All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
/Dinosaur Fans

Dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed articles, features and stories.

22 08, 2019

Praise from America

By | August 22nd, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Praise from America

Everything Dinosaur has thousands of customers all over the world.  We are always delighted to hear feedback from our customers, here at home in the UK and of course, overseas.  For example, we recently received this kind email from one of our customers in the United States, she had just purchased some Papo prehistoric animals and wrote to say:

“I just received my order from Everything Dinosaur and once again, I am just BLOWN AWAY at the quality and workmanship of the Papo dinosaur figures.  I mean, truly blown away!  They are so realistic!  I really enjoy and appreciate the info sheets that accompany my order from Everything Dinosaur as well.  I have been collecting for my four-year-old daughter since she was two years old.  I loved dinosaurs myself as a little girl.  I lived in Germany growing up and the toys in the stores there were top notch.  I collected Schleich animals as companies really didn’t have nice dinosaur figures available like this then.  It has been so fun sharing this love of dinos with my daughter and learning more about the prehistoric world through the toys we get her.”

Our thanks for the feedback and kind comments, Everything Dinosaur is a 5-star rated company as monitored by the independent survey company Feefo.

Everything Dinosaur Has Been Awarded Feefo’s Highest Accolade for Customer Service

Gold Trusted Service Award to Everything Dinosaur.

Feefo awards top marks to Everything Dinosaur.  Everything Dinosaur has been awarded the accolade of the “Gold Trusted Service Award” from Feefo for its 5-star service.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Customer Feedback

As a mail order company, Everything Dinosaur gets a large number of emails from customers offering us feedback and praise on our products and customer service.  Potential customers can view over five hundred independently verified customer reviews by clicking the “Feefo” tab on our website: Visit Everything Dinosaur.  In addition, we have over 1,800 customer and product reviews on our website.

Dinosaur model collector William, for instance, has posted up several reviews of his recent PNSO Age of Dinosaurs purchases.  One of his reviews concerned the PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Abelisaurus (Martin the little Abelisaurus).

William commented:

“PNSO’s Abelisaurus  is a mighty mini.  Paint applied to perfection and very natural markings.  Martin has a wry little cheeky expression fantastic.  GREAT SERVICE from Everything Dinosaur.”

Praise for the PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Abelisaurus Model

PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Abelisaurus dinosaur model.

PNSO prehistoric animals that accompany your growth – Martin the Abelisaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur explained that they were always pleased to receive feedback from customers and that each and every email that the company received was read by team members and the company did all it could to respond quickly to customer queries.

Wonderful Customer Service

Our American customer went onto add:

“I am very impressed with Everything Dinosaur.  Your prices are so much better than they are here in the United States and I appreciate the wonderful customer service.  Thank you so much for letting me know when all the figures I was looking for came back in stock.  I will definitely be back to shop at Everything Dinosaur in the future.”

20 08, 2019

New for 2019 Eofauna Deinotherium

By | August 20th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Eofauna Scientific Research Deinotherium Model Due October 2019

The second, new for 2019 Eofauna prehistoric animal figure has been announced.  A replica of the huge, prehistoric elephant Deinotherium (D. giganteum) is being added to this exciting range.  The model will be available in the autumn, probably in October, a short while before the Atlasaurus figure, which was announced a few days earlier.

The New for 2019 Eofauna Scientific Research Deinotherium Model

The Eofauna 1:35 scale Deinotherium model.

The beautiful, 1:35 scale Eofauna Scientific Research Deinotherium model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The “Famous Five”

With the addition of the Atlasaurus and the Deinotherium, this brings the total of Eofauna Scientific Figures to five.  Eofauna Scientific Research is staffed by researchers, creatives and specialists with a focus on prehistoric fauna.  The company has demonstrated expertise in the study of ancient members of the Order Proboscidea (elephants and their relatives), three of the five models produced so far are prehistoric elephants.   The D. giganteum figure will be joining a Straight-tusked elephant (Palaeloxodon antiquus) and the first of this range to be introduced, a Steppe mammoth (Mammuthus trogontherii).

A Fact Card will be Supplied with the New for Autumn 2019 Eofauna Scientific Research Deinotherium Model

The Eofauna Deinotherium model (2019)

Eofauna Deinotherium (2019) will be supplied with its own Eofauna fact card as well as an Everything Dinosaur Deinotherium fact sheet.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Deinotherium giganteum

Deinotherium fossils are known from Africa, Europe and parts of Asia.  It was not closely related to extant elephants or the Mammuthus genus.  The Eofauna model shows the long legs and long, low skull associated with this genus.  It is believed Deinotherium became extinct around 2.5 million years ago.

