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.

12 12, 2019

Everything Dinosaur Announces New Papo Dinosaurs for 2020

By | December 12th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New Papo Dinosaur Models for 2020

Today, Everything Dinosaur has announced the new for 2020 Papo dinosaur models.  Information about five new figures has been released by Everything Dinosaur on its various social media platforms and this blog provides a little more information for Papo model fans and collectors.

The five dinosaurs (Papo Les Dinosaures) are:

  • Chilesaurus
  • Giganotosaurus
  • Stygimoloch
  • Parasaurolophus new colour variant
  • Feathered Velociraptor new colour variant

All are not expected until late in quarter 3 2020 – that’s around September 2020.

New for 2020 Papo Chilesaurus Dinosaur Model

Papo Chilesaurus dinosaur model.

Papo Chilesaurus dinosaur model (available late quarter 3 in 2020).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Papo Chilesaurus

This little dinosaur from Upper Jurassic strata of southern Chile (hence the genus name), has caused stirs in the scientific community.  We expect Papo model collectors will be pleased to see one of the more unusual and lesser known members of the Dinosauria to be added to the Papo model range.  However, this three-metre long, probable herbivore, has had a significant impact in the way palaeontologists define the dinosaur family tree.  Since it was formally named and described in 2015, finding Chilesaurus a place within the Dinosauria as proved to be a bit of a challenge.  It has theropod, sauropod and ornithischian traits.  As such, when the Dinosauria was revised by Baron et al and the Ornithoscelida postulated once again, Chilesaurus was cited as providing evidence for this, it being a transitional form bridging the gap between the Theropoda and the Ornithischia.

Papo Giganotosaurus – New for Autumn 2020

Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.

New Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model, new for 2020.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Papo Giganotosaurus

Rumours had been circulating for years that Papo might extend their range of carnivorous dinosaurs and include a Giganotosaurus.  In the autumn of 2020, model collectors will be able to add a Giganotosaurus to their dinosaur collection.  The pose is a quite old-fashioned and in reality Giganotosaurus had a very different posture, but team members at Everything Dinosaur suggest that given the colour scheme and the bias towards brown-coloured theropods within the current Papo range (think Gorgosaurus, T. rex and Cryolophosaurus), Papo had to find a way to make this new figure stand out.  It certainly is a very different pose to the other large, carnivorous dinosaurs in the current Papo range.  This posture also shows off those three-fingered claws nicely.  The Giganotosaurus will also have an articulated lower jaw.

Papo Stygimoloch

Papo Stygimoloch dinosaur model.

New for 2020 (quarter 3), a Papo Stygimoloch dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Papo Stygimoloch

In the film “Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom”, a Stygimoloch came to the rescue of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard (AKA Owen Grady and Claire Dearing), when it battered down a prison wall to help them escape.  “Stiggy” the Stygimoloch became a star!  Papo will be bringing out a replica of this bone-headed dinosaur in quarter three of 2020.

New Colour Variant Papo Parasaurolophus

Papo Parasaurolophus colour variant new for autumn 2020.

New Papo Parasaurolophus colour variant for autumn 2020.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This year, Papo introduced new colour variants of popular dinosaur models (Allosaurus and Stegosaurus), in 2020 this will be repeated with the addition of a new colour version of the Papo Parasaurolophus and a new feathered Velociraptor model.

The Feathered Velociraptor for 2020 (New Colour Variant)

New Papo feathered Velociraptor (autumn 2020).

New Papo feathered Velociraptor colour variant for autumn 2020.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

New Colour Variants Papo Parasaurolophus and Papo Feathered Velociraptor

The Papo Parasaurolophus seems to have been inspired by the colour scheme from the Acrocanthosaurus repaint that came out in 2018.  The new feathered Velociraptor model could represent a female, whilst the existing “Vélociraptor à plumes” in the range could portray a male.  We are sure fans of Papo models will draw their own conclusions about the first five Papo models that Everything Dinosaur has discussed today.

Remember, these models are not likely to be available until the autumn of 2020.

To view the existing range of Papo prehistoric animal figures: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals

8 12, 2019

Papo Limited Edition Spinosaurus Model in Stock

By | December 8th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Papo Limited Edition Spinosaurus Model in Stock

The Papo limited edition Spinosaurus model is in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  This eagerly anticipated Spinosaurus figure has arrived at the Everything Dinosaur warehouse and our team members have been busy emailing all those customers who have reserved a figure.  Such has been the popularity of this limited edition Papo model, that a second reservation list had to be set up and list members have been sent a special newsletter letting them know that this figure has arrived.

The Papo Spinosaurus Limited Edition Dinosaur Model

Papo Spinosaurus limited edition dinosaur model.

The Papo Spinosaurus limited edition dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Two Options to Purchase From Everything Dinosaur

The new Papo Spinosaurus (2019) figure is huge and it comes in a sizeable presentation box.  The model measures an impressive 40.3 cm long and that magnificent sail is around 16.5 cm tall.  The presentation box measures nearly half a metre long.  This could give our international customers some problems, as the presentation box is too large to be sent out by standard international mail options.  However, customers outside of the UK have nothing to worry about.  Everything Dinosaur will be offering two purchase options:

  1. Purchase the Papo Limited Edition Spinosaurus with its Presentation Box.
  2. Purchase the Papo Limited Edition Spinosaurus dinosaur model without the Presentation Box.  This greatly reduces international postage costs.

With Everything Dinosaur Two Purchase Options for the New Papo Spinosaurus Dinosaur Model

Papo Spinosaurus limited edition purchase options. Option 1 model with presentation box or option 2 model without a presentation box.

Papo Spinosaurus limited edition purchase options. Option 1 model with presentation box or option 2 model without presentation box.  If the model is purchased without a presentation box this greatly reduces the international shipping costs.  This saves money for our customers outside the UK.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the new Papo Spinosaurus model and to select your favoured purchase option: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

The Papo Limited Edition Spinosaurus Model with its Presentation Box

The 2019 Papo Spinosaurus limited edition model with its presentation box.

