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

Dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed articles, features and stories.

26 03, 2019

Atopodentatus Gets Our Attention

By | March 26th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

The Unique Atopodentatus unicus

As the new for 2019 PNSO figures arrive at Everything Dinosaur, we have time to reflect on one of the new models.  The replica of the bizarre Triassic marine reptile Atopodentatus (A. unicus).  Although Atopodentatus was named and scientifically described less than five years ago, this three-metre-long Tetrapod has certainly attracted a great deal of debate.  Where it sits phylogenetically has yet to be resolved.  Tentatively, it could be placed within the Sauropterygia.  The Sauropterygia is an extremely diverse Superorder of reptiles.  It includes the placodonts, plesiosaurs, nothosaurs and the Pachypleurosauria.*

The New for 2019 PNSO Atopodentatus Model

PNSO Atopodentatus (Finch).

The new for 2019 PNSO Atopodentatus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Pachypleurosauria* – PNSO have also introduced a pachypleurosaur into their “Prehistoric Animal Toys That Accompany Your Growth” range, one of the twenty-four new models is “Ricky” the Keichousaurus.

At First it was a Filter Feeder

The fossil material associated with this genus comes from south-western China (Guanling Formation).  The strata are thought to be Middle Triassic in age (Anisian faunal stage) and these marine deposits have helped scientists to construct a picture of how life bounced back from the devastating End Permian extinction event.  When first described, Atopodentatus was thought to feed by stirring up mud on the seabed to filter out small invertebrates.  The rostrum was thought to be downturned, resulting in this reptile having a vertical, zipper-like jaw.

A Life Reconstruction of Atopodentatus unicus (2014)

Atopodentatus life reconstruction (2014).

Strange Triassic marine reptile.  Atopodentatus unicus was thought to have had a downturned rostrum, a unique jaw configuration not found in other vertebrates.

Picture Credit: Nobu Tamura (2014)

To read Everything Dinosaur’s article about the original scientific description of Atopodentatus: Bizarre New Triassic Marine Reptile Described

A Marine Reptile with a “Hammerhead”

Turns out, Atopodentatus did not have such a unique and highly specialised feeding adaptation after all, but it is nonetheless, quite remarkable.  Additional specimens led to a new interpretation of the shape of the skull and rather than having a downturned rostrum, Atopodentatus had a set of jaws shaped like a hammerhead.  It was proposed that Atopodentatus was herbivorous.   The teeth lining the hammerhead were used to scrape seaweed and algae from rocks.  The plant material was then sucked into the back of the mouth and filtered by the long, thin tooth mesh.

Atopodentatus Life Reconstruction (2016)

Atopodentatus life reconstruction (2016).

An illustration Atopodentatus feeding underwater.

Picture Credit: Y. Chen (Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology)

To read Everything Dinosaur’s 2016 article about the reinterpretation of Atopodentatus: Atopodentatus Unzipped

Atopodentatus unicus still had a highly specialised feeding adaptation, although one not quite a peculiar as previously thought.  It still represents the oldest record of herbivory within marine reptiles and its discovery has helped scientists to better understand how marine ecosystems recovered after the End Permian extinction event.

Remarking on the addition of an Atopodentatus to the PNSO model range, a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“As a Chinese company, PNSO have attempted to focus on prehistoric animals that lived in China.  This has resulted in a whole new and never before created set of prehistoric animal replicas such as Atopodentatus and Keichousaurus.  Thanks to PNSO, Everything Dinosaur customers now have an even greater variety of prehistoric animal models to collect.”

The New for 2019 PNSO “Finch” – Atopodentatus Figure

PNSO Atopodentatus unicus model.

The PNSO Atopodentatus unicus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the PNSO Age of Dinosaurs range: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs

25 03, 2019

Scientists Collaborate to Explore the Morrison Formation

By | March 25th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Manchester University, the Morrison Formation and the “Jurassic Mile”

Scientists at Manchester University have joined forces with a major American Museum and European partners to map and explore an extraordinary Jurassic dinosaur site in the Badlands of Wyoming (USA).  The University of Manchester will act as the academic leaders on this newly announced £20 million ($27.5 USD) research project to examine and eventually exhibit fossils excavated from a recently discovered palaeontological site nicknamed the “Jurassic Mile”.

