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4 11, 2020

Eofauna Triceratops Models Available for Pre-Order

By | November 4th, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|1 Comment

Eofauna Triceratops Models Available for Pre-Order

The two Eofauna Triceratops models are available for pre-order from Everything Dinosaur.   These beautiful 1:35 scale models of an as yet undescribed Triceratops species (Cryptic and Dominant) are expected to be in stock around late February 2021, but dinosaur fans and model collectors can pre-order these figures at Everything Dinosaur.

The Two New Triceratops Dinosaur Models from Eofauna Scientific Research (Cryptic and Dominant)

Eofauna Scientific Research Triceratops dinosaur models.

The Eofauna Scientific Research 1:35 scale Triceratops models do battle (Cryptic and Dominant).

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

An Undescribed Species

In the past, palaeontologists recognised many different species of Triceratops, however, today, most scientists agree that there are two described species, Triceratops horridus and the geologically younger Triceratops prorsus.  The Triceratops genus is associated with the Hell Creek Formation of North America and there is strong evidence to suggest that over the two million years or so that these strata represent, there was another species, a sort of intermediate form between T. horridus and T. prorsus.

For a more complete explanation, take a look at our blog post revealing the sixth model in the Eofauna series: Eofauna Announce a Triceratops.

To read our 2014 article that looks at the evidence for anagenesis in the Triceratops genus: How Triceratops got its Horns and Beak.

Two Triceratops Models

As we have two described species of this famous dinosaur at present, it is fitting that those talented people at Eofauna have produced two colour variants of this exciting replica.

  • Eofauna Scientific Research Triceratops “Dominant” with a brown coloured frill and brown limbs.
  • Eofauna Scientific Research Triceratops “Cryptic” with a blue tinge to the frill and blue coloured limbs.

Eofauna Scientific Research Triceratops “Cryptic”

Eofauna Triceratops (Cryptic).

The Eofauna Triceratops sp. model (Cryptic).  The green coloured legs are a result of the lighting used in the studio and the exposure, the model’s legs have a blue tinge matching the blue colour of the head shield.

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research

Triceratops Model Measurements

The Triceratops figure, the third dinosaur model in this series, following the Giganotosaurus and the Atlasaurus that were both introduced in 2019, measures approximately 20 cm long.  Those impressive brow horns stand a little over 13 cm high.  The figures have a declared scale of 1:35.

As well as each individual model being available for pre-order (as of early November 2020), Everything Dinosaur will be selling both “Cryptic” and “Dominant” together as a pair at a special offer price.  These models are scheduled to arrive in late February 2021.

The Eofauna Triceratops Model “Dominant”

Eofauna Scientific Research dinosaur model "Dominant" Triceratops.

The Eofauna Scientific Research Triceratops dinosaur model – “Dominant”.

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research

Both models should arrive at Everything Dinosaur’s website in late February 2021.

To pre-order either “Cryptic” or “Dominant” or to pre-order the pair of Eofauna Triceratops dinosaur models: Pre-order Eofauna Triceratops Models Here.

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3 11, 2020

Mapping the Brain of an Early Dinosaur

By | November 3rd, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Buriolestes schultzi – A Relatively “Smart” Sauropodomorph

The huge sauropods such as Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Mamenchisaurus and Brontosaurus are not regarded as particularly clever animals.  Their brains were extremely small when compared to their huge body sizes, therefore any consideration of a “smart” sauropod is greatly undermined by their miniscule encephalisation quotient (ratio of brain size to body size).  However, this lineage of lizard-hipped dinosaurs survived for over a 130 million years and they were extremely successful being both speciose and geographically widespread.

A newly published paper provides an insight into the evolutionary development of the brains of these types of dinosaurs.  Writing in the academic “Journal of Anatomy” scientists report upon the study of the near perfectly preserved neurocranium of Buriolestes schultzi, a member of the Sauropodomorpha known from the Carnian faunal stage of the Late Triassic of Brazil.  The researchers conclude that although the brain of this emu-sized dinosaur was very small, it probably had acute vision and fast reactions – very useful when you are actively pursuing prey.

A Life Reconstruction of the Triassic Sauropodomorph Buriolestes schultzi

A Life Reconstruction of Buriolestes schultzi.

Buriolestes schultzi life reconstruction.  Scientists believe that this Late Triassic sauropodomorph as an agile, predator with a brain adapted to a fast, cursorial, predatory lifestyle.

Picture Credit: Márcio L. Castro

A Well-developed Flocculus of the Cerebellum

Buriolestes roamed what is now the Rio Grande do Sul region of southern Brazil around 233 million years ago.  It was a lightweight, bipedal, omnivorous dinosaur part of a group whose descendants would evolve into the giant sauropods of the Jurassic and Cretaceous.  Researchers from the Federal University of Santa Maria in collaboration with colleagues from the Universidade de São Paulo (both institutions in Brazil), used computerised tomography to create a three-dimensional landscape of the inside of the skull of a fossil specimen in order to map the various regions of the brain.

