All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
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13 06, 2020

Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus Deluxe Dinosaur Model

By | June 13th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

The Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus Deluxe Dinosaur Model

Brachiosaurus has been a mainstay of the Mojo Fun “Prehistoric and Extinct” prehistoric animal model range since this series was introduced.  Recently, new members of the Sauropodomorpha have been added, a colourful Diplodocus was included back in 2018 and this year, the long-necked dinosaur numbers have been swelled with the addition of a Mamenchisaurus, Brontosaurus and a new Brachiosaurus deluxe model.

The New for 2020 Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus Deluxe Dinosaur Model

The new Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus deluxe dinosaur model.

The new for 2020 Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus deluxe dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Subdued Colouration

The new Brachiosaurus figure has a more subdued colouration than the Mojo Fun Diplodocus.  There is certainly much to be admired in this new replica of “arm lizard” and at around eighteen centimetres tall, this is quite a sizeable dinosaur model too.  Prior to the model’s arrival we took the opportunity to take some photographs of the Brachiosaurus and other sauropods in the Mojo Fun “Prehistoric and Extinct” model range.

Getting to Grips with a Brachiosaurus

Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus dinosaur model.

The new for 2020 Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus dinosaur model measures around 25 cm long and that detailed head stands nearly 18 cm high.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The 2018 Mojo Fun Diplodocus Dinosaur Model

Mojo Fun Diplodocus model (2018).

Mojo Fun Diplodocus dinosaur model.  This 2018 replica had a more colourful paint scheme than the other long-necked dinosaurs within the “Prehistoric and Extinct” model range.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Very little if anything is known about the colouration of the Sauropodomorpha.  Many of these dinosaurs were giants and although their colouration is speculative, the largest terrestrial vertebrates today, animals such as elephants and rhinos, tend to have subdued, grey colouration.  Whilst scientists cannot be certain what colour these dinosaurs were, a number of model making companies including Mojo have tended to depict these animals with more subtle colour schemes with greys and browns predominating.”

The New for 2020 Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus Deluxe Dinosaur Replica

Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus deluxe.

Photographing the Mojo Fun Brachiosaurus deluxe model in the Everything Dinosaur studio.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Many of the recently introduced models in this range are larger than their predecessors.  For example, the new for 2020 Brachiosaurus is around 4 centimetres longer than the Mojo Fun “large” Brachiosaurus model.  In order to help collectors to distinguish the bigger models, many of these are termed “deluxe”.  As a further assistance, on the Everything Dinosaur website, actual model measurements are provided by clicking the “additional information” link on each product page.

To view the range of Mojo Fun “Prehistoric and Extinct” figures: Mojo Fun Prehistoric Animal Models and Figures.

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12 06, 2020

Were Some Ancient Crocodiles Bipeds?

By | June 12th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Fossil Tracks Attributed to Crocodiles Show Bipedal Stance

Fossilised narrow-gauge tracks from the Lower Cretaceous Jinju Formation of South Korea suggest that some types of ancient crocodylomorphs were bipedal.  Writing in the academic journal “Scientific Reports”, the researchers which include palaeontologist Martin Lockley, an emeritus professor at the University of Colorado, describe a series of trackways discovered near Sacheon City, (south-eastern, South Korea).  Only prints made by the hind limbs are preserved and there are no manus (handprints) identified.  The quality of the trace fossils, the presence of well-preserved foot pads with skin traces and the absence of any foot-on-hand overprinting suggest that these ancient reptiles walked on their hind legs.

The tracks have been assigned to the ichnogenus Batrachopus and the largest tracks are believed to have been made by animals around three metres long.

A Life Reconstruction of the Ichnogenus Batrachopus (B. grandis)

Fossilised footprints suggest bipedal Cretaceous crocodylomorphs.

A life reconstruction of the crocodylomorph ichnogenus Batrachopus (B. grandis).

Picture Credit: A. Romilio (University of Queensland)

Batrachopus grandis

The tracksite covers approximately 800 square metres and has yielded four track-bearing levels from a series of strata the represent about 5 metres of the Jinju Formation.  The deposits consist of mudstones, shales and fine-grained sandstones that represent the margins of a large freshwater lake.  Based on the size of the prints, some of which measure up to 24 cm in length, the researchers have erected the ichnospecies Batrachopus grandis.  One track shows well-defined scale impressions on the heel that resemble those of modern crocodilians.

Tracks of the Ichnospecies Batrachopus grandis with Skin Impression Preserved (Photograph B).

Crocodylomorph tracks - Batrachopus grandis.

Photographs of well-preserved in situ Batrachopus grandis ichnosp. nov. track impressions from surface 2.  Left foot (A,B) and right foot tracks (C, D).  Scale bar = 20 cm.