Working in Collaboration with the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

The University of Manchester’s Professor Phil Manning and Dr. Victoria Egerton will be collaborating with scientists from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.  Also involved are researchers from the Natural History Museum in London and the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre in Leiden (Netherlands).  In total, more than a hundred scientists and academics from three countries will join forces to work at a dig site representing Upper Jurassic strata from the Morrison Formation of Wyoming.  They hope to uncover new data to help explain the extraordinary diversity of the dinosaur biota known from this part of Laurasia in the Late Jurassic.

Life in the Late Jurassic – An Illustration of Morrison Formation Biota

Morrison Formation biota.

Life in the Late Jurassic (Morrison Formation biota).  An illustration of life in the Late Jurassic (Morrison Formation) by Julius Csotonyi.  A mother Stegosaurus defends her family from a marauding Allosaurus whilst a pair of diplodocids browse in the background.

Picture Credit: Julius Csotonyi

The “Jurassic Mile”

Professor Manning, Dr. Egerton and the team are calling the fossil-rich, mile-square plot of land, “The Jurassic Mile.”  There are four main quarries within the multi-level, 640-acre site that offer a diverse assemblage of Morrison Formation articulated and semi-articulated dinosaurs that has also yielded associated animals and fossil plants.  In addition, trace fossils in the form of dinosaur trackways have been identified, such tracks are rare in this part of the world.

Commenting on the significance of this collaborative field work, Professor Manning stated:

“It is splendid that such an important site has been discovered at just the right time, as the science of palaeontology is adapting existing and new imaging techniques to unpick the fossil remains of extinct life.  The imaging work that we undertake at Manchester is already world-leading and this is a great opportunity to develop this research with other world-class institutions.”

A Remarkable Fossil Assemblage

Nearly six hundred specimens, weighing more than six tons, have already been collected from this site over the past two years, despite the fact that only a fraction of the area has been explored.  Fossil bones found to date include the remains of an 20-metre plus Brachiosaur and a 27-metre-long diplodocid.  Giant Sauropods had giant bones, one of the recent discoveries is a 2-metre-long Brachiosaur scapula (shoulder bone), numerous plaster-coated burlap jackets containing articulated bones are the reward for the researchers after a successful field season..

At a press conference, held today, the discovery of an extremely well-preserved 1.5-metre-long Sauropod femur (thigh bone), was announced.

Professor Phil Manning (The University of Manchester) with the Sauropod Femur

Professor Phil Manning and the diplodocid femur.

Professor Phil Manning (The University of Manchester), poses next to the diplodocid femur.

Picture Credit: The University of Manchester

Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, President and CEO of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis commented:

“We are bringing together an extraordinary international team for the first time that will critically analyse portions of the Morrison Formation in new ways.  This project reflects a natural synergy between three world-renowned museums, their research scientists and highly-respected research universities, each providing unique elements to complete one of the most interesting chapters in the evolution of Earth.”

Prehistoric Flora as well as Fauna

Dr. Egerton from the Department of Earth and Environmental Science (Manchester University), explained:

“The preservation quality and sheer amount of plants at the Jurassic Mile is extraordinary.  During this period, there were no flowering plants and this site provides significant insight to what these giant animals ate and how they may have grown to be so large.”

The Jurassic Mile project is already utilising cutting-edge science from the international team.  The University of Manchester scientists will employ the Stanford Synchrotron particle accelerator along with some of the most powerful computers on the planet, to help resurrect the Jurassic and unearth the lost world and forgotten lives of some of the most remarkable terrestrial animals that have ever lived.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from Manchester University in the compilation of this article.

24 03, 2019

Alligator Study Provides Insight into Dinosaur Hearing

By | March 24th, 2019|Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Alligator Hearing Study Provides Insight into Dinosaur Hearing

New research published in the “Journal of Neuroscience” identifies that living Archosaurs – birds and crocodiles make a mental map of sounds in the same way.  This suggests that this auditory strategy existed in their common ancestor which has implications for dinosaur research.

Animal brains determine where a sound is coming from, by analysing the minute difference in time it takes audio waves to reach each ear—a cue known as interaural time difference.  What happens to the cue once the signals get to the brain depends on what kind of animal is doing the hearing.

An American Alligator – New Research Suggests that Birds and Crocodilians Hear in the Same Way

An American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

A photograph of an American alligator.

Picture Credit: Ruth Elsey Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Scientists have known that birds are exceptionally good at creating neural maps to chart the location of sounds, and that the strategy differs in mammals.  Little was known, however, about how alligators process interaural time difference.