They discovered that Buriolestes had a well-developed flocculus region of its cerebellum, a part of the brain linked to motor skills and co-ordination.  The analysis also revealed an elongated olfactory tract (related to sense of smell), combined to a relatively small pituitary gland, but the area of the brain associated with processing information from the eyes was much more sophisticated.  The researchers inferred that the eyes were essential in the pursuit of prey, that vision was the dominant sense of Buriolestes.

Mapping the Brain of a Late Triassic Sauropodomorph (B. schultzi)

The brain of Buriolestes schultzi.

A diagram showing the skull of Buriolestes schultzi and the skull along with a diagram of the dinosaur’s brain.

Picture Credit: Márcio L. Castro

Commenting on the research, one of the co-authors of the paper, palaeontologist Mario Bronzati (Universidade de São Paulo), stated:

“The dinosaur [Buriolestes] had a faunivorous diet.  Unlike a carnivore, which is restricted to eating meat from other animals, the faunivore also includes the ingestion of insects and other small invertebrate animals.  This characteristic, as well as its size, makes the species quite different from the most famous representatives of its lineage, the sauropod giants and herbivores which were the largest animals ever to walk the Earth.”

The team concluded that the characteristics of the brains of these types of dinosaurs changed dramatically as they evolved an entirely herbivorous diet and developed huge body sizes.  Whilst Buriolestes was an agile, swift hunter the later sauropods evolved brains more suited to their particular niche in dinosaur dominated terrestrial communities.

Jurassic sauropods such as Brontosaurus and Diplodocus had higher olfactory capabilities when compared to Buriolestes.   This more developed sense of smell is believed to play a role in foraging, helping plant-eaters to discriminate between digestible and indigestible vegetation.  Having a better sense of smell may also have been important in the later sauropods if they were social animals living in herds.  For example, higher olfactory capabilities are associated with vertebrates with more complex social behaviours, it is important for these herding animals to be able to detect and track chemical secretions.

The First Calculations of the Reptile Encephalization Quotient (REQ) for a Triassic Dinosaur

As well as providing information on how the brains sauropodomorphs evolved and changed over time, the researchers were able to plot the Reptile Encephalisation Quotient (REQ) for Buriolestes, the first time this has been calculated for a Triassic dinosaur.  The Reptile Encephalisation Quotient essentially correlates an animal’s physical characteristics with perceived intelligence, it provides an estimate of how “smart” an animal might be.

Time‐calibrated Reptile Encephalisation Quotient (REQ; 50%) of Selected Saurischians

Comparing the Reptile Encephalisation Quotient of selected saurischians.

Measuring the time-calibrated Reptile Encephalisation Quotient (REQ) of selected lizard-hipped dinosaurs.  The sauropodomorph Buriolestes had a higher REQ than later sauropods but its REQ was lower than the theropods included within the study.

Picture Credit: Müller et al (Journal of Anatomy)

The scientists found that B. schultzi had a REQ lower than most Jurassic theropod dinosaurs, but much higher than that of later, much larger sauropodomorphs.  Although, the lack of fossils to study prevents the researchers from comparing the REQ of Buriolestes with contemporaneous animals, the team do suggest that when Jurassic sauropods are considered, it could be that encephalisation tended to decline in this dinosaur lineage.

To read an early article (2016) about Buriolestes by Everything Dinosaur: When Did the Dinosaurs Dominate the Land?

The scientific paper: “The endocranial anatomy of Buriolestes schultzi (Dinosauria: Saurischia) and the early evolution of brain tissues in sauropodomorph dinosaurs” by Rodrigo T. Müller, José D. Ferreira, Flávio A. Pretto, Mario Bronzati and Leonardo Kerber published in the Journal of Anatomy.

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2 11, 2020

New PNSO Pachyrhinosaurus Dinosaur Model

By | November 2nd, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|2 Comments

New PNSO Pachyrhinosaurus Dinosaur Model

Today, we announce another new prehistoric animal model from PNSO.  It is another Ornithischian, but unlike the recently announced hadrosaurs (Lambeosaurus and Corythosaurus) and armoured dinosaurs (Borealopelta and Tuojiangosaurus), this replica is a horned dinosaur, a member of the Ceratopsia.  PNSO are going to introduce a model of a Pachyrhinosaurus into their mid-size model range.

PNSO Pachyrhinosaurus Dinosaur Model

PNSO Pachyrhinosaurus dinosaur model.

