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25 09, 2021

Prehistoric Times Magazine Issue 139

By | September 25th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

Time to take a sneak peek at the front cover of the forthcoming edition of the quarterly magazine “Prehistoric Times”. It features a close-up view of the head of the African spinosaurid Suchomimus on the front cover.

Team members at Everything Dinosaur are grateful to magazine editor Mike Fredericks for sending us an image of the front cover of the next edition (issue 139) of this popular magazine.

Prehistoric Times magazine (issue 139)
The front cover of the next issue of “Prehistoric Times” magazine (issue 139) features a close-up view of the head of the spinosaurid Suchomimus. Picture credit: Mike Fredericks.

Issue 139 (Fall/Autumn 2021)

As well as Phil Hore’s articles on Suchomimus and placodonts (Henodus), we can look forward to the next instalment of Jon Lavas’s long-running series highlighting the work of the influential Czech artist Zdeněk Burian. In issue 139, the focus will be on Burian’s illustrations of Stegosaurus.

Stegosaurus stenops threatened by a pair of Antrodemus valens.
The classic depiction of a Late Jurassic scene by Burian (1950). Everything Dinosaur team members wonder whether this iconic image of the armoured dinosaur Stegosaurus will feature in issue 139 (fall/autumn 2021)? Picture credit: Zdeněk Burian.

The front cover text hints at an article by the talented polymath Tracy Lee Ford on dinosaur feathers. At this time, team members at Everything Dinosaur do not know whether dinosaur feathers are the subject of his regular “how to draw dinosaurs” feature of if this is an especially commissioned piece focusing on the various integumentary coverings associated with the Dinosauria. The article is bound to be most informative and we look forward to issue 139 dropping through our letter box sometime in the next few weeks.

To learn more about “Prehistoric Times” magazine and to subscribe: “Prehistoric Times” magazine.

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24 09, 2021

The Earliest Ankylosaur and Africa’s First

By | September 24th, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Scientists including researchers from the Natural History Museum in London, have published a scientific paper announcing the discovery of the first fossils assigned to the Ankylosauria from Africa. This is the first ankylosaur to have been named from fossil material found in Africa and also the oldest known member of this group of armoured dinosaurs described to date. The dinosaur has been named Spicomellus afer. The scientific name translates from the Latin as “spiked collar from Africa”.

The holotype fossil of Spicomellus afer
The holotype fossil (NHMUK PV R37412). The protective, bony spikes are actually fused to the rib, this anatomical feature has not been seen in a vertebrate before. Picture credit: London Natural History Museum.

Acquired from a Fossil Dealer

The fossil was acquired from a UK-based commercial fossil dealer by the London Natural History Museum in 2019. At first the strange fossil, a rib bone with four bony spikes directly attached to it, was thought to be a forgery, but CT analysis proved the fossil to be genuine. It comes from the third subunit of the El Mers Group from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. The fossil is estimated to be between 168 and 163 million years old (Bathonian to Callovian stages of the Middle Jurassic).

In recent times, Morocco has provided some tantalising glimpses into the potential wealth of armoured dinosaurs that await discovery. The Ankylosauria and Stegosauria form a clade within the bird-hipped dinosaurs (Ornithischia), the Eurypoda, which has been defined to include famous armoured dinosaurs Ankylosaurus, Stegosaurus and their most recent, common ancestor and all its descendants. Eurypoda fossils are mostly confined to Laurasia, fossils from the continents that made up Gondwana (essentially Africa, South America, Antarctica, India, Madagascar and Australia), are rare.

In 2019, Everything Dinosaur reported upon the discovery of the oldest stegosaur known from northern Africa, the dinosaur named Adratiklit boulahfa is also the oldest stegosaur described to date and it was roughly contemporaneous with Spicomellus.

To read our blog post on Adratiklit boulahfa: North Africa’s First Stegosaur.

The research team behind the paper on Adratiklit boulahfa were also responsible for much of the work behind the analysis of the rib bone fossil (specimen number NHMUK PV R37412), that led to the naming and scientific description of Spicomellus.

Identifying a Fossil as an Ankylosaur Fossil

Once the fossil had been established as genuine, the research team including Dr Susannah Maidment (London Natural History Museum), who specialises in studying ornithischian dinosaurs, were able to confirm that the specimen represented a rib bone from a stegosaur or an ankylosaur. Rib bones in most armoured dinosaurs tend to show a distinctive “t-shape” in cross section. Histological analysis of the composition of the bone matrix of the spikes demonstrated that their structure was reminiscent of an ankylosaur and therefore the scientists were able to confidently assign this specimen to the Ankylosauria.

"T-shaped" Rib of Spicomellus
The rib bone in cross-section shows a “t-shape” which is distinctive to the Stegosauria and the Ankylosauria. Histological study of the bone structure in the spikes identified that this bone was typical of an ankylosaur, allowing the research team to confidently assign the fossil to an ankylosaur. Picture credit: London Natural History Museum.

As for what Spicomellus might have looked like, any life reconstructions will have to be highly speculative, although based on comparisons with the ribs of more complete ankylosaur specimens the research team estimate that this individual Spicomellus was around three metres in length.

