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.

21 12, 2019

Fukuisaurus Scale Drawing

By | December 21st, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page|0 Comments

Fukuisaurus tetoriensis Scale Drawing

As Everything Dinosaur prepares for the arrival of the first of the new for 2020 CollectA “Age of Dinosaurs” models and figures, team members are busy sorting out scale drawings to insert into the prehistoric animal fact sheets that we are researching and writing.  One of the first of the new CollectA models will be a Fukuisaurus, a replica of a bird-hipped dinosaur known from the Early Cretaceous of Japan.

Very little of the skeleton of Fukuisaurus (F. tetoriensis) is known.  CollectA, just like palaeontologists who have to try to reconstruct a dinosaur skeleton, from only a limited amount of material, have based their figure on better-known iguanodontids that were probably closely related to Fukuisaurus.  From the model, Everything Dinosaur team members have been able to commission their scale drawing.

The Scale Drawing of Fukuisaurus (F. tetoriensis)

Fukuisaurus illustration.

A scale drawing of the Early Cretaceous dinosaur Fukuisaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Calculating the Size of Fukuisaurus

Although the actual size of Fukuisaurus is not known (due to the scarcity and paucity of the fossil material), Everything Dinosaur team members have based their scale drawing on the size estimate given by the acclaimed dinosaur expert Gregory S. Paul who postulated a body length of around four to four and half metres.  The body weight of this herbivorous dinosaur would have fluctuated over the course of the year, depending on the availability of food.  Just like many herbivores today, this dinosaur would have laid down fat during the times when forage was plentiful and then it would have lived on its reserves during times when food was scarce, such as in the dry season.  Everything Dinosaur team members estimate that this dinosaur probably weighed around four hundred kilograms when fully grown.

At the time when Everything Dinosaur announced this 2020 edition to the CollectA Deluxe range, model designer Anthony Beeson stated that he had been inspired to introduce another dinosaur from the famous Kitadani Formation of Japan, in response to requests from Japanese collectors.  These fans will have in 2020, a model of an Early Cretaceous ornithopod to display alongside the CollectA Fukuiraptor that was introduced this year (2019).

The CollectA Fukuiraptor and the CollectA Fukuisaurus Dinosaur Models

CollectA dinosaur models Fukuiraptor and Fukuisaurus.

The CollectA Fukuiraptor (top) and the CollectA Deluxe Fukuisaurus (bottom).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To read about the first of the new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal models: New CollectA Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models (Part 1).

To view the range of prehistoric animal scale models available from Everything Dinosaur in the CollectA Deluxe model range: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Models.

19 12, 2019

Papo Model Retirements for 2020

By | December 19th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Maintenance on Website, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Papo Prehistoric Animal Model Retirements for 2020

Everything Dinosaur team members recently announced what new prehistoric animal models will be brought out by Papo in 2020.  In total, six new models will be introduced next year, five dinosaurs: New Papo Dinosaur Models for 2020 and for us, the stand out figure from Papo for 2020, a replica of Megaloceros New Papo Megaloceros.

Today, we publish details of those prehistoric animal figures that are being withdrawn.  Being notified about retiring figures is important to collectors, with such a notice they can secure a model for their collection before they become too rare and difficult to obtain.

In 2020 Papo will retire the following:

  • Green Stegosaurus
  • Baby Pachycephalosaurus
  • Original Feathered Velociraptor model
  • Green Parasaurolophus

Papo Prehistoric Animal Models Retired in 2020

Papo prehistoric animal model retirements.

Papo prehistoric animal model retirements (2020).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Papo Model Retirements

With the arrival of a new Stegosaurus colour variant it was always likely that the original, green Stegosaurus dinosaur model would go the same way as the Papo Allosaurus and be withdrawn from production.  This is indeed the case, the Papo green Stegosaurus dinosaur model has been retired.

The Papo Green Stegosaurus has been Replaced by a New Colour Variant Papo Stegosaurus

Two Papo Stegosaurus figures.

The retired Papo Stegosaurus (left) and the new for 2019 Papo Stegosaurus (right).