Everything Dinosaur has opened a priority reservation list for this figure, which should be in stock in October.  To join our no obligation, priority reserve list for the Eofauna Scientific Research Deinotherium, just drop us an email: Email Everything Dinosaur.

To view the range of Eofauna models currently in stock including the Straight-tusked elephant and the beautiful Steppe mammoth: Eofauna Scientific Research Models.

The New Eofauna Scientific Research Deinotherium Model

The Eofauna Scientific Research 1:35 scale Deinotherium model.

Striding confidently into view the Eofauna Deinotherium model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We are delighted to announce that this figure will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur during the autumn.  We should have stocks of this new exciting prehistoric elephant figure and the sauropod Atlasaurus in plenty of time to ensure a happy Christmas for collectors of Eofauna models.”

Deinotherium Model Measurements – Tale of the Tape

The new Eofauna Deinotherium model has a stated scale of 1:35.  The model measures around 20 centimetres in length and stands and impressive 13 cm high.  Observant model collectors will note that this new figure is depicted on the move.  Elephants do not have the gaits associated with faster moving, large mammals such as the trot and the gallop.  Instead, when an elephant moves slowly, its limbs remain relatively straight and column-like.   Locomotion studies have shown that when moving quickly, the limbs become more mobile and flexible acting like “pogo sticks”,  helping the animal to maintain velocity.  Even when moving at full speed, the four feet of the elephant do not leave the ground simultaneously, as opposed to the limbs of a horse when galloping.

16 08, 2019

Posing the Papo Pentaceratops

By | August 16th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Posing the Papo Pentaceratops

The Papo Pentaceratops model has a rearing pose, but the model is so well designed that it can rest in a horizontal position with three legs resting on the floor.  The Papo Pentaceratops is a beautiful figure, but it is also so well balanced that it can be placed in a couple of different poses if model collectors don’t want to feature it rearing up in their model displays.  To illustrate this point, we created a short video demonstrating the Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur figure in a rearing pose and showing how it can be displayed in other poses too.

Posing the Papo Pentaceratops Dinosaur Model

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Papo Pentaceratops Model

Although the French manufacturer (Papo), has produced several ceratopsian models in the past (Triceratops, baby Triceratops, Styracosaurus and Pachyrhinosaurus), this is the first horned dinosaur to be depicted in a rearing pose.   Much praise has been heaped on the broad shoulders of the Pentaceratops figure, it has proved to be a big hit with collectors and dinosaur model fans.

The New for 2019 Papo Pentaceratops Dinosaur Model

The new for 2019 Papo Pentaceratops and the Papo Gorgosaurus dinosaur models.

The new for 2019 Papo Gorgosaurus (left) and the Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur model (right).  The Papo Pentaceratops figure is much larger than the Gorgosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Attracting 5-star Reviews

The Pentaceratops may only have been out for a short while, but it has already received several 5-star reviews from Everything Dinosaur customers.  For example, Ryan left a review on the Everything Dinosaur website saying:

“Fantastic figure!  A really dynamic pose, plenty of finer details and a great realistic paint job.  This one will really stand out amongst my collection.”

Our thanks for your comments, Ryan, we really like the cryptic quip about the model “standing out”, it certainly does with its upright rearing pose.

Model collector David, also piled praise on the model exclaiming:

“Beautiful model!  Very convincing sculpt, full of life with lovely colouration.  Excellent service from Everything Dinosaur!”

For David, the Papo Pentaceratops and our awarding winning customer service are two things worth praising.  A great big thank you to all those very kind people who have taken the time and trouble to review our models, both on our website also via our Feefo feedback pages.

The Papo Pentaceratops and the Papo Gorgosaurus model for that matter, are available from Everything Dinosaur, to view these models and the rest of the extensive Papo prehistoric animal model range: Papo Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models

14 08, 2019

The “Scunthorpe Pliosaur”

By | August 14th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|1 Comment

The “Scunthorpe Pliosaur” – What is it?  When and Where Did it Live?  What it May Have Eaten and Lived Alongside

A few weeks ago, we set young palaeontologist Thomas a challenge, could he research and write an article for posting up onto the Everything Dinosaur blog.  Thomas has taken up our offer and here is the first of his articles, it provides information on a prehistoric animal close to Thomas’s  heart the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur”.

