All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
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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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3 06, 2020

Mojo Fun Brontosaurus Deluxe “Turntable Tuesday”

By | June 3rd, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Product Reviews|0 Comments

The Mojo Fun Brontosaurus Dinosaur Model Goes for a Spin “Turntable Tuesday”

For this week’s “Turntable Tuesday” YouTube video feature, Everything Dinosaur selected one of the new for 2020 Mojo Fun dinosaur models to go for a spin.  It was a difficult choice as Mojo Fun has added a whopping sixteen new dinosaurs to their “Prehistoric Life” range, but in the end it was the Brontosaurus deluxe that was chosen, when compared to the new Mamenchisaurus and Brachiosaurus, you could say that Brontosaurus won by a short neck!

Going for a Spin the Mojo Fun Brontosaurus Deluxe Features on “Turntable Tuesday”

Video Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur and “Turntable Tuesday”

The “Turntable Tuesday” video is a weekly feature on the Everything Dinosaur YouTube channel.  A prehistoric animal model is filmed at our bespoke studio on a turntable.  This permits dinosaur fans and model collectors to get a three-hundred and sixty degree view of the replica.  The objective of these short videos, all of which have to last for no more than two minutes or so, is to showcase the figure.  These videos also give Everything Dinosaur the opportunity to comment on the prehistoric animal models and provide further information.

Ready for the Turntable The New for 2020 Mojo Fun Brontosaurus Deluxe Dinosaur Model

Mojo Fun Brontosaurus dinsoaur model in the Everything Dinosaur studio.

The Mojo Fun Brontosaurus deluxe dinosaur model ready for a spin.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Brontosaurus excelsus

The model measures around twenty-two centimetres in length, but in reality the figure is much larger as the neck is turned slightly and the tail is twisted as if this sauropod was about to give an attacking theropod dinosaur a swipe.  The fact sheet that accompanies sales of this figure provides more information on the type species for this genus – Brontosaurus excelsus.  The colour scheme is muted with greys and tans predominating.  There are plenty of details to admire on the skin, especially the texture of the neck and the folds located underneath the sturdy body.  It may not be the most accurate representation of “thunder lizard” made but the model is robust and ideal for imaginative, creative play.

The Brontosaurus is one of three long-necked dinosaur models introduced by Mojo Fun this year, the other two being Mamenchisaurus and a new Brachiosaurus.

The Mojo Fun Brontosaurus Deluxe Dinosaur Model

The Mojo Fun Brontosaurus Deluxe

An attractive dinosaur model the Mojo Fun Brontosaurus deluxe figure.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Find Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube video channel here: Our YouTube Channel (we recommend that you subscribe to Everything Dinosaur on YouTube).

Everything Dinosaur’s Videos Give Viewers the Opportunity to View Dinosaur Models at Some Very Strange Angles

"Bottoms up with Brontosaurus"

The tail-end of the Mojo Fun Brontosaurus dinosaur model.  It’s a case of “bottoms up” for Brontosaurus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To see the Mojo Fun Brontosaurus and the rest of the new for 2020 prehistoric animals in this range: Mojo Fun Prehistoric and Extinct.

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2 06, 2020

New for 2020 Mojo Fun Dinosaur Models in Stock

By | June 2nd, 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 Mojo Fun Dinosaur Models in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

All sixteen of the new for 2020 Mojo Fun dinosaurs models are now in stock at Everything Dinosaur.  The models had been delayed due to COVID-19 but all of these exciting new figures are now at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse.  These new replicas represent a substantial extension to the Mojo Fun prehistoric and extinct model range.

Sixteen New for 2020 Mojo Fun Dinosaur Models are in Stock at Everything Dinosaur

Sixteen new dinosaur models from Mojo Fun.

You have to hand it to Mojo Fun, sixteen new dinosaur models for 2020.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The new models are crouching and standing Velociraptors, Allosaurus with an articulated jaw, a deluxe Baryonyx, Stegosaurus, Triceratops and Ankylosaurus.  The Sauropodomorpha is represented by Brachiosaurus, Brontosaurus and Mamenchisaurus, there is a second Baryonyx, one with an articulated jaw.  A hadrosaurid Mandschurosaurus is also new for 2020 and along with the Troodon figure, it represents a genus which could be regarded as nomen dubium.  Essentially, this means that there is some doubt as to the validity of the genera, after all, in the case of Troodon, this genus was erected based on an isolated fossil tooth from Montana (Judith River Formation).