The new for 2019 Papo Spinosaurus limited edition model with its presentation box.  Everything Dinosaur customers are being offered the choice of purchasing this limited edition figure with or without its presentation box.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We do appreciate the dilemma this super-sized presentation box gives our customers.  The presentation box measures 47 cm long and stands nearly 23 cm high.  This severely limits the shipping options available for our customers overseas.  To overcome this problem, we can supply the figure without its presentation box, this will reduce the shipping costs and enable our customers to save a lot of money.”

In Stock!  The Papo Spinosaurus (Limited Edition)

Papo Spinosaurus (limited edition) in stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Everything Dinosaur stocks the limited edition Papo Spinosaurus dinosaur model.  The model can be purchased in its presentation box, or if customers prefer, the Papo Spinosaurus can be purchased out of its box, sent untagged without the gift box to help save money on postage.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

5 12, 2019

New Mojo Fun Prehistoric Life Dinosaur Models (Part 2)

By | December 5th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|1 Comment

New Mojo Fun Prehistoric Life Dinosaur Models (Part 2)

Yesterday, Everything Dinosaur introduced six of the twelve new for 2020 dinosaur models from Mojo Fun.  In the second and final part of this series, we discuss the remaining prehistoric animal figures due out next year in the “Prehistoric Life” model range.

New for 2020 Mojo Fun Allosaurus Dinosaur Model

Mojo Fun Allosaurus dinosaur model (2020).

New for 2020 the Mojo Fun Allosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mojo Fun Allosaurus Dinosaur Model

The 2020 Allosaurus model is a new sculpt, team members at Everything Dinosaur are not sure whether this new figure will replace the existing Allosaurus model in the Mojo Fun portfolio.  The 2020 version has an articulated lower jaw and it is slightly longer than its predecessor.  The scarlet hornlets over the eyes and the raised markings along the snout contrast nicely with the muted dark grey overtones of the head and the body.  The Allosaurus is well-balanced and stable, thanks to the slightly oversized hind feet.

Mojo Fun New for 2020 Stegosaurus

The Mojo Fun new for 2020 Stegosaurus dinosaur model.

Mojo Fun new for 2020 Stegosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mojo Fun Stegosaurus

In yesterday’s post when we discussed the Ankylosaurus figure, a second armoured dinosaur for 2020 was mentioned.  We can now reveal that this is a new Stegosaurus sculpt.  Those famous plates running along the back are nicely shaped and carefully painted, these plates are stiff and not likely to be bent out of shape very easily.  The skin texture is well done with plenty of creases and wrinkles and there is even texture on the underside of the feet!  The posture also reflects a more modern interpretation than previous Stegosaurus figures.

Mojo Fun Models Reconstruct Life in the Late Jurassic of Western North America

New for 2020 the Mojo Fun Stegosaurus and Allosaurus.

Mojo Fun Stegosaurus and Allosaurus.  Two dinosaurs associated with the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of western North America.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The New for 2020 Mandschurosaurus Dinosaur Model

 Mojo Fun new for 2020 Mandschurosaurus dinosaur model.

The Mojo Fun new for 2020 Mandschurosaurus dinosaur model.  The geology ruler helps to provide a sense of scale.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mandschurosaurus Dinosaur Model

Ninety years after this plant-eating hadrosaurid was first described, Mojo Fun are introducing a Mandschurosaurus dinosaur model to their “Prehistoric Life” model range.  This Late Cretaceous, Chinese dinosaur might be regarded as “nomen dubium” by some scientists but there is nothing dubious about this figure, it has been skilfully crafted and beautifully painted.  The model is robust and sturdy and has a reassuring “solid” feel to it, the paint scheme is very striking with the brown combining well with the warm, apricot tones.  There is certainly plenty of detail to admire, the definitive black beak and the deep base to the tail, along with our favourite little touch, the fold of skin under the neck.  All in all, top marks for Mojo Fun for introducing a Mandschurosaurus into their product range.

Mojo Fun Tyrannosaurus rex Model (2020)

Mojo Fun T. rex (new for 2020).

The Mojo Fun Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur model (new for 2020).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mojo Fun Tyrannosaurus rex

From one of the more obscure residents of the northern hemisphere in the Late Cretaceous to the most famous dinosaur of all.  Mojo Fun will add a new model of T. rex to their range.  This figure too is a new sculpt and it is very stable and well built.  The jaw on our production figure does not open as wide as other models, but it opens wide enough to view the fleshy, muscular tongue, which has almost got a purple tinge to it.  This is the largest T. rex figure made by Mojo Fun, it is some six centimetres longer than the 1/40th scale replica in this range.  It stands well and we particularly like the black wash effect applied to the hind feet.

The Mojo Fun Triceratops Dinosaur Model (2020)

Mojo Fun new for 2020 Triceratops dinosaur model.

The Mojo Fun new for 2020 Triceratops dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mojo Fun 2020 Triceratops Dinosaur Model

Bring out a new T. rex and a new version of Triceratops is sure to follow.  Mojo Fun don’t disappoint with a Triceratops scheduled to be released next year.  The figure is a colour variant on the existing Mojo Fun “large” Triceratops model, but the paint scheme has changed.  The model has a muted look overall, but the weathered look on those impressive brow horns has been retained.

Triceratops Better Watch Out!  There’s a New Mojo Fun T. rex Approaching

Mojo Fun Triceratops and the T. rex dinosaur model (2020).

The Mojo Fun Triceratops and the T. rex dinosaur model (2020).  The Triceratops has fantastic skin texture, this can be clearly seen on the shoulders and forelimbs of the model in closer view.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mojo Fun Troodon (Troodontid) Model

Mojo Fun Troodon dinosaur model (2020)

New for 2020 the Mojo Fun troodontid dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mojo Fun Troodon (Troodontid)

The final model that we will feature today, is a feathered dinosaur, it is a model of Troodon, a famous North American, Late Cretaceous member of the Theropoda that was originally named on the basis of a single fossil tooth associated with the Judith River Formation of Montana.  The figure has been carefully sculpted to give the impression of a shaggy, feathery coat and in common with the rest of the new Mojo Fun releases the colour scheme is muted.  The second toe of each foot is raised off the ground and the stiff, inflexible tail extends out behind the model and ends in a brown and cream coloured fan.  The figure is well balanced and the feathers on the wings are beautifully marked.  The Troodon figure has an articulated lower jaw.

