All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
30 09, 2008

Fantastic Compliments Received from Everything Dinosaur’s Customers

By |2024-04-15T12:31:25+01:00September 30th, 2008|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Isaac’s Mum says Thanks

At Everything Dinosaur we are always delighted to hear from our customers.  With thousands of satisfied customers all over the world we get a lot of emails, letters and feedback forms, all of which are carefully reviewed by team members and every one that requires a reply is responded to.

Feedback from Customers

Recently, mum of four year old Isaac (a budding young palaeontologists by all accounts), sent us this complimentary email about Everything Dinosaur’s customer service.

Isaac’s mum (Claire) wrote:

“Many thanks for your confirmation of order email.  Isaac’s (my four year old), parcel arrived yesterday beating a delivery for daddy which was ordered a week before!  Excellent service and even better the smile on Isaac’s face when he opened his parcel to find his new dinosaur friends.”

It is always a pleasure to hear from our customers, glad to be of service to Isaac and his mum.

The Everything Dinosaur Corporate Logo

Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur logo

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s user-friendly and award-winning website: Visit Everything Dinosaur.

29 09, 2008

Create your own Dinosaur Museum with Fossil Skeleton Kits

By |2023-02-25T18:29:44+00:00September 29th, 2008|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur Introduces Fossil Model Kits

Build your own mini natural history museum with a set of prehistoric animal skeleton models that have the texture of real fossil bone.  These new kits have been designed to allow young palaeontologists to turn their bedrooms or home study area into a dinosaur fossil gallery just like a real museum.  These are a great product idea to help encourage dinosaur crafts for kids.

Each snap together kit comes complete with handbook, assembly instructions and a Everything Dinosaur fact sheet on the prehistoric animal represented.  The set consists of six different models – Triceratops, Stegosaurus, an unusual model of a Velociraptor, Parasaurolophus, Pteranodon and of course a Tyrannosaurus rex.

The Model Prehistoric Animal Fossil Kits

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Stegosaurus Model with a Velociraptor Figure

The picture shows the Stegosaurus model with the model that represents dromaeosaurs (Velociraptor).  Each model comes in its own plastic test tube and when fully assembled the models are approximately 20 cm in length.  The texture of the model gives a fossilised bone effect to give the display authenticity.  You can build up your own collection of dinosaur skeleton models.

To view the range of products available from Everything Dinosaur: Visit Everything Dinosaur.

Prehistoric Animal Skeleton Models

It is always a pleasure to see a pterosaur represented in these types of series and in this case it is a Pteranodon (P. longiceps).  Most pterosaur exhibits in museums are hung from ceilings or roof beams but in this case a handy stand is supplied so that the Pteranodon model can be displayed.

The Pteranodon Fossil Skeleton

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view a Pteranodon model, along with other prehistoric animal replicas and dinosaur figures: Dinosaur, Pterosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

A spokesperson from the award-winning, mail order company Everything Dinosaur commented:

“These dinosaur and prehistoric animal skeleton models have proved to be extremely popular with young dinosaur fans.”

28 09, 2008

Huge “Mother Goose” of the Palaeogene

By |2023-02-25T20:05:52+00:00September 28th, 2008|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page|0 Comments

Don’t Try this Goose for Christmas

A paper detailing the research done on a skull of a giant ancestor of geese and ducks has just been published in the scientific journal “Palaeontology”.  The skull represents a genus of large sea-going bird (Darsornis emuinus) that had a lifestyle similar to the wandering albatrosses of today, but it was much bigger, soaring over what was to become Kent, Essex and London approximately 50 million years ago.

The giant goose-like bird is estimated to have had a wingspan in excess of 5 metres, much larger than any bird today, but not quite matching the South American Argentavis magnificens – a giant, condor-like creature from the Neogene.  However, this giant ancestor of modern geese, scientific name Darsornis emuinus but affectionately called “Mother Goose” by the German researchers studying the fossil did have a beak full of tooth-like projections indicating that like Argentavis this bird also was a carnivore.

