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.

31 07, 2019

The Late Cretaceous of Northern China

By | July 31st, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page|0 Comments

The Late Cretaceous of Northern China

Today, we wanted to post up some more of the amazing artwork produced by Zhao Chuang that was created in association with the Peking Natural Science-Art Organisation (PNSO).  Zhao Chuang has an extensive portfolio of palaeoart, we have already featured a number of illustrations of prehistoric scenes and individual dinosaurs and other long extinct creatures on this blog.  However, rather than focus on one particular dinosaur we thought that for a change, we would post up an imagined dinosaur diorama.

Northern China in the Late Cretaceous

The Late Cretaceous of northern China

Northern China in the Late Cretaceous.

Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang (PNSO)

A Stunning Piece of Palaeoart

The picture (above), depicts northern China (Inner Mongolia), in the Late Cretaceous, approximately 77-75 million years ago (Campanian faunal stage of the Late Cretaceous).  The armoured dinosaur in the foreground (left), is Pinacosaurus (P. grangeri), a member of the Ankylosaurinae.  At around five metres in length, this heavily armoured dinosaur probably had little to fear from the numerous dromaeosaurids such as Velociraptor and Tsaagan which shared its environment, although there is some evidence to suggest that larger theropods (tyrannosaurids) were present.  The artist has depicted a dromaeosaurid on the extreme left of the diorama.  This fleet-footed predator is on its own, no pack or flock behaviour for this little carnivore is inferred.  The feathered dromaeosaurid is making a swift exit as it does not want to get involved with the herd of duck-billed dinosaurs approaching the oasis, although in truth, these herbivorous giants have very little to fear from this particular theropod.

A Closer View of the Small Theropod Dinosaur Depicted in the Dinosaur Diorama

A dromaeosaurid takes evasive action to avoid a herd of duck-billed dinosaurs.

A closer view of the beautifully coloured dromaeosaurid dinosaur depicted in the illustration by Zhao Chuang.

Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang (PNSO)

Plesiohadros?

We have commented on this artwork on a previous post, but on that occasion we did not identify the hadrosaurids approaching the waterhole.  Although the Hadrosauridae has an extensive fossil record in northern latitudes, identifying the group approaching the oasis in this illustration is quite tricky.  Remarkably, despite the multitude of vertebrate fossils associated with the Djadokhta Formation (sometimes also referred to as the  Djadochta Formation), of northern China, very few Ornithischian dinosaurs have been identified.  The majority of Ornithischian dinosaurs known from this region are either members of the armoured Thyreophora such as Pinacosaurus or Neoceratopsia (part of the horned dinosaurs group).

The duck-billed dinosaurs could represent Plesiohadros (Plesiohadros djadokhtaensis), which is known from both cranial and postcranial fossil material from the same locality where Velociraptor fossils have been found.  As Plesiohadros is the only hadrosaurid discovered so far from the Djadokhta Formation , then the large herbivores in the diorama could represent this species.  However, as Plesiohadros was only named and described in 2014, if the artwork had been completed earlier, then the presence of hadrosaurids could be speculative on the part of the illustrator.

Are the Hadrosaurids Depicted in the Diorama Plesiohadros?

A herd of dubk-billed dinosaurs.

Is this a herd of Plesiohadros?

Picture Credit : Zhao Chuang (PNSO)

Whatever the species represented, the illustration is truly spectacular and one of our favourites.

To view the range of PNSO prehistoric animal models and figures available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs

30 07, 2019

Illustrating the PNSO Ankylosaurus “Sede”

By | July 30th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Illustrating the PNSO Ankylosaurus “Sede”

Our thanks to dinosaur fan and model collector Ian who sent us an illustration of “Sede” the PNSO Ankylosaurus model on receipt of his order.  Ian has sent us some beautiful drawings of various prehistoric animals and we have been delighted to receive them and to post them up onto our social media pages.

The Illustration of “Sede” the Ankylosaurus Dinosaur Model

A drawing of "Sede" the Ankylosaurus dinosaur model (PNSO).

An illustration of an Ankylosaurus based on the PNSO “Sede” the Ankylosaurus model.