Picture Credit: Kim et al

An Upright Bipedal Posture

The absence of any tail drag marks and the depth of the heel impressions support the idea that these reptiles were moving in a similar way to most theropod dinosaurs.  Team leader, Professor Kyung Soo Kim (Chinju National University of Education, South Korea), also stated that the width of the tracks indicate that these crocodiles were walking upright in a terrestrial environment.

The Professor remarked:

“Our trackways are very narrow-looking, more like a crocodile balancing on a tight-rope.  When combined with the lack of any tail-drag marks, it became clear that these creatures were moving bipedally.  They were moving in the same way as many dinosaurs, but the footprints were not made by dinosaurs.  Dinosaurs and their bird descendants walk on their toes.”

Plantigrade Prints

The Dinosauria generally, non-avian and avian forms, walk on their toes (digitigrade), whilst crocodiles walk on the soles of their feet, just like humans and bears (plantigrade).  The plantigrade nature of the tracks rules out them having been made by a member of the Dinosauria clade.

Photographs and Line Drawings of Trackways (Batrachopus grandis)

Batrachopus grandis - photographs and line drawings.

Photos and outline drawings of trackways and trackway segments of Batrachopus grandis.

Picture Credit: Kim et al

The picture above shows photographs and line drawings of trackways and trackway segments associated with the ichnospecies B. grandis.  The holotype track (T16), is enlarged and shown as a line drawing on the right.

These Tracks Shed Light on Pterosaur Locomotion

These tracks may also help to determine the track-maker from another tracksite from South Korea that was described back in 2012.  Professor Lockley was part of a research team that uncovered a set of less-well defined prints that were thought to have been made by a huge pterosaur.  It had been suggested that these tracks represented a flying reptile wading through shallow water with just its hind feet in contact with the sediment.  Although these tracks are geologically younger than the trackways discovered near Sacheon City, Professor Lockley discounts the wading pterosaur theory and suggests that these tracks too, were probably made by a bipedal crocodylomorph.

The Scientists Compared the Tracks to Other Tracks from the Fossil Record and with Those Made by American Crocodiles

Comparing fossil trackways.

Fossil crocodylomorph tracks compared to an American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), the prehistoric crocodile Mehliella jeffersonensis and the pterosaur trackway Haenamichnus uhangriensis.

Picture Credit: Kim et al

The picture above, shows (far left) the trackway created by an extant crocodile species, the American crocodile (C. acutus).  A line drawing of a track associated with B. grandis is adjacent.  Note that the B. grandis tracks are narrower.  The third track represents a crocodilian known from trace fossils from Colorado (Mehliella jeffersonensis).  These tracks indicate quadruped locomotion and a clear tail drag mark is preserved in the centre of the trackway.  The line drawing (far right), represents tracks that had been thought to represent a pterosaur trackway (Haenamichnus uhangriensis).

Haenamichnus uhangriensis

The flying reptile tracks come from the Lower Cretaceous Haman Formation located in South Korea.  The large, bipedal plantigrade prints were assigned the ichnospecies Haenamichnus uhangriensis and it had been proposed that the tracks represented a pterosaur wading through shallow water, trying to avoid its wings becoming mired in the substrate.  The researchers confidently conclude that these tracks do not represent a large flying reptile and that they are actually poorly preserved bipedal crocodylomorph trace fossils.

To read a related article about the discovery of tiny dinosaur tracks: Smallest Dinosaur Tracks Known to Science.

The scientific paper: “Trackway evidence for large bipedal crocodylomorphs from the Cretaceous of Korea” by Kyung Soo Kim, Martin G. Lockley, Jong Deock Lim, Seul Mi Bae & Anthony Romilio published in Scientific Reports.

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11 06, 2020

Still Time to Enter Everything Dinosaur Book Competition

By | June 11th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Book Competition Closes Midnight 14th June (2020)

There is still time to enter Everything Dinosaur’s fabulous competition to win one of three signed dinosaur books!  However, time is running out as our competition closes at midnight on Sunday 14th June.  Everything Dinosaur is offering to give away three very special signed copies of “Dinosaurs – how they lived and evolved” by Darren Naish and Paul M. Barrett, a fantastic book published by the Natural History Museum of London in our free to enter competition.

PLEASE NOTE THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Win a Fantastic Book – “Dinosaurs – How they Lived and Evolved”

A free to enter competition organised by Everything Dinosaur.

Win a signed copy of the brilliant new book “Dinosaurs how they lived and evolved” by Darren Naish and Paul M. Barrett courtesy of Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Competition Time at Everything Dinosaur!

To enter our competition, all you have to do is “Like” Everything Dinosaur’s Facebook page, then comment on the “Dinosaurs – how they lived and evolved” picture, providing a suggested name for the Tianyulong dinosaur featured on the front cover.

Everything Dinosaur on Facebook: Visit Everything Dinosaur on Facebook.  Then “Like” our Facebook page, provide a name for the dinosaur in the comments suggestion and you have entered the competition!

