All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
/Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings

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

10 06, 2018

Fallen Kingdom Posters Donated to School

By | June 10th, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Educational Activities, Main Page, Radio Reviews|0 Comments

Fallen Kingdom Posters Donated to School

Yesterday, team members at Everything Dinosaur were able to take a break from their busy schedule and visit the cinema to watch “Fallen Kingdom”, the latest film in the “Jurassic Park/Jurassic World” franchise.  We shall leave it to others to provide a review, but we were able to pass a couple of pleasant hours marvelling at how CGI and animatronics can bring about the resurrection of long extinct species.

Prior to the film starting we got talking to the friendly cinema staff.  They were most interested in our work and as a result, one of the cinema staff members went into their office and returned with two posters.  Free posters are being given out by certain cinema chains to help promote the movie, something that we were not aware of.  Our  posters feature a giant (somewhat oversized), Mosasaurus marine reptile feeding on a shark, a famous scene from the previous film “Jurassic World”.

The Posters that Team Members at Everything Dinosaur were Given

Mosasaurus poster.

The Mosasaurus poster from the film “Fallen Kingdom.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Donating the Poster to a School

We thanked the staff for their gift of the posters, these will go to a good home.  Everything Dinosaur has a school visit arranged for Wednesday of this week, delivering a series of dinosaur workshops to classes in support of their dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed term topic.  We shall take these two posters with us and donate them to the school, perhaps the poster will help the children to remember that an animal like a Mosasaur is not actually a dinosaur.  The poster might even inspire them to have a go at drawing their very own prehistoric animals.

When Everything Dinosaur team members visit a school, we tend to bring extra resources to support the school’s scheme of work and during our dinosaur workshops, the opportunity usually arises to challenge the children to undertake some extension activities in support of the curriculum.

We suspect that these two “Fallen Kingdom” posters will be gratefully received and we are sure that they will help the classes to create their own colourful and informative dinosaur and prehistoric animal displays.

30 05, 2018

Proavis – Ground Up or Tree Down?

By | May 30th, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page|0 Comments

Proavis – Ground Up or Tree Down?

Team members at Everything Dinosaur, took the opportunity whilst in London last week to pay a visit to the Grant’s Museum of Zoology, this hidden gem of a museum contains around 68,000 specimens and the densely packed cabinets house an absolute treasure trove of zoological wonders.  The Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy (to give this establishment its full title), is part of the University College London, it plays an important role in helping to teach students about anatomy.  It was founded by Robert Edmond Grant (1793-1874).

The Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy was established in 1827 to serve as a teaching collection at the newly founded University of London (later University College London).  The influential Grant taught the young Charles Darwin and he was the first Professor of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy in England.  A lack of teaching resources did not deter the enthusiastic scientist, he set about amassing an astonishing collection of specimens, diagrams, dissection materials and lecture notes, it is these that form the basis of the Museum today.

Saying Hello to “Proavis”

Tucked up high on a shelf, barely given a second glance by the casual visitor, is a rather strange animal.  This is “Proavis”, otherwise known as Pro-Aves.  It is not an anatomical specimen as such, it is not the preserved remains of a living animal, rather it a model that attempts to depict the ancestor of birds (Aves) and as such, it is extremely significant.

Saying Hello to Proavis – (Pro-Aves)

A Proavis (Pro-Aves) model.

The “Proavis” model at the Grant Museum of Zoology (London).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The rather strange looking creature is a little worse for wear, after all, it is over a hundred years old.  Proavis consists of a wire armature, which has been covered in wax and real feathers.  It represents a theoretical missing link between feathered, Maniraptoran dinosaurs and the first birds, such as Archaeopteryx (A. lithographica).  During the late 19th Century, leading academics began to realise that birds may be closely related to dinosaurs.  Such ideas were fuelled by the publication of the seminal work “The Origin of Species” by one of Professor Grant’s former pupils (Charles Darwin) in 1859 and the excavation of the first, very nearly complete fossil of Archaeopteryx in 1861.

