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.

29 05, 2020

Wightia declivirostris – A Terrific Tapejarid Pterosaur

By | May 29th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Jawbone Leads to an Isle of Wight Tapejarid Pterosaur

A single, fragmentary jawbone from the upper jaw of a pterosaur found on the Isle of Wight has demonstrated just how diverse and widespread the Tapejaridae family of pterosaurs were.  The fossil bone, a partial premaxilla from the Lower Cretaceous (Barremian) Wessex Formation of Yaverland (Isle of Wight), represents a new species, the first record of a tapejarid pterosaur from the Wessex Formation and one of the oldest examples of this pterosaur family to have been found outside of China.  The flying reptile has been named Wightia declivirostris.

A Life Reconstruction of Wightia declivirostris (Wessex Formation)

Wightia declivirostris from the Isle of Wight

A life reconstruction of the newly described tapejarid from the Lower Cretaceous of the Isle of Wight (Wightia declivirostris).

Picture Credit: Megan Jacobs (University of Portsmouth)

Terrific Toothless Tapejarids

The terrific toothless tapejarids with their reputation for taking head crest development to the extreme, are known from relatively abundant fossil material associated with the Santana and Crato Formations of Brazil.  In addition, several members of the Tapejaridae family are associated with the Jiufotang Formation of China.  However, fragmentary fossils are known from elsewhere in the world such as Spain (Europejara olcadesorum) and a toothless, rather deep lower jaw tip along with other partial bones from the Kem Kem beds of Morocco suggests that these types of flying reptile may have persisted into the early Late Cretaceous.

Two of the authors associated with this scientific paper, Professor David Martill and Roy Smith (both from the University of Portsmouth), recently published a report on the discovery of a north African tapejarid which was named Afrotapejara zouhrii, one of a spate of recent Moroccan pterosaur discoveries.  To read Everything Dinosaur’s article about this: That Fourth Moroccan Pterosaur.  It seems that these fancy-crested, edentulous flying reptiles were much more geographically and temporally diverse than previously thought.

A Typical Illustration of a Tapejarid Pterosaur (Tupandactylus imperator)

Tupandactylus illustration.

A scale drawing of the tapejarid Pterosaur Tupandactylus imperator.  The Tapejaridae are thought to have all sported flamboyant head crests.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Isle of Wight Pterosaur is More Closely Related to Chinese Tapejarids

Amateur fossil hunter John Winch discovered a pterosaur snout near the cliff at Yaverland Point in Sandown Bay, in a fossil plant debris layer.  The unusual shape and thin bone walls suggested that it was from a pterosaur.  The fragment of jaw, although eroded, demonstrates the characteristic downturned tip, with numerous tiny holes (foramina), on the occulsal surface which indicate the presence of minute sensory organs for detecting food.

The Holotype Material Wightia declivirostris

premaxilla of Wightia declivirostris.

The isolated, partial premaxilla of Wightia declivirostris.

Picture Credit: University of Portsmouth

The jaw fragment was passed to palaeontology student at Portsmouth University, Megan Jacobs, who confirmed it was a rare find and definitely pterosaurian.  Analysis of the specimen suggests that Wightia is more closely related to the older and more primitive tapejarid Sinopterus from Liaoning (Jiufotang Formation), than it is to Brazilian tapejarids.  The genus name of this newly described flying reptile honours the Isle of Wight, whilst the species (trivial) name means “slanting beak”, a reference to the typically tapejarid morphology of the partial premaxilla.

Both the Wealden Formation and the geologically younger Vectis Formation on the Isle of Wight have yielded pterosaur specimens, although they tend to consist of highly fragmentary remains.  The discovery of Wightia declivirostris demonstrates how significant the Lower Cretaceous Isle of Wight sediments are to palaeontologists as they try to plot the radiation of different types of flying reptile during the Early Cretaceous.

The scientific paper: “First tapejarid pterosaur from the Wessex Formation (Wealden Group: Lower Cretaceous, Barremian) of the United Kingdom” by David M. Martill,  Mick Green, Roy E. Smith,  Megan L. Jacobs and John Winch published in the journal Cretaceous Research.

28 05, 2020

Rebor Swarm X-REX (Plague) Coming into Stock

By | May 28th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Rebor Swarm X-REX (Plague) Coming into Stock

The eagerly awaited Rebor alien/Tyrannosaurus rex hybrid figure is coming into stock at Everything Dinosaur around late July to early August.  This figure, the second in a planned series of four models entitled Swarm X-REX plague, is currently in production and it should be ready to ship at the end of June for a delivery into Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse a few weeks’ later.

