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17 09, 2020

Carnian Pluvial Episode – Late Triassic Mass Extinction

By | September 17th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Geology, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Getting to Grips with a Mass Extinction Event – Carnian Pluvial Episode

The fossil record of the Phanerozoic (the Eon of visible life), indicates that there were five major mass extinction events.  The fossil record marks huge and very rapid (at least in geological terms anyway), reductions in the diversity of life on a world-wide scale.  Our planet might well be going through a mass extinction event at the moment, but for one team of scientists their attention has been on the Late Triassic (Carnian faunal stage), plotting a time of extensive terrestrial and marine faunal turnover.  The researchers, which include scientists from Bristol University, the University of Ferrara (Italy), the University of Vienna and the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan Province, conclude that around 233 million years ago about a third of all marine genera disappeared.

Terrestrial Fauna in the Late Triassic – Did a Major Extinction Event Help to Trigger the Rise of the Dinosaurs

Late Triassic terrestrial fauna.

Life in the Late Triassic, an explosion in dinosaur diversity.  Did the Crocodylomorpha and the Dinosauria benefit from the Late Triassic Carnian Pluvial Episode?

Picture Credit:  Davide Bonadonna

Many types of land-living animal did no better.  The herbivorous rhynchosaurs and dicynodonts were greatly reduced in diversity during the Carnian, but intriguingly crocodylomorphs and those other archosaurs, the Dinosauria seem to have benefitted from the extinction of other types of tetrapod, with both the Crocodylomorpha and dinosaurs diversifying towards the end of the Carnian.  The scientists postulate that the rise of the dinosaurs to dominance might have been a direct consequence of the Carnian Pluvial Episode (CPE).

To read an earlier blog article that links the CPE with dinosaur diversification: Out with a Bang! In with a Bang! The story of the Dinosauria.

 A Time of Immense Global Environmental Change

The Carnian Pluvial Episode took place from around 234 to 232 million years ago.  There was a marked rise in rainfall (at least four episodes of increased rainfall have been deduced from sedimentary and palaeontological data).  The Earth got warmer and more humid.  This led to extensive environmental changes and the subsequent demise and then collapse of many ecological systems.  Writing in the academic journal “Science Advances”, the scientists throw their collective weight behind the theory that enormous volcanic eruptions in the Wrangellia Province of western Canada, that resulted in the deposition of vast amounts of basalt, were probably the cause of the global environmental changes.

Co-author of the paper Jacopo Dal Corso (China University of Geosciences), explained:

“The eruptions peaked in the Carnian.  I was studying the geochemical signature of the eruptions a few years ago and identified some massive effects on the atmosphere worldwide.  The eruptions were so huge, they pumped vast amounts of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and there were spikes of global warming”.

This warming resulted in the increased humidity and higher levels of rainfall, a phenomenon first detected by geologists Mike Simms and Alastair Ruffell in the 1980s.  The climate change caused major biodiversity loss in the ocean and on land, but just after the extinction event new groups took over, forming more modern-like ecosystems.

Environmental and Geochemical Changes of the CPE

Environmental and geochemical changes associated with the Carnian Pluvial Event.

(A) Calculating the age of the CPE based on geochemical indicators and (B) Palaeogeography during the Carnian, the map showing where sedimentary and palaeontological data has been obtained documenting changes in environmental conditions.

Picture Credit: Jacopo Dal Corso et al/Science Advances

The environmental changes had a profound effect on life on our planet.  As well as a diversification of the dinosaurs, many other modern groups of animals and plants appeared at this time, including lizards and the first mammals.  When mapping the losses of marine fauna at the genus level, the team concluded that whilst the CPE was not as devastating as the either the end-Triassic or end-Cretaceous extinction events, some 33% of all marine genera died out.

A Comparison of Marine Faunal Turnover During Major Extinction Events

Plotting marine extinctions and faunal turnover over the Carnian Pluvial Event.

(A) Comparison of extinction rates of all marine genera during the CPE with those of major Phanerozoic mass extinction events.