The “Scunthorpe Pliosaur”, a specimen announced earlier this year, was a large plesiosauroid belonging to the family Pliosauridae and is related to the better known pliosaurs such as Pliosaurus and Liopleurodon in fact, it may have lived alongside and directly competed with these two better-known pliosaurs at some point.  It has been estimated at 8 metres long.

The “Scunthorpe Pliosaur” on Display at North Lincolnshire Museum

Rose Nicholson, Richard Forrest and Darren Withers with the Scunthorpe Pliosaur.

Rose Nicholson from North Lincolnshire Museum, palaeontologist Richard Forrest and Darren Withers from Stamford and District Geological Society with the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur”.

Picture Credit: North Lincolnshire Museum

When and Where Did it Live and Where was it Found?

The “Scunthorpe Pliosaur” lived around 160 to 155 million years ago in what is now north Lincolnshire (England).  These fossils date from the Late Jurassic and the United Kingdom 160 million years ago was a very mysterious place.  Whilst marine fauna is decently represented in the fossil record, there is still much science does not know about the seas from this time and this new specimen may help open up a new window into that mysterious world.  The terrestrial fauna on the other hand, is poorly represented and full of mystery with one of the only described theropods being the British Metriacanthosaurus from Dorset (a close relative of Sinraptor from China).  The pliosaur specimen was recovered from a CEMEX quarry.

Partially Excavated Fossils at the Excavation Site

Ribs and a vertebra fossil in situ.

Ribs and a vertebra in situ.

Picture Credit: Yorkshire Geological Society

What Did it Live With and What Might it Have Eaten?

Inhabiting the seas alongside the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur” were other pliosaurs, plesiosaurs, turtles, fish, ichthyosaurs, squid, ammonites, marine crocodiles, sharks and more.  Some of these animals include the pliosaurs Liopleurodon, Simolestes and Pliosaurus which would have competed with it and the plesiosaurs Cryptocleidus and Colymbosaurus which could have been prey of the pliosaur especially the latter plesiosaur’s young.

Palaeontologist Richard Forrest Holding a Fossil Tooth

The pliosaur tooth examined by Richard Forrest.

Richard Forrest holding a pliosaur tooth.

Picture Credit: North Lincolnshire Museum

Looking at the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur’s” dentition, the known teeth of this pliosaur are reminiscent of teeth associated with Pliosaurus (Pliosaurus brachydeirus),  a species which has been found in Lincolnshire.  From this comparison, it can be concluded that the Scunthorpe individual possibly preyed upon other marine reptiles and other large marine fauna.  Stomach content of related pliosaurs and bite marks left by them on their prey show that pliosaurs like the Scunthorpe specimen would have been hunting a wide range of hard bodied marine prey from large ammonites to plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs, however, they wouldn’t have shied away from preying on softer bodied animals.

Like most pliosaurs, the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur” probably had a very powerful sense of smell, good eyesight, acute hearing and a powerful bite, all necessary adaptations for a hunting pliosaur to have in order to hunt effectively.

Holding a Fossilised Pliosaur Tooth

Holding a pliosaur tooth.

Holding a fossil tooth.

Picture Credit David Haber

The ecology at the time would have consisted of kelp forests, reefs, coastal shallows and a steep pelagic drop-off that plummets into a benthic zone.  Pliosaurs such as Liopleurodon, Pliosaurus and the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur” probably used these drop-off points as ambush spots to strike unsuspecting prey from below.

When attacking prey, Pliosaurs would have come up from below like white sharks and either rammed or bitten prey in one massive disabling blow to the prey item to prevent it’s escape.   In conclusion, the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur “was a large pliosaur which could have occupied the apex predator niche in its warm, shallow coastal ecosystem hunting all manners of prey from fish and squid to marine reptiles using sight, hearing and smell to track down its prey and applying similar hunting strategies to modern Great Whites to secure and catch that prey.  This discovery is an important one as it opens up a window into a little known area of the Late Jurassic British seas and helps palaeontologists piece together that ancient ecosystem over 155 million years ago.

Holding the Ancient History of North Lincolnshire

Pliosaur fossils.

History in your hands, part of the fossilised skeleton.

Picture Credit: The Stamford and District Geological Society Facebook page

Our thanks to Thomas for compiling this article on the “Scunthorpe Pliosaur”.