Mojo Fun New for 2020 Spinosaurus Dinosaur Model

Mojo Fun Spinosaurus deluxe dinosaur model.

The Mojo Fun Spinosaurus deluxe model with an articulated lower jaw.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Amongst the theropod dinosaur models there is a Giganotosaurus, Spinosaurus and of course an obligatory Tyrannosaurus rex.

Designed for Robust, Imaginative Play

The Mojo Fun “Prehistoric Life” range now contains forty-three models.  The addition of sixteen new figures represents a major investment in dinosaurs by the company and the number of new introductions is much larger than in previous years.  Many of the individual figures are much bigger than their predecessors.  For example, the new for 2020 Mojo Fun Tyrannosaurus rex with an articulated jaw is approximately six centimetres longer than the Mojo Fun red hunting T. rex dinosaur model.

Mojo Fun Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

Mojo Fun prehistoric animal models.

Mojo Fun dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.  The new for 2020 Mojo Fun Tyrannosaurus rex deluxe with an articulated jaw can be seen on the left of this picture.  A Spinosaurus (right) and the troodontid (far right) along with three Mojo Fun Tropeognathus pterosaur figures soaring overhead complete the scene.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Mojo Fun Prehistoric Life

The new for 2020 prehistoric animal figures represent a substantial development of this line of figures.  In previous years, only a handful of new models have been added,  but these figures along with the company’s plans for more replicas signal that Mojo Fun is going to have some exciting times ahead.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We hope that you enjoy the new for 2020 collection from Mojo Fun.  These figures have been designed for robust, creative play and a number of figures have articulated jaws, which always enhances play value.  It is a pleasant surprise to see some of the less well-known dinosaurs such as Mamenchisaurus, Mandschurosaurus and a troodontid represented in these recent additions to the Mojo Fun prehistoric and extinct model range.”

To view the range of Mojo Fun prehistoric animal replicas available from Everything Dinosaur: Mojo Fun Prehistoric and Extinct Animal Models.

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1 06, 2020

Protoceratops was a Very Tough Dinosaur

By | June 1st, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Geology, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Protoceratops Lived in a “Stressed” Environment

Everything Dinosaur team members are currently putting together a short video review of the new Wild Past Protoceratops (P. andrewsi) dinosaur model.  Our intention in the video is to discuss the model and also to talk about the genus upon which the figure is based.  After all, Protoceratops is one of the most studied of all the dinosaur genera known to science.  However, “first horned face” can still throw up a few surprises.  For example, the size of its orbit (eye socket), suggests the Protoceratops had disproportionately large eyes compared to other ceratopsians.  Could Protoceratops have been nocturnal?

Size Comparison (Protoceratops andrewsi)

How big was Protoceratops andrewsi?

Protoceratops andrewsi was a relatively small dinosaur but it was one of the larger vertebrates associated with the Bayn Dzak (Flaming Cliffs) locality.  Could it have been nocturnal?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Protoceratops was a Tough Dinosaur!

Intriguingly, when the dinosaur fossil specimens collected by the Central Asiatic Expeditions from 1922-1925 (the expeditions led by Roy Chapman Andrews and Walter Granger of the American Museum of Natural History), from the Flaming Cliffs locality are totted up, over 90 percent of them represent Protoceratops andrewsi.  The Flaming Cliffs are the type locality for the Djadokhta Formation.  Something like 108 individual dinosaur specimens were collected by the American Museum of Natural History field teams between 1922 and 1925, all but seven of them represented Protoceratops andrewsi.  Preservational bias has been largely ruled out, it is therefore likely that Protoceratops was common in this habitat.  However, both the Djadokhta Formation and the potentially contemporaneous Bayan Mandahu Formation, where the fossils of the second Protoceratops genus were found (P. hellenikorhinus), represent arid, desert-like palaeoenvironments.