The Rebor Alien – T. rex Hybrid Swarm X-REX in the Plague Colouration

Rebor Swarm X-REX (Plague).

The Rebor Swarm X-REX alien/T. rex hybrid model (plague colour variant).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A 1/35th Scale Model

Model collectors and fans of science fiction have a new range of Rebor figures and replicas to admire.  “Plague” is the second model to be introduced in this line of 1:35 scale replicas representing an alien xenomorph/dinosaur crossover.  We expect this new figure to be the same size as the first model in this range “Broodlord”, so the Swarm X-REX plague colour variant will measure around 43 centimetres in length.

The Frightening X-REX “Plague” on the Prowl

Rebor Swarm X-REX (Plague).

The Rebor Swarm X-REX alien/T. rex hybrid model (plague colour variant).  An amazingly detailed xenomorph/dinosaur replica in 1:35 scale.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Rebor planned to introduce four brand new, innovative science-fiction/Dinosauria inspired figures this year, the first, “Broodlord”, the X-REX metallic variant, came out in February, now collectors will be able to match “Broodlord” with “Plague” when “Plague” comes into stock in the summer.

A Closer Look at the Amazing Detail on the Head, Neck and Shoulders of the X-REX Figure

Rebor Swarm X-REX (Plague).

The Rebor Swarm X-REX alien/T. rex hybrid model (plague colour variant).  A close look at the amazing detail on the replica.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For fans who missed out on “Broodlord” a small stock of these figures is due to arrive at the Everything Dinosaur warehouse in a few weeks’ time.  A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We are bringing some more of the X-REX metallic colour variant into stock, these figures should be with us around the middle of June.  This figure could of course, arrive a few days earlier. We anticipate that the second model in this series – plague, it could be in stock late July or early August – if all goes to plan.”

A View (Lateral View) of the Rebor Swarm X-REX Plague Variant

Rebor Swarm X-REX (Plague).

The Rebor Swarm X-REX alien/T. rex hybrid model (plague colour variant).  The model is believed to approximately the same size of the previously released “Broodlord” and it is expected to measure around 43 cm in length.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur has opened a priority reserve list for the Swarm X-REX plague colour variant, to request a model be reserved: Email Everything Dinosaur.

27 05, 2020

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Ichthyosaurus “Turntable Tuesday”

By | May 27th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Ichthyosaurus “Turntable Tuesday”

In this week’s “Turntable Tuesday” video, it was the turn of the recently introduced Wild Safari Prehistoric World Ichthyosaurus model to go for a spin.  This figure is one of nine new for 2020 prehistoric animal replicas from Safari Ltd, it was the only marine reptile amongst the company’s new releases, but what a splendid model it is.  In our short video, we provide fans of prehistoric animal models with a three-hundred and sixty degree view of this replica.

“Turntable Tuesday” It’s the Turn of Ichthyosaurus

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Ichthyosaurus Model

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Ichthyosaurus sports a colouration that resembles the Killer Whale (Orcinus orca).  Several species of Ichthyosaurus are now recognised, this taxon having been something of a taxonomic waste basket for much of the 19th and 20th centuries.  Ichthyosaurus was much smaller than an extant Killer Whale, with the largest individuals less than 3.5 metres long and some species such as Ichthyosaurus communis, which was the named and scientifically described in 1822, being smaller still, with most specimens from the Dorset coast for example, averaging 2 metres in length.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Ichthyosaurus Model

An Ichthyosaurus model

The Ichthyosaurus model (Wild Safari Prehistoric World) ready to take its turn on the Everything Dinosaur turntable.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Wonderful and Detailed Marine Reptile Model

The 2020 Ichthyosaurus replaces the 2010 Ichthyosaurus from Safari Ltd.  In the “Turntable Tuesday” video the beautiful detailing around the eyes is highlighted along with the model’s colouration.  A segment of the video is dedicated to showing the underside of the figure.  The cloaca (vent) is highlighted, demonstrating how the sculptors at Safari Ltd have gone to great lengths to ensure an accurate interpretation of a marine reptile.

