All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
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11 05, 2022

Unexpected Patterns of Prehistoric Activity Detected at Stonehenge

By | May 11th, 2022|Adobe CS5, Geology, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

Researchers from the University of Birmingham and Ghent University (Belgium), have identified hundreds of possible large prehistoric pits and thousands of smaller ones at the heart of the ancient Stonehenge landscape. This discovery challenges our understanding of land use through time at this famous UNESCO World Heritage site, the most intensively investigated prehistoric monument in the world.

Detected and excavated map of pits at Stonehenge.
Hundreds of possible prehistoric pits detected in the landscape, indicating those that have been validated and excavated, plotted on a magnetic soil map from Stonehenge. Picture credit: De Smedt et al.

The Oldest Evidence of Land Use at Stonehenge

Writing in the academic “Journal of Archaeological Science”, the researchers report the discovery of a substantial pit, more than four metres wide and two metres deep excavated into chalk bedrock. Estimated to have been constructed over 10,000 years ago it stands out as the most ancient trace of land use yet discovered at Stonehenge. This prehistoric pit bears witness to hunter-gatherers roaming the landscape during the early Mesolithic, when Britain was re-inhabited after the last Ice Age. This is only one of many new sites and unexpected patterns of prehistoric activity detected at Stonehenge by the Ghent-Birmingham study team.

Overview of the excavation work.
An overview of the excavation work. Picture credit: University of Ghent/University of Birmingham.

Unique Research

In a unique piece of research, extensive, electromagnetic induction surveying was combined with borehole analysis and twenty exploratory archaeological excavations. These revealed the extensive sub-surface pits.

Philippe De Smedt, Associate Professor at Ghent University and co-author of the scientific paper commented:

“Geophysical survey allows us to visualise what’s buried below the surface of entire landscapes. The maps we create offer a high-resolution view of subsurface soil variation that can be targeted with unprecedented precision. Using this as a guide to sample the landscape, taking archaeological ‘biopsies’ of subsurface deposits, we were able to add archaeological meaning to the complex variations discovered in the landscape.”

Four Hundred Large Pits

The project team identified over four hundred potential large pits (each over 2.5 metres in diameter), of which six were excavated in the course of the project, ranging in date from the Early Mesolithic (c.8000 BCE) to the Middle Bronze Age (c.1300 BCE).

While each of these sites adds to our knowledge of prehistoric activity in the Stonehenge landscape, the Mesolithic pit stands out as exceptional. The size and shape of the pit suggest it was probably dug as a hunting trap for large game such as aurochs, red deer and wild boar. Dating to 8200-7800 BCE, it is not only one of the earliest of the very few Mesolithic sites near Stonehenge (predating, for instance, the Blick Mead occupation site 1.5 kms away), it is also the largest known Early Mesolithic pit feature in north-western Europe.

Collecting samples in the Mesolithic pit.
Collecting environmental samples in the Mesolithic pit. Picture credit: University of Ghent/University of Birmingham.

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

The scientific paper: “Novel Insights into Prehistoric Land Use at Stonehenge by Combining Electromagnetic and Invasive Methods with a Semi-Automated Interpretation Scheme” by De Smedt, Philippe, Paul Garwood, Henry Chapman, Koen Deforce, Johan De Grave, Daan Hanssens and Dimitri Vandenberghe published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

8 05, 2022

Happy Birthday Sir David Attenborough

By | May 8th, 2022|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Famous Figures, Main Page, Photos, Press Releases|0 Comments

Today, May 8th, is Sir David Attenborough’s birthday. The naturalist, broadcaster and campaigner is ninety-six years of age and his enthusiasm for the natural world continues to shine through in the myriad of projects with which he is currently involved.

Sir David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough veteran naturalist and broadcaster. Today, May 8th (2022) is his 96th birthday. Many Happy Returns Sir David!

Prehistoric Planet

Sir David’s energy and enthusiasm for the natural world shows no sign of deteriorating despite him being just a few years short of his centenary. For example, he is the narrator of a new five-part, nature documentary television series about dinosaurs that will premiere on Apple TV+ on May 23rd (2022) entitled “Prehistoric Planet”.