A new study of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), found that the reptiles form neural maps of sound in the same way birds do.  The research by Catherine Carr, a Distinguished University Professor of Biology at the University of Maryland and her colleague Lutz Kettler from the Technische Universität München, was published this week in the “Journal of Neuroscience”.

Most research into how animals analyse interaural time difference has focused on physical features such as skull size and shape, but Carr and Kettler believed it was important to look at evolutionary relationships.

Birds have very small head sizes compared with alligators, but the two groups share a common ancestor, as both Aves (birds) and crocodilians are members of the Archosauria.   Archosaurs began to emerge around 246 million years ago and split into two lineages; one that led to alligators and one that led to dinosaurs (and birds).  Although most dinosaurs died out during the mass extinction event 66 million years ago, some types of dinosaur survived and we see their descendants all around us today, these are the modern birds.

Carr and Kettler’s findings indicate that the hearing strategy birds and alligators share may have less to do with head size and more to do with common ancestry.

Carr commented:

“Our research strongly suggests that this particular hearing strategy first evolved in their common ancestor.  The other option, that they independently evolved the same complex strategy, seems very unlikely.”

Sedated American Alligators were Fitted with Earphones

An American alligator.

A photograph of an American alligator.

Picture Credit:  Ruth Elsey Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

To study how alligators identify where sound comes from, the researchers anesthetised forty American Alligators and fitted them with earphones.  They played tones for the sleepy reptiles and measured the response of a structure in their brain stems called the nucleus laminaris.  This structure is the seat of auditory signal processing.  Their results showed that alligators create neural maps very similar to those previously measured in barn owls and chickens.  The same maps have not been recorded in the equivalent structure in mammal brains.

The Distinguished Professor added:

“We know so little about dinosaurs.  Comparative studies such as this one, which identify common traits extending back through evolutionary time add to our understanding of their biology.”

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the University of Maryland in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Neural Maps of Interaural Time Difference in the American Alligator: A Stable Feature in Modern Archosaurs” by Lutz Kettler and Catherine Carr and published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

23 03, 2019

March 2019 Newsletter – Collecting CollectA

By | March 23rd, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Newsletters, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New CollectA Figures and a Special Offer on the Rare Bullyland Pteranodon sternbergi

Everything Dinosaur’s first newsletter of the spring features the first of the new for 2019 CollectA figures and a special offer on an extremely rare Bullyland flying reptile figure.  The latest figures in the CollectA “Age of Dinosaurs” series have arrived and it is great to see the Deluxe Caiuajara with its movable jaw, the Borealopelta, Edaphosaurus and the box of mini prehistoric animal models in stock.  Top billing in the newsletter is given to the remarkable CollectA Deluxe Carnotaurus – we know how keen dinosaur fans and model collectors have been on this model since we announced that it was going into production, back in November (2018).

To view the CollectA Deluxe models including the new Carnotaurus: Collecta Deluxe Prehistoric Life

The CollectA Deluxe 1:40 Carnotaurus Model Headlines the Everything Dinosaur March Newsletter

CollectA Deluxe Carnotaurus model.

Top billing in the latest Everything Dinosaur newsletter.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The CollectA Edaphosaurus

Ever since the 1:20 scale CollectA Dimetrodon was introduced in 2018, fans of this range have been eagerly looking forward to the addition of another Permian pelycosaur to this series.  The hand-painted 1:20 scale CollectA Edaphosaurus lives up to all the hyperbole and it makes a great accompaniment to the Dimetrodon figure.

To view the range of CollectA prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur including the Edaphosaurus: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models

A Sail-backed Prehistoric Animal Model Sails into Stock at Everything Dinosaur

CollectA Edaphosaurus.

The new CollectA Edaphosaurus model features in an Everything Dinosaur newsletter.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Flying Reptiles from Brazil and an Armoured Dinosaur from a Canadian Mine

Everything Dinosaur has also received a shipment of Caiuajara models, complete with an articulated lower jaw.  Fossil of this pterosaur were found in Brazil.  The CollectA Borealopelta figure has also arrived, although sadly, several cases of models were lost during shipment.  A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that plans were in place to get more of these armoured dinosaur models into stock as quickly as possible.  Perhaps, the missing models have got lost in a mine, as the only known Borealopelta specimen was discovered in a mine located in north-eastern Alberta (Canada).

The CollectA Deluxe Caiuajara and the CollectA Borealopelta

The CollectA Deluxe Caiuajara with a moveable jaw and a CollectA Borealopelta.

