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4 06, 2019

Have you Herd of Fostoria dhimbangunmal?

By | June 4th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Australia’s Newest Dinosaur Fostoria dhimbangunmal – A Gem of a Fossil Discovery

A team of scientists from the University of New England (New South Wales, Australia), in collaboration with the Australian Opal Centre, have announced the discovery of yet another Aussie dinosaur.  The dinosaur has been named Fostoria dhimbangunmal (pronounced Foss-taw-ree-ah dim-baan-goon-mal) and it has been identified from a series of opalised fossils representing a number of individual animals excavated from an opal mine near Lightning Ridge (New South Wales).

The herbivorous dinosaur, which would have measured around 5-6 metres in length when fully grown, has been classified as an iguanodontid and phylogenetic analysis based on a recently published data set positions Fostoria as the sister taxon to a clade of Gondwanan iguanodontians that includes Anabisetia saldiviai, Talenkauen santacrucensis (both from Argentina) and arguably, Australia’s most famous ornithopod –  Muttaburrasaurus langdoni.

A Life Reconstruction of Fostoria dhimbangunmal

Fostoria dhimbangunmal life reconstruction.

A life reconstruction of a Fostoria dhimbangunmal.

Picture Credit: James Kuether

Evidence of a Herd of Plant-eating Dinosaurs

The fossil material has been opalised and it represents the remains of at least four different animals of different sizes/ages preserved in a monodominant bone bed excavated from the underground opal mine.  Opalised individual fossils of dinosaurs have been found in this part of New South Wales before, but it is remarkable that so many body fossils have been opalised in this case.

Lead author of the scientific paper, published in the  “Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology”, Dr Phil Bell (University of New England), stated that he was stunned by the sheer number of bones that had been found.  He explained:

“We initially assumed it was a single skeleton, but when I started looking at some of the bones, I realised that we had four scapulae (shoulder blades) all from different sized animals.”

Finding these fossils in the same place suggests that these are the remains of a group of dinosaurs that travelled together, as such, this is the first instance of a “herd of dinosaurs” being discovered in Australia.

Fossil Material – Elements from the Forelimb and Shoulder Girdle

Fostoria dhimbangunmal fossil bones (shoulder girdle and forelimb).

Fostoria forelimb and shoulder girdle elements.

Picture Credit: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

The picture (above), shows views of a left scapula (A, B and C).  Views of the left humerus (D, E and F) along with views of the left radius (G, H and I), scale bar = 2 cm.

The First Partial Skull of a Dinosaur from New South Wales

Most parts of the body are represented by the fossils, including elements from the skull such as the quadrate and other fossil bones that make up the braincase.  The frontal bones have enabled the researchers to compare the skull roof of Fostoria to other iguanodontids and hypsilophodontids which has helped with classification.

Fossils of Fostoria dhimbangunmal Exposed

In situ - Fostoria dhimbangunmal fossils.

Fostoria dhimbangunmal fossils photographed in situ.  Key (mt) – metatarsal, (is) ischium, (na) neural arches from vertebrae, (fr) unidentified fragment and (dr) dorsal rib.

Picture Credit: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology

Honouring Robert Foster

The genus name honours opal miner Robert Foster, who discovered the bonebed in the 1980’s.  The species name comes from the language of the Yuwaalaraay, Yuwaalayaay, and Gamilaraay peoples, after the Sheepyard opal field where the bonebed is located.  Scientists and field team volunteers from the Australian Museum in Sydney helped excavate the fossils, but the bones remained unstudied until donated to the Australian Opal Centre by Robert’s children Gregory and Joanne Foster back in 2015.

A View of an Opalised Toe Bone (F. dhimbangunmal)

An opalised toe bone of Fostoria dhimbangunmal.

An opalised toe bone of the newly described dinosaur Fostoria (F. dhimbangunmal).

Picture Credit: Robert A. Smith/Australian Opal Centre

Commenting on the significance of these fossils, palaeontologist and special projects officer, Jenni Brammall of the Australian Open Centre said:

“Fostoria has given us the most complete opalised dinosaur skeleton in the world.  Partial skeletons of extinct swimming reptiles have been found at other Australian opal fields, but for opalised dinosaurs we generally have only a single bone or tooth or in rare instances, a few bones.  To recover dozens of bones from the one skeleton is a first.”

