” provides a comprehensive overview including information on extant theropods (birds), trackways, fossil eggs, biomechanics, trace fossils – even the sprinter Usain Bolt gets a mention!

Lots of Amazing Dinosaur Facts are Revealed and Can be Checked by Readers Thanks to the Bibliography

Chilesaurus ilustrated.

Chilesaurus – the slowest herbivorous Theropod known to science.

Theropod Anatomy

The geography of ancient continents is outlined and the distribution of different types of theropod highlighted.  There is an excellent section dedicated to theropod anatomy, along with a chapter dedicated to footprints “Testimony in Stone”.

Examples of Theropod Tracks (Extant and Extinct)

Line drawings illustrationg theropod footprints.

The ichnology of theropod footprints.

Records, Records and More Records

Throughout this book’s 288 pages, there are lots and lots of facts about the Theropoda listed including a graphical record of valid dinosauromorphs and theropods named and described up to 2016.  Look out for the snippet about how a fault in Triassic rock was mistaken for the huge footprint of a meat-eater, or the colourful illustration showing different types of dinosaur egg compared to a basketball.  Readers can expect to find the latest information about iconic dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor osmolskae and Spinosaurus aegyptiacus.

Facts and Figures About the Largest Theropod – Spinosaurus aegyptiacus

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus illustrated.

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus.  Could this be the largest theropod of all?

Intriguingly, it has been revealed that the authors had wanted to include all the Dinosauria in a single encyclopedia.  Such a project is too much of an undertaking for a single volume, so in the future books focusing on the Ornithischians and the Sauropodomorphs and their close relatives might be produced.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“This is an excellent book, that has been lovingly crafted by a dedicated team of researchers and artists.  It provides a comprehensive overview of what is arguably one of the most successful type of tetrapod to have ever evolved.  We are delighted that this book is now available in English and we are happy to recommend it.”

“Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods”

Title: “Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods”

ISBN: 978 0 565 09497 3

Price: Around £30.00 (GBP)

Format: Hardback (298 mm x 241 mm)

Publication: This month (May 2019)

Size: 288 pages approximately

Subject classification: Natural History/Dinosaurs

BIC and BISAC codes WNA/YNNA and  1) NAT007000 2) SCI054000

22 04, 2019

Prehistoric Times Issue 129 Reviewed

By | April 22nd, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

Prehistoric Times Magazine (Spring 2019) Reviewed

The latest issue of “Prehistoric Times” magazine has arrived at the Everything Dinosaur offices and once again this quarterly publication aimed at fans of prehistoric animal models and dinosaur enthusiasts is crammed full of fascinating articles and beautiful artwork.  Highlights include the latest instalment in the long running series discussing the artwork of Czech illustrator Zdeněk Burian by John Lavas.  In this issue, it is Burian’s prehistoric and not so prehistoric crocodilian illustrations that are reviewed.  In addition, look at for Tracy Lee Ford’s in-depth look at drawing Stegosaurus, throat ossicles and all.

The front cover of issue 129 features Deinonychus, one of the prehistoric animals examined by Phil Hore in this edition.  Phil was quick to point out that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the ground-breaking scientific paper on this dromaeosaurid published by John Ostrom.  The paper depicted dinosaurs as active animals and examined their close relationship to modern Aves (birds).  The artwork for the front cover was created by commercial artist Kurt Miller.

Dynamic Deinonychus Features on the Front Cover of Prehistoric Times Issue 129

Prehistoric Times magazine (spring 2019).

Prehistoric Times magazine (issue 129).  Celebrating the 50th anniversary of a very important scientific paper (Ostrom, 1969).

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks/Prehistoric Times

Kurt commented:

“I am very honoured to see that my Deinonychus painting was selected for the cover of the spring 2019 issue.  I thought to paint some prehistoric birds flying by a Deinonychus who has feathers of its own.”

There are lots of reader submitted Deinonychus illustrations too, look out for wonderful pictures from Julie Kitzes, Mike Landry and Evan King.

The Land that Time Forgot

It is also a hundred years since the book “The Land that Time Forgot” by the American fantasy author Edgar Rice Burroughs went to press, one of a trilogy of stories about a prehistoric land populated with dinosaurs and strange tribes.  Scott Tracy Griffin, the Director of Special Projects at Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc.  provides an insight in how the story was written and explains how the book came to be published.  On the subject of books, in the “Mesozoic Media” section there are some excellent book reviews including a review of “The Palaeoartist’s Handbook” by Mark Witton.  Palaeontologist Steve Brusatte summarises the top dinosaur fossil news stories of 2018, a year in which there have been some amazing dinosaur discoveries, including the naming of several new types of armoured dinosaur.

2018 Was a Good Year for Armoured Dinosaur Discoveries

Invictarx life reconstruction.

A life reconstruction of Invictarx zephyri.  A newly described armoured dinosaur (nodosaurid), one of several named in 2018.

Picture Credit: Kara Kelley/Western Science Centre

Chalicotheres

Chalicotheres might be rare in the fossil record, but issue 129 is packed full of pictures of them and Phil Hore expands on this most bizarre of prehistoric mammals.  The report on these strange beasts concludes with stories of the “Nandi Bear”, a cryptid that is thought to lurk in the dark forests of eastern Africa.

Moropus – An Example of a Chalicothere

Moropus model.

