Everything Dinosaur team members are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Beasts of the Mesozoic Wave 2 ceratopsian figures. There are going to be another nine articulated, horned dinosaur models added to this exciting range and the shipment of models is already on the water heading to our warehouse. However, unlike other companies, we like to offer a little more with every Beasts of the Mesozoic model that we supply. Everything Dinosaur customers receive a fact sheet to accompany their Beasts of the Mesozoic ceratopsian. As a result, we have been reviewing existing data sheets and preparing three new ones specifically for Spiclypeus (S. shipporum), Wendiceratops (W. pinhornensis) and Avaceratops (A. lammersi).
Our work also involves us commissioning illustrations of dinosaurs so we can include a scale drawing in our fact sheet.
Helping to Educate and Inform
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“We might have had to stop our school visits due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we still have at the very heart of this business the ethos of helping to educate and inform. For all the Beasts of the Mesozoic articulated figures we have a fact sheet available that tells customers something about the science behind the model. We have all the first wave of the Ceratopsia covered and shortly we will have completed our work on the data sheets required for Wave 2.”
The spokesperson added that these new articulated dinosaur models would be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in early May (2021).
A new species of titanosaur has been named and described this week based on a partial skeleton unearthed in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The dinosaur has been named Arackar licanantay which translates as “Atacama bones” in the indigenous Kunza language.
The Second Titanosaur from Chile to be Named
As far as Everything Dinosaur team members are aware, this is the second titanosaur to be named and described from fossil remains found in Chile. The first was Atacamatitan chilensis, fossils of which were discovered at the beginning of this century. Although Atacamatitan is only known from fragmentary remains, the alignment, shape and skeletal position of the femur in relation to the hips are very similar to that of Arackar, so, Atacamatitan was probably closely related to Arackar licanantay, although its fossilised remains were found many hundreds of miles to the north.
Three Chilean Dinosaurs to Date
In total, three non-avian dinosaurs have been described from fossil remains discovered in Chile. The other dinosaur making up this trio is the peculiar Chilesaurus (Chilesaurus diegosuarezi), which is know from Jurassic deposits in the Aysén region of southern Chile. To read about the discovery of Chilesaurus: Chilesaurus – Shaking the Dinosaur Family Tree.
Arackar licanantay – “Atacameño Bones”
Writing in the journal “Cretaceous Research”, scientists from the National Museum of Natural History (Chile), the Palaeontological Network of the University of Chile and the Dinosaur Laboratory of the National University of Cuyo describe a partial skeleton from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian–Maastrichtian) beds of the Hornitos Formation, Atacama Region, of northern Chile. The holotype material consists of cervical and dorsal vertebrae along with limb bones and the ischium. The dinosaur’s name translates as “Atacameño bones” in the language of the indigenous Kunza people.
A Sub-adult Specimen
The fossils were found in the 1990s by national geologist Carlos Arévalo (National Geology and Mining Service), at a site around 45 miles south of the city of Copiapó, (Atacama Region). The bones represent a sub-adult individual estimated to have been around 6.3 metres in length. Although the adult size of Arackar is not known, it has been suggested that when fully grown, this herbivorous dinosaur would have been around 8-9 metres long, relatively small for a titanosaur.
Arackar was certainly no giant unlike other titanosaurs such as Dreadnoughtus, Notocolossus or Argentinosaurus which lived millions of years earlier. The discovery of this dinosaur helps to support the idea that towards the end of the Cretaceous (Campanian to Maastrichtian stages), these types of dinosaurs got smaller, perhaps in response to climate change.
The fossil site might be located in one of the driest parts of the world, but when Arackar roamed (sometime between 80 and 66 million years ago, the age of the Hornitos Formation is uncertain), the climate was much more humid with the lush vegetation consisting of many types of flowering plant (angiosperms), conifers such as araucarias and podocarpaceae as well as ferns and cycads.
Chile may have only three non-avian dinosaurs described to date, but the scientists are confident that many more genera will be named. For example, close to the Arackar fossils, the remains of a second, as yet undescribed titanosaur were discovered.
