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/Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings

Drawings of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals either done by team members or sent into Everything Dinosaur.

30 03, 2020

Pterosaurs, Pterosaurs and Even More Pterosaurs

By | March 30th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

The “Golden Age” of Pterosauria Research

In the last few weeks, a number of scientific papers have been published detailing new pterosaur discoveries and fossil finds.  We really do seem to be living in a “golden age” of flying reptile research.  For example, researchers have identified the fragmentary fossil remains of three types of pterosaur from the famous Cretaceous Kem Kem beds of Morocco (Anhanguera, Coloborhynchus and Ornithocheirus).  Even before the dust had settled on that publication, another scientific paper, published this week, describes Afrotapejara zouhri, the newest member of the Tapejaridae, fossils of which also come from the enigmatic Kem Kem beds.

The “Golden Age” of Pterosaur Research – Illustration of Three of the New Pterosaur Types Described

New pterosaur genera described from the Kem Kem Beds of Morocco.

The pterosaur Anhanguera soars over the skies of North Africa with Coloborhynchus and Ornithocheirus to keep it company.

Picture Credit: Megan Jacobs (Baylor University, Texas)

Cretaceous Fossils Mixed Up in a Blender

The Kem Kem Formation is exposed in south-eastern Morocco and neighbouring Algeria.  The extensive deposits represent an inter-tidal, estuarine environment with large, wide lagoons and a broad floodplain criss-crossed by numerous rivers.  These sediments were laid down in the Albian to Cenomanian faunal stages of the Cretaceous, approximately 100 to 95 million years ago.  The terrestrial landscape was dominated by dinosaurs, surprisingly, there seems to have been an overabundance of big theropods present – Spinosaurus, Rugops (other abelisaurs), Sauroniops, Deltadromeus, Carcharodontosaurus, potential dromaeosaurids and a wealth of other fossil bones and isolated teeth that represent indeterminate species.

Trouble is, the transport of material due to river and tidal action has resulted in a mixing up of fossil material.  Fossil beds contain a vast array of jumbled up, disarticulated material, much of which may also have been re-deposited from its original stratigraphic layer.  These deposits have been colourfully described as representing fossils that have been put in a blender, such is their mixing and depositional status.

Typical Isolated and Fragmentary Vertebrate Fossil Remains from the Kem Kem Beds

Fossil remains (Kem Kem beds).

Assorted vertebrate fossil remains from the Kem Kem beds of Morocco.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Pterosaurs as Piscivores

In the first scientific paper, researchers from the University of Portsmouth, Baylor University (Waco, Texas), the University of Detroit Mercy (Detroit), Leicester University, the Laboratoire Santé et Environnement (Morocco) and the University of Bath report on the discovery of fragmentary jaws and associated teeth that led to the identification of three new types of pterosaur.  The remains suggest three ornithocheirid pterosaurs, a second species of Coloborhynchus and an Ornithocheirus reminiscent of Ornithocheirus fossil material known from the Cambridge Greensand deposits of southern England.  In addition, a portion of a lower jaw (mandibular symphysis), closely resembles that of the South American ornithocheirid Anhanguera piscator, fossils of which are known from the roughly contemporaneous Romualdo Member of the Santana Formation (Brazil).

An Illustration of Anhanguera (Ornithocheiridae Family)

An illustration of Anhanguera.

A typical member of the Anhanguera genus.  Note the large and very prominent, conical teeth in the jaw.  All three newly described genera are believed to have been primarily fish-eating (piscivores).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

As well as representing a turbulent depositional environment, the fossiliferous beds of south-eastern Morocco provide an additional challenge for scientists.  Local residents mine the sedimentary rocks, often using only rudimentary tools and materials, so that they can sell their fossil finds to dealers and collectors.  Fortunately, in this case, the fragments of jaw were acquired by scientists enabling a proper academic investigation to be carried out.  The teeth of these pterosaurs suggest that they were probably piscivores, the largest of which probably had a wingspan in excess of four metres.

In the paper, the researchers conclude that the Kem Kem fossil assemblage includes at least nine species of pterosaur, of which the majority (five), are members of the Ornithocheiridae.  These strata help to support the theory that toothed pterosaurs remained diverse throughout the late Early Cretaceous, before going into decline and eventually disappearing after the Cenomanian faunal stage.