The Video Shows the Underside and Highlights the Presence of a Cloaca on the Ichthyosaur Model

Showing the underside of the Ichthyosaurus model.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Ichthyosaurus model.  The red arrow highlights the location of the cloaca (vent).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Ichthyosaurus Replica

Comparing Ichthyosaur Models

Comparing the 2010 Ichthyosaurus model with the 2020 Ichthyosaurus.  The 2010 Ichthyosaurus figure was depicted holding an ammonite in its jaws.  Palaeontologists believe that the principle constituents of the diet of Ichthyosaurus were small fish and squid.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Measuring around nineteen centimetres in length, the new for 2020 Ichthyosaurus replica makes a fine addition to a prehistoric animal model collection.

A Close View of the Head of the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Ichthyosaurus Replica

Marine reptile model (Ichthyosaurus).

A close-up view of the head of the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Ichthyosaurus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The “Turntable Tuesday” video showcasing the remarkable Ichthyosaurus model can be found on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

We recommend that you subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

To view the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Ichthyosaurus and the rest of the prehistoric animals in this range: Wild Safari Prehistoric World Models and Figures.

26 05, 2020

New PNSO Dinosaur Models Coming into Stock

By | May 26th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|2 Comments

New PNSO Dinosaur Models Coming into Stock

Two new PNSO dinosaur models are coming into stock at Everything Dinosaur!  Aaron the baby Tyrannosaurus rex figure along with A-Qi the young Sinoceratops will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in just a few weeks.  These two beautiful figures are just the latest in a long line of exciting prehistoric animal replicas to be produced by PNSO.

Aaron the Baby Tyrannosaurus rex Coming to Everything Dinosaur

Aaron the baby T. rex dinosaur model (PNSO).

Aaron the baby Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur model (PNSO).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A-Qi the Young Sinoceratops Dinosaur Model

PNSO baby Sinoceratops dinosaur model.

A-Qi the baby Sinoceratops model (PNSO).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson for the UK-based company stated:

“Everything Dinosaur team members are really looking forward to the arrival of these two very cute and beautifully sculpted dinosaur figures.  Both models have been carefully created based on ontogenic studies of baby dinosaurs and Aaron the young T. rex figure will sport a coat of “dino fuzz”, that would not only have served to keep this baby dinosaur warm, but also offered it some camouflage, just in case a dromaeosaurid or some other predator decided that baby dinosaurs were on the menu.”

Lots of PNSO Figures Coming into Stock at Everything Dinosaur

As well as these two new exciting replicas, the shipment will contain a lot of other PNSO prehistoric animal replicas, helping to replenish Everything Dinosaur’s stock of Patton the Megalodon, Duke the Spinops, Paulwin the Dakosaurus, Essien the Spinosaurus, Nick the Ceratosaurus and Lucas the Giganotosaurus.  In total, seventeen different product lines will be re-stocked.

Lots of PNSO Figures Coming to Everything Dinosaur

PNSO figures and replicas coming back into stock at Everything Dinosaur

Lots of PNSO figures and replicas coming back into stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The PNSO prehistoric animals are due to be shipped from the factory this week (end May 2020).  If all goes to plan, these exciting prehistoric animal figures and replicas including Aaron the young Tyrannosaurus rex and A-Qi the cute, baby Sinoceratops will be in stock on-line at the company’s website in July.

The Young Sinoceratops Coming into Stock at Everything Dinosaur

PNSO baby Sinoceratops dinosaur model.

A-Qi the baby Sinoceratops model (PNSO).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Aaron the Young T. rex Complete with a Coat of “Dino Fuzz”

Aaron the baby T. rex dinosaur model (PNSO).

Aaron the baby Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur model (PNSO).  Both PNSO baby dinosaur replicas exhibit characteristics associated with young animals, such as the proportionately large eyes and in the case of Aaron the T. rex, large feet, indicative of distal growth.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

If you want to enquire about the two new PNSO baby dinosaurs, ask about reserving a figure or to request further information on any of the PNSO prehistoric animals, simply: Email Everything Dinosaur.

To view the current range of PNSO prehistoric animal models and figures available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

25 05, 2020

Nanotyrannus lancensis Fossils and the Link to Edmontosaurus annectens

By | May 25th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Nanotyrannus lancensis Fossils and the Link to Edmontosaurus annectens

Recently, Everything Dinosaur posted up an article featuring the research work undertaken on an extensive Edmontosaurus (E. annectens) bonebed located at Hanson Ranch in eastern Wyoming.  The dinosaur fossils associated with the five quarries and three exploratory quarries are almost entirely representative of Edmontosaurus annectens.  Approximately, 94 percent of all the dinosaur bones found at this site represent this Edmontosaurus species.