No Fossil Like This Ever Found Before

The rib with spiked, dermal armour fused to its top surface is unique. Nothing like this has ever been found before. This anatomical trait is not found in living or extinct vertebrates. Ankylosaurs tend to have their armour embedded into their skin and not directly attached to their bones. Spicomellus would have been less mobile and flexible as a result of its unique anatomy. Palaeontologists hope to return to northern Morocco and find more fossils to help them build up a better picture of this bizarre, armoured dinosaur.

Described as a basal ankylosaur, Spicomellus may represent an evolutionary experiment as armoured dinosaurs evolved probably as a result of predation pressure (megalosaurids are also known from the El Mers Group). How long these armour-attached-to-bone ankylosaurs persisted and how successful this group was remains unknown.

Implications for Armoured Dinosaur Evolution and Stegosaur Extinction

The discovery of Spicomellus suggests that we have a lot more to learn about the Eurypoda and that there probably are many more important but unknown fossil specimens of armoured dinosaurs awaiting discovery in the continents that made up Gondwana.

Spicomellus helps to fill a gap in the evolution of the Ankylosauria (Nodosauridae and Ankylosauridae). In addition, its discovery challenges current thinking about the demise of the Stegosauria. Stegosaur fossils are more common in Jurassic rocks than ankylosaur fossils are. In Cretaceous sediments, stegosaur specimens become increasingly rare. It had been thought that the rise of the Ankylosauria played a role in the eventual demise and extinction of the Stegosauria. However, with the discovery of Spicomellus, palaeontologists now know that stegosaurs and ankylosaurs co-existed for around 20 million years. The extinction of the Stegosauria remains a mystery, Spicomellus suggests that the evolution of different types of armoured dinosaur may only have played a limited role in their extinction.

The basal ankylosaur Spicomellus changes views on the evolutionary history of the Ankylosauria
The discovery of Spicomellus afer changes dramatically the temporal phylogeny of the Ankylosauria. Picture credit: Zheng et al with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur.

The scientific paper: “Bizarre dermal armour suggests the first African ankylosaur” by Susannah C. R. Maidment, Sarah J. Strachan, Driss Ouarhache, Torsten M. Scheyer, Emily E. Brown, Vincent Fernandez, Zerina Johanson, Thomas J. Raven and Paul M. Barrett published in Nature Ecology and Evolution.

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23 09, 2021

PNSO Chuanzi the Tarbosaurus Reviewed

By | September 23rd, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Dinosaur model fan and collector William sent into Everything Dinosaur his review of the PNSO “Chuanzi” the Tarbosaurus dinosaur model that he had recently purchased.

PNSO Chuanzi the Tarbosaurus product packaging
The product packaging for the new PNSO Tarbosaurus dinosaur replica.

PNSO Tarbosaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Our thanks to William for providing us with such a detailed and comprehensive dinosaur model review.

Here is William’s review of “Chuanzi” the Tarbosaurus:

PNSO 2021 Tarbosaurus bataar “Chuanzi”.
1/32 -1/38 Scale Model.
Length: 12 inches.
Height: 3.5 inches.
Box: Standard white PNSO issue with the acrylic stand and a beautiful booklet.

PNSO Chuanzi the Tarbosaurus dinosaur model (view of the head)
A close-up view of the head of the new for 2021 PNSO “Chuanzi” the Tarbosaurus dinosaur model.

Examining the Head and Jaws of the Tarbosaurus Figure

William begins his review by focusing on the head and the articulated jaws. He comments that although the model sports a typical Tyrannosaurinae head, the sculpt is no clone of a Tyrannosaurus rex model. Instead, the Tarbosaurus has a longer snout and the skull is more elongated. William approves of this commenting:

“He’s his own Tarbo not a Rexy and I like him.”

The detailed scaling on the head especially around the orbital fenestrae and the nasal ridge is praised. The reviewer states that no shrink wrapping of the skull is to be found and the articulated jaws have been sculpted to the high standards expected of the manufacturer (PNSO). William explains that the inside of the mouth has been well-painted and compliments the near white teeth for showing some staining on their lower portions, speculating that this represents dried blood.

PNSO Chuanzi the Tarbosaurus dinosaur model
The PNSO “Chuanzi” the Tarbosaurus dinosaur model has an articulated lower jaw.

Leading on to the Limbs

William comments that “Chuanzi” has the smallest forelimbs of all the Tyrannosaurinae and postulates that they may have played a role in courtship and bonding between individuals. The perfectly sculpted shoulder muscles are highlighted and the fine detail of the two-fingered hands commented upon.

William stated:

“High hips with very powerful hip muscles – just marvellous.”

Model collectors and other reviewers have commented upon the robust and heavy-set appearance of this model, perhaps a nod towards the Asian affinity of this super-sized theropod from a Chinese manufacturer, but for William, whilst he comments on the heft and girth of the figure he saves his highest praise for the limbs, stating:

“In my humble opinion, the greatest set of upper and lower limbs that I have ever seen on any model.”

That Big, Bold Body

The bulky appearance of the Tarbosaurus replica is praised. William exclaims that this was one carnivorous dinosaur that did not diet. He suggests the figure gives the impression that this theropod has had a very good meal, perhaps it has recently dined upon a Nemegtosaurus, a titanosaur which was contemporaneous with Tarbosaurus.