Commenting on the significance of this discovery, Consuelo Valdés, the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage stated:
“This finding is a relevant opportunity to learn about and disseminate the value of our country’s palaeontological heritage, which is unique in the world. But, at the same time, we hope to motivate curiosity and interest in research in children and young people. Chile in the extreme north and south has palaeontological treasures still hidden in layers many millions of years old. These bones can tell the story of the animals and plants that have lived in our country long before the first human groups arrived here.”
South America – Home to the Titanosaurs
The scientific description of Arackar licanantay may have important implications for the taxonomy and phylogeny of the clade of derived and advanced titanosaurs known as the Lithostrotia. Of the eighty or so genera of titanosaurs named and described so far, fifty-five come from South America but most have been found to the east of the Andes in Brazil and Argentina.
Unique autapomorphies (traits) in the skeleton such as the shape of the dorsal vertebrae that would have given this dinosaur a very straight withers and back indicate that A. licanantay is not only closely related to Chile’s other titanosaur – Atacamatitan chilensis, but also to Rapetosaurus from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar and Isisaurus (from India).
Co-author of the paper, Alexander Vargas (Palaeontological Network of the University of Chile), commented that it would be helpful if palaeontologists could understand the biogeographical distribution that allowed related titanosaurs to be so widespread.
Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the Universidad de Chile in the compilation of this article.
The scientific paper: “Arackar licanantay gen. et sp. nov. a new lithostrotian (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of the Atacama Region, northern Chile” by David Rubilar-Rogers, Alexander O. Vargas, Bernardo González Riga, Sergio Soto-Acuña, Jhonatan Alarcón-Muñoz, José Iriarte-Díaz, Carlos Arévalo and Carolina S. Gutstein published in Cretaceous Research.
The new for 2021 CollectA Deluxe Mamenchisaurus dinosaur model is now in stock at Everything Dinosaur. This is one of the biggest sauropod figures that CollectA have made and this beautifully detailed replica has certainly impressed model fans and collectors.
Scale Dinosaur Model
CollectA have declared a scale of 1:100 for their Mamenchisaurus. As the model measures around 40 cm in length this figure represents a dinosaur that would have measured approximately 40 metres, this is perhaps a little too large for most of the Mamenchisaurus species named to date.
The model has been exquisitely designed. The neck is slightly curved and the small head is turned towards the animal’s left shoulder. This pose gives the model a more natural look, the animal is moving along and looking towards its left as it walks. The head has been beautifully crafted, the nostrils are visible and the mouth is open displaying the small teeth. There were teeth present all along the jawline and this has been accurately portrayed in the CollectA model.
Fine Detail of Scales and Dermal Armour
As well as having a row of prominent spikes that descend from the back of the head down to the end of the tail, the design team at CollectA have added rows of raised scutes along the neck, flanks and down the tail of the figure. There is much to be admired in the fine skin texture and the limbs have been proportioned to reflect the fossil record. The claws and toes have been painted in the same tan tone as the spikes and this realistic dinosaur model has been given a cloaca.
An Asian Sauropod
It is refreshing to see CollectA create a scale model of a Chinese sauropod rather than a replica of a sauropod associated with western North America and the Morrison Formation. Due to the large number of fossils assigned to this genus, thanks to huge numbers of bones found in Shaximiao Formation exposures (Sichuan Province, China), Mamenchisaurus is one of the best known of all the Jurassic members of the Sauropoda. It is great to see a mainstream manufacturer such as CollectA make a model of this dinosaur.
The figure has been given a small defensive club on the end of its tail, reminiscent of Shunosaurus. There may be some debate as to whether this dinosaur possessed such a club, fused caudal vertebrae in at least one specimen does suggest that a tail club was present.
All in all, this is a very detailed model and it is a very welcome addition to the CollectA Deluxe model range.
Team members at Everything Dinosaur have been asked to cast their eyes over a display panel being prepared to accompany an exhibition featuring the bizarre South American sauropod Amargasaurus.