Picture Credit: Jacopo Dal Corso et al/Science Advances

The Effect on Plant Life

The shifts in climate encouraged substantial changes in global flora too.  Many new types of plants emerged that were more suited to the humid climate.  Several modern fern families emerged and the Bennettitales (cycad-like plants), diversified.  Extensive coal deposits formed once again, the first substantial coal seams being produced since the Permian.  Conifers seem to have benefitted and the researchers, which include Professor Mike Benton (Bristol University), remark that the CPE provides the first major finds of amber in the fossil record.  As tree resin is usually produced when plants are under stress, this suggests that terrestrial ecosystems were in a state of flux during this period in Earth’s history.

Professor Benton stated:

“The new floras probably provided slim pickings for the surviving herbivorous reptiles.  I had noted a floral switch and ecological catastrophe among the herbivores back in 1983 when I completed my PhD.  We now know that dinosaurs originated some 20 million years before this event, but they remained quite rare and unimportant until the Carnian Pluvial Episode hit.  It was the sudden arid conditions after the humid episode that gave dinosaurs their chance.”

Terrestrial Extinctions and Originations During the Carnian (Late Triassic)

Mapping the major biological changes amongst plants, insects and vertebrates during the Carnian.

Plotting the major biological changes amongst plants, insects and vertebrates during the Carnian.  Trackmaker assemblages from the Southern Alps suggest a faunal turnover within the Archosauria with the dinosaurs replacing the crocodylomorphs as a significant component of terrestrial ecosystems.

Picture Credit: Jacopo Dal Corso et al/Science Advances

The researchers conclude that the CPE may not have been as significant as the big five Phanerozoic mass extinctions but it did have a dramatic impact on terrestrial and marine environments and helped to bring in a variety of new types of plants and animals, marking an important step towards the origins of the types of ecosystems we see around us today.

The scientific paper: “Extinction and dawn of the modern world in the Carnian (Late Triassic)” by Jacopo Dal Corso et al published in Science Advances.

16 09, 2020

CollectA Deluxe Lisowicia Video Review

By | September 16th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

CollectA Deluxe Lisowicia bojani Video Review

Everything Dinosaur has created a short video review of the new for 2020 CollectA Deluxe Lisowicia bojani model.  As well as reviewing the figure, we have provided an outline of some of the science behind the discovery and naming of this huge, Late Triassic dicynodont.  In the video, (it lasts just over ten minutes), we also discuss a “secret” Placerias replica and pose the question which prehistoric animal models would you put in a diorama with these two members of the Dicynodontia?

Everything Dinosaur’s Video Review of the CollectA Deluxe Lisowicia bojani Model (Dynamic Dicynodonts)

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Dicynodont Duo

There are not that many dicynodont models made by mainstream manufacturers.  Creatures from the Triassic tend to be somewhat underrepresented in model ranges when compared to prehistoric animals that lived during the Jurassic or Cretaceous.  However, fans of the Dicynodontia have two protomammals to choose from.  There is the CollectA Deluxe Lisowicia bojani, which was introduced this year (2020) and an eye-catching Placerias replica to add to your collection.

A Dicynodont Duo – Lisowicia and Placerias

CollectA Lisowicia and a Placerias model.

The CollectA Deluxe Lisowicia bojani model (background) and a Placerias replica (foreground).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The CollectA Deluxe 1:20 scale Lisowicia bojani model can be found in this section of our website: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Life Models and Figures.

Model Measurements

In the short video review, we measure the two models and comment on their size and scale.  The CollectA Deluxe Lisowicia replica measures around nineteen centimetres in length, stands approximately 7 cm high at the shoulder and that high-arched back is more than 10 cm tall.  The Placerias figure, is smaller, it measures about 10 cm in length and it stands around 5 cm high.  The sizing is apt, as although Placerias was a large dicynodont, it would have been dwarfed by the elephant-sized Lisowicia, should a Placerias ever encounter one.

Measuring a Prehistoric Protomammal – The Tale of the Tape (Lisowicia bojani)

Measuring the CollectA Deluxe Lisowicia model.