Darsornis emuinus

A fossil skull was discovered on the Isle of Sheppey, a small island off the northern coast of Kent in the Thames estuary.  During the early Cenozoic, much of Europe was far warmer than it is today and southern England was bordered by a warm, shallow tropical sea.  Fossils of crocodiles, turtles, ancient mammals and many birds have been found, but not many are as spectacular as this fossil skull belonging to a bird the size of a small plane.

The fossil remains of this incredible bird were studied by a joint team of scientists from the Senckenberg Research Institute and the Natural History museum in Frankfurt.  Darsornis is thought to have had a similar lifestyle to the albatross of today, which spends most of its life at sea and is a master at using thermals and air currents to remain airborne with minimum effort.

The huge wings would have helped Darsornis glide effortlessly above the tops of waves looking for squid or fish at the surface.  The beak with its sharp projections could then be used to grab these slippery animals plucking them from the water.  The teeth-like structures would have prevented the prey from escaping.  A similar lifestyle and feeding habit has been suggested for the giant pterosaur Pteranodon, but this reptile never evolved teeth to help it grab prey, its ancestors had teeth but this large flying reptile lost them.

Adaptations to Help Darsornis Fly

Like Pteranodon, Darsornis had other adaptations to help it fly:

Dr Meyr, a spokesperson for the research team commented: “They had lightweight bones so despite their great size they were not very heavy. I think they were capable of soaring and gliding – though they would probably have needed strong winds to take off.  By today’s standards these were pretty bizarre animals, but perhaps the strangest thing about them is that they had sharp, tooth-like projections along the cutting edges of the beak”.

The scientists have described the 25 cm long beak of this bird as resembling a crocodile’s jaw.

Some early birds had enamel teeth but these were lost about 100 million years ago, yet birds like Darsornis developed them again, this time made from bone and possibly covered with a layer of keratin, the biological material used for the beak. Dr Meyr believes that the 60 to 80 teeth in the beak, were developed to help the prehistoric bird keep a grip of the fish and squid it would have snatched from the sea.

No living birds have true teeth – which are made of enamel and dentine – because their distant ancestors did away with them more than 100 million years ago, probably to save weight and make flying easier,” the doctor commented.

Related to Extant Ducks and Geese

When the bird died it sank to the bottom of the sea, perhaps, getting stuck in the water and being so big it would have found it difficult to take off again without favourable winds.  It was preserved after becoming covered in sediment. It was discovered about five years ago by a private collector but has only now been fully analysed.   Although the bird had a similar lifestyle to the albatross, analysis of its remains has shown that its closest relatives, living or extinct, are ducks and geese.

Everything Dinosaur offers an extensive range of prehistoric animal models and figures.  To visit the models section of the UK company’s website: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

27 09, 2008

Helpful Customer Reviews Sent to Everything Dinosaur

By |2024-04-13T08:41:08+01:00September 27th, 2008|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Customers Provide Feedback to Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur team members receive lots of positive comments about the quality of the dinosaur themed toys and models that we sell on line and also about our customer service.  As a small team, we all work very hard to help our customers and to get their orders packed and despatched as quickly as possible.  We really ought to publish on this blog more of the many hundreds of customer comments, thank you letters and such like that we receive, we just don’t have time to do this.  However, we always make sure that all those letters, emails and feedback forms that require a reply are responded to – it’s just part of our commitment to customer service.

Below we have published a few of the customer reviews that we have received recently:

  • Great soft toy and speedy delivery
“Thanks for preparing and sending out my soft toy so quickly.  Really nice dino-toy and great service.”
  • Fantastic service
“I ordered on Wednesday afternoon, product arrived on Thursday morning.  Fantastically quick service.”
  • Excellent!
“A great service, excellent communication, fantastically quick delivery time and products good quality.”
  • Such a simple and clever gift idea
“Thanks for your recommendation, the gift card and tooth was just what I was looking for and so inexpensive to send abroad to my nephew.  Really appreciated your product suggestion, I know he will be absolutely thrilled.”
To see the range of dinosaur themed toys and prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur, visit the company’s website: Visit Everything Dinosaur.
26 09, 2008

The Incredible Link between Dinosaurs and Birds

By |2024-04-13T08:39:48+01:00September 26th, 2008|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

The Dinosaurs and Birds

Providing sufficient evidence to permit most scientists to conclude that birds evolved from small, bipedal, theropod dinosaurs is considered by some academics to be the most important achievement of Dinosauria palaeontology.  Many people might consider the work on the the theory that birds are descended from dinosaurs to be a modern concept, however, the similarity between the anatomies of birds and dinosaurs was first commented on over 140 years ago.