To read our article about the Hanson Ranch bonebed: 13,000 Edmontosaurus Bones and Counting.

While the quarry is clearly dominated by the remains of Hadrosauridae, the researchers report finding a few skeletal elements assigned to bird-hipped dinosaurs such as ceratopsids, pachycephalosaurs, armoured dinosaurs (nodosaurids) and small ornithopods associated with the Thescelosauridae family.  Such a large number of Edmontosaurus carcasses did not go unnoticed by carnivorous theropods.  Shed teeth from meat-eating dinosaurs are common in the bonebed, evidence of these animals scavenging the decaying Edmontosaurus remains.  The most common teeth associated with Hanson Ranch have been ascribed to the Dromaeosauridae and Troodontidae with the larger teeth identified as Tyrannosauridae.

The Fossil Bones of Nanotyrannus lancensis

Nanotyrannus (N. lancensis), is a controversial genus of tyrannosaurid dinosaur known from several fossil specimens including a remarkable fossil found in association with a ceratopsid nick-named “Bloody Mary”.  The validity of this taxon is debated.  Many palaeontologists claim that fossils ascribed to Nanotyrannus (dwarf tyrant), represent the remains of juvenile, sub-adult Tyrannosaurus rex.

In the scientific paper, detailing the Edmontosaurus bonebed, reference is made to a Nanotyrannus fossil discovery.  In 2001, the remains of the foot of a Nanotyrannus lancensis were found on the surface at a nearby site designated Stair Quarry (not included in the Edmontosaurus study).  The paper cites that over the next fifteen years or so, fifty additional bones from this specimen including a right maxilla with teeth in situ and a left dentary, also with some teeth present were discovered.

A Close View of the Anterior Portion of the Jaws Ascribed to the Controversial Genus Nanotyrannus

A close view of the anterior portion of the jaws.

Science goes up for auction.  A photograph of fossil material assigned to the genus Nanotyrannus.

Picture Credit: Bonhams (New York)

Not Scientifically Described

In the scientific paper, the researchers comment that although these fossil remains have yet to be formally scientifically described, they have enabled the research team to clearly distinguish the slender, blade-like shed teeth of Nanotyrannus from the more robust, D-shaped crushing teeth of Tyrannosaurus, both of which are commonly found in the bonebed.  It is intriguing to speculate that if this material ascribed to Nanotyrannus is studied extensively, then it might prove helpful in resolving the debate over the validity of the Nanotyrannus genus.

22 05, 2020

13,000 Edmontosaurus Bones and Counting

By | May 22nd, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Geology, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Massive Edmontosaurus Bonebed Provides Data on Dinosaur Decomposition

A team of scientists have produced a study mapping an astonishing dinosaur bonebed that has so far yielded a staggering total of 13,000 individual fossil elements.  In truth, the bonebed contains many more fossils, but individual dinosaur teeth, ossified tendons and other fragmentary elements under five centimetres in length have not been counted.  The site is located in eastern Wyoming and consists almost entirely of the preserved remains of a single type of dinosaur, a hadrosaur (Edmontosaurus annectens).  The bonebed study has not only provided a great deal of information about this duck-billed dinosaur but shed light on how death assemblages consisting of a large number of corpses are formed and how various bones of differing sizes might be transported before final deposition.

Dinosaur Bonebeds such as the Danek Edmontosaurus regalis Bonebed in Edmonton Have Yielded Thousands of Fossil Bones

Excavating an Edmontosaurus.

The Danek Edmontosaurus bonebed is typical of an Edmontosaurus-dominated bonebed which are widespread in the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian to Maastrichtian) of western North America).

Picture Credit: Victoria Arbour

The Hanson Ranch Bonebed (Lance Formation)

Writing in the on-line, open access journal PLOS One, the scientists which include Keith Synder of the Biology Dept. of the Southern Adventist University, Tennessee, document the taphonomy and depositional history of an extensive E. annectens bonebed known as Hanson Ranch, in the Lance Formation of eastern Wyoming.  The bonebed includes five main quarries and three exploratory quarries.  Approximately 13,000 elements including around 8,400 identifiable bones, have been recovered in 506 square metres of excavated area in twenty years (1996-2016).