“Reptile from Amarga Canyon”
Known from a single, partial skeleton discovered in 1984 in northern Patagonia (La Amarga Formation), Amargasaurus was related to Diplodocus although it was much smaller measuring around 10 metres in length with an estimated weight of approximately 5 tonnes.
Unlike most other sauropods, the neck was disproportionately short and it was probably a specialist browser of small trees and bushes, a feeding strategy that prevented it from competing directly with the numerous other types of sauropod dinosaur that shared its habitat.
This dinosaur had two rows of tall, thin spines sticking up from the vertebrae that ran from the top of the head down to the base of the short neck. These spines then tapered into a single row of smaller spines that continued down the animal’s back to the tail. When first scientifically described in 1991, it was suggested that these spines were defensive weapons used to deter attacks from predators or in combat between rivals. Some palaeontologists have suggested that these spines supported skin membranes that formed two parallel sail-like structures. These sails could have played a role in thermoregulation, visual communication between herd members or perhaps they were used in courtship displays.
The discovery in northern Patagonia, of the closely related Bajadasaurus with its equally spiky array of neck spines that curve forward towards the head has led some palaeontologists to conclude that the neck spikes on these dinosaurs were indeed primarily defensive structures.
The first of the new for 2021 CollectA prehistoric animal models are in stock at Everything Dinosaur. Team members have been busy contacting all those customers who wanted to be emailed when these figures came into stock.
Mamenchisaurus (CollectA Deluxe)
By far the largest figure, in fact the biggest dinosaur model that CollectA will introduce this year is the Mamenchisaurus. It measures around 40 cm in length and that well-proportioned and detailed head stands some 24 cm high. CollectA state that this figure is in approximately 1:100 scale, so the figure represents a specimen around 40 metres long. This suggests that when creating this replica, the design team at CollectA had in mind one of the larger species known from this genus such as Mamenchisaurus sinocanadorum.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur praised CollectA for adding a model of this sauropod to their model range.
CollectA know what fans of dinosaurs like to see, lots of gore and blood and the new for 2021 CollectA Brontosaurus prey does not disappoint. It has been beautifully sculpted and depicts a deceased sauropod that is in the process of being consumed by a large theropod dinosaur, perhaps a member of the allosaur family. This would be appropriate as last year, CollectA introduced a model of an Allosaurus roaring.
Formally named and described in 2019, Kamuysaurus continues the CollectA trend to include dinosaurs known from Japan in their product portfolio. Although known only from a single specimen, the fossils found represent a considerable proportion of the skeleton and as a result Kamuysaurus has been confidently assigned to the Edmontosaurini tribe.
Two British Dinosaurs
The other two models that have just arrived in stock are the Megalosaurus in ambush figure and the Neovenator scenting prey. Both these dinosaurs are associated with Britain, although Megalosaurus has become a bit of a taxonomic waste basket over the last 200 years or so since this dinosaur was scientifically described.
Replacing Earlier CollectA Models
The new for 2021 Megalosaurus and the new Neovenator figures replace earlier sculpts in the CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular range that were introduced around ten years ago. The models have been updated to more accurately represent the known skeletal material and the dinosaurs have been given lips to reflect the current debate about this amongst palaeontologists.
PNSO have announced that they will be adding a model of the bone-headed dinosaur Pachycephalosaurus to their mid-size model range. Say hello to Austin the Pachycephalosaurus, this exciting new for 2021 dinosaur model is likely to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in the early summer.
This new figure is a replica of Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis, the largest known member of the bone-headed dinosaur group (Pachycephalosauridae). The dinosaur model shows meticulous detail and has been exquisitely painted.
Model Measurements and Scale?
Austin the Pachycephalosaurus measures 17. 8 cm long and its beautifully detailed head is a fraction under 7 cm off the ground. PNSO does not publish a scale for their mid-size figures but based on an estimated length of P. wyomingensis of approximately 4.6 metres, this figure is in around 1:26 scale.
