All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
/Photos
10 04, 2021

W-Dragon Giraffatitan is Massive!

By | April 10th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

The W-Dragon Giraffatitan is certainly a very impressive figure. Team members at Everything Dinosaur have received a number of enquiries regarding this replica over the last few days and one of the most common questions we get asked is just how big is the Giraffatitan model?

W-Dragon Giraffatitan Dinosaur Model
The enormous W-Dragon Giraffatitan dinosaur model. The figure stands a fraction under 44 cm tall.

Always Trying to Help our Customers

We try our best to help our customers and we have responded to all the enquiries that needed a reply. We can confirm that this 1:35 scale dinosaur model measures approximately 38 cm in length and that the superbly detailed head is around 43.5 cm in the air.

Comparing the W-Dragon Giraffatitan to the Papo standing T. rex dinosaur model.
Comparing the W-Dragon Giraffatitan to the Papo standing T. rex dinosaur model. Although the Papo T. rex is a substantial figure in its own right it looks small compared to the enormous W-Dragon Giraffatitan replica.

Providing model measurements is sometimes not enough. In order to demonstrate the size of the W-Dragon Giraffatitan we placed it behind a Papo standing T. rex. The Papo T. rex figure is quite a sizeable figure, but it is dwarfed when compared to the enormous Giraffatitan model.

W-Dragon Giraffatitan Compared to a Papo standing T. rex dinosaur model
W-Dragon Giraffatitan compared to a Papo standing T. rex dinosaur model. Given the size difference between the largest tyrannosaurs and the largest brachiosaurs, these two figures work quite well together in terms of scale.

Comparing Dinosaur Models

When the size of the largest tyrannosaurs is related to the biggest members of the Brachiosauridae family, the Papo T. rex and the W-Dragon Giraffatitan compare quite well to each other in terms of scale.

Whilst the likes of Giraffatitan (the Brachiosauridae too), had been extinct for millions of years before the super-sized tyrannosaurs evolved, the two models photographed together does give the viewer an insight into the “scale” of the problem the large theropod dinosaurs that co-existed with brachiosaurs had to face if they wanted to bring down one of these leviathans.

A W-Dragon Giraffatitan model towers over a Papo standing T. rex figure.
The W-Dragon Giraffatitan towers over the Papo standing T. rex dinosaur model.

Whilst the lighting in the packing room that we used to set up the shots may not be that great, we were able to send out these images to customers who had asked for more information about the size of the W-Dragon Giraffatitan.

We even include a Giraffatitan fact sheet with says of this colossal figure too.

To view the models and figures available in the W-Dragon range: W-Dragon Prehistoric Animal Models and Figures.

2 04, 2021

Customer Testimonial for Everything Dinosaur

By | April 2nd, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Photos, Press Releases|0 Comments

Long-time fan of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals, Marc, who is also a long-time customer of Everything Dinosaur offered to write a short testimonial about his experiences purchasing from us.

What a kind thought especially in these difficult and challenging times.

Marc wrote:

“I’ve been an Everything Dinosaur customer for a number of years, and they’ve never once let me down. They’ve always had an excellent range of models, which has only improved with time with the addition of lines from Creative Beast (Beasts of the Mesozoic) and PNSO, among others. Service has always been personable and friendly but professional, and every package has arrived on time. I also (as a dinosaur nerd) really appreciate the effort they put into the educational side. Overall, ED is a business well worth supporting, and I hope they’re around for a long while yet.”

Signage at Everything Dinosaur's offices and warehouse.
Signage at Everything Dinosaur’s offices and warehouse. The UK-based mail order company has recently moved into larger premises incorporating more warehouse storage and offices.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur thanked Marc for their kind gesture and stated:

“Our thanks to Marc and to every single one of our customers who support our company. These are exceptionally difficult times and we are doing all we can to maintain our high standards of customer service and to offer an even wider range of prehistoric animal models and figures.”