Virtually all the fossils are located within a fine-grained (claystone to siltstone) bed that has a maximum depth of two metres.

Mapping the Stratigraphy of the Main Bonebeds at the Hanson Research Station (Wyoming)

The Stratigraphy of the Hanson Research station.

Local stratigraphy associated with the main bonebeds at the Hanson Research station.  The green arrow indicates position of main bonebed.

Picture Credit: Synder et al (PLOS One) with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

An Excellent State of Preservation

Almost all the fossils recovered from the site exhibit exquisite preservation with little or no abrasion, breakages or signs of weathering prior to deposition.  All the material is disarticulated and scattered although over a relatively confined area.  This evidence in conjunction with analysis of the sediments associated with the fossils indicates that the bones were moved and buried after a period of initial decay and decomposition of the Edmontosaurus carcasses.

Mapping the Distribution of Fossil Bones in a Bonebed

A map showing the distribution of fossil material in an Edmontosaurus bonebed.

A map showing typical disarticulated fossil bone distribution in a bonebed.

Picture Credit: Synder et al (PLOS One)

Gaining a Better Understanding of Edmontosaurus Biostratigraphy

The thousands of fossil bones represent mainly adult or sub-adult specimens.  Due to the huge number of fossils associated with the Hanson Research site, the scientists have been able to gain a deeper understanding of Edmontosaurus biostratigraphy including how elements from the skeleton can be transported over distances prior to deposition.  The most abundant fossil bones are ischia, pubes, scapulae, ribs and limb bones.  In contrast, vertebrae, ilia and chevrons are rare.

When it comes to cranial material lower jaw bones (dentaries), nasals, quadrates and jugals are prevalent whilst premaxillae (upper jaw bones), predentaries and bones associated with the braincase are seldom found.  The researchers suggest that following decay and break-up of the carcase, water action sorted and removed the articulated sections such as the backbone and the smaller bones such as the digits and toes, before, or at the same time, the remaining material was swept up in a subaqueous debris flow that created the final deposit.

The scientists suggest that similar processes may have been at work that created the other hadrosaurid-dominated Upper Cretaceous bonebeds associated with such geological formations as Hell Creek, Two Medicine, Horseshoe Canyon, Prince Creek as well as the Lance Formations of western North America.  It is noted that there is a remarkably similar skeletal composition among the fossil bonebeds studied.  It is also noted that there is a significant correlation between the hadrosaurid bonebeds and fluvial assemblages representing thanatocoenosis* events seen with modern-day vertebrate death assemblages.

Thanatocoenosis* Explained

Thanatocoenosis refers to a site where a collection of fossils representing a variety of organisms are found together.  Such sites are often referred to as death assemblages.  The organisms represented at the location may not have been associated in life, but their remains have been transported and deposited together thus forming a fossil bed composed of an extensive amount of fossilised material.

Not All of the Dinosaur Fossils are Edmontosaurus

The bonebed can be described as monodominant as the vast majority of the fossil material found can be assigned to just one species Edmontosaurus annectens.  Non-dinosaurian terrestrial taxa identified include mammals and squamates along with the remains of many aquatic creatures such as crocodiles, turtles, gar and other fishes and numerous molluscs.  Some other types of plant-eating dinosaur are represented notably, ceratopsids, pachycephalosaurs, nodosaurs and members of the family Thescelosauridae.  Numerous shed theropod teeth are also associated with this location.  Everything Dinosaur will post up a separate article detailing one rather special theropod fossil associated with a quarry close to the Hanson Research station in the near future.

A Life Reconstruction of the Hadrosaurid Edmontosaurus

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Emontosaurus model.

The new for 2020 Wild Safari Prehistoric World Edmontosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The scientific paper: “Over 13,000 elements from a single bonebed help elucidate disarticulation and transport of an Edmontosaurus thanatocoenosis” by Keith Snyder, Matthew McLain, Jared Wood and Arthur Chadwick published in PLOS One.

21 05, 2020

Scientists Discover Giant Megaraptor

By | May 21st, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Ten-metre-long Giant from Patagonia

A team of international scientists led by Dr Fernando Novas of the Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales (Buenos Aires, Argentina), have been exploring the Upper Cretaceous, fossil rich beds at Estancia La Anita in the Province of Santa Cruz, Patagonia.  In a media release, circulated this week, the researchers from the Museo de Ciencias Naturales report the discovery of the fossilised remains of a giant megaraptorid dinosaur.  At an estimated ten metres in length, it potentially represents the largest confirmed member of the Megaraptora clade discovered to date.