And There’s More – Another Moroccan Pterosaur This Time a Tapejarid

New pterosaur discoveries are behaving a bit like buses at the moment (prior to the coronavirus pandemic), three come along and then shortly afterwards another one turns up.  Many of the same scientists from the first academic paper, have published, albeit a little earlier than expected, another paper, this time naming a new species tapejarid pterosaur.  Unlike the other three, this flying reptile was edentulous (no teeth in the jaws).  The newly described tapejarid has been named Afrotapejara zouhri, based on yet more fragmentary material including jaw elements.

A Typical Illustration of a Tapejarid Pterosaur

Tupandactylus illustration.

A scale drawing of the tapejarid Pterosaur Tupandactylus imperator.  A typical tapejarid – a family of pterosaurs famed for their striking and often over-sized head crests.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Fossil jaws seem to be taphonomically selected for in the Kem Kem beds.  Other pterosaur remains have been frequently reported from these deposits, but rarely are the fossils diagnostic.  Isolated mandibular material had hinted at the present of tapejarids in northern Africa in the Early Cretaceous, but Afrotapejara is the first genus to be erected.  It represents the fourth example of a toothless pterosaur taxon to have been described from the Kem Kem beds and it provides the first unambiguous evidence to support the presence of the Tapejaridae in Africa.  The genus name translates as “African tapejarid”, whilst we suspect that the specific name honours Samir Zouhri, one of the authors of the first pterosaur paper reported upon in this blog post.

Based on this evidence, it seems that we really are living in a “golden age” of pterosaur research.

The first scientific paper: “New toothed pterosaurs (Pterosauria: Ornithocheiridae) from the middle Cretaceous Kem Kem beds of Morocco and implications for pterosaur palaeobiogeography and diversity” by Megan L. Jacobs, David M. Martill, David M. Unwin, Nizar Ibrahim, Samir Zouhri and Nicholas R. Longrich published in Cretaceous Research.

The second scientific paper: “A new tapejarid (Pterosauria, Azhdarchoidea) from the mid-Cretaceous Kem Kem beds of Takmout, southern Morocco” by David M. Martill, Roy Smith, David M. Unwin, Alexander Kao, James McPhee and Nizar Ibrahim published in Cretaceous Research.

7 03, 2020

Happy Birthday Zhao Chuang

By | March 7th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Famous Figures, Main Page|0 Comments

Happy Birthday Zhao Chuang

Today, we celebrate the birthday of renowned Chinese palaeoartist Zhao Chuang, one of the leading lights behind scientific illustrations in Chinese scientific literature.  Fans of dinosaur and prehistoric animal models will also be aware of his work through the PNSO product line and their range of museum quality figures.

Celebrating the Contribution to Scientific Illustration of Zhao Chuang

Compsognathus illustration by Chuang Zhao.

A beautiful feathered Compsognathus catches its lunch (artwork by Zhao Chuang).

Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang/Everything Dinosaur

Illustrating Many Scientific Papers

This palaeoartist has been tasked with illustrating a number of scientific papers and press releases.  Interpreting scientific data and helping to depict a long extinct animal, place it within the context of the fossil discovery and in essence, to bring the animal back to life.  The picture (above), illustrates a Compsognathus.  It is shown as a brightly coloured, feathered dinosaur.  The artist is helping to promote the idea that far from being slow, sluggish animals, many dinosaurs were very bird-like.

Illustrating Ancient Landscapes and Ecosystems

The Late Cretaceous of northern China

Northern China in the Late Cretaceous.  A dromaeosaurid (left) takes evasive action as a herd of hadrosaurs approach the waterhole.  An armoured dinosaur (Pinacosaurus grangeri), has nothing to fear from the duck-billed dinosaurs or the small theropod but decides it is time to leave as well.

Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang

It was Zhao Chuang who created all the spectacular prehistoric artwork that was put on display as part of the “Dinosaurs of China – Ground Shakers to Feathered Flyers” exhibition in Nottingham (England).  As a palaeoartist at the Peking Natural Science-Art Organisation (PNSO), Zhao Chuang has worked with numerous members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and he has also collaborated with dozens of leading scientists from other research institutions around the world.  His work has been published in many academic publications.

Many happy returns.