We will draw the lucky winners at random and the “Dinosaurs – how they lived and evolved” competition closes at midnight Sunday 14th June.  Good luck to all those that enter, we hope you win one of these unique dinosaur books.  Each one of our prizes has been signed by Darren Naish one of the authors.  He has also included a little drawing on the inside front cover, making these prizes truly unique.

Comprehensive History of the Dinosauria – Great Photographs of Famous Fossils Too!

Coelophysis features in the dinosaur book.

The book contains lots of amazing colour photographs of famous dinosaur fossils.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

“Dinosaurs – How they Lived and Evolved” Features the Work of Famous Artists

Wonderful illustrations in the dinosaur book.

As well insightful writing, the book features the work of famous artists such as John Sibbick and Mark Witton.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We wish everyone the very best of luck in our free to enter, dinosaur book contest.  For details of the competition including terms and conditions, hit this link here: Dinosaur Book Competition – Terms and Conditions.

PLEASE NOTE THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

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10 06, 2020

Bullyland Ichthyosaurus Model Postponed

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

New Bullyland Ichthyosaurus Model Postponed

The new Bullyland Ichthyosaurus model that was exclusively revealed by Everything Dinosaur in May has been postponed until 2021.  The model, representing an iconic marine reptile synonymous with Jurassic strata both in UK and in Germany was due to be in stock in the early summer but production issues related to the COVID-19 crisis has led to the postponement of this eagerly anticipated prehistoric animal figure.  The future of this figure remains uncertain.

Delayed Until 2021?  The Bullyland Ichthyosaurus Marine Reptile Model

The Bullyland Ichthyosaurus model.

The Bullyland Ichthyosaurus model.  It was due to be introduced this summer but it has now been delayed until 2021.  The model’s future remains uncertain.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

On May 18th (2020), Everything Dinosaur revealed a picture of the Bullyland Ichthyosaurus model on the company’s social media pages.  Sadly, we have been informed by Bullyland that this figure has now been postponed.  It is one of a number of new models and novelties that have had to be cancelled due to the current economic conditions brought about by the pandemic.  In an email sent to Everything Dinosaur, a spokesperson from the German manufacturer explained that “Bullyland had to cancel articles and postpone novelties to 2021.”

Bullyland did not introduce any new, large prehistoric animal model figures last year (2019).  Indeed, the last new prehistoric animals (Triceratops and Archaeopteryx) came out in 2017.  In meetings with Everything Dinosaur, team members were informed about new product plans and a concept “diapsid” range of smaller figures available as a set, but like so many organisations at the moment, production plans have had to be revised.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Many companies are having to take appropriate strategic decisions at this difficult time.  Manufacturing has been affected and there are difficulties being encountered with global logistics.  Lots of organisations have delayed, postponed or cancelled production plans due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Bullyland figures and models are very popular with collectors and fans of dinosaurs and although they may be disappointed to hear this news, we suspect that they will understand the reasons for this decision.”

Bullyland Company Logo

The Bullyland logo.

The Bullyland logo. The company was founded in 1973.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Founded in 1973 in the town of Spraitbach near Stuttgart, Bullyland offers a wide range of high-quality figures and models across several ranges.  Everything Dinosaur estimates that currently, Bullyland offers around 700 different figures and ranges like “Safari” and “Paddock” have been affected by the closure of zoos, safari parks and other attractions.

As and when Everything Dinosaur receives an update from Bullyland we will make sure that we post this information up onto our social media pages.

The Bullyland Prehistoric Animal Range Already Contains a Trio of Ancient Marine Creatures

Bullyland prehistoric marine models.

A trio of Bullyland models representing prehistoric animals that lived in ancient seas.  Elasmosaurus (top), the Liopleurodon model that was introduced in 2016 (middle) and (inset) the Bullyland ammonite model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the current range of Bullyland prehistoric animal models and figures available from Everything Dinosaur: Bullyland Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

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9 06, 2020

Mojo Fun Baryonyx “Turntable Tuesday”

By | June 9th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Mojo Fun Baryonyx “Turntable Tuesday”

For this week’s Everything Dinosaur YouTube feature “Turntable Tuesday” we take the new for 2020 Mojo Fun Baryonyx dinosaur model for a spin.  The figure we selected to take a turn on our turntable is the Baryonyx figure with the articulated jaw.

The Mojo Fun Baryonyx Dinosaur Model (Articulated Jaw) Goes for Spin for “Turntable Tuesday”

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mojo Fun Baryonyx Dinosaur Model

The Baryonyx dinosaur model is one of sixteen new dinosaurs introduced by Mojo this year (2020), within their prestigious “Prehistoric and Extinct” model range.  In the Everything Dinosaur video, the model is put through its paces and viewers are given the opportunity to get a 360 degree impression of Baryonyx walkeri.  The video review lasts for just over a minute and a half, it is the thirteenth video made in the Everything Dinosaur “Turntable Tuesday” feature,

The Beautiful Colouration on the New for 2020 Mojo Fun Baryonyx Dinosaur Model

Mojo Fun Baryonyx dinosaur model.