Tale of the Tape

  • Mojo Fun Allosaurus – length 22 cm, height of the head 9 cm.
  • Mojo Fun Stegosaurus – length 19 cm.
  • Mojo Fun Mandschurosaurus – length 24.5 cm.
  • Mojo Fun Tyrannosaurus rex – length 30 cm, height of the head 11.5 cm.
  • Mojo Fun Triceratops – length 20 cm.
  • Mojo Fun Troodon (troodontid) – length 22 cm, height of head 9.5 cm.

To read the first part in this series: New Mojo Fun Dinosaur Models (Part 1).

To view the existing range of Mojo Fun models available from Everything Dinosaur: Mojo Fun Prehistoric and Extinct Models.

4 12, 2019

New Mojo Fun Prehistoric Life Dinosaur Models (Part 1)

By | December 4th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New Mojo Fun “Prehistoric Life” Dinosaur Models (Part 1)

Mojo Fun is bringing out lots of new dinosaur models in 2020.  There will be a total of twelve new dinosaurs added to the very successful Mojo Fun “Prehistoric Life” range next year.  In the first of a two-part feature, Everything Dinosaur team members will be discussing these new models and showing photographs of the actual production figures.

The Mojo Fun Baryonyx Dinosaur Model (New for 2020)

New for 2020 Mojo Fun Prehistoric Life Baryonyx.

The new for 2020 Mojo Fun Prehistoric Life Baryonyx dinosaur model.  The geology ruler helps to provide scale.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mojo Fun Baryonyx Dinosaur Model

Mojo Fun will be replacing their 2018 “blue” Baryonyx figure with this new sculpt.  The model reflects the more toned down approach to colouration that the company is employing with its new replicas and in our production figure the green paint on the topside of the model contrasts beautifully with the paler underside.  It’s a classic case of countershading highlighted by the mottled black markings that run from the top of the neck down to the base of the tail and cover the flanks.  The figure rests on its front claws, so stability is not an issue and Mojo Fun have added an articulated jaw.

“Bully for Brontosaurus” – New Mojo Fun Brontosaurus Model

New for 2020 the Mojo Fun Brontosaurus.

The new for 2020 Mojo Fun Brontosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mojo Fun Brontosaurus Dinosaur Model

With the re-establishment of the Brontosaurus genus in 2015 following an extensive revision of diplodocid fossil material, manufacturers have been keen to add a Brontosaurus to their range.  The Mojo Fun Brontosaurus opts for a more elephantine influenced colour scheme which contrasts nicely with their 2018 Diplodocus figure.  The model shows lots of wrinkles and skin texture and the neck is quite robust which is typical of this genus compared to the more gracile Diplodocus.  The Mojo Fun replica is sturdy and there is no noticeable flexibility in the neck or tail.  The tail itself has been skilfully modelled and the end is turning back on itself, this gives the impression of movement and will save a few cubic centimetres when it comes to boxing this model in readiness for sending out to customers.  The teeth in our model, might be a shade too white, but the red eye markings are classy and the head shape reflects typical diplodocid morphology.

Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus – New for 2020

Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus dinosaur model (new for 2020).

The new for 2020 Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Joining the Brontosaurus in 2020 is a new Brachiosaurus sculpt.  The figure is a little larger than other brachiosaurid models in the Mojo Fun “Prehistoric Life” range and like the Brontosaurus it reflects a more muted colour scheme with effective countershading.  It is pleasing to see plenty of texture and skin definition on the neck and the carefully painted eyes have a wet-look that provides realism.  The skull is typical for models representing this genus and the body proportions, the relationship between the length of the neck and the length of the tail for example, reflect our views on the brachiosaurid material ascribed from the Morrison Formation of the United States.

New for 2020 Mojo Fun Mamenchisaurus

Mojo Fun Mamenchisaurus dinosaur model (new for 2020).

The Mojo Fun Mamenchisaurus dinosaur model (new for 2020).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mamenchisaurus Model

Mojo Fun sauropod models are a bit like buses, you wait for ages for one to come along and then three come along together!  The third in our new for 2020 Mojo Fun replicas is this beautifully painted model of Mamenchisaurus.  It is a little larger than both the Brontosaurus and the Brachiosaurus figures, although none of these figures are regarded as being in scale, it is intriguing to consider that this figure represents one of the larger species assigned to the Mamenchisaurus genus.    The subtle paint scheme is very effective and this model has a row of black scutes running from the base of the skull to around halfway along the tail.

This trio of figures from Mojo Fun demonstrates the diversity of the Sauropodomorpha during the Late Jurassic and it is always a pleasure to see a different type of long-necked dinosaur added to a manufacturer’s portfolio.

A Terrific Trio of Sauropods Coming in 2020

Mojo Fun Sauropods for 2020.

Three new sauropods from Mojo Fun for 2020.  Left Mamenchisaurus, centre, the new Brontosaurus and at the back the Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Armoured Ankylosaurus

Two armoured dinosaurs are being added to the range next year (the second member of the Thyreophora will be featured in part 2), but first we focus on the new Ankylosaurus figure.

The New for 2020 Mojo Fun Ankylosaurus Dinosaur Model

Mojo Fun Ankylosaurus dinosaur model (new for 2020).

The Mojo Fun Ankylosaurus dinosaur model (new for 2020).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In contrast to the majority of the new models, the colour palette chosen for this new Ankylosaurus is more striking than the existing Ankylosaurus figure in the company’s model range.  That formidable club tail is held out straight behind the body, which is anatomically correct and the bright, almost gold coloured osteoderms, spikes and scutes that run from the back of the skull to the tail reminded us of the depiction of Ankylosaurus is the ground-breaking BBC television series “Walking with Dinosaurs”.  We compliment Mojo for the way in which they have maintained the level of detail even on the underside of the figure.