CollectA Deluxe Caiuajara and the CollectA Borealopelta figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mini Prehistoric Animal Models and a Special Offer on an Extremely Rare Replica

Also just arrived at Everything Dinosaur is the box of mini prehistoric animal models.  A set of twelve miniature figures produced by CollectA and designed to accompany their larger equivalents in the scale model series.  Last but not least, the March newsletter features a special offer!  A chance to purchase the very rare and long retired Bullyland Pteranodon sternbergi figure at the same price offered by Everything Dinosaur when it was last available nearly ten years ago!

Mini Prehistoric Animals and a Special Offer for Newsletter Subscribers

CollectA mini prehistoric animals and a Bullyland Pteranodon (P. sternbergi).

The new set of twelve mini prehistoric animal models from CollectA and a special offer on the very rare Bullyland Pteranodon sternbergi figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur newsletter subscribers are amongst the first to learn about new models and replicas coming into stock.  Subscribers can also be the first to join a priority reserve list to ensure that they can acquire new figures.  Our newsletter is sent out periodically and it is free to join.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The newsletter is a fantastic way for our customers to be kept informed and to stay up-to-date with developments at Everything Dinosaur.”

To request to join the Everything Dinosaur newsletter subscribers list: Simply Email Everything Dinosaur

22 03, 2019

JurassicCollectables Reviews the Kaiyodo Sofubi “Classic” T. rex

By | March 22nd, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

JurassicCollectables Reviews the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex “Classic Colouration”

A few days ago, JurassicCollectables posted up onto their excellent YouTube channel an unboxing video featuring a trio of Tyrannosaur models that we, at Everything Dinosaur had sent them.  The narrator could hardly contain his excitement as he opened the box and unwrapped the three colour variants of the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex.  In that short, unboxing video we were promised that each model would be reviewed at length in the near future.  True to their word JurassicCollectables have posted up a video review of the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box Tyrannosaurus rex “classic colouration”.

A Video Review of the Limited Edition “Classic” Kaiyodo T. rex Articulated Figure

Video credit: JurassicCollectables

Inspired by the Artwork of Zdeněk Burian

In this video review (it lasts for a little over twelve minutes), the narrator discusses the packaging (this model comes in a special edition box) and points out the degree of movement afforded by the ten points of articulation.  This Tyrannosaur is known as the “classic”, as the colour scheme chosen for this figure was inspired by the highly influential Czech painter and illustrator Zdeněk Burian.

The Articulated Dinosaur Model Can be Placed in a Variety of Poses

A video review of a Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box Tyrannosaurus rex "classic" colour.

The Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex can be put into a variety of poses.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

The recently reviewed Eofauna Scientific Research Giganotosaurus (G. carolinii), makes an appearance and helps to provide a size comparison with the Kaiyodo figure.  In addition, JurassicCollectables uses a Papo green standing T. rex model to help to give an impression of the figure’s size.  Naturally, off-colour Alan gets involved too and the narrator comments that when the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex is placed next to the Alan Grant action figure, it looks like a juvenile T. rex.  This is highly appropriate as a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex is referenced in the original Jurassic Park novel by Michael Crichton.

Beautiful Background Provided in the Presentation Box

The narrator comments upon the beautiful background image provided in the special presentation box and reflects on the skilful craftmanship and the care taken to produce the stunning paint scheme and the graceful airbrushing.   The mouth and jaws (the figure has an articulated upper jaw), are singled out for special praise.

The Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex Model Meets “Off-colour Alan”

A video review of the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex "classic" colour version.

The Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex meets “off-colour Alan”.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

To view the JurassicCollectables Kaiyodo unboxing article published by Everything Dinosaur: JurassicCollectables Unboxing a Trio of T. rex Figures

The YouTube channel of JurassicCollectables is jam-packed with top quality dinosaur themed videos, it has attracted almost 79,000 subscribers.  Well done JurassicCollectables.  Find the YouTube channel here and don’t forget to subscribe: JurassicCollectables YouTube Channel

There is Much to Admire in the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box Tyrannosaurus rex Figure

A close-up view of a Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box Tyrannosaurus rex "classic" colour.

A close-up view of the head of the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex “classic” colouration.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Aimed at collectors and not for dinosaur fans under fifteen years of age, this limited edition and quite rare dinosaur model is available from Everything Dinosaur (whilst stocks last).