The PNSO Fusion Slider on the Everything Dinosaur Website
The PNSO Fusion Slider on the Everything Dinosaur website. A typical example showing the huge range of prehistoric animal models and figures available from the UK-based mail order company.

The spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur continued:

“We remain committed to bringing into stock even more models of prehistoric animals as we support our customers and fans of dinosaurs and other extinct creatures.”

Once again, our thanks to Marc for writing a testimonial for Everything Dinosaur.

23 03, 2021

Smaller Amphibians More Vulnerable to Extinction

By | March 23rd, 2021|Adobe CS5, Animal News Stories, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

New research published this week shows that smaller amphibians may be more vulnerable to extinction than larger amphibian species.

A study led by Queen’s University Belfast has found that the risk of extinction among amphibians, the most endangered vertebrates on the planet, increases for species of smaller body size as their females produce fewer babies per birth.

Red-eyed Tree Frog of Central America
The red-eyed tree frog (scientific name: Agalychnis callidryas). This tropical frog species produces on average about 40 eggs per clutch. Small numbers of offspring can lead to concern over the extinction threat. Picture Credit: Roberto García-Roa.

Scientists had thought that animals of larger body size, be they hypercarnivores, or megaherbivores were more vulnerable to extinction. In popular culture, most people are aware of the threat of extinction to animals such as whales, pandas, big cats and polar bears. These large-bodied animals are certainly in danger. It has been postulated that we are currently experiencing a mass extinction event, brought on mainly due to the behaviour of Homo sapiens.

This newly published research in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, which represents a collaboration between Tel Aviv University, the University of Lincoln, Exeter University, Queen’s University (Belfast) and Nottingham Trent University, is the first to suggest amending the theory to focus on reproduction levels of animals rather than on body size when assessing extinction risk.

A Global Challenge

Regarded as one of the most pressing challenges facing our world, scientists are determined to better understand the factors that drive extinction.

Amphibians, such as frogs, toads, newts and salamanders, in particular, have become the iconic example of human-induced extinctions. Amphibian species are dying out faster than any other group of vertebrates on Earth. It has been calculated that something like forty per cent of all known species of amphibians currently face the threat of extinction.

Mating frogs (2017).
A pair of mating frogs (2017) Rana temporaria (European Common Frog).

Not Focusing Just on Mammals

One of the most accepted theories regarding extinction risk is that larger body size significantly increases the extinction threat. This hypothesis has been mainly driven via research into the Mammalia. This research is the first to investigate the causes behind extinction in amphibians based on the theory that it is not body size, but the number of babies a female produces per clutch that determines extinction risk.

Thousands of species from around the world were studied, irrespective of their conservation status. The researchers then mapped their level of endangerment against body size and their number of babies produced per batch of eggs.

The Fewer the Offspring the Greater the Risk

Strong evidence was found indicating that extinction risk increases towards species that produce fewer offspring, such as the “rain frogs” (Eleutherodactylus), whereas extinction risk decreases towards species that produce more, such as different species of American water frogs (Lithobates) or the large-bodied ‘bufonid’ toads.

Japanese Giant Salamander
The increasingly rare Giant Salamander of Japan. In some species, large body size makes you exceptionally vulnerable to extinction. This is demonstrated by the largest extant amphibian species. Picture Credit: BBC News.

Lead author, Dr Daniel Pincheira-Donoso (Queen’s University), explained:

“More babies per clutch or birth means more variety among the babies. To some extent, it is like playing the lottery, the more tickets you play the higher your chances to win. In this case, more numerous and diverse babies increase the chances that at least some can survive the stress of environmental alterations, such as progressive climatic changes.”

Focusing on the number of offspring rather than looking solely at body size, may permit a more effective approach to amphibian conservation.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from Queen’s University Belfast in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “The global macroecology of brood size in amphibians reveals a predisposition of low‐fecundity species to extinction” by Daniel Pincheira‐Donoso, Lilly P. Harvey, Sheena C. Cotter, Gavin Stark, Shai Meiri and Dave J. Hodgson published in Global Ecology and Biogeography.