Lots of Chalicotheres feature in the spring issue of “Prehistoric Times” magazine.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

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

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

6 04, 2019

Book Celebrates “Golden Age of Dinosaurs”

By | April 6th, 2019|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

The Dinosaurs Rediscovered

The official press release to accompany the recently published “The Dinosaurs Rediscovered” by Professor Michael Benton (University of Bristol), states that we are “living in a golden age of dinosaur science“.  With so many new dinosaurs being named and described, the last one we blogged about was the small, Australian Ornithischian dinosaur Galleonosaurus dorisae, named just a few weeks ago, it is hard to disagree.

To read about Galleonosaurus: New Australian Ornithopod Described

The Front Cover of the Recently Published “The Dinosaurs Rediscovered”

"The Dinosaurs Rediscovered".

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

Picture Credit: Thames and Hudson

The Press Release

The official press release states that over the past twenty years, the study of dinosaurs has changed from natural history to a true scientific discipline.  The utilisation of advanced technologies has revolutionised the study of prehistoric animals and life in the past.  This book, written by eminent palaeontologist Professor Mike Benton, combines first-hand accounts and anecdotes from a lifetime of fossil collecting with an updated review of Dinosauria research.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s review of the book: The Dinosaurs Rediscovered – a brief review

The press release goes on to state that “The Dinosaurs Rediscovered” presents all the latest palaeontological evidence which has transformed the study of dinosaurs.  Team members were asked the other day to select our favourite chapter.  This was not an easy task as all the chapters are beautifully compiled, but when pressed, we opted for chapter 9.  Chapter 9 outlines the reasons for the mass extinction event and explains in terms that the general reader can easily follow, the research into the Chicxulub impact crater.  This chapter also informs the reader that the extra-terrestrial bolide crashed into Earth probably in June – how can scientists make such an assertion; we suggest you read the book to find out!

Tale of the Tape

Title: “The Dinosaurs Rediscovered”

Author: Michael J. Benton

Publication: April 2019

Pages/Extent: 336

Illustrations: 163

Size: 23. 4 centimetres by 15.3 centimetres

ISBN: 978 0 500 052006

Published by: Thames & Hudson.

For further information visit the website of the publisherThe Dinosaurs Rediscovered can be found here

4 04, 2019

Spring Prehistoric Times Magazine (Issue 129)

By | April 4th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|2 Comments

The Next Issue of Prehistoric Times Magazine is at the Printers

Spring is in the air, the frogspawn in our office pond has turned from black dots to commas and with the arrival of British Summer Time (BST), the days seem longer.  The next issue of “Prehistoric Times” magazine must be coming out soon and sure enough we received an email from the editor informing us that issue 129 (spring 2019), is at the printers.  This issue will commemorate the publication of one of the most important and influential papers on the Dinosauria ever produced.  It is fifty years since John Ostrom’s seminal paper on Deinonychus antirrhopus appeared in the scientific literature.

The Front Cover of “Prehistoric Times” Magazine (Spring 2019)

Prehistoric Times magazine (spring 2019).

Prehistoric Times magazine (issue 129).

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

Bulletin of the Peabody Museum

The front cover features a stunning illustration of D. antirrhopus.  Mike Fredericks (editor) wrote to us saying:

“The Deinonychus cover is by Kurt Miller, a super talented CG artist who did the Carnotaurus cover on issue #117.”

Inside the magazine, the excellent and most informative Phil Hore will discuss the anniversary of the ground-breaking paper.  Ostrom’s paper entitled “Osteology of Deinonychus antirrhopus, an unusual Theropod from the Lower Cretaceous of Montana”, was published in the Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History in July 1969.  The entire paper can be downloaded  (all 165 plus pages), as a pdf from the Museum’s archive.  It was this paper that defined Deinonychus as a fast-moving, agile predator and that demonstrated that birds evolved from members of the Dinosauria.

The 1969 paper features an illustration of Deinonychus, one that helped to redefine the way academics and the public view dinosaurs.  It was regarded as a “dinosaur renaissance”.

The Original “Dinosaur Renaissance”

The Dinosaur Renaissance - Deinonychus

The original “Dinosaur Renaissance” inspired by Bakker (Deinonychus).

Picture Credit: Robert T. Bakker (1969)

The Spring Issue of Prehistoric Times

The spring issue of “Prehistoric Times” includes an article on the enigmatic chalicotheres and it features the illustrations of the British artist and author Dougal Dixon.  The head of Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc, from Tarzana, California, writes an informative piece about Burroughs and the book that inspired numerous writers “The Land That Time Forgot”.   Philip J Currie returns for the second part of his feature on the dinosaurs of “The Land That Time Forgot” and Stephen Brusatte provides a review of the top palaeontology related news stories of the last twelve months.

The front cover of the magazine with its splendid Deinonychus artwork is certainly very eye-catching, as it that fuscia-coloured font.

Mike Fredericks confessed:

“A favourite magazine of mine as a kid, Famous Monsters of Filmland used neon colours like this pink for their cover login in the 1970’s and this logo is a bit of a tribute to it.”

We are looking forward to receiving our copy of “Prehistoric Times”, it should be with us very soon.

Want to subscribe to “Prehistoric Times”?   Click this link for more details: Subscribe to Prehistoric Times

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.

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