Dinosaurs and Birds

The English anatomist T. H. Huxley in the 1860s pointed out many common characteristics between the dinosaur fossils found and the fossil of Archaeopteryx that had come to light in the limestone strata of Solnhofen, Germany.  In 1861, a complete fossil skeleton of Archaeopteryx was discovered, the feathers could clearly be seen surrounding the animal and it was Sir Richard Owen who organised the purchase of this specimen for what was to become the Natural History Museum – for the huge sum in those days of £600.

For Huxley, a profound supporter of Darwin’s theories as advocated in his book “The Origin of Species”, published in 1859, this Archaeopteryx fossil was evidence of a missing link between reptiles and birds.

However, for much of the 20th century the idea that dinosaurs were the direct ancestors of birds fell out of favour with academics.   It was not until John Ostrom, an American palaeontologist published his work on the dromaeosaur Deinonychus in 1969 that the idea was revived.  Deinonychus fossils had been known since the 1930s but nobody had got around to properly studying them.  Ostrom depicted Deinonychus as an agile, active hunter, turning upside down the consensus view that dinosaurs were slow and clumsy.  Ostrom noted the many bird-like features within the anatomy of this fierce predator.

With the amazing discoveries in the 1990s (and they are continuing), from China, most notably Liaoning Province in the northern part of that country, the theory that birds are living descendants of dinosaurs is widely accepted.  The accepted link between birds and dinosaurs has altered our perception of these animals generally.  Modern reconstructions of dinosaurs show them as agile, active animals with social hierarchies and behaviours  thought impossible just a few decades ago.

Feathers and dinosaurs are now accepted and more evidence is being uncovered all the time to support this concept.  Recent work on other North American dromaeosaur fossils has led scientists to believe that many types of dinosaur, even young tyrannosaurs were possibly feathered.

The American Museum of Natural History produced a dinosaur tube full of feathered dinosaurs accompanied by other unusual models such as Protoceratops.  The models are well designed and feature animals available in larger form from the Carnegie Dinosaur Collection series, but these little models are a testament to how far the scientific study of dinosaurs has come since Huxley.

To view the models: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

Typical Models from the Feathered Dinosaur Tube

Feathered dinosaur models.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

25 09, 2008

The Remarkable Contents of a Dinosaur’s Stomach – Eats, Shoots and Leaves (apologies to Lynne Truss)

By |2024-04-15T12:13:28+01:00September 25th, 2008|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Examination of Hadrosaurine Stomach Contents

Occasionally an animal is so well preserved that extraordinary amounts of information can be gleaned from the fossil.  One such example is the wonderfully well preserved fossil of a duck-billed dinosaur from the Judith River Formation of Montana, USA.

An analysis of the probable gut contents from this fossilised dinosaur reveal that its diet at the time of its demise consisted mainly of leaves.  The leaves had been well-chewed, with many of the pieces less than 5 mm in size.


The fossil is of a hadrosaurine duck-billed dinosaur called a Brachylophosaurus (Brachylophosaurus canadensis) an immature sub-adult that would have grown to a length in excess of 7 metres – not bad on a diet made up of leaves.  This dinosaur fossil, in common with a number of other articulated specimens has been given a nick-name.  It is known affectionately as “Leonardo” although the sex of the animal is unclear.  The Brachylophosaurus got this nickname as  when the fossil hunting expedition found it in the summer of 2000, close by carved on a rock was some graffiti – “Leonard Webb loves Geneva Jordon 1916”.

The fossil record indicates that brachylophosaurs were relatively rare compared to other hadrosaurine hadrosaurs.  Only a few specimens have been found compared to the many hundreds of fossils of other hadrosaurs found in Upper Cretaceous strata of the Western USA and Canada.