In the Everything Dinosaur video review the CollectA Lisowicia replica is measured.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Helping to Inform and Educate

One of the aims of our videos is to help explain some of the science behind the prehistoric animal that a particular figure might represent.  In our video review of the Lisowicia, we highlight where the fossils of this giant dicynodont were found and what other fossils were discovered in association with the remains.  Thanks to the thousands of bones that have been excavated from the Lisowicia dig site, researchers have been able to build up a comprehensive picture of the many different types of animals that co-existed with L. bojani.  For example, the narrator comments upon the discovery of the archosaur Smok wawelski and points out the difficulties in classifying this predator as either a member of the Theropoda or a rauisuchid – a diverse group of predatory archosaurs that sit on the crocodilian segment of the Archosauria family tree.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.  We recommend that you subscribe to our YouTube channel.

15 09, 2020

“Prehistoric Pets” – New Book Links Pets with Their Ancestors

By | September 15th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos, Press Releases|0 Comments

“Prehistoric Pets” – New Book Links Pets with Their Ancestors

A new book is due to be published shortly entitled “Prehistoric Pets”.  It has been written by the very talented palaeontologist Dr Dean Lomax, with illustrations by Mike Love.  This exciting forthcoming publication links pets with their prehistoric ancestors, helping to bridge a gap in children’s understanding about fossils and deep geological time.

The Front Cover of “Prehistoric Pets” by Dr Dean Lomax with Illustrations by Mike Love

The front cover of "Prehistoric Pets".

This colourful and well-written book takes the reader on a journey back in time, linking common household pets today with their prehistoric ancestors.  If you have ever wondered about the ancestors of cats, dogs and guinea pigs, then this exciting new publication will provide the answers.

Picture Credit: Templar Books/Everything Dinosaur

Highly Informative, Fact Filled and Humorous

Dr Dean Lomax is one of a very select number of academics who have the ability to communicate complex ideas in simple terms so that general readers can comprehend.  The book is crammed full of fascinating facts and snippets of information that children will relish.  Beautifully designed pop-ups feature amazing prehistoric creatures, animals such as the tiny Sifrhippus (siff-rip-uss), the oldest known ancestor of the modern horse.  A cat-sized creature that roamed Wyoming during the Eocene Epoch.

“Prehistoric Pets” – Tracing the Ancestry of the Modern Horse

Horses feature in the book "Prehistoric Pets".

One of the beautiful animal illustrations from the book “Prehistoric Pets” by Dr Dean Lomax (illustrated by Mike Love).

Picture Credit: Templar Books/Everything Dinosaur

This awesome book is due to be published next month (October 2020), it will make an ideal Christmas gift for a young palaeontologist.

When this book is available, Everything Dinosaur will be writing a review of “Prehistoric Pets”.

Well-written and Cleverly Designed – A Great Christmas Gift Idea “Prehistoric Pets”

"Prehistoric Pets" - brilliant bird facts.

Brilliant bird facts in the awesome new book written by Dr Dean Lomax and illustrated by Mike Love.  The book contains lots of amazing information and facts.  Written in a humorous style, “Prehistoric Pets” takes the reader on a journey back in time, linking familiar pets alive today with their prehistoric ancestors. 

Picture Credit: Templar Books/Everything Dinosaur

14 09, 2020

Pachycephalosaur Squamosals

By | September 14th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Pachycephalosaur Squamosals

As Everything Dinosaur team members prepare for the arrival of the new for 2020 Papo Stygimoloch dinosaur model, team members have been examining the scientific papers that led to the erection of this pachycephalosaur genus (Peter Galton and Hans-Dieter Sues in 1983).  An isolated fossil bone referred to as a left squamosal (a bone from the back part of the skull) was found in Hell Creek Formation deposits located in McCone County, eastern Montana.  This fossil bone was given the catalogue number UCMP 119433 and although its prominent horns and raised bony bumps were very distinctive, it was not formerly described until 1983.  This fossil bone became the holotype fossil for the new species of North American pachycephalosaur Stygimoloch spinifer.

