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.

12 10, 2021

Diabloceratops Drawing

By | October 12th, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Our thanks to Caldey who sent into Everything Dinosaur another drawing of a horned dinosaur. This time Caldey has chosen to illustrate a centrosaurine, the spectacular Diabloceratops (D. eatoni), a plant-eater that roamed Utah during the Campanian faunal stage of the Late Cretaceous.

With its huge pair of horns extending beyond the headshield and its large, brow horns, Diabloceratops (devil horned face), was one very impressive-looking dinosaur.

A Diabloceratops eatoni drawing by Caldey
The very colourful horned dinosaur by talented young artist Caldey. We think that Caldey drew inspiration from the Beasts of the Mesozoic Diabloceratops (D. eatoni) replica.

Inspired by a Beasts of the Mesozoic Ceratopsian

Team members at Everything Dinosaur think that this colourful ceratopsian illustration was inspired by the colour scheme on the Beasts of the Mesozoic articulated Diabloceratops figure.

Beasts of the Mesozoic Diabloceratops
The Beasts of the Mesozoic articulated Diabloceratops eatoni model. This replica of a centrosaurine was part of the first wave of ceratopsian figures to be produced in the Beasts of the Mesozoic range.

A Diabloceratops Duo

This Diabloceratops illustration we received this week is not the first Diabloceratops drawing from Caldey that we have been sent. In 2019, Schleich introduced a Diabloceratops figure, this model proved to be extremely popular and shortly after its introduction Caldey sent into Everything Dinosaur her illustration of the Schleich model.

Schleich Diabloceratops dinosaur drawing.
The Schleich Diabloceratops inspired Caldey to illustrate this dinosaur back in 2019.
Schleich Diabloceratops dinosaur model.
A close-up view of the front end (anterior portion) of the Schleich Diabloceratops dinosaur model. This horned dinosaur model, introduced in 2019 inspired Caldey to produce her first illustration of Diabloceratops that was sent to Everything Dinosaur.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Some of the spectacular horned dinosaurs that have been recently named and described have proved very popular with palaeoartists of all ages. Our thanks to Caldey for sending into us her Diabloceratops drawing. Her artwork is greatly appreciated”.

28 09, 2021

Caldey’s Horned Dinosaur Illustration

By | September 28th, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Our thanks to dinosaur model fan and artist Caldey who sent into Everything Dinosaur a very colourful and striking illustration of a horned dinosaur. Caldey has been inspired by the paint schemes of several of the Beasts of the Mesozoic ceratopsians and we think that Caldey’s most recent artwork has been influenced by the Styracosaurus albertensis in this range.

Caldey's horned dinosaur drawing.
The very colourful horned dinosaur illustration produced by Caldey. Team members at Everything Dinosaur think that the centrosaurine illustrated is Styracosaurus. Picture credit: Caldey.

The skin covering the fenestrae in the fill have been coloured crimson and their colour almost matches the vivid tree depicted in the background.

An Impressive Horned Dinosaur Drawing

As crocodilians and birds which are the closest living relatives to the Dinosauria, have colour vision, most scientists are confident in the assertion that dinosaurs had colour vision too. The bold patterns and colours chosen by the illustrator would certainly make this horned dinosaur conspicuous, but if you want to attract a mate, or to obtain high social status within a herd, having a striking appearance is one way to go about it. Caldey’s colour scheme is bold with the white flashes on the flanks in stark contrast to the russet tones and greys of the rest of the body. The dinosaur also sports a tuft of bristles from the end of the ribs running towards the base of the tail, a nod to the integumentary covering associated with the distantly related Psittacosaurus which Caldey has also illustrated (see below).

A drrawing of Psittacosaurus.
Caldey’s illustration of the early member of the Ceratopsia – Psittacosaurus. Picture credit: Caldey.

When commenting upon Caldey’s latest, colourful ceratopsian a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“It is always a pleasure to receive illustrations and drawings from dinosaur fans. We have been very impressed with the artwork that we have been sent by Caldey. We have received artwork featuring several horned dinosaurs including Triceratops and Diabloceratops. We know that she has been inspired previously by the Beasts of the Mesozoic models, so we think her latest drawing was influenced by the Beasts of the Mesozoic Styracosaurus figure”

Beasts of the Mesozoic Styracosaurus model illustration
The back cover illustration of the Beasts of the Mesozoic Styracosaurus dinosaur model (S. albertensis). Did this colour scheme inspire the young artist?

