All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
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Dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed articles, features and stories.

29 09, 2019

Kit Out Your Young Palaeontologists

By | September 29th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Kit Out Your Young Palaeontologists

Kit out your budding, young palaeontologists like seasoned dinosaur hunters with these two super additions to the Everything Dinosaur product range.  We have a young palaeontologist field kit and a child’s dinosaur themed hard hat to help turn enthusiastic young dinosaur fans into experienced fossil collectors.

The Dinosaur Explorer Hard Hat

Dinosaur explorer hard hat.

Go exploring for dinosaur fossils with this child’s dinosaur explorer hard hat.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Go Hunting for Dinosaur Fossils

Go exploring for dinosaur fossil bones and teeth with this super, child’s dinosaur themed hard hat.  The hard hat comes complete with a headlamp torch to help illuminate the young explorer’s path.  Please note, this is a hat ideal for role play and dressing up games and that this is not a piece of actual safety apparel, although the hat with its motif of dinosaur skeletons, claws and teeth is much more attractive than our own hard hats that we wear.  The torch requires two AA batteries (not supplied), but the hat comes with comprehensive instructions about fitting/changing batteries.  The child’s hard hat even has an adjustable plastic strap, just like a real hard hat, so you can ensure that the hat fits snug and secure.

The Dinosaur Explorer Palaeontologist Field Kit

Dinosaur Explorer Young Palaeontologists Field Kit.

The young palaeontologist dinosaur explorer kit contains a sturdy plastic water bottle along with a toy compass and a pair of dinosaur themed binoculars.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur Explorer Field Palaeontologist Kit

What a super idea for a Christmas gift!  We suspect that your young dinosaur fan will be roaring with excitement when they see this field palaeontologist kit.  The field kit contains the essentials to help budding young dinosaur hunters to explore and hunt for dinosaur fossils.  There is a sturdy and robust bright red water bottle, which you can write your name on.  The kit also includes a pair of dinosaur themed binoculars and a toy compass to help you plot your way through the Hell Creek Formation of Montana, or your garden, whichever is the nearest.

The Young Palaeontologist Dinosaur Explorer Palaeontologist Field Kit (Contents)

A palaeontologist field kit.

Dinosaur Explorer Young Palaeontologist Field Kit.  The kit contains a toy compass, a sturdy, plastic water bottle and a pair of dinosaur themed binoculars to help you spot fossils!

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The child’s hard hat and the dinosaur explorer field palaeontologist set are great for creative and imaginative play.  Helping to enthuse the next generation of Earth scientists with exciting games and role play.

To view the dinosaur explorer young palaeontologists field kit and the child’s hard hat, simply visit this section of our website: Dinosaur Gifts and Toys.

25 09, 2019

Stiff Skull Helped T. rex Crush Bones

By | September 25th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Stiff Skull Helped T. rex Crush Bones

Numerous research papers have been published about those monstrous jaws and huge skull of Tyrannosaurus rex.  Many of the studies have examined the biomechanics in a bid to better understand the bite forces that this Late Cretaceous terror could generate.  It is widely accepted that T. rex had a bone crushing bite, but just how it managed to crush the bones of a Triceratops or an unfortunate Edmontosaurus without damaging itself, has puzzled palaeontologists.  A new study, published in the journal “The Anatomical Record”, suggests that the T. rex skull was much stiffer than previously thought, much more like a crocodile skull or that of a hyena than a scaled-up, flexible bird skull.

New Study Suggests T. rex Had a Stiff Skull

"Scotty" the Tyrannosaurus rex.

A reconstruction of the skeleton of “Scotty” the T. rex.  Regarded as the heaviest specimen of T. rex known to science.   A new study suggests that like other bone-crushing tetrapods, the skull was functionally akinetic.