PNSO Chuanzi the Tarbosaurus in anterior view
PNSO Prehistoric Dinosaur Models: 51 “Chuanzi” the Tarbosaurus

Commenting on the Paint Scheme and Colouration

William begins his review of the paint scheme by pointing out the black wash that runs from the tip of the snout and along both the upper and lower jaws. It contrasts with the yellow nasal crests and the pale-yellow sclera of the eyes. The upper portions of the body are painted grey, reminiscent of today’s large terrestrial land mammals such as elephants and rhinos. The underside of the body and the throat area are more muted with faded browns and dun colours whilst the claws are black.

William added:

“He [Tarbosaurus] may not be striped or dappled but his paint app gives him the air of a true apex predator.”

Discovery and History

In common with earlier reviews, William concludes his comments on the PNSO figure by providing some information about Tarbosaurus.

Temporal range: Late Cretaceous (Campanian-Maastrichtian) 70 million years ago.
Tarbosaurus bataar “Awesome Lizard”
Estimates of 33 to 39 feet in length and weighing 4 to 5 tons.

A combined Soviet-Mongolian expedition in 1946 was mounted into the Gobi Desert in the Province of Ömnögovi. Skull material and some vertebrae were recovered. It was not until 1955 that Russian palaeontologist Evgeny Maleev first described and named the holotype of Tyrannosaurus bataar believing this Asian theropod to be closely related to Tyrannosaurus rex. Fossils from the Nemegt Formation were assigned to a number of theropods by Maleev, for example Tarbosaurus efremovi, Gorgosaurus lancinator and Gorgosaurus novojilovi, although these are now thought to represent different growth stages of T. bataar (from A. K. Rozhdestvensky, 1965).

William explained that “Chuanzi” would have stalked and hunted a varied array of herbivorous dinosaurs. Palaeontologists have speculated that this large theropod would have also scavenged carcases.

Summarising his review William added:

“Chuanzi is the only Tarbosaurus out there that is not just a standard T. rex renamed. Regarding purchasing him, I never thought twice about buying the “Incredible Bulk”, he is more than great, he’s awesome. If you miss out on him you know you will regret it later, so strengthen your shelves and own him.”

Everything Dinosaur would like to thank William for his PNSO model reviews.

To view the range of PNSO prehistoric animals in stock at Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.

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22 09, 2021

Papo the Megalodon Model

By | September 22nd, 2021|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

The new for 2021 Papo Megalodon model has arrived at Everything Dinosaur. This is the first new prehistoric animal model to be added to the Papo “Les Dinosaures” range this year. Like many model manufacturers, Papo have found it difficult to introduce new figures due to the global pandemic and issues with logistics, but this splendid prehistoric shark replica has been well worth the wait.

Papo Megalodon model (lateral view)
The new for 2021 Papo Megalodon model, one of just two replicas to be introduced by the French model and figure manufacturer this year.

Classifying Megalodon

Regarded by many researchers as the biggest shark known to science and indeed, one of the largest fish to have ever existed “Megalodon” certainly has iconic status. Models of this apex predator, adult animals are believed to have fed on whales, have always been popular and in August 2018 the film “The Meg” premiered. The plot for the movie considered the possibility that these prehistoric sharks are not extinct and inhabit the deepest parts of the ocean. The film was a huge box office success and grossed over $530 million USD in box office sales. Although sightings of really large sharks have been made, most scientists believe that Otodus megalodon became extinct more than 2.5 million years ago.

Known mainly from fossilised teeth, the taxonomic position of “Megalodon” remains controversial. The famous Swiss zoologist Louis Agassiz published a scientific description in 1843 and erected the name Carcharodon megalodon as he believed that this prehistoric shark was closely related to the extant Great White (Carcharodon carcharias). This idea has fallen out of favour and it is now thought that Otodus megalodon was a member of the extinct shark family the Otodontidae, which diverged from those sharks that eventually led to the evolution of the modern Great White during the Cretaceous. It is likely that the ancestors of the Great White and Otodus were contemporaneous and the lineages may have competed against each other for resources (interspecific competition).

Papo Otodus megalodon model
The Papo Otodus megalodon model (lateral view).

Model Measurements

The Papo Megalodon model measures around 20.5 cm in length and that impressive dorsal fin is around 5.5 cm off the ground. The model is supplied with a transparent support stand which also serves to protect the broad, wide pectoral fins during shipping.

Papo Megalodon model
The Papo Otodus megalodon model in anterior view.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that they were delighted to be able to get this excellent shark figure into stock and that the published image from Papo for this model did not do it justice. They also stated that team members had taken the decision to update their “Megalodon” fact sheet that is sent out with sales of this figure. It was thought appropriate to amend the classification as stated in the fact sheet from Carcharocles megalodon to Otodus megalodon to reflect the latest scientific thinking, although the spokesperson did also comment that the taxonomic classification of this iconic prehistoric fish remained uncertain.

To view the range of Papo prehistoric animal models and figures in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaurs and Papo Prehistoric Animal Models.

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21 09, 2021

The First Record of a Rhamphorhynchid Pterosaur from Gondwana

By | September 21st, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Fragmentary fossils collected from a location in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile have been assigned to a long-tailed pterosaur, specifically a rhamphorhynchid, this is the first time that evidence for this type of flying reptile has been found in Gondwana and the fossils, which are around 160 million years old, makes this specimen the oldest known pterosaur from Chile.

Rhamphorhynchid from Chile
A life reconstruction of the rhamphorhynchid pterosaur from northern Chile. Several types of marine reptile have also been recorded from these deposits. Picture credit: Universidad de Chile.