Our thanks once again to Caldey for sending into Everything Dinosaur her prehistoric animal drawing.

25 09, 2021

Prehistoric Times Magazine Issue 139

By | September 25th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

Time to take a sneak peek at the front cover of the forthcoming edition of the quarterly magazine “Prehistoric Times”. It features a close-up view of the head of the African spinosaurid Suchomimus on the front cover.

Team members at Everything Dinosaur are grateful to magazine editor Mike Fredericks for sending us an image of the front cover of the next edition (issue 139) of this popular magazine.

Prehistoric Times magazine (issue 139)
The front cover of the next issue of “Prehistoric Times” magazine (issue 139) features a close-up view of the head of the spinosaurid Suchomimus. Picture credit: Mike Fredericks.

Issue 139 (Fall/Autumn 2021)

As well as Phil Hore’s articles on Suchomimus and placodonts (Henodus), we can look forward to the next instalment of Jon Lavas’s long-running series highlighting the work of the influential Czech artist Zdeněk Burian. In issue 139, the focus will be on Burian’s illustrations of Stegosaurus.

Stegosaurus stenops threatened by a pair of Antrodemus valens.
The classic depiction of a Late Jurassic scene by Burian (1950). Everything Dinosaur team members wonder whether this iconic image of the armoured dinosaur Stegosaurus will feature in issue 139 (fall/autumn 2021)? Picture credit: Zdeněk Burian.

The front cover text hints at an article by the talented polymath Tracy Lee Ford on dinosaur feathers. At this time, team members at Everything Dinosaur do not know whether dinosaur feathers are the subject of his regular “how to draw dinosaurs” feature of if this is an especially commissioned piece focusing on the various integumentary coverings associated with the Dinosauria. The article is bound to be most informative and we look forward to issue 139 dropping through our letter box sometime in the next few weeks.

To learn more about “Prehistoric Times” magazine and to subscribe: “Prehistoric Times” magazine.

28 08, 2021

Solving the Picture Puzzle – Torosaurus

By | August 28th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

A few days ago, team members at Everything Dinosaur posted up a picture of a recently commissioned dinosaur drawing and challenged our blog readers and social media followers to identify the species illustrated. Sure enough, these knowledgeable collectors of prehistoric animals were quickly able to identify Torosaurus (T. latus).

Dinosaur drawing commissioned by Everything Dinosaur.
Everything Dinosaur set a challenge, could you identify the dinosaur species illustrated in their recently commissioned drawing?

Beasts of the Mesozoic Torosaurus Dinosaur Model

The drawing of Torosaurus was commissioned in preparation for the arrival this autumn of the Beasts of the Mesozoic Wave 3 Ceratopsians, seven new, articulated horned dinosaur models including a Torosaurus replica. The drawing (above), was inspired by the photograph of the Torosaurus shown below.

Beasts of the Mesozoic Torosaurus.
The Beasts of the Mesozoic Torosaurus dinosaur model with its striking blue colour scheme. A fantastic dinosaur model part of the Wave 3 Ceratopsians series.

The Wave 3 Ceratopsians (Albertaceratops, Pentaceratops, Sinoceratops, adult Triceratops, Utahceratops, Xenoceratops and the Torosaurus model), are due to be shipped from the factory in September (September 2021). It is difficult to predict when these figures will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur, but they could be available sometime after the middle of October. Team members will do all they can to expediate delivery into their UK warehouse.

Beasts of the Mesozoic Torosaurus in anterior view
The target spots on the headshield of the Beasts of the Mesozoic Torosaurus dinosaur model can be clearly seen in this image.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We like to set little puzzles and quizzes on our Instagram, Facebook and other social media pages. We thought that our picture puzzle would prove a bit of a challenge, but once again, our fans and followers have demonstrated their in-depth knowledge of prehistoric animals as well as dinosaur models and figures. Not only did respondents correctly identify Torosaurus latus but they recognised that our illustration had been inspired by the Beasts of the Mesozoic Torosaurus model. Perhaps it was the prominent target spots on the headshield that gave the game away.”