Picture Credit: Amanda Kelley

One of the co-authors of the study, Kaleb Sellers of the Missouri University School of Medicine explained:

“The T. rex had a skull that’s about six feet long, five feet wide and four feet high and bites with the force of about six tons.  Previous researchers looked at this from a bone-only perspective without taking into account all the connections, ligaments and cartilage that really mediate the interactions between the bones.”

Computer Generated Models Examined Stresses in the Upper Skull with a Focus on the Palatal Area

T. rex skull stress test.

Computer generated models were created to assess the stresses placed on an adult T. rex skull.

Picture Credit: University of Missouri

Looking at the Roof of the Mouth (Palatal Area)

The scientists, which included Kevin Middleton of the Missouri University School of Medicine, M. Scott Echols of The Medical Centre for Birds, Lawrence Witmer of Ohio University and Julian Davis (University of Southern Indiana), used a combination of anatomical study, computer modelling and biomechanical analysis assessing the skulls of a gecko and a parrot to examine how the skull of this apex Late Cretaceous predator was adapted to deliver such powerful bites.

Casey Holliday, from the University of Missouri, who also helped to write the scientific paper commented:

“Dinosaurs are like modern-day birds, crocodiles and lizards in that they inherited particular joints in their skulls from fish — ball and socket joints, much like people’s hip joints — that seem to lend themselves, but not always, to movement like in snakes.  When you put a lot of force on things, there’s a trade-off between movement and stability.  Birds and lizards have more movement but less stability.  When we applied their individual movements to the T. rex skull, we saw it did not like being wiggled in ways that the lizard and bird skulls do, which suggests more stiffness.”

A Functionally Akinetic Skull

Tyrannosaurus rex is considered to have one of the strongest bites of any terrestrial tetrapod.  There are lots of scientific papers and other literature that document this evidence.  Over the years, Everything Dinosaur have produced many articles on this subject area, including a blog post that summarised research published in “Biology Letters” – T. rex had a Bite More Powerful than any Other Land Animal.

The Skull and Jaws of Tyrannosaurus rex

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.  T. rex is famous for its huge and powerful jaws.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Biomechanical Paradox

The skull of T. rex has been regarded as quite flexible by palaeontologists, that is, it exhibits a degree of cranial kinensis.  The joints in the skull are quite mobile and flexible in relation to each other and the animal’s braincase.  This contradicts with what is seen in many extant tetrapods who are known to have a powerful, bone smashing bite.  Alligators and hyenas for example, have relatively robust and inflexible skulls, when compared to the skull of a bird or a lizard.  If the T. rex skull was flexible but still capable of delivering an enormous bite force, this is a biomechanical paradox, it defies a logical explanation.  Furthermore, the greatest bite forces measured for crocodilians and hyenas (ourselves for example too), are detected towards the back of the jaws, whereas, in Tyrannosaurus rex, the largest bite forces that have been calculated are recorded at the front of the jaws.

This New Analysis Suggests that the T. rex Skull was Functionally Akinetic

T. rex upper skull diagram.

Lateral and ventral views of a T. rex skull. The skull may have been more robust and stiffer than previously thought.

Picture Credit: University of Missouri

The researchers identified a number of adaptations in the cranium of T. rex to support the idea that the skull was not as flexible as previously thought.  The scientists postulate that the skull was functionally akinetic (much stiffer than previously surmised).

Research that Provides a Better Understanding of Our Own Joints and Bones

This study will help palaeontologists to better understand the function of tyrannosaurid skulls and the researchers postulate that their findings can help advance human and veterinary medicine.

The study, “Palatal biomechanics and its significance for cranial kinesis in Tyrannosaurus rex”, was published in The Anatomical Record.  Authors include Kevin Middleton of the Missouri University School of Medicine; M. Scott Echols of The Medical Centre for Birds; Lawrence Witmer of Ohio University and Julian Davis of University of Southern Indiana.

