Just for a bit of fun, Everything Dinosaur team members have created a little teaser for their fans and customers, can you identify the model from the image we have posted? There are no prizes, but our knowledgeable customers can be assured that they have our total respect if they can identify the prehistoric animal model from the image below.
Very Well-informed Customers, Fans and Followers of Everything Dinosaur
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“We are constantly amazed how well-informed and knowledgeable our customers, fans and followers on the Everything Dinosaur social media platforms are. We like to set little quizzes and tests from time to time just to keep them on their mettle, but we have not been able to get the better of our customer base to date.”
There are no prizes or awards on offer, just the satisfaction of having got the better of the Everything Dinosaur team members.
We will reveal the answer next week (week commencing 9th August 2021), providing an update on this exciting prehistoric animal replica.
Our thanks to dinosaur model fan and collector Luke who sent into Everything Dinosaur a photograph recreating a famous Charles R. Knight painting that features Tyrannosaurus rex confronting a herd of Triceratops. Having purchased the Rebor 1:35 scale Vintage Palaeoart Tyrannosaurus rex “Mesozoic Rhapsody” Valley, Luke was inspired to recreate the Charles R. Knight illustration that shows a short-faced Tyrannosaurus rex threatening a group of horned dinosaurs. The Triceratops models in the image sent to us by Luke are from the Papo range (Papo Triceratops dinosaur model).
The Original Tyrannosaurus rex Artwork
Charles Robert Knight (1874-1953), was an American artist, regarded as one of the most influential illustrators of prehistoric animals in the 20th century. His artwork appears in many museums, most notably the American Museum of Natural History (New York). He was commissioned to produce a life restoration of an entelodont for the Museum. Using his knowledge of anatomy and living animals he created a most impressive artwork, so much so that Dr Jacob Wortman of the American Museum of Natural History commissioned Knight to create a series of illustrations and murals for the galleries. We at Everything Dinosaur are not sure when the T. rex and Triceratops artwork was produced but some sources have suggested 1919.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“Our congratulations to Rebor fan Luke who has used his latest Rebor acquisition to recreate a famous piece of palaeoart. We think that Charles R. Knight would have been quite flattered to see his work from around a hundred years ago imitated in this way.”
Rebor have introduced two dinosaur figures into their “Retrosaurs” range of prehistoric animals. Joining “Mesozoic Rhapsody” is the Rebor 1:35 80s T-REX Toy HD Remastered “Californiacation” VHS. This range pays tribute to the way in which dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex were depicted in the 20th century.
Scientists have examined the fossilised remains of a large ornithopod dinosaur, whose fragmentary remains were discovered in 1963 and concluded that these remains represent one of the “oldest” dinosaurs known to science. The fossils assigned to a basal member of the Hadrosauroidea known as Gobihadros mongoliensis are not that geologically old, this dinosaur roamed Mongolia around 93 million years ago, the important point to note is that the fossils come from a very aged dinosaur. These fossilised bones have provided palaeontologists with a unique insight into the ageing process of non-avian dinosaurs.
Most Dinosaur Fossils Represent Young Animals
Palaeontologists classify vertebrate fossils such as dinosaur remains into three broad age categories. These categories are juvenile, subadult and adult. In the absence of a detailed assessment of bone structure examining lines of arrested growth (LAGs), that can provide a guide to the number of years an animal has lived, the age of the vertebrate is estimated by looking at the degree of ossification of the skeleton, the bone microstructure and the size of animal. Larger animals with more ossification present in their skeleton indicate older animals.
Most of the dinosaur fossil remains represent young animals such as subadults or juveniles. However, a team of scientists writing in the academic journal “Scientific Reports”, have published a paper looking at the fragmentary Gobihadros material that was discovered in 1963 and concluded that these bones represent a very aged dinosaur. How old is difficult to tell, but the presence of abnormal calcium deposits in some of its bones indicate that this Gobihadros suffered from a form of arthritis, which is found mostly in very old members of a population.
Probably Gobihadros mongoliensis
Elements representing limb bones, part of the left foot and nine tail bones (caudal vertebrae) have been preserved. The femur and tibia match fossil material assigned to Gobihadros (G. mongoliensis) which was named and described in 2019: A New Hadrosauroid Dinosaur from Mongolia.