An Important Gondwanan Representative of the Iguanodontians

Although most palaeontologists believe that the iguanodontid dinosaurs were very speciose and diverse during the Early Cretaceous, fossils representing iguanodontids from southern latitudes, what would have been the super-continent of Gondwana, are quite rare.  For example, until Fostoria was described, only one Australian iguanodontid dinosaur – M. langdoni, was known.  Fostoria dhimbangunmal extends the temporal range of these types of dinosaurs in Australia to the Cenomanian (early Late Cretaceous).  It and Muttaburrasaurus are the only iguanodontians known from the eastern margin of the inland sea, the Eromanga Sea, whereas the group is conspicuously absent from the contemporaneous ornithopod-dominated ecosystems of the Australian-Antarctic rift valley in Victoria.

To read about a recent ornithopod addition to the biota of the Australian-Antarctic rift valley: New Australian Ornithopod Described – Galleonosaurus dorisae.

The scientific paper: “Fostoria dhimbangunmal, gen. et sp. nov., a new iguanodontian (Dinosauria, Ornithopoda) from the mid-Cretaceous of Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia” by Phil R. Bell, Tom Brougham, Matthew C. Herne, Timothy Frauenfelder and Elizabeth T. Smith published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

3 06, 2019

Mojo Fun Prehistoric Mammals

By | June 3rd, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Mojo Fun Prehistoric Mammals

The excellent “Prehistoric & Extinct” model range (Mojo Fun), contains a lot of dinosaur figures but today, we focus on a couple of prehistoric mammal models.  We have praised this model range before, congratulating the company for producing figures of recently extinct creatures such as the Quagga of southern Africa and the Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine).  The range includes a number of other prehistoric mammals, replicas of some creatures that became extinct millions of years ago and not just within the last 150 years or so as in the case of the Thylacine and the Quagga.

A Scene Featuring Mojo Fun Prehistoric Mammals

A landscape featuring Mojo Fun prehistoric mammal models.

Mojo Fun prehistoric mammals (Hyaenodon gigas and Deinotherium).

Picture Credit: Mojo Fun/Everything Dinosaur

Hyaenodon gigas and Deinotherium

The picture (above), depicts the fearsome Hyaenodon gigas one of the largest members of the Hyaenodontidae family (foreground).  Some fossil specimens indicate that this cursorial mammal could have weighed as much as 500 kilograms.   The large, elephant-like animal in the background is a Deinotherium, a very popular Mojo Fun prehistoric animal figure amongst collectors, after all, not that many replicas of “gigantic, terrible beast” have been produced.

The Mojo Fun Deinotherium Model

New colour Mojo Fun Deinotherium 2018.

Mojo Fun Deinotherium (new colour 2018).  A new colour variant of this popular prehistoric animal replica was introduced last year.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Wide Temporal and Geographical Ranges

Mojo Fun have taken great care in the creation of their promotional image.  A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It is always a pleasure to post up images depicting prehistoric animal models from the various ranges that we support.   We have some more images kindly supplied by Mojo Fun of some of their new for 2019 prehistoric animals, we are looking forward to posting up these images to, when the figures come into stock.”

A Hyaenodon gigas Scale Drawing Based on the Mojo Fun Hyaenodon Figure

Hyaenodon gigas scale drawing.

A scale drawing of the giant, carnivorous mammal Hyaenodon gigas.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Fossils of both Hyaenodon and Deinotherium genera have a wide geographical and temporal distribution.  H. gigas is known from the Lower Oligocene of south-eastern Mongolia, so it lived long before the first members of the Deinotheriidae evolved and certainly before the first members of this elephant family left Africa and became more widespread.  However, as the Deinotherium genus is believed to have existed from the Miocene to the Pliocene Epoch and as some hyaenodonts persisted until the Late Miocene, it is possible that species of Deinotherium would have been contemporaneous with some of the last members of the Hyaenodontidae.

An interaction between a member of the Deinotheriidae and a carnivorous hyaenodont could have taken place.

To view the range of Mojo Fun models stocked by Everything Dinosaur: Mojo Prehistoric and Extinct Animal Models

2 06, 2019

Examining a Jaw Fragment from a Dimetrodon

By | June 2nd, 2019|Adobe CS5, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Examining a Jaw Fragment from a Dimetrodon

Team members at Everything Dinosaur had the opportunity to examine a jaw fragment from a Dimetrodon whilst on a visit to the National Museum (Cardiff).  This fossil, from a genus not associated with the British Isles, was part of an exhibit highlighting different types of reptile that existed prior to the evolution of the first dinosaurs.  Although, many museums around the world have extensive Dimetrodon fossil collections, it was pleasing to be able to have a really good look at the piece of jaw bone up close.