Both Protoceratops species lived in extremely harsh conditions, an idea supported by the lack of diversity and the absence of large animals from the fossil record of both Djadokhta and Bayan Mandahu.

A Lack of Diversity and Few Large-bodied Dinosaurs Associated with Bayn Dzak (Flaming Cliffs Type Locality) of the Djadokhta Formation

The dinosaur biota associated wit the Djadokhta Formation.

The biota associated with the Protoceratops dominated Djadokhta Formation.  Evidence that Protoceratops lived in a stressed environment with few resources.  We have used a picture of the Wild Past Protoceratops dinosaur model to indicate the presence of Protoceratops.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Comparing the Djadokhta Formation and the Nemegt Formation Dinosaur Biotas

The lack of large-bodied dinosaurs and the limited number of different types of dinosaur are highlighted when these geological formations are compared to the Nemegt Formation dinosaur biota.  The strata that forms the Nemegt Formation was formed in a much wetter more verdant environment.

Hadrosaurs, Titanosaurs, Ankylosaurids and Large Theropods Dominate the Nemegt Formation Dinosaur Biota

The Nemegt Formation contains the fossils of many dinosaurs.

The dinosaur biota associated with the Nemegt Formation.  Many different dinosaurs are reported from the Upper Cretaceous Nemegt Formation.  The presence of large herbivores such as therizinosaurs, titanosaurs and duck-billed dinosaurs is significant.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The lack of diversity and the absence of large-bodied vertebrates from the Bayn Dzak location indicates that Protoceratops inhabited a stressed environment.  Protoceratopsid fauna is associated with sediments from semi-arid, to desert regions formed from aeolian deposits in the main.  During the time that the Djadokhta and the Bayan Mandahu Formations were being formed, much of central Asia was characterised by an extensive sandy desert with little surface water.

Protoceratops may have been quite small, but it was a very tough and hardy dinosaur.

To see the article that features an early Wild Past Protoceratops dinosaur model video made by Everything Dinosaur: Wild Past Protoceratops Video Showcase.

To purchase the Wild Past Protoceratops figure: Wild Past Protoceratops dinosaur model.

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31 05, 2020

Win, Win, Win with Everything Dinosaur!

By | May 31st, 2020|Adobe CS5, Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils, Press Releases|0 Comments

Competition Time at Everything Dinosaur!

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 Dinosaur Book with Everything Dinosaur

The front cover of the dinosaur book.

Suggest a name for Tianyulong on the front cover to enter Everything Dinosaur’s competition.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We have three of these marvellous books to give away and each one contains a unique, signed drawing by Darren Naish.

Each Book Contains a Unique, Signed Drawing by Darren Naish

A signed drawing of Latenivenatrix by Darren Naish.

Each book in the Everything Dinosaur competition contains a unique signed drawing.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

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: “LIKE” our Facebook page and enter the competition!

We will draw the lucky winners at random and the “Dinosaurs – how they lived and evolved” competition closes on midnight Sunday 14th June.  Good luck, we hope you win one of these unique dinosaur books.

Terms and Conditions of the “Everything Dinosaur Dinosaurs – how they lived and evolved” Book Competition

Automated entries are not permitted and will be excluded from the draw.

Only one entry per person.

The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered.

The “Everything Dinosaur Dinosaurs –  how they lived and evolved” competition runs until midnight Sunday 14th June 2020.

Winner will be notified by private message on Facebook.

Prize includes postage and packing.

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges a complete release of Facebook by each entrant/participant.

For full terms and conditions contact: Contact Everything Dinosaur.

Beautiful Photographs of Fossils and Detailed Text

Amazing photographs and informative text.

Lots of amazing photographs of dinosaur fossils and detailed, informative text in this new dinosaur book entitled “Dinosaurs – how they lived and evolved” by Darren Naish and Paul M. Barrett.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To enter Everything Dinosaur’s book 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.

The illustration of the bizarre Jurassic heterodontosaurid Tianyulong confuciusi that features on the front cover was created by the very talented palaeoartist Bob Nicholls.

