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28 10, 2020

Microscopic Analysis of Pterosaur Teeth Provides Guide to Diet

By | October 28th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Members of the Pterosauria Undergo Dental Examination

Visiting the dentist can be a daunting experience for some, but for seventeen different species of pterosaur, a microscopic analysis of wear on the teeth has provided palaeontologists with a fresh perspective on the diets and lifestyles of these enigmatic flying reptiles.

Scientists from the University of Birmingham and the University of Leicester’s Centre for Palaeobiology Research studied dental wear patterns preserved on the fossilised teeth of the specimens and then compared these wear patterns to those found on the teeth of living reptiles including crocodilians and monitor lizards whose diets are known.

A Newly Published Scientific Paper Reveals New Data on the Diets of Pterosaurs

Pterosaur ecology, a fresh insight into the diets of the Pterosauria.

Pterosaur feeding strategies.  A study of dental microwear provides a new perspective on the diets of flying reptiles.

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

The researchers were able to demonstrate for the first time how microscopic dental wear analysis can be used to inform palaeontologists about the diet of an extinct animal but to also challenge existing ideas and perceptions about lifestyle and behaviour.

The scientific paper detailing their results are published in the academic journal “Nature Communications”.

Lead author of the study, Dr Jordan Bestwick (University of Birmingham’s School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences), commented:

“Most existing ideas about what pterosaurs ate come from comparisons of the shapes of their teeth with those of living animals.  For example, if the animal had conical teeth like a crocodile, we might assume it ate fish.  But this approach has obvious shortcomings – the teeth of pandas and polar bears, for example, are similar, but comparing them wouldn’t give us an accurate picture of their diets.”

Did Some Super-sized Pterosaurs Eat Dinosaurs?

Powerful necked Hatzegopteryx feeds on a dinosaur.

Transylvanian giant azhdarchid pterosaur Hatzegopteryx sp. preys on the rhabdodontid iguanodontian Zalmoxes.

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

Durophagus Diets

The analysis showed that modern reptiles with rougher wear on their tooth surfaces are more likely to have eaten crunchy things, such as shelled invertebrates – beetles or crabs.  Eating hard-shelled animals or creatures with a tough exoskeleton such as some types of insect is referred to as durophagy.  Reptiles which eat mainly soft items, such as fish, have smoother tooth surfaces, which show less wear.  By applying the technique to pterosaurs, the scientists were able to comment on the likely diet of each species.

Dr Bestwick added:

“Our analysis has yielded some fascinating insights into individual species, but also into some of the bigger questions around how these pterosaurs evolved and whether their lifestyles were more similar to those of extant birds or reptiles.  Evidence from dental microwear analysis can shed new light on this debate.”

Professor Mark Purnell, Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Leicester explained:

“This is the first time this technique has been applied in this way to ancient reptiles, and it’s great to find it works so well.  Often, palaeontologists have very little to go on when trying to understand what extinct animals ate.  This approach gives us a new tool, allowing us to move from what are sometimes little more than educated guesses, into the realms of solid science.”

Examining the Diet of Rhamphorhynchus

In one example, the team examined the teeth of Rhamphorhynchus, a long-tailed pterosaur from the Jurassic period.  Researchers found that juvenile Rhamphorhynchus had insect-based diets, whereas their adult counterparts – about the size of a large seagull – were more likely to have eaten fish.  This suggests a species in which the adults took little care of their young (precocial behaviour) – a behaviour that is common in reptiles and is not exhibited by birds.

A Rhamphorhynchus Fossil Specimen (R. muensteri)

Rhamphorhynchus fossil (R. muensteri)

A Rhamphorhynchus fossil from the Upper Jurassic sediments of Solnhofen (Germany).

Picture Credit: Peabody Museum of Natural History/Yale University

Looking at Pterosaur Evolution

The research team also investigated whether their analysis could shed light on how different species of pterosaurs evolved.  The first pterosaurs evolved during the Triassic and they survived until the very end of the Mesozoic some 66 million years ago, becoming extinct at the same time as their archosaur relatives the dinosaurs.  In that time, according to the dental microwear analysis, there was a general shift in diet from invertebrates such as insects, towards a more meat or fish-based diet.

Commenting on the potential significance of this dietary shift, Dr Bestwick stated:

“We found that the earliest forms of pterosaurs ate mainly crunchy invertebrates.  The shift towards eating fish or meat coincides with the evolution of birds.  We think it’s possible, therefore, that competition with birds could explain the decline of smaller-bodied pterosaurs and a rise in larger, carnivorous species.”