The new for 2020 Mojo Fun Baryonyx dinosaur model with an articulated jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This hand-painted replica measures around 25 centimetres in length and it is one of five new Mojo theropod figures to have an articulated lower jaw.  The other new figures with articulated jaws are the Tyrannosaurus rex deluxe, the new Allosaurus, the feathered troodontid and the Spinosaurus deluxe.  Dinosaur fans will know that Baryonyx was distantly related to Spinosaurus, although it lived many millions of years before Spinosaurus evolved.

Mojo Baryonyx with an Articulated Jaw

The Mojo Fun Baryonyx model.

Taking its turn on the Everything Dinosaur turntable.  The new for 2020 Mojo Fun Baryonyx with an articulated jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Two Baryonyx Models

There are two Baryonyx dinosaur models in the Mojo Fun model range.  These models replace the “blue” Baryonyx figure that was introduced by the company in 2018.

The Mojo Fun Baryonyx Deluxe Model

Mojo Baryonyx deluxe dinosaur model.

The new for 2020 Mojo Fun Baryonyx deluxe dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Our weekly Turntable Tuesday feature on the Everything Dinosaur YouTube channel is our way of showcasing new models to fans and collectors of prehistoric animal models.  So many new Mojo models have been introduced this year, that if we were to produce a video for each one we would still be showing a Mojo Fun video in early November.  Much as we would like to cover them all, we have so many other prehistoric animal models to highlight.  Still, our studio permits us to take photographs as well so, if we don’t make a video we can take plenty of photographs and share these on-line via our various social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.”

To visit Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel: Visit Everything Dinosaur on YouTube and Subscribe.

Link to Mojo Fun: Mojo Fun Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

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8 06, 2020

Wild Past Protoceratops Video Review

By | June 8th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Wild Past Protoceratops Dinosaur Model (Video Review)

Our eagerly anticipated video review of the recently introduced Wild Past Protoceratops dinosaur model is now up on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel.  In this short video (it lasts six minutes and fifty seconds), we combine a little bit of the science behind the study of this basal neoceratopsian with a review of the actual replica.  The model represents Protoceratops andrewsi, which was named and described back in 1923 (Granger and Gregory).

Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube Video Review of the Wild Past Protoceratops andrewsi Model

Video credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Wild Past Protoceratops Dinosaur Model

The Wild Past Protoceratops (P. andrewsi) model was introduced earlier this year (2020).  It is the first figure in an exciting range of replicas to be introduced by Wild Past.  In our short video review, we comment on the dinosaur model, provide size and scale information and we discuss pricing.  The production run for the Protoceratops is actually very small, not that much bigger than the number of fossil specimens of Protoceratops collected by the American Museum of Natural History expeditions between 1922 and 1925!  We discuss the production run and its effect on product pricing and provide a link in the video notes to where collectors can purchase this model.

To view the Wild Past range of dinosaur models including the Protoceratops andrewsi replica: Wild Past Prehistoric Animal Models.

Information about the Price of the Wild Past Protoceratops Dinosaur Model

Wild Past Protoceratops dinosaur model pricing (June 2020).

In the video review, Everything Dinosaur discusses the limited production run and how it has impacted on product pricing.  Pricing correct as of June 2020.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A 1/35th Scale Figure

The video review discusses the two species that are assigned to the Protoceratops genus (P. andrewsi and P. hellenikorhinus).  We explain how a second species was erected and look briefly at the differences between these two species.  In addition, we comment about the 2011 fossil discovery of a nest of Protoceratops andrewsi, complete with the fossilised remains of babies.  Although the American Museum of Natural History field team found dinosaur eggs in association with Protoceratops fossil material in their expeditions of the 1920’s, these eggs were not ceratopsid eggs.

Palaeontologists now know that the eggs the American Museum of Natural History field team found were actually laid by an oviraptorosaur, a clade of very bird-like dinosaurs which will be forever referred to as “egg thief lizards”.

The Wild Past Protoceratops Model is Supplied with a Nest Reflecting Recent Fossil Discoveries

Wild Past Protoceratops dinosaur model.

The Wild Past Protoceratops dinosaur model with nest.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Comparing Triceratops and Protoceratops

Two ceratopsids together.

The Wild Safari Prehistoric World Triceratops model is used to show the size of the Wild Past Protoceratops.  In the Everything Dinosaur YouTube video review, the use of the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Triceratops as a reference for the scale of the Wild Past Protoceratops is commented upon.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of Wild Past prehistoric animal models including the Wild Past Protoceratops andrewsiWild Past Prehistoric Animals.