14 02, 2021

Dinosaurs and St Valentine’s Day

By | February 14th, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

Dinosaurs and St Valentine’s Day

Today, February 14th is St Valentine’s Day in the UK (and elsewhere in the world too).  It is the feast day of St Valentine, a day associated with romance.  Romance and the Dinosauria might be an unusual mix, but we are reminded of an article we published nearly five years ago that reported upon some remarkable research into dinosaur trace fossils that possibly shed light on the mating behaviour of “terrible lizards”.

Writing in the academic journal “Scientific Reports”, a team of scientists from Poland, China, South Korea and the USA concluded that a series of trace fossils consisting of pits, scrapes and gouges associated with Upper Cretaceous strata located in western Colorado, preserve evidence of dinosaurs engaging in courtship and mating behaviours similar to modern birds.

Dinosaurs Go a Wooing

Courtship of dinosaurs.

An artist imagines the Cretaceous courtship scene.  Gouges and scrapes preserved in sandstone strata that is estimated to be around 100 million years old, preserve evidence of dinosaurs engaging in courtship and mating behaviours similar to extant birds.

Picture Credit: Lida Xing and Yujiang Han / University of Colorado, Denver

The connection between dinosaurs and Aves (birds) is well established.  However, to what extent can we view the behaviour of modern-day birds and infer behaviours in their long extinct relatives?  Thanks to some research published in 2016 in the academic journal “Scientific Reports”, palaeontologists may have gained an insight into the courtship and mating behaviours of theropod dinosaurs.

To view the original Everything Dinosaur article from 2016:Dance of the Dinosaurs.

The scientific paper: “Theropod courtship: large scale physical evidence of display arenas and avian-like scrape ceremony behaviour by Cretaceous dinosaurs” by Martin G. Lockley, Richard T. McCrea, Lisa G. Buckley, Jong Deock Lim, Neffra A. Matthews, Brent H. Breithaupt, Karen J. Houck, Gerard D. Gierliński, Dawid Surmik, Kyung Soo Kim, Lida Xing, Dal Yong Kong, Ken Cart, Jason Martin and Glade Hadden published in the journal Scientific Reports.

3 02, 2021

Teeth Provide Evidence of H. sapiens and Neanderthal Interbreeding

By | February 3rd, 2021|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Teeth Provide Evidence of H. sapiens and Neanderthal Interbreeding

Teeth estimated to be less than 48,000 years old from a site in Jersey have provided evidence of Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis interbreeding.  The collection of thirteen teeth were all found on a ledge behind a hearth at the cave site of La Cotte de St Brelade on the island of Jersey.  The teeth which were all collected between 1910 and 1911 were all thought to represent the adult teeth of Neanderthals, however, new research led by the Natural History Museum (London), the University of Wales, the University of Kent, The British Museum, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig, Germany), Wessex Archaeology and University College London, uncovered features characteristic with modern human teeth (H. sapiens).

Views of One of the Teeth from the La Cotte de St Brelade (Jersey) Site

Views of one of the teeth from La Cotte de St Brelade.

The teeth demonstrate a mixture of Neanderthal and modern human traits.

Picture Credit: Journal of Human Evolution

Traits of Both Neanderthal and Modern Human

One of the original teeth had been lost, another was identified as nonhominin, the remainder represent the teeth from at least two adults.  The shape of the area between the crown and the root, the cervix, indicated that the teeth were from a Homo sapiens, whilst the crown and root dimensions along with the shape of the roots are consistent with H. neanderthalensis.

Field Team Members at Work on the La Cotte de St Brelade Site

Evidence of interbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans on Jersey.

The site of the discovery La Cotte de St Brelade on the island of Jersey.

