Today, the clocks have gone forward in the UK, this means that this is the official start of British Summer Time (BST). Whilst it might be pouring with rain outside and chilly, better weather and better times are hopefully on the way.
Tomorrow, some of the lockdown restrictions in England are being lifted. Restrictions have been lifted elsewhere within the UK, as the country begins to move cautiously out of the COVID-19 lockdown. We have noticed a small change in our customer’s buying habits over the last week. The Mojo Fun Dinosaur Backpack and Playscape has been selling really well.
A Sturdy Backpack with Dinosaurs Too!
This sturdy backpack which folds out to reveal a stunning prehistoric playscape is supplied with two dinosaur models. It can be used for carrying bits and bobs and yet, when unzipped the backpack transforms into a prehistoric play scape.
An Ideal Travel Companion
The bright and colourful front panel features two Mojo dinosaur models, the Mojo Fun Allosaurus and a fearsome Mojo Fun Tyrannosaurus rex. The panel itself is embossed and raised slightly providing a stylish three-dimensional effect.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“We do understand how desperate families have been to get out for the day and to visit relatives. The increase in sales of the Mojo Fun dinosaur backpack and playscape has coincided with an easing of restrictions that had been imposed due to COVID-19. Perhaps this is merely a coincidence, but we like to think that for young dinosaur fans they will soon be going on some more dinosaur adventures.”
Whilst stressing the need to stay safe and to obey those restrictions that remain, the spokesperson added that team members at Everything Dinosaur were happy at the thought that this backpack would be used by lots of young people on their travels this year.
Team members at Everything Dinosaur as fans of prehistoric animals themselves don’t mind helping out fellow collectors. For example, we often receive emails from prehistoric animal model enthusiasts asking us to select a particular replica for them. We are happy to take some photographs of the figure that we have chosen and then email the images to the potential buyer for their approval.
Rebor GrabNGo 02 T. rex Model
Recently, we received a request from one of our customers based in Europe to select a Rebor GrabNGo 02 T. rex dinosaur model. These vinyl figures are very popular and the first two versions of the Tyrannosaurus rex (02 and 03) have been retired and production has been discontinued. Our customer was keen to obtain the figure and asked us to check over the seams and the paintwork.
We were happy to take photographs of a Rebor T. rex model in one of our packing rooms. We made sure that we emailed over several images, each showing the dinosaur figure from a different angle. It was just like photographing a fossil specimen for a collection. When documenting a fossil, a number of photographs are taken, each one is carefully labelled identifying the specimen number and the angle of view.
When taking photos of dinosaur models, we tend to provide several shots of the head of the model, so that the potential customer can see the detailing around the mouth and any seams between the head and the body.
The customer was happy with the figure we had selected for them. This particular Rebor GrabNGo 02 T. rex dinosaur model is now safely stored on our reserve shelf in our warehouse so that when the customer places their order, the figure we chose can be despatched to them.
A study of the fossilised remains of an as yet unnamed species of ankylosaurid suggests that these dinosaurs were adapted for digging. Whilst it seems unlikely that these large herbivores could have lived in burrows, they may have been able to dig for roots and tubers, excavate wells in dried up rivers to reach subsurface water and dig into sediments to obtain supplementary minerals in a similar way that extant elephants do today.
Digging Pits to Protect Their Undersides
Furthermore, many palaeontologists have postulated that these armoured herbivores might have been able to hunker down to defend their limbs and undersides from theropod predators. If these animals dug shallow pits they might have been able to protect themselves from attack and make it difficult for carnivorous dinosaurs to spot them when they were partially buried. Horned lizards (Phrynosoma) have a similar flat body and lateral fringe scales as seen in some types of ankylosaurid, these extant reptiles adopt these types of defensive strategies.
Discovered in the Early 1970s
Remains of an armoured dinosaur was first reported by a joint Soviet-Mongolian expedition to the southern Gobi Desert of Mongolia in the early 1970s. The skeleton consisting of dorsal vertebrae, elements from the limbs, ribs parts of the pelvis and the pectoral girdle along with several armoured scutes, was partially prepared for removal, but the excavation was not completed. The fossil specimen remained uncollected but crated up until 2008 when it was taken away for preparation by members of a Korean/Mongolian research team.
Probably a New Species of Armoured Dinosaur
The sandstone sediments of the Upper Cretaceous (Middle to Late Campanian stage), Baruungoyot Formation have yielded the remains of three ankylosaurid taxa, namely Saichania chulsanensis, Tarchia kielanae and Zaraapelta nomadis. Writing in the journal “Scientific Reports” the researchers which include such luminaries as Phil Currie and Eva Koppelhus (University of Alberta), Michael Ryan (Canadian Museum of Nature) and corresponding author Yuong-Nam Lee (Seoul National University, South Korea), state the unnamed ankylosaurid has some similarities to S. chulsanensis, but there are anatomical differences. Unfortunately, very little postcranial fossils of Tarchia kielanae and Zaraapelta nomadis have been found making it impossible to undertake a direct comparison with this specimen (MPC-D 100/1359).