To visit Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel: Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.

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7 06, 2020

Two New Transitional Ceratopsids – Knitting Together Horned Dinosaurs

By | June 7th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Two New Transitional Horned Dinosaurs – Navajoceratops sullivani and Terminocavus sealeyi

In the last few days, a scientific paper has been published that proposes a direct evolutionary link between Pentaceratops and the younger chasmosaurine Anchiceratops.  The idea that there was a link between Pentaceratops (P. sternbergii) which roamed the New Mexico portion of Laramidia around 75.3 million years ago and Anchiceratops (A. ornatus) which lived much further north (Alberta, Canada), between 72 and 71 million years ago, had been proposed for more than two decades.  This newly published paper names two transitional species – Navajoceratops sullivani and Terminocavus sealeyi, plus describes another new ceratopsid, simply named taxon C.  Between them, these new horned dinosaurs help to fill the gap (literally) in chasmosaurine evolution.

Forming Links in an Evolutionary Chain – From Pentaceratops to Anchiceratops

An evolutionary lineage linking chasmosaurines

The two new  horned dinosaurs together with an undescribed taxon form a vital link in the transition of chasmosaurine ceratopsids linking Utahceratops, Pentaceratops and Anchiceratops into an evolutionary lineage.

Picture Credit: Ville Sinkkonen & Denver Fowler

It’s All About the Embayment

The Ceratopsidae in North America during the Late Cretaceous (Campanian and Maastrichtian faunal stages), diversified and evolved into many different forms.  Two great subfamilies emerged the Centrosaurinae and the Chasmosaurinae.  The evolutionary links between these two subfamilies and between the genera associated within each subfamily, has generated a great deal of discussion.  These dinosaurs are famous for their large skulls with their elaborate, extravagant head shields and horns.  Palaeontologists use the differences in the shape, orientation and size of these frills and adornments to determine one species from another.

Although, using the symmetry of the frill of a horned dinosaur to determine a new species can be controversial: Styracosaurus Provides a Head’s up When it Comes to Naming New Ceratopsids.

The problems recently highlighted with the discovery of a Styracosaurus with an asymmetrical skull notwithstanding, authors Dr Denver Fowler of the Badlands Dinosaur Museum and Dr Elizabeth Freedman Fowler (Dickinson State University, North Dakota), propose that these three new chasmosaurines, all from the Kirtland Formation of New Mexico, form a morphological succession between Pentaceratops from the older Fruitland Formation of New Mexico and Anchiceratops from the geologically much younger Horseshoe Canyon Formation of Alberta.

The Closing of the Notch in the Frill of Pentaceratops 

New study links Pentaceratops to Anchiceratops

A newly published scientific paper plots step changes in frill shape that suggests a line of evolutionary descent from Pentaceratops to Anchiceratops via several “transitional genera”.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Shape of the Frills Backed by the Stratigraphy

Significantly, the scientists were able to plot a gradual change in the shape of the horned dinosaurs frills, essentially the gradual and successive filling in of a deep notch at the top of the frill (the embayment).  Anchiceratops did not have a notch at the top of its frill and the researchers demonstrate that two new partial skull specimens found in rocks intermediate in age between Pentaceratops and Anchiceratops were also intermediate in shape, showing how the notch in the frill became even deeper through time and eventually closed in on itself, explaining the lack of a notch in Anchiceratops.

Writing in the open access journal PeerJ, the researchers note that this step change in frill shape is observed in chasmosaurines that do not overlap stratigraphically.  This suggests that over hundreds of thousands of years, species evolved from a direct line of descent.  In biology, this is termed anagenesis – the slow and steady evolution of species in a sequence that forms a direct line of evolutionary descent without any obvious branching.

Two New Chasmosaurine Dinosaurs from the Kirtland Formation of New Mexico

Navajoceratops and Terminocavus life reconstructions.

Two new chasmosaurine dinosaurs from the Hunter Wash member of the Kirtland Formation of New Mexico.

Picture Credit: Ville Sinkkonen & Denver Fowler

A Five Million Year Evolutionary Line

The two newly named horned dinosaurs Terminocavus sealeyi and Navajoceratops sullivani along with other chasmosaurine specimens from the Farmington and De-na-zin Members of the Kirtland Formation (Taxon C), form a sequence of horned dinosaur evolution, stretching over five million years from Utahceratops to Pentaceratops and on to Anchiceratops.

Navajoceratops sullivani is named in honour of the Navajo people who are synonymous with New Mexico.  The species name honours the now retired, Dr Robert Sullivan who led the field expedition that resulted in the discovery of the Navajoceratops fossil material.  The name translates as “Sullivan’s Navajo horned face”.

