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

Dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed articles, features and stories.

24 07, 2020

Irisosaurus yimenensis – New Species of “Core Prosauropod”

By | July 24th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Irisosaurus yimenensis – New Species of “Core Prosauropod” from Southern China

Researchers writing in the open access journal Scientific Reports have described a new species of Early Jurassic herbivorous dinosaur from China.  The animal, named Irisosaurus yimenensis is known from fragmentary remains and demonstrates a suite of unusual anatomical features that suggests this genus is a member of the Sauropodiformes, between early-branching “core prosauropods” and the late-branching “sauropod-like” members of the non sauropodan sauropodomorphs.  The fossilised remains come from the Fengjiahe Formation close to the village of Zhanmatian in Yunnan province.

A Life Reconstruction of Irisosaurus yimenensis

Irisosaurus yimenensis illustration.

Irisosaurus yimenensis life reconstruction.  This herbivorous dinosaur is thought to have been bipedal, measuring approximately 5 metres in length and from the Early Jurassic of China (Pliensbachian faunal stage of the Early Jurassic).

Picture Credit: Ang Li

Fossil Material Found in 2018

The researchers which include Claire Peyre de Fabrègues of Yunnan University analysed the partial skeleton and concluded that Irisosaurus has a body plan close to that of the so-called “core prosauropods” in having, for instance, cervical vertebrae longer than most dorsal vertebrae, gracile forelimbs which are much shorter than the hindlimbs, a deltopectoral crest extending half of the total length of the humerus and a unique carpal-metacarpal complex.  The fossil material has been dated to approximately 185 million years ago (Pliensbachian faunal stage of the Early Jurassic), it was discovered in 2018.  A phylogenetic analysis confirmed that Irisosaurus belongs to non-sauropodan sauropodomorphs and places it as the sister taxon to Mussasaurus which lived more than thirty million years early in Argentina.

Phylogenetic Analysis places Irisosaurus as the Sister Taxon to the South American Mussaurus

Irisosaurus phylogeny.

Phylogenetic analysis places Irisosaurus as the sister taxon to the South American Mussaurus

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

On the Road to the Sauropoda

The Sauropodomorpha is defined as saurischian dinosaurs that incorporate the Sauropoda and the early diverging sauropodomorphs.  The earliest sauropodomorphs are known from the Late Triassic, with most of the described species from Gondwana.  The Laurasian record of these types of dinosaurs does consist of some Triassic forms, but the majority of the known species date from the Jurassic.  Among the fourteen Jurassic non-sauropodan sauropodomorphs from Laurasia described to date, eight are from China.  Nearly all of the non-sauropodan sauropodomorph genera currently known from China were first reported from the Lufeng Formation, which is also associated with the Yunnan province.  The Fengjiahe Formation is the southern equivalent of the Lufeng Formation, it has revealed a similar ancient dinosaur dominated biota.

Silhouette of Irisosaurus yimenensis with Some of the Fossil Material

Irisosaurus yimenensis outline and fossil material.

Silhouette of Irisosaurus yimenensis with some of the fossil material.  The most informative elements are figured; (a) Outline; (b) Tooth; (c) Left maxilla; (d) Middle cervical; (e) Posterior cervical; (f) Anterior dorsal; (g) Middle dorsal neural spine; (h) Right scapula; (i) Right humerus; (j) Right ulna; (k) Right manus.  Scale bars = 1 m (a);1 cm (b); 5 cm (c–g); 10 cm (h–k).

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

What’s in a Name (Etymology)?

The generic name refers to the famous iridescent clouds of Yunnan Province (彩云之南). The specific epithet refers to Yimen County, where the type locality is located

The scientific paper: “A new species of early-diverging Sauropodiformes from the Lower Jurassic Fengjiahe Formation of Yunnan Province, China” by Claire Peyre de Fabrègues, Shundong Bi, Hongqing Li, Gang Li, Lei Yang and Xing Xu published in Scientific Reports.

23 07, 2020

Scientific Paper on Hummingbird-sized Dinosaur Retracted

By | July 23rd, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Scientific Paper on Oculudentavis khaungraae Retracted

On March the 11th (2020), a scientific paper was published in the academic journal “Nature” highlighting another remarkable discovery found in an amber nodule from northern Myanmar.  The Cretaceous-aged amber had already provided some astonishing information on the forest biota close to a coastline from around 100 million years ago.  An ammonite shell entombed in the ancient tree resin for example, then there was the remains of a tiny baby snake (Xiaophis myanmarensis), fossilised frogs and a whole range of insects, plant and pollen fossils, not to mention preserved remains of enantiornithine birds and a partial feathered tail from a dinosaur.  Everything Dinosaur had covered these discoveries within this blog, but this new paper, written by Xing et al concerned something truly breath-taking… the title of the paper summed it up nicely – “Hummingbird-sized dinosaur from the Cretaceous period of Myanmar”.