Picture Credit: Ian

“Sede” the Ankylosaurus

The Ankylosaurus replica is regarded by many collectors as being one of the best armoured dinosaur models to have been produced.  Everything Dinosaur team members have been busy supplying a number of academics, museum staff and educationalists.  We have supplied this finely detailed model to authors of scientific publications on the Thyreophora (shield bearers).

A Picture of “Sede” the PNSO Ankylosaurus Dinosaur Model

"Sede" the Ankylosaurus dinosaur model.

The image of Sede the Ankylosaurus that probably inspired Ian’s illustration.  Can you see the resemblance?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We congratulate Ian for his fabulous drawing.  It is always a pleasure to receive artwork from model collectors and fans of dinosaurs.  We have added this model to our own collection, in doing so, we took some outdoor shots of this figure so that we could show the beautiful detail and colouration on this Ankylosaurus.

An Outdoor Shot Showing the Beautiful Detail and Colouration 

PNSO Ankylosaurus "Sede".

“Sede” the Ankylosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view “Sede” the Ankylosaurus and the rest of the PNSO prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs

29 07, 2019

Everything Dinosaur – 1,000 Instagram Followers

By | July 29th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur – 1,000 Instagram Followers

Everything Dinosaur has achieved the landmark of 1,000 followers on Instagram.  We are truly humbled and we would like to thank all those wonderful people who have followed our Instagram adventures.  We are honoured and with the building of a bespoke photography and video studio we look forward to posting up lots more videos and images of prehistoric animals in the near future.

Everything Dinosaur Has Achieved 1,000 Followers on Instagram

Everything Dinosaur has achieved 1,000 instagram followers.

Celebrating 1,000 instagram followers.  Everything Dinosaur has achieved the landmark of 1,000 followers on Instagram.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson for the UK-based company stated:

“All the team members at Everything Dinosaur are immensely proud of this achievement.  We only started our instagram account a short while ago and to have 1,000 followers is a great honour for us.  We are currently in the process of converting an area into a bespoke studio so we can take lots of photographs and produce many more videos showing prehistoric animal models and figures.  We hope to have the studio project completed in just a few more weeks.”

Everything Dinosaur on Instagram

Everything Dinosaur already has a very active Facebook page (Facebook owns Instagram).  Team members at Everything Dinosaur post onto the company’s Facebook page several times a day and this page has attracted more than 6,000 followers.  Once the photography and video studio has been completed, staff intend to post up onto Instagram with almost the same frequency as their Facebook postings.  With so many new models and figures coming into stock, there will certainly be lots and lots of candidates available for photography.

Follow Everything Dinosaur (everythingdinosaur1) on Instagram: Everything Dinosaur on Instagram

28 07, 2019

Rare Papo Prehistoric Animal Models in Stock

By | July 28th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Rare Papo Prehistoric Animal Models in Stock

Several rare Papo prehistoric animal models have come into stock at Everything Dinosaur.  These figures which include the Papo blue Velociraptor dinosaur model, represent figures that have been retired or that have been removed from production.  These dinosaur and prehistoric animal models will be available for a limited period.

In Stock at Everything Dinosaur – Rare Papo Prehistoric Animal Figures

In stock at Everything Dinosaur rare Papo models.

Rare Papo models either retired or out of production are in stock at Everything Dinosaur for a limited period.  The list includes the Papo blue Velociraptor (top), Papo Archaeopteryx, the Papo baby Triceratops, the original Papo Oviraptor complete with egg and the Papo green Velociraptor dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

As well as stocking a wide range of other Papo prehistoric animal figures, for a limited time, five rare Papo models will be available from Everything Dinosaur.  This list includes the original Papo Oviraptor, the Papo baby Triceratops, the green Velociraptor, the Papo Archaeopteryx and the very difficult to obtain Papo blue Velociraptor dinosaur model.

To view these rare Papo models and to see the rest of the Papo prehistoric animal model range that is available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

An Evolving Product Range

The range of models offered by Papo is constantly changing and evolving.  The Papo Oviraptor was one of two dinosaur models to be introduced by the French manufacturer in 2010.  It was retired in 2016-17, being replaced by a new blue Oviraptor colour variant.

The Papo Blue Oviraptor Dinosaur Model

Papo Oviraptor dinosaur model (2017).