The Cerro Campamento Formation

The fossil material, consisting of a left humerus (thigh bone), parts of the wing finger and a possible dorsal vertebra, was collected in 2009 from the fossil-bearing Cerro Campamento Formation near the locality of Cerritos Bayos in northern Chile. The bones were all found in the same block and their relative size has led the researchers to believe that all the bones came from a single individual.

The strata in this area have yielded abundant ammonite remains as well as the fossils of numerous marine reptiles and prehistoric fish. Based on the associated ammonite specimens found at this location, the research team are confident that that the pterosaur remains date from the middle Oxfordian age of the Jurassic.

Rhamphorhynchid left humerus and line drawings
Views of the left humerus (MUHNCAL.20165) identified as a fossil bone from a rhamphorhynchid pterosaur with accompanying line drawings. Picture credit: Universidad de Chile.

Assigning the Fossils to the Rhamphorhynchidae

Although the remains represent a small proportion of the total skeleton their three-dimensional preservation permitted the research team to confidently assign the material to the Rhamphorhynchidae.

The humerus has a hatchet-shaped deltopectoral crest, proximally positioned, and its shaft is markedly anteriorly curved, which are characteristic features of the Rhamphorhynchidae. Furthermore, the presence of a groove that runs along the caudal surface of the phalanx, being flanked by two asymmetric crests, is a distinctive feature of the clade Rhamphorhynchinae. These traits provide evidence for an affinity to the Rhamphorhynchidae family and as such this reinforces the idea that these types of long-tailed pterosaurs were the first pterosaurs to achieve a relatively global distribution. Writing in the academic journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, the researchers who included Jhonatan Alarcón-Muñoz from the Universidad de Chile, assert that the specimen (MUHNCAL.20165), represents the first evidence of this group found to date in Gondwana. They are also the oldest pterosaur fossils to have been described from Chile.

Although it is difficult to estimate the size of the animal, comparisons with the well-known Rhamphorhynchus, most closely associated with the Solnhofen limestone deposits of Bavaria, (southern Germany), indicate that the Chilean pterosaur was large for a rhamphorhynchid. A wingspan in excess of 1.5 to 2 metres has been suggested.

Rhamphorhynchid pterosaur ife reconstruction.
A life reconstruction of a typical rhamphorhynchid pterosaur. The fossil remains from Chile are the first, definitive evidence for this type of pterosaur in Gondwana. Picture credit: Universidad de Chile.

The Caribbean Corridor

Rhamphorhynchid fossils are relatively rare from the Middle Jurassic, but they have been widely reported from Upper Jurassic strata associated with Laurasia. The Chile specimen was found in marine sediments that were deposited at the bottom of a shallow sea, most other rhamphorhynchid fossils are also found in rocks that represent shallow sea, near coastal environments. Some Rhamphorhynchus fossils (R. muensteri) from Solnhofen preserve fish remains as stomach contents and this supports the idea that these pterosaurs were piscivores and lived in coastal habitats.

During the Oxfordian, internal seaways such as the Caribbean corridor and the Trans-Erythrean corridor provided similar coastal environments running down and between Laurasia in the north and Gondwana in the south. The researchers propose that the Caribbean corridor acted as a dispersal route permitting the spread of flying reptiles such as rhamphorhynchids. They postulate that this corridor helps to explain the faunal similarities amongst marine vertebrates found in Germany, the UK, Cuba and South America during the Oxfordian faunal stage.

Rhamphorhynchid dispersal during the Late Jurassic.
The shape of the world’s landmasses during the Oxfordian of the Jurassic. The dashed line represents the hypothetical route that would have allowed the dispersal of marine vertebrates and invertebrates between Tethys and South America during the Late Jurassic. Picture credit: Universidad de Chile.

Map Key

The circle represents the Chile rhamphorhynchid, whilst the square indicates the location of two rhamphorhynchids from Cuba (Cacibupteryx caribensis and Nesodactylus hesperius), the star shape highlights these types of pterosaur discoveries associated with southern England whilst the triangle shows the location of Qinglongopterus guoi from the Tiaojishan Formation of China.

It is likely that more pterosaur fossils will be found in northern Chile. The prospect of further fossil discoveries will hopefully permit palaeontologists to erect a new genus to describe this South American rhamphorhynchid material.

The scientific paper: “First record of a Late Jurassic rhamphorhynchine pterosaur from Gondwana” by J. Alarcón-Muñoz, R. A. Otero, S. Soto-Acuña, A. O. Vargas, J. Rojas and O. Rojas published in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.

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20 09, 2021

Plotting the Fauna of Late Cretaceous Patagonia

By | September 20th, 2021|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Geology, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Scientists now know that during the Late Cretaceous (Campanian to Maastrichtian), southern Patagonia was home to ankylosaurs and that predatory abelisaurids competed with terrestrial crocodyliforms when it came to scavenging the carcases of giant Titanosaurs.

Researcher have examined fossilised teeth and osteoderms (bony plates and scales embedded in skin) collected from a small area of Upper Cretaceous deposits from the Cerro Fortaleza Formation in Santa Cruz province and used these fossils to piece together an archosaur dominated palaeocommunity.

Cerra Fortaleza Formation dinosaurs and peirosaurids.
The peirosaurid and dinosaur dominated ecosystem as indicated by fossils from the Cerro Fortaleza Formation (Late Cretaceous of Patagonia). Picture credit: J. González.