Produced by the BBC Studios Natural History Unit with visual effects by Moving Picture Company, the television series will be shown over five consecutive nights examining different dinosaur dominated environments during the Cretaceous.

Prehistoric Planet television series.
The television series “Prehistoric Planet” starts on May 23rd (2022). The programmes are narrated by Sir David Attenborough. Picture credit: Apple TV+.

The veteran broadcaster has become an active campaigner raising awareness about climate change, global warming and the impact of our species on the planet. He remains as busy as ever, but we at Everything Dinosaur hope he takes a little time out of his busy schedule today to enjoy his birthday.

Happy birthday Sir David Attenborough.

5 05, 2022

Admiring Horsetails

By | May 5th, 2022|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Horsetails (sphenopsids) continue to thrive although their Carboniferous heyday is long behind them. Once a much more extensive group, these vascular plants, believed by many palaeobotanists to be closely related to ancestral ferns, are now represented by about twenty species, all contained in the genus Equisetum.

Horsetails
Horsetails (Equisetum) continue to thrive as they are able to grow in areas where other plants would find it difficult to get a foothold. Often regarded as weeds, these tough little plants are essentially living fossils, as the earliest examples of the genus Equisetum date from the Early Jurassic of South America.

A Living Fossil

When team members at Everything Dinosaur see a clump of horsetails, often growing on waste ground we stop to admire them. These tough little plants deserve respect. After all, they are essentially a living fossil, the oldest fossil remains of modern horsetails (genus Equisetum), date from approximately 190 to 182 million years ago (early Pliensbachian to early Toarcian), represented by Equisetum dimorphum from the Early Jurassic of South America (Chubut Province, Argentina).

Horsetail fossils - Equisetum dimorphum.
Photographs of Equisetum dimorphum sp. nov. from the Lower Jurassic of Chubut Province, Argentina. 1-2. Part and counterpart of a strobilus showing the hexagonal sporangiophores and the long leaves of MPEF-Pb 5894a and MPEF-Pb 5894b; 3. Detailed inner view of 1 showing oblong sporangia of MPEF-Pb 5894a; 4. Isolated external cast of sporangiophore showing central umbo of MPEF-Pb 6477a. Abbreviations: le, leaves; s, sporangia. Scale bars 1-2 = 3mm; 3 = 1 mm; 4 = 0.5 mm. Picture credit: Elgorriaga et al.
29 04, 2022

“Paleontology an Illustrated History”

By | April 29th, 2022|Adobe CS5, Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Photos, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur team members are looking forward to reading and then reviewing a new book by renowned author Professor David Bainbridge that charts the development of the science of palaeontology using classical and contemporary scientific illustrations.

"Palaeontology an Illustrated History"
The front cover of “Paleontology an Illustrated History” by David Bainbridge a comparative anatomist in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge.

Lavishly Illustrated

This lavishly illustrated volume, published by Princeton University Press: Princeton University Press examines how art and illustrators have informed both academia and the general public about fossil discoveries and scientific research. It is lavishly illustrated, the author providing a beautifully crafted examination of the art and science of palaeontology from the ancient Greek civilisation right up to the modern day with its techniques of three-dimensional modelling, computed tomography and scanning electron microscopy.

Neave Parker Megalosaurus.
The Neave Parker Megalosaurus illustration (1960) on a postcard available from the London Natural History Museum in the 1960s and 1970s.

The book “Paleontology an Illustrated History” highlights the contribution to palaeoart made by figures such as the English artist Neave Parker. Neave Parker created iconic images of dinosaurs in collaboration with the scientists at the British Museum (now the London Natural History Museum). The book looks at the contribution made to scientific illustration by artists such as Burian, Zallinger and Charles Knight.

It also includes full colour plates of stunning fossil discoveries as well as biographies of the palaeontologists who have helped shape our view of ancient lifeforms and ecosystems.

Team members at Everything Dinosaur are looking forward to reading this exciting book and providing a more detailed review.

25 04, 2022

Mesozoic Metal Monsters

By | April 25th, 2022|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos, Press Releases|0 Comments

There are so many clever and creative people on the worldwide web. Take for example Joe Dolan a retired welder who spends his time creating metal prehistoric monsters in his workshop. Each hand-crafted sculpture takes dozens of hours to produce, each one is a labour of love, honed by the skills developed over a lifetime as a welder/fabricator.