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

23 09, 2019

Papo Models on Display

By | September 23rd, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Papo Prehistoric Animal Models on Display

At Everything Dinosaur, we are always keen to see how the prehistoric animal models that we supply are displayed.  Our staff are constantly amazed by the incredible dinosaur dioramas and prehistoric landscapes that are built by our customers.  Take for example, Donovan from Canada.   An enthusiastic collector of Papo figures “Les Dinosaures”, Donovan has built a substantial display case for the Papo models within his collection.

A Prehistoric World Dominated by Papo Prehistoric Animals

A fantastic display of Papo dinosaurs and prehistoric animal figures.

A fabulous display of Papo prehistoric animal figures.

Picture Credit: Donovan

A Splendid Dinosaur Display!

The recent Everything Dinosaur purchases have been added to Donovan’s dinosaur diorama.  The new for 2019 Papo Pentaceratops can be seen on the left of the picture (above),  in between the huge Papo Brachiosaurus and just behind the Papo Ankylosaurus model.  It had better look out as emerging from the trees we can see a Papo running T. rex model lurking, perhaps getting ready to ambush the unwary horned dinosaur!

Papo Prehistoric Animal Models on Display

A wonderful display of prehistoric animal models featuring Papo dinosaurs and othe models.

Papo models on display.  A wonderful display featuring Papo dinosaur models and a number of other prehistoric animal models.  Can you spot the Papo Dimetrodon?

Picture Credit: Donovan

Clever Use of Silhouettes

Providing a backdrop to the model display are some excellent silhouettes that help to provide an illusion of depth.   They are very well drawn and we congratulate our Canadian customer for such a creatively constructed prehistoric landscape.  There is certainly plenty of detail to admire, including a Therizinosaurus defending itself from an attacking Acrocanthosaurus and an unfortunate Styracosaurus that has been grabbed by a crocodile.

After providing permission for Everything Dinosaur to post up some pictures of his handiwork, Donovan explained that his personal prehistoric park took many hours to plan and to build, he commented:

“It took a lot of hard work for me to build that toy box/ display case.  I hope to finish the bookshelf case this winter that will go with the toy box and display the other half of our Papo figures.”

A Variety of Landscapes Feature in the Display Including a Desert and a Watering Hole

A desert scene featuring some Papo prehistoric animal models.

A desert scene has been incorporated into the Papo model display.  Note the rare, original Papo Oviraptor model in the foreground.

Picture Credit: Donovan

We congratulate Donovan on his fine prehistoric animal display, the diorama even has lighting to showcase his model collection.

Beware of the Dinosaur!  The Fantastic Prehistoric Animal Model Display Case

Papo prehistoric animal models on display at night.

A beautifully lit Papo prehistoric animal display case.

Picture Credit: Donovan

To view the Papo prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals.

22 09, 2019

The Second Velociraptor Species – Velociraptor osmolskae

By | September 22nd, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

The Second Velociraptor Species – Velociraptor osmolskae

The second Velociraptor species to be scientifically described – V. osmolskae, is very similar to V. mongoliensis.  However, the known fossil material has sufficient autapomorphies to support the erection of a separate species.  It is intriguing that the Djadochta and Bayan Mandahu Formations have yielded a very similar dinosaur fauna.  For example, Velociraptor mongoliensis, Protoceratops andrewsi, and Pinacosaurus grangeri are synonymous with the Djadochta Formation.  In contrast, V. osmolskae is associated with the Bayan Mandahu Formation, and this member of the Velociraptorinae subfamily shared its environment with Protoceratops hellenikorhinus, and Pinacosaurus mephistocephalus.

These differences in the biota associated with each geological formation might be due to some form of natural barrier separating the regions where these two deposits were formed.  Evidence for any substantial barrier that would deter the movement of animals from one area to another has proved elusive.  It might be and indeed, many palaeontologists favour this hypothesis, that the different faunas can be explained by there being a temporal difference between the two formations, i.e. one formation is younger than the other.

Everything Dinosaur’s Scale Drawing of Velociraptor osmolskae

Drawing of Velociraptor osmolskae.