On Display at the National Museum Cardiff – A Fragment of the Jaw from a Dimetrodon

A Jaw fragment from a Dimetrodon.

A close-up view of a jaw fragment from a Dimetrodon (Dimetrodon spp.).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The teeth sockets can be identified and although the bone has some rather ominous looking cracks, two of the teeth have been preserved in situ.  We suspect that this is a piece from the dentary (lower jaw), Everything Dinosaur staff were unable to identify the Dimetrodon species from this fossil.  Unfortunately, the accompanying information panel did not provide details of where the fossil was found or which Dimetrodon species it had been assigned to.

An Illustration of Dimetrodon is Included in the Exhibit

Dimetrodon jaw fragment fossil.

The Dimetrodon jaw fragment exhibit at the National Museum (Cardiff).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dimetrodon not a Dinosaur but Everything Dinosaur Likes to Feature this Pelycosaur

When posting up images of prehistoric animals like Dimetrodon on social media platforms such as Pinterest or Instagram, Everything Dinosaur is sometimes challenged and asked why a company so associated with the Dinosauria should post up images of a creature that was not closely related to dinosaurs?  However, as we provide such as wide variety of prehistoric animal models and figures, there is bound to be a bit of overspill out of the Dinosauria and into other tetrapods, indeed, we also supply models of plants, various extinct mammals and of course, plenty of Palaeozoic critters too!

Instagram Pictures of Dimetrodon Models Often Get Commented Upon

A large Dimetrodon model.

A large Dimetrodon model, although not a dinosaur, this type of animal is frequently featured in Everything Dinosaur’s social media posts.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

1 06, 2019

Update on the Limited Edition Papo Spinosaurus

By | June 1st, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Update on the Limited Edition Papo Spinosaurus

The limited edition Papo Spinosaurus model has been delayed and the original launch date for this eagerly awaited dinosaur figure has been put back with a release date now estimated at August/September.  Everything Dinosaur remains heavily committed to this figure and by delaying this figure by a few weeks, this does permit both Papo and ourselves to ensure a successful roll out of other new for 2019 Papo models such as the Gorgosaurus, the new colour variant Stegosaurus and the Pentaceratops model.

Latest news:  Now likely to be in stock in October.

Papo Spinosaurus Figure Delayed

Spinosaurus dinosaur model from Papo

The awesome Papo Spinosaurus dinosaur model.  Delayed until August/September 2019.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Technical Issues

Technical issues have been cited as the reason for the delay.  With such an eagerly anticipated dinosaur figure, we are confident that design team at Papo and the production staff would be wanting to create the very best, most detailed model possible and therefore it may be sensible to take a little longer with the production process and the design of the special box that this figure will be presented in.

Everything Dinosaur team members have been involved in detailed discussions concerning the boxing of this figure.  As a business, we are trying to cut down on single use cardboard as part of our environmental policy, aiming to maintain our excellent record when it comes to recycling cardboard and paper.  However, a spokesperson from Papo’s senior management commented that the gift box “really highlights the premium value of this limited edition item” and added that “it’s also a good protection against shocks during the shipment.”

Papo Spinosaurus aegyptiacus Part of the French Technical Document

Papo Spinosaurus en Francais,

Papo limited edition Spinosaurus, technical document.  The model has been delayed a release date is now expected August/September 2019.  The design of the gift box can be seen on the right.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Same Model – New Delivery Date

Team members at Everything Dinosaur are hopeful that the first production samples will be ready for inspection in late July.  The expected delivery of models ready for sale to the wider public should be August/September, if Everything Dinosaur receives further information and updates, these will be published on this blogsite as well as on the company’s various social media platforms.

The Papo Spinosaurus (S. aegyptiacus) Dinosaur Model is Expected August/September

Papo Spinosaurus model due August/Septermber 2019.

The Papo Spinosaurus (S. aegyptiacus) dinosaur model is now expected August/September.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“All those people who are on Everything Dinosaur’s priority reserve list will still be offered a model, nothing has changed for them in terms of being guaranteed the chance to purchase this limited edition figure.”

The spokesperson went onto add:

“We have a meeting with Papo in a couple of weeks’ time, we hope to receive further information and if there is any additional news regarding this model or indeed any of the other new for 2019 figures such as the Papo Pentaceratops, the Gorgosaurus or the new colour variant Stegosaurus, we shall be sure to pass this information onto our customers”.

To view the range of Papo prehistoric animal models and figures available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Figures

Update – now likely to be in stock in October 2019.