Teeth from Abelisaurids, Titanosaurs and Ankylosaurs

The dinosaur fauna of the Cerro Fortaleza Formation is very poorly known with only a few dinosaurs named and described, such as the giant titanosaur Dreadnoughtus schrani. However, researchers who included scientists affiliated to CONICET as well as a researcher from Seoul National University (South Korea), have published a paper in the on-line, open access journal PLOS One reporting on the discovery of several very worn and broken teeth that along with fossil osteoderms have enabled the research team to reconstruct the fauna that once roamed this ancient landscape.

Location map showing the provenance of the teeth and osteoderms (Cerro Fortaleza Formation).
Location map (A) showing the provenance of the teeth and osteoderms (Cerro Fortaleza Formation). Region between Viedma and Argentino lakes showing the Cerro Fortaleza Formation (red colour) outcropping at both sides of La Leona river. The dinosaur-fossil-bearing Chorrillo Formation is indicated in green (B). Photograph of the dig site (C) the red arrow marks the level from where the osteoderms and teeth were collected. Picture credit: Paulina-Carabajal.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s blog post about the discovery of the huge titanosaur Dreadnoughtus: A Little Detail on a Big Dinosaur – Dreadnoughtus.

The Cerro Fortaleza and Chorrillo Formations

Lying some 100 miles (160 kilometres) to the south of the Cerro Fortaleza Formation exposures that yielded the teeth and osteoderm fossils, the Chorrillo Formation is also regarded as an important source of dinosaur fossils. Palaeontologists are not sure of the temporal relationship between these dinosaur-fossil-bearing units, although it has been postulated that the Chorrillo Formation is slightly older. Both units have provided evidence of titanosaurs, theropods and ornithopods, but up to now only the Chorrillo Formation had provided evidence of ankylosaurs. Whilst working at the Cerro Fortaleza locality in December 2016, field team members discovered several isolated osteoderms and a single, very worn tooth thus confirming the presence of armoured dinosaurs in the Cerro Fortaleza Formation too.

Whilst it is difficult to identify a specific type of ankylosaur from just skin scales and a single tooth, the researchers postulate that these fossils represent a nodosaurid.

Ankylosaur osteoderms from the Cerro Fortaleza Formation
Views of various ankylosaur osteoderms collected from the Cerro Fortaleza Formation. These bony scales along with an ankylosaur tooth confirm the presence of armoured dinosaurs in this locality. Note scale bars equal 1 mm. Picture credit: Paulina-Carabajal et al.

The Dinosaurs of the Cerro Fortaleza Formation

The researchers were able to confirm the presence of a large abelisaurid theropod and an ankylosaur based on the fossil teeth. Very worn and broken titanosaur spp. teeth were also recorded. The types of dinosaurs that lived in the area represented by the Cerro Fortaleza Formation were similar to those reported from the Chorrillo Formation, although the two populations were very probably made up of different genera.

Intriguingly, evidence of hadrosaurs has been reported from the Chorrillo Formation, as yet no fossils that could be assigned to the Hadrosauridae have been reported from the Cerro Fortaleza Formation.

Dinosaur teeth from the Cerro Fortaleza Formation (Argentina)
Dinosaur teeth from the Cerro Fortaleza Formation. Partial tooth assigned to an abelisaurid theropod (A-C). Partial tooth of an unidentified archosaur (D). Titanosauria partial tooth (E-F) and tooth assigned to an Ankylosaur (G-I). Note scale bars equal 1 mm (except A-B equals 5 mm). Picture credit: Paulina-Carabajal et al.

Crocodyliforms Competing with Carnivorous Dinosaurs

In addition to the dinosaur fossils, the researchers found a total of 9 broken teeth which they assigned to the Peirosauridae family. Peirosaurids are an extinct group of terrestrial crocodyliforms, not closely related to modern crocodilians and seemingly confined to Gondwana. Their upright gait and different shaped teeth (heterodont teeth) indicate that these archosaurs may have had a more varied diet than the carnivorous dinosaurs. Most of the fossils found represent peirosaurid teeth (75%) and this suggests that there were more crocodyliforms present in the area than dinosaurs. The peirosaurid teeth represent the most southerly distribution of this type of archosaur recorded to date and since the teeth do not match those of Colhuehuapisuchus lunai which is known from Chubut Province to the north, this suggests at least two taxa of peirosaurids present in southern Patagonia during the Late Cretaceous.

Peirosaurid teeth from the Cerro Fortaleza Formation.
Examples of peirosaurid teeth from the Cerro Fortaleza Formation. Small fossils such as teeth and dermal armour have enabled palaeontologists to piece together the faunal composition of southern Argentina during the Late Cretaceous. Theropod dinosaurs (abelisaurids) would have competed with peirosaurid mesoeucrocodylians over food, but little can be deduced about food chain roles with regards to apex and secondary predators. Picture credit: Paulina-Carabajal et al.

The ankylosaur fossils from Cerro Fortaleza and Chorrillo formations, indicate that armoured dinosaurs lived in the region of southern South America during the Late Cretaceous. These fossils although fragmentary help to fill a gap in the fossil record between Antarctica and central-northern Patagonia. Thanks to this research the Late Cretaceous dinosaur record in southern South America has been improved.

