Team members at Everything Dinosaur have posted up some pictures of the recently introduced Rebor Smilodon populator Stray Cat (plain colour variant). The figure has a declared scale of 1:11 and the Smilodon is the first prehistoric mammal model to be added to the Rebor range. Previously, the only mammal figure in the range was the 1/11th scale figure of a Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei).
Two Interchangeable Smilodon Heads
This beautiful model is supplied with two interchangeable heads so the Smilodon can be displayed with either mouth open or mouth closed. The head fits securely into the neck of the body and it is difficult to discern a join. The clever design team at Rebor came up with this idea as it permits them to avoid having an unsightly joint on the figure associated with an articulated lower jaw.
Several species of “knife-tooth” have been named and described. S. populator is regarded as the largest. Some individuals had massive upper canine teeth around 28 cm in length. This robust and powerful predator roamed the southern portions of the Americas. It would have dwarfed the Sabre-Toothed Cats of the United States and was one of the largest felids to have ever lived, with a shoulder height of approximately 1.2 metres.
The Rebor Smilodon populator Stray Cat model measures around 26.5 cm long with a height of approximately 13.5 cm.
To view this figure and the rest of the Rebor dinosaur and prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Models and Figures.
The highly infectious Omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to lead to large numbers of staff absences due to sickness and the need to self-isolate. This has caused considerable disruption to mail deliveries both within the UK and elsewhere in the world. Team members at Everything Dinosaur are doing all they can to pick, pack and despatch orders, including having worked over the holiday period, but customers can expect some delays in parcel deliveries as distribution networks struggle to cope.
Priority Being Given to COVID-19 Test Kits
In the UK, weekend delivery and collection services are expected to take place on Saturday 8th January 2022. However, the high numbers of staff unable to work is going to lead to delays in the network. There are no deliveries or collections on Sunday 9th January 2022 except for COVID-19 test kits from priority post boxes which will remain the primary consideration for mail staff.
Royal Mail has issued the following press statement:
“We continue to work hard to collect, process and deliver the UK’s mail. However, despite our best endeavours, it’s likely some areas of the country may experience some level of disruption. Every item of mail is important to us, so we’re working hard to keep any delays to a minimum. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
International Services Also Affected
Global mail deliveries including international tracked and signed services are also affected. There is a large backlog of parcels that came into the network between Christmas and New Year and in many parts of the world this backlog has yet to be cleared.
When explaining the situation with regards to overseas parcels, Royal Mail has commented as follows:
“Royal Mail is working with our airline and postal/courier partners across the globe to maintain services, however delays should be expected.”
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented, that team members would be working over the weekend and putting in as many hours as possible over the next few days to ensure orders were picked, packed and despatched as quickly as possible in a bid to minimise delays.
The study of fossils, the science of documenting the history of life on our planet, is heavily biased by influences such as colonialism, history and global economics. That is the conclusion from new research conducted by palaeontologists from the University of Birmingham in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany), Rhodes University (South Africa), Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil), Cambridge University and IISER Pune, Department of Earth and Climate Science (India).
Distorting Estimates of Past Biodiversity
The research team discovered that sampling biases in the fossil record distort estimates of past biodiversity. However, these biases not only reflect the geological and spatial aspects of the fossil record, but also the historical and current collation of fossil data. These findings have significance across the field of palaeontology, but also for the ways in which researchers are able to use our knowledge of ancient fossil records to gain clearer, long-term perspectives on Earth’s biodiversity.
Writing in the journal “Nature Ecology & Evolution”, the researchers investigated the influence and extent of these biases within the Paleobiology Database, a vast, widely-used and publicly-accessible resource which forms the foundation for analytical studies in the field.
They found significant bias in areas such as knowledge production, with researchers in high or upper-middle-income countries contributing to 97 per cent of fossil data. This means that wealthy countries, primarily located in the Global North control the majority of the palaeontological research power.
Lack of Involvement for Local Researchers
The team also found the top countries contributing to palaeontological research, carried out a disproportionate amount of work abroad, more than half of which did not involve any local researchers (researchers based in the country where the fossils are being collected).
There are many famous examples of colonial, political and economic biases across the natural sciences and humanities. During the 19th century and for most of the 20th century, specimens uncovered following exploratory expeditions were shipped back to respective imperial capitals to be housed in museums, where many are still used for scientific research today.
In a press release from Birmingham University the plight of the Parthenon sculptures, sometimes referred to as the Elgin Marbles was provided as an example. The Greek government has repeatedly requested that they be returned since they were taken from Athens in the early 19th century and transported to Britain.
There are also many other examples, such as the fossil excavations undertaken in Egypt by the German palaeontologist Ernst Freiherr Stromer von Reichenbach or the removal of many Cretaceous-aged dinosaur fossils by French field teams from the island of Madagascar.