A New Papo Parasaurolophus Heralds the Demise of the Original Papo Parasaurolophus

As Papo develops a number of colour variants, then the original figures are very likely to be retired shortly afterwards.  The original Papo Parasaurolophus will be replaced by a new colour variant in 2020 and is already out of production.

The Original Papo Parasaurolophus Model is Being Retired

Papo Parasaurolophus models old and new.

The original Papo Parasaurolophus (top) is being replaced by a new colour variant (bottom) in 2020.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The new Parasaurolophus has certainly got a striking colour scheme, but many model collectors and fans of Papo will miss the original version with its more muted colours and tones.

Papo Baby Pachycephalosaurus and the Feathered Velociraptor

The Papo Baby Pachycephalosaurus dinosaur model is also being retired and production of this model has already ceased.  Readers of this blog might have suspected that this figure was under threat when Everything Dinosaur released news of the introduction of a new “bonehead”, a replica of Stygimoloch , which is likely to be available in the late summer/autumn of 2020.

In addition, the original feathered Velociraptor model, released in 2016 is also being retired.  It too is being replaced by a new colour variant.

Papo Feathered Velociraptor Old and New

Papo Feathered Velociraptor Models (Old and New).

New Papo feathered Velociraptor dinosaur model (top), the 2016 Papo feathered Velociraptor (bottom).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We can now reveal which models are being retired from the Papo Les Dinosaures range.  By releasing this information now, model collectors still have the chance to acquire these figures before they become subject to inflated prices as found on internet auction sites.”

Everything Dinosaur still has stocks of these figures available, they can be found here: Papo Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Figures

17 12, 2019

Ancient Crocodilian Evolved Unique Specialisations Due to its Size

By | December 17th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Purussaurus mirandai – Had an Extra Vertebra to Assist Movement

The giant, prehistoric caiman Purussaurus mirandai, known from Miocene-aged deposits of Venezuela, had unique anatomical adaptations to help it move.  New research, published in the on-line journal “eLife” by an international team of scientists led by Dr Torsten Scheyer of the Palaeontological Institute and Museum of Zurich, demonstrate that this three-tonne predator was able to support its huge bulk by having an extra vertebra in its hip region (sacrum) and the shoulder girdle had also become specially adapted to assist terrestrial movement.

Comparing the Anatomy of P. mirandai to an Extant Caiman (C. Yacare)

P. mirandai compared to a living caiman (C. Yacare).

Comparing the anatomy of P. mirandai to a living caiman (C. Yacare).

Picture Credit: JA Chirinos/The Royal Veterinary College

A Swamp Dweller But Capable of Moving Around on Land

The unusual characteristics suggest that although Purussaurus would have been very much at home in rivers and swamps it was also able to move around on land, although not all that quickly, but over rough terrain and a short distance, this 8-metre-long reptile could have threatened to catch a typical member of our own species .  This research links nicely into a study carried out on the locomotion of modern crocodilians undertaken recently by the Royal Veterinary College, a study that Everything Dinosaur intends to report upon in the near future.

It is the only crocodilian to date to have an extra vertebra in its sacrum.  Purussaurus had three sacral vertebrae not the usual two.  This development requires changes to the “Hox genes” that control where certain body parts are formed.  The scientists noticed that some living crocodilians suffer malformations that cause an extra vertebra to be created in their sacrum, so it is evident that the Hox genes that can make these evolutionary changes remain available to crocodilians today.

Commenting on the findings, co-author of the study, Professor John Hutchinson (Royal Veterinary College) stated:

“We didn’t think that Purussaurus moved quickly on land.  Our findings are important because they help show how development can be altered in order to enable biomechanical changes as animals evolve into larger body sizes.”

Selected Forelimb Bones of Purussaurus from the Urumaco Formation of Venezuela

Purussaurus forelimb fossils.

(A) Interpretative reconstruction of the complete body outline of P. mirandai showing the preserved and assembled bones and the lower jaw in tentative live position.  Left shoulder blade (B) in lateral, medial, and posterior view.  Right shoulder blade (c) in medial view.  Right lower shoulder girdle (coracoid) (D) in dorsomedial, ventrolateral, and anterior view.  Note bony armour osteoderms (in upper part of trunk) and ribs (in lower part of trunk) are not in life position.