Papo blue Oviraptor dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In contrast, the Papo blue Velociraptor was only available for a very short time.  It was introduced in 2017 and retired within eighteen months.  It had been introduced to replace the Papo green Velociraptor that had been launched in the previous year.  For a short time, Papo fans had the chance to build up their very own “raptor” pack.  Now thanks to Everything Dinosaur, collectors who missed out the first time have another opportunity, but only whilst stocks last.

A Trio of Papo “Raptors” Available for a Short Time (Whilst Stocks Last)

Papo Velociraptors.

A trio of Papo Velociraptors.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Papo Baby Triceratops and the Papo Archaeopteryx Model

The future of the Papo baby Triceratops remains uncertain.   It was introduced in 2014 and its demise was reported last year.  The Papo Archaeopteryx was added to the Papo model range (Les Dinosaures), in the same year as the baby Triceratops, an announcement was made about this figure’s retirement in the autumn of 2018.  We reported upon this and the withdrawal of the Papo Tupuxuara in October 2018: Papo Model Retirements in 2019.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We do our best to report on model retirements and in this instance we have been able to hold back some stock of rare models so that we could introduce them now enabling collectors who had missed out first time around to purchase these models.  We have kept our pricing at the same levels as usual, we do not want to exploit the rarity of such figures, rather provide dinosaur model fans with one last chance of picking up one of these excellent figures for their collection.”

27 07, 2019

JurassicCollectables Reviews “Green Day” and “Oasis”

By | July 27th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page|0 Comments

Rebor Dilophosaurus Figures – Video Review

The talented team at JurassicCollectables have produced another Rebor model video review.  They have put together a most informative video review of the latest Rebor replica releases, the Dilophosaurus models “Green Day” and “Oasis”.  This in-depth analysis of these two scale model replicas looks at the packaging, examines the bases of the models in detail and of course, takes the viewer on a guided tour of each of the figures.

JurassicCollectables Reviews the Rebor Dilophosaurus Replicas “Green Day” and “Oasis”

Video Credit: JurassicCollectables

Rebor Dilophosaurus wetherilli

With JurassicCollectables it is “ladies first” with the female Dilophosaurus “Oasis” taking centre stage for the first part of the video.  The narrator carefully unpacks the model and comments on the secure foam packaging that Rebor uses to protect its figures.  The model is assembled, but first, the beautifully painted base is examined and then the actual figure is reviewed, with a detailed examination of all the articulated parts and moveable features associated with this Rebor replica.

The Rebor Dilophosaurus “Oasis”

The Rebor Dilophosaurus "Oasis".

The Rebor Dilophosaurus “Oasis” reviewed by JurassicCollectables.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

In the video, the narrator explains why the box for the “Oasis” figure is larger, it has to accommodate the tree stump element of the figure’s base.  It is intriguing to see these 2019 sculpts compared to a vintage Kenner Dilophosaurus figure, they are in approximately the same scale.  “Off-colour Alan” makes an appearance maintaining the nod in the direction of the “Jurassic Park” film franchise and JurassicCollectables demonstrate how the base for “Oasis” can also be used in conjunction with the recently introduced Rebor “Killer Queen” Tyrannosaurus rex model.

A Close View of the Head of Rebor “Oasis”

Rebor Dilophosaurus "Oasis".

The Rebor Dilophosaurus “Oasis”.  The JurassicCollectables videos provide plenty of opportunity for dinosaur model fans to get a close look at the figures.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

Having Reviewed the Female Dilophosaurus Figure, “Green Day” the Male Dilophosaur Takes Centre Stage

The Rebor Dilophosaurus "Green Day".

Rebor Dilophosaurus “Green Day”.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

The YouTube video channel of JurassicCollectables is crammed full of well-written and beautifully shot video reviews of lots of different prehistoric animal  models.   Everything Dinosaur recommends that readers subscribe to this channel: Visit JurassicCollectables on YouTube

Looking at the Bases

One of the many benefits of a video review like this is that viewers get to see and hear about parts of the figure not necessarily shown in the official model photographs.  Take for example, the bases for these two Dilophosaurus replicas.  Each model can be displayed on its own, but they are designed to be used as a pair.  At Everything Dinosaur, we offer the Rebor Dilophosaurus pair at a special discounted price, this gives collectors the option of purchasing one, or choosing to pick up the pair together.  In the video, the narrator takes care to demonstrate how the bases fit together.