31 05, 2019

The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs – The Theropods

By | May 31st, 2019|Adobe CS5, Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs – The Theropods Reviewed

Ask a layperson to name a dinosaur and it is very likely that names such as Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor will be volunteered, these dinosaurs are members of the Theropoda, one of three great groups that make up the Dinosauria.  However, these two meat-eating dinosaurs are not typical of this group, there is a lot more to the theropods than meets the eye.  The beautifully illustrated “Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods”, aimed at general readers as well as students and academics, helps to flesh out the story of the Theropoda and is essential summer reading for dinosaur enthusiasts.

The English Language Version of “The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods”

Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods"

The “Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods” (front cover.

Details of 750 Theropod Dinosaurs

Written by Rubén Molina-Pérez and Asier Larramendi, the founders and scientific directors of Eofauna Scientific Research, this volume contains over three thousand records giving facts and detailed information on over 750 theropod species.  Indeed, it is claimed that every single theropod dinosaur described before 2016 is included, this book reflects an enormous amount of research into what is, the most diverse and speciose of this suborder of dinosaurs.

Hundreds of Theropod Dinosaurs are Featured in the Book

Diverse Theropoda.

The diverse and speciose suborder of the Dinosauria (Theropoda).

 

Stunning Full-colour Illustrations

Crammed full of full-colour reconstructions and illustrations  by Andrey Atuchin and Sante Mazzei, this book, within the portfolio of the Natural History Museum (London), is not laid out like most dinosaur books.  For example, each record has bibliographic references, permitting the reader the opportunity to explore the topic area in more detail.  Divided into eight sections the “Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods” provides a comprehensive overview including information on extant theropods (birds), trackways, fossil eggs, biomechanics, trace fossils – even the sprinter Usain Bolt gets a mention!

Lots of Amazing Dinosaur Facts are Revealed and Can be Checked by Readers Thanks to the Bibliography

Chilesaurus ilustrated.

Chilesaurus – the slowest herbivorous Theropod known to science.

Theropod Anatomy

The geography of ancient continents is outlined and the distribution of different types of theropod highlighted.  There is an excellent section dedicated to theropod anatomy, along with a chapter dedicated to footprints “Testimony in Stone”.

Examples of Theropod Tracks (Extant and Extinct)

Line drawings illustrationg theropod footprints.

The ichnology of theropod footprints.

Records, Records and More Records

Throughout this book’s 288 pages, there are lots and lots of facts about the Theropoda listed including a graphical record of valid dinosauromorphs and theropods named and described up to 2016.  Look out for the snippet about how a fault in Triassic rock was mistaken for the huge footprint of a meat-eater, or the colourful illustration showing different types of dinosaur egg compared to a basketball.  Readers can expect to find the latest information about iconic dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex, Velociraptor osmolskae and Spinosaurus aegyptiacus.

Facts and Figures About the Largest Theropod – Spinosaurus aegyptiacus

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus illustrated.

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus.  Could this be the largest theropod of all?

Intriguingly, it has been revealed that the authors had wanted to include all the Dinosauria in a single encyclopedia.  Such a project is too much of an undertaking for a single volume, so in the future books focusing on the Ornithischians and the Sauropodomorphs and their close relatives might be produced.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“This is an excellent book, that has been lovingly crafted by a dedicated team of researchers and artists.  It provides a comprehensive overview of what is arguably one of the most successful type of tetrapod to have ever evolved.  We are delighted that this book is now available in English and we are happy to recommend it.”

“Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods”

Title: “Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs The Theropods”

ISBN: 978 0 565 09497 3

Price: Around £30.00 (GBP)

Format: Hardback (298 mm x 241 mm)

Publication: This month (May 2019)

Size: 288 pages approximately

Subject classification: Natural History/Dinosaurs

BIC and BISAC codes WNA/YNNA and  1) NAT007000 2) SCI054000

30 05, 2019

Two New Theropod Dinosaurs from Thailand

By | May 30th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi and Vayuraptor nongbualamphuensis

Two new species of theropod dinosaur have been described from partial fossil remains excavated from strata associated with the Sao Khua Formation of north-eastern Thailand.  It is likely that both these meat-eating dinosaurs have affinities with the Megaraptora and their discovery lends weight to the idea that the Megaraptoridae and their near relatives probably originated in Asia.  The dinosaurs have been named Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi and Vayuraptor nongbualamphuensis, Phuwiangvenator has been described as a megaraptoran whilst the exact taxonomic position of Vayuraptor remains uncertain, although the authors of the scientific paper suggest that it too was a member of the clade of dinosaurs with long-snouts, highly pneumatised skeletons and with large claws.