The Famous Hell Creek Formation
Pachycephalosaurus fossils (mostly cranial material), are associated with the famous Hell Creek Formation, although they are exceptionally rare compared to other ornithischians such as members of the Ceratopsidae and hadrosaurids. Austin the Pachycephalosaurus joins Doyle the Triceratops, Sede the Ankylosaurus and Wilson the T. rex dinosaur models in the PNSO portfolio that celebrates the dinosaur fauna of Hell Creek.
Available in the Summer
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that this figure was due to be announced at 10am on the 17th of April (Beijing time), but as images had been already leaked on-line by other companies, Everything Dinosaur received permission from PNSO to publish details about Austin the Pachycephalosaurus earlier than scheduled.
The PNSO Austin the Pachycephalosaurus is likely to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in the summer of 2021.
The Rebor Compsognathus longipes stained dissection replicas have been delayed. Neither the limited-edition C. longipes Victorian Goth stained dissection specimen or the other Rebor Oddities Compsognathus longipes preserved dissection specimen are going to be available tomorrow (16th April), as planned. Customers who had placed pre-orders for one or both of these eagerly anticipated figures were expecting to receive news of their availability. Everything Dinosaur had a release date of 16th April scheduled for these replicas. However, the shipment remains stuck in customs and neither ourselves or Rebor are able to obtain any information as to when these items will be released.
Global Logistics Badly Affected by the Pandemic
We do apologise for this, we are as frustrated as our customers are with regards to this situation. There are severe delays at most ports and global logistics remains under considerable strain due to the pandemic. Whilst we continue to work closely with the port authorities to work towards a resolution, there is, sadly, very little we can do at this moment and this issue is beyond our control. We have therefore decided to push back the release for this figure until May 13th (May 13th, 2021),
Team Members Working Hard to Find a Solution
Once again, we at Everything Dinosaur apologise for the inconvenience and we want to assure you that Rebor and ourselves are doing all we can to get these goods released and delivered to our warehouse.
The other Rebor Compsognathus longipes dissection specimen is also on the same shipment and therefore subject to the same delay. This product also had a release date of 16th April (tomorrow), but due to the on-going issue at the port we have also pushed back the release date for this figure until May 13th (May 13th, 2021).
Everything Dinosaur apologises for the inconvenience and we want to assure you that we are doing all we can to get these goods released and delivered to our warehouse.
At Everything Dinosaur, we work seven days a week and we are doing everything we can to try to resolve this problem. However, there is in reality very little we can do. We thank everyone for their patience and understanding at this difficult time.
Still Available for Pre-order
Ironically, both Rebor Oddities Compsognathus longipes figures are still available for pre-order. Whilst Everything Dinosaur will continue to honour all the pre-orders placed by customers for these models and they guarantee that customers will be given the chance to acquire one or both of these figures when they finally arrive in stock, there are a handful of these replicas still available.
To view the Rebor range available from Everything Dinosaur and to pre-order the Rebor Oddities Compsognathus models, visit this section of our website: Rebor Models and Figures.
PNSO intend to create a limited production of bronze Sinosauropteryx sculptures to commemorate the company having been in existence for ten years. Only fifty of the three hundred beautiful bronze Sinosauropteryx statues have been offered for sale outside China. Everything Dinosaur’s initial allocation was snapped up within hours, but the UK-based company has been offered a handful more of these highly sought after figures.
Only 300 Figures Made
The bronze figure is one of a series of designs created by Zhao Chuang and Yang Yang from PNSO. The piece is entitled Gallery Series Yuyan the Sinosauropteryx. It is made from bronze and 1:3 scale. Due to the weight of this item, it is not intended for general sale. However, because of Everything Dinosaur’s long term relationship with PNSO a few more bronze figures have been offered for sale.
Available Pre-order from Everything Dinosaur
Most of the figures have been snapped up by officials within China. Some are heading for museums and art collections. Only a very few have been offered for sale outside China and most of these have been already allocated.
The PNSO Yuyan the Sinosauropteryx 1:3 scale bronze sculpture is available on pre-order from Everything Dinosaur at £299.00 GBP including tax (if applicable) plus secure postage.