Find the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex “classic” and the other Kaiyodo models here: Kaiyodo Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Figures

21 03, 2019

A Recipe for Dinosaur Shortbread Biscuits

By | March 21st, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page, Press Releases, Teaching|0 Comments

Dinosaur Shortbread Biscuits Recipe

Here is a quick and simple recipe to make dinosaur shortbread biscuits.  Making biscuits such as these is a fun activity that young children can participate in.  These dinosaur shortbread biscuits make great treats or can be used to help with the catering for a dinosaur themed birthday party.

A Recipe for Dinosaur Shortbread Biscuits

Dinosaur shortbread biscuits recipe.

A recipe for dinosaur shortbread biscuits.  A simple biscuit recipe that is a great idea for a dinosaur themed birthday party – perfect for prehistoric party fun!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Ingredients (Makes about Twenty Biscuits)

  • Butter or margarine 110 grammes (4oz)
  • Caster sugar 50 grammes (2oz)
  • Plain flour, sifted 175 grammes (6oz)
  • Extra caster sugar for dusting

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C /300°F (Gas mark 2).  Lightly grease two baking sheets.
  2. Begin by first beating the butter (or margarine) with a wooden spoon to a soft consistency, and then beat in the sugar, followed by the sifted flour.
  3. Still using the wooden spoon, start to bring the mixture together, then finish off with your hands to form a paste.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a board lightly dusted with caster sugar, and then quickly and lightly roll it out to about 1/8 inch (3mm) thick (dusting the rolling pin with sugar if necessary).
  5. Cut the biscuits out using dinosaur biscuit cutters or, a dinosaur-shaped card that acts as a template and then arrange them on the baking sheet and bake on a highish shelf in the oven for 30 minutes.  Cool the biscuits on a wire rack, dust them with some caster sugar, and store in an airtight tin to keep them crisp.
  6. Once cooled, the biscuits can be iced and decorated to make a fun dinosaur themed snack or an ideal party food for a prehistoric animal themed party or other special occasion.

Dinosaur Biscuits – Just Out of the Oven

Dinosaur biscuits

Dinosaur biscuits cooling on a wire rack.  Once cooled, these biscuits can be decorated.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Everything Dinosaur weblog is crammed full of helpful articles aimed at the parents, grandparents and guardians of dinosaur enthusiasts and budding, young palaeontologists.  If you search our blog using terms such as “dinosaur party”, “cake” and “biscuit”, you will discover lots of helpful articles, ideas, recipes and suggestions to assist you with dinosaur themed party planning and other fun prehistoric animal orientated activities.  Have fun!

Everything Dinosaur is a UK-based supplier of dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed models, toys and merchandise, check-out our website: Visit Everything Dinosaur

19 03, 2019

Reflecting on Hyaenodon gigas

By | March 19th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Reflecting on Hyaenodon gigas

The extinct clade Creodonta, a term first used by the famous American palaeontologist Edward Drinker Cope (1875), was composed of a great variety of carnivorous mammals, of all shapes and sizes.  One of the most imposing of these predatory mammals was Hyaenodon gigas.  With a shoulder height of around 1.4 metres H. gigas was one of the largest members of the Hyaenodontidae family.  For a comparison, male Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris), stand around 1 metre high at the shoulder.

A fully grown H. gigas is estimated to have weighed around half a tonne.  This was a very formidable carnivore.

Those clever people at Safari Ltd have created a stunning image that highlights the beauty and detail of their Wild Safari Prehistoric World Hyaenodon model.

Reflecting on a Beautiful Prehistoric Animal Model – Hyaenodon gigas

A Hyaenodon gigas model.

The Hyaenodon gigas replica part of the Wild Safari Prehistoric World model series by Safari Ltd.

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd/Everything Dinosaur

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Hyaenodon gigas Model

Last year, Safari Ltd introduced several new synapsid models.  For instance, a Przewalski’s horse was added to their “Winner’s Enclosure” collection.  Numerous prehistoric mammals as well as a stunning Dimetrodon replica were also launched.  In 2018, Safari Ltd added the Hyaenodon gigas, Uintatherium, Megacerops, Macrauchenia, a Daeodon and a model of an American Mastodon (Mammut americanum).

Super Synapsids on Display

New prehistoric animal models from Safari Ltd (2018).

Some wonderful synapsid models were introduced in 2018.  From top left Przewalski’s horse (extant) with the extinct pelycosaur Dimetrodon (below).  From left to right – Uintatherium, Megacerops, the American Mastodon, H. gigas, Macrauchenia and a trotting Daeodon model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Naturally, each of these prehistoric animal figures is supplied with its very own fact sheet, so collectors and model fans can learn about the creature that the model represents.