The Rebor Models Can Be Displayed Together

Rebor Dilophosaurus bases.

The base of the Rebor Dilophosaurus “Green Day” and “Oasis”.  The bases fit together really well allowing the two figures to be displayed together.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

Adding a Frill to your Dilophosaurus Figure

As well as providing size measurements and showing these two Rebor figures against other dinosaur models to give a size comparison, the narrator talks about Rebor’s innovative idea to provide a download so that you can customise these models and add a “frill”, to mimic how these dinosaurs were depicted in the first “Jurassic Park” movie.

Customising Your Dinosaur Model

Rebor Dilophosaurus models with their accessories (ruffs).

Rebor Dilophosaurus models with their ruffs.

 Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

Everything Dinosaur also offers a free download of these Rebor accessories, simply Email Everything Dinosaur and we will be happy to email the free download of the Dilophosaurus accessories to you.

Our thanks to JurassicCollectables for producing such an informative video.

To view the Rebor Dilophosaurus models “Green Day” and “Oasis” and the other Rebor replicas available from Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Prehistoric Animal Models

26 07, 2019

Everything Dinosaur Unboxing Video

By | July 26th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos|0 Comments

Unboxing PNSO and Mojo Fun Prehistoric Animal Models

Our thanks to Matthew the Dinosaur King who has posted up onto his YouTube channel an unboxing video featuring the new for 2019 Mojo Fun figures and a pair of the new for 2019 PNSO prehistoric animal models (Sede the Ankylosaurus and Patton the Megalodon with the articulated jaw).

Unboxing PNSO and Mojo Fun Prehistoric Animal Figures

Video Credit: Matthew the Dinosaur King

PNSO Prehistoric Animals

PNSO have begun to develop an extensive portfolio of prehistoric animal models.   Their focus remains on animals from the Mesozoic and it is great to see a number of Chinese dinosaurs including stegosaurs featured in their model portfolio.  This short video (it is a little over six minutes in length), also focuses on some Mojo Fun replicas.  Everything Dinosaur will be making some exciting announcements about Mojo Fun prehistoric animals in the near future.  Checkout our blog and social media platforms for Mojo Fun updates.

Our thanks once again to Matthew the Dinosaur King for creating such an excellent unboxing video.  We look forward to viewing the individual model reviews.

25 07, 2019

New Beasts of the Mesozoic “Raptors” Feature in Newsletter

By | July 25th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Newsletters, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New Beasts of the Mesozoic “Raptor” Models in Stock

The latest additions to the amazing Beasts of the Mesozoic range of articulated “raptor” figures feature in Everything Dinosaur’s July newsletter.  New replicas arrived at the company’s warehouse a few days ago, including the limited edition, exclusive Velociraptor osmolskae replica (alpha) as well as the trio of white nestlings.  As an exclusive model, it is the limited edition V. osmolskae (alpha) that takes the headline spot in our newsletter.

Highlighting the New for 2019 Limited Edition Velociraptor osmolskae Figure (Alpha)

Beasts of the Mesozoic Velociraptor osmolskae (alpha).

The exclusive limited edition Velociraptor osmolskae is in stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

“Road Runner” and a New Velociraptor mongoliensis

Also available is the beautifully coloured purple “raptor” – Saurornitholestes (S. sullivani).  This figure has been nicknamed “road runner” as its colouration is similar to the cartoon ground dwelling bird in the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons (Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies).  Saurornitholestes was certainly ground dwelling and cursorial.  Its velocity when running is not known, nor are we at Everything Dinosaur aware of any research that has attempted to calculate its maximum speed.   The fossil record is particularly sparse for this species, the bauplan (body plan), of this species is not known, it has been reconstructed based on more complete dromaeosaurids.  It is presumed, that like most dromaeosaurids, Saurornitholestes was nimble, agile and a fast runner – hence the “road runner” moniker.

The Beasts of the Mesozoic Velociraptor mongoliensis figure has proved to be one of the most popular figures in the entire range.  A new version (version 2), has been introduced and this figure also features in our newsletter.