A Field Team Member Carefully Removing Overburden Close to a Fossil Bone

Excavating the remains of a megaptor.

A field team member works close to a fossil bone.

Picture Credit: Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales

Upper Cretaceous Sediments

The research team, which includes scientists from a number of Argentinian universities as well as colleagues from the National Museum of Tokyo (Japan), have spent much of the early part of the southern hemisphere autumn, working in the remote and mountainous Estancia La Anita which is some 1,750 miles (2,800 km), south of Buenos Aires.  Many different vertebrate fossils were found, including those of the basal iguanodontid Isasicursor.  The palaeontologists speculate that rather than attack the titanosaurs that lived in this region during the Late Cretaceous, megaraptors may have specialised in catching smaller, more agile prey such as the five-metre-long Isasicursor.

Members of the Megaraptora were quite lightly-built, long-armed carnivores.  Very little is known about these dinosaurs, although they do seem to have been both geographically and temporally widely dispersed.  They were not closely related to the dromaeosaurids, a family of dinosaurs that includes the “raptors” such as Velociraptor.

A Speculative Life Reconstruction of the Giant Megaraptor from Argentina

Scale drawing of giant megaraptor from Argentina.

A speculative life reconstruction of the giant megaraptor from Patagonia.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Elements from the rib cage and vertebrae have been found, but sadly no skull material has been reported.  It is likely that a new genus will be erected as a result of these discoveries, the scientific paper is likely to be published next year.

The Field Team’s Campsite at the Remote Location

Remote Patagonian fossil dig.

The remote campsite at Estancia La Anita in Patagonia.

Picture Credit: Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales

One of the Last of its Kind

The fossils represent the youngest material discovered to date that have been assigned to the Megaraptora.  It is therefore quite likely that these types of theropod persisted until the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs.  Fernando Novas has been instrumental in the development of our understanding of this type of carnivorous dinosaur.  It was Dr Novas who co-authored the review of theropod dinosaurs from Argentina in 2013, that led to the establishment of the Megaraptor clade.

To read a related article from Everything Dinosaur that looks at the ancient biota from this part of the Late Cretaceous of Argentina: Dinosaurs from the End of the World.

20 05, 2020

The First Elaphrosaurine Theropod Reported from Australia

By | May 20th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Curious Cervical Leads to Startling Conclusion

Think of a theropod dinosaur and a ferocious carnivore with a large head and big teeth probably comes to mind.  However, the Theropoda is an extremely diverse clade within the Dinosauria, not all of them were big, particularly ferocious or even had teeth.   One group the elaphrosaurines, were very bizarre indeed and the discovery of a single neck bone in Victoria has led to the conclusion that these strange, light-weight dinosaurs distantly related to Carnotaurus, roamed Australia in the Early Cretaceous.

A Life Reconstruction of the Australian Elaphrosaurine

Life reconstruction of the elaphrosaur from Victoria.

A life reconstruction of the first elaphrosaur from Australia.

Picture Credit: Ruairdh Duncan (Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria)

From the Lower Cretaceous of Australia

Volunteer Jessica Parker discovered a 5-centimetre-long bone whilst helping out at the annual Dinosaur Dreaming excavation near Cape Otway, Victoria (2015).  The sediments at the site, known as Eric the Red West, date from the late Albian faunal stage of the Lower Cretaceous and are part of the Eumeralla Formation.  At first, the bone identified as a cervical vertebra (neck bone), was thought to have come from a pterosaur.

Intriguingly for Swinburne University palaeontologist Dr Stephen Poropat and PhD student Adele Pentland, once the fossil specimen had been prepared it became clear that this was not a bone from the middle portion of the neck of a flying reptile.

Dr Poropat explained:

“Pterosaur neck vertebrae are very distinctive.  In all known pterosaurs, the body of the vertebra has a socket at the head end, and a ball or condyle at the body end.  This vertebra had sockets at both ends, so it could not have been from a pterosaur.”

The Cervical Vertebra – Evidence of Australia’s First Elaphrosaur

The cervical vertebra (elaphrosaur0.

The five-centimetre-long bone identified as a middle cervical from an elaphrosaur.