Picture Credit: The Royal Veterinary College

Lead author of the research, Dr Torsten Scheyer commented:

“We have been extremely lucky to find such a high amount of fossils in the badlands of Venezuela, which allowed the recognition of the unique condition in the hip region of the giant Purussaurus in the first place.  These old bones show us once again that the morphological variation seen in animals that are long extinct extends well beyond that of what is known in living animals, and thereby broadens our knowledge of what animals can do in evolution.”

An Illustration of the Fearsome Crocodilian Purussaurus mirandai 

Purussaurus mirandai illustrated.

Purussaurus mirandai illustrated, scale bar = 50 cm.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The scientific paper: “Giant extinct caiman breaks constraint on the axial skeleton of extant crocodylians” by Torsten M Scheyer, John R Hutchinson, Olivier Strauss, Massimo Delfino, Jorge D Carrillo-Briceño, Rodolfo Sánchez and Marcelo R Sánchez-Villagra published in eLife.

15 12, 2019

CollectA 2020 Prehistoric Animal Models

By | December 15th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

CollectA 2020 Prehistoric Animal Models

Taking a short break from all the picking and packing we are doing in order to get parcels out to customers as quickly as we can in readiness for the 25th December, team members at Everything Dinosaur took some pictures of the illustrations we have of the new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal models.  What an eclectic mix of ancient creatures they are!

Illustrating the New for 2020 CollectA Prehistoric Animal Models

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

Some of the illustrations we used in our recent videos announcing the new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animal models.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

From Terrific Trilobites to Mighty Megalodon

CollectA have certainly developed a diverse range of models to be introduced over the next twelve months or so.  There is quite a range of geological deep time represented by the different taxa, from terrific Trilobites of the Late Cambrian through the remainder of the Palaeozoic, the Mesozoic into the Cenozoic and with the nautilus, to the present.

We congratulate the design team at CollectA for providing such a variety of new models.  The first of these models such as the Protoceratops in 1:6 scale, are due out in quarter 1 of 2020, the rest of the figures will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur over the following few months.

With so  many models it is difficult to pick a favourite, however, team members are excited about the Orthoceras and it is great to see a representative of the elephant-sized dicynodont Lisowicia bojani coming into stock.  Our Polish customers are going to be particularly pleased to see L. bojani.

To view the current range of CollectA Age of Dinosaurs – Popular size figures: CollectA Prehistoric Life.

To view the first of the 2020 CollectA prehistoric animals to be announced: New CollectA Prehistoric Animals (Part 1).

To read about the second set of new for 2020 CollectA prehistoric animals: New CollectA Prehistoric Animals (Part 2).

To read the third part in our series introducing new CollectA figures: New CollectA Models (Part 3).

To read the fourth part in this series: New CollectA Models (Part 4).

To view the CollectA scale model series: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Life.

14 12, 2019

A New Basal Allosauroid from Argentina

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

Asfaltovenator vialidadi – Linking Megalosaurs and Allosaurs

This week has seen the formal publication of a scientific paper announcing the discovery of a new type of meat-eating dinosaur from Chubut Province in the Patagonia of Argentina.  This dinosaur named Asfaltovenator vialidadi shows a range of anatomical characteristics which are similar to both Allosaurs and Megalosaurs and whilst it poses a bit of a phylogenetic puzzle when it comes to classifying tetanuran theropods (stiff tails), it does suggest that the Allosauroidea  and Megalosauroidea have a common ancestor.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Asfaltovenator vialidadi

Asfaltovenator illustration.

Asfaltovenator life reconstruction.

Picture Credit: Gabriel Lio/Conicet

Predator of Patagonia Around 175 to 170 Million Years Ago

Discovered back in 2002, from lacustrine deposits (sediments from an ancient lakebed), located about a mile north-east of the village of Cerro Cóndor (Patagonia), the fossil material consists of most of the front portion of the skeleton, including a well-preserved skull.  The genus name honours the geological formation from whence it came, the Cañadón Asfalto Formation and the word “venator” from the Latin for hunter.  The trivial epithet honours the Administración de Vialidad Provincial of Chubut and the Dirección Nacional de Vialidad, for their help with field expeditions of the Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio.