Adapted for Digging
The scientists speculate that several anatomical features identified in MPC-D 100/1359 could indicate that this ankylosaurid was adapted for digging. The bones in its front feet are arranged in a shallow arc, which could have enabled it to dig soft earth. The fused vertebrae and the reduced number of bones in its hind feet, compared to other dinosaurs, may have helped anchor the ankylosaurid when digging or moving its tail. The body shape of MPC-D 100/1359, which is wider in the middle and narrower at the front and rear, may have helped its body to remain straight when digging. These traits such as the narrow-wide-narrow body shape and the manus (hand) and pes (foot) bone configuration are also known in other ankylosaurids. Digging for resources out of reach from other animals and excavating shallow pits as part of a defensive strategy might have been prevalent amongst these armoured dinosaurs.
The scientific paper: “A new ankylosaurid skeleton from the Upper Cretaceous Baruungoyot Formation of Mongolia: its implications for ankylosaurid postcranial evolution” by Jin-Young Park, Yuong-Nam Lee, Philip J. Currie, Michael J. Ryan, Phil Bell, Robin Sissons, Eva B. Koppelhus, Rinchen Barsbold, Sungjin Lee and Su-Hwan Kim published in Scientific Reports.
On Friday (March 19th, 2021), Everything Dinosaur received a telephone call from a worried customer. They had purchased a Beasts of the Mesozoic Zhenyuanlong suni articulated “raptor” figure for their son’s birthday. Unfortunately, we had sent a Beasts of the Mesozoic ceratopsid (Zuniceratops christopheri) instead. Whoops!
The birthday was the following day (Saturday), could Everything Dinosaur sort this out.
Our dedicated team don’t often make mistakes, but with dozens of different Beasts of the Mesozoic models in the range, all of them packed into brightly coloured and illustrated packages, then sometimes confusing one model for another does happen. This is usually spotted and corrected during picking, packing and checking prior to despatch. On this occasion, the error was not found.
Once we had been notified of the mix up, our team members quickly got things resolved. With Velociraptor velocity, a Zhenyuanlong suni was located in our warehouse, packed and despatched. It was on its way to the customer in just a couple of hours.
Thank You Everything Dinosaur
The Beasts of the Mesozoic Z. suni articulated figure duly arrived on Saturday. The parcel was delivered in time for the birthday celebrations.
Our customer emailed this morning to say:
“Can I just say thank you so much for sending the dinosaur the Zhenyuanlong suni, on Friday after the mix up. It managed to get here on Saturday in time for my son’s birthday. He loves it, so thank you so very much for helping make his day. So fast and prompt service. Excellent. Thank you again.”
Everything Dinosaur might not make that many mistakes, but when we do it is reassuring to know that we get them resolved quickly.
We have been asked to update an exhibit featuring the dinosaur Allosaurus. Our work will involve providing information for use on display boards next to a reconstruction of this Late Jurassic theropod. As part of our work to update the text associated with this dinosaur exhibit, we will be adding information about Allosaurus jimmadseni – a new species within this genus named and described in 2020.
First Described in 1877
Allosaurus was named and described by the American palaeontologist Othniel Charles Marsh in 1877, on the basis of fragmentary remains including a single fossil tooth and a toe bone. The subsequent discovery of many thousands of fossils including nearly complete skeletons, most famously from the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry in Emery County, Utah, has made Allosaurus one of the best-known of all the big meat-eating dinosaurs. Size estimates vary but it may have grown to more than 12 metres in length and weighed around 2.5 tonnes (depending on species).
The State Fossil of Utah
In 1988, in recognition of the abundance of Allosaurus fossil material excavated from the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, Allosaurus was appointed the state fossil of Utah.
Several species of Allosaurus have been erected since it was first scientifically described, although most palaeontologists recognise just three species, the most recent of which to be named is Allosaurus jimmadseni (2020). This species was named in honour of James H. Madsen Jr. the first state palaeontologist of Utah.
Fossils of the large dromaeosaurid Utahraptor (U. ostrummaysorum) were put on display as legislators and campaigners lobbied for the creation of a state park named after the iconic theropod dinosaur.
A New State Park for Grand County, Utah
A bill has been proposed that would create the Utahraptor State Park, if passed this would be the 45th such park designated within the “Beehive State”. The park would cover an area of Grand County in eastern Utah, close to the town of Moab and it would include the Dalton Wells Quarry where the first fossils of the giant raptor Utahraptor were discovered.
As well as providing camp sites and trails the park would protect and preserve the Dalton Wells Quarry site. Although the park’s current plans do not include provision for a museum, it has been suggested that if funding could be found, then a small museum documenting the extensive Lower Cretaceous strata that are exposed in this area and their contribution to palaeontology could be constructed.
It has been speculated that a 1:1 scale replica of the skeleton of a Utahraptor could be erected within the park’s boundary.
The proposals involve the conversion of approximately 6,500 acres (2,630 hectares), into a park. Responsibility for conservation would be undertaken by either Utah’s Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands or the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“We do appreciate how tight budgets are right now, but if the funding could be found to establish this new park and to protect the famous Dalton Wells location, that would be fabulous. So much of the world’s open spaces and important scientific sites are under threat it would be wonderful to see this exceptionally important fossil site protected.”