Picture Credit: Dr Stephen Poropat

Geologically Much Younger Than Most Elaphrosaurines

The taxonomic affinity of the subfamily Elaphrosaurinae within the Theropoda remains controversial.  A number of authors have placed this little-known group, characterised by their small, light, graceful bodies, tiny heads, long necks and reduced forelimbs within the Noasauridae family, which means that they are distantly related to abelisaurids such as Ekrixinatosaurus, Majungasaurus and Carnotaurus.

Most elaphrosaurs are known from the Late Jurassic, but this new elaphrosaur from Australia, lived some forty million years later. Only Huinculsaurus (H. montesi), from the Cenomanian/Turonian (early Late Cretaceous), of Argentina is geologically younger, than the Australian fossil remains.

The Fossil Find Location, Typical Elaphrosaurine Body Plan and Placing the Fossil Find in a Chronological Context

Elaphosaur timeline and typical body plan.

A silhouette of the elaphrosaur with a map showing fossil location and a timeline showing elaphrosaurine chronology.  The newly described elaphrosaurine from Victoria is geologically the second youngest member of this group known.

Picture Credit: Poropat et al (Gondwana Research)

A Dinosaur of the Polar Region

The discovery of this single, fossilised neckbone adds support to the idea that the elaphrosaurines were geographically and temporally much more widespread than previously thought.  The similarity of these dinosaurs to the much better-known ornithomimosaur theropods (bird mimics), could help to explain why few other Cretaceous elaphrosaur specimens have come to light. Fossil material may have been found but misidentified as representing ornithomimids.

As the Cape Otway location would have been situated much further south during the Early Cretaceous (110-107 million years ago), at around a latitude of 76 degrees south, this implies that elaphrosaurines were capable of tolerating near-polar palaeoenvironments.

Recently, Everything Dinosaur wrote a post about the discovery of noasaurid from an opal mine close to Lightning Ridge (New South Wales).  Noasaurids and elaphrosaurines were related, most scientists classifying them as different branches within the Abelisauroidea.  Coincidentally, the New South Wales noasaurid was identified from a single cervical vertebra too.  Both it and the Cape Otway elaphrosaurine dinosaur have not been assigned to any genus, but both fossils are likely to represent new species.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s article about the recently discovered noasaurid from New South Wales: Noasaurids from Australia.

The scientific paper: “First elaphrosaurine theropod dinosaur (Ceratosauria: Noasauridae) from Australia — A cervical vertebra from the Early Cretaceous of Victoria” by Stephen F. Poropat, Adele H. Pentland, Ruairidh J. Duncan, Joseph J. Bevitt, Patricia Vickers-Rich and Thomas H. Rich published in Gondwana Research.

19 05, 2020

Turntable Tuesday – Gryposaurus Dinosaur Model

By | May 19th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Gryposaurus “Turntable Tuesday”

It’s “Turntable Tuesday” and today, it is the turn of the award-winning Wild Safari Prehistoric World Gryposaurus to be put through its paces on the Everything Dinosaur turntable.  This fantastic model of a hadrosaur was introduced in 2013 and it was awarded the accolade of best dinosaur toy of the year by readers of the prestigious “Prehistoric Times” magazine.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Gryposaurus Dinosaur Model – “Turntable Tuesday”

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Gryposaurus Dinosaur Model

Our short video (it lasts under two minutes), shows the beautiful, blue-eyed Gryposaurus figure.  We also use this opportunity to compare it to the recently introduced Edmontosaurus model, also from Safari Ltd.  Within the large Hadrosauridae family, both Edmontosaurus and Gryposaurus are members of the Saurolophinae sub-family, sometimes referred to as the Hadrosaurinae, although these duck-billed dinosaurs were not that closely related.  Both genera are associated with the North American landmass Laramidia, in general terms, Edmontosaurus specimens tend to be associated with younger strata.  For example, Edmontosaurus annectens is confined to the late Maastrichtian, whilst the species within the Gryposaurus genus are associated with older Campanian-aged deposits.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Gryposaurus Compared to the Edmontosaurus Figure

Gryposaurus compared to Edmontosaurus.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Gryposaurus compared to the 2020 Edmontosaurus from the same model range.  The Gryposaurus (left), compared to the recently introduced Wild Safari Prehistoric World Edmontosaurus (right).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For an article about the Gryposaurus winning the best new dinosaur toy of 2013: Gryposaurus Model Wins Top Award.