12 08, 2019

The Next Eofauna Model Will Be… Atlasaurus

By | August 12th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|3 Comments

Atlasaurus – The Fourth Prehistoric Animal Figure from Eofauna Scientific Research

Today, Everything Dinosaur can announce that the fourth figure in the Eofauna Scientific Research range will be… Atlasaurus (A. imelakei), a peculiar sauropod from the Middle Jurassic of North Africa, whose taxonomic affinity within the Sauropoda remains uncertain.  Known from a single specimen, representing an individual animal, this is one very untypical member of the long-necked dinosaurs.  The model is one of two new for 2019 Eofauna Scientific Research figures, both will be available around October, possibly early November.

The Eofauna Scientific Research Atlasaurus Dinosaur Model

The Eofauna Scientific Research Atlasaurus dinosaur model.

Atlasaurus (Eofauna Scientific Research).

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research/Everything Dinosaur

A Peculiar Sauropod Trying to Fit In

Named and described in 1999 (Monbaron, Russell and Taquet),  a significant proportion of the skeleton of Atlasaurus (A. imelakei) is known to science.  The type specimen, housed in the Musée des sciences de la Terre de Rabat (Morocco), is just missing a few pieces of bone and about half the caudal vertebrae (tail bones).  This is one very peculiar Sauropod, for instance, despite having been named and described quite recently, the type specimen lacks a specific, unique specimen number.  When first studied, it was thought that this dinosaur was similar to Brachiosaurus which was believed to have roamed both Africa and North America.   Subsequently, following a review of brachiosaurid fossils, the African material has largely been attributed to the genus Giraffatitan.   It has been suggested that Atlasaurus may not be closely related to Brachiosaurus at all, it could be a more basal sauropod and a member of the Turiasauria, long-necked dinosaurs that were geographically widespread during the Middle Jurassic.

Unlike Most of the Sauropoda, the Skull of Atlasaurus is Known

Close-up view of the beautifully painted head of the Eofauna Scientific Research Atlasaurus model.

A close-up view of the beautifully painted head of the Eofauna Scientific Research Atlasaurus model.  Is it us, or is this dinosaur model smiling?

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research/Everything Dinosaur

Bizarre Body Proportions

At first glance, the Eofauna Scientific Research figure might look a little strange.  This has nothing to do with the model, it’s just that Atlasaurus was a very strange-looking dinosaur.  The limbs of this dinosaur were proportionately longer than those of any other sauropod.  It had taken a different evolutionary route when compared to its relatives.  The limbs had become elongated and lengthened, whilst in contrast, the neck remained relatively short.  Relative to the length of its dorsal vertebral column Atlasaurus had a much shorter neck, a longer tail and long legs.  In addition, it had a bigger head.  It roamed North Africa around 168-164 million years ago and it has been suggested that its bizarre body proportions evolved so that it could exploit a particular niche in the ecosystem.  It lived in a seasonal, forested environment close to the coast and it is thought that this sauropod was a medium to high-level browser of the forest canopy.

Everything Dinosaur has already opened a reserve list for this eagerly awaited, 1:40 scale figure.  The model itself, measures around 30 cm in length and has a head height of approximately 22.5 cm.

A Reserve List for the Eofauna Scientific Research Atlasaurus is Now Open

Email Everything Dinosaur to join our priority reserve list for Atlasaurus.

Email Everything Dinosaur to join our reserve list for Atlasaurus.

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research/Everything Dinosaur

To join our reserve list for the Eofauna Atlasaurus model: Email Everything Dinosaur to Join the Atlasaurus Reserve List

To view the rest of the Eofauna Scientific Research models available from Everything Dinosaur: Eofauna Scientific Research Prehistoric Animal Models

11 08, 2019

PNSO Megalodon (2019) Video Review

By | August 11th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

A Video Review of the PNSO Megalodon Model (Patton)

Our thanks to the talented “Matthew the Dinosaur King” for posting up a video review of the recently introduced PNSO Megalodon model with an articulated lower jaw.  In this short video review, the narrator discusses the taxonomy of this famous prehistoric shark and then examines the model in detail.

The Video Review of the PNSO Megalodon Shark Model

Video Credit: Matthew the Dinosaur King

Ancestor of the Great White Shark?

In this very informative video, Matthew comments on the problems involved with classifying this prehistoric fish when palaeontologists have only got the teeth and a few calcified vertebrae to study.  He points out that most scientists consider this shark to be a member of the Odontidae family (pronounced Oh-don-tid-day).  It had been thought that this prehistoric shark was closely related to and the direct ancestor of the Great White shark (Carcharodon carcharias).    It is likely that Megalodon filled a similar position in the marine ecosystem as the extant Great White, that of an apex predator, hunting and consuming a wide variety of prey including marine mammals.  Any resemblance between Carcharodon carcharias and Megalodon (now, commonly described as Carcharocles megalodon), could be attributed to convergent evolution.  In 2012, Everything Dinosaur produced a short article about a fossil discovery that indicated that Great White sharks could be descended from ancient Mackerel sharks: Getting Our Teeth into the Origins of the Great White Shark.