Torosaurus Model Measurements

The Beasts of the Mesozoic Torosaurus is a huge model! It is considerably bigger than both the Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai and the Centrosaurus apertus figures that were introduced earlier. The articulated Torosaurus measures nearly 46 cm in length. The dinosaur model has a declared scale of 1:18.

Beasts of the Mesozoic Torosaurus model measurements.
The Beasts of the Mesozoic Torosaurus (T. latus) dinosaur model measures nearly 46 cm long.

The spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur added:

“The Torosaurus and the adult Triceratops figures are the largest horned dinosaur models in the Beasts of the Mesozoic model range. These two figures and the other models in Wave 3 are going to make a big splash when they touch down at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse.”

Beasts of the Mesozoic Torosaurus dinosaur model.
The stunning Beasts of the Mesozoic Torosaurus (T. latus) articulated dinosaur model.

To view the range of Beasts of the Mesozoic models currently in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Beasts of the Mesozoic.

25 08, 2021

Time for a Picture Puzzle

By | August 25th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

At Everything Dinosaur, we are amazed at the in-depth dinosaur and prehistoric animal knowledge that is often demonstrated by our customers. Our fans, followers and supporters on the various social media platforms that we occupy such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube constantly impress us with their knowledge of palaeontology.

We are often humbled by the sheer breadth and depth of knowledge they collectively possess. So, it’s time for another little tease, time to put our customers and social media fans to the test.

Below, we have posted up a dinosaur drawing that we at Everything Dinosaur recently commissioned.

Can you identify the dinosaur species from the drawing?

Dinosaur drawing commissioned by Everything Dinosaur.
An illustration of an ornithischian dinosaur commissioned recently by Everything Dinosaur, but can you identify the dinosaur species from the drawing?

Dinosaur Picture Puzzle

Based in the UK, Everything Dinosaur is run by teachers and knowledgeable dinosaur enthusiasts helping collectors of prehistoric animal models and promoting education and an appreciation of the Earth sciences. We research and write fact sheets for many of the models and figures we sell and we commission illustrations of prehistoric animals that can be used in these fact sheets and in our other educational activities.

The dinosaur drawings that we commission help to support a network of palaeoartists and illustrators. Our financial support of these illustrators is just one of the ways in which Everything Dinosaur assists the wider community.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that they would reveal the identity of the dinosaur featured in the drawing in a blog post to be published later this week.

30 07, 2021

Teasing About Spinosaurus

By | July 30th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

A few days ago, team members at Everything Dinosaur teased their Facebook and Instagram followers with a stunning illustration of the huge theropod dinosaur Spinosaurus. The artwork is supplied with the W-Dragon Spinosaurus (S. aegyptiacus) replica, but team members challenged followers and fans on social media to see if they could correctly identify the illustration.

Spinosaurus illustration
A stunning Spinosaurus illustration based on an interpretation of this giant theropod around 30 years ago. Fans and followers of Everything Dinosaur on social media were asked to identify the prehistoric animal model based on the illustration. Could you work out the model that comes with this splendid Spinosaurus drawing?

Clever Collectors

Our well-informed customers, dinosaur model fans and clever collectors were able to identify the Spinosaurus artwork. We are going to have to set some sterner challenges if we are to stump our fans and followers on social media.

W-Dragon Spinosaurus dinosaur model.
The W-Dragon Spinosaurus dinosaur model on its display base. This figure is supplied with superb Spinosaurus illustration. The artwork and the model honour the Spinosaurus that appeared in the third of the “Jurassic Park” trilogies – “Jurassic Park III”, the first film in this hugely successful franchise that was not based on a book by the late Michael Crichton.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We have a very knowledgeable and discerning customer base and we like to set the occasional challenge to test how much they know about the models that we sell. We have been very impressed with the level of knowledge that has been demonstrated. We might have to set some harder challenges in the future.”

W-Dragon Spinosaurus Model

The W-Dragon Spinosaurus arrived in stock at Everything Dinosaur at the beginning of 2021. A special production run had been commissioned by Everything Dinosaur in response to requests from customers.

