Our thanks to young Caldey for sending into Everything Dinosaur a wonderful illustration of the therizinosaur that features in the forthcoming film “Jurassic World – Dominion”. This eagerly anticipated movie, rumoured to be the last in the “Jurassic Park/Jurassic World” franchise is due to have its world premiere on June 10th (2022).
Team members at Everything Dinosaur are looking forward to seeing the film in the cinema, Everything Dinosaur had a small role in helping the production team. We suspect that lots of dinosaur fans and model collectors will be looking forward to this film’s release.
“Jurassic World” – Therizinosaur
Numerous different types of theropod have adorned this film franchise, from the iconic Tyrannosaurus rex, the frill-necked dilophosaurs and the over-sized Velociraptors from the first film “Jurassic Park” that was released in the summer of 1993 to Spinosaurus, Carnotaurus and hybridised forms such as Indominus. A therizinosaur makes its appearance in “Dominion” and it has appeared in the trailer for the film, which has been viewed on YouTube more than fifty million times.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“We congratulate Caldey for her excellent therizinosaur illustration. It is such a splendid drawing. We enjoy receiving dinosaur illustrations and it never ceases to amaze us how talented some of these young artists are.”
The latest issue of “Prehistoric Times” magazine has arrived at Everything Dinosaur’s offices and team members have been admiring all the reader submitted artwork, articles and features contained therein.
The front cover illustration has been provided by British palaeoartist John Sibbick, who must hold the record for the number of “Prehistoric Times” front covers produced by a single artist. The stunning illustration depicts typical Jehol Biota members Microraptor and Jeholornis and there are plenty of feathers on show which is appropriate as inside the magazine regular contributor Tracy Lee Ford provides part three of his excellent series on integumentary coverings.
Bajadasaurus and the Fearsome Thalattoarchon
Phil Hore provides information on the bizarre sauropod Bajadasaurus and the ferocious Triassic ichthyosaur Thalattoarchon and there are plenty of reader submitted examples of artwork to admire too. Palaeontologist Gregory S. Paul co-authored a scientific paper published recently that proposes that there were three species of Tyrannosaurus in the Late Cretaceous of North America. The magazine includes an in-depth explanation of the paper’s conclusions and reviews the evidence.
Randy Knol updates collectors with the latest model news and editor Mike Fredericks reviews the latest book releases and there is a comprehensive section providing details of recent fossil discoveries and research.
Burian and the Marginocephalians
John R. Lavas continues his long-running series highlighting the astonishing artwork of the Czech artist Zdeněk Burian. Issue 141 of “Prehistoric Times” sees him focusing on the Burian’s interpretation of ceratopsids and their close relatives.
Jon Noad tells the story of one of Calgary Zoo’s oldest residents Dinny the dinosaur and Sean Kotz explains how to create a model of a Pachyrhinosaurus. Brian Novak provides part two of his series on prehistoric coins, not currency from the Cretaceous, but an illustrated guide to the types of coins and currency with a prehistoric animal theme.
Our thanks to young dinosaur fan and artist Caldey who sent into Everything Dinosaur a wonderful illustration of the South American abelisaurid Carnotaurus (C. sastrei). Caldey’s pencil drawing captures this large predator and shows plenty of fine detailing and different sized scales on the animal’s skin. If you look carefully, one of the bony horns on top of this dinosaur’s head, from which this animal was named (meat-eating bull), has been damaged. Scientists remain uncertain as to the function of these small horns, although they may have played a role in species recognition, asserted dominance or perhaps were involved in visual communication.
“Jurassic World Dominion”
Caldey was inspired to produce a Carnotaurus drawing by the forthcoming film “Jurassic World Dominion”, which is thought to be the last film in the “Jurassic Park/Jurassic World” movie franchise. The COVID-19 pandemic had delayed the release date for this eagerly anticipated film, it is now scheduled for global cinema release on June 10th (2022). The trailer for the film was released eight weeks ago and has already received over fifty million views on YouTube.
When viewing the image that Caldey had sent into us, it reminded team members of the recently introduced PNSO Carnotaurus figure “Domingo”.
We compared Caldey’s excellent drawing with one of the images we have in our database for the PNSO Domingo the Carnotaurus model.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“It is always a pleasure to receive artwork from dinosaur fans. We have received lots of illustrations from Caldey and we are very impressed with her work and her attention to detail. Keep up the good work Caldey!”
When a new prehistoric animal is named and described in a scientific paper, often, an illustration featuring the new discovery is commissioned so that readers and viewers of any subsequent media release can get an impression of what the creature might have looked like. These life reconstructions show the animal in context, providing an insight into the palaeoenvironment and sometimes also highlighting contemporaneous species that shared the same habitat.
These, frequently stunning illustrations are carefully conceived. Great care is taken to reflect the scientific evidence, however, the artist has some licence when it comes to considering the landscape, the choice of colours and the motif of the artwork.
Sometimes the person responsible for the scientific illustration is one of the authors of the study. For example, the artwork supporting the media release on the recently described rhamphorhynchid pterosaur from the Isle of Skye (Dearc sgiathanach), was created by the lead author Natalia Jagielska, a PhD student at the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh.
Everything Dinosaur asked the artist what inspired and influenced her when it came to illustrating the newly described Scottish pterosaur.
Reflecting Scientific Evidence in Palaeoart
Natalia explained that she was inspired by Scottish birds, both those in Edinburgh, where the D. sgiathanach fossil material is stored and also the many seabirds synonymous with the Isle of Skye (where the fossil was found). Gannets are common on the island. They have a similar wingspan to that estimated for Dearc sgiathanach. With their long crania, robust neck and slender wings, these piscivores could be regarded as occupying a similar niche in the marine based ecosystem as the rhamphorhynchids.
“I wanted to form this connection between contemporary local fauna and ancient fauna”, Natalia commented. “I also added a splash of blue hues and yellows on the head in some reconstructions, as a nod to its Scottish origin and the Scottish flag”.
Setting the Scene for a Jurassic Pterosaur
The background into which the life reconstruction is inserted can also help to convey important information relating to geology and the ancient environment. The rugged cliffs (above), reflect the famous steep cliffs of Skye and link the Jurassic landscape to modern Scotland, as both have been extensive shaped by the Caledonian orogeny, a period of mountain building that occurred during the Palaeozoic.
The waters represent the Hebridean basin and are part of Boreal Seaway, their presence in the artwork helps to reinforce the view that Dearc sgiathanach was associated with coastal and marine habitats.
Adding a Theropod Dinosaur
A theropod dinosaur features in one of the illustrations included with the media release. The presence of theropods in the Middle Jurassic of Skye is indicated by tridactyl prints preserved in the petrified mudflats. The Megalosaurus depicted in the scene sports cranial crests. PhD student Natalia explained that as Megalosaurus does not have a well- preserved skull, she took the opportunity to give her theropod a pair of Allosaurus-inspired head crests.
The dinosaur provides a helpful scale, the viewer is in no doubt that Dearc sgiathanach was a large animal. Indeed, with a wingspan estimated to be around 2.5 metres, the Isle of Skye pterosaur is the biggest flying reptile described to date from Jurassic material.
“Pairing a theropod with the pterosaur is an excellent way of displaying Dearc’s sheer size and making the viewer perceive it’s in the Jurassic”, Natalia stated. “Megalosaurus is excellent too, showcasing basal bauplans of carnivorous dinosaurs associated with the Middle Jurassic”.
The Pterosauria continued to evolve throughout the Mesozoic, with some of the Late Cretaceous taxa evolving to become the largest flying animals of all time. Scientific illustrations evolve and change too. In Natalia’s email correspondence with Everything Dinosaur, it was pointed out that the original concept was to depict the pterosaur fighting with the dinosaur over a piece of carrion – a macabre tug-of-war between the two archosaurs. However, the final illustration depicts a different form of interspecific competition, the brash theropod chasing after the pterosaurs much like a dog might chase gulls or oystercatchers on the beach today.