As G. mongoliensis is the only large ornithopod known from the Baynshire Formation in the Khongil Tsav locality (Mongolia), where the fossils were found, the material has been assigned to this species. When first scientifically described in 2019, the holotype fossil material indicated a dinosaur around three metres in length, these fossils, representing a much larger animal suggest that Gobihadros grew to a maximum size of around 7.5 metres long.
The absence of open transcortical channels associated with the limb bones indicate that this dinosaur was very old when it died.
Calcium Pyrophosphate Crystals Found
Traces of abnormal calcium deposits were identified in some of the bones. Computerised tomography (CT scans) revealed that this dinosaur suffered from a form of very painful arthritis called CPPD (calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition). These calcium crystals build up in the joints and lead to restricted movement, joint stiffness and considerable pain. This condition is found in our own species, it most often affects people in their late fifties.
Co-author of the paper Dr Tomasz Szczygielski (Polish Academy of Sciences) commented:
“Dinosaurs in the reptile family tree are close to birds, but some of their characteristics, such as metabolism, refer to mammals. That is why it is still difficult for us to interpret how these organisms aged”.
The fossilised remains of this elderly dinosaur are currently on display at the Museum of Evolution at the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw (Poland). The scientists hope that further research using other museum specimens may provide more information on how dinosaurs aged and this might provide an insight into why some kinds of archosaur such as the crocodiles survived the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event but the non-avian dinosaurs did not.
The scientific paper: “Dinosaur senescence: a hadrosauroid with age-related diseases brings a new perspective of “old” dinosaurs” by Justyna Słowiak, Tomasz Szczygielski, Bruce M. Rothschild & Dawid Surmik published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The clade of very bird-like dinosaurs known as the Oviraptorosauria, were very successful and widely distributed in the northern hemisphere during the Late Cretaceous. For example, the Nemegt Formation (Mongolia), is famous for the numerous oviraptorosaur dinosaurs that have been named and described from fossils, dinosaurs such as Conchoraptor, Rinchenia, Gobiraptor and the recently described two-fingered Oksoko (O. avarsan) that we featured in an article in October 2020: A New Species of Two-fingered Oviraptorsaur is Described.
Analysis of fragmentary fossil remains attributed to the caenagnathid Elmisaurus suggests that these members of the oviraptorosaur clade (the Caenagnathidae) were actually rare in Mongolia compared to the much more numerous and diverse oviraptorids.
Researchers, which include the eminent Professor Phil Currie (University of Alberta), writing in PLOS One conclude that caenagnathids may have been outcompeted by other oviraptorosaurs and as such, caenagnathids like Elmisaurus only made up a tiny portion of the dinosaur population associated with the Nemegt Formation.
Examining the Oviraptorosauria
The Oviraptorosauria clade consists primarily of two large families of feathered dinosaur, the Caenagnathidae “recent jaws” and the closely related Oviraptoridae “egg thieves”.
Overall, the anatomy of caenagnathids is very similar to that of oviraptorids, but there are a number of differences. For example, caenagnathid jaws exhibited a distinct suite of specialisations not seen in other oviraptorosaurs. The jaws of caenagnathids tend to be relatively long and shallow, this suggests that their bite was not as powerful. The inside of the lower jaws also reveal a complex series of ridges and tooth-like processes, as well as a pair of horizontal, shelf-like ridges. Recent studies have demonstrated that as caenagnathids grew and got older they started to lose their teeth (ontogenetic edentulism). The unusual jawbone morphology was produced by various tooth reduction patterns and this in turn, suggests that these dinosaurs changed their diet as they matured. Furthermore, the jaws of caenagnathids are unusual as the bones are hollow and air filled. In addition, in general terms caenagnathids tend to be more lightly built than the closely related oviraptorids.
Nomingia gobiensis Actually Elmisaurus rarus
Two members of the Caenagnathidae had been described from fossils associated with the Nemegt Formation, Elmisaurus rarus which was scientifically described back in 1981 and Nomingia gobiensis which was named in the year 2000. The research team which included Gregory Funston (University of Edinburgh), Chinzorig Tsogtbaatar (North Carolina State University), Tsogtbaatar Khishigjav (Mongolian Academy of Sciences) as well as Professor Currie, examined a partial skeleton which had been discovered in 2018, close to the site where the holotype fossils of Nomingia had been found.