PLEASE NOTE THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

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30 05, 2020

Doomsday Scenario for the Non-avian Dinosaurs

By | May 30th, 2020|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Geology, Main Page|0 Comments

Dinosaur-dooming Bolide Struck Earth at Worst Possible Angle

The extra-terrestrial object, whether it was a comet or an asteroid, that devastated our planet some sixty-six million years ago, struck Earth at the “deadliest possible” angle according to new research published this week in the journal Nature Communications.  Computer simulations created by researchers based at Imperial College London indicate that the huge object struck Earth at an angle of 45 to 60 degrees to the horizontal.  This maximised the amount of climate-changing gases that were thrust into the upper atmosphere.

An Artist’s Impression of the Moments before the Extra-terrestrial Bolide Impact

The end of the non-avian dinosaurs.

An artist’s impression of the bolide about to impact with the Gulf of Mexico 66 million years ago.

Picture Credit: Chase Stone

The Significance of the Impact Trajectory

The severity of an extra-terrestrial impact is influenced by a number of factors.  For example, the size and the mass of the bolide, the speed of the impact and the trajectory and direction of impact.  The impact direction and the angle of the collision affect the amount of ejector that is thrown up into the atmosphere.  For the non-avian dinosaurs, it was a question of a number of factors that exacerbated the mass extinction event.  Although there has been a considerable amount of research carried out on Chicxulub crater the impact trajectory remains controversial.  The use of three-dimensional computer simulations along with geophysical observations suggests that the crater was formed by a steeply-inclined impact from the northeast.  Such a strike likely unleashed billions of tonnes of sulphur.  The sulphur would have reacted with the oxygen and other elements to form acid rain which would then have fallen to Earth and further devastated the environment.  The debris in the atmosphere would have blocked out the sun and triggered a nuclear winter effect.  This catastrophe led to the extinction of 75% of life on Earth.

The simulations were performed on the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) DiRAC High Performance Computing Facility.

Plotting a Momentous Few Minutes in the History of Planet Earth

Plotting the Chicxulub Impact Event

The team used computer simulations and geophysical data to recreate the Chicxulub impact event.  The computer simulations permitted the researchers to map the entire crater formation event in unprecedented detail.

Picture Credit: Imperial College London/Nature Communications

Lead author of the scientific paper, Professor Gareth Collins of the College’s Department of Earth Science and Engineering stated:

“For the dinosaurs, the worst-case scenario is exactly what happened.  The asteroid strike unleashed an incredible amount of climate-changing gases into the atmosphere, triggering a chain of events that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.  This was likely worsened by the fact that it struck at one of the deadliest possible angles.”

The Crater Creation

The top layers of rock around the Chicxulub crater in the Yucatan peninsula contain high amounts of water as well as porous carbonate and evaporite material.  When disturbed and greatly heated by the energy of the impact, these rocks would have been vaporised flinging huge amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, sulphur and water vapour into the atmosphere.  The sulphur and other particles would have formed aerosols as well as acidifying the atmosphere.  These aerosols would have blocked out sunlight stopping photosynthesis and leading to the collapse of food chains.  The world would have been plunged into a nuclear winter.

A Geophysical Map of the Impact Crater

Gravity map of the Chicxulub crater.

A geophysical gravity map showing the outline of the Chicxulub crater and its surrounding environment.

Picture Credit: Imperial College London/Nature Communications

Working in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Freiburg (Germany) and the University of Texas at Austin the impact event was re-created in extensive detail, which will help scientists to better understand impact craters on our own planet as well as those found elsewhere within the solar system.  Crucial to determining the angle and direction of the impact was the relationship between the centre of the crater, the centre of the peak ring (a circle of mountains made of heavily fractured rock inside the crater rim) and the centre of dense, uplifted mantle rocks.

Co-author of the scientific paper, Dr Auriol Rae (University of Freiburg) added:

“Despite being buried beneath nearly a kilometre of sedimentary rocks, it is remarkable that geophysical data reveals so much about the crater structure, enough to describe the direction and angle of the impact.”

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the help and assistance of a media release from Imperial College London in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “A steeply-inclined trajectory for the Chicxulub impact” by G. S. Collins, N. Patel, T. M. Davison, A. S. P. Rae, J. V. Morgan, S. P. S. Gulick, IODP-ICDP Expedition 364 Science Party and Third-Party Scientists published in Nature Communications.