Distinctive Squamosal Bones Attributed to S. spinifer

Squamosal Bones Associated with Stygimoloch spinifer

The holotype left squamosal (UCMP 119433) in (A) and a right squamosal (UCMP 131163) in (B) in posterior view.  Note scale bar equals 5 cm.

Picture Credit: Horner and Goodwin (published in PLOS One)

The picture (above), shows the holotype left squamosal (UCMP 119433) alongside a right squamosal which also comes from the Hell Creek Formation of Montana (UCMP 131163).   When first described, the flat-headed, narrow skull of Stygimoloch with its array of horns and bumps that were most prominent at the back of the skull, was thought to represent a different type of pachycephalosaur than the dome-skulled species such as Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis.  Stygimoloch had been described from extremely scrappy fossil remains.  Although a more complete skull found in North Dakota was also assigned to this genus, Stygimoloch remained poorly known.

The New for 2020 Papo Stygimoloch Dinosaur Model

Papo Stygimoloch model.

A view of one of the production prototypes of the Papo Stygimoloch dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Stygimoloch is Probably a Subadult Pachycephalosaurus

A paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in 2007 challenged the validity of the Stygimoloch taxon.  Palaeontologists John (Jack) Horner of the Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University and Mark Goodwin of the Museum of Paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley published a paper in the on-line, peer reviewed journal PLOS One (2009), that proposed that both Dracorex hogwartsia and Stygimoloch spinifer represented younger individuals of the Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis species.

More recent fossil discoveries from the Hell Creek Formation and further analysis of existing pachycephalosaur fossil material from North America supports the idea that Dracorex hogwartsia, Stygimoloch spinifer and Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis are the same taxon.

Pachycephalosaur Ontogeny – Three Hell Creek Formation Taxa May Actually Represent Just One Taxon

Different skull shapes and ornamentation linked to different growth stages.

It has been proposed that the cranial ornamentation and skull shape of pachycephalosaurs changes as these animals grow and mature.  This can cause confusion when trying to identify species.

Picture Credit: Kari Scannella with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

When first described, (Galton and Sues), the suggested morphology of the skull of Stygimoloch (narrow and lacking a raised, thickened dome), led the researchers to propose that unlike other pachycephalosaurs Stygimoloch probably did not indulge in any head-butting behaviour.

To view the range of Papo figures in stock at Everything Dinosaur, including a Pachycephalosaurus figure (whilst stocks last): Papo Models and Figures.

The 2009 scientific paper: “Extreme Cranial Ontogeny in the Upper Cretaceous Dinosaur Pachycephalosaurus” by John R Horner and Mark B Goodwin published in PLOS One.

13 09, 2020

A Dinosaur Water Bottle

By | September 13th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|0 Comments

A Colourful Dinosaur Water Bottle

The return to school for the start of the autumn term has been very strange for many children.  Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, some pupils in the UK have not been in school since March.  This term is likely to very different for children, teachers and teaching assistants alike.  Everything Dinosaur has seen sales of its dinosaur-themed water bottle surge as parents, grandparents, guardians and carers prepared for the start of the new school year.  Children are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles and our tough, robust, dishwasher safe, plastic dinosaur water bottle with its large 500 millilitre capacity, has proved to be very popular with young dinosaur fans.

The Dinosaur Themed Water Bottle from Everything Dinosaur

A 500 ml capacity dinosaur water bottle.

The plastic dinosaur drinking bottle available from Everything Dinosaur (whilst stocks last).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An Ideal Water Bottle for School

The plastic water bottle is ideal for school.  It is dishwater safe and very sturdy.  The bottle has a large screw-on lid making it easy for little ones to top up and a secure flip cap top to permit no-spill drinking.  Just what a budding, young palaeontologist needs to quench their thirst.  The colourful dinosaur design in the front features a trio of dinosaurs, a Tyrannosaurus rex, a long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur with some prehistoric plants and trees to munch and a fabulous Triceratops.  There are even a couple of terrific pterosaurs to keep the dinosaurs company.