The Purple Saurornitholestes sullivani Figure and the New Velociraptor mongoliensis Model (Version 2)

Velociraptor (black) and Beasts of the Mesozoic S. sullivani.

Beasts of the Mesozoic “road runner” and a Velociraptor.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Those clever designers behind the Beasts of the Mesozoic range have also added a beautifully sculpted model of the second Velociraptor species (V. osmolskae) in a wonderful, fiery red motif.  In addition, Everything Dinosaur will be stocking the Velociraptor (V. mongoliensis) black colour variant.

Everything Dinosaur Also Stocks the Velociraptor osmolskae (red) and the Impressive Velociraptor mongoliensis (black)

A pair of Velociraptors from the Beasts of the Mesozoic range.

Beasts of the Mesozoic Velociraptor osmolskae (red) and a Velociraptor (black).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An Extensive Dromaeosaurid-themed Range of Figures

The range of 1:6 scale figures also includes sets of baby dinosaurs.  These are available in a variety of colour combinations.  The Beasts of the Mesozoic white-coloured nestlings feature in the latest addition of our newsletter.  Everything Dinosaur stocks a huge range of Beasts of the Mesozoic models including the “Build-a-raptor” sets, the Deluxe figures and of course, the various environmental packs – mountain, desert, forest and wetlands.

To view the range of figures and models: Beasts of the Mesozoic Models.

A Trio of “Raptor” Nestlings and a Look at the Entire Beasts of the Mesozoic Model Range

Beasts of the Mesozoic "Raptor" models.

A trio of white “raptor” nestlings and a view of part of the extensive Beasts of the Mesozoic range.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To request to join the Everything Dinosaur newsletter subscribers list just send us an email: Email Everything Dinosaur

23 07, 2019

Defining Allometric Growth

By | July 23rd, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Defining Allometric Growth

Everything Dinosaur received an email from a dinosaur model collector the other day enquiring about the concept of allometric growth.  She had read in one of our blog articles about the growth rates of tyrannosaurids and wanted to enquire how we define allometric growth and what this might mean when looking at the lives of theropods.

Put simply, allometric growth occurs when different parts of an organism grow and develop at different rates.  The appearance of an organism undergoing allometric growth changes radically as the organism grows and matures.

Gorgosaurus libratus – One of the Most Extensively Studied Tyrannosaurs

Gorgosaurus libratus illustrated.

Faster and slightly more nimble when compared to contemporaneous tyrannosaurids and the extensive fossil record representing juveniles as well as adults has enabled palaeontologists to plot body plan changes.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Gorgosaurus libratus

The Late Cretaceous tyrannosaurid Gorgosaurus (G. libratus) provides palaeontologists with the most extensive fossil record of any member of the Tyrannosauridae.  It is known from numerous fossil specimens, including adults and juveniles, most of these fossils having come from the famous Dinosaur Park Formation of southern Alberta (Canada).  Leg bone proportions changed as these predators grew and matured.  For example, the femur (thigh bone), in adults  and sub-adults was slightly longer than or equal in length to the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula).  In the very largest specimens, the femur is more than a metre in length.  In many juveniles, it is the tibia that is longer than the femur.  The body proportions of these dinosaurs changed as they grew, so they are demonstrating allometric growth.

A Juvenile Gorgosaurus Feeding on the Carcase of a Centrosaurus

A speculative illustration of a young Gorgosaurus feeding on the carcass of a juvenile Centrosaurus.

A young Tyrannosaur (Gorgosaurus) scavenging the carcass of the juvenile Centrosaurus.  As Gorgosaurus grew and matured its body proportions changed.

Picture Credit: Marie-Hélène Trudel-Aubry/PeerJ

As the body proportions of Gorgosaurus changed as the animal grew and matured, this has implications for its behaviour.  For instance, young immature animals were very probably much faster runners than adult animals, they may have specialised in hunting and catching much smaller prey.  If these dinosaurs were pack hunters, then juveniles may have had a specific role in hunting, perhaps pursuing prey and driving it towards the adult members of the pack.

Isometric Growth

Organisms that have parts that grow at the same rate and therefore retain a consistent body plan as they grow are deemed to demonstrate isometric growth.  Many types of amphibian demonstrate isometric growth.  Once a frog has metamorphosised from the tadpole stage, its body proportions hardly change as it grows.