It is an intriguing thought, although the fossil record of the Pterosauria is far from complete and there is a degree of bias towards the most productive pterosaur-fossil bearing strata such as deposits associated with the Crato and Santana Formations of the Early Cretaceous, which prevents a detailed assessment of pterosaur diversity over the duration of the Mesozoic from the Norian onwards.

Natalia Jagielska, a PhD researcher in pterosaur palaeontology based at the University of Edinburgh, (not involved in this study), commented that the research adds much-needed clarity to the behaviour and ecological role of pterosaurs in ancient food webs.

“Pterosaurs are a fascinating group of Mesozoic reptiles with astounding diversity in tooth morphology.  This study is important for contributing to the idea that young Rhamphorhynchus were independent invertebrate hunters before becoming fish consumers, rather than being fed and nurtured by parents, like birds.  Or that in pterosaur-rich environments, like the Late Jurassic Bavarian lagoons, pterosaur species have partitioned to occupy variations of dietary niches.”

The authors of the scientific paper are confident that this new research will provide a benchmark assisting in the interpretation of the diet of long extinct reptiles and in doing so, will lead to an improved understanding of ancient ecosystems.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the contribution of a media release from the University of Birmingham in the compilation of this article.

27 10, 2020

Eofauna Announce a Triceratops Species

By | October 27th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Eofauna Announce a Triceratops Species

The talented team at Eofauna Scientific Research in collaboration with Everything Dinosaur have revealed their latest prehistoric animal model.  The sixth model in this exciting series is a replica of a Triceratops.  It is not a model of Triceratops horridus or indeed T. prorsus, but a representation of a probable third species, one that has not yet been formally described.

This exciting new model is due to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur early in 2021.

The Eofauna Scientific Research Triceratops sp. Replica

Eofauna Scientific Research Triceratops Model

The big reveal – the sixth model in the Eofauna series is that of a species of Triceratops.

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research

Confusing Triceratops

“Three-horned Face” might be one of the best known of all the Dinosauria, but from a palaeontological perspective we have a lot to learn about this denizen of the famous Hell Creek Formation of North America.  As many as sixteen different species of Triceratops have been recognised in the past, today, we have just two, Triceratops horridus and the geologically younger Triceratops prorsus.  The new Eofauna model is based on an, as yet, unnamed species that shows characteristics of both T. horridus and T. prorsus, not surprisingly really as its fossils are found in sediments below where Triceratops prorsus fossils are located and above the layers associated with Triceratops horridus.

A Teaser Image was Released by Eofauna and Everything Dinosaur Prior to the Formal Announcement

What's the next model from Eofauna?

Can you tell what it is yet?  Teasing about the new Eofauna Scientific Research figure.

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research

Confused?  Here’s a brief outline of the science…

Identifying Different Species of Horned Dinosaur

The Ceratopsia provide palaeontologists with a bit of a headache (deliberate pun intended), when it comes to distinguishing species.  Many species have been erected based on the shape of their skulls and their cranial ornamentation – spikes, horns and frills, but these features change as the animals grow and mature.   Hence the long running debate as to whether Torosaurus is a distinct genus or merely very old examples of Triceratops.  Working out species is often compounded when ideas relating to sexual dimorphism are incorporated into the mix.

In helping to identify a species, a number of conditions need to be met, such as:

1).  The fossils thought to represent a single species need to come from closely associated stratigraphic layers and from the same area.

2).  A range of specimens representing different individuals of different ages are required to help to rule out variations due to ontogeny (different stages of growth and maturity).

3).  Ideally intermediate specimens should exist that combine features of older and younger related species within the stratigraphic column.

Stratigraphic Placement of Hell Creek Formation Triceratops

Stratigraphic placement of Hell Creek Formation Triceratops.

Stratigraphic placement of Hell Creek Formation Triceratops reveals trends in cranial morphology, helping to confirm species.

Picture Credit: Scannella et al

The Eofauna Triceratops Figure

The new Triceratops model from Eofauna has been inspired by fossil finds associated with the middle portion of the Hell Creek Formation (M3).  The design team have incorporated findings from the study of Triceratops bones such as specimen number UCMP 128561 and MOR 3027 (underlined in blue on the diagram above), that reveal a suite of anatomical characteristics intermediate between T. horridus and T. prorsus.

Although the lower, middle and upper portions of the Hell Creek Formation cover a relatively short period of geological time (around 2 million years), extensive research has revealed that the two currently recognised species of Triceratops are separated stratigraphically and that over time, there was a transformation in the Triceratops lineage with T. horridus evolving into T. prorsus with an intermediate species stage.  In biology, the gradual transition of one species into another within a population is referred to as anagenesis.