PNSO Brian the Pachyrhinosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

PNSO Brian the Pachyrhinosaurus

PNSO have named their new horned dinosaur model “Brian” and it is number 30 in the numerical register adopted for the Chinese company’s prehistoric animal figures.  It is a stunning replica with an amazingly detailed head.  The blue eyes are a stark contrast to the burnished reds and oranges that make up the ornamentation on the head shield.  Perhaps we should nickname this figure “blue-eyed Brian”.

A Close-up View of the Beautifully Designed PNSO Pachyrhinosaurus Dinosaur Model

PNSO Pachyrhinosaurus dinosaur model.

The PNSO Pachyrhinosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Measuring the Model

The Pachyrhinosaurus model measures a fraction over fifteen centimetres in length. The tip of that carefully crafted head shield is just under eight centimetres high.  Although PNSO do not declare a scale for their mid-size series figures, based on P. canadensis (the first species assigned to this genus), which is estimated to have been around six metres long, Everything Dinosaur team members calculate that this new dinosaur figure is in approximately 1:40 scale.

The Dinosaur’s Dimensions (PNSO “Brian” the Pachyrhinosaurus Model Measurements)

PNSO Pachyrhinosaurus model measurements.

The measurements of the PNSO Brian the Pachyrhinosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We have recently announced a number of new dinosaur and prehistoric animal models due to come out from PNSO.  Around three weeks ago, we announced that a new replica of the feathered dromaeosaurid Microraptor was coming into stock in November.  Subsequently, Everything Dinosaur has announced two hadrosaurs, (Caroline the Corythosaurus and Audrey the Lambeosaurus), along with two armoured dinosaurs (Gavin the Borealopelta and a replica of the Chinese stegosaur Tuojiangosaurus).  We have also recently confirmed that PNSO will be adding a replica of the bizarre marine reptile Atopodentatus to their mid-size model range.”

Although there are further models to be introduced, Brian the Pachyrhinosaurus is the only horned dinosaur.

The spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur confirmed that a shipment of PNSO figures, including the new Microraptor (Gaoyuan the Microraptor) was due to arrive at the company’s warehouse in the middle of the month (November 2020).  The other new PNSO replicas will be in stock, most likely in late December or the early part of 2021.

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

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1 11, 2020

COVID-19 Update from Everything Dinosaur

By | November 1st, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

COVID-19 Update from Everything Dinosaur

With COVID-19 cases rising rapidly across the whole of the UK, mirroring what is being seen in most other parts of the world, the UK Government has decided to introduce new national restrictions that will come into force from Thursday 5th November (2020).

As Everything Dinosaur was able to keep operating its mail order business during the more severe lockdown that occurred in the spring, we believe that the steps and measures we have taken will permit us to continue our mail order operations.

Everything Dinosaur is Still Open  – Our Mail Order Business Continues to Operate

Everything Dinosaur still operating the mail order business.

Everything Dinosaur’s mail order business is still operating during the coronavirus pandemic.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mail Order Business Still Operating

Everything Dinosaur will continue to send out customer orders, that includes orders placed by international customers.  We do advise that due to the massive increase in global on-line shopping, it would be sensible for customers to place orders early to ensure that parcels can arrive at destinations in time for special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas.

Everything Dinosaur Continues to Keep Calm and Carry On

Business as Usual at Everything Dinosaur.

Everything Dinosaur working hard to stay on top of the situation.   The mail order business is still functioning although customers are advised to place orders early to avoid disappointment.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Contingency Plans in Place

These new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2nd December (2020).  At the end of this period, the UK Government will look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.

Visit the website of the award-winning Everything Dinosaur: Visit Everything Dinosaur.

Team members at Everything Dinosaur will be examining the details of the new restrictions carefully over the next few days.  However, we remain confident that due to the extensive contingency plans we have in place, our mail order business will be able to continue and we will be able to maintain the level of customer service and support that our many thousands of customers all over the world have come to expect from a leading specialist supplier of prehistoric animal models and replicas.

Everything Dinosaur will continue to send out customer orders.

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31 10, 2020

Prehistoric Times Issue 135 Reviewed

By | October 31st, 2020|Dinosaur Fans, Magazine Reviews, Main Page|0 Comments

Prehistoric Times Issue 135 Reviewed

The latest edition of “Prehistoric Times” magazine has arrived at Everything Dinosaur’s offices.  The nights might be drawing in and we may all have a long, dark winter ahead but this magazine is a bright spot in otherwise difficult times.  The front cover features an amazing illustration from Mark Hallett, an American artist whose work has graced many a front cover of this quarterly magazine.   His latest contribution features a cave bear defending her cub from a marauding sabre-toothed cat.  The famous palaeoartist created a model of the animal’s skeletons from which he first produced a pencil catch before finalising his artwork, which was painted specially for “Prehistoric Times”.

