Another Busy Day at Everything Dinosaur

The start of another busy day, but I am able to listen to the radio this morning, currently I am listening to “One Foot in the Grave” on BBC7.  This is one of my favourite stations, it plays old radio plays and comedy shows.  I alternate my listening between BBC7 and Radio Five Live for the sports coverage.  One of the pleasures of the summer is the Test cricket commentary, it starts again on June 6th I think, third test against the West Indies at Old Trafford (weather permitting).

Everything Dinosaur

But back to the business…  Today I have to make some phone calls and check on the Maize maze activities that Everything Dinosaur gets involved with.  Many farmers and growers have diversified by sowing maize into patterns and when it grows it forms a fantastic maze.  They then open their fields to the tourists and they make fine summer attractions.  This is a good way to diversify for local farmers and boosts their incomes.  We get involved providing educational materials, merchandise and advising on the dinosaur information.

Some schools to contact as well in preparation for summer fayres and events.  We have a number of schools that have already booked us.  Most fayres are taking place the last week of June or the first two weekends of July, so we are in danger of getting double booked or even treble booked if we are not careful.  Quite a few phone calls to make to potential customers as well, a museum on the Isle of Wight, a cafe owner in Dublin.  We do get some very unusual requests.

Plus I must contact the gentleman who is supposed to be supplying us with dinosaur replica teeth and claws.  We want some items from his range, mainly dinosaurs but would probably want to add the Smilodon (Sabre-Tooth cat) claw as well.

For some reason, sabre-tooth cats are often called sabre-tooth tigers.  We use this phrase ourselves from time to time, but actually these cats, although members of the feline family are not closely related to tigers.  In fact the Sabre-tooths belong to the machairodonts a sub-family of the feline group and not a direct ancestral line to modern cats such as leopards, tigers or lions.

Parallel Evolution

Sabre teeth are an example of “parallel evolution” the independent evolution of similar traits.  A number of extinct animals developed sabre-like teeth to help them despatch prey, an example being Gorgonops a Therapsid reptile from the late Permian which had elongated canines just like a Sabre-toothed cat.  These types of teeth probably evolved in predators as it gave them an advantage in despatching their prey.  Teeth like these could crush or sever the windpipe on their unfortunate victim and lead to a swift kill with less chance of the predator getting hurt in the struggle.  No doubt other sabre-tooth forms may evolve in the future, so our world will once again have sabre-tooths in it.

Everything Dinosaur sells some prehistoric animal items, including Sabre-tooth cats (Smilodon), we even have a fact sheet on these animals.  Recently we introduced a range of soft toy prehistoric mammals – here is a link to them:

Prehistoric animal soft toys: Everything Dinosaur.

The Smilodon has proved very popular this year with our customers and the schools that we have worked with.  Each year we conduct a survey on the most popular prehistoric animals and dinosaurs.  We review all the product sales we have made, which pages were most popular on our website and the feedback from our outreach work.  We are then able to produce a top-ten favourite prehistoric animals.  This is a bit of fun and it gives us the chance to send out some press releases as well as to learn which animals are popular so that we can reflect this in our product development.

This is the top ten of 2006/2007

Everything Dinosaur’s Top Ten Prehistoric Animals Chart

1).  Tyrannosaurus rex

2).  Velociraptor

3).  Triceratops (very popular with girls)

4).  Stegosaurus (another favourite of girls)

5).  Allosaurus

6).  Sabre-Tooth cat (see, I told you they were popular)

7).  Brachiosaurus

8).  Diplodocus

9).  Woolly Mammoth

10).  Spinosaurus (Jurassic Park III fame)

Now back to work, already part of the way through day 670.

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