A Colourful Triceratops Features on the Front of the Dinosaur Water Bottle

A colourful Triceratops illustration.

A colourful Triceratops adorns the dinosaur water bottle.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The water bottle has been made from BPA-free plastic (free from bisphenol A or any other bisphenol compounds.  It is impact resistant and exceptionally tough, helping to extend the useful life of water bottles, potentially reducing plastic waste.  This product has exceptional dishwasher durability, encouraging proper sanitation and helping to keep plastic surfaces clean and free from bacteria and viruses.  With a substantial 500 ml capacity the bottle is big enough to provide plenty of refreshment, but it is lighter than glass, making it easier to handle for small hands without the fear of breaking.

By using this refillable bottle, you have will have helped to reduce the plastic pollution threat to oceans.

At just £4.16 plus tax (if applicable) and postage, this colourful dinosaur themed drinking vessel makes a welcome addition to a young person’s rucksack or school bag.  Prices accurate on date of publication (September 2020).

The dinosaur water bottle can be found (whilst stocks last), on this section of Everything Dinosaur’s website: Dinosaur Themed School Items (Back to School).

12 09, 2020

A Predator of Lisowicia – Smok wawelski

By | September 12th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

A Predator of Lisowicia – Smok wawelski

Prehistoric animal model collectors have been eager to get their hands on the new for 2020 CollectA Deluxe Lisowicia bojani, dicynodont model.  Everything Dinosaur team members are busy creating a short video review of the model entitled “Dynamic Dicynodonts”.  Our YouTube video aims to showcase the CollectA 1:20 scale figure and to discuss dicynodonts in general.  Ironically, in the Late Triassic there was a predator that the elephant-sized Lisowicia might have feared.  The bonebed in southern Poland has revealed the presence of a five-metre plus archosaurian carnivore.  A powerful animal scientifically described in 2011, the meat-eater has been named Smok wawelski and although a fully grown Lisowicia was probably invulnerable to attack, Smok would have been capable of bringing down juvenile or sick individuals, as Smok is the largest terrestrial predator known from the Late Triassic of central Europe.

Dangerous Company for Lisowicia bojaniSmok wawelski

Skeletal reconstruction of Smok wawelski

A skeletal reconstruction of Smok wawelski (known bones in white) along with views of key elements from the fossil remains.  Although originally believed to be a theropod dinosaur related to the Allosauroidea, Smok wawelski could be a member of the crocodile lineage of the Archosauria.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The CollectA Deluxe Lisowicia bojani Dicynodont Model

The CollectA Deluxe Lisowicia bojani model.

The ruler helps to show the size of the CollectA Lisowicia model.  The Lisowicia replica measures around 19 cm long and the model has an articulated lower jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the CollectA Deluxe Lisowicia bojaniCollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Life Models.

The “Dragon of Lisowice”

Smok had a skull which was more than half a metre in length.  It was the apex predator of a diverse biota revealed by the clay pit fossils found close to the village of Lisowice in Silesia, southern Poland.  The first evidence of this large animal, consisting of cranial material was discovered in 2007, based on these fossils it was assigned to the Theropoda.  The braincase was similar to that seen in allosaurs, hence the classification.  However, more recent fossil discoveries have thrown doubts upon this taxonomic assessment.  It may not belong to the dinosaur/bird lineage of the Archosauria at all, Smok could be a member of the Rauisuchidae, a globally diverse family of archosaurs from the crocodile branch of the Archosauria.

Femur Bone Comparison Smok wawelski Compared to a Theropod (Liliensternus) and a Rauisuchid (Postosuchus)

Archosaur bone comparison (thigh bone comparison).

The femur of S. wawelski is compared to femori representing two other archosaurs, one from the Theropoda (Liliensternus) and a femur from the rauisuchid Postosuchus.  When first described Smok wawelski was thought to be a theropod but further fossil discoveries led to its placement within the Archosauria becoming more uncertain.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Once completed Everything Dinosaur’s video review of Lisowicia bojani and the information on Smok wawelski will be posted up on the company’s YouTube channel.  Click here to visit Everything Dinosaur on YouTube: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel.