Our congratulations to Eofauna Scientific Research, we often praise model making companies for introducing new figures based on fossil specimens that have only recently been described, but in this case, Eofauna have gone further, they have produced a model of a dinosaur that has yet to be formally described demonstrating an informed perspective on vertebrate palaeontology.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s blog post from 2014 when the scientific paper was published: How Triceratops Got its Horns and Beak.

For a comprehensive overview of the Triceratops genus in respect to identifying new species:

The scientific paper: “Evolutionary trends in Triceratops from the Hell Creek Formation, Montana” by John B. Scannella, Denver W. Fowler, Mark B. Goodwin and John R. Horner published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

The Eofauna Triceratops sp. model is due to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in early 2021.

To view the current range of Eofauna models available from Everything Dinosaur: Eofauna Scientific Research Models and Figures.

26 10, 2020

New PNSO Models Borealopelta and Atopodentatus

By | October 26th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New PNSO Models Borealopelta and Atopodentatus

Today, Everything Dinosaur in collaboration with their partners at PNSO announce the introduction of two more prehistoric animal figures in the PNSO mid-size model range.  Say hello to Gavin the Borealopelta and Zewail the Atopodentatus marine reptile.

New from PNSO – Gavin the Borealopelta Armoured Dinosaur Model

PNSO Borealopelta armoured dinosaur model.

PNSO Borealopelta dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

New from PNSO – Zewail the Atopodentatus Marine Reptile Model

PNSO Atopodentatus model.

Zewail the PNSO Atopodentatus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

PNSO Gavin the Borealopelta Dinosaur Model

PNSO have been busy introducing several new figures, joining Caroline the Corythosaurus, Audrey the Lambeosaurus, the stunning Tuojiangosaurus and Gaoyuan the Microraptor is a figure of a Borealopelta (B. markmitchelli), named and described in 2017 from a single specimen and regarded as one of the best preserved armoured dinosaur fossils known to science.

A View of the Armour on the Back of the PNSO Borealopelta Model

PNSO dinosaur model (Borealopelta).

PNSO Gavin the Borealopelta dinosaur model.  The beautifully detailed armour on the back of this dinosaur figure can be seen.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The front portion of the dinosaur had been preserved in an articulated state and in three-dimensions and the design team at PNSO have taken great care to reproduce the layout of the armour on their dinosaur figure.

What Scale is the PNSO Borealopelta?

Although, the PNSO mid-size model range does not normally have a declared scale, based on the measurements of the Borealopelta fossil specimen from the Suncor Energy Millennium Mine (holotype number TMP 2011.033.0001), Everything Dinosaur team members estimate that this 17.6 cm long model is in approximately 1:32 scale.

PNSO Gavin the Borealopelta Model Measurements

PNSO Gavin the Borealopelta dinosaur model.

PNSO Borealopelta dinosaur model dimensions.  Based on a model length 17.6 cm the PNSO Borealopelta figure is in approximately 1:32 scale.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The PNSO Gavin the Borealopelta Dinosaur Model

PNSO Gavin the Borealopelta armoured dinosaur model.

The PNSO Borealopelta dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This figure along with the other new PNSO models will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur shortly.

PNSO Zewail the Atopodentatus Model

The second new prehistoric animal model that Everything Dinosaur announce today is a replica of the peculiar Middle Triassic marine reptile from south-western China called Atopodentatus (A. unicus).  It is great to see a Chinese model making company continuing their trend for producing prehistoric animal figures representing prehistoric animals whose fossils were found in China, in this case Yunnan Province.

The PNSO Zewail the Atopodentatus Marine Reptile Model

PNSO Zewail the Atopodentatus model.

PNSO Zewail the Atopodentatus marine reptile model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The taxonomy of this bizarre reptile remains uncertain.  The unusual jaws and teeth suggest a diet of seaweed and algae similar to that of the extant marine iguana of the Galapagos Islands.  With fossils dating from around 245 to 242 million years ago, the scientists responsible for naming and describing Atopodentatus proposed that this was the oldest record of herbivory within marine reptiles.

The Amazing Jaws and Teeth of the PNSO Atopodentatus Model

The PNSO Atopodentatus marine reptile model.

The impressive head of the bizarre marine reptile Atopodentatus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

PNSO Atopodentatus Model Measurements

The beautifully sculpted Atopodentatus model measures a fraction over 14 centimetres in length.  Based on an examination of the largest fossil specimens of A. unicus, Everything Dinosaur team members estimate that this figure is in approximately 1/20th scale.

PNSO Atopodentatus Model Measurements

PNSO Zewail the Atopodentatus model dimensions.

The PNSO Zewail the Atopodentatus model measures a fraction over 14 cm long which suggests that this figure is in approximately 1:20 scale.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Both Gavin the Borealopelta and the PNSO Atopodentatus model will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur soon.

In the meantime, to view the range of PNSO models in stock at Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Models and Figures.

24 10, 2020

Papo Giganotosaurus

By | October 24th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Papo Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model

Everything Dinosaur team members are preparing to announce more new prehistoric animal models for 2021 from our various manufacturing partners.  However, we are aware that there is some unfinished business when it comes to new figures and replicas for this year (2020).  We are currently working on a YouTube video that will inform viewers about the latest situation surrounding Papo model production and their six new prehistoric animals that were scheduled to be introduced over the last few months.

A Close View of the Head of the Recently Introduced Papo Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model

Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.

The Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model, one of six new figures planned for 2020 by the French model manufacturer.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Papo Giganotosaurus model is one of five dinosaur models that were due to be introduced in 2020.  The other models are a replica of Chilesaurus, Stygimoloch and new colour variants of the Papo feathered Velociraptor and the Parasaurolophus.

Production was disrupted and we are still waiting to receive the feathered Velociraptor as well as the magnificent Megaloceros model, but we are confident that we the remaining figures will be in stock before Christmas.  Ironically, the Megaloceros model was originally planned to be the first of the new for 2020 replicas to be introduced (May 2020), but the global COVID-19 pandemic led to a change in production plans.

The Giganotosaurus figure stands approximately twenty centimetres tall and it is around 18 centimetres long.  It features in a new YouTube video that Everything Dinosaur team members have been working on entitled “Papo in Perspective”.

A Dinosaur Model in Need of a Hug (Papo Giganotosaurus Replica)

A studio shot of the Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.

The pose of the Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model gives the impression that this dinosaur needs a hug.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of Papo models available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Prehistoric Animal Models and Figures.

In this new video, due to be published shortly, team members at Everything Dinosaur review the Papo Giganotosaurus model and provide information about recent Papo retirements and ask viewers to suggest new prehistoric animal models for the French company to make for introducing in 2022.

The Influence of Zdeněk Burian

In the video review, we look at the influence of the famous Czech artist Zdeněk Burian on the design team at Papo.  For example, the pose of the Giganotosaurus reminded team members of a 1950 illustration of the palaeofauna of the Morrison Formation painted by Burian.  The theropod in the painting Antrodemus valens, is now thought to be nomen dubium, the fossil material previously ascribed to this doubtful genus most likely representing an Allosaurus.

The Classic Artwork of Zdeněk Burian –  Stegosaurus stenops Confronts a Pair of Theropod Dinosaurs

Stegosaurus stenops threatened by a pair of Antrodemus valens.

The classic depiction of a Late Jurassic scene by Burian (1950).  Team members think that the pose of the 2020 Papo Giganotosaurus was influenced by the artwork of Zdeněk Burian.

Picture Credit: Zdeněk Burian

23 10, 2020

A New Model from Eofauna Scientific Research

By | October 23rd, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|4 Comments

A New Model from Eofauna Scientific Research

Those dedicated and talented team members at Eofauna Scientific Research will be introducing a new prehistoric animal model in 2021.  A teaser campaign has been launched.  As with previous product announcements from this amazing model-making company, there is no instant reveal, instead today, we see the start of a teaser campaign.

A Sixth Model from Eofauna Scientific Research – Can you Guess What it Might Be?

Teaser campaign launched for the next Eofauna Scientific Research figure.

A teaser campaign has been launched today for the sixth model in the Eofauna Scientific Research series.  The model will be available in early 2021.  Can you guess what it might be?

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research/Everything Dinosaur

Six of the Best!

At present, there are five prehistoric animal figures in the Eofauna Scientific Research range.  The first model to be introduced was the Steppe Mammoth (Mammuthus trogontherii) in the autumn of 2017.  This stunning 1/40th scale model was followed a few months later by a beautiful 1/35th scale replica of a Straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus).  Fans of dinosaur models did not have long to wait, as the third figure to be introduced was Giganotosaurus (Giganotosaurus carolinii), which came out in January 2019.  In October of that year, the third model of a prehistoric proboscidean was launched – a 1/35th scale model of a Deinotherium (Deinotherium giganteum).  The excitement had hardly subsided, when just a few weeks later, a fifth model was introduced, a replica of the Middle Jurassic sauropod Atlasaurus (A. imelakei).

The Current Range of Eofauna Scientific Research Models – Another Addition Coming Soon

Eofauna Scientific Research models (2020).

As of late October 2020, the Eofauna Scientific Research range consists of five figures, but a new model will be introduced in early 2021.