A Tiny Fossilised Skull – The Skull of a Maniraptoran?

Oculudentavis khaungraae skull in amber.

Tiny fossil skull preserved in amber (Oculudentavis khaungraae).

Picture Credit: Lida Xing et al

Something Tiny But Very Big

The research team, comprised of scientists from the China University of Geosciences, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (USA), the Royal Saskatchewan Museum (Canada) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, described an amazingly well-preserved tiny fossil skull with very bird-like features but miniscule teeth present in its jaws.  The tiny specimen, less than 1.5 cm long was thought to represent the smallest dinosaur known to science.  The animal was named Oculudentavis khaungraae, the genus name means “eye tooth bird” in recognition of its enormous eyes and unusual characteristic of having some of the upper teeth located directly under the eye socket.

Computer Generated Image of the Bird-like Skull (O. khaungraae)

Oculudentavis khaungraae computer generated image of the skull.

Oculudentavis khaungraae computer generated image of the skull (left lateral view).  The genus name translates as “eye tooth bird”, whilst the trivial name honours the person who donated the amber nodule to a museum (Hupoge Amber Museum).

Picture Credit: Xing et al (Nature)

Oculudentavis khaungraae was documented as representing the smallest dinosaur and compared to the smallest extant avian dinosaur Mellisuga helenae, the bee hummingbird.

However, in what we at Everything Dinosaur think is an unprecedented development, the scientific paper announcing this amazing discovery has, this week, been retracted.

A statement on the “Nature” website reads:

“We, the authors, are retracting this Article [the March 11th paper] to prevent inaccurate information from remaining in the literature.  Although the description of Oculudentavis khaungraae remains accurate, a new unpublished specimen casts doubts upon our hypothesis regarding the phylogenetic position of HPG-15-3.

The specimen number HPG-15-3, is the holotype cranial material currently in the collection of the Hupoge Amber Museum in China.

A Controversial Scientific Paper

Shortly after the scientific paper’s publication, a number of academics challenged the conclusions drawn and criticised the authors for their taxonomic assessment which relates to Oculudentavis khaungraae being classified as “bird-like” and placed within the Avialae, a clade that includes elements of the Maniraptora (some theropod dinosaurs and birds).  It was suggested that the phylogenetic assessment carried out was too biased towards resolving the placement of Oculudentavis as a bird or a very closely related dinosaur, rather than considering other data sets that might resolve its position elsewhere.  The “bird-like” skull is found in a number of lizards (examples of convergent evolution), several authors commented that the possibility of O. khaungraae being a lizard was discounted too quickly by the paper’s authors.

Everything Dinosaur reported these concerns and doubts in a follow up article to the original post about the scientific paper on March 15th (2020): Casting Doubt over Oculudentavis.

Can a Binomial Name be Obliterated?

It is rare for a scientific paper to be retracted, but occasionally this happens.  Papers can be retracted for any of a number of reasons, but normally a retraction occurs when serious questions surrounding its veracity are identified.  For example, a paper published in 1998 in the medical journal the “Lancet” by Wakefield et al reporting a link between the MMR vaccination and autism was retracted in 2012 following an extensive investigation.  The British Medical Journal (BMJ), put out a press release stating that following the investigation it had been concluded that the paper implying a link between the MMR jab and autism was an “an elaborate fraud.”

Dr Fiona Godlee, BMJ Editor in Chief stated at the time:

“The MMR scare was based not on bad science but on a deliberate fraud” and that such “clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare.”

The scientific binomial name Oculudentavis khaungraae is now in limbo.  It is a matter of record that the taxon name exists, but with the withdrawal of the paper, we at Everything Dinosaur are not sure what will happen.  It probably falls within the remit of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), to produce a ruling on how to treat this taxon.  This development does not undermine the astonishing fossil discoveries being made as researchers study amber from Myanmar, it might help to bring into focus some of the ethical issues associated with the commercial mining and use of funds, but scientific reporting is essentially built on trust.  Fossils have been frequently misidentified , as new evidence emerges so ideas, theories and hypotheses evolve and develop.  Normally, scientists correct their findings in subsequent papers, to have a scientific paper retracted is highly unusual.

Oculudentavis khaungraae – A Taxon in Limbo

Oculudentavis - is this an invalidated taxon?

The validity of the taxon is in limbo after scientific paper was retracted.

Picture Credit: Han Zhixin with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

We shall await developments…

22 07, 2020

PNSO “Wilson” T. rex Dinosaur Model Reviewed

By | July 22nd, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|2 Comments

A Video Review of the new for 2020 PNSO “Wilson” T. rex Dinosaur Model

Everything Dinosaur team members have been busy in the studio producing a YouTube video review of the new for 2020 “Wilson” the Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur model from PNSO.  This new, free-standing replica replaces the original “Wilson” T. rex figure from PNSO and Everything Dinosaur took the opportunity to compare and contrast these two models.

Everything Dinosaur’s Video Review of “Wilson” the PNSO T. rex Dinosaur Model

Video credit: Everything Dinosaur

PNSO T. rex Wilson Video Review

In Everything Dinosaur’s short video review (the YouTube video lasts 9:43), the new 2020 Tyrannosaurus rex model is introduced and the articulated jaw is demonstrated and commented upon.  The beautifully detailed head of the theropod dinosaur is discussed and the bony crests over the eyes highlighted.  These crests may have served a variety of functions, helping to protect the eyes during intraspecific combat or whilst attacking prey, shading the eyes and helping T. rex to see in bright, sunny conditions and the potential role in visual communication.  The video narrator provides further information and explains some of the science behind the interpretation of the tyrannosaur skull morphology.

A Closer View of the Head of the New for 2020 PNSO “Wilson” T. rex Dinosaur Model

Highlighting the eye crests in the new PNSO T. rex figure

The new for 2020 PNSO “Wilson” T. rex dinosaur model has prominent eye crests which reflect skull morphology seen in the fossils.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view “Wilson” and all the other PNSO prehistoric animal figures available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Models and Figures.

Looking at the Packaging and Artwork

The video examines the dinosaur model in detail, but also provides information on how the packaging and box contents between the first “Wilson” figure produced by PNSO and this new version has changed.  The 2020 figure is presented in a beautiful box adorned with the artwork of Zhao Chuang one of the co-founders of PNSO.  The video also looks at the product leaflet that accompanies the model and comments on the contribution of Yang Yang, the other co-founder of this Chinese company.

The Box Art is Commented Upon in the Video Review

PNSO "Wilson" box art.

The new for 2020 “Wilson” T. rex dinosaur model box art.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Comparing the 2020 “Wilson” with the Original PNSO Model

The video review also permits Everything Dinosaur team members to compare the new figure from PNSO with the earlier Tyrannosaurus rex “Wilson” model, the figure that was supplied with a base.  In the video, we demonstrate how to convert the new for 2020 model so that it can be displayed on the base which was provided with version 1.

Comparing Two PNSO “Wilson” T. rex Dinosaur Figures in the Video Review

Comparing T. rex dinosaur models.

Comparing the new for 2020 PNSO “Wilson” T. rex dinosaur model to the original figure.  The original figure can be seen on the right of this screen capture from the video review.  The new for 2020 PNSO “Wilson” is shown on the left.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube

This video review of a Tyrannosaurus rex figure is one of a series of videos posted on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel showcasing different replicas.  To view these videos check out our YouTube channel: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

We recommend that readers subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

21 07, 2020

Preparing for the New CollectA Invertebrates

By | July 21st, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Preparing for the New CollectA Invertebrates

Everything Dinosaur team members are busy making space in their warehouse for the arrival of the new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal models.  The new CollectA releases were exclusively revealed in a series of blog posts and YouTube videos in the autumn of 2019.  Unfortunately, the COVID-19 global pandemic has interrupted production plans and many new models and figures have been delayed.  In total, CollectA planned to introduce eighteen new replicas in 2020.  Everything Dinosaur was able to secure release and delivery of six figures earlier this year (1:6 scale Protoceratops, 1:40 scale Fukuisaurus, 1:40 scale Bajadasaurus, 1:6 scale Microraptor, Prehistoric Life Baryonyx and the rearing Diplodocus colour variant).

Six of the planned new figures are invertebrates, namely a nautilus, a horseshoe crab, a belemnite, an example of a straight-shelled nautiloid cephalopod – Orthoceras, an ammonite, specifically Pleuroceras and a replica of a large trilobite – Redlichia rex.  Everything Dinosaur team members are optimistic about having these superb figures in stock soon.

The New for 2020 CollectA Models (including Invertebrates) are on Their Way

CollectA Arthropods and Cephalopods new for 2020.