11 09, 2020

A Dinosaur “Begs” to Differ

By | September 11th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

A Neoceratopsian from Mongolia – Beg tse

A new species of basal neoceratopsian has been described from fossils found near the town of Barunnbayan in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia.  The little dinosaur, which was probably less than a metre long, has been named Beg tse in honour of the Himalayan deity Beg-tse.  In Mongolian culture, prior to the spread of Buddhism, Beg-tse was a god of war, often depicted as heavily armoured with large, roughened patches on its body.  The researchers studying the fossil material noted that, like other members of the Neoceratopsia, Beg had rugosities (roughened areas), on its skull, notably on the jugal and the surangular.

The Compressed Skull of Beg tse with an Accompanying Line Drawing

Beg tse skull and line drawing.

Lateral view of the holotype skull of Beg tse with line drawing.  The compressed skull measures 14 cm in length approximately.

Picture Credit: Yu et al (Nature)

The Most Basal Neoceratopsian Described to Date

The only known specimen of Beg tse (specimen reference: IGM 100/3652), was discovered by a joint American Museum of Nature/Mongolian Academy of Sciences expedition in 2015.  The fossils probably represent a single individual and consist of an articulated partial skull along with postcranial elements consisting of a fragmentary right ischium, a partial left scapula, one rib bone and numerous bone fragments.  A phylogenetic analysis conducted by the scientists, which included Dr Mark Norell (American Museum of Natural History),  indicates that Beg is the most basal neoceratopsian dinosaur known to date and is more derived than both the Psittacosauridae and Jurassic Chaoyangsauridae.

A Speculative Life Reconstruction of the Basal Neoceratopsian Beg tse

Beg tse life reconstruction.

A speculative life reconstruction of the basal neoceratopsian Beg tse.  The illustration has been based on the neoceratopsian Liaoceratops yanzigouensis from north-eastern China.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Proving Difficult to Date

It is difficult to estimate the date of the fossil bearing strata for many of the Gobi Desert dig sites due to the lack of detailed geological mapping and the limited number of sediments suitable for radiometric dating.  The sandstone dominated deposit has been dated to between 113 – 94 million years ago, with a most probable date of circa 100 million years ago.  As a result, the researchers conclude that Beg dates from the latest Early Cretaceous or the earliest Late Cretaceous.  The Ceratopsia may have originated around the Middle Jurassic, but the skull of Beg tse exhibits a combination of primitive and more derived traits which suggests that the basic ceratopsian bodyplan persisted until at least the Early-Late Cretaceous boundary.  Beg along with other Asian neoceratopsians such as Auroraceratops and Mosaiceratops represent transitional forms between basal ceratopsians and more derived forms.  With a wide geographical range from South Korea, China and Mongolia and a long time span from the Aptian to possibly the Campanian, the early evolutionary history of the horned dinosaurs is probably much more complex than previously thought.

The scientific paper: “A neoceratopsian dinosaur from the early Cretaceous of Mongolia and the early evolution of the ceratopsia” by Congyu Yu, Albert Prieto-Marquez, Tsogtbaatar Chinzorig, Zorigt Badamkhatan and Mark Norell published in Nature (Communications Biology).

10 09, 2020

New Papo Models Feature in Newsletter

By | September 10th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Newsletters, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New Papo Models Feature in an Everything Dinosaur Newsletter

New Papo models feature in the Everything Dinosaur early September newsletter including the controversial Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.  The Papo Giganotosaurus is very well made and distinctly Papo, however, its anatomically inaccurate stance and unusual body proportions have led to criticism from some prehistoric animal model collectors.  This substantial dinosaur model has certainly divided opinions.  Some collectors might regard it as a throwback to much earlier dinosaur sculpts but there is no denying the quality of the finish and the excellent detailing, especially those carefully created skin folds and scales.

