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16 02, 2019

Customers Notified When Products Back in Stock

By | February 16th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Back-in-Stock Notifications Added to Everything Dinosaur’s Website

Customers can now be notified automatically when a product is back in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  The award winning dinosaur and prehistoric animal merchandise retailer has further enhanced its support for website visitors by adding, simple to use back-in-stock notifications to all its products.

If a product is out of stock, then customers have the option to join a waitlist for this item, when it is back in stock, they will automatically receive an email letting them know that this item is available to purchase.

Join the Waitlist to be Automatically Notified When a Product is Back in Stock

A waitlist to keep customers notified when an item is back in stock.

Join the waitlist and be automatically emailed as soon as the item is back in stock.  Simply click the “Join waitlist” link (arrowed and underlined in this picture).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In the picture above, the PNSO Basilosaurus (Age of Dinosaurs), is currently out of stock, some more of these popular, large prehistoric whale models are coming in soon and by clicking the “Join waitlist” link visitors to this page will be automatically emailed when the figure is available again.

Simple to Use – Simple Steps to Follow

The system works like this:

  • Customer visits a product page on the Everything Dinosaur website and discovers that it is out of stock.
  • If that customer wants to know exactly when it is going to be available again – simple click the “join waitlist” link and if requested provide a contact email address.
  • When more of these items come into Everything Dinosaur’s website, as soon as the inventory is updated, an email will be sent alerting the customer that the item is back in stock.

An Example of a Typical Notification Email

Email stating that an item is back in stock at Everything Dinosaur

When the item is back in stock at Everything Dinosaur, customers will automatically receive an email informing them.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

  • When the customer gets the email alert, all they have to do is to click the handy product link included in the email and they will be directed to the product page on the Everything Dinosaur website.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“This new system provides an easy way for customers and visitors to our website to be kept informed about product availability.  We still offer all the other customer support options such as the ability to contact a team member directly on the website via our chat facility, this new function provides additional support.  Customers can be reassured that they will receive an automatic notification and it only takes a couple of seconds for customers to join our waiting lists.”

Customers Can Easily Review and Edit Their Own Waiting Lists

Customers that have created an account at Everything Dinosaur can easily review and edit their own waitlists.  Once logged into to their personal account pages, a customer can click on the “Your Waitlists” link in the left margin of the account dashboard and simply edit the product waitlist information in just a few taps of the keyboard, or mouse clicks.

Allowing Customers to Easily Edit Their Waiting Lists

Easy waitlist management.

Easy to manage your own waitlists.  The link to the personal waitlist information is arrowed and underlined in red.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Users can manage their own waiting lists and all products that they have an interest in can be viewed on the “Your Waitlists” tab on their account page.  All products can be conveniently managed in one place.

It takes seconds for visitors to join a product waiting list and they can then relax knowing that they will be automatically emailed when the item comes back into stock.

See for yourself at: Everything Dinosaur

15 02, 2019

JurassicCollectables Reviews the Eofauna Giganotosaurus

By | February 15th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|1 Comment

Eofauna Giganotosaurus Reviewed by JurassicCollectables

Hot on the heels of several Schleich new for 2019 model reviews, JurassicCollectables have posted up a video of the new Eofauna Scientific Research Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.  The narrator correctly surmises that this is the first dinosaur figure to be introduced by Eofauna and the Giganotosaurus is heralded as being one of the most scientific accurate dinosaur models to have been made.

JurassicCollectables Reviews the New for 2019 Eofauna Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model (G. carolinii)

Video Credit: JurassicCollectables

Exclusive Behind the Scenes Images

As Everything Dinosaur works closely with Eofauna Scientific Research, we were able to provide the JurassicCollectables team with exclusive images showing the three-dimensional skeletal reconstructions that the designers at Eofauna created in order to help ensure the accuracy of their figure.  Osteological measurements were taken in order to build up the muscles and the skin texture.  The wrinkles on the dinosaur model reflect how this Cretaceous hypercarnivore would have actually moved.

Three-Dimensional Images Were Used to Scientifically Construct the Giganotosaurus from the Inside Out

Three dimensional Giganotosaurus figure.

A three-dimensional model of Giganotosaurus carolinii was produced to ensure a scientifically accurate dinosaur replica.

Image Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research/Everything Dinosaur

A “Boxer’s Chin” and the Correct Size Scales

In this short video (duration just under nine minutes), the narrator opens up the plastic bag containing the model and the proceeds to take the viewer on a guided tour of the figure.  The close-up views of the articulated jaws and the inside of the mouth are particularly well done.  Everything Dinosaur team members pointed out to JurassicCollectables that if the lower jaw is viewed from the side, the tip of the jaw is thicker and more robust.  We have nicknamed this characteristic of Giganotosaurus anatomy the “boxer’s chin”.  Not that this dinosaur indulged in pugilism, however, this thickened bone may have evolved to help protect the rest of the jaw from impact damage as this predator lunged and attacked its prey.