Picture Credit: Dr Martin Bates (University of Wales)

This combination of Neanderthal and modern human traits led the research team to conclude that the people who had these teeth had a possible shared Neanderthal and H. sapiens ancestry.

Dating the Cave Deposits

The research team were able to utilise advance sediment dating techniques to determine the approximate age of the teeth.  The age of the material three to four metres below the horizon from which the teeth came from dates to about 48,000 years ago, a time when modern human populations and Neanderthals were both present in Europe.  A fragmentary skull bone (occipital) found in association with the teeth does not exhibit any diagnostic Neanderthal features, however the teeth provide further, intriguing evidence in support of hominin interbreeding.

Dr Martin Bates, (University of Wales), a geologist on the research team stated:

“The work on the teeth show the value of going back to historic collections of material where modern work at a site provides new contexts for this historic material.  So, although the teeth were collected back in the early 20th century, modern techniques applied to both the teeth and the site now allow us to really begin to understand what the teeth represent and how old they are.”

Mapping and Excavating the La Cotte de St Brelade Site

The cave site La Cotte de St Brelade (Jersey).

La Cotte de St Brelade cave entrance where excavation work continues.

Picture Credit: Dr Martin Bates (University of Wales)

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

The scientific paper: “The morphology of the Late Pleistocene hominin remains from the site of La Cotte de St Brelade, Jersey (Channel Islands)” by Tim Compton, Matthew M. Skinner, Louise Humphrey, Matthew Pope, Martin Bates, Thomas W. Davies, Simon A. Parfitt, William P. Plummer, Beccy Scott, Andrew Shaw and Chris Stringer published in the Journal of Human Evolution.

17 01, 2021

Unravelling the Origins of the Earliest Animals

By | January 17th, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos|0 Comments

Unravelling the Origins of the Earliest Animals

A team of international scientists including researchers from the University of Edinburgh and Moscow State University have used some remarkable fossils of animals that lived before the Cambrian Explosion to trace the ancestry of some of the world’s earliest organisms.  The fossils, a total of 73 specimens of the primitive metazoan known as Namacalathus (N. hermanastes), were found a single bedding plane sample of rocks associated with the Upper Omkyk Member of the Nama Group of Namibia (Africa).  An in-depth analysis of the tiny three-dimensional fossils, the largest of which were around 12.3 mm in diameter, suggest that these animals are basal members of the Superphylum Lophotrochozoa which are characterised by having a feeding/food gathering structure that is surrounded by a ring of tentacles and a free-swimming, zooplankton developmental stage.  This Superphylum includes the Brachiopoda as well as molluscs, worms and other related, generally soft-bodied organisms.

Members of the Research Team at the Fossil Site (Namibia)

Field team members looking for Ediacaran fossils in Namibia.

Exploring an outcrop of the Upper Omkyk Member (Nama Group, Namibia).  The beautiful but remote fossil site.

Picture Credit: Professor Rachel Wood (University of Edinburgh)

Writing in the academic journal Science Advances, the research team report on the first known link between some of the major groups of animals that evolved during the Cambrian Explosion and their ancestral forms.

Mapping Life from 547 Million Years Ago

The close proximity of the marine deposits that contain the tiny Namacalathus fossils and an ash layer which resulted from volcanic activity permitted the researchers to accurately date the fossils to around 547 million years ago (late in the Ediacaran), the geological period that immediately precedes the Cambrian and the beginning of the Phanerozoic Eon (visible life).  It is only in the last few decades that scientists have been able to piece together a picture of life prior to the Cambrian Explosion event but the fossil record for the tiny, soft-bodied creatures that dominated early marine ecosystems is exceptionally poor.

Once thought to be an ancestor of today’s jellyfishes, Namacalathus have been described as a “pin cushion on a short, hollow stalk”.  The stalk is at its narrowest towards the strange cup-like structure at the top of the stalk where the feeding apparatus was located.

A Diagram of the Proposed Body Plan of Namacalathus (N. hermanastes)

The anatomy of Namacalathus.