Bones in Approximate Life Position from the Right Foot of P. yaemniyomi

Bones from the foot of Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi.

Bones and claws from the right foot of Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi with an accompanying line drawing.

Picture Credit: Samathi et al

Lower Cretaceous Carnivorous Dinosaurs

The fossils were found nearly twenty-five miles apart, but the strata in which the fragmentary fossil material was found is contemporaneous and dated to the upper Barremian stage of the Lower
Cretaceous.  The first identified specimens of P. yaemniyomi were found by Preecha Sainongkham, a team member at the Phu Wiang Fossil Research Centre and Dinosaur Museum back in 1993.  The Phu Wiang Mountain region is highly fossiliferous and numerous vertebrate fossils representing the fauna of a low-lying, inland, lacustrine environment have been discovered over the years.  The first dinosaur bone known from Thailand was found in 1976, a scrappy bone fragment that was assigned to the Sauropoda.  This fossil was found by Sudham Yaemniyom, who was at the time a geologist with the country’s Department of Mineral Resources, Bangkok.  The species name of Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi honours his contribution to the geology and palaeontology of Thailand.

Phuwiangvenator is the larger of the two Theropods, it is believed to have measured around 5.5 to 6 metres in length.  It is known from dorsal and sacral vertebrae plus elements of the hind limbs and feet.  All the fossil material was found within the same bedding plane and within an area of just 5 square metres.

Views of the Right Tibia (A1 – A6) and a Proximal View of the Left Tibia (P. yaemniyomi)

Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi bones from the lower leg.

Right tibia (A) in various views with a proximal view (B) of the left tibia – Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi.

Picture Credit: Samathi et al

Vayuraptor nongbualamphuensis – Raptor of the Wind God

The fossils associated with Vayuraptor were found in 1988.  It is known from a left tibia and ankle bones.  The genus name is from the Sanskrit for “Vayu”, a God of the Wind and the Latin term “raptor”, which means thief.  Analysis of the single lower leg bone indicates that like Phuwiangvenator, this dinosaur was a fast-running, cursorial predator.  The fossils of both dinosaurs are now part of the extensive dinosaur fossil collection at the Sirindhorn Museum in Kalasin Province.  This museum houses the largest collection of dinosaur fossil bones in north-eastern Thailand.

Analysis of the Tibia Suggests that Vayuraptor was a Fast Runner

Ankle and lower leg bone Vayuraptor.

Vayuraptor nongbualamphuensis views of the left tibia and ankle (A5 and A6).

Picture Credit: Samathi et al

Megaraptora Originated in Asia

The establishing of at least one of these dinosaurs as a member of the Megaraptora clade, possibly both, helps to support the hypothesis that in south-eastern Asia during the Early Cretaceous, it was the Megaraptora that were diverse and playing the role of apex predators.  This is in contrast to other ecosystems elsewhere in the world, that were dominated by different kinds of theropod dinosaur.  A basal member of the Megaraptora, Fukuiraptor kitadaniensis is known from the Lower Cretaceous (Barremian) of Japan, these two dinosaurs are also (most likely), from the Barremian.  Their identification supports the idea that these fast running, lightly built predators evolved in Asia.

A Model of the Basal Megaraptoran  Clade – Fukuiraptor

CollectA Fukuiraptor dinosaur model.

CollectA Fukuiraptor model.  It is likely that Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi and Vayuraptor nongbualamphuensis were similar to Fukuiraptor kitadaniensis.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An Early Cretaceous Heyday for the Megaraptorans

Fossils of this type of meat-eating dinosaur have been reported from the Barremian to the Aptian faunal stage of the Early Cretaceous.  The authors of the scientific paper, published in the scientific journal “Acta Palaeontologica Polonica”, note that several specimens of megaraptoran dinosaurs have been recorded from the Aptian of Australia and one reported from the later Albian faunal stage of South America.  Megaraptorans are known from the Late Cretaceous but seem to indicate that by around 90 million years ago, “megaraptors” had a more limited range and seem to have been confined mostly to South America.

A Typical Illustration of a Member of the Megaraptoridae Family of Theropod Dinosaurs

Roaming Patagonia 80 million years ago

A leggy, Late Cretaceous carnivore (Murusraptor).  Roaming Patagonia around 80 million years ago.  By the Late Cretaceous the Megaraptoridae may have been less widespread and more provincial.