The team were able to highlight similarities in the overlapping elements of Elmisaurus and Nomingia. They concluded that fossil material previously attributed to Nomingia gobiensis might represent Elmisaurus rarus and that just one species of caenagnathid is known from the Nemegt Formation.
Oviraptorids Outcompeted Caenagnathids
The researchers discount the idea that a bias in fieldwork has led to the lack of caenagnathid fossil specimens found. After all, numerous small dinosaurs such as dromaeosaurids and oviraptorids are known from Nemegt Formation. The team postulated that the caenagnathids were marginalised and out competed by the similarly sized oviraptorids.
Differences in Asian and North American Late Cretaceous Ecosystems
The lack of caenagnathids reported from the Nemegt Formation might reflect competition amongst different types of small, cursorial, feathered dinosaurs. In North America, caenagnathids were the only oviraptorosaurs present (no oviraptorids are currently known from North America). In contrast, both oviraptorids and another type of oviraptorosaur closely related to the Caenagnathidae – the avimimids Avimimus portentosus and Avimimus nemegtensis were present in Mongolia during the Late Cretaceous.
The researchers conclude that although the highly diverse Nemegt Formation oviraptorids probably had very specialised diets, they may have outcompeted the caenagnathids in the niche of small omnivores.
As Nomingia gobiensis was named and scientifically described some nineteen years after Elmisaurus rarus, the research team postulate that Nomingia gobiensis should be regarded as a junior synonym of Elmisaurus. In addition, low caenagnathid diversity in the Nemegt Formation might reflect their inability to compete with other oviraptorosaurs, particularly oviraptorids.
The scientific paper: “A partial oviraptorosaur skeleton suggests low caenagnathid diversity in the Late Cretaceous Nemegt Formation of Mongolia” by Gregory F. Funston, Philip J. Currie, Chinzorig Tsogtbaatar, Tsogtbaatar Khishigjav published in PLOS One.
A dinosaur model fan has used his latest T. rex model purchase to depict a famous scene from the 1933 movie “King Kong”. With the acquisition of the Rebor 1:35 80s T-REX Toy HD Remastered “Californiacation” VHS figure, collector and Everything Dinosaur customer Luke sent us some photographs of the iconic King Kong and T. rex battle from the film that he had carefully recreated.
The female lead in the film, Ann Darrow (played by Fay Wray), is found by a large, meat-eating dinosaur. Dinosaur model collector Luke has cleverly recreated the famous T. rex and Kong battle. The original fight was created using models and stop motion animation by the legendary Willis O’Brien, a pioneer in film animation and special effects.
King Kong Returns
King Kong, alerted by Ann’s screams returns to confront the Tyrannosaurus rex. An illustration of T. rex created by the American artist Charles Robert Knight is believed to have been the inspiration behind the T. rex figure from the 1933 movie.
A Box Office Hit!
The film which was directed and produced by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack was a commercial success although it did not win any notable awards or indeed any Academy Award nominations. This can be explained in part as at the time of its release there was no award category for special effects.
It is thought the iconic T. rex versus Kong stop motion fight took 7 weeks to complete. Everything Dinosaur team members suspect that it took dinosaur model fan Luke slightly less time to produce his own homage to the 1933 film.
Spawning a Monster Movie Career
Often cited as one of the most influential movies of all time, the 1933 film has inspired numerous monster films and the giant ape character has appeared in several further pictures, most recently in the 2021 release “Godzilla versus Kong” (2021), a film directed by the American Adam Wingard which opened in March of this year (2021) to much critical acclaim and success.
Using Dinosaur Models in an Innovative Way
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that Luke had used the new Rebor 1:35 80s T-REX Toy HD Remastered “Californiacation” VHS in a very creative and innovative way and praised the collector for his imagination and ambition.
The Everything Dinosaur spokesperson added:
“Rebor recently introduced a 1/11th scale model of a mountain gorilla and this figure can be used with various T. rex replicas to recreate iconic scenes from monster movies. We are grateful to Luke for sharing his photographs with us“.
Living birds are very diverse, globally distributed and occupy a huge number of ecological niches. Today, there are more species of birds than mammals, they are certainly extremely successful and they are the only members of the Dinosauria to have survived the end-Cretaceous extinction event. A new study published in Science Advances suggests the unique brain shape of the ancestors of modern birds may have helped them survive the mass extinction that wiped out all the other dinosaurs.