The Amazing Front Cover Artwork for Prehistoric Times Issue 135

Prehistoric Times magazine front cover (issue 135)

The front cover of “Prehistoric Times” magazine issue 135 (autumn 2020).

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks from artwork by Mark Hallett

Inside the magazine, readers will discover that Mark has penned two articles, a feature on Steppe lion extinction in Europe and a beautifully illustrated piece that discusses interactions between carnivores that shared caves during the Pleistocene Epoch.  The magazine also includes a special feature on the Dutch artist Esther van Hulsen, illustrated with plenty of examples of her work as a professional wildlife and palaeoartist.  Tracy Lee Ford sets out to inspire the next generation of illustrators with a well-crafted contribution that considers how to draw Ankylosaurus, readers can expect plenty of pointers when it comes to recreating scutes and dermal armour.

Zdeněk Burian – Theropods Part 2

Fans of earlier palaeoartists can sink their teeth into the second part of an exploration of theropod illustrations by John Lavas.  As well as documenting some of Burian’s famous artworks there is a helpful introduction that outlines the main components of the Theropoda.  It is thought that Burian was ambivalent towards illustrating tyrannosaurs.  Although much of his theropod illustration work undertaken is now considered outdated, Burian’s work was widely copied.

The Illustration of Tarbosaurus bataar by Burian (1970)

Tarbosaurus bataar by Burian (1970).

An illustration of the Asian tyrannosaur Tarbosaurus bataar (Burian 1970).

Picture Credit: Zdeněk Burian

Gregory S. Paul contributes an article considering racism within palaeontology and regular writers Randy Knol and editor Mike Fredericks look at new models and review the latest books about prehistoric animals respectively.

Stegosaurus and Lystrosaurus

The autumn edition also includes special features on Stegosaurus and the hardy dicynodont Lystrosaurus.  Our congratulations to Marcus Burkhardt and Elvind Bovor for their Stegosaurus drawings and to John Sibbick and Chuck Egnaczak for their Lystrosaurus illustrations.  The prose for both articles was penned by the ever reliable Phil Hore.

A Tough, Hardy Survivor – Lystrosaurus

Lystrosaurus.

A prehistoric pig, a very successful synapsid reptile.  A model of the hardy Lystrosaurus.

Picture Credit: Telegraph/Graphics

There is certainly much to be admired in this edition of “Prehistoric Times”, from the latest news related to palaeontology to a Smilodon model build inspired by the cinema (Bruce Horton) and an overview of the “Jurassic Park” inspired work of Ted Brothers.  This is an excellent magazine and a welcome addition to our autumn reading material.

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

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30 10, 2020

Papo in Perspective

By | October 30th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Papo in Perspective – Video Review

Everything Dinosaur has worked with the French model and figure manufacturer Papo for many years.  In the UK-based company’s latest YouTube video, Everything Dinosaur, as one of the largest retailers of Papo prehistoric animal models, looks at the recently released Papo Giganotosaurus, explains how to acquire rare Papo models and provides two sure-fire tips to spot a genuine Papo seller.

Putting Papo in Perspective including a Look at the 2020 Papo Giganotosaurus

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Different Type of YouTube Video

Usually, when Everything Dinosaur creates a video, it is a review of a single prehistoric animal figure.  However, the latest video explains what it is like to work with a model making company.  The new for 2020 Papo Giganotosaurus model is discussed and shown in detail, information on how to pronounce Giganotosaurus (Gig-ah-note-oh-sore-us) is provided, guidance provided by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) is explained.

How to Pronounce the Name Giganotosaurus

Papo Giganotosaurus model.

How to pronounce the name of this dinosaur (Gig-ah-note-oh-sore-us).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Tips on Finding Retired Models

The narrator discusses recent Papo model retirements and explains how Everything Dinosaur keeps the prices of out-of-production replicas reasonable so that collectors can acquire them without having to pay extortionate prices on other websites.  In addition, the narrator acknowledges that dinosaur fans like to get a good look at the actual figure rather than simply relying on the official images sent out by the manufacturer.  Everything Dinosaur’s dedicated team members post up lots of pictures and videos of the actual models on the company’s various social media pages including this blog (see below).

The Papo Parasaurolophus (New Colour Variant) and the Papo Giganotosaurus

Papo Parasaurolophus (new colour variant) and the Papo Giganotosaurus.

The Papo Giganotosaurus and the Papo Parasaurolophus (new colour variant).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We understand that model collectors and fans of the Papo range, like to see the figures themselves rather than rely solely on the official Papo images.  We take lots of photographs of the new models and figures in our own studio and produce some videos too.  This provides collectors with the opportunity to gain an impression of the actual models.  We also try to photograph new replicas next to other models from the same product range, by doing this, viewers can get a better understanding of the size and potential scale of any figure.”