The scientific paper: “A Late Cretaceous dinosaur and crocodyliform faunal association–based on isolate teeth and osteoderms–at Cerro Fortaleza Formation (Campanian-Maastrichtian) type locality, Santa Cruz, Argentina” by Ariana Paulina-Carabajal, Francisco T. Barrios, Ariel H. Méndez, Ignacio A. Cerda and Yuong-Nam Lee published in PLOS One.

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19 09, 2021

PNSO Gamba the Carcharodontosaurus Reviewed

By | September 19th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Our thanks to model collector William who sent into Everything Dinosaur his review of the recently introduced PNSO Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur model.

PNSO Gamba the Carcharodontosaurus
PNSO Gamba the Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur model.

Carcharodontosaurus Reviewed

Dinosaur fan William has been building up his collection of PNSO figures and replicas, here is his review of his latest acquisition, the PNSO “Gamba” the Carcharodontosaurus.

PNSO 2021 Carcharodontosaurus saharicus “Gamba”.
1/45 scale model.
Length: 12 inches.
Height: 3.5 inches.
Box: Standard white PNSO issue with the acrylic stand and a beautiful booklet.

Examining the Head and Jaws

William begins his review by examining the head and jaws. He comments that “Gamba” has a fantastic Carcharodontosaurinae head with detailed scaling and the head shows no signs of model shrink wrapping. The colouration of the eyes is mentioned, it is a bold choice of paint, the eyes are a dark orange in appearance.

The jaw is fully articulated and it reflects the high build standards that collectors have come to expect from PNSO. The shape and painting of the mouth is praised along with the accurate nasal passages and the white, shark-like teeth that were the inspiration behind this dinosaur’s name.

PNSO Gamba the Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur model
The PNSO Gamba the Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur model. William praises the head and the jaws in his model review.

Concluding his review of the head and the jaws William states:

“The PNSO “Gamba” is your go to Carcharodontosaurinae and I suggest you go get him, this quality only comes this way in a lifetime”.

Looking at the Dinosaur’s Limbs

The reviewer extolls the virtues of the front limbs stating that they are small but powerful and each finger is tipped with an excellent claw. The robust, typical Carcharodontosaurinae legs are discussed and William highlights the blunted toe claws, which reflect the way the toe claws probably looked as the keratin sheaths would have been worn down as the dinosaur walked.

PNSO Carcharodontosaurus model and skeletal scale drawing
A skeletal reconstruction showing known fossil material associated with Carcharodontosaurus saharicus and the PNSO Gamba the Carcharodontosaurus model. The reviewer comments on the limbs of this large theropod.

The Body of “Gamba” Scrutinised

Continuing his review William explained that “Gamba” has a classical Carcharodontosaurinae body as shared by all the known members of this superfamily. The texture and detailing of the skin was praised and regarded as “top-notch”.

Skin folds and the texture of the model were complimented with particular reverence afforded to the detail depicted on the lower portion of the ribs. The Carcharodontosaurus model reflects this dinosaur’s status as an apex predator.

Commenting on the Paint Scheme

William reflects on the similar colour schemes of “Gamba” the Carcharodontosaurus and the related Allosaurus in the PNSO mid-size model range known as “Paul”. The Carcharodontosaurus is described as having dark, dun tiger stripes which run down the length of the body. The outside of the legs are a mustard-brown colour and the claws are black. The main body area is described as having a mixture of greens which descend into creams and beige, with a hint of pink on the underside of the figure.

PNSO Allosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur models
New for 2021 PNSO theropod models (top) Paul the Allosaurus and (bottom) Gamba the Carcharodontosaurus.

Discovery and History

As with William’s earlier PNSO model reviews, he concludes his review by providing some information on the dinosaur.

Temporal Period: Late Cretaceous Albian to Cenomanian: 113~90 million years ago.
Carcharodontosaurus saharicus “Shark toothed lizard of the Sahara”.
Estimates of 39~44 ft in length and weighing 6.2~15.1 tons (we are in the realms of large theropods here).

William was quick to point out the hugely significant contribution made by Ernst Freiherr Stromer von Reichenbach (1871-1952), who named and described Carcharodontosaurus (C. saharicus) in 1931. Stromer’s name is synonymous with dinosaur research, the German palaeontologist made some very important fossil discoveries in the early part of the 20th century.

William also commented upon the profusion of large, predatory dinosaurs associated with the Cretaceous of North Africa – dinosaurs such as Rugops, Deltradromeus, Spinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus.

Summarising his thoughts on the Carcharodontosaurinae, William exclaimed:

“The Carcharodontosaurinae superfamily fielded some of the Earth’s largest land predators as they never stopped growing throughout their 50 to 60 years. It is only a matter of time until a true “Tyrant Slayer” is unearthed either in North Africa or in South America.”

Our thanks to William for providing Everything Dinosaur with such a detailed review of “Gamba” the PNSO Carcharodontosaurus dinosaur model.

To view the range of PNSO prehistoric animal figures available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.

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18 09, 2021

PNSO to Add a Tylosaurus

By | September 18th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

PNSO will add a Tylosaurus marine reptile model to their popular mid-size model range. Evan the Tylosaurus will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur before Christmas (2021). The Tylosaurus figure is number 57 in the PNSO mid-size model range.

PNSO Evan the Tylosaurus (Anterior View)
PNSO Evan the Tylosaurus, Everything Dinosaur customers can expect this marine reptile figure to be in stock before Christmas (2021).