New CollectA Arthropods and Cephalopods.  Everything Dinosaur hopes to have in stock in the next few weeks (as of late July 2020), all six of the new for 2020 CollectA invertebrate figures.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Unfortunately, the planned release of many new for 2020 figures and replicas have been seriously compromised due to the global coronavirus pandemic.  The CollectA range has been affected too.  We are doing all we can to keep our customers informed and updated with regards to developments and we hope that these exciting figures, the remaining new prehistoric animals from CollectA, will be available from Everything Dinosaur in the very near future.”

CollectA and Everything Dinosaur Previewed the Extensive Range of New Figures in Late 2019

What a collection? The new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animals.

Some of the illustrations we used in our recent videos (autumn 2019), announcing the new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal models.  Some of the new models expected in 2020 from CollectA.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Preparing Fact Sheets for New Figures

As part of the company’s preparations as they anticipate the arrival of the new models, several new fact sheets have been added to the database.  In addition, scale drawing for a number of these new figures have been commissioned and completed.

An Orthocone/Orthoceras Scale Drawing an Early Design for the New Everything Dinosaur Fact Sheet

Orthocone/Orthoceras scale drawing.

An early scale drawing design for the Orthoceras/Orthocone fact sheet.  The straight-shelled nautiloids show an enormous variation in size with giants such as Cameraceras with a shell length of up to 10 metres and a total body length approaching 12 metres.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of CollectA Prehistoric Life figures available from Everything Dinosaur: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models and Figures.

To view the range of scale models (CollectA Deluxe range): CollectA Deluxe Scale Models of Prehistoric Animals.

20 07, 2020

Prehistoric Times Issue 134 Reviewed

By | July 20th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

A Review of Prehistoric Times Magazine (Issue 134)

Summer is officially here at the Everything Dinosaur offices with the arrival of the summer edition of “Prehistoric Times”, issue number 134.  This is the magazine for dinosaur enthusiasts and fans of model collecting.  Published four times a year, “Prehistoric Times” provides a one-stop shop for all your prehistoric animal collecting needs.  Adorning the front cover is an illustration of Allosaurus by the highly influential Zdeněk Burian.  Inside the magazine John Lavas continues his comprehensive review of the famous Czech artist’s work, the summer edition starts the sequence of articles that will cover dinosaur illustrations produced by Burian and it is the theropods that take centre stage.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times (Summer 2020)

"Prehistoric Times" magazine, the front cover of issue 134.

The front cover of “Prehistoric Times” magazine (summer 2020).  Inside the magazine (page 11), the full illustration featuring a Stegosaurus is discussed.   This artwork was produced in 1950.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

Diplodocus and Kaprosuchus

Diplodocus and Kaprosuchus are featured and Phil Hore provides plenty of information including the story of “Dippy” the Diplodocus, not just the London Natural History Museum cast that occupied the famous Hintze hall from 1979 until 2017.  Reading the article was quite poignant for Everything Dinosaur team members, as they had been working with the Natural History Museum “Dippy” tour in the UK when the COVID-19 pandemic began to get really serious and such events were cancelled.  There are some wonderful Diplodocus themed illustrations included, look out for the skeleton reconstruction by John Sibbick and the “head on” view created by the talented Luis Rey.  There is a Diplodocus drawing submitted by Fabio Pastori and Mark Hallett, provides some illustrations too, along with an article discussing nostril placement in diplodocids.

Phil’s Kaprosuchus article includes plenty of “boar croc” artwork as well.   Cody Zaiser’s galloping crocodyliform is particularly impressive.

Kaprosuchus is One of the Featured Prehistoric Animals in Issue 134

The Papo "Boar Croc" model - Kaprosuchus.

The popular Papo Kaprosuchus model.  A replica of “boar croc”.  “Prehistoric Times” magazine includes a “short and sweet” feature on this genus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Collector Updates and Neanderthals

Randy Knol provides updates on some of the new releases, now expected towards the latter stages of 2020 (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and his notes on the models include some cleverly composed photographs of the figures.  Dr Andreas Forrer provides a guided tour of three locations in his native Switzerland that were once inhabited by Neanderthals.  As well as featuring lots of stunning scenery, the article includes plenty of facts about our near cousins including some information on the author’s own genotype, complete with a trace of Homo neanderthalensis DNA.