The subtle tones of the sky at sunset add atmosphere and an almost ethereal quality to the artwork. Natalia commented that the background to the illustration featuring the theropod was inspired by J. M. W. Turner’s “The Fighting Temeraire”, she wanted to give her work a grandiose, maritime-look using the light, colours and shading as depicted in the famous Turner painting. The iconic painting “The Fighting Temeraire”, featuring a huge warship making its final journey to a London shipyard so that it could be broken up, was painted in 1839. Ironically, it was during the late 1830s that the remarkable pterosaur fossils including many examples of rhamphorhynchids, from the Solnhofen limestones of southern Germany were being subjected to detailed scientific scrutiny.
Bathonian Mammaliaforms and Sauropods
In the bottom left corner of the artwork, large rib bones can be seen and sitting precariously atop one of the bones is a small mammaliaform. The Lealt Shale Formation from which the pterosaur specimen was extracted, has not yielded many body fossils, but mammaliaforms such as Wareolestes (W. rex), are known from the roughly contemporaneous Kilmaluag Formation of the Isle of Skye. Natalia wanted to highlight the significance of Skye for helping to shed light on an important stage in the evolution of many different types of tetrapod, including our own ancestors.
The Isle of Skye is also famous for its extensive sauropod tracks. Admittedly, the pterosaur specimen comes from a bedding plane devoid of such prints although tracks associated with thyreophorans (stegosaurs) have been identified.
The addition of the sauropod bones permitted the artist to hint at one of the theories put forward to explain the preservation of animal remains over a period of 170 million years or so.
“The ribcage in the foreground suggests one of theories suggesting superb preservation, maybe the fossil was buried in mudflats. The location showcases a marginal marine setting, with storm deposit layers and evidence for periodic aerial exposure – truly a perplexing combination”.
The illustrations are certainly stunning, helping to tell the tale of a pterosaur that soared over Scotland way back in the Middle Jurassic. Our thanks to Natalia Jagielska for sharing her thoughts on the inspiration behind the artwork.
The winter edition (issue 140) of “Prehistoric Times” is a bumper issue with over 60 pages crammed full of articles, features and illustrations. Talented artist Mark Hallett provides the front cover for the magazine, an illustration entitled “Predator’s Moon”. It features a bear-dog (Amphicyon lydekkeri) crunching on some bones. Mark provides a guide to the bear-dogs inside and provides more artwork on these enigmatic mammals.
Collectors of “Prehistoric Times” will recall that Mark also provided the artwork for the front cover of issue 138 (Neanderthal woman).
Neovenator and Megalictis
Phil Hore provides articles for the featured prehistoric animals in this issue. There is a piece on the Lower Cretaceous theropod from England – Neovenator (N. salerii), its inclusion ties in well with the palaeo news section, as lots of British research and English dinosaur discoveries are reported. There is also a special feature on the ferocious North American mustelid Megalictis with lots of reader artwork incorporated into it.
Jon Lavas continues his long-running history of the work of renowned Czech artist Zdeněk Burian. In issue 140, the focus is on Burian’s illustrations of ceratopsians and there are some truly iconic illustrations provided.
Tracy Lee Ford contributes part 2 of his in-depth analysis of dinosaur integumentary coverings (feathers). It includes a glossary of scientific terms and some beautifully detailed illustrations. On the subject of beautiful illustrations, palaeoartist Emily Willoughby is interviewed and the article includes an array of stunning images depicting feathered dinosaurs.
Randy Knol profiles some of the latest prehistoric animal model releases and magazine editor Mike Fredericks has been kept busy with new models and reviews of the latest books. Take a look at the “Mesozoic Media” section of the magazine, it includes a review of “Dinopedia: A Brief Compendium of Dinosaur Lore” by Tetrapod Zoology author Darren Naish from the University of Southampton.
The review concludes by stating that this book is “highly recommended as a handy reference guide for all your dinosaur questions.”