Whilst other manufacturers have struggled to produce prehistoric animal figures this year, PNSO have gone from strength-to-strength introducing more than fifteen prehistoric animals in their mid-size range in 2021, including a Kronosaurus model (Jeff the Kronosaurus). A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur confirmed that both these marine reptile figures (Jeff the Kronosaurus and Evan the Tylosaurus), will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur very soon.

PNSO Evan the Tylosaurus (Dorsal View)
The PNSO Evan the Tylosaurus marine reptile model (dorsal view).

Tylosaurus Marine Reptile Model

Several species have been assigned to the Tylosaurus genus. The first species to formally named and described was Tylosaurus proriger, which was named by the famous American palaeontologist Edward Drinker Cope in 1869. The most recent addition to the Tylosaurus genus is T. saskatchewanensis which was described in 2018 (Jiménez-Huidobro et al). The fossils come from the Bearpaw Formation of southern Sasktachewan (Canada) and demonstrate that tylosaurs were present in the northern Western Interior Seaway during the late Campanian. Tylosaurus saskatchewanensis represents the most northerly occurrence of this genus.

Although the PNSO models do not have a declared scale, at around 31 cm in length, this is a very good size for a marine reptile figure.

Tylosaurus is a member of the Mosasauridae family. Mosasaurus is the type genus of the Mosasauridae, an extinct family of marine reptiles related to modern lizards and snakes. Several species have been named and Mosasaurus hoffmannii (which was named in 1829), with an estimated length in excess of 17 metres is one of the largest marine reptiles known from the Cretaceous. Tylosaurus proriger was slightly smaller with an estimated length of around 13-14 metres. Some palaeontologists have estimated that Tylosaurus could have weighed more than two tonnes.

PNSO Evan the Tylosaurus model measurements
PNSO Evan the Tylosaurus measures 31 cm in length.

Flippers and Tail

The PNSO Tylosaurus model has been given an asymmetrical tail fluke, which reflects soft tissue evidence from fossil remains. The model has a deep chest which is typical of the Mosasauridae and short but powerful flippers.

The stunning PNSO Tylosaurus model.
The stunning PNSO Tylosaurus marine reptile model (dorsal view). The model has been given a deep chest which is very typical of the Mosasauridae. The figure has a powerful tail fluke and broad flippers.

Pterygoid Teeth

The model has been provided with two rows of teeth in its upper jaws. The second set located towards the back of the mouth are called pterygoid teeth. The pterygoid teeth helped the animal to grip its prey and to aid in the movement of prey down the gullet.

The box for the PNSO Tylosaurus model.
The packaging for the PNSO Tylosaurus model.

Transparent Support Stands

PNSO Evan the Tylosaurus is supplied with two transparent support stands. These stands permit collectors to display their figure, the substantial lower tail fluke would cause the figure to topple over if it were simply placed on a table.

PNSO Evan the Tylosaurus product packaging
The PNSO Tylosaurus is supplied with two transparent display stands.

The spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur explained that Evan the Tylosaurus was just the latest prehistoric animal model to be announced by PNSO and they expected more exciting figures to be released before the end of the year.

To view the range of PNSO prehistoric animal models and figures available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.

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17 09, 2021

PNSO Yinqi the Yutyrannus Reviewed

By | September 17th, 2021|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Our thanks to William who sent into Everything Dinosaur a detailed review of the PNSO “Yinqi” the Yutyrannus dinosaur model. William has been busy writing reviews on his recent PNSO prehistoric animal acquisitions. He is becoming an avid fan of the PNSO mid-size model range.

The Yutyrannus (Y. huali), is just one of several theropod models that have been introduced by PNSO this year.

PNSO Yinqi the Yutyrannus dinosaur model
PNSO Yinqi the Yutyrannus (lateral view).

Dinosaur Model Review

Here is William’s review of his latest PNSO acquisition:

PNSO 2021 Yutyrannus huali “Yinqi”.
1/30-1/35 scale model.
Length: 10 inches.
Height: 4.1 inches.
Box: Standard white PNSO issue with the acrylic stand and a beautiful booklet.

PNSO Yinqi the Yutyrannus product packaging
The PNSO Yinqi the Yutyrannus is supplied with a small transparent stand that when placed in the middle of the replica’s chest helps to support this dinosaur figure.

Looking at the Head and the Articulated Jaws

William starts his review by looking at the head and the jaws of the Yutyrannus figure. He comments on the bare snout and highlights the fine detail of the scales and the well-defined nostrils, before declaring the orange nasal crest as “a stunner”. The lacrimal horns are praised and he states:

“What a fantastic, feathered head sculpt, you will not find anywhere else, kudos to PNSO we have a Yutyrannus finally.”

William also commented on the eye colouration and the black skin folds encircling the orbits. Turning his attention to the jaw, he stated that the jaw of the dinosaur model is fully articulated and opens quite wide to show off wonderful white teeth which are displayed in a lipless mouth. The painting of the interior of the mouth was extolled and he exclaimed:

“The tongue sits flat to the bottom of the mouth and looks great with detailed nasal passages in the roof of the skull.”

PNSO Yinqi the Yutyrannus huali Dinosaur Model
PNSO Yinqi the Yutyrannus with an articulated jaw.