Comparing Figures – The Papo Giganotosaurus and the Papo Brown T. rex

Papo Giganotosaurus and T. rex.

The new for 2020 Papo Giganotosaurus is shown next to the popular Papo brown T. rex figure. The Papo Giganotosaurus (left) and the Papo brown T. rex (right).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

How to Spot a Genuine Papo Seller

In Everything Dinosaur’s Papo inspired video, we provide advice on how to spot a genuine Papo seller.  Unfortunately, this popular brand has led to a number of factories copying Papo model designs and offering poor quality figures via dubious websites that have left many model collectors out of pocket and disappointed.

Look for the Correct Papo Logo on Product Images

Spotting a genuine Papo supplier.

How to spot a genuine Papo supplier – look for the correct Papo product logo.  Look for the blue Papo logo.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Checking that the website is using the up-to-date Papo logo helps to verify a genuine supplier.  In the video we also advise viewers to check the site for any customer ratings and reviews.  Everything Dinosaur is the only 5-star, independently rated, specialist seller of prehistoric animal models and figures.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s Papo inspired video, visit our YouTube channel: Subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube.  We recommend that you subscribe.

To purchase genuine Papo prehistoric animal models from a genuine Papo supplier: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models.

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29 10, 2020

DNA Study Highlights Ancient Relationship Between Us and Dogs

By | October 29th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Dogs Really are Our Oldest Friends

An international team of scientists including researchers from The Francis Crick Institute (London), University College Dublin, Ludwig Maximillian University (Munich), Stockholm University (Sweden) and Liverpool John Moores University, have collaborated together in order to sequence a total of 27 ancient dog genomes in a bid to unravel the evolution of the domestic dog.  Dogs are widely believed to be the first animal to be domesticated, but very little is known about their population history and to what extent population changes are linked to humans.

Writing in the academic journal “Science”, the researchers present evidence that there were different types of dogs more than 11,000 years ago in the period immediately following the last Ice Age.

One of the Ancient Dog Skulls Compared to the Skull of a Modern Wolf

Mapping ancient dog DNA.

Mesolithic dog skull (left) compared to wolf skull (right).

Picture Credit: E. E. Antipina (Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences)

By sequencing the ancient DNA from the 27 specimens, some of which lived around 11,000 years ago, the team found that by the end of the last Ice Age before any other animal had been domesticated, there were already at least five different types of dog with distinct genetic ancestries.

This study suggests that the diversity observed between dogs in different parts of the world today originated when all humans were hunters and gatherers.

Commenting on the significance of this research Pontus Skoglund (The Francis Crick Institute) stated:

“Some of the variation you see between dogs walking down the street today originated in the Ice Age.  By the end of this period, dogs were already widespread across the northern hemisphere.”

Extracting Genetic Information from Skeletons

By extracting genetic information from the skeletons of ancient dogs the team were able to analyse the DNA they found providing a window into the past.  They were able to show that over the last ten millennia these early dog lineages mixed and moved giving rise to the dogs we know today.  For example, the researchers calculated that early European dogs were initially diverse, most likely originating from two highly distinct populations, one related to Near Eastern dogs and another cluster related to dogs from Siberia.  However, at some point this diversity was lost, as it is not found in European dogs today.

Lead author Anders Bergström, a post-doctoral researcher at The Francis Crick Institute commented:

“If we look back more than four or five thousand years ago, we can see that Europe was a very diverse place when it came to dogs.  Although the European dogs we see today come in such an extraordinary array of shapes and forms, genetically they derive from only a very narrow subset of the diversity that used to exist.”

Newly Published Research Suggests Some of the Variation Seen in Dogs Today Dates Back to the Last Ice Age

A trio of Japanese hunting dogs.

Japanese hunting dogs, some of the variation seen in dogs today can be traced back to the last Ice Age.

Comparing Human Evolution to Dog Evolution

The researchers also compared the evolution in dog population to changes in human evolution, lifestyles and migrations.  In many cases comparable changes took place, likely reflecting how humans would bring their dogs with them as they migrated across the world.  However, this study also identified that dog evolution and human history do not mirror each other.  The loss of European dog diversity is not reflected in human population studies.

Co-author Ron Pinhasi (University of Vienna), added:

“Just as ancient DNA has revolutionised the study of our own ancestors, it’s now starting to do the same for dogs and other domesticated animals.  Studying our animal companions adds another layer to our understanding of human history.”

This newly published research might provide a fresh perspective on the early history of dog populations and their relationship with our own species, but still, many questions remain.  Dogs may have been the first animal to become domesticated, likely originating from wolves that associated with humans, however, when and how the first wolves became dogs is still not known.

The scientific paper: “Origins and genetic legacy of prehistoric dogs” by Anders Bergström, Laurent Frantz, Ryan Schmidt, Erik Ersmark, Ophelie Lebrasseur, Linus Girdland-Flink et al published in the journal Science.

