All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
24 06, 2018

Fossil Fungi

By | June 24th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Mesozoic Mushrooms

The evolutionary history of the Fungi – (Kingdom Fungi), toadstools, yeasts, moulds, mushrooms and such like is very poorly understood.  These soft-bodied eukaryotes, which are so important when it comes recycling nutrients in ecosystems, have an exceptionally sparse fossil record.  Twelve months ago, researchers writing in the on-line academic journal described a very remarkable fossil, that of a mushroom that had been found preserved in Cretaceous-aged rocks from Brazil.

The Oldest Fossil Mushroom

Early Cretaceous mushroom Gondwanagaricites magnificus.

Gondwanagaricites magnificus fossil and line drawing.

Picture Credit: PLOS One

The picture (above) shows a picture of the gilled mushroom (A) and an accompanying line drawing (B).  The fossil from the Lower Cretaceous Crato Formation of north-eastern Brazil, represents the oldest fossil mushroom discovered to date and the first to be identified from the southern super-continent of Gondwana.

Gondwanagaricites magnificus

The specimen was collected from the laminated limestones of the Crato Formation, which outcrop on the northern flanks of the Chapada do Araripe in Ceará, (Brazil).  Other fossil mushrooms, (Class Agaricomycetes, Order Agaricales) are preserved in the fossil record, but these fossils are associated with amber inclusions, all of which relate to younger material (Mid-Cretaceous to Miocene amber).

The genus name for this remarkable discovery (paper published in 2017), is derived from Gondwana and the Greek “agarikon” meaning mushroom.   The species epithet is from the Latin, meaning splendid or magnificent, a reference to the remarkable state of preservation of the specimen.

The scientific paper: “The Oldest Fossil Mushroom” by Sam W. Heads , Andrew N. Miller, J. Leland Crane, M. Jared Thomas, Danielle M. Ruffatto, Andrew S. Methven, Daniel B. Raudabaugh, Yinan Wang published in the open access on-line journal PLOS One

A correction to the original paper, concerning the correct nomenclature to be used when referring to this amazing example of a fossilised fungus has just been published.

The Crato Formation, might be more famous for its Pterosaur fossils, but the preservation of a gilled mushroom in this Lagerstätten is nothing short of astonishing.

24 12, 2017

Focus on Safari Ltd New for 2018 Synapsids

By | December 24th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Safari Ltd Prehistoric Mammals and Dimetrodon

Yesterday, Everything Dinosaur focused on the new dinosaur models for 2018 being introduced by Safari Ltd.  In this blog article, we take a look at the other non-dinosaur models that have been added, these models including the Dimetrodon replica along with the dinosaurs, are all in stock and available from Everything Dinosaur.

Safari Ltd – Focusing on the Synapsids

New prehistoric animal models from Safari Ltd (2018).

New for 2018 synapsids from Safari Ltd.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Why Call them Synapsids?

Usually, it is quite straightforward when it comes to categorising new models from a manufacturer, but with the fourteen figures stocked by Everything Dinosaur, a couple of them present us with a dilemma.  Firstly, we have included the “Winners Circle” Safari Ltd Przewalski’s horse, this is a replica of the world’s only truly wild horse, an animal that very nearly went extinct in the 20th Century, but a dedicated zoo breeding programme enabled these magnificent animals to be re-introduced to some specially selected wildlife refuges.  Once this horse (Equus ferus przewalskii), was a common site across the Mammoth Steppe, it has even been depicted in cave paintings.  As an animal of the Ice Age very much at home with Mammoths and Mastodons, we have added this model of Przewalski’s horse to our replica range.

The Beautiful Przewalski’s Horse Model from Safari Ltd

Przewalski's horse figure.

Przewalski’s horse model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

As this magnificent equine has not, thankfully, died out, we could not call the eight non-dinosaur models that we have stocked extinct animals, but these new for 2018 figures from Safari Ltd have given us another problem, one with a big sail on its back.

Adding Dimetrodon

The addition of a Dimetrodon also adds a degree of complexity when it comes to coming up with a collective term for these new models.  Although often mistaken for a dinosaur, any self-respecting primary school pupil will soon correct you, if you mistakenly state that the sail-backed reptile is a dinosaur.  Dimetrodon lived long before the first dinosaurs, it is a member of the Pelycosaurs and as such, it is actually more closely related to the prehistoric mammals depicted in the Safari range than it is to the dinosaurs.  Dimetrodon and its relatives, like the mammals are Tetrapods, whose skull morphology differs from those Tetrapods on the dinosaurs/crocodiles/birds side of the tree of life.  They are synapsids, distinguished by a single hole, known as the temporal fenestra, in the skull, located behind the orbit towards the back of the skull.  Dinosaurs and their relatives on the other hand, are diapsids, they have a pair of openings in the skull behind the eye socket, an upper and lower temporal fenestra.  We can’t refer to these Safari Ltd models as mammals, as Dimetrodon is the exception, being a reptile, but they are all synapsids.

The New for 2018 Safari Ltd Dimetrodon Model

Dimetrodon model.

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Dimetrodon model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Introducing the Safari Ltd Synapsids

As well as the stunning Dimetrodon and the beautiful replica of Przewalski’s horse, Safari Ltd have added a Hyaenodon gigas, Uintatherium, Megacerops, Macrauchenia, a Daeodon and a model of an American Mastodon (Mammut americanum).  Each of these new figure is supplied with its very own fact sheet, so collectors can learn about the creature that the model represents.

Everything Dinosaur’s Drawing of the American Mastodon

Scale Drawing American Mastodon.

American Mastodon scale drawing.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the full Wild Safari Prehistoric World model range available from Everything Dinosaur: Wild Safari Prehistoric World

For our earlier article focusing on the new dinosaur models from Safari Ltd: Safari Ltd New Models for 2018

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