On the Turntable the Eofauna Scientific Research Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model

The Eofauna Giganotosaurus dinosaur replica.

The Eofauna Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.  The anterior portion of the lower jaw is thickened, perhaps an adaptation to help protect the dentary from impacts.

Image Credit: JurassicCollectables

In the video review, JurassicCollectables note the care and attention taken over getting the scales on this dinosaur to look right.  In the section of the video that focuses on the ribs, viewers will note the very fine scales with just the occasional, larger rounded scale on the model picked out, these scales are most prominent on this part of the figure.  As the replica has been designed based on a 3-D simulation, Eofauna have been able to add lots of wrinkles and folds to depict movement, at the back of the femur (thigh area) for example, these are once again highly accurate based on the skeletal assessment.  Such features are skilfully highlighted in this excellent video review.

JurassicCollectables have a wonderful YouTube channel dedicated to prehistoric animals and dinosaur models.  Everything Dinosaur recommends that fans of dinosaurs subscribe: Subscribe to JurassicCollectables on YouTube

Comparing the Eofauna Giganotosaurus to Other Eofauna Figures

During the video review, the two other Eofauna figures, the Steppe Mammoth and the Straight-tusked Elephant are introduced and provide a size comparison with the Giganotosaurus.  Naturally, off-colour Alan also gets involved.

The Eofauna Giganotosaurus Model is Compared to the Eofauna Steppe Mammoth

The Eofauna Giganotosaurus and the Eofauna Steppe Mammoth.

Comparing the Eofauna Giganotosaurus with the Eofauna Steppe Mammoth.

Image Credit: JurassicCollectables

The Eofauna Giganotosaurus and the Eofauna Straight-tusked Elephant Model

Giganotosaurus from Eofauna compared to the Straight-tusked elephant model.

The Eofauna Giganotosaurus compared with the Eofauna Straight-tusked elephant.

Image Credit: JurassicCollectables

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“This is an excellent video review.  JurassicCollectables have been able to provide model collectors with detailed information not only on the figure itself, but how it was created using the fossilised material to ensure scientific accuracy.”

To purchase the Eofauna Giganotosaurus figure and the rest of the Eofauna model range: Eofauna Scientific Research Models

13 02, 2019

A Quick Preview of the Schleich Diabloceratops Model

By | February 13th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

A Short Video of the Schleich Diabloceratops Model

Everything Dinosaur have posted up a short video previewing the new for 2019 Schleich Diabloceratops dinosaur model.  This video is more of a teaser for fans of prehistoric animals and dinosaur model collectors.  In the video, we confirm the length of this figure (it is approximately sixteen centimetres long and those impressive horns are approximately eleven centimetres off the ground).

A Quick Preview of the New for July 2019 Schleich Diabloceratops Dinosaur Model

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

One of Four New Prehistoric Animal Models from Schleich in July 2019

The Schleich Diabloceratops will be replacing the recently retired Schleich Styracosaurus and the beautiful Pentaceratops figure.  It will be one of four new prehistoric animal models from Schleich due to arrive at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse in July (2019).  The other figures are:

  1. Schleich Dracorex – a model of the “dome-headed” dinosaur Dracorex hogwartsia.  The Schleich Dracorex measures nineteen centimetres long and the head height is around ten centimetres.
  2. Schleich juvenile Giganotosaurus – this figure has an articulated lower jaw and it measures around twenty-six centimetres in length and stands over ten centimetres high.
  3. Schleich Plesiosaurus – this marine reptile has a poseable neck and it is approximately sixteen centimetres long.

To read a brief article about the new for 2019 Schleich Plesiosaurus and to see a short video preview of this model: A Quick Look at the New for 2019 Schleich Plesiosaurus Model

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The Schleich Diabloceratops model has certainly been getting a lot of attention.  Within the Schleich range of large dinosaur models, there is one chasmosaurine (Triceratops) and one centrosaurine which is the new Diabloceratops.  The two great tribes of Late Cretaceous horned dinosaurs are now represented by Schleich figures once again.  Diabloceratops may have been very distantly related to Triceratops, but they would never have met.  Diabloceratops lived millions of years before Triceratops evolved.”

A Closer View of the Beautifully Detailed Head of the Schleich Diabloceratops

Schleich Diabloceratops model.

The beautifully painted and very detailed head of the new for July 2017 Schleich Diabloceratops model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the current range of Schleich prehistoric animal figures, including some already released new for 2019 Schleich dinosaurs: Schleich Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

Coming into Stock Soon at Everything Dinosaur (July 2019)

The Schleich Diabloceratops dinosaur model.