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28 10, 2020

Microscopic Analysis of Pterosaur Teeth Provides Guide to Diet

By | October 28th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Members of the Pterosauria Undergo Dental Examination

Visiting the dentist can be a daunting experience for some, but for seventeen different species of pterosaur, a microscopic analysis of wear on the teeth has provided palaeontologists with a fresh perspective on the diets and lifestyles of these enigmatic flying reptiles.

Scientists from the University of Birmingham and the University of Leicester’s Centre for Palaeobiology Research studied dental wear patterns preserved on the fossilised teeth of the specimens and then compared these wear patterns to those found on the teeth of living reptiles including crocodilians and monitor lizards whose diets are known.

A Newly Published Scientific Paper Reveals New Data on the Diets of Pterosaurs

Pterosaur ecology, a fresh insight into the diets of the Pterosauria.

Pterosaur feeding strategies.  A study of dental microwear provides a new perspective on the diets of flying reptiles.

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

The researchers were able to demonstrate for the first time how microscopic dental wear analysis can be used to inform palaeontologists about the diet of an extinct animal but to also challenge existing ideas and perceptions about lifestyle and behaviour.

The scientific paper detailing their results are published in the academic journal “Nature Communications”.

Lead author of the study, Dr Jordan Bestwick (University of Birmingham’s School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences), commented:

“Most existing ideas about what pterosaurs ate come from comparisons of the shapes of their teeth with those of living animals.  For example, if the animal had conical teeth like a crocodile, we might assume it ate fish.  But this approach has obvious shortcomings – the teeth of pandas and polar bears, for example, are similar, but comparing them wouldn’t give us an accurate picture of their diets.”

Did Some Super-sized Pterosaurs Eat Dinosaurs?

Powerful necked Hatzegopteryx feeds on a dinosaur.

Transylvanian giant azhdarchid pterosaur Hatzegopteryx sp. preys on the rhabdodontid iguanodontian Zalmoxes.

Picture Credit: Mark Witton

Durophagus Diets

The analysis showed that modern reptiles with rougher wear on their tooth surfaces are more likely to have eaten crunchy things, such as shelled invertebrates – beetles or crabs.  Eating hard-shelled animals or creatures with a tough exoskeleton such as some types of insect is referred to as durophagy.  Reptiles which eat mainly soft items, such as fish, have smoother tooth surfaces, which show less wear.  By applying the technique to pterosaurs, the scientists were able to comment on the likely diet of each species.

Dr Bestwick added:

“Our analysis has yielded some fascinating insights into individual species, but also into some of the bigger questions around how these pterosaurs evolved and whether their lifestyles were more similar to those of extant birds or reptiles.  Evidence from dental microwear analysis can shed new light on this debate.”

Professor Mark Purnell, Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Leicester explained:

“This is the first time this technique has been applied in this way to ancient reptiles, and it’s great to find it works so well.  Often, palaeontologists have very little to go on when trying to understand what extinct animals ate.  This approach gives us a new tool, allowing us to move from what are sometimes little more than educated guesses, into the realms of solid science.”

Examining the Diet of Rhamphorhynchus

In one example, the team examined the teeth of Rhamphorhynchus, a long-tailed pterosaur from the Jurassic period.  Researchers found that juvenile Rhamphorhynchus had insect-based diets, whereas their adult counterparts – about the size of a large seagull – were more likely to have eaten fish.  This suggests a species in which the adults took little care of their young (precocial behaviour) – a behaviour that is common in reptiles and is not exhibited by birds.

A Rhamphorhynchus Fossil Specimen (R. muensteri)

Rhamphorhynchus fossil (R. muensteri)

A Rhamphorhynchus fossil from the Upper Jurassic sediments of Solnhofen (Germany).

Picture Credit: Peabody Museum of Natural History/Yale University

Looking at Pterosaur Evolution

The research team also investigated whether their analysis could shed light on how different species of pterosaurs evolved.  The first pterosaurs evolved during the Triassic and they survived until the very end of the Mesozoic some 66 million years ago, becoming extinct at the same time as their archosaur relatives the dinosaurs.  In that time, according to the dental microwear analysis, there was a general shift in diet from invertebrates such as insects, towards a more meat or fish-based diet.

Commenting on the potential significance of this dietary shift, Dr Bestwick stated:

“We found that the earliest forms of pterosaurs ate mainly crunchy invertebrates.  The shift towards eating fish or meat coincides with the evolution of birds.  We think it’s possible, therefore, that competition with birds could explain the decline of smaller-bodied pterosaurs and a rise in larger, carnivorous species.”

