All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
28 02, 2009

The Curious Case of Caudipteryx

By |2023-02-25T18:02:48+00:00February 28th, 2009|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

The Curious Case of Caudipteryx – Where does it Fit In?

Caudipteryx was a very peculiar looking dinosaur.  It is known from several skeletons all found in ancient sediments laid down close to an ancient lake in the Chinese province of Liaoning in north-eastern China.  These fine-grained, layered siltstones are famous due to their remarkable preservation qualities that has enabled primitive birds and small dinosaurs to be preserved as fossils with exceptional details.  Since the first feathered dinosaurs were discovered in the area scientists from the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology in Beijing have been working closely with palaeontologists from the USA, