All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
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Dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed articles, features and stories.

18 10, 2018

CollectA Prehistoric Animal Model Retirements 2019

By | October 18th, 2018|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

CollectA Prehistoric Animal Models Retired (2019)

At this time of year, speculation always mounts as to what new models are going to be introduced next spring.  Not too long for readers and customers to wait until Everything Dinosaur publishes this information, but for the moment we are going to focus on those replicas and figures being retired and therefore becoming more and more difficult to obtain.  CollectA for example, will be retiring numerous models from their prehistoric animal ranges in 2019.

CollectA Deluxe 1:20 Scale Paraceratherium Being Retired

Several scale models are going out of production, the CollectA Deluxe Paraceratherium is being dropped and will no longer be available.  This figure was introduced back in 2009 and it represents one of the largest, terrestrial mammals to have ever lived.   Paraceratherium is distantly related to today’s rhinos and it demonstrates the huge variety within the odd-toed ungulates (Perissodactyla).

CollectA Paraceratherium Deluxe 1:20 Scale Being Retired

CollectA Deluxe Paraceratherium.

The CollectA Deluxe 1:20 scale Paraceratherium model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Further announcements about scale model retirements from the CollectA range will be made by Everything Dinosaur shortly, in the meantime, we do have some stocks of Paraceratherium available and this model and the rest of the Deluxe range from CollectA can be viewed here: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Life

CollectA “Prehistoric Life” Model Retirements

In addition, numerous replicas from the “Age of Dinosaurs Popular” range are being dropped.  The first of the models to be retired include:

  • Becklespinax – a model of an enigmatic English Theropod dinosaur introduced in 2009.
  • Muttaburrasaurus – an Australian Ornithopod, possibly responsible for part of the Lark Quarry trace fossil assemblage.  The model was introduced in 2010.
  • Tsintaosaurus – often referred to as the “unicorn dinosaur” due to the bizarre head ornamentation.  Tsintaosaurus is a hadrosaurid known from China.  The model came out in 2012.
  • Edmontonia – a model of a Canadian Nodosaur that was added to the CollectA prehistoric life range in 2010.
  • Koreaceratops Family – a sheep-sized Ceratopsian that might have been semi-aquatic.  Koreaceratops was named in 2010 and the CollectA model came out in 2012.
  • Swimming Spinosaurus – this model showing Spinosaurus as a quadruped at home in the water was introduced in 2015.

The First of the CollectA Prehistoric Life Models to be Dropped in 2019

CollectA models retired (2019).

Retired CollectA models 2019.  Becklespinax (top left), Muttaburrasaurus (top right), the Koreaceratops family group (middle left) and Tsintaosaurus (middle right) with the armoured dinosaur Edmontonia below Tsintaosaurus.  The figure at the bottom is the swimming Spinosaurus, all these dinosaur models are being dropped by CollectA from the Prehistoric Life model range.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Still Time to Obtain These Replicas from Everything Dinosaur

Fortunately, Everything Dinosaur has been aware of these model retirements and has been able to secure some stocks.  Collectors and model fans still have the opportunity to pick up these models from Everything Dinosaur.

To view the CollectA “Prehistoric Life” range: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models

Although CollectA will be introducing several new models for 2019 (Everything Dinosaur will announce the first of these soon), this is the first time for some years that the number of model retirements exceeds the number of new replicas being introduced by CollectA.

We will keep our readers informed about other model retirements and indeed, shortly we will be posting up information about what’s new for 2019.

17 10, 2018

Looking Forward to “Prehistoric Times” (Autumn 2018)

By | October 17th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

Issue 127 of “Prehistoric Times” Heading to Everything Dinosaur

Team members have been reliably informed that the next edition of the amazing “Prehistoric Times” magazine is in the post and heading towards our offices.  The next issue (autumn 2018, or as our American friends would say fall 2018), will be with us in a few days.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times Magazine Issue 127

Prehistoric Times issue 127 (fall).

Prehistoric Times issue 127 (autumn 2018).

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks (Prehistoric Times)

Rajasaurus Features on the Front Cover

The powerful, Late Cretaceous predator of the Indian sub-continent Rajasaurus features on the front cover.  Rajasaurus (R. narmadensis) was formally named and described in 2003.  It is a member of the enigmatic and bizarre abelisaurids and we look forward to reading more about this large carnivore in the forthcoming edition of “Prehistoric Times”.  Specifically, we hope to learn more about any thoughts on niche partitioning between Rajasaurus and the contemporary Indosuchus, another large abelisaurid that co-existed with “princely lizard”.

A Scale Drawing of Rajasaurus narmadensis

Scale drawing of Rajasaurus.

Probably an apex predator in its environment – but how did it interact with Indosuchus?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Getting Our Teeth into Megalodon

One of the must see films of last summer was “Meg” starring Jason Statham and a population of giant prehistoric sharks.  The author of the novel on which the film was based, Steve Alten, is interviewed and we can look forward to hearing more about the marine reptiles that inspired the artwork of the famous Czech illustrator and palaeoartist Zdeněk Burian.  In issue 127, New Zealander John Lavas, provides part 10 of his long running series, this time the focus is on Burian’s depiction of plesiosaurs and pliosaurs (Plesiosauria).

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

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

The autumn edition of “Prehistoric Times” will also feature the “shovel-tusked” member of the Proboscidea – Platybelodon.  We look forward to Phil Hore’s article on this distant relative to extant elephants.  For much of the 20th Century, most palaeontologists thought that Platybelodon lived in swamps, but analysis of tooth wear patterns suggested that this sizeable beast fed on tough, coarse vegetation.  It is now thought that Platybelodon was an animal of relatively open, grassland and scrubland environments.  We shall have to wait for the arrival of the magazine to find out the latest information and scientific evidence.

16 10, 2018

Spitsbergen Ichthyosaurs – Newly Described Fossils Open Up the Ophthalmosaurids

By | October 16th, 2018|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Learning More About Palvennia hoybergeti

The Svalbard archipelago located off the coast of northern Norway, has attracted the attention of palaeontologists for several decades.  Some of the marine strata exposed on these islands date from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, the remote location and inaccessibility has not prevented hardy scientists from exploring these deposits and over the years, a huge number of invertebrate and vertebrate fossils have been collected.  Writing in the on-line, open access journal “PeerJ”, researchers from the University of Oslo, the London Natural History Museum, the University of Alaska and the University of Alaska Natural History Museum, have described a number of new Ichthyosaur specimens that have been excavated from Spitsbergen, the largest island in the group.

To date, four different types of ophthalmosaurid Ichthyosaur are known from these rocks (the Slottsmøya Member of the Agardhfjellet Formation).  Several specimens are described in the newly published paper, including a disarticulated but relatively complete fossil of Palvennia hoybergeti.  P. hoybergeti is a Late Jurassic ophthalmosaurid marine reptile, that had been described back in 2012, from a single and very incomplete skull.  This new specimen (museum number PMO 222.669), has a mostly complete skull and reveals important new information about this short-snouted Ichthyosaur species.

A Skeletal Drawing of the New P. hoybergeti Specimen PMO 222.669

Skeletal drawing of the newly described Palvennia hoybergeti Ichthyosaur specimen.

A line drawing of the fossilised skeleton of the newly described specimen of Palvennia hoybergeti. Viewed from underneath (ventral view), note scale bar = 50 cm.

Picture Credit: PeerJ

A Short-Snouted Ichthyosaur

The fossil specimen (PMO 222.669) has provided the researchers with new information on the skull morphology of Palvennia hoybergeti.  It has a much reduced snout, superficially similar to the Early Jurassic Ichthyosaur Ichthyosaurus breviceps, although the two genera are not closely related and they lived tens of millions of years apart.

The Rostrum and Teeth of Specimen Number PMO 222.669

Rostrum and isolated teeth with line drawing P. hoybergeti.

Rostrum and teeth of PMO 222.669, referred specimen of P. hoybergeti.
(A), photograph and (B), interpretation of the rostrum from the surface stratigraphically down.  Disarticulated teeth in (C), and (D), different views of the same tooth and (E), and (F), different views of a second tooth.  The scale bar (A-B) is 10 cm, whilst the scale bar (C-F) is 1 cm.

Picture Credit: PeerJ

The relatively robust, short snout (rostrum) and the broad teeth may represent adaptations to feeding on other types of prey compared to other members of the Thunnosauria clade.  It could be speculated that Palvennia hoybergeti may have been less of a specialist cephalopod or fish hunter, perhaps preying on larger animals such as other Ichthyosaurs.

A View of the Top of the Skull of the Newly Described Palvennia hoybergeti Specimen

Skull roof of Palvennia hoybergeti with line drawing.

Photograph of the skull of P. hoybergeti (dorsal view) with an accompanying line drawing. Scale bar = 10 cm.

Picture Credit: PeerJ

Confusing Pectoral Girdles

The researchers conclude that the more complete specimen that they have described greatly adds to our knowledge of this taxon.  Furthermore, two additional, newly discovered ophthalmosaurid specimens with pectoral girdles were also described in the paper.  The shape of the bones in the pectoral girdle, (the shoulders and associated bones for attaching the forelimbs), had thought to be quite useful diagnostic tools when assessing these types of Ichthyosaur. However, although the shape of the coracoids may provide some guidance as to taxonomy, the scientists noted that the fossils from the Slottsmøya Member show a degree of individual variation which might compound the issue of identifying unique anatomical characteristics to help define a genus.

An Illustration of the Ophthalmosaurid Palvennia hoybergeti

Palvennia hoybergeti illustrated

An illustration of the ophthalmosaurid Ichthyosaur Palvennia hoybergeti. Scale bar = 1 metre.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Ichthyosaur specimens from Spitsbergen span quite a substantial temporal range.  Fossils of these marine reptiles have been found in strata dating from the Early Tithonian of the Late Jurassic, whilst some specimens have been located in Early Berriasian deposits (Early Cretaceous).  It is proposed that future studies should aim to include a large number of specimens and use quantitative approaches to reveal phylogenetic and evolutionary patterns.  As the temporal range of these fossils covers some six million years (around 150 million years ago to 144 million years ago), the fossils from this part of the Svalbard archipelago may prove valuable in helping to determine the evolution of the Ichthyosauria at a time when a number of ecosystems were suffering from extinction events.

The scientific paper: “A New Specimen of Palvennia hoybergeti: Implications for Cranial and Pectoral Girdle Anatomy in Ophthalmosaurid Ichthyosaurs” by Lene Liebe Delsett​, Patrick Scott Druckenmiller, Aubrey Jane Roberts, Jørn Harald Hurum and published in PeerJ.

15 10, 2018

Baby Tylosaurus Provides Clues to How Marine Reptiles Hunted

By | October 15th, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Baby Tylosaurus Fossils Shed Light on Tylosaurus Hunting Strategy

The fragmentary remains of a baby Tylosaurus may have provided palaeontologists with an insight into how the giant and powerful marine predator Tylosaurus hunted.  Analysis of the front portion of the jaw shows that this tiny terror lacked a deep rostrum, whilst older, larger specimens and the adults all had these bony protrusions.  Scientists writing in the “Journal of Vertebrate Paleonotology” hypothesise that Tylosaurus rammed its victims with its snout in a similar fashion to a hunting method observed in extant Orcas.

Fearsome Mosasaurs – How Did These Predators Subdue Their Prey?

Different Mosasaurs

Comparing different models of Mosasaurs.  Fossil teeth and bones indicate that several types of Mosasaur were apex predators but how did these animals subdue their prey?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Scientists are aware that pods of Orcas (Orcinus orca), tend to specialise in different types of prey, some hunt fish, others specialise in hunting other marine mammals whilst others are generalists, however, it is known that Orcas tend to stun prey such as seals and dolphins by ramming them with their snouts.  A study of the smallest Tylosaurus skull fossils found to date, suggest that as these animal’s grew their snouts (rostrums) became elongated and more robust.  It is suggested that these predators rammed their victims in the same way that some living Killer Whales do.

A Still from a Video Showing a Killer Whale Ramming a Dolphin

Orca rams a Dolphin.

An Orca rams a Dolphin.

Picture Credit: Discovery

Little Killer/Tiny Tylosaurus

Lead author of the scientific paper, Professor Takuya Konishi, explained that he examined fossils of a very young Tylosaurus whilst working on his master’s degree in 2004.  The fossils came from an animal with a skull length of around thirty centimetres, approximately 1/6th the size of an adult Tylosaurus skull.  The fossils come from the Smoky Hill Chalk Member of the Niobrara Chalk of western Kansas, deposits that were laid done in the shallow Western Interior Seaway.  The baby Tylosaurus is estimated to have lived around 85 million years ago.  The fossils had been originally found in 1991, by palaeontologist Michael Everhart (Sternberg Museum of Natural History), the small size and fragmentary nature made initial identification difficult and the fossils has been assigned to another type of Mosasaur, a Platecarpus, remains of which are relatively common in the Smoky Hill Chalk Member.

Tiny Fossil Fragments Identified as Neonate Tylosaurus

Baby Tylosaurus skull and jaw fossil bones.

Pieces of the skull and jaw of the baby Tylosaurus.  Specimen number FHSM VP-14845.

Picture Credit: Christina Byrd/Sternberg Museum of Natural History with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

Lack of a Prominent Snout

The lack of a snout puzzled the scientists who were unable to tie this material to other Tylosaurine remains.  The Platecarpus assignment seemed the best fit, then Professor Konishi had his “eureka” moment.  The elongated rostrum of Tylosaurus might develop as the animal grew, this anatomical feature might not be present in very young examples of this genus.  While Platecarpus and other members of the Mosasauridae have teeth that begin virtually at the tip of their snouts, mature Tylosaurus possess a bony protrusion called a rostrum that extends out from its face, a similar feature is found in Orcas.  The research team speculate that this rostrum might have served as a battering ram and protected the marine reptile’s teeth as it slammed into its prey.

Professor Konishi takes up the story:

“Having looked at the specimen in 2004 for the first time myself, it too took me nearly ten years to think out of that box and realise what it really was,  a baby Tylosaurus yet to develop such a snout.”

The Ontogeny of Tylosaurus

Tylosaurus ontogeny - as these reptiles grew their rostrums become elongated and more robust.

Elongation and development of the rostrum in Tylosaurus.  Scale bar equals 2 cm.

Picture Credit: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

The picture (above) shows various Tylosaurus fossil specimens.  Specimen number FHSM VP-14845 is from the neonate Tylosaurus (left) and moving towards the right, the rostrums denote progressively older, larger Tylosaurus specimens.  The researchers identified greater anteroposterior alignment of two pairs of premaxillary teeth in association with alveolar elongation (tooth socket spacing).  The abbreviation t2  denotes the second premaxillary tooth, this alveolar elongation slows down as the Tylosaurus ages, as seen here between specimens FHSM VP-14840 and RMM 5610.  In contrast, the rostrum continues to grow and to become deeper and more robust.

Professor Konishi and His Co-workers Suggest Tylosaurus Used Its Snout to Ram Prey

Takuya Konishi (Cincinnati University) with a Mosasaur skull cast.

University of Cincinnati Biology Professor Takuya Konishi points out the rostrum on a Mosasaur skull.

Picture Credit: Joseph Fuqua II/University of Cincinnati Creative Services

The Possibility of Misidentified Fossil Material

The scientists suggest that, as Tylosaurus developed its “tell-tale” snout as it grew, then this could mean that other fossil specimens of Mosasaurs from the Western Interior Seaway may have been mistakenly classified as other types of Mosasaur.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“What was once thought to be a diagnostic feature of Tylosaurus, a robust and elongated snout, might not be as diagnostic as previously thought.  This means that short-snouted fossil remains assigned to other types of Mosasaur could, actually represent juvenile Tylosaurus specimens.”

The scientific paper: “The Smallest Known Neonate Individual of Tylosaurus (Mosasauridae, Tylosaurinae) Sheds New Light on the Tylosaurine Rostrum and Heterochrony” by Takuya Konishi, Paulina Jiménez-Huidobro and Michael W. Caldwell published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

14 10, 2018

Countdown to Rebor “Vanilla Ice” Tyrannosaurs

By | October 14th, 2018|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Countdown to Rebor “Vanilla Ice” Tyrannosaurs

Dinosaur fans and model collectors do not have too long to wait until the arrival of the two new Rebor replicas, the “Vanilla Ice” tyrannosaurids – mountain and jungle.  These beautifully crafted figures are due to be sent out from the factory on or around Saturday, the 20th October and within a few days after this date, the shipment should be arriving at the Everything Dinosaur warehouse.  We have already opened a special reserve list for these figures and we should be publishing pricing details soon.

Delivering Two New Rebor Replicas Very Soon

Rebor Vanilla Ice "Mountain" and "Jungle".

The Rebor “Vanilla Ice” tyrannosaurid models – jungle (left) and mountain (right) colour variants.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Rebor “Vanilla Ice” – Jungle

The Rebor “Vanilla Ice” – Jungle is painted in a camouflaged green palette and it has been very skilfully modelled and is the fourth tyrannosaurid to be created by Rebor.  The colouration of Late Cretaceous, large-bodied Tyrannosaurs remains contentious, the level of integumentary covering is not known and there has been considerable scientific debate about this aspect of tyrannosaurid anatomy.  Rebor has chosen to retain the “classic” scaly reptile look for these figures and most impressive the models are too.

The Rebor “Vanilla Ice” – Jungle Colour Variant

Vanilla Ice T. rex by Rebor "jungle colour scheme".

“Vanilla Ice” T. rex by Rebor “jungle”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Rebor “Vanilla Ice” – Mountain

The mountain version is painted with a slate grey hue.  It is not known what sort of habitats Late Cretaceous, large-bodied Tyrannosaurs lived in, but these hyper-carnivores were very probably the apex predators in these environments and they were quite geographically and temporarily widespread in the last fifteen million years of the Mesozoic.  For example, only a few days ago, a new genus of Early Campanian, large-bodied tyrannosaurid from New Mexico was named and described.  The dinosaur has been named – Dynamoterror dynastes which translates as “powerful terror ruler”.

To read more about Dynamoterror dynastes: Powerful Terror Ruler – Dynamoterror dynastes

The Rebor “Vanilla Ice” – Mountain Colour Variant

Rebor Vanilla Ice T. rex dinosaur model "mountain".

“Vanilla Ice” T. rex dinosaur model by Rebor – mountain colour scheme.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the extensive range of Rebor models available from Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

Tale of the Tape – Rebor “Vanilla Ice” Replicas

Both models will be supplied with a tail attachment to insert into the back of the figure.  The tail is articulated to help create a range of poses for each Tyrannosaur.  In addition, both models will have an articulated jaw.  As for the size of these figures, they are both the same size, measuring approximately 42 centimetres long (with tail added) and standing around 12.5 centimetres tall.  Based on these measurements, we suggest that the actual model is slightly bigger than the 1:35 scaling suggests.

As to why they are called “Vanilla Ice”, we are not quite sure.  We are not aware of any obvious connection between the American rapper and television personality, Robert Matthew Van Winkle aka “Vanilla Ice”.  However, we have been reliable informed that “Vanilla Ice” has a birthday on October 31st, hopefully, Everything Dinosaur will have these two replicas in stock by then.

13 10, 2018

The Ancestors of Sarahsaurus Probably Did Not Originate in North America

By | October 13th, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Early Jurassic North American Sauropodomorphs were Migrants

The sauropodomorph dinosaur called Sarahsaurus was a migrant into North America just like the other North American sauropodomorphs that have been described to date.  That is the conclusion made by researchers from the University of Texas Austin, in a scientific paper published this week.  Recently, Everything Dinosaur has covered a number of technical papers that have featured the Suborder Sauropodomorpha (the sauropods and their direct ancestors).  The United States might be famous for dinosaurs such as Brontosaurus, Camarasaurus and Diplodocus, but surprisingly not much is known about the ancestors of these iconic, long-necked dinosaurs.  Writing in the open access journal PLOS One, the researchers from the University’s Jackson School of Geosciences, conclude that the handful of sauropodomorphs known from the Lower Jurassic of North America are not that closely related and they represent successive immigration waves into that part of the super-continent Pangaea.

Sarahsaurus and Other North American Early Jurassic Sauropodomorphs Do Not Form a Unique Clade

Sarahsaurus (North American dinosaur).

A life reconstruction of the North American sauropodomorph Sarahsaurus.

Picture Credit: Brian Engh

CT Scans and Phylogenetic Analyses

The researchers conducted the first detailed analysis of the fossils ascribed to the genus Sarahsaurus (Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis).  This dinosaur had been named back in 2010, from fossil material excavated from the Lower Jurassic Kayenta Formation exposed in north-eastern Arizona.  In total, three specimens, including the holotype were studied and subjected to computed tomographic imaging.  With more anatomical data, the scientists then conducted a series of phylogenetic assessments to see where within the Sauropodomorpha Sarahsaurus should be nested and importantly, how the other sauropodomorphs from North America such as Anchisaurus (A. polyzelus) and Seitaad (S. ruessi) were related to Sarahsaurus.

The Main Fossil Block Associated with Sarahsaurus and a Line Drawing Showing a Layout of the Fossil Material

Sarahsaurus holotype.

The main block containing much of the holotype specimen of Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis.

Picture Credit: PLOS One

Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis

All of the Sarahsaurus specimens referred to in this study came from siltstone deposits.  Manual preparation of the fossils was extremely laborious and time consuming.  Many of the bones were encrusted with an extremely hard purple-black oxide coating, hence the use of high-resolution X-ray CT scans to provide more information about the finer details preserved on the fossil material.

In addition, conducting the phylogenetic analysis was made even more problematic than usual as the material used to establish unique characteristics of Sarahsaurus which could then be used to compare with other sauropodomorphs, provided numerous obstacles for the scientists to overcome.  Firstly, a skull used in this study probably came from a much younger individual than the other Sarahsaurus specimens analysed.  Furthermore, not all the specimens shared the same bones so making direct comparisons to establish a unique set of features for Sarahsaurus was challenging.  These factors coupled with some mixing and redistribution of the holotype material in the sediment and the crushed nature of many of the fossil bones made the phylogenetic assessment very tricky, but the researchers were able to conclude that Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis is very probably a member of the Massospondylidae family, which means that this dinosaur is not closely related to the other North American Sauropodomorpha and is more closely related to dinosaurs known primarily from the southern hemisphere (Gondwana).

CT Scans of a Skull Specimen Provisionally Assigned to Sarahsaurus

CT scans help to plot the shape of the fossil skull provisionally assigned to Sarahsaurus.

Skull (MCZ 8893) provisionally referred to Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis, reconstructed from CT data.  Life reconstruction (H) by Brian Engh.

Picture Credit: PLOS One/Brian Engh

Waves of Dinosaur Migration into North America Following the End Triassic Extinction Event

If the three known North American sauropodomorphs are not that closely related and the likes of Sarahsaurus is classified as a member of the Massospondylidae, then this suggests that rather than evolving in North America, these dinosaurs arrived on that part of the super-continent of Pangaea as a result of a number of migrations that took place during the Early Jurassic.  This links with other research that suggests that although Theropods were present in North America during the Triassic transition to the Jurassic, other types of dinosaurs such as the Sauropoda and the Ornithischians populated this part of the world later.

The dinosaurs may not have been the super evolved terrestrial animals that simply outcompeted all the other Tetrapods in the world driving the majority to extinction.  Instead, the Dinosauria may have been opportunists, migrating into areas after the former occupants of key niches in the ecosystem had already died out.

Research Suggests that there were Several Migration Waves into North America During the Early Jurassic

Comparing three North American members of the Sauropodomorpha.

Relative ages of North American sauropodomorphs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To read Everything Dinosaur’s article on the discovery of Seitaad ruessiDinosaur Buried Alive is a New Species from Utah

The scientific paper: “Anatomy and Systematics of the Sauropodomorph Sarahsaurus aurifontanalis from the Early Jurassic Kayenta Formation” by Adam D. Marsh and Timothy B. Rowe published in the open access journal PLOS One.

12 10, 2018

Eofauna Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model

By | October 12th, 2018|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Eofauna Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model

More pictures of the eagerly awaited Eofauna Giganotosaurus (G. carolinii) dinosaur model have been released.  This fantastic replica of one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs to have ever lived is on schedule to arrive sometime between the middle of December and the end of that month.  Everything Dinosaur has opened up a priority reservation list for this model and it is already proving to be an extremely popular Theropod figure with a huge number of dinosaur fans wanting one of these models reserved for them.

To request to join our priority reserve list for the Eofauna Giganotosaurus: Email Everything Dinosaur

The Eofauna Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model

Eofauna Scientific Research Giganotosaurus carolinii.

The 1:35 scale Eofauna Giganotosaurus dinosaur model has an articulated jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Giganotosaurus Model with an Articulated Jaw

The Eofauna Giganotosaurus measures 39 centimetres long and the head height is an impressive 11 centimetres.  The replica is modelled in 1:35 scale and at this size, the figure represents an adult animal that is around 13.65 metres in length.  The Eofauna Giganotosaurus will also have an articulated lower jaw.  It will be the first of the Eofauna Scientific Research model range to have articulation.

A Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model with an Articulated Lower Jaw

Eofauna Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.

1:35 scale Eofauna Giganotosaurus dinosaur model has an articulated jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To request to join Everything Dinosaur’s no obligation priority reserve list for this amazing dinosaur model simply: Email Everything Dinosaur

There is no need to pre-order, there is no deposit to pay, customers on our priority reserve list for this dinosaur will have a model set aside for them and then they will be emailed by an Everything Dinosaur team member to let them know that the Eofauna Giganotosaurus is in stock.  This fantastic dinosaur model is on schedule to be delivered in December, but it could arrive in the early New Year, it is possible that the shipment might get delayed due to adverse weather or space availability on the cargo ship, as freight routes tend to get very congested towards the end of the year over the Christmas period.

However, all those Everything Dinosaur customers who join our reserve list can relax, no matter when the models arrive they will be looked after by our dedicated team and they will be guaranteed the opportunity to acquire this excellent 1:35 scale dinosaur figure.

The Eofauna Scientific Research Model Range

This is the first dinosaur model to be included in the Eofauna Scientific Research model range, the first two models were members of the Order Proboscidea and both the Steppe Mammoth (Mammuthus trogontherii) and the Straight-tusked Elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) were very well received by collectors and fans of prehistoric animal models.  The Giganotosaurus (G. carolinii), is just the first of what will be a series of dinosaur scale models being added to this wonderful range.

The Eofauna Scientific Research Model Range circa end 2018

The Eofauna model range (2018).

Eofauna model range 2018.  The Straight-tusked Elephant (left), Steppe Mammoth (centre) and the new Giganotosaurus model (right).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the current range of Eofauna models: Eofauna Scientific Research Models

11 10, 2018

Smallest Diplodocid Skull Shedding Light on the Family Life of Diplodocus

By | October 11th, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Baby Diplodocid Skull Could Provide Fresh Insight into the Life of Diplodocus

A team of international researchers writing in the academic journal “Scientific Reports”, have described a partial skull of a diplodocid dinosaur.  The skull, measuring just 24 centimetres long, is the smallest diplodocid skull described to date and it is helping to provide information on how long-necked dinosaurs changed as they grew.  The fossil (CMC VP14128), was collected back in 2010 from south, central Montana (Mother’s Day Quarry). The site contains the fossilised remains of at least sixteen immature diplodocids, that may have perished having been caught up in a turbulent mudflow.  The skull, which consists of four large segments plus additional fragments, reveals that the heads of diplodocid dinosaurs changed as they got older and suggests that immature individuals fed on different types of vegetation (dietary partitioning relative to age).  Groups of young animals may have stayed together in a creche, living apart from the adults, even occupying a different habitat.

The Fossilised Skull of a Young Diplodocid Hints at Dietary Partitioning

Dietary partitioning amongst diplodocids.

A newly published study of a small long-necked dinosaur skull suggests dietary partitioning within diplodocids.

Picture Credit: Andrey Atuchin

“Andrew” the Diplodocus

The specimen (CMC VP14128), also includes a rudimentary bone that links the skull to the cervical column (the proatlas) and four neck bones from the front part of the neck, closest to the skull.  The fossil material has been assigned to the diplodocid species Diplodocus carnegii and the skull was nicknamed “Andrew” in honour of Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist, who did much to support the nascent science of palaeontology in the United States.  The species D. carnegii is named after him in recognition of his financial support for expeditions to excavate fossils from the Morrison Formation.

The Immature Diplodocid Compared to an Adult and Andrew Carnegie (1.6 m tall) with Skull Views and Accompanying Line Drawings

Immature diplodcid skull.

The juvenile diplodocid with Andrew Carnegie and an adult Diplodocus for scale. Along with right and left lateral views of the skull and line drawings.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

The picture above shows a skeletal reconstruction of “Andrew” compared to Andrew Carnegie and an adult D. carnegii (A), the bones in the skeleton in white represent the fossil material (CMC VP14128).  Right lateral view of the skull (B), with an accompanying line drawing and (C), a left lateral view of the skull with a line drawing.  The four segments of the skull are numbered in the line drawings and the scale bar in (B) and (C) is ten centimetres.

Differences in the Shape of the Head of Young and Fully Grown Dinosaurs

Although the skull fossil has been crushed, the researchers, which included lead author Cary Woodruff (University of Toronto) and Glenn Storrs (Cincinnati Museum Centre), conclude that the juvenile, which was perhaps around 5 years of age and 5 metres long when it died, had a much narrower snout compared to the broad, wide snout of an adult.  In addition, “Andrew” possessed thirteen teeth on each side of its lower jaw, some of which had spatulate, spoon-like edges to slice through tough vegetation.  In contrast, fully-grown Diplodocus lower jaws had eleven teeth on each side and these were much more peg-like and were probably used to “comb” food in to the mouth.  This indicates that juveniles had different skull morphologies and dentition when compared to older, more mature animals and suggests resource partitioning between juveniles and adults.  In short, juvenile Diplodocus probably fed on different plants compared to the grown-ups.

An Adult Diplodocus had a Differently Shaped Head and Snout Compared to a Juvenile

Adult Diplodocus compared to a juvenile.

Adult animals had broader snouts whilst the juveniles and much narrower snouts with more teeth which were shaped differently.

Picture Credit: Andrey Atuchin

This research is consistent with the theory that immature diplodocids adopted a different feeding strategy, grazing on a greater variety of plants, whilst the adults were predominantly ground-level browsers.

To read an article from 2010 that hypothesised that baby dinosaurs had different skull morphologies and facial features when compared to adults: Juvenile Diplodocus Skull Study Suggests Baby Dinosaurs Had Different Shaped Skulls Compared to the Adults

Commenting on the significance of this research, lead author Cary Woodruff, stated”

“Because they have [Diplodocus juveniles] got these different tooth types, it’s kind of like of a Swiss army knife in their mouth, right?  They can pick and eat every plant they want to.  They had free rein at the salad bar.”

Young Diplodocids Living in Woodland Habitats

The skull and tooth morphology of Diplodocus suggests that these animals transitioned through distinct feeding roles over their lifespan and vindicates the dramatised life story of a Diplodocus in the ground-breaking BBC television documentary series “Walking with Dinosaurs”.  In episode two “Time of the Titans”, the story of a Diplodocus from hatching to reaching adulthood was told and juveniles were depicted as living in groups within the forests, only joining the adults on the open plains when they were much larger, too large for most predators to tackle.  The different skull shapes and dentition suggest that juvenile diplodocids lived in more forested environments than the adults that (restricted and protected by their size), were most likely browsing in more open habitats.

For an article published in 2012 on Diplodocus feeding strategies: Diplodocus Feeding Frenzy – A Biter or a Comber?

Lead Author of the Study Cary Woodruff Holds the Skull of a Juvenile Diplodocid

Holding the skull of a juvenile diplodocid.

Cary Woodruff (University of Toronto), holding the skull of a juvenile diplodocid.

Picture Credit: John P Wilson

The scientific paper: “The Smallest Diplodocid Skull Reveals Cranial Ontogeny and Growth-Related Dietary Changes in the Largest Dinosaurs” by D. Cary Woodruff, Thomas D. Carr, Glenn W. Storrs, Katja Waskow, John B. Scannella, Klara K. Nordén and John P. Wilson published in Scientific Reports.

10 10, 2018

CollectA Collector’s Booklet 2018

By | October 10th, 2018|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|2 Comments

CollectA Collector’s Booklet 2018

The CollectA 2018 booklet has arrived and is available from Everything Dinosaur.  At Everything Dinosaur, we appreciate that model collectors like to collect catalogues and booklets too, so we always do our best to ensure that we have stocks of the latest booklets and catalogues available.  The CollectA collector’s 2018 booklet runs to an impressive 230 pages and contains details of all the models and figures available within the various CollectA ranges.

The 2018 CollectA Booklet

CollectA catalogue 2018.

The CollectA collector’s booklet for 2018.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dunkleosteus on the Front Cover

The 1:20 scale CollectA Dunkleosteus model is featured on the front cover.  This figure measures around twenty-eight centimetres in length and that pronounced hump at the back of the head is approximately six centimetres high.  This model of the giant Devonian predator was introduced earlier this year and it has received a lot of praise from academics, researchers and museum curators.

To read our article that discusses the care and attention to detail that has gone into the CollectA Dunkleosteus model: In Praise of the CollectA Deluxe Dunkleosteus

The CollectA Deluxe 1:20 scale Dunkleosteus Model

A close-up view of the anterior portion of the CollectA 1:20 scale Dunkleosteus model.

A close view of the anterior portion of the CollectA 1:20 scale Dunkleosteus model.  Note the fine details on the figure and the use of a gloss coating to give this marine fish an authentic “wet” look as if this animal has just been pulled from the water.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The CollectA Booklet is Free from Everything Dinosaur

All the catalogues, that Everything Dinosaur stocks, including the CollectA 2018 booklet, are available for free from the UK-based company, there is just a subsidised postage cost to pay.

A spokesperson for the company commented:

“We recognise that dinosaur model fans like to collect various catalogues too so we do our best to bring in stocks of the various catalogues and send them out to discerning collectors and model fans.”

Everything Dinosaur will soon be making the first of a series of announcements providing details of new for 2019 CollectA models.

To view the range of CollectA Deluxe prehistoric animal figures and to pick up the CollectA 2018 booklet: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Life

9 10, 2018

“Powerful Terror Ruler” – Dynamoterror dynastes

By | October 9th, 2018|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

“Powerful Terror Ruler” – Dynamoterror dynastes

A new species of North American Tyrannosaur has been scientifically named.  The newly described “tyrant lizard” joins a plethora of tyrannosaurids known from the Late Cretaceous of Laramidia, but Dynamoterror dynastes stands out from the majority of these fearsome Theropods for some very important reasons.  Firstly, it is quite geologically old for a Late Cretaceous large-bodied Tyrannosaur, its discovery has implications for our understanding of Tyrannosaur evolution.  In addition, its the frontal bones that help make this dinosaur stand out and besides, its scientific name, which means “powerful terror ruler”, is a nod in the direction of the most famous dinosaur of all – Tyrannosaurus rex.

A Life Reconstruction of Dynamoterror dynastes Attacking the Recently Described Invictarx zephyri

The newly described Tyrannosaur Dynamoterror attacks Invictarx

Dynamoterror ambushes the armoured dinosaur Invictarx zephyri.