20 02, 2020

Illustrating Canada’s Newest/Oldest Tyrannosaur

By | February 20th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Illustrating Thanatotheristes degrootorum

Our thanks to Caldey for sending into Everything Dinosaur a beautiful illustration of the recently described Canadian tyrannosaur Thanatotheristes degrootorum.  Caldey was inspired by the media coverage of this new theropod dinosaur, perhaps she even read our blog post about this large carnivore from the Foremost Formation of Alberta.  Described from fragmentary remains, the fossils of T. degrootorum represent the earliest known evidence of diagnostic tyrannosaurid material to have been discovered in Canada.  It roamed northern Laramidia around 80.1 to 79.5 million years ago, as such it is (for the moment at least), both Canada’s oldest and newest tyrannosaur.

The Illustration of Thanatotheristes degrootorum by Caldey

Thanatotheristes degrootorum illustration by Caldey.

Thanatotheristes degrootorum illustration by Caldey, a drawing of a newly described theropod dinosaur from Alberta (Canada).

Picture Credit: Caldey

Everything Dinosaur receives lots of illustrations of prehistoric animals.  Our team members view them all and we are grateful for everyone that we get sent to us.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s article on the newly described Thanatotheristes degrootorumCanada’s Newest and Oldest Tyrannosaurid Thanatotheristes degrootorum.

The “Reaper of Death”

Closely related to Daspletosaurus, Thanatotheristes, which means the “reaper of death” in Greek, has been placed within a newly erected tribe within the Tyrannosauridae family.  This tribe, named the Daspletosaurini consists of T. degrootorum, Daspletosaurus torosus along with Daspletosaurus horneri and an as yet not formally described tyrannosaurid from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta (specimen number FMNH PR308).

Our thanks to Caldey for sending into Everything Dinosaur her fantastic dinosaur drawing.

18 01, 2020

Diplodocus Features on a Thank You Note

By | January 18th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Diplodocus Says Thank You

Our thanks to dinosaur and fossil fan Caroline who on receipt of her delivery from Everything Dinosaur was inspired to send us a little thank you card illustrated with a sauropod sketch.  What a beautiful illustration of a dinosaur!  The drawing is entitled “Young Diplodocus Going for a Dip”.

A “Young Diplodocus Going for a Dip”

Young Diplodocus going for a dip.

A young Diplodocus going for a dip.

Picture Credit: Caroline Smalley.

Inside the card, Caroline had written:

“Thank you for your kindness, fantastic customer service and speedy delivery.”

You are most welcome, happy to help out where we can and thank you again for your card with the wonderful dinosaur illustration.

5 01, 2020

Scaling Up a Shringasaurus

By | January 5th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Shringasaurus Scale Drawing

Everything Dinosaur team members are busy preparing for the arrival of new for 2020 prehistoric animal models from Safari Ltd.  One of the new figures is a replica of the Middle Triassic, horned archosauromorph from India called Shringasaurus (Shringasaurus indicus).  Plans are advanced as we prepare for the arrival of the models, team members are already compiling the fact sheets that are to be sent out with these new additions to our product portfolio.

For Shringasaurus, as with the vast majority of the prehistoric animal models we supply, a scale drawing has been commissioned, primarily for use with the fact sheet.

Everything Dinosaur’s Scale Drawing of the Horned, Middle Triassic Archosauromorph Shringasaurus

Shringasaurus scale drawing.

The archosauromorph reptile from the Middle Triassic of India – Shringasaurus indicus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Tale of the Tape

The actual model measures approximately 16.5 centimetres in length.  When Everything Dinosaur blogged about the formal naming and scientific description of this reptile back in the late summer of 2017* the length of this herbivore, based on the seven known specimens was estimated to have been around 3.5 to 4 metres.  Taking an average, Everything Dinosaur team members prepared the scale drawing (see above).  Although Safari Ltd do not publish a scale for these types of models, the new for 2020 Shringasaurus is in approximately 1:23 scale.

To read our blog post about the 2017* discovery: New Long-necked and Horned Stem Archosaur from India.

The New for 2020 Safari Ltd (Wild Safari Prehistoric World) Shringasaurus Model

New for 2020 Wild Safari Prehistoric World Shringasaurus.

The new for 2020 Wild Safari Prehistoric World Shringasaurus.  Everything Dinosaur’s commissioned illustration for this prehistoric animal seems to have captured the detailing in the Safari Ltd model quite nicely.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Model collectors and dinosaur fans can expect all the new for 2020 Safari Ltd prehistoric animal replicas to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in the near future.