Joe very kindly contacted Everything Dinosaur and sent us some pictures of his latest creations.

Metallic Tyrannosaurus rex
A completed Tyrannosaurus rex sculpture. Picture credit: Joe Dolan.

Making Figures from Metal

With over forty years experience Joe’s skilfully constructed animal figures are a great conversation starter and certainly are statement pieces. All the joints are fully welded, cleaned, deburred and polished. It is great to see Joe still using his engineering and design skills to create such novel, metallic sculptures.

Metal T. rex
An impressive T. rex metal sculpture just out of the workshop. Picture credit: Joe Dolan.

The “Detail is Everything”

Joe explains that his hobby has grown into a small business. The figures are made for indoor display as the steel used in the construction would rust if left outside. At first Joe created sculptures for friends and family but soon word of his talent for creating unusual sculptures spread and he began to attract commercial interest from farther afield.

Joe has not restricted himself to dinosaurs, he builds lots of amazing sculptures of other animals too.

He explained how his unusual business started commenting:

“I started some years back, making things for myself and family. Other people started showing interest in my work so I made more, and to me “detail is everything”, plus the figurines are robust and if cared for they will last for years and years.”

A metallic fish model.
A stunning, metallic fish sculpture. Picture credit: Joe Dolan.
metal shark figure.
A beautiful, burnished shark figure created by talented engineer Joe Dolan.

Traditional Skills Given a New Twist

Traditional skills such as metal working are under threat, the models and figures that Joe has created enable him to keep using the techniques that he has honed over a lifetime, bringing pleasure and delight to others.

Metallic crab sculpture
A cleverly constructed crab – watch out for those metal claws! Picture credit: Joe Dolan.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We are always amazed at how creative and clever people can be. Joe has turned his talents to making some amazing metallic monsters including models of dinosaurs like T. rex and Velociraptors. He also has a flair for fish models and we love the eyes on the metallic crab figure.”

A pack of metallic Velociraptors.
A pack or metallic Velociraptors on the prowl. Picture credit: Joe Dolan.

For further information about the sculptures and to contact Joe direct, we suggest you check out his Facebook page: Contact Joe Dolan on Facebook.

17 03, 2022

A New Batch of Frogspawn Spotted in the Pond

By | March 17th, 2022|Animal News Stories, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

Yesterday, March 16th (2022), a new batch of frogspawn was spotted in the office pond. This spawning has occurred a fortnight after the first frogspawn was observed. Team members at Everything Dinosaur think it is unusual for there to be such a protracted spawning season for the frogs in our area (Rana temporaria).

A new batch of frogspawn on March 16th 2022.
The newly laid frogspawn has been highlighted with a red circle. It is pleasing to note that such a large amount of frogspawn has been laid, indicating a healthy frog population.

2022 Spawning Season

The first frogspawn was observed on the morning of March 2nd, the following day much more frogspawn was laid and team members counted as many as seven frogs in the pond.

The exact amount of frogspawn is difficult to calculate as it tends to congeal into a single mass (making predation and consumption difficult). However, it was estimated on the 3rd March that perhaps seven or eight batches of spawn had been produced. The frog species is the Common frog (Rana temporaria). In 2021, frogs spawned around the 11th of March, in 2020, the spawning occurred around the 22nd of the month. Team members have kept a record of the time of spawning over the last decade or so, for example, in 2018 frogspawn was spotted on the 17th of March, whilst in 2017 spawning occurred six days earlier.

The frogspawn laid on the 16th was produced 14 days later than the first batch. We are not sure why spawning has taken place over two weeks, we have not recorded this protracted spawning previously.

More frogspawn laid in the office pond (16th March 2022).
A closer view of the newly laid frogspawn discovered on Wednesday 16th March. The first frogspawn was spotted on the morning of the 2nd of March, on the 3rd of March several more batches of eggs were laid.

It is pleasing to note that such a large amount of frogspawn has been laid. This indicates a healthy frog population in the local area.