PNSO will add a model of the fearsome Carcharodontosaurus to their popular range of mid-size prehistoric animal models. The figure named Gamba the Carcharodontosaurus is scheduled to be available in the summer (2021).
Gamba the Carcharodontosaurus Model
The Carcharodontosaurus is one of several new dinosaur models that PNSO will announce this year. Just like the recently introduced Domingo the Carnotaurus and A-Shu the Qianzhousaurus this replica of a Cretaceous theropod will also have an articulated lower jaw.
Model Measurements and Projected Scale
The model measures just over 29 cm in length and that beautifully sculpted head is a fraction under 10.5 cm off the ground. The length of the model when the curvature of the tail is accounted for is 33 cm.
Based on the first Carcharodontosaurus species to be described (C. saharicus), the model is in approximately 1:40 scale and is comparable in size to the CollectA Deluxe Carcharodontosaurus model that was introduced in 2014.
Supplied with a Transparent Support Stand
Gamba the PNSO Carcharodontosaurus model is superbly detailed and is supplied with a transparent support stand to help support the chest of this substantial dinosaur model.
The Importance of the Kem Kem Formation
The design team at PNSO have introduced models of Spinosaurus as well as Carcharodontosaurus. These figures are their tribute to the Kem Kem Formation of Morocco. The word “Gamba” is Spanish for “prawn” a reference to Spanish Morocco and a nod towards the ancient estuarine palaeo-environment that these large theropods inhabited.
In Stock in the Summer (2021)
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that the production run for this model is due to be completed in the spring and that the figure is likely to be in stock around June or July (2021).
Our thanks to young artist Caldey who sent into Everything Dinosaur her interpretation of Tyrannosaurus rex that incorporates some of the latest scientific thinking.
Muted Tones and Colours
Caldey has chosen to depict her T. rex in muted tones. Recently, Everything Dinosaur team members were asked to comment on the potential colouration of large, terrestrial, apex predators such as the “King of the Tyrant Lizards”. The consensus reached by the various experts that were consulted, was that large predators might not have had the striking, obtrusively bright colouration and markings that some dinosaur models and figures show.
Although the colouration of models is highly speculative, the darker tones and stripes featured in this drawing work well and contrast with the monochrome vegetation included in the artwork.
Bristles on a Theropod
The row of protofeathers running from the top of the head to the hips is a nice touch, as is the overbite depicted on the tyrannosaur, perhaps a nod to the on-going debate about whether dinosaurs had lips.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“Our thanks to Caldey for sending into Everything Dinosaur another super dinosaur illustration”.
Fans of the Papo prehistoric animal model range “Les Dinosaures”, will know that in 2021 there will be just two new figures added to this range. Like many model manufacturers the production plans of our chums at Papo have been affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Papo are always keen to hear from model collectors, they know how enthusiastic and passionate you are about Papo, so Everything Dinosaur has created a short, ten minute video that explores how Papo could expand its prehistoric animal model range. Once we have discussed our suggestions, it’s over to you! Your chance to comment on the type of figures you want to see added to the Papo range!
Suggestions for Papo Figures
Everything Dinosaur has a close working relationship with Papo, in our short YouTube video (the video is 10 minutes long), we reveal what product options we have suggested to the French manufacturer. For example, we suggested that Papo might want to reintroduce a long retired figure such as the iconic green, standing T. rex replica.
A Pteranodon Colour Variant?
In addition, Everything Dinosaur has proposed that Papo could introduce a colour variant of an existing figure such as the Papo Pteranodon or the Papo Triceratops. We note that a number of Papo fans have suggested other colour variants such as a new version of the huge Papo Brachiosaurus figure.
A Juvenile Giganotosaurus?
One further suggestion Everything Dinosaur has made is to introduce a juvenile Giganotosaurus dinosaur model as a companion piece to the 2020 Papo Giganotosaurus figure.
The 2020 Giganotosaurus model attracted a lot of attention due to its posture, a smaller, juvenile figure could have a more scientifically accurate pose.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“Papo are aware how passionate fans of their figures are when it comes to new replicas. The number of new models that can be introduced in 2021 has been limited due to the consequences of COVID-19. Our new YouTube video gives dinosaur model fans the opportunity to learn more about the Papo range and to propose novel ways in which this range can be expanded.”
The Safari Ltd Mythical Realms armoured T. rex dinosaur model is now in stock at Everything Dinosaur. This is the third of five new dinosaur models to be introduced by Safari Ltd this year (2021), an armoured Triceratops and a model of the theropod Baryonyx have already arrived at Everything Dinosaur.
An Armoured Carnivorous Dinosaur
This cleverly designed dinosaur has armour on the top of its head. The tyrannosaur sports a breast plate, armour on its shoulders and protecting its ribs. There are three large plates of armour over the thigh and additional protection running down to the foot. The tail has a vicious-looking spiky club. A most impressive weapon one that would make an Ankylosaurus jealous.
The Safari Ltd Mythical Realms armoured T. rex dinosaur model measures approximately 17 cm in length. In reality the model is bigger than this, as the tail is curved round on itself. That armoured head is around 11 cm off the ground.