The Schleich Diabloceratops dinosaur model (available July 2019 from Everything Dinosaur).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Diabloceratops Fact Sheet

Dinosaur fans and prehistoric animal model collectors will receive a Diabloceratops (D. eatoni) fact sheet with every model purchased from Everything Dinosaur.

12 02, 2019

Reflecting on the Eyes of Cretaceous Spiders

By | February 12th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Geology, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Early Cretaceous Spiders Reveal Reflective Eyes

A team of scientists, including a researcher from the University of Kansas, writing in an academic journal (Journal of Systematic Palaeontology), have described spiders from the Early Cretaceous that had reflective eyes, an adaptation to permit these tiny predators to hunt at night.  The remarkable fossils were discovered in black shale beds from South Korea which form part of the Jinju Formation (Albian faunal stage) and the flattened fossils preserve the remains of spiders that lived between 113 and 110 million years ago.

The Light Reflective Properties of the Crescent-shaped Tapetum

UV light reveals the ancient tapetum of spiders.

The two tapetum can be seen as crescent-shaped objects on the anterior portion of the head.

Picture Credit: Paul Selden/University of Kansas

Two of the fossils from the extinct spider family Lagonomegopidae feature reflective eyes.  The fossils represent the first non-amber Lagonomegopidae to be described, with the first preservation of a spider eye tapetum recorded in the fossil record.

C0-author of the scientific paper, Paul Selden, Gulf-Hedberg Distinguished Professor of Geology and the Director of the Palaeontological Institute at Kansas University’s Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum, explained:

“Because these spiders were preserved in strange slivery flecks on dark rock, what was immediately obvious was their rather large eyes brightly marked with crescentic features.  I realised this must have been the tapetum — that’s a reflective structure in an inverted eye where light comes in and is reverted back into retina cells.  This is unlike a straightforward eye where light goes through and doesn’t have a reflective characteristic.”

Selden said that some contemporary spiders feature eyes with a tapetum, but the new paper is the first to describe the anatomical feature in a fossilised spider.  The research team said the discovery provides evidence for lagonomegopid enlarged eyes being posterior medians.

“In spiders, the ones you see with really big eyes are jumping spiders, but their eyes are regular eyes — whereas wolf spiders at night time, you see their eyes reflected in light like cats.  So, night-hunting predators tend to use this different kind of eye.  This was the first time a tapetum had been in found in fossil.  This tapetum was canoe-shaped — it looks a bit like a Canadian canoe.  That will help us place this group of spiders among other families.”

Selden’s collaborators were Tae-Yoon Park of the Korea Polar Research Institute and amateur fossil hunter Kye-Soo Nam of the Daejeon Science High School for the Gifted, who found the fossils preserved in the shale.

The description of the fossils increases the number of known spiders from the Jinju Formation from a single specimen to eleven.

Commenting on their remarkable state of preservation, Paul added:

“This is so rare because they’re very soft — they don’t have hard shells so they very easily decay.  It has to be a very special situation where they were washed into a body of water.  Normally, they’d float.  But here, they sank, and that kept them away from decaying bacteria, it may have been a low-oxygen condition.  These rocks also are covered in little crustaceans and fish, so there maybe was some catastrophic event like an algal bloom that trapped them in a mucus mat and sunk them, but that’s conjecture.  We don’t really know what caused this, but something killed off a lot of animals around the lake at one time or on an annual basis.”

According to Selden, the shale preserved the spider fossils in a manner that highlighted the reflectivity of the tapetum, a feature that may have been missed had the spiders been preserved in amber instead, as is more typical.

Preserved in the Black Shale an Almost Perfect Impression of an Early Cretaceous Spider

Fossilised remains of an Early Cretaceous spider with reflective eyes.

The black shale preserved perfect impressions of the ancient spiders.

Picture Credit: Paul Selden/University of Kansas

The discovery of these spiders will help researchers to piece together a better understanding of the environment that existed in South Korea during the Early Cretaceous.

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

11 02, 2019

Two Ancient Seed-eating Birds Described

By | February 11th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Eofringillirostrum boudreauxi  and Eofringillirostrum parvulum Passerines from the Early Eocene

A scientific paper has just been published in the journal “Current Biology”, that describes two Early Eocene, seed-eating, perching birds (passerines).  The birds are closely related, assigned to the same genus but one fossil was discovered in Wyoming, the other comes from the famous Messel shales of Germany and they are separated by around 5 million years.  These species are amongst the oldest fossil birds to exhibit a finch-like beak and provide the earliest evidence for a diet focused on small, hard seeds in crown birds.  The discovery of these two early granivores, will help scientists to better understand the evolution and radiation of this important group of birds, that make up 65% of all extant bird species.