Brachylophosaurus means “short-crested lizard”, the crest implied in the scientific name consisted of a flat plate on the top of the head.  This duck-billed dinosaur did not have much of a duck-bill either, rather than the typical broad duck-like bill of a typical hadrosaur, the horny beak of Brachylophosaurus was down-turned and flattened from side to side.  Perhaps this is indicative of an adaptation for a particular type of browsing or other feeding behaviour.  Further analysis of the gastric tract may provide more information about the type of plant material this animal ate.

Other dinosaur fossils have been analysed to establish diet, but finding fossil evidence of this nature is extremely rare.  The analysis of the gastric tract was carried out by Justin Tweet, a graduate student at the University of Colorado, working in conjunction with other students and supervising palaeontologists.

Hadrosaurine Stomach Contents

The team focused on trying to analyse the constituents of the fossil in the area believed to represent the gut of the animal.  Microscopic study identified quantities of pollen, this could then be examined to reveal the types of plants this dinosaur had been eating.  Although pollen grains are very small, they are abundant and exceedingly resistant to decay.  Fossil pollen grains can be released from rock by dissolving the matrix in hydrofluoric acid.  This powerful acid, in a high concentration is capable of etching glass, but the fossilised pollen survive this process and can be studied to indicate the plants that were being eaten, as different plants have different shaped and sized pollen grains.

It seems that “Leonardo” had grazed on a variety of plants including flowering plants and ferns.  Pollen could also enter the gut if it had been ingested as the animal drank, and indeed there are other contaminants associated with this particular fossil.  Only about 12% of the fossil material studied is organic, the rest is clay and grit, which possibly entered the animal’s digestive tract as the body was covered, or perhaps this indicates that Brachylophosaurus was a low browser and picked up soil and other debris as it pulled out plants with its strong jaws, although the relatively high concentration of inorganic matter would cast doubt on this theory – surely this dinosaur was not that messy an eater!

The dentition of these dinosaurs is very formidable with rows of self-sharpening teeth and a jaw mechanism that allowed the tooth surfaces to grind together, an excellent way to break down tough vegetation.  With the plant matter partially broken up this was then swallowed and the strong acidic gastric juices and microbes inside the gut would have continued the digestion process.

In the picture above, the rib bones can be made out along with impressions of the dinosaur’s skin.  Much of the skin of this dinosaur is also preserved, and this has revealed more information about Brachylophosaurus and its way of life.  The skin around the shin and ankle is especially thick, perhaps acting as protection as the animal made its way through the undergrowth.

The discovery of “Leonardo” has certainly helped palaeontologists learn more about this unusual dinosaur, even gaining an insight into its diet.  It also led to the discovery of another hadrosaur fossil in the same location, when a media co-ordinator found a new fossilised dinosaur at Leonardo’s site when rehearsing a visit to view the excavation of the original specimen.

To read an article about this second discovery: Media co-ordinator discovers dinosaur!

Leonardo will be put on display shortly at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in a special exhibit entitled “Dinosaur Mummy C.S.I. (Cretaceous Science Investigation), a homage to the popular U.S. TV franchise C.S.I. about forensic teams helping to solve crimes.

Ironically, for a Late Cretaceous dinosaur believed to be somewhere around 80 million years old, there was a delay of one week before the exhibition could start.  Power cuts caused by hurricane Ike had were the reason for the delay, but fortunately none of the precious museum specimens were damaged.

Members of the public will be able to see this remarkable fossil for themselves and discover more about the on-going research surrounding this superbly well-preserved specimen.  Scientists have suggested that the fossil evidence indicates a diet of leaf matter, almost the title of Lynne Truss’s book about having a zero tolerance to punctuation.

Here is a dinosaur the eats shoots and leaves, leaving us evidence of its diet in the fossil record.

Everything Dinosaur supplies a wide range of hadrosaurine dinosaur models from the figures and replicas section of its award-winning website: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

24 09, 2008

“Chicken sized” Dinosaur Discovered In Alberta

By |2022-12-08T13:00:30+00:00September 24th, 2008|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Small Dinosaur – A possible Termite Eater from the Cretaceous (Alberta, Canada)

Details of the research undertaken to identify and describe a new type of North American dinosaur has just been published in the scientific journal “Cretaceous Research”.  This dinosaur, at only 75 cm long and standing less than a metre tall is claimed to be the smallest dinosaur every discovered in North America.

This new species has been named Albertonykus borealis (northern clawed beast of Alberta), the fossils of this animal were discovered in the Red Deer formation of Alberta and it is believed to have been a fast running, insectivore with a similar lifestyle to the alvarezsaurids – dinosaurs such as Mononykus and Shuvuuia from Asia.

North American Dinosaur

The 70-million-year-old bones (Maastrichtian faunal stage), were found during an expedition to the Red Deer region to excavate the fossils of an Albertosaurus in 2002.  The leader of that dig, Philip Currie removed the tiny fossil bones that had been found in association with the larger tyrannosaur and put them into storage at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller.  There the bones remained until University of Calgary palaeontologist Nick Longrich discovered them in one of the many storage draws and begun to work out just what sort of animal the bones represented.

A Model Set Featuring a Typical Member of the Alvarezsauridae

Desert Accessory Pack (Beasts of the Mesozoic)

The amazing desert accessory pack featuring a replica Mononykus (Beasts of the Mesozoic).

The Beasts of the Mesozoic Range

The picture (above) shows a replica of the alvarezsaurid dinosaur Mononykus from the: Beasts of the Mesozoic Model Range.

We know from experience that one of the best places to find a new species of dinosaur is not out in the field but in the storage areas of museums.  For example, we once calculated that given the dinosaur material stored in plaster jackets at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, it would take our team hundreds of years to prepare them all.

In the journal article, the two authors describe the specimen and use the strong forelimbs, “s” shaped, flexible neck, agile long necks and pick-like claws as evidence to indicate a diet of insects such as termites and other burrowing creatures depicting a lifestyle similar to modern-day anteaters and pangolins.

The small dinosaur looks like a creature from a Dr Seuss book, said Longrich, who called the findings “pretty cool.”

“We’ve never seen one this far north. Before this we only had two bones from this type of animal ever seen in North America and now we’ve got almost a dozen bones, most of them from one site,” he added.

“So it doesn’t give us a perfect idea of what the animal looked like but it gives us a much better idea.”

This little dinosaur has been depicted in the illustration above using its shortened forelimbs to dig into tree stumps and fallen logs in search of insects such as termites.  Albertonykus is depicted with a covering of downy feathers, this is in recognition of analysis of alvarezsaurid fossils from Mongolia that show traces of the chemical beta keratin which is found in feathers.  A downy coat would help insulate this small, active animal and keep it warm.

Nick Longrich believes this discovery is important as it sheds light on the existence of smaller dinosaurs in the Red Deer River formation.  It is very likely that small dinosaurs such as Albertonykus made up a large portion of the dinosaur fauna.  However, it is the large bones of the bigger animals that have a greater preservation potential.  Small delicate bones are less likely to be fossilised and indeed, many small carcases are eaten by predators.

This dinosaur is believed to a member of the Alvarezsauria, a group of small, bipedal dinosaurs with stunted forelimbs and reduced digits.  The alvarezsaurid fossils from Mongolia have been dated to between 80 and 75 million years ago (Campanian faunal stage).  The Alberta remains have been dated to approximately 70 million years ago.  Although, it is not possible to build a relationship diagram based on these remains the presence of Albertonykus in younger strata may indicate that like the tyrannosaurs, the dinosaur ancestors of Albertonykus migrated into North America from Asia.

The dinosaurs found in Mongolia are estimated to be about 75 to 80 million years old, while the Alberta version is about 70 million years old.

23 09, 2008

The Bizarre Looking but Amazing Amargasaurus

By |2024-04-15T12:14:06+01:00September 23rd, 2008|Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page|0 Comments

Amargasaurus – A Diplodocid that may have been a bit of a Show Off

We have recently been looking at some drawings and designs of dragons and other mythical creatures. Many dinosaurs looked bizarre, for example Amargasaurus, and the comment was made about how fanciful these animals looked with their wings, spines, spikes and frills.  The designers had really gone to town letting their imaginations run riot to produce prototypes for a model series.