The Papo Giganotosaurus Dinosaur Model Features in the Everything Dinosaur Newsletter

Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model.

The new for 2020 Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model headlines the latest Everything Dinosaur customer newsletter.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Papo Chilesaurus and the New Colour Variant Papo Parasaurolophus

Such has been the excitement and controversy over the introduction of the Papo Giganotosaurus dinosaur model, that the other recently introduced Papo models have been somewhat overlooked by dinosaur model fans and collectors.  However, Everything Dinosaur team members were eager to make amends and include the Papo Chilesaurus and the new colour variant of the Papo Parasaurolophus model in the company’s newsletter too.

Making Waves of Their Own (Papo Chilesaurus and the Papo Parasaurolophus Models)

Papo dinosaurs feature in an Everything Dinosaur newsletter.

The new for 2020 Papo Chilesaurus and the recently introduced Papo Parasaurolophus colour variant feature in the latest edition of the Everything Dinosaur company newsletter.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To pick up a new for 2020 Papo Giganotosaurus or any of the other Papo prehistoric animal models including the Parasaurolophus and the Chilesaurus: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

A Popular Postosuchus and a Rare Bullyland Ichthyosaur

Everything Dinosaur had received a number of enquiries about the popular, recently introduced Schleich Postosuchus figure.  More stock of this replica of a Late Triassic predator had recently arrived and team members were keen to communicate this information to our subscribers.  In addition, there were just a few of the very rare and now out of production Bullyland Ichthyosaurus models still available.  This Ichthyosaurus figure had been officially retired around seven years ago, it was first omitted from the Bullyland brochure back in 2013.  We know how collectors like to acquire rare models, so we included a mention of the Bullyland Ichthyosaurus in our newsletter, helping our customers to avoid paying exorbitant prices for the same figure on auction sites.

Promoting a Popular Postosuchus and a Rare Bullyland Ichthyosaur

Prehistoric Postosuchus and the Bullyland Ichthyosaurus feature in Everything Dinosaur newsletter.

The popular Schleich Postosuchus model is back in stock and there are a few limited edition Bullyland Ichthyosaurus models still available.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To request to be added to the Everything Dinosaur newsletter subscribers list, just simply send us an email: Email Everything Dinosaur.

9 09, 2020

What was Panthalassa?

By | September 9th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Geology, Main Page|0 Comments

What was Panthalassa? Where was it?

At Everything Dinosaur, we get lots of enquiries and questions emailed to us.  For example, we recently received an query about Panthalassa, the sender had heard the name but was not sure what this referred to, other than that it had something to do with ancient life.  Panthalassa is the name of the huge, super-ocean that was created with the convergence of the world’s landmasses into a single block, known as Pangaea (sometimes also referred to as Pangea).  Panthalassa was formed in the Late Palaeozoic Era it persisted for much of the Mesozoic.  It was sub-divided in the Late Triassic into Pacific and Atlantic regions as the geological process of rifting led to the formation of the Atlantic Ocean Basin.

A Map Showing the Approximate Location of Pangaea and the Surrounding Panthalassa Ocean (circa 200 mya)

The super-ocean Panthalassa.

The location of the super-ocean Panthalassa around 200 million years ago.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An Enormous Body of Water

The Panthalassa Ocean at its largest size covered more than 70% of the entire planet’s surface.  The term “Panthalassa” is derived from the Greek and means “all sea”.  This enormous body of water was so vast, that if you had observed our planet from certain viewpoints in outer space, no trace of any land on planet “Earth” could be observed.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

” We get contacted by all sorts of people asking all kinds of questions, students at university, pupils at school, parents contacting us on behalf of a curious child who has asked a question which they themselves have been unable to answer and we do our best to respond to all the queries that we receive.  It might take a while for our team members to reply, but we do genuinely, try to help as many people as we can.”

Hopefully, the information we provided on Panthalassa will permit smooth sailing for the emailer when it comes to looking at prehistoric oceans from now on.