Mojo Fun New for 2020 Spinosaurus

Mojo Fun Spinosaurus dinosaur model (new for 2020).

The Mojo Fun Spinosaurus dinosaur model (new for 2020).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mojo Fun Spinosaurus Dinosaur Model

The final new for 2020 model that we will feature in the first part of our review is the Spinosaurus.   This figure is much larger than the previous Spinosaurus in the Mojo Fun “Prehistoric Life” range and unlike its predecessor, this aquatic dinosaur is depicted in a quadrupedal pose.  The head shows lots of detail and there is that distinctive kink in the front portion of the upper jaw, little horns over the eyes and a small crest in front of the orbits.  The design team have taken care to examine the known cranial material associated with Spinosaurus aegyptiacus.  The figure also has an articulated lower jaw.  There is a lot of detail in the skin texture and effective muscular definition on the hind legs.  The colour scheme is intriguing, the figure is painted a metallic green with overtones of carmine red.  Depending on the lighting conditions, the model takes on a completely different look, as shown in the picture below which compares it with the Mojo Fun Baryonyx figure.

A Pair of Spinosaurids – Baryonyx and Spinosaurus

Mojo Fun new for 2020 Spinosaurus and Baryonyx.

The new for 2020 Mojo Fun Spinosaurus (back) and the Mojo Fun Baryonyx (front).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Tale of the Tape

  • Mojo Fun Baryonyx – length 25 cm.
  • Mojo Fun Brontosaurus – length 22 cm, height of the head 11 cm.
  • Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus – length 23 cm, height of the head 19 cm.
  • Mojo Fun Mamenchisaurus – length 26.5 cm, height of the head 19.5 cm.
  • Mojo Fun Ankylosaurus – length 18.5 cm.
  • Mojo Fun Spinosaurus – length 28.5 cm, height of the sail 12.5 cm.

To view the range of Mojo Fun prehistoric animal figures available from Everything Dinosaur: Mojo Fun Prehistoric and Extinct Animals.

Part two, in which we show photographs of the final six new dinosaurs from Mojo Fun will be published tomorrow.

3 12, 2019

Telling Apart Teenage Tyrannosaurs

By | December 3rd, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Fossils From Alberta Help to Tell Teenage Tyrannosaurs Apart

It is often the case that a newly described fossil specimen only leads to confusion and controversy as its details are published.  However, a reassessment of a partial skull of a juvenile dinosaur that had been attributed to the tyrannosaurine Daspletosaurus (Daspletosaurus torosus) has now been referred to Gorgosaurus libratus.  The finding of a scrap of bone, a part of the skull (postorbital), discovered in the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, was the key to unlocking a mystery when it came to deciphering the fossilised bones of young tyrannosaurids.

Thanks to this new research, identifying which fossils represent different tyrannosaurid species might just have become a little easier.

A Digital Reconstruction of the Skull Elements (TMP 1994.143.1.)

Skull restoration TMP 1994.143.1.

Skull reconstruction of TMP 1994.143.1. Digital rendering of skull based on CT data in right lateral view (a), left lateral view (b), dorsal view (c) and anterior view (d).  Note that not all preserved elements were CT scanned.  Skull reconstruction in right lateral view based on combination of preserved right and left elements.  Scale bar = 10 cm.

Picture Credit: Voris et al/Scientific Reports

TMP 1994.143.1.

The partial skull and jaws (specimen number TMP 1994.143.1.), comes from the Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation of southern Alberta.  Although the fossil material was well preserved, the fossils were found in a jumbled and disarticulated state.  The bones had also been distorted during burial and the fossilisation process (the red shaded elements in the picture above depict the bones affected).  This distortion led to the bones becoming slightly wider, thus altering the dimensions of the fossil skull when it was reconstructed by scientists.  The skull length is around sixty-two centimetres whilst other skulls associated with Daspletosaurus torosus measure more than eighty-five centimetres in length, hence TMP 1994.143.1. was thought to represent a juvenile Daspletosaurus.

A Scale Drawing of an Adult Daspletosaurus

Drawing of Daspletosaurus.

Daspletosaurus (D. torosus) is estimated to have been around 8-9 metres in length when fully grown.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Defining a Juvenile Dinosaur

As scientists have been able to work out the likely growth rates of different dinosaurs, so a definition of what makes a juvenile specimen has emerged.  Lead author of the newly published paper, Jared Voris (University of Calgary), explained that juvenile dinosaurs were about half the body length of the largest adult animal known from that species.  A juvenile Daspletosaurus would have been around 4 metres in length, the equivalent in age of a human teenager, but still a formidable predator, one best avoided by all but the largest herbivorous dinosaurs.

A Small Piece of Skull Bone – Changes Views

The discovery of a small, isolated tyrannosaurid postorbital bone found in the Dinosaur Park Formation led to a reassessment of TMP 1994.143.1.  What was thought to represent the only known juvenile Daspletosaurus skull material has been assigned to the Gorgosaurus genus.  The study reveals that previously unrecognised morphological differences exist between juvenile albertosaurines and tyrannosaurines and demonstrates that juvenile tyrannosaurids are more morphologically distinct than originally thought.  Previous issues associated with differentiating juveniles of these two clades were likely caused by the misidentification of TMP 1994.143.1 as a juvenile Daspletosaurus.

Views of the Postorbital Bone Assigned to a Juvenile Daspletosaurus

Juvenile Daspletosaurus postorbital bone.

Views of the juvenile Daspletosaurus postorbital (TMP 2013.18.11) with line drawings.  Lateral view (a) with line drawing (c) and medial view (b) and accompanying line drawing (d).  Note scale bars equal 5 cm.

Picture Credit: Voris et al/Scientific Reports

Commenting on the significance of this new research, co-author Darla Zelenitsky (University of Calgary), explained that young Daspletosaurus specimens:

“Are now only represented by a few isolated bones instead of a nearly complete skull.  Regardless, we still have been able to figure out the earlier growth stages in the life cycle of both tyrannosaurs, Gorgosaurus and Daspletosaurus.”