Terminocavus sealeyi translates as “Sealey’s closing cavity”, after fossil collector Paul Sealey who found the holotype and due to the fact that the notch in the skull frill is fully closed.

Holotype Parietal Frills of Terminocavus and Navajoceratops

The parietal frills of Navajoceratops and Terminoscavus.

Holotype specimens (parietal frills) of the two new genera, showing line of evolutionary descent and a not to scale silhouette to represent the actual dinosaur.  Although the specimens are fragmentary, both include the diagnostic posterior border of the parietal which permitted evolutionary comparisons to be made.

Picture Credit: Ville Sinkkonen & Denver Fowler with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

An Evolutionary Split

The researchers conclude that fossil material previously assigned to Pentaceratops should be examined once more as it may not represent this taxon.  Furthermore, they suggest that there was a splitting event deep in the evolutionary history of the Chasmosaurinae subfamily, after which the Pentaceratops lineage evolved a progressively deepening of the parietal notch in the frill, in contrast to a sister group, the Chasmosaurus lineage which evolved a progressively shallower notch.  The authors propose that encroachment by the Western Interior Seaway around 85-83 million years ago, effectively cut-off dinosaur populations, with a northern and southern population isolated from each other.  This permitted two distinct lineages of chasmosaurines to evolve.  When the sea retreated around 83 million years ago the two populations were able to mix again.

The isolation of northern and southern dinosaur populations during the Santonian faunal stage as a result of rising sea levels provides an explanatory mechanism.  This mechanism in which high sea level isolated northern and southern dinosaur populations for a period of 1 to 4 million years, lays the foundation for an evolutionary splitting event and provides an explanatory mechanism for the apparent differences between northern and southern dinosaur faunas in the Late Cretaceous of western North America.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from Dickinson Museum Centre (North Dakota) in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Transitional evolutionary forms in chasmosaurine ceratopsid dinosaurs: evidence from the Campanian of New Mexico” by Denver W. Fowler and Elizabeth A. Freedman Fowler in PeerJ.

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6 06, 2020

Saying Thanks to Subscribers and Social Media Followers

By | June 6th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Newsletters, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Saying Thanks to Subscribers and Social Media Followers

It has been a challenging time for us all (COVID-19), we are certainly a long way from getting back to normal, whatever the new “normal” might mean.  We hope that all our customers and friends are staying safe and well.  We want to pass on our thoughts and sympathies to all those people who have been affected by this outbreak.  This is a very difficult time for everyone.

At Everything Dinosaur, we know how important it is to keep spirits up.  So, we are offering our customers and friends a chance to win one of three, unique signed dinosaur books!

It’s our way of saying thank you to our customers, newsletter subscribers, followers and social media fans.

Running a Special Competition to Help our Customers, Friends, Subscribers, Followers and Supporters

Win a unique, signed dinosaur book with Everything Dinosaur.

Everything Dinosaur runs a special competition for its newsletter subscribers and Facebook fans.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Thank You from Everything Dinosaur

We have three signed copies of the brilliant “Dinosaurs how they lived and evolved” by Darren Naish and Paul M. Barrett to give away in our free to enter contest.  Simply visit Everything Dinosaur on Facebook, “like our page” and leave a comment suggesting a name for the dinosaur featured on the front cover of this exciting new book.

Win A Signed Copy of “Dinosaurs how they lived and evolved”

Win a dinosaur book!

Win a signed copy of “Dinosaurs how they lived and evolved” by Darren Naish and Paul M. Barrett.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The competition closes at midnight (BST) on Sunday June 14th.  We wish everyone the very best of luck in Everything Dinosaur’s special competition.

For full rules, terms and conditions, please refer to this blog post here: Dinosaur Book Competition – Details, Terms and Conditions.

Subscribe to Everything Dinosaur’s Newsletter

The competition is free to enter and open to all.  As a special thank you to Everything Dinosaur’s newsletter subscribers, a special e-news bulletin was sent out informing them of the book contest and inviting them to take part. After all, it is not very often that you get the chance to win an autographed book about dinosaurs.

Dinosaur Book Contest – Win a Signed Copy

A free to enter competition organised by Everything Dinosaur.

Win a signed copy of “Dinosaurs how they lived and evolved” by Darren Naish and Paul M. Barrett courtesy of Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Signed by Darren Naish

Co-author Darren Naish has produced a special dinosaur drawing inside the front cover of each of the three books, making each copy truly unique.

A Truly Unique Dinosaur Book

A signed copy of "Dinosaurs how they lived and evolved" is up for grabs.

Win a signed copy of “Dinosaurs how they lived and evolved” by Darren Naish and Paul Barrett.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To enter, just visit Everything Dinosaur on Facebook, find the competition posting (at the top of the page for the duration of the contest), “like” our page and then provide a name for the Tianyulong dinosaur that is featured on the book’s front cover.  Remember, you have until midnight (BST) 14th June 2020 to enter!