Prehistoric Coins, 3-D Printed Dinosaurs and “The Beast of Busco”
The magazine contains an article discussing the history of prehistoric animals depicted on coins written by Brian Novak. Model maker Sean Kotz provides a step-by-step guide to creating a unique Neovenator model from a 3-D print and Matt Howard provides an entertaining account of the giant turtle nicknamed “The Beast of Busco”.
There is some wonderful reader submitted artwork, special mentions to Samuel Pickens and John Sibbick for their Neovenator illustrations, for M. Elliot Massion for the Megalictis grabbing a goose as well as the Neovenator lurking behind a teapot. The Woolly Rhino painting by Jacek Major and the Edmontosaurus annectens by Sergey Krasovskiy are also impressive.
There is a lot to praise in the latest issue of “Prehistoric Times”.
The new for 2022 Schleich Nothosaurus model will soon be in stock at Everything Dinosaur and team members have been busy preparing a fact sheet all about this Triassic marine reptile. We research and write an information sheet on virtually every prehistoric animal model that we stock. The Nothosaurus fact sheet will be sent out with our sales of the Schleich model.
Several Species of Nothosaurus Have Been Described
Several species of Nothosaurus have been named and scientifically described, although the taxonomy and exact composition of this genus is still debated. The type species, is N. mirabilis, named from fossils found in Middle Triassic rocks from Germany. It is estimated to have been up to four metres in length, although it shared its marine habitat with considerably larger nothosaurs such as Nothosaurus giganteus, which like the recently described Nothosaurus zhangi (2014), from China may have reached lengths of around seven metres, making these fish-eaters from the Triassic bigger than an extant Saltwater crocodile (C. porosus).
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“The Nothosaurus fact sheet will be sent out with the new Schleich model. Collectors will be aware that there is a small, blue nothosaur figure included in the Wild Safari Prehistoric World prehistoric sea life toob, but it is still great to see another replica of this important Triassic marine reptile incorporated within a manufacturer’s model range. We congratulate Schleich for introducing this figure. It is the only non-dinosaur model announced by Schleich for 2022 in their Dinosaurier range.”
The jaws were lined with forward projecting and interlocking needle-sharp teeth, ideal for catching slippery prey such as small fish, although larger individuals may have hunted smaller marine reptiles.
The Schleich Nothosaurus model is due into stock at Everything Dinosaur shortly (January 2022), to view the range of Schleich models and figures available from Everything Dinosaur: Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models.
Talented young artist Caldey has sent into Everything Dinosaur her latest dinosaur artwork. She has produced a drawing of the Late Cretaceous chasmosaurine Spiclypeus (S. shipporum) having once again been inspired by prehistoric animal models in her collection.
Named and scientifically described in 2016, fossils of this large ceratopsian come from Judith River Formation exposures in Montana. When the fossils were being excavated the dinosaur was nicknamed “Judith” by the field team. Officially this specimen is CMNFV 57081 and it is now housed in the fossil vertebrate collection at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario.
Beasts of the Mesozoic Spiclypeus shipporum
Caldey has sent into Everything Dinosaur several horned dinosaur drawings, many of which have been based around the colourful Beasts of the Mesozoic model series. These articulated dinosaur models are well-known for having stunning box art, so it is quite fitting to see these figures encouraging and inspiring young artists.
A Wave 2 Ceratopsian
The Beasts of the Mesozoic Spiclypeus model, was one of nine figures added to this popular range in the second production wave. Caldey has already sent into Everything Dinosaur her drawing of another wave 2 figure, an illustration of Medusaceratops (M. lokii).
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“Our thanks to Caldey for sending into us such a splendid Spiclypeus drawing. We always enjoy receiving prehistoric animal illustrations and it never ceases to amaze us how talented some of these young artists are.”
China is famous for its numerous feathered theropod discoveries. Some taxa that have been scientifically described for more than twenty years are still capable of providing palaeontologists with a new perspective on the evolution of feathered dinosaurs. Take for example Beipiaosaurus inexpectus, from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation (Sihetun locality, near Beipiao), Liaoning, north-eastern China. It is a key taxon for understanding the early evolution of therizinosaurians and their close relatives.