The W-Dragon Spinosaurus dinosaur model.
The superb W-Dragon Spinosaurus dinosaur replica.

To view the W-Dragon Spinosaurus and the rest of the models in the excellent W-Dragon range: W-Dragon Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

21 07, 2021

Nanotyrannus Scale Drawing

By | July 21st, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Earlier this month (July 13th, 2021), Everything Dinosaur announced that PNSO were adding a replica of the controversial Late Cretaceous tyrannosaur Nanotyrannus to their product range. Logan the Nanotyrannus will join several other tyrannosauroid figures in the exciting and highly respected PNSO mid-size, prehistoric animal model range. A Tarbosaurus figure has been announced (Chaunzi the Tarbosaurus) and earlier this year, Everything Dinosaur announced that this range would also include a replica of Yutyrannus huali (Yinqi the Yutyrannus).

PNSO Nanotyrannus dinosaur model.
The new for 2021 PNSO Nanotyrannus dinosaur model (Logan the Nanotyrannus).

A Controversial Tyrannosaur Genus

Nanotyrannus (N. lancensis) was named and scientifically described in 1988 (Bakker et al), based on a slender skull (CMNH 7541) discovered by David Dunkle from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (Ohio) in 1942. Bakker et al concluded that the skull represented an adult animal, but this has been refuted by a number of authors since publication. Other T. rex fossil finds, most notably the teenage specimen known as “Jane” excavated by palaeontologists from the Burpee Museum of Natural History (Illinois) and now part of a permanent tyrannosaur display, have demonstrated that the body shape of T. rex changed dramatically as it grew.

The narrow-skulled, long-limbed and more gracile tyrannosaur specimens probably do not represent a pygmy form of tyrannosaur that shared the Late Cretaceous habitat with the bruiser T. rex, these specimens are juveniles. However, as part of Everything Dinosaur’s commitment to education, we still have to prepare a fact sheet on Nanotyrannus to accompany sales of the PNSO Logan the Nanotyrannus dinosaur model.

Nanotyrannus lancensis skull replica.
A cast of CMNH 7541 skull of Nanotyrannus lancensis (lateral view). Picture credit: S. Anselmo. The teeth of juvenile T. rexes are more slender compared to the very robust teeth of adult T. rexes which also tend to be “D-shaped” in cross section.

Nanotyrannus Scale Drawing

Logan the Nanotyrannus could represent N. lancensis or perhaps it could represent a teenage T. rex. That decision ultimately rests with the purchaser, team members at Everything Dinosaur will be supplying their customers with a fact sheet and this will contain a scale drawing based on the original estimated size for Nanotyrannus of a little over five metres in length.

Nanotyrannus lancensis scale drawing.
Nanotyrannus scale drawing.

To view the PNSO prehistoric animal models currently in stock at Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.

17 07, 2021

Did Baby Tyrannosaurs Gnaw Bones?

By | July 17th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Scientists have reported the discovery of a hadrosaur pedal ungual (the bone on the end of a toe that supported the keratin claw or hoof), that shows a series of small bite marks made by a theropod dinosaur. The toe claw seems to have been bitten repeatedly and although scrapes and scratches on fossil bones that are incidental feeding traces left by meat-eating dinosaurs have been well documented, these bite marks might represent something very different.

Did a baby tyrannosaur or possibly a dromaeosaurid gnaw on the toe bone of a dead duck-billed dinosaur?

A young tyrannosaur gnaws on a hadrosaur toe bone
A life reconstruction of a juvenile tyrannosaur biting down on the hadrosaur pedal ungual causing the bite marks that have been preserved in the fossil (TMP 2018.012.0123). Picture credit: Joshua Doyon.

Gnawing Behaviour

Gnawing behaviour is synonymous with many types of mammals, specifically members of the Carnivora and rodents (Rodentia), but it is not commonly associated with the Dinosauria. Coprolites thought to have come from tyrannosaurs contain a lot of bone fragments, tests demonstrate that large tyrannosaurids were capable of crushing bone and it had been thought that coprolite bone content came about as bones were ingested through general consumption.