A diagram showing the anatomy of Namacalathus.  Measuring just a few millimetres in diameter, the 3-dimensional preservation of the Namibian specimens has permitted researchers a glimpse into the biological affinity of some of the oldest animals known to science.

Picture Credit: Shore et al (Science Advances)

Commenting on the significance of this research, co-author of the scientific paper, Professor Rachel Wood of the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh stated:

“These are exceptional fossils, which give us a glimpse into the biological affinity of some of the oldest animals.  They help us trace the roots of the Cambrian Explosion and the origin of modern animal groups.  Such preservation opens up many new avenues of research into the history of life which was previously not possible.”

Soft Tissue Preservation and Preserved Structures

Prior to this research the exact position of Namacalathus within the Kingdom Animalia remained controversial.  It had been difficult to trace the origins of the major invertebrate groups found today, as the mainly soft-bodied Ediacaran biota left only the merest hints as to their taxonomy in the fossil record.

Using advanced and sophisticated X-ray imaging techniques, the research team were able to identify some of the animal’s soft tissues beautifully preserved inside the fossils by iron sulphide. Until this paper’s publication, scientists had only ever identified exoskeleton remains of Namacalathus.

By looking at the soft tissues that had been entombed by the iron sulphide, the research team were able to identify that Namacalathus was probably a distant ancestor of today’s worms and molluscs (a basal member of the Superphylum Lophotrochozoa).

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

The scientific paper: “Ediacaran metazoan reveals lophotrochozoan affinity and deepens root of Cambrian Explosion” by A. J. Shore, R. A. Wood, I. B. Butler, A. Yu Zhuravlev, S. McMahon, A. Curtis and F. T. Bowyer published in Science Advances.

13 01, 2021

Early Apemen by Zdeněk Burian

By | January 13th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

Illustrating Neanderthals – Zdeněk Burian

Our perception of our close cousins the Neanderthals (H. neanderthalensis) has changed dramatically over the last four decades or so.  Once thought to be brutish thugs with limited intelligence recent discoveries have revealed that the “apemen” of prehistory were just as sophisticated as ourselves and their demise and eventual extinction remains a mystery.  When Everything Dinosaur team members posted up some Ice Age inspired artwork by the famous 20th century wildlife illustrator and palaeoartist Charles Robert Knight earlier this month*, we were asked by a blog fan to post up some similarly themed artwork by Zdeněk Burian.

The Illustration of a Group of Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) by Zdeněk Burian

Ancient hominins by Zdenek Burian.

Neanderthals depicted a quite primitive “ape-men”.

Picture Credit: Zdeněk Burian

Burian was an equally influential 20th Century artist, who produced numerous illustrations of prehistoric mammals and Ice Age scenes, but we thought we would reflect on how our views have changed regarding what is arguably the most closely related** hominin species to our own – Homo neanderthalensis by posting artwork from Burian illustrating a Neanderthal campsite.

To view the post* which features the Ice Age artwork by Charles R. Knight: A Herd of Woolly Mammoths by Charles R. Knight.

The exact taxonomic relationship between Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis remains controversial.  Some palaeoanthropologists consider H. neanderthalensis to be a sub-species of H. sapiens, whilst others suggest that both H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis are descended from Homo heidelbergensis.

7 01, 2021

A Herd of Woolly Mammoths (Charles R. Knight)

By | January 7th, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

A Herd of Woolly Mammoths (Charles R. Knight)

The weather might be decidedly chilly (at least here in the UK), at the moment.  With this in mind, time to post up an iconic Ice Age scene painted by the renowned American palaeoartist Charles Robert Knight, depicting a herd of Woolly Mammoths on the move.  This talented artist might be most famous for his depictions of dinosaurs but he also produced many artworks and illustrations of prehistoric mammals and hominins.