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29 05, 2020

Wightia declivirostris – A Terrific Tapejarid Pterosaur

By | May 29th, 2020|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Jawbone Leads to an Isle of Wight Tapejarid Pterosaur

A single, fragmentary jawbone from the upper jaw of a pterosaur found on the Isle of Wight has demonstrated just how diverse and widespread the Tapejaridae family of pterosaurs were.  The fossil bone, a partial premaxilla from the Lower Cretaceous (Barremian) Wessex Formation of Yaverland (Isle of Wight), represents a new species, the first record of a tapejarid pterosaur from the Wessex Formation and one of the oldest examples of this pterosaur family to have been found outside of China.  The flying reptile has been named Wightia declivirostris.

A Life Reconstruction of Wightia declivirostris (Wessex Formation)

Wightia declivirostris from the Isle of Wight

A life reconstruction of the newly described tapejarid from the Lower Cretaceous of the Isle of Wight (Wightia declivirostris).

Picture Credit: Megan Jacobs (University of Portsmouth)

Terrific Toothless Tapejarids

The terrific toothless tapejarids with their reputation for taking head crest development to the extreme, are known from relatively abundant fossil material associated with the Santana and Crato Formations of Brazil.  In addition, several members of the Tapejaridae family are associated with the Jiufotang Formation of China.  However, fragmentary fossils are known from elsewhere in the world such as Spain (Europejara olcadesorum) and a toothless, rather deep lower jaw tip along with other partial bones from the Kem Kem beds of Morocco suggests that these types of flying reptile may have persisted into the early Late Cretaceous.

Two of the authors associated with this scientific paper, Professor David Martill and Roy Smith (both from the University of Portsmouth), recently published a report on the discovery of a north African tapejarid which was named Afrotapejara zouhrii, one of a spate of recent Moroccan pterosaur discoveries.  To read Everything Dinosaur’s article about this: That Fourth Moroccan Pterosaur.  It seems that these fancy-crested, edentulous flying reptiles were much more geographically and temporally diverse than previously thought.

A Typical Illustration of a Tapejarid Pterosaur (Tupandactylus imperator)

Tupandactylus illustration.

A scale drawing of the tapejarid Pterosaur Tupandactylus imperator.  The Tapejaridae are thought to have all sported flamboyant head crests.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Isle of Wight Pterosaur is More Closely Related to Chinese Tapejarids

Amateur fossil hunter John Winch discovered a pterosaur snout near the cliff at Yaverland Point in Sandown Bay, in a fossil plant debris layer.  The unusual shape and thin bone walls suggested that it was from a pterosaur.  The fragment of jaw, although eroded, demonstrates the characteristic downturned tip, with numerous tiny holes (foramina), on the occulsal surface which indicate the presence of minute sensory organs for detecting food.

The Holotype Material Wightia declivirostris

premaxilla of Wightia declivirostris.

The isolated, partial premaxilla of Wightia declivirostris.

Picture Credit: University of Portsmouth

The jaw fragment was passed to palaeontology student at Portsmouth University, Megan Jacobs, who confirmed it was a rare find and definitely pterosaurian.  Analysis of the specimen suggests that Wightia is more closely related to the older and more primitive tapejarid Sinopterus from Liaoning (Jiufotang Formation), than it is to Brazilian tapejarids.  The genus name of this newly described flying reptile honours the Isle of Wight, whilst the species (trivial) name means “slanting beak”, a reference to the typically tapejarid morphology of the partial premaxilla.

Both the Wealden Formation and the geologically younger Vectis Formation on the Isle of Wight have yielded pterosaur specimens, although they tend to consist of highly fragmentary remains.  The discovery of Wightia declivirostris demonstrates how significant the Lower Cretaceous Isle of Wight sediments are to palaeontologists as they try to plot the radiation of different types of flying reptile during the Early Cretaceous.

The scientific paper: “First tapejarid pterosaur from the Wessex Formation (Wealden Group: Lower Cretaceous, Barremian) of the United Kingdom” by David M. Martill,  Mick Green, Roy E. Smith,  Megan L. Jacobs and John Winch published in the journal Cretaceous Research.

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