Visit Everything Dinosaur on Facebook: Everything Dinosaur on Facebook.

To subscribe to Everything Dinosaur’s newsletter, simply email the company and request subscription: Email Everything Dinosaur to Subscribe to Newsletters.

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5 06, 2020

Brachiosaurus Takes a Break

By | June 5th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

A Stroll with a Brachiosaurus

In between the showers, team members at Everything Dinosaur took the opportunity to take some photographs of various different types of sauropod dinosaur model outdoors.  We had been asked by a collector working on an educational project to provide some illustrations of Jurassic sauropods.  Our team members were happy to oblige and we took several shots of various diplodocids, cetiosaurs, mamenchisaurids and members of the Macronaria.  For example, one macronarian that has been photographed by Everything Dinosaur is the Wild Safari Brachiosaurus dinosaur model.

A Brachiosaurus Dinosaur Model Going for a Stroll

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Brachiosaurus.

Wild Safari Prehistoric World Brachiosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Introduced in 2013, this Brachiosaurus figure is similar in colouration and design to the huge Carnegie Collection 1:40 scale Brachiosaurus that was retired back in 2007.  This model, being much smaller, is more economical to produce and better for small children than its heavy and unwieldy Carnegie Collection predecessor.

It may not be huge, but this model still measures over 20 centimetres in length and the head stands a fraction under 21 cm tall.

The Wild Safari Brachiosaurus Model

Wild Safari Brachiosaurus dinosaur model.

A studio shot of the Wild Safari Brachiosaurus model which was first introduced in 2013.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The colouration and mottled markings on the Brachiosaurus certainly helped it to blend into the background of ferns.  It is likely that newly hatched sauropod dinosaurs were camouflaged to help them hide in the undergrowth to avoid the attention of predators.  Over the years, we have built up quite a portfolio of various dinosaur models and prehistoric animal figures.  We were happy to email them over to assist with the educational project.

The Official Image from 2013 of the Wild Safari Brachiosaurus Figure

Wild Safari Brachosaurus dinosaur model.

The Wild Safari Brachiosaurus dinosaur model (lateral view).  The official model image from 2013.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An International Dinosaur Company

A photograph can say more than words, which is very helpful when Everything Dinosaur has many customers overseas.  As well as taking photographs of various prehistoric animal figures it was suggested that we participated in the educational programme, providing information about the history of dinosaur research and talking about our own company.  We get lots of requests along these lines and if time permits we try to help where we can.

To view the Wild Safari Brachiosaurus dinosaur model and the rest of the long-necked dinosaurs in the model range from Safari Ltd: Wild Safari Prehistoric World Models and Figures.

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4 06, 2020

Borealopelta was a Fussy Eater

By | June 4th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Borealopelta markmitchelli Stomach Contents Analysed

The stomach contents of a giant armoured dinosaur which was named and described in 2017, have revealed what this herbivore ate just hours before it died.  The incredibly rare fossilised stomach contents indicate that the 5.5 metre-long Borealopelta markmitchelli was a fussy eater, selecting one type of fern but ignoring others.  The charcoal preserved with the stomach remains also reveals that this dinosaur was probably picking over the fresh growth following a recent forest fire, a behaviour seen amongst many large extant herbivores.  Growth rings identified in a small twig inside the dinosaur’s body cavity suggest that this dinosaur died in the late spring/mid-summer.

Borealopelta markmitchelli Life Reconstruction – The Last Day of a Nodosaur

Borealopelta markmitchelli life reconstruction.

The last day of a nodosaur. Borealopelta markmitchelli life reconstruction.  Stomach contents reveal that the dinosaur selectively grazed ferns in an area that was recovering from a recent wildfire.

Picture Credit: Julius Csotonyi

The Cololite Reveals All

Writing on the open-access, The Royal Society publishing platform, the scientists which include Caleb Brown and Donald Henderson from the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology (Alberta), along with colleagues from Brandon University (Manitoba) and the University of Saskatchewan, provide a detailed analysis of the stomach contents of Borealopelta markmitchelli, the most comprehensive direct evidence of diet in an herbivorous Mesozoic dinosaur, helping palaeontologists to better understand the palaeoecology of armoured dinosaurs.

Direct evidence of diet in herbivorous dinosaurs is exceptionally rare in the fossil record, but with this beautifully preserved Borealopelta specimen, the presence of a cololite (fossil stomach or intestinal contents), permitted the team to conduct a forensic examination of the dinosaur’s last meal.

The small ankylosaur Kunbarrasaurus ieversi from the Early Cretaceous of Australia, which was named in 2015, is described as preserving a cololite within the abdominal cavity (specimen number QMF18101).  Whilst the Kunbarrasaurus material has proved not to be as diagnostic as the cololite associated with Borealopelta, its location in relation to the body, does help to support the idea that the football-sized mass found with Borealopelta does indeed represent stomach contents.