However, sometimes the truth can be stranger than fiction and a number of prehistoric animals including dinosaurs are believed to have had bizarre ornamentation, spines, frills and crests.

Scientists are still unsure as to the exact purpose of many of these odd appendages, but the fossil record is clearly as capable of revealing any number of bizarre and odd looking animals, a match for the imagination of the sculptors and artists behind many of the dragon models.  Unless we have interpreted the fossil evidence incorrectly, these strange features evolved as they gave the animals an advantage in some way.


An example of a dinosaur with a bizarre appearance is Amargasaurus (Amargasaurus cazaui), a diplodocid dinosaur related to the better known (and larger) Diplodocus.  This sauropod had a disproportionately short neck when compared to other members of this group of dinosaurs but its most striking feature were the rows of spines and spikes that ran along the body from behind the neck to the end of the tail, although spines on the tail is conjecture as the only specimen of this animal discovered to date lacked a tail.  Some of our Amargasaurus dinosaur models show lots of amazing detail.

The Bizarre Looking Amargasaurus

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The spines are extensions of the vertebrae, what they were used for is unknown, although several theories have been put forward.  The spines may have supported a sail-like structure which may have been used for communication amongst herd members or for temperature regulation.  A sail may have helped this animal warm up quickly in the morning and, by facing towards the noon sun, exposing only a minimum part of their body’s surface area, they may have been able to regulate their temperature during the hottest part of the day.

A large sail-like structure on the neck would have inhibited movement of the neck, not a good idea if you are a browsing herbivore.  It has been suggested that any sail on the neck did not cover the full expanse of the spines, but in reality the tops of the spines were tipped with horn and were actually defensive spikes to protect a vulnerable part of this animal.  An examination of the skull and teeth of Amargasaurus in conjunction with an examination of the length of the neck vertebrae permits us to speculate that this animal browsed on low-lying vegetation.  With its head craned towards the ground to eat, it would make sense to have spikes on the neck to prevent a predator grabbing the neck in a surprise attack.

Amargasaurus – A Diplodocid from South America

Amaragasaurus Replica (Dinosaur Toys).

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of sauropod models available from Everything Dinosaur including Amargasaurus figures: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

The Carnegie model from the dinosaur collectibles series measures an impressive 22 cm long and this particular hand-painted model was awarded the seal of excellence for creative play by the U.S. based Creative Child Magazine.

22 09, 2008

Animals in Armour – The Successful Trilobite

By |2022-12-08T12:52:26+00:00September 22nd, 2008|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

The Trilobite – An Arthropod with a Tremendous Fossil Record

Insects are regarded as the most diverse of all the animal classes on planet Earth.  To date something like 1,000,000 different species have been recognised and it has been estimated that there may actually be 30 million different species of insect around today.  These numbers are truly astronomical, especially when some members of staff at Everything Dinosaur remember estimates for the total biodiversity for all animal species on this planet being put at around 2 million species as recently as the mid-1970s.

The Trilobite

However, the class Insecta makes up just part of a remarkable phylum – the Arthropoda, a phylum that can be traced back to the Cambrian and in all likelihood these animals and their ancestors made up a great portion of the life that existed during the Cryptozoic, that vast eon of time, otherwise known as the Precambrian when there was life on Earth but it has left few traces in the fossil record.

Arthropods have evolved to fill a vast array of environmental niches, with types of arthropod found in most habitats – in water and on land.  Crustaceans, such as crabs, lobsters, barnacles and shrimps, along with all insects, scorpions, mites, spiders and millipedes are all members of this phylum.  A number of extinct types of arthropod are represented in the fossil record.  The most important extinct group are the Trilobita. These armoured animals evolved in the Early Cambrian and survived until the end of the Palaeozoic.  As a class, Trilobita finally died out around 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, when approximately 90% of all life forms became extinct.