There’s also a very well written feature on how to draw Lambeosaurines, specifically Corythosaurus, penned by Tracy Lee Ford.  Editor Mike Fredericks, now happily much better after having had a spell in hospital (a troublesome gall bladder), contributes with his regular “Collector’s Corner” and book reviews in “Mesozoic Media”.  If creepy crawlies give you the creeps, then it might be best to avoid John Tuttle’s article that documents some of the giant arthropods that once scuttled or buzzed around ancient ecosystems.

One of the Stunning Theropod Illustrations by Zdeněk Burian that Feature in the Magazine

Burian depicts a Triassic landscape.

Beautiful and evocative artwork from Burian (Coelophysis bauri and Eupelor durus).

Picture Credit: Zdeněk Burian as featured in Prehistoric Times

Subscribe to “Prehistoric Times” Magazine

Issue 134 (summer 2020), is packed full of fascinating articles, great artwork and well-written features.  Everything Dinosaur recommends this excellent magazine for dinosaur model fans.

For further information about Prehistoric Times and to subscribe: Prehistoric Times Magazine.

19 07, 2020

Cretaceous Africa Diorama

By | July 19th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Cretaceous Africa Diorama

An enthusiastic dinosaur model collector has sent Everything Dinosaur some photos of their Cretaceous diorama inspired by the finding of a sawfish model.  Robert, a long-time customer of Everything Dinosaur, has created a super-sized prehistoric animal diorama, he wanted to depict prehistoric north Africa and the domain of the fearsome theropod Spinosaurus (Albian to Turonian faunal stages of the Cretaceous).

The 1:40 Scale CollectA Deluxe Spinosaurus Dinosaur Model has Captured an Onchopristis 

Spinosaurus feeding on an Onchopristis.

Spinosaurus has caught an Onchopristis.  Onchopristis may have resembled an extant sawfish but it was not closely related to today’s sawfish.  The saw-like rostrum was up to two metres long and this fish was a member of the cartilaginous Chondrichthyes.  Although, size estimates for this fish vary, many palaeontologists state it reached lengths of between five and eight metres.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

Dinosaur model enthusiast Robert commented:

“While searching through my model prehistoric sea creature collection, I discovered a small sawfish model which makes an ideal Onchopristis for the Middle Cretaceous African dinosaur Spinosaurus to catch and feast upon.  So, I took some more pictures for you to download.”

The Fish Model has been Carefully Placed in the Articulated Jaws of the Spinosaurus Model

Spinosaurus feeding on an Onchopristis.

Spinosaurus with its catch.  There is quite a lot of evidence to suggest that Spinosaurus was a piscivore and as fossilised vertebrae assigned to Onchopristis have been found in association with Spinosaurus remains, it is known that these two species were contemporaneous.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

An Extensive Prehistoric Landscape

Robert has constructed an extensive prehistoric landscape complete with watering hole, dinosaur nesting sites and footprints.  He has used this landscape to create various prehistoric scenes depicting dinosaur biota associated with famous fossil sites and locations.  Over the years, Robert has sent into Everything Dinosaur images depicting the Early Cretaceous of Europe, Triassic prehistoric animals, dinosaurs from North America and several other compilations including a dinosaurs of South America themed Cretaceous diorama.

A Close View of the CollectA Deluxe Spinosaurus with its Prey

Spinosaurus with its catch.

Spinosaurus with its catch (Onchopristis).

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

Other Theropods Depicted Too

Although the finding of a sawfish replica was the inspiration behind this diorama, a depiction of the potential predator/prey relationship.  Robert has also chosen to depict other theropods within his extensive prehistoric landscape.

A Suchomimus Spotted by the Waterhole with a Sawfish

Suchomimus feeds on Onchopristis.

A Suchomimus has caught an Onchopristis.  Lots of prehistoric animal action depicted along the shores of the realistic watering hole in the dinosaur diorama.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

Our thanks to dinosaur model collector Robert for sending in these pictures to us.

Two Feeding Sauropods also Featured in the Dinosaur Diorama

Two feeding sauropods.

Nigersaurus and Malawisaurus feeding.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

17 07, 2020

Schleitheimia Fills a Sauropod-sized Gap in Dinosaur Evolution

By | July 17th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Schleitheimia schutzi – Oldest Known Transitional Sauropodomorph

The biggest dinosaurs of all were the sauropods.  Famous giants such as Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus, exhibits of which adorn numerous main galleries of natural history museums around the world.  However, how these giant quadrupeds evolved from their much smaller sauropodomorph ancestors is poorly understood.  A team of scientists from Munich, Utrecht and Zürich have been able to identify a new ancestor of the long-necked dinosaurs (true Sauropoda),  from strata in the Swiss Canton of Schaffhausen.  The dinosaur named Schleitheimia schutzi is the oldest transitional form between the Sauropodomorpha and the Sauropoda described to date.