Picture Credit: Jan Sovak (University of Alberta)

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“The identification of these theropod remains that had been known about for more than twenty-five years, has been partially resolved.  Hopefully, more fossil material associated with the Vayuraptor genus will be found in Thailand so that it too can be more definitively placed within the Megaraptora clade.  Given the extent of the fossil discoveries made from the Phu Wiang Mountain region thus far, it is highly likely that more new dinosaurs will be named and described from Thailand in the future.”

To read an article about a Late Cretaceous member of the Megaraptoridae family from South America that was reported upon in 2018: A New Member of the Megaraptoridae from the Late Cretaceous of South America (Tratayenia rosalesi)

The scientific paper: “Two new basal coelurosaurian theropod dinosaurs from the Lower Cretaceous Sao Khua Formation of Thailand” by A. Samathi, P. Chanthasit and P. Martin Sander published in  Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.

29 05, 2019

Wolves Two Megaloceros One

By | May 29th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Wolves Two Megaloceros One

One of the joys of exploring natural history galleries is spotting some of the exhibits that are hiding in plain sight.  Whilst on a visit to South Wales we took the opportunity to visit the National Museum Cardiff and to take a journey through space and time in the Evolution of Wales gallery.  Towards the end of the exhibit, there is a display dedicated to animals of the Ice Age and evidence of early settlement in Wales.  Tucked up high on a ledge over hanging the entrance, one of our team members spotted a pair of wolves.

Hiding in Plain Sight – A Pair of Wolves Ready to Pounce

A pair of wolves on display at a museum.

Ice Age wolves on display.  Although much of the megafauna of the Ice Age is extinct some animals alive today also, just like our species, lived through the last Ice Age.  The Museum of Cardiff exhibit had wolves and an American bison on display as well as examples of extinct animals such as the Megaloceros and the Woolly Mammoth.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We suspect that most of the visitors will miss these wolves lurking above them.  One of the pleasures of having time to really explore a gallery is spotting features that most visitors would probably miss.

Giant Irish Elk – Megaloceros

When you enter the gallery, you are met by the imposing cast of a giant Irish Elk (Megaloceros giganteus?).  The magnificent antlers certainly draw the eye.  This extinct species of giant deer was geographically very widespread from Ireland to as far east as parts of China during the latter stages of the Pleistocene.

The Megaloceros Exhibit (Part of the Evolution of Wales Gallery)

Megaloceros skeleton on display/

A cast of a Megaloceros skeleton on display.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Photo Opportunity

A number of museums in Europe have fossils of Megaloceros within their collection, the mounted exhibits prove to be very popular with visitors who like to try to take a picture of themselves with the giant antlers, the aim in many cases, is to take a photograph in such a way that the antlers seem to be growing out of the side of your own head.  In contrast, we are just happy to view the various exhibits and to read the informative display boards.

Megaloceros on Display (National Museum of Scotland – Edinburgh)

A giant Irish Elk on display.

A Megaloceros skeleton on display.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

28 05, 2019

Everything Dinosaur and the Rebor Dinosaur Foetuses

By | May 28th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor Foetus Replicas

Everything Dinosaur will be stocking the pair of Rebor Oddities dinosaur foetus replicas (Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor).  These highly unusual dinosaur figures are expected to arrive in stock at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse in July and today, the UK-based mail-order company has formally announced that it will be stocking them.

Coming into Stock at Everything Dinosaur the Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus Foetus

The Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus foetus.

Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus foetus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Wet Specimens

Ever since Michael Crichton’s highly influential novel “Jurassic Park” was first published (1990), subsequently made into a film three years later, fans of dinosaurs have been trying to get hold of replicas of pre-hatched dinosaurs as envisaged by the scientists at the bioengineering company InGen run by industrialist and billionaire John Hammond.  The clever design team at Rebor have come up with their own take on this concept, portraying the foetuses of two iconic Late Cretaceous theropods Velociraptor and a representative of the Tyrannosaurus genus.

The Rebor Oddities Velociraptor Foetus Model

The Rebor Oddities Velociraptor foetus.

Rebor Oddities Velociraptor foetus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Each skilfully crafted model is displayed in its own storage jar.  The purchaser can add water to represent the fluid in which the specimen would have been kept in.  Both models reflect what is known about dinosaur embryos and show distal growth, although neither Velociraptor or any member of the Tyrannosaurus genus is represented in the fossil record by material representing a pre-hatched or recently hatched individual.