A Model of the Hypothetical “Missing Link” Between Reptiles and Birds

A model of the hypothetical transitional animal Proavis.

A model of the hypothetical animal Proavis.

Picture Credit: Grant Museum of Zoology

A Model of a “Missing Link”

The model is based on an illustration of a “missing link” a hypothetical transitional form between the reptiles and birds.  The term “Proavis” was first coined in 1906 by the English zoologist William Plane Pycraft.  Pycraft wrote a number of books on evolution and natural history including “The Story of Reptile Life”, that was published in 1905.  He believed that flight in early birds developed from ancestral forms that glided between trees, the “tree down” view.  However, other academics at the time proposed alternative theories for the evolution of the birds.  For example, the Hungarian polymath Franz Nopcsa proposed that flight developed first amongst fast-running terrestrial reptiles, which used their flapping arms to run faster.   The feather and wax model in the Museum originally came from Cambridge.  It was probably made by a student and it reflects the “ground up” view as championed by the likes of Nopcsa.

An Illustration of a Transitional Form Between Reptiles and Birds “Tree Down” Concept

Proavis - the origins of powered flight in ancestral birds.

From the “Origin of Birds” by Gerhard Heilmann.

Picture Credit: Gerhard Heilmann

This delicate and fragile model may look very different from today’s interpretations of the first birds and the Maniraptoran dinosaurs from which birds are descended, but it does represent an important milestone in academic thinking.  Models like “Proavis” were used to explore evolutionary theories  from more than a century ago.  As such, it does represent a “transitional form”, epitomising how ideas about Tetrapods have changed over time.

A More Modern Interpretation of a Reptile that was Ancestral to Aves (Dromaeosauridae)

Adasaurus mongoliensis illustrated.

An illustration of the dromaeosaurid Adasaurus (A. mongoliensis).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

27 05, 2018

Maisy and her Dinosaur

By | May 27th, 2018|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Maisy Designs a Dinosaur – Maisyosaurus

Our thanks to young Maisy and her classmates for sending lots of beautiful dinosaur drawings to our offices.  We had challenged the children (Year 2), to have a go at designing their very own prehistoric animals during a dinosaur workshop at their school.  We received an amazing array of very colourful drawings, with lots of lovely labelling and some fascinating explanations from the children as to why their dinosaur was so special.

Maisy Has Designed a Maisyosaurus

A Maisyosaurus drawn by Maisy.

A very colourful dinosaur design created by Maisy in Year 2.

Picture Credit: Maisy/Everything Dinosaur

Maisy labelled the various body parts of her dinosaur, explaining that it was an omnivore and that it had five toes to help it cut through things.  Certainly, having four fingers and a thumb makes using scissors very straight forward, I’m sure the dinosaur would have appreciated the comment.  Maisyosaurus also had spikes on its back, as Maisy explained, the spikes helped this dinosaur shake off a bug should one alight on it.  Perhaps it could it have shaken its big, bushy yellow tail in order to scare off flies and other insects.

Our thanks again to Maisy and the other Key Stage 1 pupils at her school for sending in the super dinosaur designs.

26 05, 2018

A Scale Drawing of Pyroraptor

By | May 26th, 2018|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

A Scale Drawing of Pyroraptor olympius

As team members at Everything Dinosaur make plans for the imminent arrival of the Beasts of the Mesozoic range of 1:6 scale dinosaur figures, we have been busy finalising the scale drawings of these extinct animals for use in our fact sheets.  For virtually every named prehistoric animal that we supply from Achelousaurus and Acheroraptor to Zhenyuanlong, we research and write a fact sheet.  In this way, our customers can learn a little about the prehistoric creature the model or soft toy represents.

A Scale Drawing of the Beasts of the Mesozoic Pyroraptor

A scale drawing of the dromaeosaurid dinosaur Pyroraptor olympius.