It seems that skull diagnostic features develop quite early in these types of theropod dinosaur, if this is the case, then distinguishing different Late Cretaceous tyrannosaurid species from even fragmentary fossil remains might just become a little easier in future.

The scientific paper: “Reassessment of a juvenile Daspletosaurus from the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada with implications for the identification of immature tyrannosaurids” by Jared T. Voris, Darla K. Zelenitsky, François Therrien and Philip J. Currie published in Scientific Reports.

2 12, 2019

New Toothy Pterosaur Identified from the Afro-Arabian Continent

By | December 2nd, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Mimodactylus libanensis Newly Described Lebanese Pterosaur

The Pterosauria were very probably ubiquitous over much of our planet during the Mesozoic.  Once these flying reptiles had begun to diversify during the Late Triassic and into the Jurassic, these winged-wonders, the first vertebrates to master powered flight, would have spread far and wide.  Trouble is, although palaeontologists have described more than 120 genera, our knowledge of the Pterosauria is limited and scientists rely on a few key deposits to provide them with the majority of specimens to study.  Pterosaurs are now known from every continent, but surprisingly, very little material has been collected from Africa and the Arabian peninsula.

Writing in the academic journal “Scientific Reports”, a team of international scientists have announced the discovery of a Late Cretaceous pterosaur from Lebanon.  Mimodactylus libanensis is the most complete pterosaur specimen to have been discovered from the Afro-Arabian continent.  Intriguingly, the fossil material shows a strong taxonomic affinity with a genus known from China (Haopterus gracilis), together the pair form a new clade of toothy pterosaurs – the Mimodactylidae.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Pterosaur Mimodactylus libanensis

A life reconstruction of the pterosaur Mimodactylus.

A life reconstruction of Mimodactylus.  This flying reptile lived on the western side of the Tethys Seaway, which divided Europe from North Africa.  The sea was shallow with many reefs and lagoons, it was a spur of the mighty Tethys Ocean that stretched eastwards to south-eastern Asia.

Picture Credit: Julius Csotonyi

Long, Narrow Wings

The fossil specimen comes from the famous Hjoûla Lagerstätte of Lebanon, a deposit famous for its beautifully preserved fossil fish, but tetrapod fossils are exceptionally rare.  The nearly complete and articulated skeleton indicates that Mimodactylus had long, narrow wings and that it would have been well-adapted to soaring over the sea, in a similar way to extant frigate birds.  As to what this pterosaur ate, that is open to speculation, but the robust, conical teeth located at the front of the jaws suggest a durophagus diet.  Perhaps this pterosaur fed on molluscs and other shelled creatures.

A View of the Fossilised Remains of Mimodactylus libanensis

Mimodactylus fossil material and line drawings.

Mimodactylus views of the fossil material and accompanying line drawings.  Photo (a) and drawing of the complete specimen.  Close up (b) of scapula and coracoid whilst (c) shows detail of the wrist, showing the relation of the pteroid and the carpus.  Detail (d) of the humerus.  Note scale-bars, a: 50 mm; b-d: 10 mm.

Picture Credit: Kellner et al/Scientific Reports

The Mimodactylidae

The single specimen represents a sub-adult, the wingspan is estimated to be around 1.3 metres, but in the absence of any fossil material representing an adult animal, the actual size of a fully grown Mimodactylus is not known.  A phylogenetic analysis of the 95 million-year-old specimen suggests that Mimodactylus libanensis is closely related to pterosaurs from Asia and that with the taxon Haopterus gracilis, which is known from the Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province (north-eastern China), it forms a new clade of derived toothy pterosaurs, the Mimodactylidae.

One of the co-authors of the scientific paper, Michael Caldwell (University of Alberta), commented:

“This means that this Lebanese pterodactyloid was part of a radiation of flying reptiles living in and around and across the ancient Tethys Seaway, from China to a great reef system in what is today Lebanon.”

What’s in a Name?

The genus name is from the acronym (MIM), the Mineral Museum of Beirut in Lebanon, where the specimen is housed and the Greek “dactylos” meaning digit.  The trivial epithet honours Lebanon where this rare specimen was found.  An honourable mention to the anonymous philanthropist who acquired the fossil and ensured this important pterosaur was kept in Lebanon.

A Closer View of the Skull and Jaws of Mimodactylus libanensis

Mimodactylus skull and jaws.

A close up view of the skull and the jaws of Mimodactylus (inset – close view of the conical teeth). Scale bars (a) 10 mm and (b) 1 mm.

Picture Credit: Kellner et al/Scientific Reports

The scientific paper: “First complete pterosaur from the Afro-Arabian continent: insight into pterodactyloid diversity” by Alexander W. A. Kellner, Michael W. Caldwell, Borja Holgado, Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia, Roy Nohra, Juliana M. Sayão and Philip J. Currie published in Scientific Reports.

1 12, 2019

The Theropod Majungasaurus Replaced Teeth as Fast as Herbivorous Dinosaurs

By | December 1st, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Majungasaurus – Elevated Tooth Replacement Rate

Scientists writing in the academic journal “PLOS One”, have really got their teeth into an aspect of dinosaur anatomy, that surprisingly has not attracted that much research to date.  Dinosaurs replaced their teeth, as teeth were shed, perhaps when feeding or fighting, then replacements would erupt from the gumline permitting these reptiles to retain their toothy grins.  The speed of tooth replacement can provide palaeontologists with important information about feeding ecology.  The fastest tooth replacement rates had been associated with herbivorous dinosaurs, the likes of the Ceratopsia and the hadrosaurids.  After all, these plant-eaters fed on very coarse plant material so their teeth were subjected to plenty of wear and tear.  In this new study, undertaken by researchers at Ohio University and Adelphi University (New York), tooth replacement rates for three carnivorous dinosaurs were calculated.