Ichthyornis Fossil Skull
A beautifully preserved skull and jaws of the toothed stem bird (Avialae) Ichthyornis (I. dispar) was subjected to x-ray computed tomography at the University of Texas at Austin so that researchers could gain an better understanding of the shape of the brain of this Late Cretaceous bird.
Brain morphology in Mesozoic birds is very poorly understood. Only two other Mesozoic birds have had their brains mapped – Archaeopteryx lithographica from the Late Jurassic of Germany and the probable enantiornithine Cerebavis cenomanica from the Volgograd Region of Russia which is known from the Middle Cenomanian of the Cretaceous.
With the CT-imaging data, the researchers used the skull of Ichthyornis like a mould to create a three-dimensional replica of the brain called an endocast. They then compared that endocast with ones created for living birds and more distantly related, non-avian members of the Dinosauria.
The scientists found that the brain of Ichthyornis had more in common with non-avian dinosaurs than it did with living birds. Specifically, the cerebral hemispheres – where higher cognitive functions such as speech, thought and emotion occur in humans – are much bigger in living birds than in Ichthyornis. That pattern suggests that these functions could be connected to surviving the mass extinction.
Lead author of the study, PhD student Christopher Torres (The University of Texas at Austin), commented:
“Living birds have brains more complex than any known animals except mammals. This new fossil finally lets us test the idea that those brains played a major role in their survival.”
Co-author of the study Julia Clarke, a professor at the University of Texas Jackson School of Geosciences added:
“Ichthyornis is key to unravelling that mystery. This fossil helps bring us much closer to answering some persistent questions concerning living birds and their survivorship among dinosaurs.”
The scientific paper: “Bird neurocranial and body mass evolution across the end-Cretaceous mass extinction: The avian brain shape left other dinosaurs behind” by Christopher R. Torres, Mark A. Norell and Julia A. Clarke published in Science Advances.
A few days ago, team members at Everything Dinosaur teased their Facebook and Instagram followers with a stunning illustration of the huge theropod dinosaur Spinosaurus. The artwork is supplied with the W-Dragon Spinosaurus (S. aegyptiacus) replica, but team members challenged followers and fans on social media to see if they could correctly identify the illustration.
Our well-informed customers, dinosaur model fans and clever collectors were able to identify the Spinosaurus artwork. We are going to have to set some sterner challenges if we are to stump our fans and followers on social media.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“We have a very knowledgeable and discerning customer base and we like to set the occasional challenge to test how much they know about the models that we sell. We have been very impressed with the level of knowledge that has been demonstrated. We might have to set some harder challenges in the future.”
W-Dragon Spinosaurus Model
The W-Dragon Spinosaurus arrived in stock at Everything Dinosaur at the beginning of 2021. A special production run had been commissioned by Everything Dinosaur in response to requests from customers.
Analysis of a beautifully preserved lower jawbone found in the southern Pyrenees of Spain has led to a new species of Late Cretaceous hadrosauroid dinosaur being erected. Named Fylax (F. thyrakolasus), it is the youngest non-hadrosaurid hadrosauroid described to date. This dinosaur was one of the very last of all the non-avian dinosaurs to have existed and a phylogenetic assessment places Fylax as the sister taxon of Tethyshadros which is known from north-eastern Italy and was formally named and described in 2009.
Described from a Dentary
Described from a left dentary (lower jawbone), found in Lleida Province in Spain, the researchers from The Autonomous University of Barcelona (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), identified several unique characteristics that enabled them to erect a new taxon. The genus name is derived from the Greek thýra which means door or gate and kólasi which means hell. This translates as the “keeper of the gates of hell” a reference to the proximity of the fossil dentary to the layers of rock that mark the end Cretaceous mass extinction event that saw the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs.
Based on analysis of more complete hadrosaurid fossil remains, Fylax is estimated to have been between 3.5 to 4 metres in length and it is the stratigraphically youngest non-hadrosaurid hadrosauroid known to date.
An Asian Origin for Hadrosauroids
Although not the focus of their study, subsequent analysis and mapping of the geographical distribution of ornithopod fossil remains led the researchers to support the hypothesis of an Asian origin for hadrosauroids, which then subsequently dispersed to the eastern North American landmass of Appalachia. They suggest that the European archipelago that existed during the Late Cretaceous could have facilitated the westward dispersal of hadrosaurid outgroups from Asia to Appalachia.