Priority Reservation Lists are Open

Priority reservation lists have been opened for both of these new Rebor Oddities replicas.  Dinosaur fans who had already requested to join the Rebor Dilophosaurus model reserve list “Green Day” and “Oasis”, that are due to be introduced prior to these two foetus models, have already been offered the chance to join Everything Dinosaur’s priority reserve lists.

A spokesperson for the company commented:

“These two foetus replicas from Rebor are likely to sell out fast, so we thought it fair to offer the chance to join our VIP reserve list for these two models, to those collectors who had already contacted us about the new Rebor Dilophosaurus dinosaur replicas.”

To join Everything Dinosaur’s priority reserve list for the Rebor Oddities Foetus figures: Email Everything Dinosaur to join our Reserve List for the Rebor Oddities – don’t forget to let us know which model(s) you want.

To read about the two new Rebor Dilophosaurus dinosaur models coming into stock shortly: Rebor Announces New Dilophosaurus Models.

Tale of the Tape

The Rebor Oddities range provides collectors with the opportunity to acquire more unusual prehistoric animal figures and replicas.  These types of models tend to sell out quickly and can rapidly become difficult to obtain.  Everything Dinosaur will be bringing into stock a limited number of these new Rebor Oddities.  As for their sizes, the Tyrannosaurus figure is slightly larger than the Velociraptor replica, a probable true reflection on the size of these dinosaur embryos from back in the Late Cretaceous.

  • Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus foetus replica measuring  22.5 cm x 9 cm from the top of the jar to the base.
  • Rebor Oddities Velociraptor foetus replica measuring 18 cm x 7. 5 cm from the top of the jar to the base.

These figures are likely to be highly sought after, demand for them could outstrip supply and at the moment, based on current estimates, a July delivery date at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse is forecast.

The Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus Foetus Replica is the Slightly Bigger of the Two Figures

Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus foetus.

The Rebor Oddities Tyrannosaurus foetus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

All Lit Up and Ready to Hatch – The Rebor Oddities Velociraptor Figure

Rebor Oddities Velociraptor foetus

The Rebor Oddities Velociraptor foetus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Simply email Everything Dinosaur to join our reserve list for these exciting new Rebor figures, to see the current range of Rebor replicas in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Replicas and Figures.

27 05, 2019

Postcards of Ichthyosaurs

By | May 27th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Postcards of Ichthyosaurs

A team member at Everything Dinosaur found some beautiful postcards that feature spectacular British fossils, in this case Ichthyosaurs, in one of our offices the other day.  We thought we would share a picture of the prehistoric themed postcards on our blog.

A Pair of Prehistoric Postcards Featuring Different Species of Ichthyosaur

Postcards showing Ichthyosaurs.

Postcards that illustrate spectacular British fossils – Ichthyosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The postcards come from a range of “natural selection prints”, illustrations of spectacular fossils from the UK.  They depict scientific illustrations that we think accompanied the description of the species when it was erected.

Ichthyosaurus moorei (Leptonectes moorei)

The postcard (top) shows a plate from the scientific paper that led to the erection of the species Ichthyosaurus moorei.  The holotype material associated with this animal comes from Seatown on the Dorset coast (Jurassic Coast).  However, as our knowledge of the Ichthyosauria as improved, so fossils associated with I. moorei have been reassigned and placed outside the Ichthyosaurus genus.  There are enough distinctive characteristics (autapomorphies), to permit an erection of a separate genus.  The genus Leptonectes moorei was established in 1999.

Ichthyosaurus breviceps

I. breviceps is another species of marine reptile, despite being named a long time ago, in 1881 by Richard Owen (later Sir Richard Owen), it has remained a member of the Ichthyosaurus genus.  This type of Ichthyosaurus is also associated with the Jurassic Coast of Dorset.  Its fossils are relatively rare when compared to the contemporaneous I. communis.  It is characterised by its relatively short, but robust snout.  The shape of the jaw suggests that this marine reptile may have fed on different kinds of food compared to other “fish lizards”, it may have been more of a generalist eating a wider variety of prey, an example of niche partitioning within the biota associated with the Lower Jurassic.

An Illustration of a Typical Ichthyosaur – W. massarae

Wahlisaurus massarae illustrated

An illustration of the Ichthyosaur known as Wahlisaurus massarae, which was named and described back in 2016.  Research into the Ichthyosauria is on-going and existing specimens can be reassigned to different species or even different genera as more data becomes available.