The Video Review Also Shows the PNSO Megalodon Packaging

The packaging of the PNSO Megalodon model "Patton".

The beautifully designed box of the PNSO Megalodon model “Patton”.  This aspect of the new PNSO “Patton” model is commented upon in detail in the video review.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

What’s in the Box?

The reviewer takes time to examine the packaging of this model.  The box is examined in detail and the clear plastic support base that helps to protect the model in transit is shown.  The plastic base can be used to help display this figure, although it does balance quite well on its pectoral and small pelvic fins.

In the video, the articulated jaw of this figure is highlighted.  Other models of Megalodon have been produced before, for example, the narrator comments on the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Megalodon model (introduced in 2014), but “Patton” as PNSO has named this shark figure, has an articulated lower jaw.

A Close View of the Articulated Lower Jaw of the PNSO “Patton” the Megalodon Shark Figure

Mind your fingers! A view of the PNSO "Patton" Megalodon model.

A close up view of the PNSO “Patton” Megalodon model.  Mind your fingers!

Video image credit: Matthew the Dinosaur King

This new for 2019 PNSO figure has certainly proved popular with collectors.  This is the second Carcharocles megalodon model to have been produced by PNSO, both figures are available (whilst stocks last from Everything Dinosaur).  Our thanks to model collector Luke who sent into us a photograph of his recently purchased pair of “Pattons”.  Both the figure with the articulated jaw and the larger model with a stand, are called “Patton”.

The Two PNSO Megalodon Models on Display

Thank you Luke for sending in pics of his two PNSO Megalodon shark models.

Thanks to Luke for sending in pics of his two PNSO Megalodon shark models.

Picture Credit: Luke

We thank Luke for his photograph and for “Matthew the Dinosaur King” for providing such an excellent video review.

Everything Dinosaur recommends that readers subscribe to the YouTube channel of “Matthew the Dinosaur King”: “Matthew the Dinosaur King” on YouTube.

To see all the PNSO prehistoric animal models currently in stock at Everything Dinosaur, including the two PNSO Megalodon figures: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

9 08, 2019

New Prehistoric Animal Model from Eofauna Scientific Research

By | August 9th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New Prehistoric Animal Model from Eofauna Scientific Research

Our chums at Eofauna Scientific Research will be bringing out two new prehistoric animal models this autumn.  Eofauna Scientific Research has produced a trio of stunning prehistoric animal figures and by the end of the year, a further two beautiful replicas will join their range, both of which will be available from Everything Dinosaur.

Which prehistoric animals will be depicted?  We know, but we are not going to reveal what they are just yet, model collectors will have to wait a little while to find out.  However, just for a bit of fun, in association with Eofauna Scientific Research we have put together a little teaser – can you guess which prehistoric animal it is?

Which Prehistoric Animal Figure Will Eofauna Produce Next?

Which prehistoric animal figure will they produce next?

Eofauna Scientific Research which prehistoric animal figure will they produce next?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Eofauna Scientific Research

Prehistoric Animal Guessing Game

Something like 1,200 dinosaur genera have been described to date.  Scientists have named around 120 different types of pterosaur and hundreds of genera of prehistoric mammal have been erected.  Then of course you have all the amazing and bizarre Palaeozoic creatures to consider.  The Trilobita alone has approximately 20,000 different species arranged in ten orders (sometimes 9 depending on the taxonomy, which is still debated).

Our apologies if you don’t like prehistoric animal guessing games, feel free to attribute blame to Everything Dinosaur, we suggested to Eofauna that providing a “teaser” about new models would be a good way to develop a sense of anticipation and help raise awareness about their range of replicas.

The Eofauna Scientific Research Model Range at the Beginning of 2019

The Eofauna model range (2018).

Eofauna model range at the beginning of 2019.  Far left the straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), in the middle a Steppe Mammoth (Mammuthus trogontherii) and far right, the theropod dinosaur Giganotosaurus carolinii.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Commissioning a Scientific Drawing

As well as making preparations for the arrival of a new prehistoric animal model, team members at Everything Dinosaur will be commissioning a scientific drawing to be used in association with this new Eofauna Scientific Research figure.

Previous Scientific Drawing That Have Been Commissioned – Eofauna Scientific Research Models

Three Eofauna replicas illustrated.