Surprisingly, Majungasaurus (M. crenatissimus), from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar, had a much faster tooth replacement than the other theropods studied.  Its tooth replacement rate puts it on a par with the rates associated with the horned dinosaurs and the duck-bills.

Computer Generated Images of the Skull of Majungasaurus

Majungasaurus skull diagram.

A diagram showing the details of the skull of Majungasaurus.  Views (A) left lateral, (B) buccal view, (C) dorsal view, (D) ventral view, (E) posterior view, (F) anterior view.

Picture Credit: Memoirs of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology/Ohio University/from Sampson, S. D. and L. M. Witmer (2007)

Rapid Replacement of Majungasaurus Teeth

CT scans and detailed cross-sectional analysis were carried out on individual teeth and jaw elements associated with three theropod dinosaurs.  These dinosaurs were the blunt-snouted, deep-skulled Majungasaurus along with Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus.  High tooth replacement rates were identified in three genera, but the researchers concluded that Majungasaurus replaced its teeth much faster than either Allosaurus or Ceratosaurus.  Majungasaurus would form a new tooth in each socket every fifty-six days or so, whilst Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus took in excess of a hundred days.

Lead author of the research, Michael D. D’Emic, (Adelphi University), explained the significance of this finding by commenting:

“This meant they [Majungasaurus] were wearing down their teeth quickly, possibly because they were gnawing on bones.  There is independent evidence for this in the form of scratches and gouges that match the spacing and size of their teeth on a variety of bones — bones from animals that would have been their prey.”

Assistant professor D’Emic went onto add that extant animals too, gnaw on bones, this is a way for them to get certain nutrients, but to feed like this requires exceptionally tough and strong teeth, Majungasaurus did not have teeth like that, so they evolved an accelerated replacement strategy to compensate.

Examining Tooth Replacement in Theropod Dinosaurs

Theropod dinosaurs in the study - Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus and Majungasaurus.

Studying tooth replacement in theropod dinosaurs.  Three theropod genera were studied – Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Majungasaurus.  Scale bar for (a), (b) and (c) equals 10 cm, the scale bar for (d), (e) and (f) equals 100 μm.

Picture Credit: M. D. D’Emic et al/PLOS One with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

The picture (above), shows computer generated images of jaw elements of each dinosaur associated with the study (a) Allosaurus, (b) Ceratosaurus and (c) Majungasaurus.  The images (d-f) show histological tooth sections which reveal incremental growth lines that can help to determine the individual age of teeth (d) Majungasaurus, (e) Ceratosaurus and (f) Allosaurus.

Using a statistical model to predict tooth age from tooth length measured in CT slices, replacement rates for these three genera are estimated at:

  • Majungasaurus 56 days
  • Allosaurus 104 days
  • Ceratosaurus 107 days

The rapid replacement rate recorded in Majungasaurus puts it on a par with living sharks and herbivorous dinosaurs.

This research builds on an earlier paper published twenty years ago, the authors of this new study suggest that with so many new dinosaurs being named and described over the last two decades or so, there is a lot of scope to build on the data collected so far and to provide further insights into dinosaur feeding ecology.

Michael D’Emic stated:

“I’m hoping this latest project spurs more people to study other species.  I bet that it will reveal further surprises and hopefully that will lead to a better understanding of how dinosaurs evolved to be successful for so long.”

Now that less destructive forms of study are available to scientists, the analysis of tooth wear and the internal structures of dinosaur teeth will help to provide a clearer picture regarding dinosaur feeding behaviour and dietary preferences – now that’s something to smile about.

An Illustration of the Late Cretaceous Abelisaurid Majungasaurus (M. crenatissimus)

A drawing of Majungasaurus.

An illustration of the abelisaurid Majungasaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The scientific paper: “Evolution of high tooth replacement rates in theropod dinosaurs” by Michael D. D’Emic , Patrick M. O’Connor, Thomas R. Pascucci, Joanna N. Gavras, Elizabeth Mardakhayav and Eric K. Lund published in PLOS One.

30 11, 2019

A Guide to the New CollectA Models (Part 5)

By | November 30th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

A Guide to the New CollectA Models (Part 5)

Yesterday, Everything Dinosaur in collaboration with CollectA, announced the final five prehistoric animal models to be introduced by CollectA next year (2020).  These figures include three invertebrates (two cephalopods and an arthropod), plus a bizarre pterosaur, one of the strangest of all the flying reptiles and a new colour variant of the popular rearing Diplodocus replica.

As with previous CollectA releases, we have produced a short video in which we discuss these five models in a little more detail.

A Quick Video Guide to the New CollectA Prehistoric Animal Models (Fifth and Final Part)

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

CollectA Deluxe (Supreme) Caviramus Model in 1:2 Scale

The Pterosauria were the first vertebrates to master powered flight.  These flying reptiles which have no close living relatives, were very strange animals, perhaps the most bizarre of all were the “campylognathoidids” – pronounced cam-pea-low-gnath-oi-dids, which are known from Upper Triassic and Lower Jurassic strata.  Several genera have been assigned including Caviramus, but scientists are not sure where these types of pterosaurs fit into the Pterosauria family tree and indeed, how the genera within the Campylognathoididae family (also referred to as the Raeticodactylidae), are related to each other remains uncertain.  All the fossil material known comes from northern Europe with one species described from Greenland.  These were the first pterosaurs to demonstrate head crests as depicted on the CollectA Deluxe Supreme figure.

CollectA Have Four Pterosaurs in the CollectA Deluxe (Supreme) Model Range

CollectA Deluxe (Supreme) pterosaurs.

The pterosaurs in the CollectA Deluxe (Supreme) model range.  Each model has an articulated jaw.  Everything Dinosaur congratulates CollectA for introducing such a dynamic range depicting the huge variety within the Pterosauria.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Caviramus  (also referred to as Raeticodactylus), comes from Switzerland.  It had large eyes, a curved lower jaw, that is reminiscent of these types of pterosaurs (the name campylognathoidid – is from the Latin for curved jaw), proportionately long legs and slender wings.  Caviramus, with a wingspan of around 1.35 metres, is one of the largest representatives of this bizarre group.  The CollectA Deluxe Caviramus model measures around 32 cm long, it is referred to as a 1:2 scale model.  The narrow jaw with its deep keel at the front, was lined by an assortment of teeth of several different shapes and sizes.  What Caviramus ate remains a mystery but studies of the skull and jaws suggest that for such a small animal, it had a very powerful bite.  Fittingly, this new for 2020 CollectA model will have an articulated lower jaw.