Our congratulations to Safari Ltd for making such a diverse range of figures and for producing such stunning images to accompany their model range.  The use of light and the clever photoshop effect of movement of the water in the puddle adds a new level of authenticity to their figures.  The reflection of the Hyaenodon model has been skilfully created and we look forward to posting up more examples of this sort of creativity on our blog in the near future.

A Stunning Image to Promote a Prehistoric Animal Model

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Hyaenodon gigas model.

Reflecting on the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Hyaenodon gigas figure.

Picture Credit: Safari Ltd/Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of Wild Safari Prehistoric World models and figures available from Everything Dinosaur: Wild Safari Prehistoric World Models and Replicas

18 03, 2019

New CollectA 2019 Prehistoric Animal Models in Stock

By | March 18th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New CollectA 2019 Prehistoric Animal Models in Stock

The first of the new for 2019 prehistoric animal models from CollectA have arrived at Everything Dinosaur.   The armoured dinosaur Borealopelta, the pterosaur Caiuajara, the deluxe Carnotaurus and the Edaphosaurus models are now all in stock.  In addition, the set of mini prehistoric animal models has also arrived at our warehouse.

In Stock at Everything Dinosaur, the Box of Mini Prehistoric Animal Models

The CollectA Box of Mini Prehistoric Animals (2019)

The CollectA box of mini prehistoric animal models which is available in 2019. Twelve prehistoric animal models in the box set.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The CollectA Box of Mini Prehistoric Animal Models

Joining the CollectA mini sets of prehistoric animals series is this new box of mini prehistoric animals, twelve miniature replicas of larger figures within the CollectA range.  The models in the box include Megacerops, Daeodon, Paraceratherium, Smilodon, Arsinoitherium, Uintatherium, Andrewsarchus, Moropus, Deinotherium and a Woolly Mammoth.  All these are mammals from the Cenozoic, but interestingly the box set features a replica of the giant prehistoric bird Kelenken and the bizarre therapsid Estemmenosuchus – “crowned crocodile”.  Estemmenosuchus lived during the Permian, many millions of years before the other creatures featured in the box set evolved.

Borealopelta and the Pterosaur Caiuajara

One of the first of the new models to be announced, back in early November, was the Borealopelta, a model of an armoured dinosaur that was formally named and described in 2017 (Brown et al).

The CollectA Borealopelta Dinosaur Model

CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Borealopelta.

The CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Borealopelta dinosaur model.  CollectA have recently rebranded their prehistoric animal range and called it the “Age of Dinosaurs”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

One of the largest models introduced is that of the Brazilian pterosaur Caiuajara (C. dobruskii), it measures 23 centimetres long and that spectacular crest stands around 22 centimetres high.  It is a fantastic model of a flying reptile.  The Caiuajara model has an articulated lower jaw and it is great to see a replica of a pterosaur added to the CollectA model range.

The CollectA Deluxe Caiuajara Pterosaur Model with a Moveable Jaw

The CollectA Caiuajara with a moveable jaw.

The CollectA Deluxe Caiuajara pterosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The CollectA Edaphosaurus and Carnotaurus Figures

Dinosaur fans had been asking CollectA to produce a large, deluxe version of Carnotaurus to accompany their growing range of different types of Theropod dinosaur included in the deluxe model range.  The CollectA Carnotaurus is spectacular and it has already attracted a number of positive comments on Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page.  The Edaphosaurus figure has also been eagerly anticipated.  CollectA made a commitment some time ago to include more animals from the Palaeozoic in their model range.  The CollectA Edaphosaurus is the latest example of this policy.

The CollectA Edaphosaurus and the CollectA Deluxe Carnotaurus

CollectA Edaphosaurus and the CollectA Carnotaurus models.

The CollectA Edaphosaurus and the CollectA Carnotaurus models.  The CollectA Deluxe Carnotaurus (top) and the CollectA Edaphosaurus (bottom).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It is fantastic to see the first of the new for 2019 CollectA prehistoric animal models arrive, we are looking forward to despatching the models to our customers who have requested these figures, these are certainly exciting times for CollectA.”