Illustrations based on the three Eofauna replicas (left to right), Palaeoloxodon antiquus, Mammuthus trogontherii and Giganotosaurus carolinii.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The first of the new for 2019 Eofauna models should be with us in late October, the second figure should follow about 14 days later.  Naturally, the figures could arrive sooner, they could arrive later, but model collectors can be assured these two new models are worth the wait and we look forward to revealing the first of these new 2019 figures in about a week.

To view the current range of Eofauna Scientific Research models available from Everything Dinosaur: Eofauna Scientific Research Models

6 08, 2019

New Dinosaur Species Discovered “Hiding in Plain Sight”

By | August 6th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

The Sauropodomorph Ngwevu intloko “Hiding in Plain Sight”

The fossilised remains of a dinosaur that once roamed South Africa some 200 million years ago and that had lain mislabelled in a university vault for three decades has been identified as an entirely new species of dinosaur, a discovery that helps to demonstrate that ecosystems that developed shortly after the end-Triassic extinction event were much more specious than previously thought.

A View of the Skull of the Newly Described Sauropodomorpha N. intloko in the University of Witwatersrand Collection

Ngwevu fossil skull (BP/1/4779.

The skull of the newly described South African sauropodomorph Ngwevu intloko.

Picture Credit: Kimberley Chapelle (University of Witwatersrand)

Ngwevu intloko

The dinosaur has been named Ngwevu intloko and it was PhD student Kimberley Chapelle (University of Witwatersrand), whilst working with her supervisors mapping the extensive fossil material associated with Massospondylus (M. carinatus), that first realised that the well-preserved skull and postcranial remains could represent a new species.  Hundreds of fossils including several nearly complete skulls have been ascribed to Massospondylus (M. carinatus), since it was described by Richard Owen (later Sir Richard Owen) in 1854.  The skull (specimen number BP/1/4779), had been part of the University of Witwatersrand vertebrate fossil collection for years, but it had been thought that this was just an unusual example of this species.

Co-author of the scientific paper, which has been published in the journal PeerJ, Professor Paul Barrett of the Natural History Museum, London explained:

“This is a new dinosaur that has been hiding in plain sight.  The specimen has been in the collections in Johannesburg for about thirty years and lots of other scientists have already looked at it.  But they all thought that it was simply an odd example of Massospondylus.”

Views of BP/1/4779 – The Skull of Ngwevu intloko

Views of the skull of N. intloko.

Views of the skull of Ngwevu intloko.  Views of BP/1/4779 in (A) right lateral view, (B) dorsal view and (C) left lateral view.  Scale bar = 1 cm.

Picture Credit: Kimberley Chapelle (University of Witwatersrand)

A Diverse Sauropodomorpha Fauna of South Africa During the Early Jurassic

Using a variety of techniques including computerised tomography (CT) scans and three-dimensional bone mapping, the team identified a total of sixteen cranial and six postcranial characteristics that supported the establishment of a new dinosaur species.  Deformation due to the fossilisation process and ontogeny were ruled out as the basis of these traits, thus leading to the conclusion that these fossils did not represent Massospondylus, but a different, albeit related dinosaur.  Ngwevu was a bipedal omnivore with a small head, long neck and a robust, chunky body.  It is estimated to have reached a length of about three metres or so.  Analysis of bone cross sections indicate that the specimen would have been about ten years old when it died.

A Life Reconstruction of N. intloko

Drawing of Ngwevu intloko (based on Lufengosaurus).

A drawing of Ngwevu intloko (based on Lufengosaurus).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Up until recently, Massospondylus (M. carinatus) was thought to be the only sauropodomorph represented by fossil material from the Lower Jurassic upper Elliot and Clarens formations of southern Africa, but there are now known to have been several different genera present, some of which were to eventually give rise to the huge sauropods of the Late Jurassic.  Scientists are now starting to take a closer look at many of the supposed Massospondylus specimens, believing there to be much more variation than first thought.

Sauropodomorpha from the Elliot Formation include:

  • Antetonitrus ingenipes
  • Massospondylus kaalae
  • Aardonyx celestae
  • Ignavusaurus rachelis
  • Arcusaurus pereirabdalorum
  • Pulanesaura eocollum
  • Ledumahadi mafube to read an article about the naming and scientific description of L. mafubeNew Giant Dinosaur from South Africa

This new research, helping to support the idea that there were many different types of sauropodomorphs in this part of Gondwana during the Early Jurassic, will help scientists to better understand how ecosystems recovered after the end-Triassic extinction event.