In the meantime, click this link to see the range of Safari Ltd models and replicas currently in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Safari Ltd – Wild Safari Prehistoric World Models and Figures.

30 12, 2019

Illustrating Atlasaurus

By | December 30th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|2 Comments

Illustrating Atlasaurus

Our thanks to Caldey who sent into Everything Dinosaur a beautiful illustration of the bizarre north African sauropod Atlasaurus (A. imelakei) which had been inspired by her recent purchase of the Eofauna Scientific Research Atlasaurus model.

An Illustration of the Middle Jurassic North African Sauropod Atlasaurus

Illustrating Atlasaurus.

An illustration of the north African sauropod (Middle Jurassic) Atlasaurus imelakei.

Picture Credit: Caldey

Known from a single fossil specimen discovered in sandstone sediments in the Béni Mellal-Khénifra region of Morocco.  Atlasaurus is just one of a handful of sauropods that have been found in north Africa and it is the most complete.  The fossils, believed to represent one animal, consist of a partial skull, a considerable portion of the postcranial skeleton and a partial tail.  This dinosaur is estimated to have been around fifteen metres in length.

Bizarre Sauropod Body Proportions

The body plan of this herbivorous dinosaur was very different from its better-known sauropod contemporaries from North America, China and Europe.  Its limb bones were proportionately longer than most other sauropodomorphs and its front legs were longer than its hind legs, so its back sloped from the shoulders to the tail.  Unusually, the neck was relatively short for such a large animal.  Scientists have postulated that the long limbs evolved to assist this dinosaur when feeding.  It could reach vegetation that other herbivorous dinosaurs could not reach.

The Eofauna Scientific Research Atlasaurus Dinosaur Model

Eofauna Scientific Research Atlasaurus dinosaur model.

Eofauna Atlasaurus dinosaur model.  The inspiration behind Caldey’s illustration.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Caldey’s drawing has certainly captured these bizarre body proportions and the intriguing colour scheme devised by those talented model makers at Eofauna Scientific Research.  Our thanks to Caldey for sending into us her fabulous dinosaur drawing.

To view the figures within the Eofauna Scientific Research model series, including the Atlasaurus replica: Eofauna Scientific Research Prehistoric Animal Figures.

30 12, 2019

Illustrating Iguanodon

By | December 30th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Illustrating Iguanodon

Everything Dinosaur team members get sent lots of amazing prehistoric animal drawings, we really do have some supremely talented customers.  Today, we feature a pencil sketch from Ian, he has chosen to illustrate an iguanodontid.  From the heavy build, we suggest that this is an illustration of Iguanodon bernissartensis, however, it could just as well be an illustration of another robust iguanodontid such as Barilum dawsoni.

Ian’s Iguanodontid Illustration Sent into Everything Dinosaur

Iguanodontid illustration.

An illustration of a robust iguanodontid, possible I. bernissartensis or B. dawsoni.

Picture Credit: Ian

A Quadrupedal Stance

Ian has chosen to depict his ornithopod in a quadrupedal stance.  Such a large and powerful animal would have had little to fear from the predators that shared its habitat, although if threatened and needing to make a quick getaway, these animals could rear up onto their strong hindlegs and adopt a bipedal running gait.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Our thanks to Ian for sending into us his splendid pencil drawing of a stocky, robust iguanodontid.  It is always a pleasure to receive illustrations of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.”

Papo Iguanodon Inspires Illustration

Team members suspect that the 2018 Papo Iguanodon model may have inspired the artist to produce this illustration.  What do you think?

The Papo Iguanodon Dinosaur Model

Papo Iguanodon dinosaur model.

The new for 2018 Papo Iguanodon model.  The possible inspiration behind Ian’s drawing.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

21 12, 2019

Fukuisaurus Scale Drawing

By | December 21st, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page|0 Comments

Fukuisaurus tetoriensis Scale Drawing

As Everything Dinosaur prepares for the arrival of the first of the new for 2020 CollectA “Age of Dinosaurs” models and figures, team members are busy sorting out scale drawings to insert into the prehistoric animal fact sheets that we are researching and writing.  One of the first of the new CollectA models will be a Fukuisaurus, a replica of a bird-hipped dinosaur known from the Early Cretaceous of Japan.