To view the range of Deluxe CollectA models available from Everything Dinosaur: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Models

To view the range of smaller, not to scale CollectA models and figures: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models

17 03, 2019

New Study “Cracks” Dinosaur Egg Mystery

By | March 17th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Dinosaurs Innovated When it Came to Egg Production

Many museums include the fossilised remains of dinosaur eggs amongst their natural history collections and palaeontologists are aware that reptiles were laying eggs on land long before the dinosaurs evolved, but what we know about the evolution of reptile eggs (amniotic eggs in general), is largely based on inference and conjecture.  The problem is, for the first 100 million years or so of amniote evolution, there is very little fossil data related to reptile reproduction to study.  What we do know, is based on Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous fossils.  Although, dinosaur eggs are rare, the examples we do have, such as those associated with Asian oviraptorids demonstrate that dinosaur eggs had thick, hardened shells.  However, a new study suggests that it was not always like this and that the three main Sub-orders of the Dinosauria probably evolved thick, tough eggs independently.

Examples of Eggs from Different Archosaurs (Avian and Non-avian Dinosaurs)

Examples of fossil Archosaur eggs.

Examples of whole or partial fossilised eggs.

Picture Credit: Royal Society Open Science

Studying Some of the World’s Oldest Dinosaur Eggs Reveals New Information

Writing in the on-line, open access journal “Scientific Reports”, a team of scientists, including Robert Reisz (University of Toronto Mississauga) and Koen Stein (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels), have examined some of the oldest examples of dinosaur eggs known and revealed new information about the evolution of dinosaur reproduction.  The researchers examined the eggs and eggshells of three coeval, but geographically widely distributed Early Jurassic basal Sauropodomorph dinosaurs (Sinemurian faunal stage).  These fossils came from Argentina, China and South Africa and include the eggs of Massospondylus and Lufengosaurus.  Their analysis showed that the basal Sauropodomorph eggs all had the basic structure, they had a thin calcareous layer less than 100 microns thick.  This thin shell layer contrasts strongly with the much thicker calcareous shells associated with Late Jurassic and later dinosaur eggs.

At approximately 195 million years old, they are the earliest known eggs in the fossil record, and they were all laid by similar, herbivorous dinosaurs that ranged in size from four to eight metres in length and were the most common and widely spread dinosaurs of their time.  These types of plant-eating dinosaur were the forerunners of the giant Sauropods of the Jurassic, dinosaurs such as Brontosaurus, Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus.

A Massospondylus Nesting Site (Life Reconstruction)

Massospondylus nesting site - life reconstruction.

Massospondylus (basal Sauropodomorpha) nesting site. Massospondylus fossil eggs from South Africa were used in the study.

Picture Credit: Julius Csotonyi

Putting the research into context Professor Reisz explained:

“Reptile and mammal precursors appear as skeletons in the fossil record starting 316 million years ago, yet we know nothing of their eggs and eggshells until 120 million years later.  It’s a great mystery that eggs suddenly show up at this point, but not earlier.”

The researchers concluded that these Early Jurassic eggs represented a step in the evolution of dinosaur reproduction, their shells were paper-thin and brittle, proportionately much thinner than the eggs of extant birds.  However, thicker, tougher eggshells in the Dinosauria were to evolve across all three Sub-orders later.  The much thicker eggshells associated with Sauropods, Ornithischian dinosaurs and the Theropoda must have evolved independently.

Professor Reisz added:

“We know that these early eggs had hard shells because during fossilisation they cracked and broke, but the shell pieces retained their original curvature.”

Other authors of the scientific paper include Edina Prondvai and Jean-Marc Baele.  Shell thickness was analysed along with membrane thickness, mineral content and distribution of pores, looking for clues about why these early eggs might have developed hard shells.  The scientists concluded that hard-shelled eggs evolved early in dinosaur evolution, with thickening of the calcareous layer (greater than 150 microns), occurring independently in several groups, but a few million years later other reptiles also developed hard-shelled eggs.  One possibility is that hard and eventually thicker shells may have evolved to shield dinosaur embryos and other reptiles from predators.

Professor Reisz commented:

“The hard shells would protect the embryos from invertebrates that could burrow into the buried egg nests and destroy them.”

Linked to Increased Oxygen in the Atmosphere

Advanced mineralisation of amniote eggshell including those of dinosaurs (≥150 microns in thickness), in general occurred not earlier than the Middle Jurassic and may correspond with a global trend of an increase in atmospheric oxygen.  If there were higher levels of atmospheric oxygen, then this would facilitate more efficient gaseous exchange through the porous eggshell and across the egg membranes.  More efficient diffusion would permit the evolution of thicker eggshells, which in turn would offer greater resistance to damage and more protection from predators.