A Three-dimensional Digital Reconstruction of the Skull

Ngwevu intloko fossil skull - digital reconstruction.

A digital reconstruction of the skull of Ngwevu intloko.

Picture Credit: Kimberley Chapelle (University of Witwatersrand)

Professor Paul Barrett commented:

“This new species is interesting, because we thought previously that there was really only one type of sauropodomorph living in South Africa at this time.  We now know there were actually six or seven of these dinosaurs in this area, as well as a variety of other dinosaurs from less common groups.  It means that their ecology was much more complex that we used to think.  Some of these other sauropodomorphs were like Massospondylus, but a few were close to the origins of true sauropods, if not true sauropods themselves.”

This research shows the value of revisiting specimens in museum collections, as many news species are probably sitting unnoticed in cabinets around the world, an example of dinosaurs “hiding in plain sight”.

The scientific paper: “Ngwevu intloko: a new early sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic Elliot Formation of South Africa and comments on the cranial ontogeny in Massospondylus carinatus” by Kimberley E.J. Chapelle​, Paul M. Barrett, Jennifer Botha and Jonah N. Choiniere published in PeerJ.

5 08, 2019

Papo Gorgosaurus and Papo Pentaceratops in Stock

By | August 5th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Papo Gorgosaurus and Papo Pentaceratops in Stock

The new for 2019 Papo Gorgosaurus and the Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur models are now in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  These eagerly anticipated Papo figures have arrived at our warehouse and team members are busying themselves emailing all our customers who reserved these wonderful new Papo dinosaurs.

The Papo Pentaceratops and the Papo Gorgosaurus are in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

Available from Everything Dinosaur the Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur model and the Papo Gorgorsaurus.

In stock at Everything Dinosaur the Papo Gorgosaurus and the Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur models.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Papo Gorgosaurus

The Papo Gorgosaurus model is the second member of the Tyrannosauridae family to be depicted by Papo, after the ubiquitous Tyrannosaurus rex.  The Gorgosaurus figure reflects the fossil record in that this model is considerably smaller than the various Papo T. rex models.  It measures around eighteen centimetres in length and the head of the dinosaur is approximately eight centimetres off the ground.

The Papo Gorgosaurus Model Compared to the Papo Allosaurus

The Papo Gorgosaurus compared to the Papo Allosaurus dinosaur model.

In stock at Everything Dinosaur the Papo Gorgosaurus and the Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur models.  The Papo Gorgosaurus (foreground), is compared to the recently introduced Papo Allosaurus dinosaur model (background).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Papo Pentaceratops

Papo have produced a number of horned dinosaur models in the past.  For example, this manufacturer has an adult Triceratops within its model portfolio and until recently a baby Triceratops (it is now retired), too.  In addition, Papo did once have a Pachyrhinosaurus (also out of production), but the Papo Styracosaurus model is still available.  Although Pentaceratops means “five-horned face”, this dinosaur had three anterior facing horns on its head.  It may superficially resemble Triceratops but Pentaceratops is believed to be more closely related to Utahceratops from Utah.

The Papo Pentaceratops Dinosaur Model is in a Rearing Pose

Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur model.

The Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Papo Pentaceratops dinosaur model stands an impressive nineteen centimetres high.  This is an unusual pose for a horned dinosaur and it is difficult to provide an estimate of the scale of the model.  Papo does not offer a scale size suggestion for their “Les Dinosaures” range, but based on an adult size for Pentaceratops sternbergii of around 6.3 metres, this new for 2019 Papo figure is in approximately 1:32 scale.

These splendid Papo dinosaurs can be viewed in the 2019 Papo collector’s booklet.  This handy booklet is available free of charge to Everything Dinosaur customers.

To view the range of Papo prehistoric animals and dinosaurs available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Prehistoric Animal Models

4 08, 2019

New Study Confirms Ichthyosaurs Had Tough Lives

By | August 4th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

The Hard, Tough Lives of Ichthyosaurs

A trio of scientists have published a study looking at signs of injury and disease in a range of ichthyosaur genera.  Such studies have been undertaken before, indeed the authors of this new paper, published by the Royal Society Open Science, Judith M. Pardo-Pérez, Erin Maxwell (Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, Stuttgart, Germany) and Benjamin Kear (Uppsala University, Sweden) have examined pathologies in the giant ichthyosaur Temnodontosaurus as recently as 2018, but this study takes a different approach.  The researchers looked in detail at one specific ancient ecosystem, analysing injuries and disease recorded in several different types of  ichthyosaur and found some surprising results.