A scale drawing of the dromaeosaurid Pyroraptor olympius.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Estimating the Size of Dinosaurs

Estimating the size of dinosaurs is quite a tricky business.  When it comes to a dromaeosaur like Pyroraptor, we are hampered by the lack of fossil evidence.  This dinosaur is known from a handful of teeth and some fragmentary bones.  However, we estimate that this fast-running dinosaur was around 1.5 metres in size and weighed between eight and ten kilograms.  The poor fossil record of most dinosaurs hampers mass and length estimations, many of the fossils relate to sub-adults or juveniles so the exact size of an adult animal is very difficult to calculate.  A case in point is the recently described Sciurumimus (Sciurumimus albersdoerferi), from Germany.  This dinosaur is known from a single fossil specimen.  It is a spectacular fossil and very nearly complete.  However, the skeleton is that of a baby, a very young animal measuring around seventy centimetres in length.  This baby dinosaur could have grown up to become one of the largest Theropod dinosaurs known from the Jurassic of Europe.  Until more fossils of this species are found, the adult size of this carnivorous dinosaur remains entirely speculative.

The CollectA  Sciurumimus (Sciurumimus albersdoerferi) Dinosaur Model

CollectA Sciurumimus.

CollectA Sciurumimus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To read about the discovery of Sciurumimus (2012): Megalosaurs Join the Tufty Club

13 05, 2018

Travel Back in Time at the Portsmouth Guildhall

By | May 13th, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Showcasing the Palaeoart of Dr Mark Witton

Tomorrow, sees the opening day of a special exhibition at the Portsmouth Guildhall (Hampshire, southern England) highlighting the artwork of world-renowned palaeoartist Dr Mark Witton.  “A Natural History of Deep Time”, takes visitors on a journey through the evolution of life on Earth through the medium of the artwork and illustrations of the Portsmouth University researcher and freelance palaeoartist.

The Late Jurassic Pterosaur Sordes pilosus Searching for a Meal

Sordes pilosus illustrated.

Eyeing up a potential meal?  The Pterosaur Sordes pilosus eyes up a snail.  Artwork by Mark Witton.

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

A Free Art Exhibition

The art exhibition runs from Monday 14th May until Thursday June 28th and visitors to the Portsmouth Guildhall will be able to view bizarre marine communities of the Cambrian, the first land plants and animals plus lots of dinosaurs and flying reptiles, as well as the species that have helped shape the modern world.  The gallery will include some of the most significant, spectacular and unusual species known from the fossil record.  Dr Witton is perhaps most famous for his research on the Pterosauria – the extinct flying reptiles, cousins of the dinosaurs that shared their extinction fate at the end of the Cretaceous.  He specialises in producing scientifically credible restorations of long perished, ancient environments in amazing detail.  His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and publications and Dr Witton is delivering a sold-out lecture next week at the same venue entitled “The Science of Recreating Prehistoric Animals”.

An Example of the Detailed Illustrations of Dr Mark Witton (Purbeck Lagoon 145 mya)

Purbeck (Dorset) 145 million years ago.

Purbeck Lagoon 145 mya as darkness falls Durlstodon (top left) looks on whilst two Durlstotherium scurry through the undergrowth. In the centre a Durlstotherium has been caught by Nuthetes destructor.  A detailed illustration by Dr Mark Witton.

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

A Natural History of Deep Time celebrates billions of years of evolution and this free exhibition of palaeoart is open from May 14th through to June 28th:

Opening times:
Monday to Friday: 9am – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 2pm
Sunday: Closed

2 05, 2018

Jinzhousaurus by Zhao Chuang

By | May 2nd, 2018|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Jinzhousaurus Illustrated

Renowned Chinese palaeoartist Zhao Chuang has produced stunning illustrations of many dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.  It is great to see that a lot of his work depicts dinosaurs that once roamed China.  Today, we feature an illustration of the Ornithischian dinosaur Jinzhousaurus (J. yangi) being attacked by a flock of dromaeosaurids.

Jinzhousaurus yangi Ambushed by Dromaeosaurid Dinosaurs

Jinzhousaurus being attacked (illustration by Zhao Chuang).

Jinzhousaurus from the Yixian Formation of China being attacked by a pack of dromaeosaurids, probably Sinornithosaurus.

Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang

Jinzhousaurus yangi

The picture (above) shows a very colourful Jinzhousaurus being attacked by a trio of Theropod dinosaurs.  Jinzhousaurus is known from a single, highly compressed specimen which includes most of the skeleton and skull.  It lived around 122 million years ago (early Aptian faunal stage of the Early Cretaceous) in north-eastern China and is one of the Ornithischian constituents of the Yixian Formation palaeobiota.   This herbivorous dinosaur measured around five metres in length.  Where Jinzhousaurus sits on the dinosaur family tree remains uncertain.  Despite well preserved (if somewhat flattened remains), the exact taxonomic position of this dinosaur is contentious.  When first described in 2001, it was regarded as a member of the iguanodontids (hence the prominent thumb spike painted by Zhao Chuang).  Recent studies have proposed that it was more closely related to the duck-billed dinosaurs.  Jinzhousaurus shows a number of primitive and more derived anatomical characteristics so its placement within the Ornithopoda remains problematic.  Current thinking is that it was a member of the Hadrosauroidea, a clade of Ornithischian dinosaurs that includes duck-billed dinosaurs (hadrosaurids) and all dinosaurs more closely related to them than to Iguanodon.

Which Raptor?

The trio of feathered raptors engaged in combat could represent a number of dinosaur species.  Our notes on Zhao Chuang’s illustration do not define the dinosaurs concerned.  Several dromaeosaurids and troodontids are known from the Yixian Formation. If we were to guess, then the three attacking Theropods illustrated by Zhao Chuang could represent Sinornithosaurus as fossils of this dromaeosaurid come from the same bedding planes (Dawangzhangzi Bed) of the Yixian Formation.

24 04, 2018

Congratulations to Prehistoric Times Magazine

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

Twenty-Five Years of Prehistoric Times Magazine

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

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times (Issue 125)

Prehistoric Times magazine (spring 2018).

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

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks/Prehistoric Times

Just Arrived in the Mail

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

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

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

Celebrating 25 Years – Prehistoric Times Magazine

Prehistoric Times Silver Jubilee Edition.

Prehistoric Times magazines celebrates 25 years.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks/Prehistoric Times

Prehistoric Times Magazine

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

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

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

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

23 04, 2018

Year 2 Study Dinosaurs

By | April 23rd, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Hedgehog, Squirrel, and Deer Classes Study Dinosaurs

The children in Year 2 at Newport Infant School (Shropshire), had an exciting day today when one of our dinosaur experts visited them to kick-start their new term topic all about dinosaurs, fossils and life in the past.  The three classes that make up the Year 2 cohort – Hedgehog, Squirrel and Deer had been set a challenge by their teachers over the holiday period.  Could the children create something to do with dinosaurs and then bring it into school?  The children set about this task with relish and our dinosaur expert was able to see the results of the children’s hard work, plus we suspect, the efforts of one or two grown-ups that also got involved in the project.

Examples of Dinosaur Models on Display in Deer Class (Year 2)

Dinosaur Models made by Year 2 children.

Children in Deer class (Year 2) made dinosaur models including some amazing, blue dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Newport Infant School (Deer Class)/Everything Dinosaur

Posters, Models, Dinosaur Dioramas Charts, Fact Cards – Lots of Dinosaur Themed Craft Ideas

The hard-working and dedicated teaching team deliberately kept the brief for the children quite vague.  It did not matter what the pupils produced, so long as it had something to do with dinosaurs.  A wide variety of different craft ideas were showcased as our dinosaur expert toured the three classrooms.  There were lots of prehistoric animal models, with many different types of materials used including cardboard, modelling clay and papier mâché.

Some children had chosen to produce a poster or a set of dinosaur fact sheets.  We spotted a poster in Hedgehog class which examined the diets of different dinosaurs, herbivore, omnivore or carnivore.  This poster was very timely, as we found out that the teachers had set the children a spelling list for them to learn this week and the words carnivore, herbivore and omnivore were included on the list.

Exploring the Diets of Different Dinosaurs

Exploring carnivores, herbivores and omnivores with Year 2.