The Stomach Contents of Borealopelta and Kunbarrasaurus

The stomach contents (cololite location and analysis).

Borealopelta stomach contents.  Photograph (a) and line drawing (b) in dorsal view, with (c) showing location of cololite and body outline.  Photograph (d) shows a close view of the abdominal mass, whilst (e) shows comparable line drawing.  Kunbarrasaurus line drawing scaled to Borealopelta showing relative size and cololite position.  Note solid orange, observed cololite; hatched orange, inferred cololite. A, anterior; L, lateral. Scale bars in (a,b,c,f) are 1 m, and in (d,e) are 10 cm.

Picture Credit: Brown et al (Royal Society Open Science)

Analysing the Cololite

Seven thin sections of the cololite were prepared which permitted the scientists to examine the cololite at a microscopic level.

The last meal of Borealopelta consisted of 88% leaf material, with a 7% minor stem/twigs component.  Ferns dominated the leaf section and the bits of twigs showed distinct growth rings.  In one of the twigs studied, the outermost ring is incomplete, this provides evidence for the time of year when the dinosaur died.  Based on the incomplete growth ring, the researchers conclude that Borealopelta met its death in the late spring to mid-summer.

Carefully Prepared Slides Reveal the Dinosaur’s Last Meal at the Microscopic Level

Slide showing Borealopelta stomach contents.

Wide views (top and bottom panels) showing abundance of plant material found in the histology slides of the cololite sample.  In both, (a) sporangia, (b) leaf cuticle with stomata present, (c) gastroliths, (d) woody material, (e) leaf cross-sections and (f) sclerenchyma.  Top, slide 3; bottom, slide 6. Scale bars = 200 µm.

Picture Credit: Brown et al (Royal Society Open Science)

Borealopelta was a Fussy Eater

The leaf fraction of the cololite is dominated (85%) by leptosporangiate ferns (subclass Polypodiidae), the largest group of ferns alive today.  Although cycad remains were also found, they only represented 3% of the total amount.  Trace amounts of foliage associated with conifers was also discovered.  The researchers conclude that Borealopelta was selectively feeding on ferns, preferring to consume leptosporangiate ferns to the exclusion of Osmundaceae and eusporangiate ferns such as Marattiaceae with incidental consumption of cycad–cycadophyte and conifer leaves.

To gain an understanding of the ancient flora in Borealopelta’s habitat, the researchers were able to determine what food plants were available to Borealopelta by studying the fossil leaves found in the contemporaneous Gates Formation, a rock unit exposed in coal mines in the Rocky Mountain foothills.  This rock unit also preserves trackways left by armoured dinosaurs and is approximately the same age as the sediments that preserved Borealopelta.  In addition, the fossils of a small mollusc Murraia naiadiformis has been recorded from both the upper McMurray Formation (B. markmitchelli is known from the marine Wabiskaw Member of the fully marine Clearwater Formation which overlies the McMurray Formation) and the Gates Formation, supporting the idea that there is a link between these two depositional environments.

Some charcoal fragments were found as well, indicating that this nodosaur was feeding in an environment that had recently been burned.  This aligns with growing evidence that forest fires were very common in the conifer and cycad-dominated forests around the world during the Early Cretaceous.  This may also suggest the animal’s feeding ecology is linked to forest regrowth after a wildfire, such feeding behaviour is commonly observed in large herbivores alive today.

Comparison of the Cololite following Thin Section Microscopic Analysis

Composition of the Borealopelta cololite.

Composition of the cololite following microscopic analysis.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The scientists are confident that given the exceptional state of preservation of Borealopelta, the fossil will yield further information helping palaeontologists to learn more about the Early Cretaceous environment of Alberta and the behaviour of armoured dinosaurs.

To read an Everything Dinosaur blog post about countershading identified in B. markmitchelliAmazing Armoured Dinosaur Fossil Reveals Countershading.

Although, Borealopelta weighed around 1.3 tonnes, this nodosaurid was bristling with defensive armour.  It was big, but in North America 110 million years ago there must have been a super-sized dinosaur predator capable of taking down such a monster.  Scientists remain puzzled, here is an article that examines the beautifully preserved armour of Borealopelta and speculates on the theropods that shared its environment: The Armour of Borealopelta markmitchelli.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the Royal Tyrrell Museum in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Dietary palaeoecology of an Early Cretaceous armoured dinosaur (Ornithischia; Nodosauridae) based on floral analysis of stomach contents” by Caleb M. Brown, David R. Greenwood, Jessica E. Kalyniuk, Dennis R. Braman, Donald M. Henderson, Cathy L. Greenwood and James F. Basinger published by Royal Society Open Science.

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