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research/Everything Dinosaur

Here is a summary of the figures introduced to date:

  1. Steppe Mammoth (Mammuthus trogontherii) launched autumn 2017.
  2. Straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) launched summer 2018.
  3. Giganotosaurus (Giganotosaurus carolinii) launched January 2019.
  4. Deinotherium (Deinotherium giganteum) launched October 2019.
  5. Atlasaurus dinosaur model (Atlasaurus imelakei) launched November 2019.

What is the sixth model in the series?  From the one image released so far there is not much to go on, but have a guess?

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We had known about this figure for some time, but it is always exciting for us when we can post up teaser images about a new introduction from this fascinating and highly detailed series.  We look forward to sharing more pictures with our fans and followers and of course participating in the “big reveal” in the very near future.”

In the meantime, fans of dinosaur models and collectors of prehistoric animal figures can find the current Eofauna Scientific Research range here: Eofauna Scientific Research Models.

22 10, 2020

PNSO Caroline the Corythosaurus Dinosaur Model

By | October 22nd, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

PNSO Caroline the Corythosaurus Dinosaur Model

PNSO have added another replica of a famous North American duck-billed dinosaur to their mid-sized model range.  Recently, Everything Dinosaur revealed that a Lambeosaurus was being introduced.  Today we announce a figure named Caroline the Corythosaurus.  It has been revealed this morning with Everything Dinosaur and PNSO co-ordinating the release of images of this, the latest edition to the PNSO prehistoric animal model portfolio.  Everything Dinosaur will be stocking this model and we hope to announce very soon when this model will be available.

The PNSO Caroline the Corythosaurus Dinosaur Model

PNSO Caroline the Corythosaurus dinosaur model.

The new PNSO Caroline the Corythosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Graceful Dinosaur Model

This beautifully designed hadrosaur with its long slender legs gives the impression of a very graceful dinosaur.  The proportions of the forelimbs in relation to the hind legs reflect the extensive fossil material associated with this genus.  Regarded as a facultative biped (walking on all fours, but capable of adopting a bipedal stance when required, for example to flee from a predator), this dinosaur is estimated to have weighed more than three tonnes and reached a body length in excess of nine metres.

The New PNSO Caroline the Corythosaurus Measures 27 cm Long

PNSO Caroline the Corythosaurus model.

The PNSO Caroline the Corythosaurus dinosaur model is approximately 27 cm long and that beautiful “helmet” is around 10.5 cm off the ground.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

As the PNSO Caroline the Corythosaurus measures approximately twenty-seven centimetres long, it can be suggested that this figure is in approximately 1:33 scale, although PNSO does not officially declare a scale for their mid-sized model range.

A Stunning Replica of “Helmet Lizard”

The first species of Corythosaurus (C. casuarius), was formerly named and described in 1914 (Barnum Brown).  It is known from numerous skeletons including complete skulls, all of which are associated with Late Cretaceous (Campanian faunal stage) strata of Alberta, Canada.  That famous semicircular skull crest has been painted a combination of seafoam green and orange.  This is a stunning replica of “helmet lizard”.

A Close-up View of the Magnificent Head of the PNSO Caroline the Corythosaurus Dinosaur Model

PNSO Corythosaurus dinosaur model.

A close-up view of the carefully crafted head of the PNSO Corythosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Eagle-eyed dinosaur model collectors will note that this model is number 28 in the series, whereas Gaoyuan the Microraptor, which will be available from Everything Dinosaur around mid-November is model number 29.  The PNSO Tuojiangosaurus replica we announced on October 16th, 2020 is model number 34.  From this, it can be deduced that more PNSO models are likely to follow.  Rest assured model collectors, Everything Dinosaur team members will do their best to keep you up to date with new PNSO figures.

The Packaging for the New PNSO Corythosaurus Dinosaur Model

PNSO Caroline the Corythosaurus packaging.

The packaging for the PNSO Caroline the Corythosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur will be providing more information about when this exciting new figure will be in stock.

In the meantime, to view the current range of PNSO figures: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Models and Figures.

21 10, 2020

Remembering “Joe” the Baby Parasaurolophus

By | October 21st, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Remembering “Joe” the Baby Parasaurolophus

This week, seven years ago, a remarkable paper was published in the academic journal PeerJ.  The research centred upon a beautifully-preserved fossil specimen of a baby Parasaurolophus that at around two and a half metres in length, represented the smallest and most complete specimen described to date for this genus.  Nicknamed “Joe” this dinosaur that roamed southern Utah some 75 million years ago, demonstrated the astonishing growth rates of duck-billed dinosaurs.  Although approximately a quarter of the size of a fully grown Parasaurolophus, bone histology suggested that “Joe” was less than a year old when it died.