Dating the deposits associated with the Cañadón Asfalto Formation has proved difficult.  Isotope analysis using material from volcanic ash layers has yielded varying results, but in the paper published in the academic journal “Scientific Reports”, the age of the strata associated with this fossil find is stated as late Toarcian to Bajocian, indicating that this predatory dinosaur roamed Gondwana around 175 to 170 million years ago.

Views of the Skull and Jaws of Asfaltovenator with Line Drawings

Skull and jaws of Asfaltovenator with accompanyin line drawings.

Cranial anatomy of Asfaltovenator vialidadi, MPEF PV 3440.  (A) composite reconstruction of the skull and lower jaws, based on disarticulated cranial elements.  (B), graphic reconstruction of articulated skull.  (C), braincase in occipital view.  (D,E) posterior end of left mandible in dorsal view; (D) photo; (E) outline drawing.  Note scale bar (A,B and C) is 10 cm, scale bar (D, E) is 5 cm.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

The skull is estimated to be around 80 cm in length and the overall body size of Asfaltovenator is estimated at between seven to eight metres in length.

A Tweak to the Tetanurae

Asfaltovenator demonstrates an unusual combination of anatomical characteristics.  Its discovery could have implications for the way in which palaeontologists arrange the family tree of meat-eating dinosaurs.  The Suborder Theropoda, the lizard-hipped, primarily carnivorous dinosaurs, is further divided up into several sub-groups, for example the allosauroids, megalosauroids, ornithomimosaurs, tyrannosauroids, maniraptorans and their close relatives, the birds.  Arguably, the most successful part of the Theropoda was the Tetanurae (stiff tails), a clade that is defined as all theropods more closely related to modern birds than to Ceratosaurus.  It is thought that the Tetanurae diverged from its sister clade, the Ceratosauria, during the Late Triassic.

The discovery of Asfaltovenator is important, as most Middle Jurassic theropods are only known from quite fragmentary material and this dinosaur, described as a basal allosauroid, has traits linking it to both the allosauroids and the megalosauroids.  This suggests that the Allosauroidea and the Megalosauroidea evolved from a common ancestor and that these two parts of the Tetanurae are more closely related to each other than they are to the Coelurosauria, that part of the Tetanurae that gave rise to the tyrannosaurs, ornithomimids, Maniraptora and the birds.

Postcranial Material and a Skeletal Drawing Showing the Known Fossil Material (Asfaltovenator vialidadi)

Skeletal drawing of Asfaltovenator and postcranial fossil material.

Skeletal reconstruction and postcranial anatomy of Asfaltovenator vialidadi.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

Scientists hope that more large tetanurans can be found in Middle Jurassic strata, as further discoveries will help to hone Theropoda classification.

13 12, 2019

New for 2020 Papo Megaloceros

By | December 13th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New for 2020 Papo Megaloceros

Yesterday, Everything Dinosaur published details of five new dinosaur models coming out from Papo in 2020.  These models caused quite a lot of reaction, as was to be expected.  However, there is a sixth prehistoric animal due out from Papo next year, one that we deliberately chose not to include in our dinosaur themed blog post, it was only late in the afternoon that we posted up pictures of this sixth model on our social media sites.

Today, we can give this new for 2020 Papo prehistoric animal the platform it deserves, as there is going to be a Papo Megaloceros!

New for May 2020 the Papo Megaloceros

Papo Megaloceros model.

Papo adds a prehistoric mammal to its model range in 2020.  The Papo Megaloceros.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Magnificent Megaloceros!

Megaloceros is an extinct member of the deer family (Cervidae).  One species, the largest and type species M. giganteus, is often referred to as the “Irish Elk”, although it was not restricted to Ireland and it is not that closely related to the Elk.  The Papo model depicts this giant deer (the largest species exceeded two metres in height at the shoulder), as a magnificent animal, those colossal antlers have been skilfully crafted and the paintwork and detailing are superb.  There have been models of Megaloceros produced before, perhaps most famously by Bullyland of Germany, but this figure has long since been retired.