“Hook-nosed Lizard”

Named as a result of its prominent nasal arch, that gives Gryposaurus its distinctive bulbous-looking snout, this dinosaur compares very well to the 2020 Edmontosaurus.  Although no scaling for these figures is given, the two models are roughly comparable in scale, Gryposaurus being regarded as smaller than both E. regalis and E. annectens.  When these two figures are together on our turntable we refer to them as “a dazzling duo of duck-bills”.

A Close View of “Hook-nosed Lizard” – Gryposaurus

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Gryposaurus dinosaur model.

“Turntable Tuesday” Gryposaurus on display.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur on YouTube

The short video highlighting the Gryposaurus figure can be found on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel.  We plan to post up one new video a week, plus more in-depth reviews of prehistoric animal models and replicas.

To view these videos check out our YouTube channel: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

Sales of the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Gryposaurus model at Everything Dinosaur are accompanied with a fact sheet, researched and written by team members that provides further information on this herbivorous dinosaur.

To purchase the Gryposaurus figure (as well as the new for 2020 Wild Safari Prehistoric World Edmontosaurus), click this link: Wild Safari Prehistoric World Models and Figures.

17 05, 2020

Preparing a Script for the Wild Past Protoceratops

By | May 17th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Scripting a Video Review of the Wild Past Protoceratops Model

Everything Dinosaur team members have been working on a video review of the recently introduced Wild Past Protoceratops dinosaur model.  The model, representing Protoceratops andrewsi is the first prehistoric animal in this exciting new range.  Our video review, due to be published shortly on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel, will look at the model, the nest of young Protoceratops and comment on the excellent packaging.  We also intend to provide a little bit of scientific information about Protoceratops and the two species that currently comprise this genus (P. andrewsi and P. hellenikorhinus).

The Wild Past Protoceratops Dinosaur Model (Still from Video Review)

Wild Past Protoceratops model.

A bird-hipped dinosaur in the hand.  The Wild Past Protoceratops andrewsi model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Synonymous with Dinosaur Eggs

Protoceratops is synonymous with the discovery of dinosaur eggs.  Eggshell fragments were found in the area of the Flaming Cliffs by the American Museum of Natural History expedition in 1922 and they returned to the same area in the following year and discovered several nests full of fossilised eggs.  As Protoceratops was the most abundant dinosaur known from the Djadokhta Formation it was assumed that the nests had been created by “first horned face”.  The discovery of a fragmentary bird-like fossil found within ten centimetres from the eggs, immediately put this strange theropod under suspicion of having been overtaken by a sandstorm whilst in the process of raiding the Protoceratops nest.  This new dinosaur was subsequently named Oviraptor philoceratops which translates as “Egg thief with a liking for Protoceratops”.

A “Classic” Dinosaur Illustration Protoceratops Confronts the “Egg Thief” Oviraptor

Protoceratops defends its nest from Oviraptor.

Protoceratops confronts Oviraptor- the egg thief.  A “classic” dinosaur illustration by Rudolph F. Zallinger.  A re-interpretation of the fossil evidence indicates that “egg thief” was actually brooding the eggs on the nest.

Picture Credit: Rudolph F. Zallinger

Slandering Oviraptor

We now know that the name Oviraptor slanders this dinosaur, it was not stealing the eggs but brooding them, a more appropriate name might be “conscientious lizard”, the first oviraptorid dinosaur ever to be scientifically described, died whilst protecting its own young.  However, the rules surrounding zoological names are clear, you cannot change a name, no matter how inappropriate it subsequently turns out to be.

The Wild Past Protoceratops andrewsi with Nest

The Wild Past Protoceratops and Nest.

The Wild Past Protoceratops and the nest of Protoceratops babies that accompanies the model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In 2011,  a scientific paper was published that finally described a nest associated Protoceratops andrewsi that had been recovered from the Djadokhta Formation.  Just like the Wild Past model, the nest contained recently hatched babies.  Analysis of their tiny fossil bones demonstrated that the baby Protoceratops were incapable of moving far on their own and that Protoceratops probably was an altricial species, that is, the young relied on their parents to feed them and to look after them.  There is much to be admired in the details shown in the Wild Past Protoceratops nest and it is great to see that this replica comes with a nest of youngsters reflecting the fossil record.

To view the Wild Past section of the Everything Dinosaur website including the Protoceratops model: Wild Past Prehistoric Animals.

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