A Life Reconstruction of Schleitheimia schutzi

Schleitheimia schutzi life reconstruction.

An illustration of the giant, newly described Sauropodomorpha Schleitheimia schutzi.   A Plateosaurus is in the background and a predatory pseudosuchian can be seen in the foreground.

Picture Credit: Beat Scheffold (Naturforschende Gesellschaft Schaffhausen)

Hidden Amongst the Substantial Plateosaurus Remains

Although there are several substantial bonebeds in Switzerland that represent the Plateosaurus genus, (a sauropodomorph) and our knowledge regarding the global distribution of this group has certainly improved over the last five years or so, the diversity of the Sauropodomorpha and its composition remains controversial.  The researchers which include Professor Oliver Rauhut from the Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie, (Munich), Femke Holwerda currently at the Royal Tyrrell Museum (Alberta, Canada) and Heinz Furrer from Zürich University re-examined a series of fragmentary fossils recovered from three different locations associated with Plateosaurus bonebeds.  They concluded that the material represents the remains of two different, very big and robust sauropodomorphs.  One of these is described as a new taxon – Schleitheimia schutzi.

A Partial Femur Assigned to Schleitheimia schutzi

Partial femur assigned to Schleitheimia.

Distal end of left humerus of Schleitheimia schutzi n. gen., n. sp., PIMUZ A/III 549. a anterior view; b lateral view; c posterior view; d medial view; e distal view; f, proximal view of proximal break.  Scale bar = 5 cm.

Picture Credit: Rauhut et al (Swiss Journal of Geosciences)

The fossils had been thought to represent large examples of Plateosaurus.  Some of the material had been collected decades ago and given the huge size of the bonebeds and their monodominant nature little further thought had been given to the over-sized bones associated with the sites.

Professor Rauhut explained:

“Although Schleitheimia schutzi probably looked quite similar to Plateosaurus, this dinosaur with an estimated 9 to 10 metres body length is already significantly larger than the latter.  The new species [S. schutzi] was apparently very robust and like its gigantic descendants, probably moved on all fours, while Plateosaurus mostly walked on its hind legs.”

The genus name honours the type locality at Schleitheim, Canton Schaffhausen, Switzerland, whilst the species name honours Emil Schutz (1916-1974) who collected the type material.

Special in Two Ways

Schleitheimia roamed central Europe around 210 million years ago (late Norian faunal stage of the Triassic).  This makes Schleitheimia a lot older than other known transitional types of dinosaur between sauropodomorphs and sauropods.  Secondly, it is the first transitional form known from the continent of Europe.  Phylogenetic assessment suggests that this dinosaur is a derived basal sauropodiform and possibly very close to the evolutionary line that led to the Sauropoda.  Its discovery highlights the diversity of sauropodomorphs in the Late Triassic and suggests that many types of sauropodomorph survived the end-Triassic extinction event and flourished in the early Jurassic.

Views of a Cervical Vertebra (Schleitheimia schutzi)

Neck bones (cervical vertebrae) attributed to Schleithimia.

Posterior cervical vertebra of Schleitheimia schutzi n. gen., n. sp., PIMUZ A/III 538. a, b left and right lateral views; c dorsal view; d anterior view; e posterior view; f ventral view. Scale bar = 5 cm.

Picture Credit: Rauhut et al (Swiss Journal of Geosciences)

The scientific paper: “A derived sauropodiform dinosaur and other sauropodomorph material from the Late Triassic of Canton Schaffhausen, Switzerland” by Oliver W. M. Rauhut, Femke M. Holwerda and Heinz Furrer published in the Swiss Journal of Geosciences.

14 07, 2020

Reviewing New PNSO Dinosaurs

By | July 14th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

New PNSO Dinosaurs Video Review

Everything Dinosaur has posted up a short video review of the two, new for 2020 PNSO young dinosaurs.  Our review focuses on Aaron the young T. rex and its counterpart figure, A-Qi the young Sinoceratops.  These PVC models arrived at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse a few days ago and team members were keen to post up a review as these baby dinosaur figures as they are very different from other PNSO prehistoric animals.

A Focus on Two Very Cute and Adorable PNSO Dinosaurs

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Focus on Aaron and A-Qi

The video review lasts four minutes and twenty four seconds.  It begins with an introduction and then the two figures are shown and compared.  Aaron the Tyrannosaurus rex model is highlighted first and the narrator comments that PNSO have taken great care to make the body proportions of their baby tyrannosaurid as scientifically accurate as possible.  The awkward-looking long hind limbs and the big feet are very reminiscent of a young bird and the colouration reminded the reviewer of the countershading associated with the Chinese compsognathid Sinosauropteryx.   To read more about this: Sinosauropteryx article.