It is great to see such a staple of European natural history museum extinct mammal galleries depicted as a model.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur explained:

“With five dinosaur models to announce we thought it best to introduce these first before turning our attention to the magnificent Megaloceros figure.  With many prehistoric mammal models, they can be lost in the swirl of excitement and debate that accompanies the release of information about new dinosaur replicas and figures, we wanted to give the new Papo Megaloceros room to breathe, as this in our view is a wonderful figure, our personal favourite of the new for 2020 Papo prehistoric animals.”

The Fossilised Remains of a Megaloceros on Display at the National Museum of Scotland

A giant Irish Elk on display.

A Megaloceros skeleton on display.  Many specimens of Megaloceros adorn the mammal galleries of European natural history museums.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Due Out in May 2020

The Megaloceros model is likely to be available from Everything Dinosaur around May 2020, beating the introduction of the Papo dinosaur figures by several months.  We promise our blog readers that we keep them all posted about this model’s production and when it is going to be in stock.

To read about the five dinosaur models coming out from Papo late in quarter three 2020: Everything Dinosaur Announces New Papo Dinosaurs for 2020.

To view the range of Papo dinosaurs, pterosaurs, marine reptiles and of course, prehistoric mammals stocked by Everything Dinosaur: Buy Papo Prehistoric Animal Models at Everything Dinosaur.

12 12, 2019

Everything Dinosaur Announces New Papo Dinosaurs for 2020

By | December 12th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|1 Comment

New Papo Dinosaur Models for 2020

Today, Everything Dinosaur has announced the new for 2020 Papo dinosaur models.  Information about five new figures has been released by Everything Dinosaur on its various social media platforms and this blog provides a little more information for Papo model fans and collectors.

The five dinosaurs (Papo Les Dinosaures) are:

  • Chilesaurus
  • Giganotosaurus
  • Stygimoloch
  • Parasaurolophus new colour variant
  • Feathered Velociraptor new colour variant

All are not expected until late in quarter 3 2020 – that’s around September 2020.

New for 2020 Papo Chilesaurus Dinosaur Model

Papo Chilesaurus dinosaur model.

Papo Chilesaurus dinosaur model (available late quarter 3 in 2020).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Papo Chilesaurus

This little dinosaur from Upper Jurassic strata of southern Chile (hence the genus name), has caused stirs in the scientific community.  We expect Papo model collectors will be pleased to see one of the more unusual and lesser known members of the Dinosauria to be added to the Papo model range.  However, this three-metre long, probable herbivore, has had a significant impact in the way palaeontologists define the dinosaur family tree.  Since it was formally named and described in 2015, finding Chilesaurus a place within the Dinosauria as proved to be a bit of a challenge.  It has theropod, sauropod and ornithischian traits.  As such, when the Dinosauria was revised by Baron et al and the Ornithoscelida postulated once again, Chilesaurus was cited as providing evidence for this, it being a transitional form bridging the gap between the Theropoda and the Ornithischia.

Papo Giganotosaurus – New for Autumn 2020

Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.

New Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model, new for 2020.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Papo Giganotosaurus

Rumours had been circulating for years that Papo might extend their range of carnivorous dinosaurs and include a Giganotosaurus.  In the autumn of 2020, model collectors will be able to add a Giganotosaurus to their dinosaur collection.  The pose is a quite old-fashioned and in reality Giganotosaurus had a very different posture, but team members at Everything Dinosaur suggest that given the colour scheme and the bias towards brown-coloured theropods within the current Papo range (think Gorgosaurus, T. rex and Cryolophosaurus), Papo had to find a way to make this new figure stand out.  It certainly is a very different pose to the other large, carnivorous dinosaurs in the current Papo range.  This posture also shows off those three-fingered claws nicely.  The Giganotosaurus will also have an articulated lower jaw.

Papo Stygimoloch

Papo Stygimoloch dinosaur model.