Amazing Arthropods and Cool Cephalopods

In line with CollectA’s policy of introducing more creatures from the Palaeozoic, a superb replica of a trilobite has been added to the range.  Redlichia rex was only formally named and described earlier this year and it is the largest species of trilobite known from Australia to date.  To read more about the Cambrian predator Redlichia rex:  “King” of the Trilobites Discovered in Australia.

Two cool representatives of the Cephalopoda are also due out in the middle of 2020.  Both are nektonic and predatory, but they herald from very different parts of the extensive cephalopod timeline.  Nautilus pompilius can be traced back to the Pleistocene Epoch, whereas, the much larger and far more ancient Orthoceras is associated with the Ordovician-aged Baltic Sea limestones of Sweden.  All three of these beautifully sculpted replicas will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur by mid 2020.

One Trilobite (Arthropoda) and Two Cephalopods (N. pompilius and Orthoceras)

CollectA Arthropods and Cephalopods new for 2020.

New CollectA Arthropods and Cephalopods.  The three new models announced on Friday are shown at the top with (below), the previous new for 2020 invertebrate figures announced by Everything Dinosaur recently. 

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

CollectA Diplodocus – Grey

The final figure to be announced was the new rearing Diplodocus grey colour variant, which is due to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur early next year.  At this time, Everything Dinosaur team members are not sure whether this figure will replace the original rearing Diplodocus model that came out in 2013.  Naturally, if we receive information about model retirements from the CollectA ranges we will post this information up onto this blog and our other social media platforms.

A Pair of Diplodocus Models from CollectA – Age of Dinosaurs Popular Size

CollectA Diplodocus Figures

Comparing the new for 2020 grey Diplodocus with the original 2013 figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For the time being, Everything Dinosaur still has stocks of the original CollectA rearing Diplodocus model: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models.

In summary, CollectA will introduce a total of eighteen new prehistoric animal models in 2020. Some of these figures will be available in early 2020, the rest should be in stock by the middle of the year.

To read our earlier article announcing the five new models discussed in our video review: New CollectA Prehistoric Animal Models (Part 5- Final)

29 11, 2019

New CollectA Models (Final Part)

By | November 29th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New CollectA Models (Part 5 – Final)

Today, Everything Dinosaur in collaboration with our friends at CollectA publish part 5, the final part in our series of articles announcing new CollectA prehistoric animal models for 2020.  Fittingly, in this fifth and final blog article we have five new figures to announce:

The five new CollectA prehistoric animal models are:

  • CollectA Deluxe (Supreme) 1:2 scale model of the bizarre pterosaur Caviramus.
  • CollectA Redlichia rex trilobite model (Other Prehistoric Animals Range).
  • CollectA Orthoceras – straight-shelled nautiloid (Other Prehistoric Animals Range).
  • CollectA Nautilus pompilius – once thought as an example of a “living fossil” (Other Prehistoric Animals Range).
  • CollectA The Age of Dinosaurs – Popular Size grey Diplodocus.

The CollectA Deluxe (Supreme) Caviramus Pterosaur Model

CollectA Caviramus model with an articulated jaw.

The bizarre Late Triassic pterosaur Caviramus (CollectA Caviramus model).

Picture Credit: CollectA

CollectA Deluxe (Supreme) Caviramus Model

CollectA will add a fourth pterosaur to their CollectA Deluxe (Supreme) range in 2020.  The Caviramus model will have an articulated lower jaw and it demonstrates all those weird and wonderful features that have left palaeontologists scratching their heads since this flying reptile was formerly named and described in 2006

Everything Dinosaur congratulates CollectA on introducing such a fascinating and untypical member of the pterosaur family into their model range.

CollectA Redlichia rex Trilobite

CollectA Redlichia rex – Trilobite Terror

CollectA Redlichia rex trilobite.

CollectA Redlichia rex trilobite model.  Like other recently announced new for 2020 CollectA models this replica was requested by a German museum and dinosaur theme park.

Picture Credit: CollectA

Wandering the seabed of what is now Australia some 513 million years ago, was a very large trilobite.  Redlichia rex was twice as big as other trilobites known from the Emu Bay Shale on Kangaroo Island (South Australia), the largest specimens are around thirty centimetres long.  It has been suggested that this trilobite specialised in hunting smaller trilobites it may have been a cannibal.  Named and described this year (2019), the species name “rex”, which means “king”, refers to its large size and predatory nature, reminiscent of Tyrannosaurus rex, which lived some 447 million years later.

The CollectA Orthoceras Model (New for 2020)

Collecta Orthoceras model.

CollectA Orthoceras.

Picture Credit: CollectA

CollectA Orthoceras

A model of a straight-shelled nautiloid (Orthoceras), will be added to the CollectA range.  Long before vertebrates became large enough to become apex predators, there was an evolutionary “arms race” between the Arthropoda and Mollusca.  Powerful armoured sea scorpions (eurypterids), such as Megalograptus did battle with giant orthoconic nautiloids.  Orthoceras was one such predator, a cephalopod and an active hunter of Ordovician seas some 465 million years ago.  They are only very distantly related to the living spiral shelled nautilus.

On the subject of nautiloids…

The CollectA Nautilus pompilius Model

CollectA Nautilus pompilius model.

CollectA Nautilus pompilius sometimes referred to as the “Emperor nautilus” because of its large size.

Picture Credit: CollectA

CollectA Nautilus pompilius

As with the trilobite, the Orthoceras and the ammonite/belemnite/horseshoe crab, CollectA figures discussed last week, this nautilus replica has been requested by a German museum and dinosaur-themed park.  Once described as a “living fossil” scientists now believe that extant forms are not that closely related to prehistoric lineages.  As for the large, chambered-shelled N. pompilius, its fossil record dates back to the Pleistocene Epoch.