Interpretive Drawing and Right Lateral View of the Fossilised Remains  -“Joe” the Parasaurolophus

"Joe" the baby Parasaurolophus.

The skeleton of “Joe” the Parasaurolophus (specimen number RAM 14000), in right lateral view (A) interpretive drawing and (B) photograph.   Note scale bar = 10 cm.

Picture Credit: Farke et al (PeerJ)

A Baby Dinosaur Found by Students

The fossilised remains of the young Parasaurolophus were found in 2009 by a group of students on a field trip to the Kaiparowits Formation (Campanian faunal stage), exposures at the famous Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, with Andrew Farke of the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Palaeontology. When first shown a fragment of fossil bone eroding out of the surrounding sediment, Dr Farke dismissed it as an inconsequential piece of fossil rib.  It was only when they explored the area a little more closely did they realise the potential significance of the discovery.

The scientific paper on this remarkable specimen was published in October 2013.  The skull, measuring 24.6 cm in length showed signs of the tubular crest beginning to form, although a cross-section of bone from the tibia (lower leg bone), showed no lines of arrested growth (LAGs), implying that the Parasaurolophus may have been less than twelve months old when it died.  Based on a comparison with other Lambeosaurine fossils, the research team concluded that Parasaurolophus initiated development of its head crest at less than 25% maximum skull size, contrasting with 50% of maximum skull size in hadrosaurs such as Corythosaurus.

Parasaurolophus formed its unusual headgear by expanding some of its skull bones earlier and for a longer period of time than other closely related duck-billed dinosaurs.

An Interpretative Drawing of the Skull with Fossil Shown in Left Lateral View

Interpretive drawing and photograph of baby Parasaurolophus skull.

Left half of the skull of Parasaurolophus sp., RAM 14000, in lateral view. Interpretive drawing (A) and (B) photograph of the skull.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

“Joe” was named after Joe Augustyn, a patron of the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Palaeontology, where the fossils can be seen on display.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s original article on “Joe” the baby Parasaurolophus: Fossilised Remains of a Baby Parasaurolophus from Southern Utah.

The scientific paper: “Ontogeny in the tube-crested dinosaur Parasaurolophus (Hadrosauridae) and heterochrony in hadrosaurids” by Andrew A. Farke, Derek J. Chok, Annisa Herrero, Brandon Scolieri and Sarah Werning published in PeerJ.

20 10, 2020

Mapping the Genome of the Scimitar-Toothed Cat Homotherium latidens

By | October 20th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Mapping the Genome of Homotherium latidens

The diverse and geographically widespread machairodonts, a subfamily of the cat family (Felidae), have fascinated palaeontologists for a very long time and there is still a great deal of research directed towards these sabre-toothed predators.  Recently, Everything Dinosaur published an article that looked at how those enlarged canines might have been used by different types of sabre-toothed creature known from the fossil record: Sabre-toothed Predators Evolved Different Hunting Styles.  However, a team of international scientists led by researchers from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), have taken a more holistic view when it comes to these long-fanged mammals.  They have mapped the entire nuclear genome of the machairodont Homotherium latidens and their research suggests that this tiger-sized carnivore was a highly social, pursuit predator.

A Pack of Homotherium Pursue a Prehistoric Horse

Homotherium latidens a cursorial pack hunter?

A pack of Homotherium latidens chasing a prehistoric horse.  What an amazing example of paleoart – our congratulations to the artist.

Picture Credit: Velizar Simeonovski/University of Copenhagen

Writing in the academic journal “Current Biology”, the scientists were able to extract DNA from a H. latidens specimen found in thawing Pleistocene permafrost near Dawson City in the Yukon Territory (Canada).  A variety of modern genomic sequencing strategies were applied to reveal a map of the entire genome of the fossil.  The data was then compared to living felids such as the domestic cat as well as lions and tigers.  The DNA study reveals what genes were highly selected upon and important in evolution of the species.

Commenting on the significance of this research, Michael Westbury, a co-author of the paper based at the University of Copenhagen stated:

“Their genetic makeup hints towards scimitar-toothed cats being highly skilled hunters.  They likely had very good daytime vision and displayed complex social behaviours.  They had genetic adaptations for strong bones and cardiovascular and respiratory systems, meaning they were well suited for endurance running.  Based on this, we think they hunted in a pack until their prey reached exhaustion with an endurance-based hunting-style during the day light hours.”