The Wyoming Specimen – Holotype of Eofringillirostrum boudreauxi

Eofringillirostrum boudreauxi holotype from the Green River Formation of Wyoming.

(A) Photograph and (B) line drawing of the holotype skeleton of Eofringillirostrum boudreauxi (FMNH PA 793).

Picture Credit: Current Biology

The Ancestors of Sparrows, Finches, Crows, Robins etc.

Passerines might be ubiquitous these days, but once they were rare and only made up a small proportion of avian biotas.  We still have a lot to learn about their evolution.

Commenting on the significance of the fossil discoveries, one of the co-authors of the paper Lance Grande (Field Museum, Chicago), stated:

“This [Eofringillirostrum boudreauxi] is one of the earliest known perching birds.  It’s fascinating because passerines today make up most of all bird species, but they were extremely rare back then.  This particular piece is just exquisite.  It is a complete skeleton with the feathers still attached, which is extremely rare in the fossil record of birds.”

The Wyoming specimen, E. boudreauxi, is the earliest example of a bird with a finch-like beak, similar to many of the birds you see today inhabiting parks and gardens.  This legacy is reflected in its name; Eofringillirostrum means “dawn finch beak”, whilst the specific epithet honours Terry and Gail Boudreaux, who donated the holotype to the Field Museum.

The Green River Formation

The Wyoming specimen heralds from the famous Early Eocene Green River Formation, extensive fine-grained deposits formed in a lacustrine environment.  The area is famous for its beautifully preserved but compressed vertebrate fossil specimens.

Lead author of the research, Daniel Ksepka from the Bruce Museum (Connecticut), commented on the importance of finding fossil birds with finch-like beaks adapted to eating seeds:

“These bills are particularly well-suited for consuming small, hard seeds.  Anyone with a birdfeeder knows that lots of birds are nuts for seeds, but seed-eating is a fairly recent biological phenomenon.”

The earliest birds probably ate insects, plant material and even fish, although a recent theory has been proposed that the ability to consume seeds may have helped some kinds of birds survive the catastrophic End-Cretaceous mass extinction event.

To read an article about this: Seed-eating may have Helped Birds Survive Mass Extinction Event

Comparing the Two Specimens

Both the Wyoming and the German specimens have similar shaped beaks, although the German fossil represents a slightly smaller type of bird.  Beak shape infers information about the bird’s diet and as such, beak shape plays a key role in avian radiations and is one of the most intensely studied aspects of avian evolution and ecology.

With two specimens that were both temporally and geographically dispersed the researchers were able to conclude that these types of birds were widespread during the Eocene.

The Messel Shale Passerine Specimen – Eofringillirostrum parvulum

Eofringillirostrum parvulum from the Messel Shales.

Holotype slab (IRSNB Av 128a) and (G) counter slab (IRSNB Av 128b) of Eofringillirostrum parvulum with enlargements showing details of (H) skull and (I) carpometacarpus.

Picture Credit: Current Biology

Found in Subtropical Habitats Not Open Plains

Whilst many Passeriformes (passerines or perching birds), are synonymous with open, grassland environments today, the researchers note that these fossil specimens occurred in subtropical palaeoenvironments.  Given that seed-eating (granivory), is a key adaptation that allows passerines to exploit open temperate environments, the seed-eating habit may have evolved prior to the movement of these types of birds into more open habitats.  The ability to consume and digest seeds may not have been a driver in allowing these types of birds to exploit new habitats, but this type of feeding behaviour would have proved to be extremely beneficial as the world became much cooler towards the end of Eocene and the once widespread rainforests gave way to more open landscapes.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the Field Museum (Chicago), in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Oldest Finch-beaked Birds Reveal Parallel Ecological Radiations in the Earliest Evolution of Passerines” by Daniel T. Ksepka, Lance Grande and Gerald Mayr published in Current Biology.

10 02, 2019

A Quick Look at the New for 2019 Schleich Plesiosaurus Model

By | February 10th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

A Preview of the New for 2019 Schleich Plesiosaurus Model

Schleich will be introducing four new prehistoric animal models in July 2019.  Today, we take a brief look at the only non-dinosaur figure to come out with this batch of replicas, the Schleich Plesiosaurus.  It had been rumoured that the German-based model manufacturer intended to produce a plesiosaur and thanks to Everything Dinosaur, we can now post up a quick video preview of this model that will be in stock in the summer.

A Short Preview of the New for 2019 Schleich Plesiosaurus Model

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Four New Schleich Models

The four new Schleich prehistoric animal models scheduled to be released in July (2019) are as follows:

  • A juvenile Giganotosaurus
  • A Dracorex
  • A horned dinosaur Diabloceratops
  • A Plesiosaurus (marine reptile)

Coming into Stock at Everything Dinosaur in the Summer (July 2019) New Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models

New from Schleich in 2019.