A Scale Drawing Illustrating the Size of the Superpredator Temnodontosaurus

Scale drawing of Temnodontosaurus.

Temnodontosaurus scale drawing.  In this illustration the marine reptile is giving birth (these vertebrates were viviparous).  A study was published in 2018 which examined pathologies associated with the skeleton of this apex predator.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Back in 2018, these scientists published a paper detailing the injuries and disease lesions (pathology), associated the ichthyosaur superpredator Temnodontosaurus.  They found that despite its size, growing up to ten metres in length, these predators led quite tough lives, given the healed wounds, evidence of trauma and signs of disease preserved in their fossils.

In this new paper, published last week, the scientists examined the fossils of five different ichthyosaurs known from a single fossil deposit (Posidonienschiefer Formation).  These fossils from southern Germany, date from the Early Jurassic (Toarcian faunal stage) and represent a marine fauna that suffered a minor extinction event resulting in a significant faunal turnover amongst the vertebrates.

The five genera of ichthyosaur (Posidonienschiefer Formation) from the study in order of maximum size:

1).  Hauffiopteryx (2.5 m long) – a relatively short-snouted genus that probably fed on small fish and squid.
2).  Stenopterygius (3.5 m long) – feeding on small fish and squid.
3).  Suevoleviathan (4 m long)- a primitive member of the Neoichthyosuria clade that with a short-snout that indicates a generalist feeding habit.
4).  Eurhinosaurus (7 m long) – its elongated upper snout suggests a specialist position in the food chain, perhaps feeding on small fish or probing the seabed to feed on invertebrates.
5).  Temnodontosaurus (up to 10 metres long) – the top predator in the ecosystem, attacking and eating other marine reptiles including ichthyosaurs.

Not Just Damaged Ribs

Damaged ribs are quite commonly found on ichthyosaur fossils, but in this study, a detailed examination of the entire fossilised remains of individual animals was carried out.  The team examined the influence of taxa (which species demonstrated the greatest signs of trauma and disease), as well as which parts of the body were damaged the most, the influence of ontogeny and the impact of environmental change (early Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event).

Examples of Pathologies in Ichthyosaurs from the Posidonienschiefer Formation

Ichthyosaur pathologies.

Examples of ichthyosaur pathologies from the Posidonienschiefer Formation.  In picture (a) a fused (ankylosed) femur and fibula is indicated by the two black arrows, the species is Stenopterygius uniter.  In picture (b) fused neural spines (ankylosis) is indicated by the single black arrow.   The species is Stenopterygius quadriscissus.

Picture Credit: Royal Society Open Science

Small-bodied Genera Do Best

Following the review of the skeletal material, the researchers found that the incidence of pathologies is dependent on the type of taxon being examined.  Small-bodied genera such as Stenopterygius had fewer injuries, signs of disease and trauma when compared to larger-bodied ichthyosaurs.  Within the Stenopterygius genus, the scientists discovered that more pathologies were identified in large adults when compared to smaller sized individuals.  Stratigraphic horizon, a proxy for evidence of change within the ancient marine ecosystem did not influence the incidence of pathology associated with Stenopterygius.

The Research Team Carefully Examined an Extensive Portion of the Posidonienschiefer Formation Ichthyosaur Biota

Ichthyoaur pathology.

Evidence of pathologies found in ichthyosaur fossils.  Photograph (C) shows a fractured and healed gastralia rib (belly rib) of a Hauffiopteryx (H. typicus).  The black arrow indicates the break and the resulting callus.  Photograph (D) shows a healed fractured rib from a Stenopterygius, the arrow indicating the break and showing the callus.

Picture Credit: Royal Society Open Science

Skull and Forelimb Injuries

When all the data from the examined taxa was added together, it was no surprise that the rib area was identified as that part of an ichthyosaur’s body most likely to show signs of pathology.  Around 8% of the specimens examined showed rib trauma.  However, approximately 6% of skulls and 4% of forelimbs also showed pathologies.  In contrast, those areas of the body showing the least signs of injury were the vertebrae and the hind limb.

The researchers concluded that within the fauna studied, ichthyosaurs appear to be similar to living vertebrates in which pathologies accumulate in the oldest/largest members of a population, and larger taxa experience proportionately more frequent skeletal traumas.

The scientific paper: “Palaeoepidemiology in extinct vertebrate populations: factors influencing skeletal health in Jurassic marine reptiles” by Judith M. Pardo-Pérez , Benjamin Kear and Erin E. Maxwell published in Royal Society Open Science.

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