New for 2020 (quarter 3), a Papo Stygimoloch dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Papo Stygimoloch

In the film “Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom”, a Stygimoloch came to the rescue of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard (AKA Owen Grady and Claire Dearing), when it battered down a prison wall to help them escape.  “Stiggy” the Stygimoloch became a star!  Papo will be bringing out a replica of this bone-headed dinosaur in quarter three of 2020.

New Colour Variant Papo Parasaurolophus

Papo Parasaurolophus colour variant new for autumn 2020.

New Papo Parasaurolophus colour variant for autumn 2020.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This year, Papo introduced new colour variants of popular dinosaur models (Allosaurus and Stegosaurus), in 2020 this will be repeated with the addition of a new colour version of the Papo Parasaurolophus and a new feathered Velociraptor model.

The Feathered Velociraptor for 2020 (New Colour Variant)

New Papo feathered Velociraptor (autumn 2020).

New Papo feathered Velociraptor colour variant for autumn 2020.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

New Colour Variants Papo Parasaurolophus and Papo Feathered Velociraptor

The Papo Parasaurolophus seems to have been inspired by the colour scheme from the Acrocanthosaurus repaint that came out in 2018.  The new feathered Velociraptor model could represent a female, whilst the existing “Vélociraptor à plumes” in the range could portray a male.  We are sure fans of Papo models will draw their own conclusions about the first five Papo models that Everything Dinosaur has discussed today.

Remember, these models are not likely to be available until the autumn of 2020.

To view the existing range of Papo prehistoric animal figures: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals

11 12, 2019

A Seasonal Decoration with a Dinosaur Theme

By | December 11th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

A Seasonal Decoration with a Dinosaur Theme

As Everything Dinosaur team members are out and about they like to keep an eye out for anything unusual that is dinosaur related.  A team member came across this seasonal, festive decoration with a distinctive dinosaur theme.  It is a set of window stickers, we are sure a young dinosaur fan would appreciate this decoration on their bedroom window.

A Seasonal Decoration with a Distinctive Dinosaur Theme

A seasonal decoration with a dinosaur theme - a festive T. rex.

A seasonal decoration with a dinosaur theme.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We are not sure how the Santa hat will help this large theropod regulate its body temperature, but perhaps in combination with the bright yellow scarf it will have the desired effect.

10 12, 2019

Lice Feeding on Dinosaur Feathers Entombed in Amber

By | December 10th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Ancient Lice Fed on Dinosaur Feathers

With the evolution of modified scales into feathers, it was very likely that feather-feeding invertebrates would evolve to exploit this new food source.  However, the lack of fossils prevents palaeontologists from being able to plot how feather-feeding behaviours evolved.  However, damaged dinosaur down, complete with several lice-like insects preserved in 100-million-year-old amber confirms that by the Early Cretaceous, feathery dinosaurs had parasites that specialised on feeding upon their integumentary systems.

Writing in the on-line, academic journal “Nature Communications”, a team of scientists, including researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Smithsonian Institute and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, describe the discovery of ten nymph specimens, a new lineage of insect preserved alongside the dinosaur downy feathers they were feeding upon in amber from northern Myanmar.

The new insect species has been named Mesophthirus engeli.  The specific name “engeli” is dedicated to Dr Michael S. Engel, for his outstanding contribution to entomological research.

Parasitic Nymphs Feeding on Dinosaur Feathers

Feather-feeding insects preserved in amber.

Parasitic insects feeding on a dinosaur feather preserved in amber.

Picture Credit: Nature Communications

The photograph (above), shows an amber nodule with the specimens of the newly described parasitic insect Mesophthirus engeli preserved in situ.  Photograph (a), shows the whole feather and the locations of the insects.  White stars indicate parts of the feather with relatively complete barbules, whilst the black stars indicate areas that show probable feeding damage.  Scale bars (a) = 1 mm, 100 µm (b-j) and (k) 0.5 mm.