A Herd of Woolly Mammoths a Famous Illustration by the American Artist Charles R. Knight (1874-1953)

The Woolly Mammoth an iconic animal of the Ice Age.

A Woolly Mammoth herd (Charles R. Knight).  An iconic painting of a herd of Mammuthus primigenius.  An ideal illustration given the chilly weather here in the UK.

Picture Credit: Charles R. Knight

The artwork, illustrations and murals of Charles R. Knight can be found on display in numerous museums in the United States, such as the National Museum of Natural History (Washington – District of Columbia), the Field Museum (Chicago) and perhaps most famously of all, the American Museum of Natural History (New York).

He also painted many extant animals and several of these illustrations can be found in American Zoos such as the Bronx Zoo (New York) and the National Zoo (Washington – District of Columbia).

His illustration of a herd of mammoths is in keeping with the cold weather we are currently experiencing.  The detailed and beautifully crafted artworks of Charles R. Knight are all the more remarkable given his poor eyesight.  For most of his life, this highly talented and gifted person who has left a legacy of superb artworks, was virtually blind.

2 01, 2021

A Komodo Dragon in the Snow

By | January 2nd, 2021|Animal News Stories, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

A Komodo Dragon in the Snow

A good artist can turn their hand to using a variety of materials and techniques to express themselves.  Take for instance, this excellent illustration of a Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), created after a recent snowfall by Caldey.  A fine example of snow art, depicting the largest living lizard, a reptile that would have been very uncomfortable in such a cold environment, however Caldey’s Komodo dragon looks very much at home in her back garden.

A Komodo Dragon in the Snow

Komodo dragon in the snow

Creating a Komodo dragon in the snow.

Picture Credit: Caldey

Plotting Proportions and Adding Details

When working on a large project, many professional artists sketch out their design at first and use this as a blueprint for the much larger artwork. By taking this approach, the proportions can be plotted prior to the outline being made and the details added.  We are not sure how Caldey created her lizard, but she has done well to plot the proportions and scale the animal to fit the space that was available.  Our congratulations!  What a clever and innovative piece of work.

Getting Creative in the Snow – Creating a Komodo Dragon

Komodo dragon in the snow.

Getting creative in the snow.  An illustration of a Komodo dragon by Caldey.  A close-up view of the head of the Komodo dragon snow drawing.

Picture Credit: Caldey

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“With the recent snowfalls in the UK, we have seen lots of pictures of snowmen on social media, but we can’t recall ever seeing a Komodo dragon before.  Our congratulations to Caldey for her clever and innovative use of “solid precipitation”.  We suspect there are not many gardens graced with drawings of lizards.”

Sadly, given the vagaries of the British weather, the Komodo dragon will not be on view for very long.

28 12, 2020

Favourite Blog Posts of 2020 (Part 2)

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

Favourite Blog Posts of 2020 (Part 2)

Everything Dinosaur team members conclude their review of their favourite blog articles of 2020 by looking at articles and news stories that were posted up between July and December.  With the best part of 180 posts to choose from selecting our favourite six for this period was quite tricky.  The ones we have selected demonstrate the broad range of topics we cover on the Everything Dinosaur weblog.

To view our earlier article about our favourite posts in the first half of the year: Favourite Blog Posts of 2020 (Part 1).

July – “Lizard Born of Fire”

We might have been in the middle of a global pandemic but Everything Dinosaur team members kept up their blogging reporting upon tiny theropod eggs from Japan, a revision of Dilophosaurus and a number of new dinosaurs.  Our favourite post of the month concerned the scientific description of Aratasaurus museunacionali, a basal member of the Coelurosauria from Brazil.  The genus name translates as “lizard born of fire”, a reference to the terrible fire that ripped through the National Museum of Brazil where the fossil specimen was kept.

A Life Reconstruction of the Basal Member of the Coelurosauria Aratasaurus museunacionali

Aratasaurus museonacionali illustration.

Aratasaurus museonacionali life reconstruction.