This type of hunting behaviour is sometimes seen in lions today, although they are mainly ambush predators and they also hunt at night.  Perhaps the most relevant modern analogue to the hunting behaviour proposed for Homotherium latidens is that of the gray wolf (Canis lupus), which is primarily a diurnal, pursuit predator of large prey.

The genome analysis also revealed that this scimitar-toothed cat was genetically very diverse when compared to extant cat species.

Doctor Westbury, a postdoctoral researcher in the GLOBE Institute at the University of Copenhagen also stated:

“We know that genetic diversity correlates to how many of a given species that exists.  Based on this, our best guess is that there were a lot of these big cats around.  This also makes perfect sense given that their fossils have been found on every single continent except Australia and Antarctica.”

To read a related article about the discovery of a treasure trove of prehistoric mammal fossils including machairodonts that have been found in Venezuela: Oil Companies Assist with Huge Fossil Discovery.

The Genome of the Extinct Machairodont Homotherium latidens has been Mapped

Mapping the genome of Homotherium latidens.

Researchers have mapped the genome of the prehistoric cat Homotherium latidens.  The analysis suggests that these cats were highly social and adapted to a long pursuit, endurance form of hunting.

Picture Credit: University of Copenhagen/Current Biology

Homotherium Distantly Related to Extant Felids

The study demonstrated that the Homotherium genus is only very distantly related to all modern cats.  This type of cat diverged from the Felidae lineage around 22.5 million years ago (early Miocene Epoch) and this conclusion supports the hypothesis that the Machairodontinae are a distinct subfamily within the Felidae.

The Demise of Homotherium

The fossil record demonstrates that Homotherium and related genera were extremely successful.  These cats were both geographically and temporally widely dispersed.  It remains a mystery as to why these carnivores were unable to survive to the present day.  The authors of the paper speculate that some of the adaptations/specialisations that led to Homotherium’s success could also have played a pivotal role in its demise and eventual extinction.

Toward the end of the Late Pleistocene, a decrease in large prey availability may have caused more direct competition with other cat species that were likely more effective at capturing the remaining smaller prey species.  The specific adaptations Homotherium had acquired would have suddenly become less advantageous, leading to an irreversible decline that ultimately resulted in extinction.

Fellow co-author Ross Barnett, (GLOBE Institute at the University of Copenhagen), explained:

“This was an extremely successful family of cats.  They were present on five continents and roamed the earth for millions of years before going extinct.  The current geological period is the first time in 40 million years that earth has lacked sabre-tooth predators.  We just missed them.”

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the University of Copenhagen in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Genomic Adaptations and Evolutionary History of the Extinct Scimitar-Toothed Cat, Homotherium latidens” by Ross Barnett, Michael V. Westbury, Marcela Sandoval-Velasco, Filipe Garrett Vieira, Sungwon Jeon, Grant Zazula, Michael D. Martin, Simon Y. W. Ho, Niklas Mather, Shyam Gopalakrishnan, Jazmín Ramos-Madrigal, Marc de Manuel, M. Lisandra Zepeda-Mendoza, Agostinho Antunes, Aldo Carmona Baez, Binia De Cahsan, Greger Larson, Stephen J. O’Brien, Eduardo Eizirik, Warren E. Johnson, Klaus-Peter Koepfli, Andreas Wilting, Jörns Fickel, Love Dalén, Eline D. Lorenzen, Tomas Marques-Bonet, Anders J. Hansen, Guojie Zhang, Jong Bhak, Nobuyuki Yamaguchi and M. Thomas P. Gilbert published in the journal Current Biology.

19 10, 2020

PNSO Audrey the Lambeosaurus Dinosaur Model

By | October 19th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

PNSO Audrey the Lambeosaurus Dinosaur Model

Everything Dinosaur announces the introduction of a new model into the PNSO mid-size range of replicas – Audrey the Lambeosaurus dinosaur model.  In a co-ordinated media release with PNSO, our team members are able to post up pictures of this, a most impressive duck-billed dinosaur model, a representation of a hadrosaur that roamed North America during the Late Cretaceous.

The PNSO Audrey the Lambeosaurus Dinosaur Model

Audrey the Lambeosaurus dinosaur model.

The stunning new, duck-billed dinosaur figure to be introduced by PNSO.  Audrey the Lambeosaurus dinosaur model.  The model measures approximately 24.5 cm in length and that wonderful head crest is around 10 cm off the ground.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Complicated History

The Lambeosaurus genus was formally erected by the Canadian palaeontologist and geologist William Parks in 1923.  The genus name honours another famous Canadian pioneer of palaeontology in the province of Alberta – Lawrence Lambe, who inadvertently contributed to the rather puzzling and complicated assessment of the hadrosaurids of Laramidia, with a number of genera being erected in the early years of the 20th century.  This led to subsequent revisions and reassessments of the wealth of fossil material related to crested hadrosaurs.  Today, three species of Lambeosaurus are recognised by most palaeontologists.  The taxonomic history of the Lambeosaurini tribe is certainly complicated.