New models being introduced into the Schleich prehistoric animal model range in July 2019.  Foreground the new Plesiosaurus figure with a flexible neck, middle left the juvenile Giganotosaurus with an articulated jaw.  Middle right the Dracorex figure and top left the new Diabloceratops model.  In the top right, a Schleich Animantarx armoured dinosaur can be spotted, this figure was introduced in January.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Praising the Schleich Plesiosaurus

In the short video preview, a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur comments on the unusual colouration on the top of the head of this figure, the dark blue markings have been described as looking like “goggles”, quite appropriate for an animal that spent much of its time under water.  It can be speculated that these reptiles had good colour vision and their heads may have played a role in visual communication. Crests or horns on the head would have affected streamlining so such ornamentation is not known in the Plesiosauria, so perhaps subtle markings on the head could have helped signal the maturity of the animal and its fitness for breeding.

The overall colouration of the plesiosaur model is also discussed.  The model is coloured a sky blue with flecks of white on the broad back.  This combines well with a paler underside which represents countershading, a concept long linked with extinct marine reptiles and seen in many marine mammals today.  The narrator in the video reflects on the fact that the colour scheme reminds him of polar conditions and states that as fossils of plesiosaurs have been found in high latitudes, such a colour scheme is appropriate as these reptiles are now known to have lived in cold waters.

On Display The New for July 2019 Schleich Plesiosaurus Model

Schleich Plesiosaurus model.

The Schleich Plesiosaurus model on display.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Model with a Flexible Neck

As with a number of earlier plesiosaur figures, the Schleich Plesiosaurus has a flexible neck.  This permits the neck to be placed in a variety of poses.  When tested the neck is quite stiff and this allows the figure to remain in the pose chosen without the head drooping down.  The Schleich Plesiosaurus will be in stock along with the three other figures (Dracorex, Diabloceratops and the juvenile Giganotosaurus), in July (2019).

To view the range of Schleich prehistoric animal models currently available from Everything Dinosaur: Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models

9 02, 2019

Cretaceous Dinosaurs of South America Diorama

By | February 9th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Cretaceous Dinosaurs of South America Diorama

Everything Dinosaur team members have received a set of pictures highlighting a diorama that features South American dinosaurs of the Cretaceous.  South America in the Cretaceous was home to a diverse range of dinosaurs.  Unlike North America, where there is evidence to suggest that Sauropods were rare in the Late Cretaceous and may have been absent from a number of palaeoenvironments, Sauropods (Titanosauria), were still numerous in South America and represented a considerable proportion of the mega-herbivores.  For example, the Anacleto Formation of Patagonia, which consists primarily of mudstones and sandstones deposited in a terrestrial environment, has provided evidence of at least seven different genera of Late Cretaceous (Campanian faunal stage), Titanosaur.  The diversity of these long-necked, plant-eaters is demonstrated in a carefully crafted diorama, skilfully created by prehistoric animal enthusiast Robert Townsend.

Agustinia Roams the Prehistoric Landscape

The CollectA Agustinia dinosaur model.

Agustinia dinosaur model in the prehistoric scene.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

Sauropods Dominate

The plant-eating dinosaurs in the extensive diorama are dominated by the Sauropoda, as well as a splendid Agustinia, we spotted a juvenile Argentinosaurus, Amargasaurus and a pair of Saltasaurus dinosaurs being stalked by a Giganotosaurus.  South America was home to a number of super-sized Titanosaurs, the fossils of some of the largest terrestrial vertebrates known to science, giants such as Antarctosaurus, Patagotitan, Sarmientosaurus and perhaps, the biggest of them all Argentinosaurus, are known from this continent.

Only this week, Everything Dinosaur published an article about a newly described long-necked dinosaur from northern Patagonia.  The dinosaur has been named Bajadasaurus pronuspinax and it lived during the Early Cretaceous.

To read about B. pronuspinaxDefensive Dicraeosaurids Deter Predators

Two Saltasaurus are Stalked by a Giganotosaurus

Two Sauropods being stalked by Giganotosaurus.

Giganotosaurus stalks a pair of Saltasaurus dinosaurs.  Note the carefully crafted tridactyl prints in the foreground of the diorama and the use of dyed lichen (extreme right), to make foliage, note also the CollectA model prehistoric plants in the background.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

Robert’s diorama is huge.  The size of the diorama permits him to build mini prehistoric scenes into different parts of the landscape, there is always something interesting going on and his extensive prehistoric animal model collection allows him to introduce a variety of different dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures into the diorama, creating a colourful palaeoenvironment montage.