Picture Credit: Brian Engh

The Geological Age – Early Campanian

The fossil bones, representing a single, individual animal were collected in 2012.  They herald from San Juan County, New Mexico, specifically the upper part of the Allison Member of the Menefee Formation.  Although fragmentary, the fossil material consists of asociated bones including left and right frontals (bones from the top of the skull over the eye socket), a right metacarpal (bone from the hand), four broken pieces from the backbone, pieces of rib, a portion of the right ilium and some toe bones, plus several unidenfiable slithers of bone.  It might not sound like much, but this is the first associated tyrannosaurid skeleton reported from the Menefee Formation.  Isolated teeth had been found in this locality before suggesting the presence of tyrannosaurids, but Dynamoterror dynastes is the first to be named and described.  It was probably the dominant predator in the lush, tropical, coastal swamps that covered this part of the southern United States some 80 million years ago.

During the Late Cretaceous, North America was essentially split into two by a wide seaway, the Western Interior Seaway.  To the east lay Appalachia and Tyrannosaurs are known from here, but not many, only two genera have been named to date – Appalachiosaurus montgomeriensis and Dryptosaurus aquilunguis and both of these are only known from a single, partial, associated skeleton.  In the Upper Cretaceous strata to the west that formed the landmass called Laramidia, lots of Tyrannosaurs have been named and described.  However, the tyrannosaurid record for Laramidia is restricted to a period from about 77 million years ago to the K-Pg extinction event some 66 million years ago.  Dynamoterror comes from rocks which are around 3 million years older.  It provides the first fossil record of a Laramidian tyrannosaurid from the Early Campanian of 80 million years ago and, as a result, will help palaeontologists to better understand tyrannosaurid evolution.

The Cool Thing About Frontals

Less than one percent of the skeleton may have been found (field teams were despatched in 2013 and again this year to try and find more remains but without luck), but when it comes to describing a new genus, it is often quality that triumphs over quantity.  The frontal bones, their shape, the groves that they possess and other features including how they knit together with other skull bones, can prove extremely helpful when it comes to identifying a new dinosaur species.  The researchers which included Dr Andrew McDonald (Curator, of the Western Science Centre, California), identified some unique characteristics in the frontal bones, hence the establishment of a new genus.

Photographs and Computer-generated Three-dimensional Models of the Left and Right Frontals of D. dynastes

The frontal bones of Dynamoterror dynastes.

Photographs and three-dimensional, computer-generated models of the right frontal (A, B) and the left frontal (C, D) of Dynamoterror dynastes (rostal view – viewed from the front of the brain).  Scale bar = 5  centimetres.

Picture Credit: PeerJ/Western Science Centre

A Large Bodied Tyrannnosaur

The researchers cannot be certain whether their fossil discovery represents a fully grown animal or a sub-adult.  However, when the frontal bones of D. dynastes were compared to those of Tyrannosaurus rex, the scientists concluded that Dynamoterror was at least nine metres long.  The armoured dinosaur that features in the illustration (above), Invictarx, was also named and described by Dr McDonald, along with Mr Doug Wolfe (Zuni Dinosaur Institute for Geosciences) who worked together on this Tyrannosaur.  It is likely that more dinosaurs will be described based on fossil discoveries from within the Menefee Formation.  Alton C. Dooley Jr also collaborated in the study of Dynamoterror.

To read about the discovery of the nodosaurid Invictarx: A New Nodosaur from New Mexico

Size Comparison of Selected Late Cretaceous Tyrannosaurs

Comparing the size of selected Late Cretaceous Tyrannosaurs.

Size comparison between selected Late Cretaceous Tyrannosaurs.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

What’s in a Name?

This new taxon provides further, significant insight into the morphology and diversity of tyrannosaurids from the Early Campanian of Laramidia and it’s name is pretty cool too.  The genus name is taken from the Greek word “dynamis” which means “power” and the Latin word “terror”.  The trivial or specific name, is from the Latin word “dynastes” meaning “ruler”.  Hence, the binomial scientific name Dynamoterror dynastes translates to “powerful terrror ruler”, however, the scientific paper also states that this epithet honours the name “Dynamosaurus imperiosus“, from Henry Fairfield Osborn, the American palaeontologist who referred to fossil material later assigned to Tyrannosaurus rex as Dynamosaurus imperiosus in scientific papers published in the early years of the 20th Century.

The Reconstructed Frontal Complex of Dynamoterror dynastes

Life restoration of the frontals of Dynamoterror dynastes.

The reconstructed frontals of D. dynastes.

Picture Credit: PeerJ/Western Science Centre

In the picture above, the left and right frontals have been articulated together to show how they would sit at the top of the skull, in (A) rostral; (B) caudal; (C) right lateral; (D) dorsal; and (E) ventral views.   The illustration (F), shows a view of the reconstructed skull in dorsal view.  Individual bone elements of the skull are colour-coded to show how the top of the skull knitted together: frontals (grey); fused nasals (violet); prefrontals (yellow); lacrimals (red); postorbitals (blue); and parietal (green).  The scale bars represent 5 centimetres and the missing skull bones have been based on the related tyrannosaurid Teratophoneus curriei, a geologically younger Tyrannosaur from the Upper Campanian of southern Utah (Kaiparowits Formation).  T. curriei roamed Laramidia around 76 million years ago, some 4 million years after Dynamoterror dynastes.

The scientific paper: “A New Tyrannosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous Menefee Formation of New Mexico” by Andrew T. McDonald, Douglas G. Wolfe and Alton C. Dooley published in PeerJ

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