A drawing of Velociraptor osmolskae.  It is estimated that this little “raptor”  measured around 1.8 metres in length (mostly tail), stood approximately 1 metre high and weighed around 15 kilograms.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

21 09, 2019

PNSO Box Art

By | September 21st, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page|0 Comments

The Fantastic Box Art on the PNSO Megalodon Figure (Patton)

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have received a lot of very positive comments about the cover sleeve artwork on the PNSO Megalodon model.  The company has gained a tremendous reputation for its artwork, thanks largely to the input of famous Chinese palaeoartist Zhao Chuang, who has illustrated numerous scientific papers highlighting fossil discoveries.  The artwork, showing a large shark breaking the surface with its huge teeth-lined jaws gaping has received lots of praise.

The Beautiful and Highly Detailed Cover Sleeve Artwork – PNSO Megalodon Model “Patton”

Brilliant artwork on the PNSO Megalodon model cover sleeve.

The amazing, colourful sleeve artwork on the PNSO Megalodon figure.  A fantastic illustration of the giant prehistoric shark Megalodon.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

PNSO have lots of other prehistoric animal figures in the pipeline, we look forward to seeing the box art that will accompany these models.

20 09, 2019

Japan’s Greatest Fossil Dinosaur Gets a Name

By | September 20th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Kamuysaurus japonicus – Japan’s Newest Dinosaur

Earlier this month, a scientific paper was published providing details of Japan’s most complete dinosaur fossil known to science.  The dinosaur, a member of the Hadrosauridae, has been named Kamuysaurus japonicus, with the Rugby World Cup starting today in the “land of the rising sun”, we thought it appropriate to feature this new species of Late Cretaceous duck-billed dinosaur in today’s blog post.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Japanese Dinosaur Kamuysaurus japonicus

Kamuysaurus life reconstruction.

A herd of Kamuysaurus wander along a beach.   In the illustration by Masato Hattori, a trio Kamuysaurus wander across a beach some 72 mya, the fossilised remains, representing a single animal was discovered in marine strata.

Picture Credit:  Kobayashi Y., et al, Scientific Reports

The fossils come from the part Cretaceous to Palaeocene-aged Hakobuchi Formation, specifically from outcrops close to the town of Mukawa on the island of Hokkaido.  Despite the semi-articulated and nearly complete nature of the fossil material, some bones are heavily damaged and show signs of extensive bioerosion (damage caused by marine invertebrates boring into the bones), prior to burial.  The strata associated with the fossil material has yielded ammonites, mosasaurs and the remains of a sea turtle, it is correlated to the lowest Maastrichtian (faunal stage).

At Everything Dinosaur, we have followed the research into this new species of duck-billed dinosaur with eager anticipation.  We first wrote about this fossil discovery some years ago, when tail bones discovered eroding out of a hillside hinted at a very special dinosaur fossil find:  Japan’s Most Complete Dinosaur Discovery

Assigned to the Edmontosaurini Clade

In the current study, a group of researchers led by Professor Yoshitsugu Kobayashi of the Hokkaido University Museum conducted comparative and phylogenetic analyses on 350 bones and 70 taxa of hadrosaurids, which led to the discovery that the dinosaur belongs to the Edmontosaurini clade and is closely related to Kerberosaurus unearthed in Russia and Laiyangosaurus from China.  This herbivorous dinosaur was named after the indigenous people of Hokkaido, the specific name refers to Japan.  It translates as “the deity of Japanese dinosaurs”.

The Holotype Skeleton of Kamuysaurus

Holotype specimen of Kamuysaurus.

Holotype skeleton of Kamuysaurus japonicus (a). Reconstructed skeleton showing recovered elements in white (b).  Its unique characteristics include the anterior inclination of neural spines of the sixth to twelfth dorsal vertebrae.