 

22 07, 2019

Prehistoric Times Magazine Issue 130 Reviewed

By | July 22nd, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

Prehistoric Times Magazine Issue 130 Reviewed

The latest edition of “Prehistoric Times” magazine has arrived at the offices of Everything Dinosaur.  This magazine is published quarterly and issue 130 (summer 2019), is packed full of reader’s palaeort, news about prehistoric animal discoveries, dinosaur model news, interviews, articles and so much more.

The Front Cover of Prehistoric Times (Issue 130)

The front cover of "Prehistoric Times" magazine - summer 2019.

“Prehistoric Times” magazine issue 130.

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks

A Wrap Around Cover

Inside the magazine, there is an interview with Timothy Quady of Blue Rhino Studio, the Minnesota-based producers of life-size prehistoric animal replicas for museums.  The front cover shows some examples of the team’s incredible work and best of all, this issue has a wrap around cover so readers can view a couple of additional Blue Rhino Studio sculpts.

Issue 130 of “Prehistoric Times” Magazine Has a Wrap Around Cover

The wrap around cover of "Prehistoric Times" magazine.

The wrap around cover of “Prehistoric Times” magazine features life-size prehistoric mammals.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Pterosaur Artwork by Burian

John Lavas continues his detailed examination of the artwork of the influential  Zdeněk Burian.  This edition features pterosaurs and there are some excellent examples of the famous Czech illustrator’s work including depictions of Rhamphorhynchus and Pterodactylus.  Phil Hore provides two prehistoric animal articles, the first on Allosaurus resulted in editor Mike Fredericks being inundated with images of this Late Jurassic predator.  Look out for fantastic illustrations by Luis Rey, Jorge Blanco, Mark Hallett and John Sibbick.  The second Phil Hore article discusses the enigmatic Elasmotherium, which ties in nicely to Mike Frederick’s “What’s New” review as it features the Elasmotherium illustration that we commissioned, when discussing the release of the CollectA Deluxe Elasmotherium figure.

Elasmotherium Featured in the Magazine

A scale drawing of Elasmotherium.

Elasmotherium scale drawing.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Eagle-eyed readers may also spot the image showing five of the new for 2019 Schleich prehistoric animal figures which is displayed on page 35.  This image was created by us and used to announce the first batch of new for 2019 Schleich figures back in December 2018.  The vast majority of the figures discussed in this article are already available from Everything Dinosaur, an exception being the limited edition Papo Spinosaurus which has now been delayed until the autumn.

Prehistoric Animal and Fossil News

Recent news stories featuring fossil discoveries are succinctly covered in the “Paleonews” section, look out for a story about a small T. rex relative from New Mexico and a stark illustration of the power of Sabre-toothed cats, which could puncture the skulls of rivals.  Issue 130 also includes a fascinating look at the creation of a four-foot-long Bronze Allosaurus sculpture by Mark Hallett.  Tracy Lee Ford continues the Late Jurassic theme focusing on how to draw the body of Stegosaurus, with a particularly helpful review of Stegosaur plate shapes.

To subscribe to this quarterly magazine: Subscribe to Prehistoric Times

21 07, 2019

Scientists Conclude Dinosaurs Nested in Colonies

By | July 21st, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Mongolian Fossil Site Sheds Light on Theropod Nesting Behaviour

A team of international scientists writing in the academic journal “Geology”, have published a scientific paper that outlines strong evidence to indicate that at least some types of dinosaur nested communally and that the Dinosauria had a breeding season.   Communial nesting behaviour as seen in living theropods such as birds has been inferred in a variety of non-avian dinosaurs in the past.  Famous fossil sites such as “Egg Mountain” in Montana, a nesting site for the hadrosaurid Maiasaura (and one or two troodontids too), that has provided high concentrations of nests preserved in a single location suggest that some types of dinosaurs nested in colonies, but the difficulty lay in proving that all the nests were created and the eggs laid at roughly the same time.

A new fossil nesting site discovered in the Upper Cretaceous Javkhlant Formation of the eastern Gobi Desert (Mongolia), preserves at least fifteen egg clutches laid by a probable non-avian theropod and this site provides strong evidence for colonial nesting in the dinosauria.