It is an intriguing thought, although the fossil record of the Pterosauria is far from complete and there is a degree of bias towards the most productive pterosaur-fossil bearing strata such as deposits associated with the Crato and Santana Formations of the Early Cretaceous, which prevents a detailed assessment of pterosaur diversity over the duration of the Mesozoic from the Norian onwards.

Natalia Jagielska, a PhD researcher in pterosaur palaeontology based at the University of Edinburgh, (not involved in this study), commented that the research adds much-needed clarity to the behaviour and ecological role of pterosaurs in ancient food webs.

“Pterosaurs are a fascinating group of Mesozoic reptiles with astounding diversity in tooth morphology.  This study is important for contributing to the idea that young Rhamphorhynchus were independent invertebrate hunters before becoming fish consumers, rather than being fed and nurtured by parents, like birds.  Or that in pterosaur-rich environments, like the Late Jurassic Bavarian lagoons, pterosaur species have partitioned to occupy variations of dietary niches.”

The authors of the scientific paper are confident that this new research will provide a benchmark assisting in the interpretation of the diet of long extinct reptiles and in doing so, will lead to an improved understanding of ancient ecosystems.

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

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27 10, 2020

Eofauna Announce a Triceratops Species

By | October 27th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|2 Comments

Eofauna Announce a Triceratops Species

The talented team at Eofauna Scientific Research in collaboration with Everything Dinosaur have revealed their latest prehistoric animal model.  The sixth model in this exciting series is a replica of a Triceratops.  It is not a model of Triceratops horridus or indeed T. prorsus, but a representation of a probable third species, one that has not yet been formally described.

This exciting new model is due to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur early in 2021.

The Eofauna Scientific Research Triceratops sp. Replica

Eofauna Scientific Research Triceratops Model

The big reveal – the sixth model in the Eofauna series is that of a species of Triceratops.

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research

Confusing Triceratops

“Three-horned Face” might be one of the best known of all the Dinosauria, but from a palaeontological perspective we have a lot to learn about this denizen of the famous Hell Creek Formation of North America.  As many as sixteen different species of Triceratops have been recognised in the past, today, we have just two, Triceratops horridus and the geologically younger Triceratops prorsus.  The new Eofauna model is based on an, as yet, unnamed species that shows characteristics of both T. horridus and T. prorsus, not surprisingly really as its fossils are found in sediments below where Triceratops prorsus fossils are located and above the layers associated with Triceratops horridus.

A Teaser Image was Released by Eofauna and Everything Dinosaur Prior to the Formal Announcement

What's the next model from Eofauna?

Can you tell what it is yet?  Teasing about the new Eofauna Scientific Research figure.

Picture Credit: Eofauna Scientific Research

Confused?  Here’s a brief outline of the science…

Identifying Different Species of Horned Dinosaur

The Ceratopsia provide palaeontologists with a bit of a headache (deliberate pun intended), when it comes to distinguishing species.  Many species have been erected based on the shape of their skulls and their cranial ornamentation – spikes, horns and frills, but these features change as the animals grow and mature.   Hence the long running debate as to whether Torosaurus is a distinct genus or merely very old examples of Triceratops.  Working out species is often compounded when ideas relating to sexual dimorphism are incorporated into the mix.

In helping to identify a species, a number of conditions need to be met, such as:

1).  The fossils thought to represent a single species need to come from closely associated stratigraphic layers and from the same area.

2).  A range of specimens representing different individuals of different ages are required to help to rule out variations due to ontogeny (different stages of growth and maturity).

3).  Ideally intermediate specimens should exist that combine features of older and younger related species within the stratigraphic column.

Stratigraphic Placement of Hell Creek Formation Triceratops

Stratigraphic placement of Hell Creek Formation Triceratops.

Stratigraphic placement of Hell Creek Formation Triceratops reveals trends in cranial morphology, helping to confirm species.

Picture Credit: Scannella et al

The Eofauna Triceratops Figure

The new Triceratops model from Eofauna has been inspired by fossil finds associated with the middle portion of the Hell Creek Formation (M3).  The design team have incorporated findings from the study of Triceratops bones such as specimen number UCMP 128561 and MOR 3027 (underlined in blue on the diagram above), that reveal a suite of anatomical characteristics intermediate between T. horridus and T. prorsus.

Although the lower, middle and upper portions of the Hell Creek Formation cover a relatively short period of geological time (around 2 million years), extensive research has revealed that the two currently recognised species of Triceratops are separated stratigraphically and that over time, there was a transformation in the Triceratops lineage with T. horridus evolving into T. prorsus with an intermediate species stage.  In biology, the gradual transition of one species into another within a population is referred to as anagenesis.