Picture Credit: Kobayashi Y., et al Scientific Reports

The researchers found that Kamuysaurus has three unique characteristics that are not shared by other dinosaurs in the Edmontosaurini clade: the low position of the cranial bone notch, the short ascending process of the jaw bone, and the anterior inclination of the neural spines of the sixth to twelfth dorsal vertebrae.  The histological analysis revealed that the animal was a fully grown adult at least nine years of age and it measured 8 metres in length with a body mass of around 4,000 kilograms.

The frontal bone, a part of its skull, has a big articular facet connecting to the nasal bone, possible evidence that Kamuysaurus may have had a crest.  The crest, if it existed, is believed to resemble the thin, flat crest of Brachylophosaurus subadults, whose fossils have been unearthed in North America.

Selected Skull Elements of Kamuysaurus japonicus

Selected skull elements of Kamuysaurus.

Selected skull elements of Kamuysaurus japonicus.  Its unique characteristics include the low position of the cranial bone notch (quadratojugal notch, qjn) and the short ascending process of the jaw bone (surangular, acp)

Picture Credit: Kobayashi Y., et al Scientific Reports

The study also shed light on the origin of the Edmontosaurini clade and how it might have migrated.  Its latest common ancestors spread widely across Asia and North America, which were connected by what is now Alaska, allowing them to travel between the two continents.  Among them, the clade of Kamuysaurus, Kerberosaurus and Laiyangosaurus inhabited the Far East during the Campanian faunal stage, the fifth of six ages of the Late Cretaceous, before evolving independently.

The research team’s analyses pointed to the possibility that ancestors of hadrosaurids and its subfamilies, Hadrosaurinae and Lambeosaurinae, preferred to inhabit areas near the ocean, suggesting the coastline environment was an important factor in the diversification of the hadrosaurids in its early evolution, especially in North America.

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

The “A New Hadrosaurine (Dinosauria: Hadrosauridae) from the Marine Deposits of the Late Cretaceous Hakobuchi Formation, Yezo Group, Japan” by Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, Tomohiro Nishimura, Ryuji Takasaki, Kentaro Chiba, Anthony R. Fiorillo, Kohei Tanaka, Tsogtbaatar Chinzorig, Tamaki Sato and Kazuhiko Sakurai published in the journal Scientific Reports.

19 09, 2019

Saturnalia Gets Its Head Examined

By | September 19th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

New Study Suggests Saturnalia Had a Small Head

The South American sauropodomorph Saturnalia (S. tupiniquim) lived some 233 million years ago.  As dinosaurs go, this 1.4 metre long animal might not be regarded as a superstar of the Dinosauria, it is not likely to be offered a starring role in any new instalment of the Jurassic Park movie franchise, but for palaeontologists, Saturnalia is a very significant dinosaur indeed.  Described twenty years ago, the skeleton of this little dinosaur demonstrates both sauropod and theropod traits and as such, any additional information gleaned about it can cause quite considerable shock waves in palaeontological circles.

A Life Reconstruction of Saturnalia tupiniquim

A life reconstruction of Saturnalia.

New study on the skull Saturnalia suggests it had a disproportionately small head.

Picture Credit: Rodolfo Nogueira

New Study Published in the Journal PLOS One

Scientists from the Universidade de São Paulo in collaboration with a colleague from the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria have published a new study of the skull shape and size of Saturnalia in the on-line academic journal PLOS One.  The research team conclude that Saturnalia had a skull less than 10 centimetres in length, quite small in relation to the size of the animal.  Because it had a long neck and a small, lightweight skull, Saturnalia may have been able to move its head very quickly, helping it to secure tiny, elusive prey.  This idea is also supported by a study of the teeth of this dinosaur and brain shape inferred from an analysis of the skull bones.

The Skull of Saturnalia

Analysing the skull of Saturnalia.

The skull of Saturnalia was examined using computerised tomography.  The picture shows the skull elements that were subjected to the CT scan and a line drawing shows a lateral view of the proposed skull of Saturnalia (known fossil elements in green).