Picture Credit: James McKay

26 05, 2019

Some Baby Dinosaurs Crawled Before Learning to Walk on Two Legs

By | May 26th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Mussaurus Switched from Four Legs to Two

A team of scientists, including researchers from the Royal Veterinary College based in London and Museo de La Plata and National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) located in Argentina, have collaborated to produce a report on how a Late Triassic sauropodomorph changed as it grew up.  The dinosaur in question Mussaurus patagonicus is an ideal candidate for dinosaur growth studies as it is known from numerous partial to nearly complete skeletons from hatchlings to fully grown adults.  Writing in the academic journal the researchers conclude that Mussaurus could only move on four limbs once born but switched to two legs as it grew up, just as our species switches from all fours to bipedal walking as we grow.

Scientists Looked at How the Centre of Mass Changed in the Body of Mussaurus to Work Out How it Walked

Plotting changes in Mussaurus as it grew.

Mussaurus specimens. (a, b) hatchling, (c) yearling and (bottom) adult.  Scale bars represent 5 cm (a), (b) 15 cm (c) and 100 cm in the adult animal representation.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

An Argentinian Sauropodomorph

Fossils of Mussaurus come from southern Argentina, at birth this dinosaur was only a few centimetres in length, but it reached its adult size in around eight years.  Essentially, this dinosaur went from weighing about 60 grams to weighing an estimated 1,300 kilograms with a body length of approximately 8 metres.  The research team conclude that it might have barely been able to walk or run on two legs at the age of one, but would have only committed to being bipedal once it reached adulthood.  This study has implications for the largest terrestrial vertebrates that ever lived as Mussaurus is regarded as an ancestral form of the later sauropods, giants like Apatosaurus, Mamenchisaurus and Giraffatitan, that were to evolve in the Jurassic.

The team scanned key fossils of Mussaurus into three-dimensional models, connected the bones into digital skeletons, and added soft tissue to estimate the shape of the body and its major segments such as head, neck, torso, tail and limbs.  These computer models were then used to estimate the location of the animal’s centre of mass, the point at which all weight can be assumed to act through.  This estimate enabled the scientists to then test whether different models representing different growth stages of Mussaurus patagonicus could have stood on two legs or not, because the centre of mass must be placed under the feet in such poses.

Identifying the Centre of Mass as Mussaurus Grew Up

Mussaurus Locomotion Study

Plotting the ontogeny of Mussaurus (a) hatchling, (b) yearling and (c) adult animal and the subsequent effect on centre of mass and locomotion.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports

From Four Legs to Two

One of the authors of the scientific paper, Dr Alejandro Otero (CONICET) stated:

“Mussaurus switched from four legs as a baby to two legs by adulthood, much as humans do.  It is important to notice that such locomotor switching is rare in nature and the fact that we were able to recognise it in extinct forms like dinosaurs highlights the importance of our exciting findings.”

Professor John Hutchinson of the Royal Veterinary College, an expert in animal locomotion and co-author of the paper commented:

“We created the first 3-D representation of the major changes of body form and function across the growth of a dinosaur.  And we were surprised to learn that enlargement of the tail and reduction of the neck had more of an effect on how Mussaurus stood than how long its forelimbs were, which is what people used to think.”

Implications for Giant Dinosaurs

At around eight metres in length, Mussaurus was one of the largest dinosaurs in southern South America during the Late Triassic (estimated to be Norian faunal stage), however, during the Jurassic and Cretaceous much larger lizard-hipped dinosaurs would evolve from this lineage.  By improving our understanding about how some of the sauropodomorphs moved this type of research can provide insights into how much bigger plant-eating, long-necked giants walked.  When adult, dinosaurs such as Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus were very much quadrupedal, although it has been suggested that when very young some of these dinosaurs might have been able to rear up onto their hind legs to escape danger.*

Mussaurus Scale Comparison

Mussasaurus scale comparison.

Mussaurus scale drawing compared to an adult human and the skeleton of a typical Late Jurassic sauropod.

Picture Credit: Scientific Reports with additional annotation and information from Everything Dinosaur

* To read an article from 2011 that looked at the research into trace fossils from the western United States that hinted that some very young sauropods may have been able to run on just their hind legs: Facultative Bipedalism in Sauropods

The research team hope to build on this work as they plan to use computer models to replicate in greater detail how Mussaurus may have actually moved, such as how fast it could walk or run.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the Royal Veterinary College (London) in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Ontogenetic changes in the body plan of the sauropodomorph dinosaur Mussaurus patagonicus reveal shifts of locomotor stance during growth” by Alejandro Otero, Andrew R. Cuff, Vivian Allen, Lauren Sumner-Rooney, Diego Pol and John R. Hutchinson published in Scientific Reports.

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