The researchers postulate that these biases affect the way in which palaeontologists conduct their research and can lead to unethical practices in the most extreme cases.
Co-lead author Dr Emma Dunne (University of Birmingham) stated:
“Although we know there are these irregularities and gaps in our knowledge of the fossil record, the historical, social and economic factors which influence these gaps are not well understood. Many of the research practices that are informed by these biases still persist today and we ought to be taking action to address them.”
Dr Dunne added:
“We are familiar, for example, with ‘scientific colonialism, or ‘parachute science’, in which researchers, generally from higher income countries drop in to other countries to conduct research, and then leave without any engagement with local communities and local expertise. But this issue goes further than that – the expertise of local researchers is devalued, and laws are often violated, hindering domestic scientific development and leading to mistrust between researchers.”
The first step towards conducting research that is more equitable and ethical, argue the researchers, is to address the power relations driving the production of scientific research. This means properly involving and acknowledging local expertise.
One project which strives to do this is a research project involving researchers from both European and African universities, based in a remote area of Western Cape in South Africa. Here palaeontologists from University of Witwatersrand and the University of Johannesburg are at the forefront of the research and are working with local education specialists Play Africa to create interactive materials that can be toured around schools in the region.
The scientific paper: “Colonial history and global economics distort our understanding of deep-time biodiversity” by Nussaïbah B. Raja, Emma M. Dunne, Aviwe Matiwane, Tasnuva Ming Khan, Paulina S. Nätscher, Aline M. Ghilardi and Devapriya Chattopadhyay published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Talented young artist Caldey has sent into Everything Dinosaur her latest dinosaur artwork. She has produced a drawing of the Late Cretaceous chasmosaurine Spiclypeus (S. shipporum) having once again been inspired by prehistoric animal models in her collection.
Named and scientifically described in 2016, fossils of this large ceratopsian come from Judith River Formation exposures in Montana. When the fossils were being excavated the dinosaur was nicknamed “Judith” by the field team. Officially this specimen is CMNFV 57081 and it is now housed in the fossil vertebrate collection at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario.
Beasts of the Mesozoic Spiclypeus shipporum
Caldey has sent into Everything Dinosaur several horned dinosaur drawings, many of which have been based around the colourful Beasts of the Mesozoic model series. These articulated dinosaur models are well-known for having stunning box art, so it is quite fitting to see these figures encouraging and inspiring young artists.
A Wave 2 Ceratopsian
The Beasts of the Mesozoic Spiclypeus model, was one of nine figures added to this popular range in the second production wave. Caldey has already sent into Everything Dinosaur her drawing of another wave 2 figure, an illustration of Medusaceratops (M. lokii).
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“Our thanks to Caldey for sending into us such a splendid Spiclypeus drawing. We always enjoy receiving prehistoric animal illustrations and it never ceases to amaze us how talented some of these young artists are.”
PNSO will be adding a replica of the Late Cretaceous horned dinosaur Centrosaurus to their mid-size model range. Jennie the Centrosaurus will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in a few weeks. Centrosaurus was named and scientifically described back in 1904 (C. apertus) by the famous Canadian palaeontologist Lawrence Lambe.
It’s wonderful to see a new replica of “pointed lizard”.
A Host of Horned Dinosaurs
PNSO have been busy extending their mid-size model range and they have more exciting figures to introduce. There are a number of horned dinosaurs already represented in this series. For example, back in December, Everything Dinosaur announced that there would be a new version of “Doyle” the Triceratops introduced complete with a fossil skull and previously we have announced a Machairoceratops, Spinops and a Pachyrhinosaurus as well as a model of the horned dinosaur from China – Sinoceratops.
Supplied with an Illustrated Booklet and Coloured Posters
Jennie the PNSO Centrosaurus model will be supplied with a full-colour, 64-page booklet as well as posters. A QR code on the product packaging links to a short video that explains how the figure was developed. The posters and booklet help to showcase the fabulous artwork of the very talented palaeoartist Zhao Chuang.
The Centrosaurus dinosaur model measures 16 cm in length, and the bony projections (epoccipitals) on top of the impressive neck frill are approximately 7.5 cm off the ground. Although, PNSO as a rule, does not declare a scale on their mid-size models, based on an approximate length of an adult Centrosaurus apertus of around 5.5 metres, team members at Everything Dinosaur estimate a scale of 1:35.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur, confirmed that this figure was due to be in stock in a few weeks, it would be on the same shipment as the recently announced “Doyle” the Triceratops and “Harvey” the Iguanodon. These figures could be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in March (2022).
To view the current range of PNSO prehistoric animal models in stock at Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.
Team members at Everything Dinosaur, try their best to help their customers. Our knowledgeable staff can provide lots of information and advice when it comes to prehistoric animals, but our contacts and connections are not just confined to models and model collecting.
For example, when a customer enquired about getting a fossil ammonite that he had found prepared and cleaned, we were able to provide assistance.
A Mollusc Fossil from the Midlands
The Everything Dinosaur customer explained that they had found an ammonite fossil when visiting a large construction site in the midlands (UK). The mollusc fossil dates from the Jurassic and they wanted to have it cleaned and conserved, with the iron pyrites elements that did not constitute the fossil removed.
We were able to text them with the contact details of a talented nearby preparator who was very experienced in cleaning and preparing ammonites and had probably worked on a few examples from the same location.
We are happy to help with customer’s enquiries and do our best to put them in touch with professionals who can assist them with their fossil collections.
Our thanks to dinosaur model fan and collector John who sent into Everything Dinosaur some photographs of his recent PNSO prehistoric animal purchases. At Everything Dinosaur, we enjoy seeing how collectors set about putting their figures on display.
A Trio of Hadrosaurs
PNSO have increased their range of mid-size dinosaur models significantly in the last two years. John has only just started to collect PNSO figures, but he has already picked up Audrey the Lambeosaurus, Caroline the Corythosaurus (both 2020 introductions) and a beautiful Wyatt the Parasaurolophus figure, which came into stock at Everything Dinosaur in 2021.
John has provided bases for his duck-billed dinosaurs as well as supplying a background as part of his dinosaur-themed display.
Recently, PNSO added a stunning replica of “titanic swan”, an Olorotitan to their mid-size model range, yet another superb lambeosaurine hadrosaur to put on display.
Whilst many collectors choose to display their collections on shelves or within specially constructed glass cabinets, John has opted to provide backdrops for his figures, producing the illusion of the dinosaur having been photographed in natural surroundings. We think his choice of backgrounds are most effective.
A Dinosaur Battle
PNSO introduced a diorama that featured a ferocious Yangchuanosaurus attacking the Chinese stegosaur Chungkingosaurus. The fighting pair are presented on a detailed base and John has added to this by sliding in a suitable background to depict this dinosaur conflict from the Jurassic. The prominent conifers on the backdrop fit well with a Middle/Late Jurassic prehistoric scene.
A Pair of Stegosaurs on Display
In 2021, PNSO introduced a model set that featured an adult Stegosaurus and a juvenile. The Chinese design team wanted to highlight how these famous dinosaurs changed as they grew and matured. The figures entitled Biber and Rook certainly do that and John has added emphasis to the pair by placing them on their own circular display base and adding a carefully chosen background.
Our thanks to John for sending in his photographs. A splendid selection of PNSO dinosaur models on display.
Marvellous news for the start of 2022, the plans to locate a permanent statue commemorating the work of Mary Anning and her contribution to the Earth sciences have been approved by Dorset Council. The idea to erect a permanent memorial to the most famous former resident of Lyme Regis had been proposed in the past, but it was young, fossil fan Evie Swire and her mum who kick-started the project once more in 2018 with the launch of their charity Mary Anning Rocks.
Plans have been approved to erect a life-size bronze sculpture of Mary Anning. The memorial, designed by Denise Dutton, is likely to be unveiled in the late spring of 2022 and it will, in a small way, help to redress the great imbalance between statues of men and women in the UK. Approximately eighty-five percent of all the statues erected in Great Britain acknowledge the achievements of men. It is therefore fitting that a memorial to Mary Anning should be put on permanent display close to where she made some of her most important scientific discoveries.
Mary Anning Rocks
The charity, which team members at Everything Dinosaur have supported, has raised over £100,000 and plans are well advanced to place a statue of Mary Anning overlooking the beach to the east of the town of Lyme Regis. The charity wants to acknowledge and remember Mary Anning and her contribution to the nascent science of palaeontology. The statue will commemorate Mary and her dog Tray, which accompanied her on her fossil hunts. Unfortunately, the dog was killed in a landslide. The statue which will be within sight of Black Ven and Golden Cap will also provide a reminder to visitors of the dangers of straying too close to the cliffs as well as providing tourists with a focal point for remembrance and respect.
Unveiled in May 2022
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“This is fantastic news! We congratulate all those involved in helping to create this memorial to Mary Anning. The bronze, life-size statue will make a fitting tribute to one of the most influential figures in the early years of the science of palaeontology and perhaps help to inspire more girls to take up a career in the sciences.”
A date for the unveiling ceremony has yet to be confirmed but it has been suggested that the unveiling will take place on Saturday 21st May (2022).
Today, being the first day of January, it is appropriate for us at Everything Dinosaur to mark the start of 2022 by wishing all our readers, customers, fans and followers a peaceful and prosperous new year. We are certainly living in challenging times. Team members have lots of exciting plans for the next twelve months or so and we are looking forward to sharing them with you.
In the meantime, we hope everyone stays safe and we would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year!
Let’s hope there are better times ahead.
We incorporated a couple of dinosaurs into our new year banner, can you identify them?
From everyone at Everything Dinosaur, we wish everybody a Happy New Year!
Recently, team members at Everything Dinosaur posted about their favourite blog articles from the first six months of 2021. Today, we conclude our look at the 360 posts or so produced in 2021 by listing our favourite articles that went up from July to December.
In July, team members announced two dinosaurs described from fossils found in Spain. We wrote about the enigmatic Late Cretaceous hadrosauroid Fylax thyrakolasus “Keeper of the Gates of Hell”, a sister taxon to Tethyshadros (more about Tethyshadros later). We also produced articles on prehistoric crocodiles from Chile, how straight shelled ammonites avoided predators, miniature alvarezsauroids, changes to European Union law that affects parcel deliveries and the first T. rex fossils to be exhibited in England for a hundred years. Other posts highlighted the evidence that some dinosaurs nested in the high Arctic and examined the respiration of Heterodontosaurus.
Our favourite article in July took a more scatological approach. A new genus of Triassic beetle was described after its fossil remains were found in ancestral dinosaur dung: Beetle Described from Fossil Poo.
Perfect Paraceratherium Figures
August saw Everything Dinosaur team members going on their only fossil hunt of the year, off to Wales to look for ancient corals. We marked the sad passing of Dr Angela Milner, a highly influential British palaeontologist who along with her colleague Alan Charig described Baryonyx in 1986. Our blog featured articles on two new Lower Cretaceous sauropods from China, revealed the part of space where the dinosaur killing extraterrestrial bolide came from and looked at the skull of the early bird Ichthyornis.
However, our favourite article documented the arrival of the eagerly awaited, super-sized Paraceratherium model from ITOY Studio. ITOY Studio are underrated, but they produce stunning prehistoric animal figures: ITOY Studio Paraceratherium Models Arrive.
Spinosaurids and a Giant Late Cambrian Armoured Radiodont
In September two new spinosaurids from the Isle of Wight were announced, details of the first rhamphorhynchid pterosaur from Gondwana was published, research into the evolution of snakes demonstrated that they evolved from a handful of species and scientists got under the skin of a Carnotaurus as well as providing information on the earliest ankylosaur known to science and the first from Africa. The first Late Cretaceous carcharodontosaurian from Central Asia was described (Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis) and a paper about yet another new species of abelisaurid was published.
Our favourite post whisked readers back to the Cambrian, to the famous Burgess Shale deposits of British Columbia. One of the biggest animals from the Cambrian was scientifically described. The giant, armoured radiodont Titanokorys gainesi took centre stage: Titanokorys gainesi a Giant Cambrian Radiodont.
Giant Penguins and a Dinosaur from Greenland
October blog posts included an assessment of organic molecules found in the cells of a Caudipteryx, a re-examination of another feathered Chinese theropod Beipiaosaurus, giant sea scorpions, a new species of horned dinosaur from New Mexico and Pendraig milnerae, a new species of dinosaur from Wales, named in honour of the recently passed Dr Angela Milner. Fossils found by school children on a field trip to a beach in New Zealand turned out to have come from a giant penguin, at 1.4 metres tall, Kairuku waewaeroa was a most impressive bird: A New Giant Penguin from New Zealand.
Customer model reviews and drawings by young palaeoartists featured in November, along with new Isle of Wight iguanodonts, headless pterosaurs, Permian beetles and toothless Brazilian theropods. Everything Dinosaur produced articles and videos on the new for 2022 CollectA models and the Early Cretaceous ornithomimosaur Pelecanimimus came under the spotlight.
Our favourite post featured Issi saaneq, a sauropodomorph that roamed Greenland during the Late Triassic. It is the first non-avian dinosaur to be named from fossils found in Greenland: Issi saaneq “Cold Bones” from Greenland.
December Yet More Dinosaurs and Upscaling Tethyshadros
As we entered the final month of 2021, we reported upon Stegouros elengassen, a new armoured dinosaur from Chile, research surrounding the KPg extinction event that postulated the extraterrestrial impact took place in the Northern Hemisphere late spring/summer and we helped a young dinosaur fan get reunited with a favourite dinosaur soft toy. Yet another dinosaur from the Isle of Wight was announced – Vectiraptor greeni, the largest fossilised remains of the giant millipede Arthropleura were discussed and palaeontologists got very excited about an exquisitely preserved dinosaur embryo inside a fossilised egg.
In December, we returned once again to the Late Cretaceous hadrosauriform Tethyshadros. A description of a second, much larger specimen was published and it refutes the idea that this dinosaur was a pygmy form – that Tethyshadros was an example of insular dwarfism: Sizing Up Tethyshadros.
This completes are our run through of the blog posts of 2021. We look forward to writing about new dinosaur discoveries, fossil finds and palaeontology related news stories over the next 12 months.