Comparing the Two PNSO Models Together

PNSO young dinosaur models.

The pair of PNSO young dinosaur models that feature in Everything Dinosaur’s short video.  Aaron the young T. rex and A-Qi the young Sinoceratops.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The video goes on to provide an overview of the Sinoceratops figure (A-Qi), before highlighting the product leaflet that can be found in each box.

To purchase PNSO models and figures from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Models and Figures.

Photographs Taken by Fans of PNSO

The short video review also permitted team members to post up some of the amazing photographs sent into the company by fans of the PNSO model range.  Prior to the summary section, concluding the review, we were able to feature a few of the numerous photos that we had been sent by customers.  Our thanks to all those who gave us permission to use their images.

Two Very Photogenic Dinosaur Figures from PNSO

Sharing pictures of the two new for 2020 PNSO young dinosaur models.

Sharing customer photographs of the two new PNSO dinosaur figures.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Aaron and A-Qi are certainly two very photogenic dinosaur models.  We really do enjoy receiving these pictures and where possible we like to share photographs and images with our Facebook fans and Instagram followers.

The YouTube channel of Everything Dinosaur contains over 175 videos featuring lots of prehistoric animal models.  The company aims to post up at least one new video each week and our YouTube presence has already attracted thousands of followers and subscribers.

To visit Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel: Visit Everything Dinosaur on YouTube and Subscribe.

13 07, 2020

Lusovenator santosi – A Carcharodontosaur from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal

By | July 13th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

The “Hunter of Lusitania” – Lusovenator santosi

The fearsome carcharodontosaurids (family Carcharodontosauridae), comprise some of the largest terrestrial predators that ever lived.  Giant theropods such as Giganotosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus and Tyrannotitan rivalled the largest tyrannosaurs in terms of size and probably (in some cases), were even bigger.  It had been thought that these types of carnivorous dinosaur were confined to the Cretaceous, but there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that this group was well established and geographically widespread by the Late Jurassic.

A team of scientists writing in the “Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology” have described a new species of carcharodontosaurid based on fossils found in Portugal.  The dinosaur has been named Lusovenator santosi, the genus name translates as “hunter of Lusitania”, a reference to the Lusitanian Basin, the geological region where the fossils are from.  Their research supports the idea that these types of predators were present in the northern hemisphere some twenty million years earlier than previously thought.

A Life Reconstruction of the Late Jurassic Carcharodontosaurid Lusovenator santosi

Lusovenator life reconstruction.

A life reconstruction of Lusovenator.

Picture Credit: Carlos de Miguel Chaves

A Reassessment of Allosaur Fossil Material

The researchers, based in Lisbon and Madrid, re-evaluated fragmentary fossil material collected over the last two decades at sites located on the Portuguese coast about 35 miles (60 kilometres), north of Lisbon.  Initial examination suggested that this material represented a member of the Allosauridae, but a more detailed analysis of the fossils led the researchers to conclude that this material represented a dinosaur from the Carcharodontosauridae, a family nested within the clade Allosauria, but distinct from famous Late Jurassic super-predators such as Allosaurus fragilis, which is known from the western United States.

Lead author of the scientific paper, Elisabete Malafaia (University of Lisbon), commented that this discovery demonstrates the importance of the Iberian Peninsula as a key region for understanding the dispersal of carcharodontosaurids as well as other types of dinosaur across the northern hemisphere during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous.

Fossil Material Assigned to Lusovenator santosi

Lusovenator fossil material.

Fossil material assigned to Lusovenator santosi with a silhouette showing skeletal location.

Picture Credit: Malafaia et al (Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology)

One of the Oldest Members of the Carcharodontosauridae

The oldest definitive carcharodontosaurid described to date is Veterupristisaurus (V. milneri) from the Middle Dinosaur Member of the famous Tendaguru Formation of Tanzania.  Veterupristisaurus (pronounced Vet-ter-roo-pris-tee-sore-us), is believed to have lived around 154 million years ago (Kimmeridgian faunal stage of the Late Jurassic).  Other fragmentary fossil remains from China and Germany have also been tentatively assigned to Late Jurassic carcharodontosaurids.  Lusovenator lived around 145 million years ago, as such, it is the oldest carcharodontosaurian allosauroid yet discovered from Laurasia.