The New for 2020 CollectA Grey Diplodocus

CollectA rearing Diplodocus - grey

New for 2020 CollectA rearing Diplodocus – grey.

Picture Credit: CollectA

CollectA Age of Dinosaurs – Popular Size Grey Diplodocus

The last of the five models for today, the final model to be announced for 2020, is a dinosaur.  This is very appropriate for a company that has forged such a strong reputation for its dinosaur figures and replicas.  CollectA will be introducing a new colour variant of its popular rearing Diplodocus dinosaur model.  Many collectors have requested a new colour scheme for this figure, the muted tones provide a fascinating contrast to the original CollectA rearing Diplodocus that was introduced in 2013.

Tale of the Tape

Those important model measurements:

  • CollectA Deluxe (Supreme) Caviramus length 32 cm, height 21 cm – available mid 2020.
  • CollectA Redlichia rex Trilobite length 9.5 cm, width 5.7 cm – available mid 2020.
  • CollectA Orthoceras shell length 15.2 cm, spread of arms 8.1 cm in diameter – available mid 2020.
  • CollectA Nautilus pompilius length 10 cm, width 4.5 cm, height 6.5 cm – available mid 2020.
  • CollectA rearing Diplodocus model length 19.4 cm, height just under 23 cm – available early 2020.

To view the current range of CollectA Age of Dinosaurs – Popular size figures: CollectA Prehistoric Life.

To view the first of the 2020 CollectA prehistoric animals to be announced: New CollectA Prehistoric Animals (Part 1).

To read about the second set of new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animals: New CollectA Prehistoric Animals (Part 2).

To read the third part in our series introducing new CollectA figures: New CollectA Models (Part 3).

To read the fourth part in this series: New CollectA Models (Part 4).

To view the CollectA scale model series: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Life.

27 11, 2019

Targaryendraco – Unravelling the Ornithocheiridae

By | November 27th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Targaryendraco – When the Pterosauria and “Game of Thrones” Meet

The Ornithocheiridae is one of the most extensively researched of all the pterosaur families.  However, this family of flying reptiles has a reputation amongst researchers for being one of the most difficult when it comes to mapping out their taxonomy.  The fragmentary fossils (usually jaw tips), first studied in the middle of the 19th century, has led to the erection of all kinds of genera and species.  Many palaeontologists are trying to make sense of this complicated and confused taxonomy, trying to unpick and unravel all those dubious pterosaurs assigned from the Cambridge Greensand of southern England and from the Lower Cretaceous deposits of central Germany as well as elsewhere in the world.

A team of researchers writing in the academic journal “Historical Biology”, have reassessed a specimen housed at the State Museum of Natural History – Stuttgart (Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde).  This specimen, the most complete pterosaur fossil known from Lower Cretaceous deposits in Germany, consists of material from the lower jaws, (including the jaw tips), a partial rib as well as elements from the forelimbs, hand and fingers.  Originally assigned to the Ornithocheirus genus and named Ornithocheirus wiedenrothi, the authors build on previous studies that questioned whether this specimen represented a species of Ornithocheirus, redescribe it and assign this pterosaur to its own genus – Targaryendraco.  The trivial name is still retained, honouring amateur palaeontologist Kurt Wiedenroth who discovered the fossil material back in 1984.

A Life Reconstruction of Targaryendraco wiedenrothi

A life reconstruction of the pterosaur Targaryendraco.

Targaryendraco life reconstruction.  The single specimen known probably represents a sub-adult, so the size of this flying reptile is uncertain, some estimates have suggested a wingspan of between 3-4 metres.  Ironically the fossil specimen demonstrates a narrow mandible, a characteristic of the Ornithocheiridae.

Picture Credit: Vitor Silva

The “Game of Thrones” Connection

The genus name is a combination of Targaryen and “draco” from the Latin for dragon.  Targaryen is one of the Houses in the fictional chronicles “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin, upon which the television series “Game of Thrones” is based.  The dragons of the popular saga have dark coloured bones, the type specimen of Targaryendraco wiedenrothi is a dark grey colour, caused by mineralisation from the surrounding matrix.  The name also references the connection between pterosaurs and dragons, a link cited almost since the first fossils of these flying reptiles came to be known by western science.

The Holotype Lower Jaw with Line Drawings (Targaryendraco wiedenrothi)

Views of the holotype lower jaw of Targaryendraco wiedenrothi.

Holotype lower jaw of Targaryendraco wiedenrothi with line drawings.  The holotype fossil (SMNS 56628) dorsal view (A) with line drawing (B) and a lateral view (C) with accompanying line drawing (D).

Picture Credit: Alexander Kellner and Taissa Rodrigues

A New Clade of Pterosaurs – the Targaryendraconia

The researchers, Rodrigo V. Pêgas, Borja Holgado and Maria Eduarda C. Leal undertook a phylogenetic analysis based on the three-dimensional German fossils and subsequently erected a new clade of pterosaurs – the Targaryendraconia which consists of six genera (see below).  This new clade is both geographically and temporally widespread and demonstrates that the diversity of Lower Cretaceous toothy pterosaurs was higher than previously thought.

The six genera assigned to the clade Targaryendraconia:

  • Targaryendraco – described in 2019 from fossil material found in near Hannover in Germany.
  • Aussiedraco – described in 2011 from fossils found in Queensland, Australia.
  • Barbosania – described in 2011 (Santana Formation of north-eastern Brazil).
  • Camposipterus – redescribed in 2013 and known from the Cambridge Greensand formation.
  • Aetodactylus – described in 2010 and known from Texas (USA).
  • Cimoliopterus – redescribed in 2013 and known from fragmentary fossils from Texas and Kent in south-eastern England.

Studying the ornithocheirids might be like trying to untie the Gordian Knot of ancient mythology, but at least with this new assessment, a small part of this complicated fossil collection has been unravelled.

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