The scientific paper: “A new late-surviving early diverging Ibero-Armorican duck-billed dinosaur and the role of the Late Cretaceous European Archipelago in hadrosauroid biogeography” by Prieto-Márquez, A. and Carrera Farias published in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.
New PNSO prehistoric animal announcements continue to come thick and fast as the Chinese manufacturer announces the introduction of a new Mamenchisaurus dinosaur model in their Scientific Art range. This new version of Er-ma the Mamenchisaurus is in 1:45 scale, although it is roughly the same size as the existing PNSO Scientific Art Mamenchisaurus which has a stated scale of 1:35.
A Sauropod with a Club Tail
This new PNSO Mamenchisaurus figure has been given a small defensive club on the end of its tail, reminiscent of Shunosaurus. There may be some debate as to whether this dinosaur possessed such a club, fused caudal vertebrae in at least one specimen does suggest that a tail club was present.
Several species of this Asian sauropod have been described, since the first taxon Mamenchisaurus constructus was named in 1954. In 2001, a well-preserved and nearly complete specimen assigned to the species M. hochuanensis was shown to have four fused vertebrae at the tip of its tail. These fused caudal vertebrae were not thought to have been caused by taphonomy and a pathological cause was discounted. It was proposed that these bones represented a defensive tail club or perhaps a tactile, sensory organ.
The new for 2021 PNSO Mamenchisaurus has been furnished with a tail club and in the release notes accompanying this figure’s announcement the model is described as representing M. hochuanensis.
Mamenchisaurus Model Measurements
This is the second, large Mamenchisaurus to be introduced by PNSO, after the original Er-ma figure in 1:35 scale that came into stock at Everything Dinosaur back in March 2019. Although, these two dinosaur models have different declared scales, they are approximately the same size. This can be explained by the fact that the figures have different postures and they represent different Mamenchisaurus species.
The 2019 Er-ma the Mamenchisaurus (1:35 scale) measures 47.5 cm in length and has a head height of 15 cm. Everything Dinosaur team members have suggested that this figure represents M. constructus.
The new for 2021 Er-ma the Mamenchisaurus (1:45 scale) measures 48 cm long and is 14 cm tall, it represents the species M. hochuanensis.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“We welcome the new for 2021 PNSO Mamenchisaurus figure. We cannot confirm or deny at this stage whether the original Er-ma Mamenchisaurus model that has proved to be so popular with collectors, will be retired and withdrawn from production. The new for 2021 figure has a different declared scale, but since the models represent different species and the actual fully-grown size for these sauropods is not known, the declared scale for a figure of this type of dinosaur is somewhat irrelevant in our view.”
Due in Stock Later in the Year
The new PNSO Er-ma the Mamenchisaurus is due in stock at Everything Dinosaur later in the year (2021). Sending out such a huge model will prove challenging for the team. The box that this figure is supplied in measures 54 cm in length. This might require the UK-based company to commission a special cardboard box to permit these items to be sent out to customers safely.
To view the current range of PNSO prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.
Rebor’s celebration of dinosaurs depicted in the popular media has kicked-off with the introduction of the T. rex figure entitled Rebor 1:35 80s T-REX Toy HD Remastered “Californiacation” VHS and what a splendid “old school” representation of Tyrannosaurus rex it is.
T. rex from the Movies
The Rebor range of “retrosaurs” pays homage to how dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex were depicted in films in the 20th Century. For example, the Californiacation figure resembles the meat-eating dinosaur that attacked Kong in the iconic 1933 movie “King Kong”. We think Willis O’Brien, the pioneering American stop motion animator who worked on the famous monster movie would be most impressed with this new Rebor replica.
Attaching the Tail on the Rebor “Retrosaur” T. rex
Just like many of the recent Rebor model introductions the T. rex known as “Californiacation” requires some assembly. The tail is supplied as a separate piece that has to be attached to the body. This is done to save on packaging and to insert the tail is a very simple job. Some considerable force needs to be applied to insert the tail piece, but if the tail proves difficult to insert, try dipping the connecting plug on the tail in a cup of boiling water for 2-3 seconds. This should make the plastic plug more malleable and aid assembly.
T. rex Figure with an Articulated Jaw
In common with many other theropod models, the Rebor 1:35 80s T-REX Toy HD Remastered “Californiacation” VHS replica has an articulated lower jaw. The forelimbs are also poseable.