A Field Photograph of One of the Dinosaur Nests

The most complete nest of dinosaur eggs preserved at the site.

The most complete clutch of discovered at the site, preserving 30 dinosaur eggs.

Picture Credit: Kohei Tanaka, (University of Tsukuba).

A Common Palaeosurface to the Fossil Finds

The researchers, which included scientists from the University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada), University of Tsukuba (Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan), Hokkaido University Museum (Hokkaido, Japan), and the Royal Tyrrell Museum (Alberta, Canada), studied fifteen egg clutches laid by a theropod dinosaur.  As all the eggs were very similar, (classified as the oofamily the Dendroolithidae), it is likely that all the nests were created by the same species of dinosaur.  Communial nesting behaviour has been inferred before, but unsually, at this fossil site, the mudstone and eggshell fragments that fell inside the eggs during, or soon after hatching, along with other sediments indicates the clutches were subsequently buried during a small flood event that deposited a thin red marker bed.  It is this thin marker bed and the consistency of sediment infill among the eggs that indicates that these clutches were laid and hatched during a single season.  In scientific terms, there is a common palaeosurface associated with the dinosaur nests and eggshell fragments.

A Natural Cross Section Through an Egg Showing the Palaeosurface

Identifying the palaeosurface - evidence of communial nesting.

A natural cross section through an egg that shows the palaeosurface on which the eggs were laid, and the mudstone layers that infill and overlay the eggs.

Picture Credit: Kohei Tanaka, (University of Tsukuba).

Strong Evidence to Suggest that Some Dinosaurs Nested in Colonies Just Like Some Birds

The discovery of clutches of dinosaur eggs believed to have been laid by the same species of dinosaur, at the same level within the palaeosurface indicates that this is probably the fossilised remains of a single breeding season event.

A Hypothetical View of the Theropod Nesting Site (Therizinosaurs Nesting)

Javkhlant nesting site - theropods colonial nesting.

Life reconstruction of the theropod nesting site at Javkhlant.  It is suggested that the eggs were laid by Therizinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Masato Hattori

Using Vegetation to Incubate Eggs

The researchers conclude that despite the absence of sedimentologic evidence indicative of nest structure, statistical analyses of egg characteristics and facies association suggests that the clutches were likely incubated in covered or buried nests.  Some types of ground-nesting bird bury their eggs and use vegetation to help incubate and regulate the nest temperature.  This behaviour is also found in that other extant branch of the Archosauria, the crocodilians.  Furthermore, based on the number of nests and eggs found, the hatching success of the colony is estimated at around 60%.  This hatching success is comparable to the hatching success found in crocodile nesting sites and amongst bird species that attend their nests and, very importantly, protect their nests from predators during the incubation period.

Therefore, it is likely that colonial nesting with parental attendance, widespread in living birds, likely evolved initially among non-brooding, non-avian dinosaurs to increase nesting success.  In essence, the sort of nesting behaviours observed in living archosaurs today (birds and crocodiles), is probaby a trait that evolved quite early on in the evolutionary history of the Archosauria.

Nest Guarding Behaviour in Dinosaurs

It has been inferred that dinosaurs protected their nests, based on evidence that some dinosaurs may have nested in groups.  The percentage hatching success calculated from this site, reinforces that inference that some theropods may have defended their nest and, in all likelihood, their newly hatched offspring as well.  The oofamily Dendroolithidae is associated with Therizinosaurs, although the eggs could have been laid by another type of dinosaur.  Therizinosaurs are theropods but importantly, they are thought to be herbivorous and so in the life reconstruction, the nest builders are depicted as Therizinosaurs breeding together as a form of protection against carnivorous theropods and other predators.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the Royal Tyrrell Museum (Alberta) in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Exceptional preservation of a Late Cretaceous dinosaur nesting site from Mongolia reveals colonial nesting behavior in a non-avian theropod” by  Kohei Tanaka; Yoshitsugu Kobayashi; Darla K. Zelenitsky; François Therrien; Yuong-Nam Lee; Rinchen Barsbold; Katsuhiro Kubota; Hang-Jae Lee; Tsogtbaatar Chinzorig; Damdinsuren Idersaikhan published in the journal Geology.

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