Ten Orders of Trilobita

Ten orders of Trilobita are recognised at present, although the taxonomic classification and phylogeny of trilobites is frequently reviewed and debated.  Despite the extensive fossil record of these animals, (their exoskeletons are partly comprised of calcite and this coupled with their marine existence gives them a high potential for preservation as fossils), there are still gaps in our knowledge regarding the evolutionary relationship between different orders.

An Illustration of a Typical Trilobite

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Approximately, 20,000 species of trilobite are known, they are regarded as the standard bearer for the entire fossil record represented by Palaeozoic strata, although as a group the Trilobita were at their most diverse and abundant in the early Palaeozoic.  All but one order of trilobites were extinct by the end of the Devonian, and by the end of Permian only two families of trilobite remained with a number of other families dying out in the mid Permian.  Changes in climate, rising sea levels and the evolution of efficient predators such as sharks have all been put forward as theories to explain the demise of the trilobite.

A Replica of a Trilobite

CollectA Redlichia rex trilobite.

CollectA Redlichia rex trilobite model.

CollectA offers a range of replicas of iconic fossil animals including a trilobite: CollectA Prehistoric Life Models and Figures.

They were certainly a remarkable and highly diverse group of animals and their importance in biostratigraphic processes as well as the assistance of their fossils in the relative dating of strata should not be underestimated.

We have recently introduced a model of a typical trilobite to our range.  This makes an excellent addition for the serious model collector or for school/home study.

A Model of a Trilobite

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the fossil replicas in stock at Everything Dinosaur as well as a huge range of prehistoric animal models and figures: Dinosaur Models and Prehistoric Animal Figures.

21 09, 2008

Strange Place to Hear Wedding Bells – Kents Cavern

By |2023-02-25T18:30:54+00:00September 21st, 2008|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page|0 Comments

Couple decide to Tie the Knot in Kents Cavern

For Gilly Woodland and Alan Duckworth, deciding where to have their marriage ceremony was no easy choice, what with the relaxing of UK legislation to allow other buildings and sites of interest to be licensed to hold civil wedding ceremonies.  One such location to benefit from these changes is Kents Cavern in Devon.

Kents Cavern

However, these two Torquay residents (Devon) have opted for the nearby ancient cave system of Kents Cavern, believed to be one of the oldest human-inhabited locations ever found in the UK.  Evidence gathered by the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (AHOB) project indicates that human species lived in the cave as far back as 450,000 years ago.

A fragment of jawbone found within the cave recently has been controversially identified as Neanderthal and dated to approximately 45,000 years ago.  This rare and precious find is the oldest fossil evidence of Neanderthal habitation of the United Kingdom

Ms Woodland, 49, a media marketing manager, and Mr Duckworth, 38, a network design manager, will marry in the candlelit civil ceremony on Sunday, October 4th.

Gilly commented: “We wanted a blank canvas where we could design our own wedding. You can put together exactly what you want.”

A Wedding in a Cave

The 85 guests will be ferried to the caves complex by vintage bus before going underground for the ceremony.

“There will be a civil wedding in one cave, then a cocktail party with a 25 piece orchestra, Spectrum Music, playing in the other,” said Ms Woodland. “We will come up for air for a dinner at ground level, then go underground again for more live music.”

Although the caverns are massive you never forget you are in a cave – and there is the slight risk of being dripped on by a stalactite.

For the guests, Ms Woodland and her fiancé it will certainly be a night to remember.  Perhaps the large cave system at Kents Cavern has hosted similar important events and ceremonies in the past when our human ancestors held their own festivities, marking a successful hunt or the return of the warmer Summer weather.  The cave system has yielded some remarkable fossil finds.  As well as the human remains, the fossilised bones of Cave bears, Mammoths and Woolly Rhinos have been found.  Even evidence of Sabre-toothed cats has been discovered in the cave system.

Everything Dinosaur might not be able to promise wedded bliss for the couple, but we hope this special occasion goes smoothly and the UK-based mail order company does stock a wide range of prehistoric mammal models including Woolly Mammoths and Sabre-toothed cats: Models of Prehistoric Mammals.

We wish the couple well, and hope that the event goes off brilliantly for them.  One thing is for sure, when you hold a wedding ceremony underground you don’t have to worry about the rain!

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