8 09, 2020

Eternal Sleeping Dinosaur Discovery

By | September 8th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Changmiania liaoningensis A New Basal Ornithopod from Liaoning Province

A new species of basal ornithopod dinosaur has been named and described from Liaoning Province in north-eastern China.  The dinosaur has been named Changmiania liaoningensis which translates from the Chinese as “eternal sleeper from Liaoning”.  The researchers which include Pascal Godefroit of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and Paul-Emile Dieudonné (Universidad Nacional de Río Negro, Argentina), in collaboration with colleagues from Jilin University and Shenyang Normal University (China), postulate that Changmiania lived in burrows.

The Holotype of Changmiania liaoningensis (PMOL AD00114) and a Life Reconstruction

Changmiania liaoningensis fossil material and life reconstruction.

The perfectly preserved holotype fossil of Changmiania liaoningensis with a life reconstruction.  The very nearly intact, articulated specimens suggest that the dinosaurs were entombed in their burrows during a volcanic eruption.

Picture Credit: Carine Ciselet

From the Lujiatun Beds of the Yixian Formation

The pair of beautifully preserved fossils, like so many vertebrate fossils from this part of the world were acquired from farmers.  Many locals supplement their incomes by finding and excavating specimens.  Whilst welcoming the opportunity to be able to study the material, palaeontologists are often frustrated by the lack of information available to them pertaining to the fossil’s location and how it was preserved (taphonomy).  However, it is thought that the fossils herald from the Lujiatun Beds (Yixian Formation) of western Liaoning Province.  These three-dimensional fossils were formed when these dinosaurs were entombed in pyroclastic material created by a volcanic eruption.  Numerous dinosaurs are known from the Lujiatun Beds including the dromaeosaurid Graciliraptor (G. lujiatunensis), the troodontid Mei long, the small tyrannosauroid Dilong paradoxus along with psittacosaurs, neoceratopsians and the ornithopod Jeholosaurus (J. shanyuensis).

Scientists have been able to accurately date the volcanic ash layer to approximately 123 million years ago, which means this diverse dinosaur biota lived during the early Aptian faunal stage of the Early Cretaceous.   The hot, volcanic debris that covered these two dinosaurs may have perfectly preserved most of the skeleton but any evidence of an integumentary covering such as feathers was destroyed as these animals met their fate whilst fast asleep in their burrows.  The resting dinosaurs having been caught up and consumed in a violent pyroclastic flow is the scenario tentatively proposed by the research team in the scientific paper published in PeerJ.

The Two Fossils of Changmiania liaoningensis

Views of the holotype and a referred specimen of Changmiania liaoningensis.

The holotype fossil (A) and a close view of the anterior portion of the holotype (B), with a second referred specimen of Changmiania liaoningensis (C).

Picture Credit: Yang et al (PeerJ)

A Basal Ornithopod

The little dinosaur measured approximately 1.2 metres long, the tail representing fifty percent of the animal’s total body length.  The extremely short neck, consisting of just six cervical vertebrae, the robust forelimbs and stocky shoulder blades suggest that this dinosaur might have dug burrows.  This idea is supported by the position of the fossil specimens and the morphology of the front of the skull, which may have assisted with shovelling dirt aside.  The long hindlimbs and tail indicate that Changmiania was a fast runner, able to avoid trouble whilst away from its underground den.

This is not the first time fossorial behaviour has been inferred for a dinosaur.  For example, in 2007 Everything Dinosaur wrote a short post about another potential burrowing ornithischian, another basal ornithopod that was named Oryctodromeus cubicularis, remains of which come from the sandstones of the Blackleaf Formation of Montana (USA): A Burrowing Dinosaur from Montana.

Changmiania lived at least 10 million years earlier than O. cubicularis.  A phylogenetic analysis places Changmiania liaoningensis as the most basal ornithopod dinosaur known to science.

The scientific paper: “A new basal ornithopod dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of China” by Yuqing Yang, Wenhao Wu, Paul-Emile Dieudonné and Pascal Godefroit​ published in PeerJ.

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