However, a trio of scientists – Caleb Brown and Darren Tanke from the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology (Alberta) in collaboration with Dr David Hone, Senior Lecturer in Zoology at the University of London, have recently published a paper in PeerJ, that suggests that the unusual bite marks on the hadrosaur pedal ungual might represent dinosaur gnawing behaviour.

A hadrosaur pedal ungual with gnaw marks
Ammonium chloride powder coated photographs of the hadrosaurid pedal showing bite marks (viewed from the bottom – ventral/plantar view). (A) View of TMP 2018.012.0123 (A), with marks highlighted in blue (A’). Close-up of the bitten region (B), with marks highlighted in blue and numbered in Arabic numerals (B’). Note scale bars = 1 cm.

Documenting Unusual Dinosaur Behaviour

The fossil toe claw bone (specimen number TMP 2018.012.0123), comes from a bonebed (bonebed 50) that contains the disarticulated remains of several different types of duck-billed dinosaur including Corythosaurus. Although the bone came from an adult, it is not possible to confirm the dinosaur species. Thirteen, distinct and highly localised tooth marks have been identified. Their pattern suggests that a small, meat-eating dinosaur delivered up to six repeated, powerful bites to the claw bone. There would have been very little meat on this part of the hadrosaur’s body, gnawing on the pedal ungual represents an unusual and rare form of behaviour.

The researchers reviewed pedal unguals of duck-billed dinosaurs from the Dinosaur Park Formation. They identified tooth marks and feeding traces on four other toe claw bones, but this represents less than 1% of all the hadrosaur toe bones found and feeding traces were much more common on other bones.

Evidence of late stage carcase consumption by a dromaeosaur or young tyrannosaur on a pedal ungual of a hadrosaur.
Right articulated hadrosaurid pes in dorsal view (A), with ungual of digit three highlighted (white) and the position of the tooth marks (ventral side) indicated in black. Shaded line drawing of the ventral view of the ungual (B), showing the position of the bite marks (black). Close-up view of bite mark size (C) and (D) Close-up view of bite marks showing potential alignment of tooth row parallel with the long axes of the tooth marks. Hollow fills in C indicate potential bite marks missing from rows/columns. Note scale bars = 1 cm.

Dromaeosaur or Tyrannosaur?

The tracemaker cannot be definitively identified but the researchers rule out crocodilians, small mammal feeding traces and snake bites, leaving a theropod dinosaur as the likely tracemaker whose unusual behaviour has been recorded in the fossil. The number of theropods capable of causing such marks and known from the Dinosaur Park Formation is relatively small. The scientists considered dromaeosaurids and their close relatives the Troodontidae, as the tooth marks could have been made by a large troodontid such as Latenivenatrix. The team also considered whether the tracemaker was a young tyrannosaurid.

Given the lack of evidence of denticle spacing present on the bite marks, and that both Tyrannosauridae and Dromaeosauridae were capable of delivering bites resulting in deep furrows and pits to the bone surface, the team speculated that either a dromaeosaur (such as Dromaeosaurus or Saurornitholestes), caused the damage or perhaps the marks were made by a very young tyrannosaurid. Two genera of tyrannosaur are known from the Dinosaur Park Formation, namely Gorgosaurus and Daspletosaurus.

Perhaps, a very young Gorgosaurus, the lowest ranked animal in the pack was left to pull at and gnaw on the toe of the hadrosaur, whilst the rest pack gorged themselves on the more attractive, nutrient rich parts of the carcase.

Can Dogs Provide an Answer?

Anyone who has kept horses and dogs will tell you that when the horse’s hooves are trimmed dogs love to eat the trimmings. The hooves are made from keratin, the same protein responsible for the toe claw on the hadrosaur. Dogs can get very excited when the farrier starts to tidy up the hooves, they seem to crave the soft, recently trimmed parts of the hoof.

Many dog treats are made from horse’s hooves. Could your pet dog provide an insight into dinosaur feeding behaviour?

A trio of Japanese hunting dogs.
Most dogs like to consume hoof trimmings. The hooves of horses and duck-billed dinosaurs are made of the same material (keratin), could a young tyrannosaur have craved the taste of the toe claws of hadrosaurs?