Picture Credit: Rodolfo Nogueira

A Reduced Skull

Computerised microtomography was used to assess the shape and structure of the delicate skull fossils still entombed inside their rock matrix.  This non-destructive technique enabled the research team to reconstruct the skull of this dinosaur and to identify the reduced skull.

One of the authors of the scientific paper, Mario Bronzati, postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Biology at the Ribeirão Preto School of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil) commented:

“It was very difficult to remove the fossil from the sediment in which it was trapped.  Doing so in the traditional way by scraping the sediment could break these bones because they were so fragile.”

Although numerous papers on Saturnalia tupiniquim have been published, little was known about the morphology of the skull.  The three-dimensional images that were created as a result of this analysis provided the researchers with the opportunity to study the head of this dinosaur in detail and the reconstruct the skull of this Late Triassic dinosaur.

A Diagram Showing the Skull of Saturnalia

Saturnalia skull diagram.

A diagram of the skull of Saturnalia (lateral view and dorsal view).

Picture Credit: PLOS One

The skull is disproportionately small when compared to the size of the dinosaur’s body.  It is thought that Saturnalia was carnivorous, eating small prey items  such as lizards, mammals and insects, but the consumption of plants cannot be ruled out.  The reduced skull is a characteristic of the Sauropodomorpha lineage and demonstrated in later sauropods such as Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus.  The specialisation of the skull and neck of Saturnalia has implications for the evolution of these lizard-hipped dinosaurs as later forms became entirely herbivorous.  Skull reduction significantly reduced the biomechanical contraints for the development of long necks, in turn, longer necks permitted access to food resources that were unreachable for other plant-eating dinosaurs.  This would have helped to provide a competitive advantage and might explain why later sauropods grew to such large sizes.  Thus, the idea that skull reduction was first acquired in a likely predatory member of the sauropodomorph lineage (i.e. Saturnalia) implies a scenario where a trait related to one habit (faunivory) was crucial for the evolution of a completely different lifestyle (herbivory) in a subsequently different selection regime.

18 09, 2019

Everything Dinosaur Handling UK and European Beasts of the Mesozoic Kickstarter Rewards

By | September 18th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Handling UK and European Kickstarter Action Figure Rewards

With the launch of the Kickstarter campaign for the Beasts of the Mesozoic Ceratopsian series, these are exciting times for model collectors and dinosaur fans.  Everything Dinosaur, the UK-based, specialist prehistoric animal mail order company is proud to have been associated with the Beasts of the Mesozoic range of collectable figures for several years and will be handling the fulfilment of all the Kickstarter action figure rewards for this prestigious campaign for Ceratopsian Kickstarter backers within the UK and European Union.

The Beasts of the Mesozoic Ceratopsian Series Kickstarter Has Launched

Ceratopsian series - Beasts of the Mesozoic

Beasts of the Mesozoic Ceratopsian Series.  An exciting new range of articulated horned dinosaur figures.

Everything Dinosaur’s Involvement

The involvement of Everything Dinosaur in the fulfilment aspect of the campaign further cements the close working relationship between the talented team behind Creative Beast Studio and the logistics experts at an award-winning company.  Dinosaur fans are going to be elated about this new Kickstarter project, but the design and build process is just one phase in meeting the needs of model collectors.  Followers of the previous “Raptor” Kickstarter project will be all too aware of the difficulties that can arise during the production process.  Once produced, other issues can be encountered as these models are despatched to project supporters.  By involving Everything Dinosaur in the fulfilment, supporters within the UK and Europe can be assured that their figures will be despatched by Everything Dinosaur from their European base.  This substantially reduces the risk of customers incurring additional taxes, custom duties and tariffs.

What a Line Up!  A Cornucopia of Ceratopsians

A selection of some of the amazing Beasts of the Mesozoic Ceratopsians.