Ectoparasitic Morphological Characters

The nymphs demonstrate a series of ectoparasitic morphological traits such as a small, wingless body, a relatively large head with strong mouth parts and robust, short antennae.  These insects preserved in association with partially damaged dinosaur feathers, the damage probably caused by their feeding behaviour, suggests that feather-feeding insects originated in the Cretaceous, accompanying the radiation of the feathered dinosaurs, including the early birds.

Magnified Views of Mesophthirus engeli Along with Line Drawings and Life Reconstruction

Feather-feeding insects preserved in amber.

Views of Mesophthirus engeli specimens, line drawings and life reconstruction.

Picture Credit: Nature Communications

The picture (above), shows magnified views of the M. engeli specimens (a, c, d, e, g and h), with accompanying line drawings (b and f) and a life reconstruction (i).  Scale bars equal 50 μm.  The colour of the insects in the life reconstruction (i) are conjectural and reflect the general colouring of living feather-feeding lice.

To read a related article about the remains of blood-sucking mites being found preserved in burmite (amber from Myanmar): A Blood-sucking Story – Dinosaur Parasites Preserved in Amber.

The scientific paper: “New insects feeding on dinosaur feathers in mid-Cretaceous amber” by Taiping Gao, Xiangchu Yin, Chungkun Shih, Alexandr P. Rasnitsyn, Xing Xu, Sha Chen, Chen Wang and Dong Ren published in Nature Communications.

8 12, 2019

Papo Limited Edition Spinosaurus Model in Stock

By | December 8th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Papo Limited Edition Spinosaurus Model in Stock

The Papo limited edition Spinosaurus model is in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  This eagerly anticipated Spinosaurus figure has arrived at the Everything Dinosaur warehouse and our team members have been busy emailing all those customers who have reserved a figure.  Such has been the popularity of this limited edition Papo model, that a second reservation list had to be set up and list members have been sent a special newsletter letting them know that this figure has arrived.

The Papo Spinosaurus Limited Edition Dinosaur Model

Papo Spinosaurus limited edition dinosaur model.

The Papo Spinosaurus limited edition dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Two Options to Purchase From Everything Dinosaur

The new Papo Spinosaurus (2019) figure is huge and it comes in a sizeable presentation box.  The model measures an impressive 40.3 cm long and that magnificent sail is around 16.5 cm tall.  The presentation box measures nearly half a metre long.  This could give our international customers some problems, as the presentation box is too large to be sent out by standard international mail options.  However, customers outside of the UK have nothing to worry about.  Everything Dinosaur will be offering two purchase options:

  1. Purchase the Papo Limited Edition Spinosaurus with its Presentation Box.
  2. Purchase the Papo Limited Edition Spinosaurus dinosaur model without the Presentation Box.  This greatly reduces international postage costs.

With Everything Dinosaur Two Purchase Options for the New Papo Spinosaurus Dinosaur Model

Papo Spinosaurus limited edition purchase options. Option 1 model with presentation box or option 2 model without a presentation box.

Papo Spinosaurus limited edition purchase options. Option 1 model with presentation box or option 2 model without presentation box.  If the model is purchased without a presentation box this greatly reduces the international shipping costs.  This saves money for our customers outside the UK.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the new Papo Spinosaurus model and to select your favoured purchase option: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

The Papo Limited Edition Spinosaurus Model with its Presentation Box

The 2019 Papo Spinosaurus limited edition model with its presentation box.

The new for 2019 Papo Spinosaurus limited edition model with its presentation box.  Everything Dinosaur customers are being offered the choice of purchasing this limited edition figure with or without its presentation box.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We do appreciate the dilemma this super-sized presentation box gives our customers.  The presentation box measures 47 cm long and stands nearly 23 cm high.  This severely limits the shipping options available for our customers overseas.  To overcome this problem, we can supply the figure without its presentation box, this will reduce the shipping costs and enable our customers to save a lot of money.”

In Stock!  The Papo Spinosaurus (Limited Edition)

Papo Spinosaurus (limited edition) in stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Everything Dinosaur stocks the limited edition Papo Spinosaurus dinosaur model.  The model can be purchased in its presentation box, or if customers prefer, the Papo Spinosaurus can be purchased out of its box, sent untagged without the gift box to help save money on postage.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

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