The fossil material is believed to represent a relatively young animal, with a body length of approximately 3.5 metres.  Although, probably not fully grown, the vertebrae and the ilium show a number of anatomical traits that distinguish Lusovenator from the Allosauridae and nest it with the related, but distinct Carcharodontosauridae.

A Member of a Field Team Working on a Fossil Specimen

Field work - carefully extracting fossil material.

A field team member working on fossil material.

Picture Credit: LUSA

Furthermore, the identification of this new species expands the diversity of theropod dinosaurs known from the Late Jurassic of Portugal and reinforces the theory that the Iberian Peninsula is a key region to help understand the dispersal of a number of different types of dinosaur across the Northern Hemisphere at the end of the Jurassic and into the Early Cretaceous.

The scientific paper: “A new carcharodontosaurian theropod from the Lusitanian Basin: evidence of allosauroid sympatry in the European Late Jurassic” by Elisabete Malafaia, Pedro Mocho, Fernando Escaso and Francisco Ortega published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

12 07, 2020

Deciding on the Scale for a Prehistoric Animal Model

By | July 12th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Deciding on the Scale for a Prehistoric Animal Model

Here is our eagerly awaited YouTube video which explains how the scale for a dinosaur model is decided.  We look at the pros and cons of the 1:40 scale declaration for dinosaur models.  Determining the scale for any given prehistoric animal can be tricky and our video helps to illustrate some of the factors that need to be considered.  Tyrannosaurus rex, Edmontosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Megalosaurus and lots of other prehistoric animal figures are featured.

Determining the Scale for a Prehistoric Animal Model

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Outlining the Pitfalls when it comes to Dinosaur Scale Models

In our video, (it lasts 12 minutes), we explain some of the difficulties that manufacturers have when it comes to determining the declared scale size for a dinosaur model.  We illustrate this point using the CollectA 1:40 scale roaring feathered T. rex figure and compare it to the much smaller, but still in the declared 1/40th scale, Natural History T. rex replica.

Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube Video Compares Two Popular Dinosaur Models

Two Tyrannosaurus rex models are compared.

Comparing the declared scales (both 1/40th scale), of two popular dinosaur models.  The CollectA roaring T. rex is in the foreground with the Natural History Museum T. rex model in the background.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The CollectA roaring, feathered T. rex figure measures around 34 cm long, whilst the Natural History Museum model, also in the declared 1:40 scale size, is actually smaller, measuring about 26 cm in length.  Our video explains some of the problems that can occur when deciding on a scale model size for any particular prehistoric animal and outlines some of the decisions taken by model makers when it comes to deciding the appropriate scale for a figure.

Most Dinosaurs are Only Known from Fragmentary Remains

Although amazing dinosaur skeletons and exhibits adorn the halls of museums all over the world, the majority of the Dinosauria have been scientifically described from limited fossil remains, often fragmentary specimens representing a single individual.  Estimating the adult size of a dinosaur based on this evidence is challenging.  Even in those genera where palaeontologists have a relative abundance of fossils to study, problems over determining the maximum possible size for a given species can occur.

Allosaurus and Stegosaurus are Well-known Dinosaurs with Numerous Fossil Specimens to Study

Stegosaurus and Allosaurus fossils.

Allosaurus and Stegosaurus fossil material.  Even with a relative abundance of fossils to study, determining the size of an adult dinosaur and subsequently calculating the scale of any dinosaur model is a challenge.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Indeterminate Growth Complicates the Issue

Non-avian dinosaurs, as members of the Class Reptilia may have exhibited a biological phenomenon called “indeterminate growth”.  When a dinosaur reached adult size, its growth slowed down but it did not stop.  A section of our video explains the impact of indeterminate growth when it comes to determining the size of any dinosaur scale model.

For Example:

A sauropod reaches an adult size of 12 metres long, but it goes on to live for a further sixty years and over that time it grows at an average of just ten centimetres per year.  By the time it dies some six decades later, it is 60 x 10 cm longer (six metres) with a total body length of 18 metres.  It is fifty percent longer than when it first reached adult size.

The Effect of Indeterminate Growth on Dinosaur Body Size

Estimating the size of dinosaurs.

How indeterminate growth effects the estimation of dinosaur size.  If the size of an adult dinosaur remains uncertain, it can be difficult to assign a scale size to a scale model of that animal.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur’s examination of how scale sizes for prehistoric animals is calculated is just one of over 170 different videos on the company’s YouTube channel.

For dinosaur and prehistoric animal related videos and reviews: Subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

Load More Posts