Reviewing the Limbs of “Yinqi” the Yutyrannus

When compared to the reduced forelimbs of T. rex or Tarbosaurus, the arms of the tyrannosauroid Yutyrannus look powerful, each hand is armed with three robust claws and William suggests that these claws were used to hold onto or despatch prey. Even though the arms are feathered, the sculpting team at PNSO have taken care to give the impression of powerful muscles under the plumage, a point that William remarks upon. He also comments on the strong, muscular legs of the model with their large dewclaws and the padded soles of the feet.

The rough, shaggy integumentary covering providing excellent insulation for this large dinosaur in its harsh, temperate climate.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s 2012 blog post about the discovery and scientific description of Yutyrannus: One Tonne Basal Tyrannosauroid.

A Hunter Sniffing Out Prey

The review looks at the torso of the figure and the feather impressions covering the body are discussed.

William praises the pose of the figure remarking:

“The pose is that of a hunter sniffing out prey in a forward motion with the head posed to spot movement. Truly this figure is a wonder to behold.”

PNSO Yinqi the Yutyrannus
The PNSO Yinqi the Yutyrannus (anterior view). Reviewer William praises the figure stating that it is a “wonder to behold”.

Painting a Prehistoric Animal

The choice of colour scheme is lauded in William’s review. He states that the tips of the jaws are black, but this colour gradually softens and lightens towards the posterior end of the jawbones. He praises the contrasting white of the jowls and the chest area of the model. The main body colour is described as “a rich golden wheat of varied shades from dark to light”.

William also highlights the dark wash that runs over the back along the spine to the end of the tail, which is painted a dun colour.

As with previous reviews, William concludes by providing some further information on the dinosaur.

Discovery and History

Temporal Period: Early Cretaceous of the Liaoning Province: 125 million years ago.
Yutyrannus huali “Beautiful Feathered Tyrant”.
The adult was 29.5 ft with a weight of 1.1 tonnes around the weight of Megalosaurus.

First described and named in 2012 by Xu Xing from a trio of nearly complete fossil remains representing an adult with a subadult and a juvenile tagging along on maybe its first hunt. All three have been captured for all time.

A great pity those that had discovered the specimens cut them into square sections for ease of transport to a dealer from the Batu Yingzi quarry. Imagine what more could have been learned from where they were unearthed.

The palaeoenvironment that Yutyrannus inhabited would have been similar to the temperate forests of the Pacific Northwest of the USA/Canada – warm and wet in summer and harsh in the winter but Yutyrannus was well-insulated thanks to its thick, saggy coat.

In concluding his review William stated:

“PNSO 2021 Yutyrannus huali “Yinqi” another great addition to their ever-expanding theropod line but a unique edition to own a fully feathered natural looking Tyrannosauroidea and presently the world largest feathered dinosaur”.

To view the range of PNSO models and figures in stock at Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs.

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16 09, 2021

Everything Dinosaur Gains 160 Google Reviews All 5-stars

By | September 16th, 2021|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur, the UK-based supplier of dinosaur models, toys and games has received 160 Google reviews from customers. All of these reviews are 5-stars, the top marks that can be awarded. Team members are honoured to have received such praise from customers.

Everything Dinosaur has received 160 5-star Google Reviews
Everything Dinosaur has received over 160 reviews from customers. All the reviews received are 5-stars – the highest marks available.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We are truly humbled to have received 161 Google 5-star reviews in a row. Customer feedback and testimonials are very important to us and we really do appreciate all the comments that we receive.”

Genuine Customer Feedback

Each of the Google reviews has been provided by a genuine customer of Everything Dinosaur. These are reviews from real people who are commenting on their experience of purchasing from the Everything Dinosaur website: Everything Dinosaur.

Here are some typical, recent customer reviews received by the company:

Jay provided a review stating:

“Stellar customer service! Everything Dinosaur go above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction. I am yet to come across another company who does so much for their customers”.

Maddalena commented:

“Great quality, fantastic value for money, super fast delivery. We are loyal customers.”

Regular customer Paul wrote in his 5-star Google review:

“Really great on-line shop for dinosaur paraphernalia, fantastic range from simple toys to high-end, well-detailed models, fast delivery, great customer service, highly recommended.”

Oliver added:

“Always amazing service, genuinely the best I have ever experienced from an on-line transaction – courteous, quick response etc. And great models too…”

These Google reviews are not received in isolation, product reviews and customer comments are being posted up on Everything Dinosaur’s website all the time. There are over 1,700 reviews on the Everything Dinosaur website and in addition, the company’s products and customer service record is independently vetted by Feefo. There are over 640 Feefo reviews currently displayed, Everything Dinosaur is well on its way to retaining the prestigious Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award – the highest award for customer service provided by Feefo.

The Feefo platinum service award.
The Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award.

The spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur added:

“We are grateful for all the feedback we receive and we are continually trying our best under very difficult circumstances to support our customers. For example, manufacturing and logistic difficulties have been widely reported but this week we were able to receive a shipment of Wild Safari Prehistoric World models at our warehouse. Twenty-two prehistoric animal model lines were either put back into stock or had more stock added to their inventory. This provides our customers with a reliable source of prehistoric animal themed merchandise.”

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Models
Some of the Wild Safari Prehistoric World figures received into stock recently at Everything Dinosaur (September 2021). Can you name them all?

With around 100 days until Christmas, customers can be assured that Everything Dinosaur will be doing all they can to ensure continuation of supplies and stock of dinosaur toys and dinosaur models, although it is advisable to shop early. Purchases of Everything Dinosaur products are all backed by the company’s 5-star, award-winning service.

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