Very little of the skeleton of Fukuisaurus (F. tetoriensis) is known.  CollectA, just like palaeontologists who have to try to reconstruct a dinosaur skeleton, from only a limited amount of material, have based their figure on better-known iguanodontids that were probably closely related to Fukuisaurus.  From the model, Everything Dinosaur team members have been able to commission their scale drawing.

The Scale Drawing of Fukuisaurus (F. tetoriensis)

Fukuisaurus illustration.

A scale drawing of the Early Cretaceous dinosaur Fukuisaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Calculating the Size of Fukuisaurus

Although the actual size of Fukuisaurus is not known (due to the scarcity and paucity of the fossil material), Everything Dinosaur team members have based their scale drawing on the size estimate given by the acclaimed dinosaur expert Gregory S. Paul who postulated a body length of around four to four and half metres.  The body weight of this herbivorous dinosaur would have fluctuated over the course of the year, depending on the availability of food.  Just like many herbivores today, this dinosaur would have laid down fat during the times when forage was plentiful and then it would have lived on its reserves during times when food was scarce, such as in the dry season.  Everything Dinosaur team members estimate that this dinosaur probably weighed around four hundred kilograms when fully grown.

At the time when Everything Dinosaur announced this 2020 edition to the CollectA Deluxe range, model designer Anthony Beeson stated that he had been inspired to introduce another dinosaur from the famous Kitadani Formation of Japan, in response to requests from Japanese collectors.  These fans will have in 2020, a model of an Early Cretaceous ornithopod to display alongside the CollectA Fukuiraptor that was introduced this year (2019).

The CollectA Fukuiraptor and the CollectA Fukuisaurus Dinosaur Models

CollectA dinosaur models Fukuiraptor and Fukuisaurus.

The CollectA Fukuiraptor (top) and the CollectA Deluxe Fukuisaurus (bottom).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To read about the first of the new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal models: New CollectA Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models (Part 1).

To view the range of prehistoric animal scale models available from Everything Dinosaur in the CollectA Deluxe model range: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Models.

20 11, 2019

First Fossil Evidence of Feathered Polar Dinosaurs

By | November 20th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Fossilised Bird and Dinosaur Feathers from Australia

Palaeontologists know that dinosaurs roamed high latitudes, that is to say that fossil finds have demonstrated that dinosaurs once inhabited parts of the world that are now in the Arctic Circle and similar fossil discoveries have been made in the southern hemisphere demonstrating that the Dinosauria also inhabited Antarctica.  Although, the climate during the Mesozoic was much warmer than it is today, in these high latitudes the fauna and flora would still have had to endure challenging conditions, such as freezing temperatures and many months of darkness with the sun not rising above the horizon.  It has been suggested that many dinosaur residents were feathered, their integumentary coverings of protofeathers and down helping to keep them warm.  However, actual evidence of fossilised feathers was lacking, but scientists writing in the journal “Gondwana Research”, describe several feathers from the Lower Cretaceous-aged sediments at the Koonwarra Fish Beds Geological Reserve located in Victoria (Australia).

A Fossilised Feather from the Koonwarra Fish Beds Geological Reserve

A protofeather likely to have come from a theropod dinosaur.

A fossilised filamentous protofeather associated with the Theropoda from the Koonwarra Fish Beds Geological Reserve.

Picture Credit: Kundrát et al (Gondwana Research)

Different Types of Feathers Found

Researchers from the Pavol Jozef Safarik University (Slovakia), Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology (both in Australia), Lund University, Uppsala University (Sweden) and from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (USA) in collaboration with other colleagues have identified the first record of avian and non-avian integumentary structures described from Mesozoic polar regions.

In essence, feathered dinosaurs and birds were present at a latitude of around 70 degrees south between 118-115 million years ago.  Finding feathers this far south reinforces the view that feathered dinosaurs were ubiquitous for much of the Mesozoic.

Importantly, the handful of fossilised feathers from this site show a lot of variation.  Some fossils consist of the preserved remains of tufted body feathers, whilst others show asymmetrical bird-like flight feathers.  Fossils of simple, open-vaned contour feathers reminiscent to those of the Liaoning theropod Caudipteryx have also been found.