Picture Credit: Museu Nacional

To read more about A. museunacionaliAratasaurus museunacionali A Lizard Born of Fire.

August – Oculudentavis khaungraae Not a Stem Bird

The controversy over the naming of the smallest dinosaur based on a skull preserved in amber from northern Myanmar rumbled on.  In August, a paper was published that refuted claims that the tiny skull of the animal named Oculudentavis khaungraae was that of an archosaur.  A month earlier (July 2020), the original scientific paper describing this remarkable fossil was retracted.

The Tiny Fossil Skull Preserved in Amber from Myanmar – But is it a Dinosaur?

Oculudentavis khaungraae skull in amber.

Tiny fossil skull preserved in amber (Oculudentavis khaungraae).

 

Picture Credit: Lida Xing et al (Nature)

To read more about O. khaungraaeSmallest Dinosaur Preserved in Amber a Lizard.

September: Doctor Who Meets a Trilobite

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History celebrated its 160th birthday, the Monsters of the Deep exhibition opened in the midst of the chaos caused by COVID-19 and Euparkeria got a makeover. Our favourite post of September concerned a new species of trilobite (Gravicalymene bakeri) from Tasmanian that was named after Doctor Who actor Tom Baker.

A Photograph of a Gravicalymene bakeri Trilobite Fossil with Line Drawing

Gravicalymene bakeri trilobite fossil.

Gravicalymene bakeri trilobite fossil with line drawing.

Picture Credit: Australian Museum

To read more about “Doctor Who and the Trilobites”: Newly Described Species of Trilobite Named after Doctor Who Actor.

October – It’s a Dog’s Life

In October we reported on the mapping of the genome of the Scimitar-toothed cat Homotherium latidens, discussed a new species of mosasaur from Morocco and the diet of pterosaurs, but our favourite article concerned the research into ancient dog DNA.  The study suggested that the diversity observed between dogs in different parts of the world today originated when all of mankind were hunters and gatherers.

Mapping Ancient Doggy DNA

Mapping ancient dog DNA.

Mesolithic dog skull (left) compared to wolf skull (right).

Picture Credit: E. E. Antipina (Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences)

To read the article: DNA Study Highlights Ancient Relationship Between Humans and Dogs.

November – Dinosaurs from the Emerald Isle

In November, Everything Dinosaur celebrated publishing its 5,000 blog post, discussed Kholumolumo a dinosaur from an African rubbish dump, looked at seal evolution and got to grips with the earliest Paranthropus robustus skull described to date.

Our favourite post concerned the first dinosaur remains reported from Ireland, not just one dinosaur but two!

First Evidence of Dinosaurs from Ireland

Dr Mike Simms holds the two precious fossils.

Dr Mike Simms (National Museums Northern Ireland) holds the theropod tibia on the left and the thyreophoran femur on the right.

Picture Credit: The University of Portsmouth

To learn more about the Irish dinosaurs: The First Dinosaur Remains from Ireland.

December – Thalassodraco etchesi Swims into View

As the year closed, in the final month of 2020 we looked at how interactive “I-books” were helping to explain archaeology, examined a very flashy new dinosaur (U. jubatus), the first sauropod dinosaur from Switzerland (Amanzia greppini) and studied Parasaurolophus pathology.

Our favourite post concerned the establishment of a new species of Late Jurassic ichthyosaur after the discovery of fossil bones by the wonderful Dr Steve Etches MBE, the founder of the amazing Etches Collection museum in Dorset.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described Thalassodraco etchesi

Thalassodraco etchesi life reconstruction.

A life reconstruction of the newly described Late Jurassic ichthyosaur Thalassodraco etchesi.

Picture Credit: Megan Jacobs/University of Portsmouth

To read more about Thalassodraco etchesi: A New Taxon of Late Jurassic Ichthyosaur is Described.

This concludes our review of the blog posts that we have researched and written up over the last twelve months.  Which one is your favourite?

Load More Posts