A Lufengosaurus Embryo

The embryo of a Lufengosaurus

New research into 195 million-year-old baby dinosaurs and their eggs.

Picture Credit: D. Mazierski

Raising Further Questions About Mesozoic Reproduction Strategies

The study raises some intriguing questions that may well lead to further research projects.  For example, palaeontologists are aware that many types of marine reptile evolved viviparity (live birth), whilst the fossil evidence for the terrestrial Dinosauria seems to indicate that they continued to rely on egg laying.  Why didn’t the highly diverse dinosaurs evolve different reproductive strategies over their 160 million years of existence?

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the University of Toronto in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Structure and Evolutionary Implications of the Earliest (Sinemurian, Early Jurassic) Dinosaur Eggs and Eggshells” by Koen Stein, Edina Prondvai, Timothy Huang, Jean-Marc Baele, P. Martin Sander and Robert Reisz published in Scientific Reports.

16 03, 2019

JurassicCollectables Unboxing A Trio of T. rex Figures

By | March 16th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

JurassicCollectables Unboxing A Trio of T. rex Figures

The talented team at JurassicCollectables got a surprise this week.  A large box was delivered to them, it came from us at Everything Dinosaur, but what did it contain?  The narrator could hardly contain his excitement as he carefully cut through the securing tape and examined the contents.  Inside, were all three of the rare, limited edition Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex dinosaur figures.  A trio of Tyrannosaurus rex models from Japan for JurassicCollectables to review.

An Unboxing Video (Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex Figures) from JurassicCollectables

Video Credit: JurassicCollectables

What’s in the Box?

In this short video (it lasts just under three minutes), the narrator discovers all three of the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex figures.  First out of the box is the yellow and black colour variant of this articulated dinosaur model series (SOFUBITOYBOX018A TYRANNOSAURUS REX).  The next dinosaur to feature is the “smoke green” colour variant from Kaiyodo (SOFUBITOYBOX018B TYRANNOSAURUS REX) and last but not least, the narrator reveals that the parcel also contained the beautiful “classic” colour variant which comes in its own presentation pack.

The narrator comments that he had to find a new place to shoot the video, as the box was so large, the three models are surprisingly big, they each measure around twenty-seven centimetres long.

All Three of the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex Dinosaur Figures

Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex figures.

The Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex figures.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Clever Articulation

All three models were made to highlight the capabilities of the design team at Kaiyodo, when it comes to constructing articulated prehistoric animal figures.  Each model has a total of ten points of articulation, as far as we at Everything Dinosaur know, this is the largest amount of articulation in any T. rex collectable figure which stands under thirty centimetres high.  The neck, the upper jaw, forelimbs and both ankles are articulated.  In addition, there are two points of articulation associated with the tail.

The Dinosaur Models can be placed in Different Poses

Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex figures.

Two of the Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex dinosaur models together.  Each model has ten points of articulation so that they can be put in different poses.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of Kaiyodo dinosaur models available from Everything Dinosaur: Kaiyodo Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Figures

A History of Tyrannosaurus rex Poses in One Dinosaur Figure

The concept behind the design of these limited edition figures, is quite simple.  Kaiyodo wanted to produce a single dinosaur model that permitted the collector to place the T. rex in all its poses that have been proposed for how this dinosaur stood since it was formally named and scientifically described back in 1905.  This was quite a challenge, however, each model can be put into the traditional “kangaroo stance”, with the tail resting on the ground.  It can also be posed in numerous other configurations, representing more modern approaches to the stance of this hypercarnivore from the Late Cretaceous of North America.

The “Smoke Green” Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex Standing Tall

Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex dinosaur model (smoke green).

The Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box “smoke green” T. rex dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Rare Dinosaur Models

When first produced, these three figures were part of a limited production run and all colour versions are now all out of production (we think).  These Japanese models are certainly very rare and not widely available.  The Kaiyodo Sofubi articulated Tyrannosaurus rex figures are for collectors, they are classified as “collectable prehistoric animal figures”, as such they have a 15 years and above age classification.  These are articulated dinosaur models that have an age rating!

The “Classic” Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box Tyrannosaurus rex

The "Classic" Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box T. rex.

The “classic” Kaiyodo Sofubi Toy Box Tyrannosaurus rex figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We look forward to watching the model reviews from JurassicCollectables.

To see the huge range of prehistoric animal model reviews made by JurassicCollectables, check out their amazing YouTube channel, don’t forget to subscribe!  Catch: JurassicCollectables on YouTube.

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