The Use of Carefully Modelled Props Such as this Sauropod Carcase Helps to Create Points of Interest

A Carnotaurus feeds on a Sauropod carcase.

Carnotaurus feeds on a Sauropod carcase.  The model featured is a long-retired Carnegie Carnotaurus dinosaur figure.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

A Land of Giant Predators

South America is also famous for its super-sized carnivorous dinosaurs and model maker Robert does not disappoint when it comes to populating his prehistoric scene with plenty of predators.

Part of the Impressive Diorama with Carnivorous Dinosaurs in the Foreground

South American dinosaurs diorama.

The Eofauna Scientific Research Giganotosaurus in the diorama (centre).  The CollectA Mapusaurus dinosaur model can be seen on the right.  Note, the variety of Sauropod models placed in the background.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

Mapusaurus makes an appearance and there are plenty of examples of Giganotosaurus included too.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It is fascinating to see recently introduced replicas such as the Eofauna Scientific Research Giganotosaurus model featuring in prehistoric animal model dioramas.”

A Giganotosaurus Mother Stands Guard Over Her Hatchlings

A Giganotosaurus mother stands guard over her hatchlings.

A Giganotosaurus mother takes care of her young.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

Praising Everything Dinosaur Customers

It is always a pleasure to view pictures sent in by Everything Dinosaur customers.  We often marvel at the skill and creativity shown by our customers.  The montage of South American dinosaurs created by Robert is certainly on a very impressive scale!  Team members are always pleased to see how model purchases are displayed.

A Very Impressive Montage of South American Dinosaurs (Cretaceous)

South American Dinosaurs of the Cretaceous.

The Cretaceous montage.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

8 02, 2019

New Species of Late Cretaceous Oviraptorid Named

By | February 8th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Gobiraptor minutus – The Diversity of the Oviraptoridae in the Late Cretaceous

A new species of oviraptorid dinosaur (Oviraptoridae family), has been described by an international team of scientists.  The little dinosaur was probably feathered and it possessed thickened jaws, an adaptation to feeding on hard food items such as seeds, nuts or the shells of bivalves, molluscs and crabs (durophagous).   The fossilised remains of a single, very young individual were found in the Altan Uul area of Ömnögovi Province, Mongolia, in strata from the famous Upper Cretaceous Nemegt Formation.  The new species has been named Gobiraptor minutus and it helps to demonstrate that this part of Asia in the Late Cretaceous was home to diverse variety of oviraptorids, many of which, probably occupied specialist niches within the ecosystem in a bid to minimise competition for resources.

A Life Reconstruction of Gobiraptor minutus

Gobiraptor minutus life reconstruction.

A life reconstruction of Gobiraptor minutus.

Picture Credit: Do Yoon Kim with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

Rare for the Altan Uul Area of Southern Mongolia

Oviraptorid fossil specimens are relatively rare in the Altan Uul area of the Gobi Desert, however, within the Upper Cretaceous deposits exposed within the Gobi Desert, some ten oviraptorid taxa have so far been named and described.  Gobiraptor increases the diversity of oviraptorids known from the Nemegt Formation and demonstrates that these types of Theropod dinosaurs were exceptionally abundant in the mesic environment* of that part of the world during the Late Cretaceous.

A mesic environment* – is a term used in ecology to describe an environment with a moderate amount of water.  Much of this part of Asia during the Late Cretaceous may be associated with a dry, arid environment, for example numerous types of other Theropod fossils come from strata that represent almost desert-like conditions.  These fossils are found in the older Barun Goyot Formation which was laid down under more arid conditions.  The rocks in which the fossils of Gobiraptor were found consist mainly of river channel deposits, indicating that the palaeoenvironment changed and the environment became considerably wetter.

Thus, the finding of a new member of the Oviraptoridae family in the Nemegt Formation, which consists mostly of river and lake deposits, confirms that these dinosaurs were extremely well adapted to wet habitats.

Fragmentary Fossils and Skeletal Reconstruction of Gobiraptor minutus

Gobiraptor minutus skeletal reconstruction.

Grey shaded bones indicate known fossil material.  Note scale bar on skeletal drawing – 10 cm.

Picture Credit: PLOS One

Robust and Thickened Jaws Hint at a Dietary Specialism

Gobiraptor minutus, can be differentiated from other members of the Oviraptorosauria clade in having unusually robust and thickened jaws.  This unique mandibular morphology suggests that Gobiraptor was adapted to feeding on hard food items, it used its strong jaws to crush, indicating potential niche partitioning in the palaeoenvironment to reduce competition amongst small Theropods and within the local population of oviraptorids.  Osteological analysis of the femur suggests that the fossil material represents a very young individual.