The timing of events such as seasonal spawning can be used as an indicator of climate change, it is likely that as our planet continues to warm events such as frogs spawning will occur earlier in the spring.

3 03, 2022

Frogspawn in the Office Pond (2022)

By | March 3rd, 2022|Animal News Stories, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

We have frogspawn in the office pond! On the morning of Wednesday March 2nd, a single batch of frogspawn was spotted in the office pond. A frog had been seen in the pond a few days earlier so team members were optimistic that spawning activity was imminent. We suspect that the first batch of spawn was laid in the early morning of the 2nd of March.

The first frogspawn of 2022 (March 2nd 2022)
The first batch of frogspawn was laid early in the morning of the 2nd of March 2022. The spawn was laid in the centre of the pond.

Seven or Eight Batches of Frogspawn

The following morning several more batches of frogspawn were spotted. In total, Everything Dinosaur team members counted seven frogs in the pond. The exact number of batches of frogspawn is difficult to calculate as the batches have been concentrated into a single area of the office pond. However, it has been estimated that there are around seven or eight batches of spawn. All the frogs are Common frogs (Rana temporaria). In 2021, frogs spawned in the office pond around the 11th of March, in 2020, it was later still around the 22nd of March.

Frogspawn in the office pond.
Much more frogspawn was laid on the 3rd of March. The frogs have spawned a week earlier than in 2021.

We shall keep watching the office pond to see if any more spawn is laid in the coming days. We look forward to the spawn hatching and observing the progress of the tadpoles.

5 12, 2021

Pictures of the Nanmu Studio T. rex

By | December 5th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Photos, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur team members were asked by a customer to provide some pictures of the Nanmu Studio T. rex dinosaur model Alpha, the brown colour-variant. The customer was looking for a Tyrannosaurus rex to represent a female “tyrant lizard” for a “Jurassic World” diorama.

Nanmu Studio Alpha T. rex brown in lateral view.
Nanmu Studio Alpha T. rex brown in lateral view.

We receive emails from customers asking for photographs and more information about the prehistoric animal models and figures that we stock, we are happy to help where we can.

Nanmu Studio T. rex dinosaur model.
A close-up view of the Nanmu Studio Alpha T. rex in the brown colouration.

Packing Room Photography

Whilst Everything Dinosaur does have a studio in which to take photographs and to shoot YouTube videos, sometimes it is more convenient to bring a figure from our warehouse and take photographs in one of the order packing areas. The lighting might not be as bright, but at least customers can see images of the prehistoric animal model without the harsh glare of the studio lamps.

Nanmu Studio T. rex dinosaur model (Alpha) in the brown colouration (lateral view).
The Nanmu Studio T. rex dinosaur model (Alpha) in the brown colouration (lateral view).

It is usual for team members to take several pictures, showing the figure at various angles. A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that by taking lots of photographs, the customer could get an overall impression of the model’s quality and its colouration.

Nanmu Studio T. rex dinosaur model.
Providing pictures of the Nanmu Studio T. rex dinosaur model.

Pictures of the Packaging

As well as sending photographs of the Nanmu Studio T. rex dinosaur model Alpha, a photograph of the model’s packaging was also emailed to the customer. The box the model is supplied in might not influence the arrangement of a diorama, but at least it proves that the figure is the genuine article and new.

The packaging of the Nanmu Studio Alpha T. rex model (brown colouration).
The packaging of the Nanmu Studio Alpha T. rex model (brown colouration).

When emailing the images, we wrote that if the customer wanted more information or some more photographs, we would be happy to oblige. Everything Dinosaur team members do all they can to help dinosaur fans and model collectors.

To view the range of Nanmu Studio prehistoric animal models and figures available from Everything Dinosaur: Nanmu Studio Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals.

8 10, 2021

A Little Token of Appreciation from Wild Past

By | October 8th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

In May of this year (2021), the excellent Wild Past Tethyshadros pair arrived at Everything Dinosaur. This dinosaur figure set featured two models of the dwarf hadrosauroid from north-eastern Italy, which was formally named and described in 2009.