The PNSO Lambeosaurus Model (Audrey the Lambeosaurus)

Audrey the Lambeosaurus (PNSO).

A stunning replica of the Late Cretaceous hadrosaur Lambeosaurus from PNSO.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The PNSO Lambeosaurus has been painted in subtle green hues with orange and black on that striking head crest.  The body, side of the head, neck, flanks, tail and limbs have a reticulated pattern overlaying the countershading.  PNSO have produced an eye-catching replica of a huge herbivorous dinosaur.

A Close-up View of the Head of the New PNSO Dinosaur Model Audrey the Lambeosaurus

PNSO Audrey the Lambeosaurus.

A close-up view of the magnificent head crest of Audrey the Lambeosaurus.  The PNSO Audrey the Lambeosaurus dinosaur model has been beautifully painted.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Model Measures 24.5 cm Long (Approximately)

The mid-sized range of prehistoric animals made by PNSO has expanded rapidly.  Everything Dinosaur has already produced a number of blog articles announcing new figures in this very popular series.  Team members often get asked to provide a guide as to the scale of a dinosaur figure.  PNSO do not declare a scale for this particular part of their prehistoric animal portfolio and there is some confusion as to which fossil remains represent Lambeosaurus or other closely related genera.  Some scientists have previously stated that Lambeosaurus could have been as long as fifteen metres, but the largest species from Canada have led to more conservative estimates of around nine metres in length.  Based on a nine-metre-long adult specimen, it could be suggested that the PNSO Lambeosaurus is around 1:36 scale.

The Box Art for Audrey the Lambeosaurus (PNSO)

The box for the PNSO Lambeosaurus dinosaur model.

The packaging design for the PNSO Audrey the Lambeosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur will announce shortly when this wonderful duck-billed dinosaur will be in stock.

In the meantime, to view the existing range of PNSO prehistoric animals available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.

18 10, 2020

Everything Dinosaur Enters into Exclusive Territory Agreement with ITOY Studio

By | October 18th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Enters into Exclusive Territory Agreement with ITOY Studio

Everything Dinosaur has been appointed the exclusive importer of ITOY Studio dinosaur and prehistoric animal models for the European Economic Area (EEA).

In a landmark agreement between ITOY Studio and the UK-based Everything Dinosaur, collectors of museum quality, detailed scale models of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals will be able to purchase the ITOY Studio range directly from Everything Dinosaur.

The first shipment of models including the beautifully detailed ITOY Studio green T. rex complete with its display base are due to arrive at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse around the 10th of November.

The Stunning ITOY Studio Green T. rex Dinosaur Figure

The ITOY Studio Green T. rex Dinosaur Model.

The ITOY Studio Green Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur model with an articulated jaw and complete with display base.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Official Importer of ITOY Studio Prehistoric Animal Models

As Everything Dinosaur is the official importer with responsibility for selling ITOY Studio models in Europe, model collectors will be able to get access to this exciting range via an award-winning, five-star rated supplier.

The Stunning ITOY Studio Dilophosaurus Dinosaur Model with an Articulated Jaw

The ITOY Studio Dilophosaurus.

ITOY Studio Dilophosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In addition, team members have been working closely with ITOY Studio and will be managing product testing for the model range.  Samples of the soon to be introduced Paraceratherium replica have been despatched to Everything Dinosaur’s offices and product testing will then commence.

The Exciting Paraceratherium Replica

ITOY Studio Paraceratherium.

The ITOY Studio Paraceratherium replica.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Once completed and pending statutory approval, customers of Everything Dinosaur will be able to purchase this figure directly from Everything Dinosaur’s website: Everything Dinosaur collectors can acquire top quality prehistoric animal models from a top quality supplier.

Commenting on the exclusive territory agreement, Sue Judd of Everything Dinosaur stated:

“We are very proud to have been appointed official importers into the European Economic Area for the ITOY Studio range.”

Sue, who is the Financial Director and nick-named “Tyrannosaurus Sue” added:

“Our customers can be assured that when they are buying from Everything Dinosaur, they are purchasing from one of the most highly rated companies in the world for customer service.  We are continually striving to improve and we are looking forward to the arrival of the first ITOY Studio shipment at our warehouse.”

The ITOY Studio range of prehistoric animal figures are collectables, they are display pieces suitable for 14+ and not dinosaur toys.

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