A selection of Beasts of the Mesozoic horned dinosaur models.  The Kickstarter campaign outlines a schedule of ten models being released in September 2020, with a further eight new figures in March 2021.  If all goes to plan, a third wave consisting of seven more dinosaurs will be available in September 2021.

Ceratopsian Figures Coming into Stock

As well as handling the fulfilment for European and UK customers, Everything Dinosaur will be bringing in their own bulk stock of these figures, this should ensure a swift and trouble free route for the models from the factory to UK warehousing without customs delays, thus ensuring that Kickstarter backers can receive their pledged items promptly.

In addition, as  Everything Dinosaur will be carrying stocks of the Beasts of the Mesozoic ranges, fans can add to their figure collection easily and conveniently via Everything Dinosaur’s own website.

The Beasts of the Mesozoic Xenoceratops Figure

Beasts of the Mesozoic Xenoceratops.

The Beasts of the Mesozoic Xenoceratops figure, part of this exciting new model range.

 

Mike Walley from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Fulfilment operations on a global scale can be quite a tricky business.  Fans of the excellent Beasts of the Mesozoic model range want to get these models without any additional burdens.  At Everything Dinosaur, our warehouse team despatch parcels to Europe and the UK all the time, our customers are well-used to our seamless and efficient delivery service.  Whilst we cannot guarantee that customers may incur additional expense in the form of duties and taxes, or indeed that international trading terms and conditions may change, in our experience when supplying European and UK customers from our UK warehousing we are have not heard of any problems arising .  We take great care to ensure that parcels are labelled correctly and despatched appropriately, after all, we have a 5-star customer service rating from Feefo as well as an award for Gold Standard service.”

To visit the new Beasts of the Mesozoic Kickstarter site: Ceratopsian Kickstarter Campaign

To view the existing range of Beasts of the Mesozoic prehistoric animal figures available from Everything Dinosaur: Beasts of the Mesozoic “Raptors”

14 09, 2019

Helping to Unravel the Troublesome Teleosauroids

By | September 14th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

New Fossil Study of Jurassic Crocodile Confirms Identity

Numerous genera of Jurassic and Cretaceous marine crocodiles have been described.  However, since many of these genera were erected in the 18th and 19th centuries, sometimes these fossil remains have to be revisited as new discoveries provide additional information.  Take the case of Mystriosaurus laurillardi, a teleosauroid known from fossils found in Germany and in the United Kingdom.  The taxonomy of the teleosauroids has been blighted by the problems associated with  Steneosaurus bollensis.  Specimens have been “lumped” into this species only to be subsequently reassigned.  A new study, published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica demonstrates that Mystriosaurus is a distinct species.

A Life Reconstruction of Mystriosaurus laurillardi

Mystriosaurus laurillardi life reconstruction.

Life reconstruction Mystriosaurus laurillardi.

Picture Credit: Julia Beier

Marine Predator

M. laurillardi grew to about four metres in length.  The long and narrow jaws and the teeth associated with this marine predator suggest that it fed primarily on fish (piscivore).  It lived 180 million years ago (Toarcian faunal stage of the Early Jurassic).  A fossil skull found in southern Germany in the 1770’s had previously been described as Steneosaurus bollensis, a contemporaneous member of the Teleosauridae, but in this new assessment of the cranial material, the researchers led by scientists from the Naturkunde-Museum Bielefeld (Germany) and scientists from Edinburgh University, concluded that the skull represented M. laurillardi.

The research team also announced that another crocodilian skull found in Yorkshire (Mulgrave Shale Member, Whitby Mudstone Formation), should also be assigned to Mystriosaurus laurillardi.

The Holotype Cranial Material of M. laurillardi from southern Germany

M. laurillardi holotype cranial material.

The holotype material of M. laurillardi from southern Germany.

Picture Credit: Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, Sachs et al.