Year 2 children explore dinosaur diets (Hedgehog class).

Picture Credit: Newport Infant School (Hedgehog Class)/Everything Dinosaur

Colourful Prehistoric Animals and Dinosaurs

This large primary school provides lots of exciting learning opportunities and the teaching team have created an imaginative scheme of work for the summer term.  The colourful prehistoric animals and cleverly created posters have set the scene for what will be a fascinating and varied topic.  During our visit, we set the classes a variety of challenges ourselves, these included learning about reptiles alive today, producing poems about dinosaurs and researching famous fossil hunters such as Mary Anning.

Some of the Dinosaur Models on Display in the Squirrel Classroom

Models of dinosaurs by Year 2 children.

Dinosaur models (Squirrel class).

Picture Credit: Newport Infant School (Squirrel Class)/Everything Dinosaur

4 04, 2018

Favourite Comments About Arsinoitherium

By | April 4th, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Main Page|0 Comments

Arsinoitherium Distantly Related to Elephants and Sea Cows

Arsinoitherium is one of the most strangest mammals known to science.  Although extensive fossil material has been found, largely from the fossil-rich Fayum Beds of Egypt, scientists remained uncertain for decades as to where this large animal should be placed on the placental mammal family tree.  Some eighty years or so, since Arsinoitherium was officially described, an analysis of the skull, inner ear and brain casts led scientists to conclude that this heavy-set, herbivore was distantly related to proboscideans (elephants et al) and sirenians (sea cows such as manatees and dugongs).  Together with the Proboscidea, Sirenia, the Order to which Arsinoitheres have been classified – the Order Embrithopoda and one other extinct group, the Desmostylia, these are all combined into the clade Tethytheria.  The name Tethytheria is derived from the thinking that all these types of mammals evolved in and around the shores of an ancient sea called the Tethys.

A Scale Drawing of the Bizarre Arsinoitherium

Arsinoitherium scale drawing.

A scale drawing of the bizarre placental mammal Arsinoitherium.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Our Favourite Comments About Arsinoitherium

This strange mammal has been the subject of several fact sheets and drawings sent in to Everything Dinosaur by fans of prehistoric animals.  Some of our favourite assertions include:

  • Arsinoitherium had a very distinctive skull.  It had two, large conical horns that pointed forward and were so big they might have obscured the animal’s vision.  The horns were hollow and may have been used as resonating chambers to produce loud calls.
  • Arsinoitherium was a very picky eater.  It liked to eat leaves and fruit and its size meant that it had to eat all the time.
  • Arsinoitherium lived in small family groups and probably spent a lot of time in water.  It could not straighten its legs, so it was happy to spend its time swimming and wading in water.  The water also helped to keep Arsinoitherium cool.

We are grateful for all the data sheets, drawings and fact sheets on prehistoric animals that have been compiled by young fans of prehistoric animals.  We are happy to encourage the creation of what teachers call non-chronological reports, although far be it from us to comment on the assertions relating to Arsinoitheres that have been sent in to us.

21 03, 2018

A Red Dimetrodon Drawing

By | March 21st, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Main Page|0 Comments

A Red Dimetrodon

Whilst tidying up one of the office book shelves we came across this wonderful drawing of the Permian reptile Dimetrodon.  It had been sent into us by a young dinosaur fan who lives in Lancashire.  It just goes to show that Everything Dinosaur also receives drawings and illustrations of other prehistoric animals, not just dinosaurs.

A Very Colourful Dimetrodon Drawing

Dimetrodon drawing.

A drawing of a Dimetrodon.  Another example of a non-dinosaurian illustration having been sent in to Everything Dinosaur.

Most budding, young palaeontologists will tell you all about Dimetrodon, a genus of pelycosaur that evolved during the Permian period and died out many millions of years before the first dinosaurs.  Although, not a member of the Dinosauria, this sail-backed reptile is synonymous with the likes of Triceratops, Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex and often features in so-called “dinosaur model” sets.

Our thanks to the young palaeoartist who sent this drawing in, it certainly helped to brighten our day.

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