Here is a sneaky peek at the forthcoming edition of “Prehistoric Times” magazine, the quarterly publication aimed at fans of prehistoric animals, model collecting and artwork depicting dinosaurs and other long extinct creatures. This stunning illustration of interspecific combat within the Dinosauria will adorn the front cover of issue 137 (spring 2021).
“Prehistoric Times” Magazine
Editor Mike Fredericks, who sent Everything Dinosaur the front cover image says that issue 137 is going to be jam-packed with all the articles, artwork and features that makes this publication so popular.
“We have an interview with Glen McIntosh one of the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World animators who is also a great artist who designed the Indominus rex, plus much more.”
With the latest instalment of the “Jurassic Park/Jurassic World” movie franchise due to hit cinemas shortly, the timing of this interview could not have been better.
Look out for a special feature on the Late Cretaceous North American tyrannosaur Daspletosaurus, an apex predator known from Montana and Alberta.
Subscribe to Prehistoric Times
Team members at Everything Dinosaur recommend that blog readers subscribe to “Prehistoric Times”. Published four times a year, this is a fantastic magazine for followers of palaeoart, collectors of dinosaur models and for the general reader with an interest in prehistoric life.
An opposable thumb gives us apes a huge advantage, just ask a dog to hold a spoon for you, however, opposable thumbs are not just limited to gorillas, chimps, orangutans and our own genus Homo. Other apes have them too, as do some marsupials and tree frogs. In reality, opposed thumbs are rare in the Kingdom Animalia, but an international team of scientists including researchers from the University of Birmingham, have just described a new species of flying reptile and it’s the earliest example known to science of a vertebrate with an opposed thumb.
The new Jurassic pterosaur has been named Kunpengopterus antipollicatus, it was discovered in the Tiaojishan Formation of Liaoning, China.
It is a small-bodied darwinopteran pterosaur, with an estimated wingspan of 85 cm. Most importantly, the specimen was preserved with an opposed pollex (“thumb”) on both hands. The species name “antipollicatus” means “opposite thumbed” in ancient Greek, in light of the opposed thumb of the new species. This is the first discovery of a pterosaur with an opposed thumb. It also represents the earliest record of a true opposed thumb in the fossil record.
Kunpengopterus lived in a forested environment approximately 160 million years ago. It was nicknamed “monkeydactyl” as a true opposed thumb (pollex) is extremely rare amongst extant reptiles, only chameleons possess opposed thumbs. They use their thumbs to help them climb, the researchers writing in the academic publication “Current Biology”, also suggest that Kunpengopterus evolved such dexterity to help it to climb.
In order to test the arboreal interpretation, the team analysed K. antipollicatus and other pterosaurs using a set of anatomical characters related to arboreal adaptation. The results support K. antipollicatus as an arboreal species, but not the other pterosaurs from the same ecosystem. This suggests niche-partitioning among these pterosaurs and provides the first quantitative evidence supporting the theory that at least some darwinopteran pterosaurs were arboreal.
Minimising Competition Amongst Pterosaurs
Lead author Xuanyu Zhou (China University of Geosciences) commented:
“Tiaojishan palaeoforest is home to many organisms, including three genera of darwinopteran pterosaurs. Our results show that K. antipollicatus has occupied a different niche from Darwinopterus and Wukongopterus, which has likely minimised competition among these pterosaurs.”
Micro-CT Imaging Assists in Discovery
Fion Waisum Ma, co-author of the study and PhD researcher (University of Birmingham) explained:
“The fingers of “Monkeydactyl” are tiny and partly embedded in the slab. Thanks to micro-CT scanning, we could see through the rocks, create digital models and tell how the opposed thumb articulates with the other finger bones. This is an interesting discovery. It provides the earliest evidence of a true opposed thumb, and it is from a pterosaur – which wasn’t known for having an opposed thumb”.
Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a press release from the University of Birmingham in the compilation of this article.
The scientific paper: “A new darwinopteran pterosaur reveals arborealism and an opposed thumb” by Xuanyu Zhou, Rodrigo V. Pêgas, Waisum Ma, Xuefang Wei, Caizhi Shen and Shu’an Ji published in Current Biology.