A Tufted Body Feather from the Koonwarra Fish Beds Geological Reserve

Feather fossil from the A fossilised feather from the Koonwarra Fish Beds Geological Reserve.

A fossilised feather from the Koonwarra Fish Beds Geological Reserve.

Picture Credit: Kundrát et al (Gondwana Research)

One of the co-authors of the scientific paper, Dr Benjamin Kear (Uppsala University) commented:

“Dinosaur skeletons and even the fragile bones of early birds have been found at ancient high-latitudes before.  Yet, to date, no directly attributable integumentary remains have been discovered to show that dinosaurs used feathers to survive in extreme polar habitats.  These Australian fossil feathers are therefore highly significant because they came from dinosaurs and small birds that were living in a seasonally very cold environment with months of polar darkness every year”.

The Koonwarra Fish Beds Geological Reserve

The feathers come from the Koonwarra Fish Beds Geological Reserve located in South Gippsland, Victoria.  The sediments represent the fine-grained clay deposits formed in a large, shallow lake. Many different fossils have been found at this location, including a fossilised flower and Ginkgo leaves.  Invertebrates are well represented, the fine grained deposits preserving insects, freshwater mussels, spiders and even the remains of a horseshoe crab.  Apart from the feathers, the only evidence of vertebrates associated with this location are the remains of fish.  The strata consist of alternate light and dark bands indicating an extreme seasonal environment, what you would expect in a part of the polar region where lakes would have frozen over during the extremely long winter.

A Life Reconstruction of a Theropod Dinosaur – A Likely Inhabitant of the Polar Region

Life reconstruction of a polar theropod dinosaur.

A life reconstruction of a polar theropod dinosaur.  Feathers found in Victoria indicate the presence of feathered polar dinosaurs in southern Gondwana during the Early Cretaceous.

Picture Credit: Peter Trusler

Feather fossils from this site were first described in the 1960’s but at the time they were thought to represent bird feathers, thanks to feathered dinosaur discoveries from elsewhere in the world, most notably north-eastern China, this fossil material has been reassessed and the researchers conclude that the variety of feathers at this site augments the limited skeletal evidence for a range of insulted non-avian theropods and birds living at extreme high latitudes in the southern hemisphere.  Analysis of some of the feathers has revealed residual patterning and the preservation of rod-shaped structures at the cellular level suggests the presence of eumelanosomes which in turn could help scientists determine pigments and colouration.

The scientists infer that many of the feathers indicate a dark pigmentation, such a colouration might have provided effective camouflage or permitted the absorption of a greater proportion of the energy from the rays of the sun – very useful if you inhabit a cold, dark world for much of the year.

9 11, 2019

Illustrating Allosaurus

By | November 9th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Illustrating Allosaurus

Everything Dinosaur team members get the chance to view all sorts of different examples of prehistoric artwork and illustrations.  We are grateful for Caldey for sending into us her illustration of the Late Jurassic theropod Allosaurus, a dinosaur that is sometimes referred to as the “lion of the Jurassic”.

An Illustration of the Head and Neck of Allosaurus (A. fragilis)

Allosaurus Illustrated

An illustration of the fearsome Jurassic carnivorous dinosaur – Allosaurus.

Picture Credit: Caldey

Like many aspiring palaeoartists, young Caldey has been experimenting by using different techniques to create the impression of the texture of reptilian skin.  In her illustration of Allosaurus, she has used a different method to produce the scales of this large, meat-eating dinosaur.  Coloured dots have been used to create the illusion of rough scales and we think the end result is most impressive.

The flash of red is very distinctive over the eyes.  Allosaurus had a pair of small horns just above each eye-socket.  These horns were actually extensions of the lacrimal bones that are located just in front of the eyes and help to form the orbit.  These bones, in turn, were probably covered in keratin and they could have been quite colourful, perhaps having a role in visual displays.

This specimen has scars located on both the upper and lower jaw.  These injuries could have occurred when tackling prey or perhaps during intraspecific combat, for example, face-biting behaviour has been postulated for a number of theropods.

Caldey has also used her own colour palette based on their environment and her research as to which habitats could have been home to this Late Jurassic predator (possible forest and plain areas).  She has also mentioned that it would be great if a manufacturer would make an Allosaurus model in this colour scheme.

Our thanks again to Caldey for sending her drawing into us.

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