The phylogenetic analysis carried out by the researchers defines Gobiraptor as a derived oviraptorid closely related to three taxa from the Ganzhou region of southern China, but, ironically, the analysis suggests that it was rather distantly related to other Nemegt oviraptorids which, as the results of recent studies, are also not closely related to each other.

The authors propose that different dietary strategies may explain the wide taxonomic diversity and evolutionary success of this group of dinosaurs in this part of Asia.

Post-cranial Elements of G. minutus

Post-cranial elements of Gobiraptor.

Left femur in caudal view (A) and medial view (B).  Partial right humerous (C) and ilium (D).  (E) left metatarsal I and pedal digit I in medial view.  (F) left pedal digit IV in lateral view.  Scale bar = 5 cm.

Picture Credit: PLOS One

The genus name honours the Gobi Desert, whilst the specific epithet is from the Latin for small, a reflection on the small size of the holotype.

The scientific paper: “A New Baby Oviraptorid Dinosaur (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous Nemegt Formation of Mongolia” by Sungjin Lee, Yuong-Nam Lee , Anusuya Chinsamy, Junchang Lü, Rinchen Barsbold and Khishigjav Tsogtbaatar published in PLOS One.

7 02, 2019

Defensive Dicraeosaurids – Forward Facing Spikes Deter Predators

By | February 7th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Bajadasaurus pronuspinax – Sauropod Defences

A newly described Sauropod from northern Patagonia (Argentina), has provided palaeontologists with evidence to help explain why some of these long-necked dinosaurs evolved long, paired spines on the necks.  These features may have had a primary role as defensive structures helping to deter attacks from Theropod predators.  The dinosaur has been named Bajadasaurus pronuspinax and it has been assigned to the Dicraeosauridae family, a sister family to the Diplodocidae within the Sauropoda.  Dicraeosaurids are characterised by having relatively shorter necks and distinctive vertebrae which had long, paired neural spines.  The function of these spines has long been debated.  They have been interpreted as playing a role in visual communication, sexual display and thermoregulation, however, this newly described dinosaur suggests that within this family of long-necked dinosaurs they evolved as a form of defence.

Illustrating Bajadasaurus pronuspinax and the Fossil Find Location

Bajadasaurus skeletal reconstrution and fossil find location.

A skeletal reconstruction of Bajadasaurus, location map of fossil finds and drawing of the fossil material in situ.

Picture Credit: Gallina et al published in Scientific Reports

The image (above), shows a skeletal reconstruction of the head and neck of Bajadasaurus (A), with the preserved fossil material shown in white.  On the right of the image is a location map (B), showing the site of the fossil find, close to the Ezequiel Ramos Mexía lake in Neuquén Province, Argentina.  A line drawing is provided (C), that shows the association and the location of the fossils found at the dig site.

Interpreting Fossils One Cervical Vertebra at a Time

The authors of the scientific paper, propose that the elongated neural spines of this dinosaur always faced forward, presenting a formidable obstacle for any meat-eating dinosaur wanting to attack the animal’s neck.  However, it is worth noting that if the image (above), is studied, the theory of Bajadasaurus having a neck topped with defensive spikes, like some sort of Victorian railings is based on the discovery of a single neck bone, in the skeletal illustration placed in the position of the fifth cervical vertebra.  The appearance of B. pronuspinax is inferred by comparing these fossils to the better-known Amargasaurus (A. cazaui).  Until more fossils are found the appearance of Bajadasaurus and the orientation of those neural spines can only be speculated.

A Model of the Dicraeosaurid Amargasaurus

A model of Amargasaurus.

The Amargasaurus has been mounted onto a bespoke base.  The appearance of Bajadasaurus is based on a comparison with better-known, related dicraeosaurids such as Amargasaurus cazaui.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Lead-author of the study, Pablo Gallina and his colleagues, propose that these neural spines may have been covered with keratin and therefore much longer than the spines themselves.  The extent of the neural spines, the length of the keratin sheaths that covered them and the direction they pointed in, remains unknown.  Until more fossils of Bajadasaurus are found, those elongated neural spines remain a mystery.

Naming a New Dinosaur

That one cervical spine forms the basis for the species epithet.  The genus honours Bajada (Spanish for downhill), a reference to the fossil find location – Bajada Colorada.  The species name means “bent over, forward spines”, we shall see if more fossil discoveries reaffirm this interpretation.  Importantly, the fossil material assigned to Bajadasaurus includes much of the skull, thanks to these fossils, the palatal bones, the braincase and a nearly complete left dentary, palaeontologists have a much better idea about the size and morphology of dicraeosaurid dinosaur skulls.

Skull Material Associated with Bajadasaurus pronuspinax and Line Drawing

Bajadasaurus and line drawing.