Our congratulations to Eofauna Scientific Research, we often praise model making companies for introducing new figures based on fossil specimens that have only recently been described, but in this case, Eofauna have gone further, they have produced a model of a dinosaur that has yet to be formally described demonstrating an informed perspective on vertebrate palaeontology.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s blog post from 2014 when the scientific paper was published: How Triceratops Got its Horns and Beak.

For a comprehensive overview of the Triceratops genus in respect to identifying new species:

The scientific paper: “Evolutionary trends in Triceratops from the Hell Creek Formation, Montana” by John B. Scannella, Denver W. Fowler, Mark B. Goodwin and John R. Horner published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

The Eofauna Triceratops sp. model is due to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in early 2021.

To view the current range of Eofauna models available from Everything Dinosaur: Eofauna Scientific Research Models and Figures.

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26 10, 2020

New PNSO Models Borealopelta and Atopodentatus

By | October 26th, 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 PNSO Models Borealopelta and Atopodentatus

Today, Everything Dinosaur in collaboration with their partners at PNSO announce the introduction of two more prehistoric animal figures in the PNSO mid-size model range.  Say hello to Gavin the Borealopelta and Zewail the Atopodentatus marine reptile.

New from PNSO – Gavin the Borealopelta Armoured Dinosaur Model

PNSO Borealopelta armoured dinosaur model.

PNSO Borealopelta dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

New from PNSO – Zewail the Atopodentatus Marine Reptile Model

PNSO Atopodentatus model.

Zewail the PNSO Atopodentatus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

PNSO Gavin the Borealopelta Dinosaur Model

PNSO have been busy introducing several new figures, joining Caroline the Corythosaurus, Audrey the Lambeosaurus, the stunning Tuojiangosaurus and Gaoyuan the Microraptor is a figure of a Borealopelta (B. markmitchelli), named and described in 2017 from a single specimen and regarded as one of the best preserved armoured dinosaur fossils known to science.

A View of the Armour on the Back of the PNSO Borealopelta Model

PNSO dinosaur model (Borealopelta).

PNSO Gavin the Borealopelta dinosaur model.  The beautifully detailed armour on the back of this dinosaur figure can be seen.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The front portion of the dinosaur had been preserved in an articulated state and in three-dimensions and the design team at PNSO have taken great care to reproduce the layout of the armour on their dinosaur figure.

What Scale is the PNSO Borealopelta?

Although, the PNSO mid-size model range does not normally have a declared scale, based on the measurements of the Borealopelta fossil specimen from the Suncor Energy Millennium Mine (holotype number TMP 2011.033.0001), Everything Dinosaur team members estimate that this 17.6 cm long model is in approximately 1:32 scale.

PNSO Gavin the Borealopelta Model Measurements

PNSO Gavin the Borealopelta dinosaur model.

PNSO Borealopelta dinosaur model dimensions.  Based on a model length 17.6 cm the PNSO Borealopelta figure is in approximately 1:32 scale.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The PNSO Gavin the Borealopelta Dinosaur Model

PNSO Gavin the Borealopelta armoured dinosaur model.

The PNSO Borealopelta dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

This figure along with the other new PNSO models will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur shortly.

PNSO Zewail the Atopodentatus Model

The second new prehistoric animal model that Everything Dinosaur announce today is a replica of the peculiar Middle Triassic marine reptile from south-western China called Atopodentatus (A. unicus).  It is great to see a Chinese model making company continuing their trend for producing prehistoric animal figures representing prehistoric animals whose fossils were found in China, in this case Yunnan Province.

The PNSO Zewail the Atopodentatus Marine Reptile Model

PNSO Zewail the Atopodentatus model.

PNSO Zewail the Atopodentatus marine reptile model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The taxonomy of this bizarre reptile remains uncertain.  The unusual jaws and teeth suggest a diet of seaweed and algae similar to that of the extant marine iguana of the Galapagos Islands.  With fossils dating from around 245 to 242 million years ago, the scientists responsible for naming and describing Atopodentatus proposed that this was the oldest record of herbivory within marine reptiles.

The Amazing Jaws and Teeth of the PNSO Atopodentatus Model

The PNSO Atopodentatus marine reptile model.

The impressive head of the bizarre marine reptile Atopodentatus model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

PNSO Atopodentatus Model Measurements

The beautifully sculpted Atopodentatus model measures a fraction over 14 centimetres in length.  Based on an examination of the largest fossil specimens of A. unicus, Everything Dinosaur team members estimate that this figure is in approximately 1/20th scale.

PNSO Atopodentatus Model Measurements

PNSO Zewail the Atopodentatus model dimensions.

The PNSO Zewail the Atopodentatus model measures a fraction over 14 cm long which suggests that this figure is in approximately 1:20 scale.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Both Gavin the Borealopelta and the PNSO Atopodentatus model will be in stock at Everything Dinosaur soon.

In the meantime, to view the range of PNSO models in stock at Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Models and Figures.

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