Sorting Out Steneosaurus brevior

Previously, the crocodilian skull from Yorkshire had been named Steneosaurus brevior, the scientists suggest that this name is now a junior synonym of Mystriosaurus laurillardi.  Intriguingly, a phylogenetic assessment  indicates that Mystriosaurus was closely related to Steneosaurus, but it is probably more closely related to a Chinese teleosauroid (previously known as Peipehsuchus), than any European form.

13 09, 2019

The First Pterosaur Unique to Canada

By | September 13th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Under a Giant’s Wing – Cryodraken boreas

A new species of giant pterosaur has been named and described from fossil material excavated from the famous Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation in southern Alberta (Canada).  The flying reptile represents one of the geologically oldest azhdarchid pterosaurs described to date from North America.  It is the first flying reptile genus to be erected from Dinosaur Provincial Park fossils.  Writing in the academic publication, the “Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology”, researchers from Queen Mary University of London, the University of Southern California, and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology (Alberta), describe Cryodraken boreas and estimate that it could have been one of the largest flying vertebrates to have ever lived.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Azhdarchid Pterosaur Cryodraken boreas

The Canadian azhdarchid pterosaur C. boreas.

A life reconstruction of the Canadian pterosaur Cryodraken boreas.

Picture Credit: David Maas

Pterosaurs from the Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation

Despite the discovery of many thousands of dinosaur bones from the Dinosaur Provincial Park (DPP), the fossilised remains of pterosaurs are exceptionally rare.  Their delicate, pneumatised bones do not do well when it comes to the fossilisation process.  What fossils that have been found, since the first discoveries made in 1972, are highly fragmentary and difficult to assign down to the genus level.  Individual cervical vertebrae, metacarpals and metatarsal bones have been described as representing azhdarchid pterosaurs as they bore resemblance to Montanazhdarcho, a pterosaur known from contemporaneous strata some 150 miles or so, south of the DPP, or indeed to the Quetzalcoatlus genus known from the Javelina Formation of Texas.

In this scientific paper, the researchers examined undocumented pterosaur fossil material and reassessed previously studied fossils and concluded that the remains, bones from the wing, limb bones, cervical vertebrae and a rib originally assigned to Quetzalcoatlus were sufficient different to merit the establishment of a new azhdarchid pterosaur genus.

A Line Drawing of an Azhdarchid Pterosaur Neck Bone from the Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation

A line drawing of an azhdarchid pterosaur neck bone from the Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation.

A line drawing of an azhdarchid cervical vertebra in (A) ventral, (B) anterior and (C) posterior views.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Indiana University Press

“Cold Dragon”

The genus name is from the Greek and means “cold dragon”, reflecting the relatively high latitude where the fossils were found, commenting on why the fossils have been ascribed to a new genus, lead author Dr David Hone (Queen Mary University, London) stated:

“This is a cool discovery, we knew this animal was here but now we can show it is different to other azhdarchids and so it gets a name.”

Line Drawings of a Juvenile Azhdarchid Pterosaur Cervical Vertebra from the Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation

Juvenile pterosaur neck bone.

A juvenile azhdarchid cervical vertebra from the Upper Campanian strata of the Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur/Indiana University Press

The associated fossil material represents a young animal, with an estimated wingspan of five metres, but one giant cervical vertebra from the DPP, once thought to represent a partial femur, indicates that mature adults were comparable in size to Quetzalcoatlus northropi.

The slightly more robust bones from the DPP (when compared to Javelina Formation material), suggests that Cryodraken may have been slightly heavier than Quetzalcoatlus spp.  It is difficult to calculate bodyweights, but the press releases suggested an adult Cryodraken might have weighed in excess of 250 kilograms.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the Royal Tyrrell Museum, (Alberta) and a press release from Queen Mary University (London), in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Cryodraken boreas, gen. et sp. nov., a Late Cretaceous Canadian azhdarchid pterosaur” by David W. E. Hone, Michael B. Habib and François Therrien published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

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