Skull of Bajadasaurus pronuspinax, specimen number MMCh-PV 75 and line drawing.

Picture Credit: Gallina et al published in Scientific Reports

The skull is quite small for a Sauropod, dicraeosaurids described to date were not as big as some of their diplodocid cousins.  Size estimates range from around 10 to 13 metres in length.  The size of Bajadasaurus is unknown, but based on these fossils, it is likely that this dinosaur was within this size range too.  The orbits are quite large and their position on the top of the skull suggests that when this dinosaur had its head down and it was feeding, it was capable of seeing ahead (forward-directed, stereoscopic vision).

Comparing Bajadasaurus to the Geologically Younger Amargasaurus

The strata of the Bajada Colorada Formation represent sediments laid down at the very beginning of the Cretaceous (Lower Cretaceous, Berriasian/Valanginian faunal stages).  Bajadasaurus roamed Patagonia some 140 million years ago.  Amargasaurus, lived in the same part of South American but around fifteen million years later.  The researchers suggest that the temporal difference between Bajadasaurus and Amargasaurus, supports the idea that the development of an array of defensive spines was likely adaptive over a long time period.  How effective these spines may have been against predators, is once again, open to speculation.  However, the presence of elongated neural spines would have given the impression of a larger animal with a thicker neck.  To a hungry, carnivorous dinosaur the appearance of a bigger more robust adversary may have been enough of a deterrent.

The scientific paper: “A New Long-spined Dinosaur from Patagonia Sheds Light on Sauropod Defence System” by Pablo A. Gallina, Sebastián Apesteguía, Juan I. Canale and Alejandro Haluza published as an open access article in the journal “Scientific Reports”.

6 02, 2019

JurassicCollectables Reviews the Schleich Animantarx

By | February 6th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Schleich Animantarx Model Reviewed by JurassicCollectables

The latest video to be produced by those creative people at JurassicCollectables features one of the new for 2019 Schleich prehistoric animal figures – the Schleich Animantarx.  The Animantarx is described as adorable and as it represents an armoured dinosaur that grew to a length of approximately three metres.  The model works well in scale with JurassicCollectables regular “off-colour Alan”, who makes an appearance towards the end of the review.

The JurassicCollectables Video Review of the Schleich Animantarx Dinosaur Model

Video Credit: JurassicCollectables

An Adorable Animantarx

The narrator describes this model as an “adorable Animantarx” and it certainly has an appeal.  The figure is nicely proportioned and the wet-looking gloss added to the black eyes provides this replica with a certain charm.  It is described as “a cute looking dinosaur” and it is hard to disagree.

The “Adorable Animantarx” Dinosaur Model from Schleich

The Schleich Animantarx dinosaur model.

A close-up view of the Schleich Animantarx dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

Animantarx

The narrator correctly points out that this member of the Nodosauridae family was named and described relatively recently (1999).  It is known from very fragmentary fossils, including a partial skull and a piece of fossilised jaw.  This dinosaur had a distinctive domed skull and tiny horns behind the eyes.  Features that can be seen in the close-up view of the head in the picture above.  It is this attention to detail that elevates this armoured dinosaur model.  Clearly, the Schleich design team have worked hard to produce a model that reflect scientific understanding.   The model may have flaws, but as the narrator points out, there is much to be admired when it comes to examining the dermal armour, the skin tones and the detailing of the body scales.

Measuring the Length of Animantarx

Working out the size of the Schleich Animantarx dinosaur model.

Measuring the Schleich Animantarx dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

Everything Dinosaur team members have also measured this new for 2019 Schleich model.  The figure is approximately fourteen centimetres long.  JurassicCollectables have amassed an extensive library of video reviews about dinosaur models.  The JurassicCollectables YouTube channel is a depository of dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed information.  We suggest you check out their channel and subscribe: Subscribe to JurassicCollectables.

Two Schleich Figures are Compared (Animantarx and Dimetrodon)

The new for 2019 Schleich Dimetrodon is compared with the Schleich Animantarx model.

Comparing the new re-painted Schleich Dimetrodon (right) with the new for 2019 Schleich Animantarx model (left).

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

Comparing Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models

One of the great benefits of a JurassicCollectables video review is that it enables viewers to see up close a new figure and to compare it to other recent model introductions.  In this video review, the new for 2019 Schleich Spinosaurus figure is shown and the 2019, re-painted Dimetrodon makes an appearance.  Both the Dimetrodon and the Schleich Spinosaurus have also been recently reviewed on the JurassicCollectables channel.  As mentioned earlier, “off-colour Alan” appears in the video as well.  It is always a pleasure to see “off-colour Alan”.

To view the range of Schleich prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: Schleich Prehistoric Animal and Dinosaur Models

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