However, since its initial scientific description back in 1999, only the cranial elements of this dinosaur have been described in any detail.
Writing in the peer-reviewed, open access journal “PLOS One”, scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in collaboration with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (USA), present a detailed description of the postcranial skeletal anatomy of the holotype specimen of B. inexpectus. The study incorporates two never before described dorsal vertebrae from the anterior half of the series. Based on these observations, and comparisons with the postcranial skeleton of therizinosaurian taxa named since this dinosaur was scientifically described, the scientists revise the diagnostic features for B. inexpectus adding three new possible, unique anatomical characteristics. The newly acquired data from the postcranial osteology of the holotype specimen sheds light on our understanding of postcranial skeletal evolution and identification of therizinosaurians.
When the paper came out, “Postcranial osteology of Beipiaosaurus inexpectus (Theropoda: Therizinosauria)” by Liao et al, Everything Dinosaur published a detailed blog post about this new research.
It seems our feathered dinosaur friends have a lot more to teach us and without giving too much away, readers can expect to see more posts about feathered dinosaurs on the Everything Dinosaur blog next year (2022).
As team members at Everything Dinosaur prepare for the arrival of the third wave of Beasts of the Mesozoic ceratopsian models, they have been busy finalising the Albertaceratops fact sheet. This fact sheet will be sent out with sales of the Beasts of the Mesozoic Albertaceratops nesmoi figure which is one of the wave 3 models coming into stock.
A Basal Centrosaurine
Named and described back in 2007, based on the discovery of a partial skull, Albertaceratops was thought to be a distant relative of Triceratops when it was first being studied. Whilst the skull is centrosaurine in nature, this herbivorous dinosaur had two large brow horns, a characteristic associated with the Chasmosaurinae subfamily within the Ceratopsidae. Triceratops is classified as a chasmosaurine and as such, it was originally thought that Albertaceratops was related to it.
Most palaeontologists consider Albertaceratops to be most closely related to Medusaceratops (M. lokii), which is known from the Judith River Formation of Montana (USA). Both Medusaceratops and Albertaceratops lived at the same time (77.5 million years ago – Campanian faunal stage of the Late Cretaceous). These two horned dinosaurs were coeval.
Albertaceratops is thought to represent an early member of the Centrosaurinae.
Medusaceratops was named and described in 2010 (Ryan, Russell and Hartman), an articulated replica of this dinosaur is in the Beasts of the Mesozoic ceratopsian range, it being one of the first models to be introduced (wave 1).
Beasts of the Mesozoic Wave 3 Ceratopsians in Stock Next Month (December 2021)
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur confirmed that the wave 3 ceratopsian series was scheduled to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in December 2021.
Everything Dinosaur customer and prehistoric animal fan Luke du Toit combines his skills as an artist and graphic designer to create stunning dinosaur themed artworks. Take for example, this very colourful Dilophosaurus illustration shown below.
Mesozoic Art was started by Luke back in 2016, he has been selling his unique creations to fans of prehistoric animals and palaeoart all over the world from his company’s website.
Commenting on why dinosaurs have inspired him so much, Luke explained:
“I have a deep love and obsession for dinosaurs and have been drawing them since I was 5 years old. Their variety of different shapes, sizes and colours really tap into my imagination. The fact that dinosaurs existed and are now not readily available for us to access make them almost mythical in nature. For me, they are a great source of creative expression. “
Inspired by the “Jurassic Park” Movie Franchise
Based in Pretoria, South Africa, Luke uses a variety of reference sources to inspire his illustrations. In particular, he is a big fan of the “Jurassic Park” movie franchise and a number of the iconic dinosaurs from that famous film franchise feature in his artwork.
Each detailed illustration is meticulously drawn, then scanned and turned into an electronic file before being digitally redrawn and then coloured.
“My artwork looks equally beautiful in a child’s bedroom, a study as well as an art piece in a living room or even a “Man Cave” setting,” commented the talented artist.
Take a look at the Mesozoic Art website to see the full portfolio of artwork and illustrations of the artist: Mesozoic Art.