Wild Past Tethyshadros packaging
The front of the Wild Past Tethyshadros box. Whilst unpacking the Tethyshadros pair, a cardboard box was found inside one of the cartons. It turned out not to be part of the packing material to help protect the figures, but inside the box Everything Dinosaur team members found a little surprise.

As team members unpacked these models, a small cardboard box was discovered inside one of the cartons. At the time, this was thought to be part of the packing material, the box being thoughtfully added to ensure the boxes containing the 1:35 scale Tethyshadros models were fully protected. It was put to one side in our warehouse and remained unopened.

A team member came across the box this morning, curious as to what it might contain, it was carefully opened and inside a small model of the dwarf titanosaur Magyarosaurus was discovered.

Wild Past Magyarosaurus dinosaur model box.
The box containing the Magyarosaurus model was thought to be additional product packaging protection in the Wild Past Tethyshadros pair consignment and the model was not discovered until this morning.

A Magyarosaurus Figure

Stefan, the German entrepreneur behind the Wild Past brand had included the little model as a gift, a token of appreciation for the support and assistance provided by Everything Dinosaur.

A note from Stefan accompanying the Magyarosaurus model was also discovered, the note said:

Additionally, to the delivery I send you a small thank you for your ongoing support. It is our little 1:35 Magyarosaurus resin model. Hope you like it”.

Holding the Wild Past Magyarosaurus dinosaur model.
The Wild Past Magyarosaurus dinosaur model, a little token of appreciation sent to Everything Dinosaur.

Dwarf Titanosaur from the Hateg Basin

The Magyarosaurus genus has one certain species assigned to it (M. dacus), although slightly larger fossil material has been assigned to a second species – Magyarosaurus hungaricus but these fossils might represent a separate taxon. The beautiful model demonstrates the skill and creativity of Wild Past. The team members at Everything Dinosaur were delighted to receive their gift.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“It was very kind of Stefan to include this token of appreciation amongst the Tethyshadros models. We have emailed him and thanked him for his gift and apologised for the tardiness of our response. We did not open the box containing the model and his note until this morning”.

To view the range of Wild Past figures in stock at Everything Dinosaur, including the Wild Past Tethyshadros pair: Wild Past Prehistoric Animal Models and Figures.

2 09, 2021

Dinosaurs – New Visions of a Lost World

By | September 2nd, 2021|Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur team members were sent a copy of a new dinosaur book that is due to be published this autumn. The book entitled “Dinosaurs – New Visions of a Lost World” is written by Professor Michael Benton of the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol, a highly respected palaeontologist and author of numerous books about prehistoric animals.

There are over 150 full colour illustrations, including beautiful artwork from renowned palaeoartist Bob Nicholls.

Dinosaurs - Visions of a Lost World book
Everything Dinosaur has received an inspection copy of a new book written by Professor Michael J. Benton and illustrated by Bob Nicholls.

Changing Perceptions About the Dinosauria

This stunning publication aims to change perceptions about the Dinosauria. Each chapter focuses on a different prehistoric animal. The book should perhaps be called “Prehistoric Animals – New Visions of a Lost World”. There are many dinosaurs featured – Sinosauropteryx, Anchiornis, Psittacosaurus, Edmontosaurus, however, the book also features the marine reptile Stenopterygius, the Early Cretaceous mammal Eomaia and the spectacular pterosaur Tupandactylus.

Psittacosaurus model in the Bristol Botanic Garden.
Psittacosaurus photographed in the Bristol Botanic Garden. The model was created by Bob Nicholls who is responsible for the majority of the illustrations in the book “Dinosaurs – New Visions of a Lost World”. Picture credit: Jakob Vinther.

Looking Forward to Reviewing “Dinosaurs – New Visions of a Lost World”

Professor Benton examines some of the technological breakthroughs that have shed new light on the world of the dinosaurs. He demonstrates how rapid advances in technology and astonishing new fossil finds have changed our understanding about the Dinosauria. Team members are looking forward to providing a detailed review of this cleverly conceived publication.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

We have been looking forward to getting hold of a copy of this book, each chapter examines one particular genus of prehistoric animal and includes a specially commissioned illustration from Bob Nicholls. Professor Benton’s text and the illustrations by Bob Nicholls are a winning combination.”

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