Could a tyrannosaur similarly have craved the taste of the toe claw of a duck-billed dinosaur?

The scientific paper: “Rare evidence for ‘gnawing-like’ behavior in a small-bodied theropod dinosaur” by Caleb M. Brown, Darren H. Tanke and David W. E. Hone published in PeerJ.

11 07, 2021

Heterodontosaurus Breathes Life into Dinosauria Respiratory Studies

By | July 11th, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

A beautifully preserved and almost complete fossil specimen of the early ornithischian Heterodontosaurus (H. tucki) has provided palaeontologists with a fresh perspective on how bird-hipped dinosaurs breathed.

An international team of scientists including Richard Butler, a professor of palaeobiology at the University of Birmingham, Jonah Choiniere, a professor of comparative palaeobiology at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, Kimberley Chapelle, a postdoctoral fellow at the American Museum of Natural History (New York), subjected the 200-million-year-old fossil to a series of extremely powerful X-rays courtesy of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, (France). The data from these scans permitted the researchers to construct computer models reassembling the skeleton in unprecedented detail and to learn how this dinosaur breathed.

Heterodontosaurus breathing study.
A life reconstruction of the early ornithischian Heterodontosaurus – its breath shows as a vapour trail in the early morning light. Picture credit: University of Witwatersrand.

Getting to Understand the Unique Ornithischian Dinosaurs

Vertebrates like reptiles, birds and mammals all move air through their lungs in different ways. Mammals like us have a diaphragm, whilst lizards use rib movements to help them move air through their lungs. Birds have another, very different respiratory system which is more efficient than our own. Birds have thin-walled air sacs connected to their lungs. These air sacs fill a considerable portion of the body cavity. They are not involved directly in gas exchange but function as bellows to direct airflow through the lungs in one direction, from back to front. This increases lung efficiency. To read an article from 2007 that examines how non-avian dinosaurs might have breathed: Dinosaur Breathing Study.

This study showed that Heterodontosaurus was using its oddly shaped ribs connected to its sternum to breathe, but that it also showed the first steps towards a muscle attached to the hips that would inflate the lung – similar to how crocodiles breathe.

Heterodontosaurus respiration study
Each of the blocks making up the Heterodontosaurus fossil material (AM 4766) were scanned by the synchrotron and then the skeleton was digitally recreated with a focus on the trunk. Gastralia ribs are shown in blue. Picture credit: Viktor Radermacher.

Lead author of the scientific study published in the journal eLife, Viktor Radermacher (PhD student in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences), commented:

“This specimen represents a turning point in understanding how dinosaurs evolved”.

Fossil Discovered in 2009

The specimen, representing a sub-adult Heterodontosaurus was discovered in 2009, eroding out of a riverbed. It is the most complete Heterodontosaurus fossil known to science. The surrounding matrix is very hard, so removal of the individual bones was not possible, but employing extremely powerful X-rays allows the scientists to peer inside the matrix and reconstruct the anatomy of this dinosaur.

In 2016, the fossil of the turkey-sized dinosaur was transported to the ESRF for a week-long study. Huge amounts of data on this early member of the Ornithischia were compiled: Heterodontosaurus visits the European Synchrotron.

The Distinctive and Successful Ornithischia

Described in 1962, Heterodontosaurus is thought to one of the most primitive members of the Ornithischia (bird-hipped dinosaurs), although the exact taxonomic placement of the Heterodontosauridae is still debated and their early evolution remains obscure. Ornithischian dinosaurs include the armoured dinosaurs, pachycephalosaurs, ceratopsians and the ornithopods – which encompasses such well-known dinosaurs as Iguanodon and the duck-billed dinosaurs.

Research team member Richard Butler (Birmingham University), explained the importance of this study:

“We’ve long known that the skeletons of ornithischian dinosaurs were radically different from those of other dinosaurs. This amazing new fossil helps us understand why ornithischians were so distinctive and successful”.

Not All Dinosaurs Breathed in the Same Way

The research revealed that Heterodontosaurus possessed numerous gastralia (belly ribs), the first time this anatomical feature has been found in an ornithischian and several other, unique autapomorphies (characteristics), that are unknown in other bird-hipped dinosaurs. For example, it had paddle-shaped sternal ribs and a forward projecting sternum. The team concluded that this suite of anatomical features enabled Heterodontosaurus to breathe in a different way when compared to other members of the Dinosauria. Heterodontosaurus forced air into its lungs by expanding both its belly and chest.

Lead author Viktor Radermacher stated:

“We have actually never known how these ornithischians breathed. The interesting thing is that Heterodontosaurus is the ancestor of this group and it has these [newly discovered] pieces of anatomy, but its descendants don’t. What that means is that Heterodontosaurus is a missing link between the ancestors of dinosaurs and the bigger, charismatic species we know. This gives us a whole bunch of information and fills in some pretty glaring gaps in our knowledge of the biology of these dinosaurs.”

Lead author of the research, University of Minnesota PhD student Viktor Radermacher
Lead author of the research, University of Minnesota PhD student Viktor Radermacher, poses next to some skull casts and dinosaur models that represent suborders of the Ornithischia. Picture credit: Sebastian Alfonzo.

Different Solutions to the Need to Breathe

Viktor Radermacher explained that this research demonstrates that there is still a lot to learn about the Dinosauria and that many different types of tetrapod evolved different solutions when it came to getting oxygen to their muscles.

He added:

“The takeaway message is that there are many ways to breathe. The really interesting thing about life on Earth is that we all have different strategies to do the same thing, and we’ve just identified a new strategy of breathing. This shows that utilising dinosaurs and palaeontology, we can learn more about the diversity of animals on Earth and how they breathe.”

The scientific paper: “A new Heterodontosaurus specimen elucidates the unique ventilatory macroevolution of ornithischian dinosaurs” by Viktor J Radermacher, Vincent Fernandez, Emma R Schachner, Richard J Butler, Emese M Bordy, Michael Naylor Hudgins, William J de Klerk, Kimberley E J Chapelle and Jonah N Choiniere published in eLife.

10 07, 2021

Drawing Prehistoric Fish

By | July 10th, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

A few days ago, Everything Dinosaur published a drawing of the marine reptile Elasmosaurus that we had commissioned. Today, we publish an illustration of the monstrous fish that was a contemporary of Elasmosaurus, another resident of “Hell’s Aquarium” otherwise known as the Western Interior Seaway. The fish is Xiphactinus and we have commissioned an illustration of this predator as we prepare for the arrival of the 1:40 scale CollectA Deluxe Xiphactinus replica in a few weeks’ time.

Xiphactinus drawing
The Xiphactinus drawing that was commissioned by Everything Dinosaur as the company prepares for the arrival of the CollectA Deluxe Xiphactinus 1:40 scale replica.

Xiphactinus “Sword Ray”

Xiphactinus was a large, bony fish that was both geographically and temporally widespread. The genus name is from the Latin and Greek and translates as “sword ray”, with some specimens over six metres in length, this was one very voracious predator and prehistoric animal model collectors have been keen to get a figure of Xiphactinus introduced into a mainstream model series.

CollectA Deluxe Xiphactinus model.
The CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale Xiphactinus prehistoric fish model. A fantastic replica of a very formidable marine predator.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that this figure, along with the other remaining new for 2021 CollectA prehistoric animal figures should be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in August or thereabouts.

The spokesperson went onto explain that the Xiphactinus (pronounced Zee-fak-tin-us), drawing would be used in a fact sheet that would be sent out with purchases of this CollectA model.

Fact sheets prepared for the Beasts of the Mesozoic range of models.
A collection of fact sheets created by Everything Dinosaur. These fact sheets are sent out free of charge to accompany sales of prehistoric animal models and figures.

Xiphactinus and Elasmosaurus

As well as being contemporaries in the marine biota of the Western Interior Seaway, Everything Dinosaur expects these two models to arrive at their UK warehouse at the same time. These figures will no doubt provide double delight for fans of marine monsters.

To view the range of not to scale prehistoric animal models in the CollectA Age of Dinosaurs/Prehistoric Life Series: CollectA Age of Dinosaurs/Prehistoric Life.

To view the range of scale prehistoric animal models produced by CollectA and available from Everything Dinosaur: CollectA Deluxe and Supreme Models.

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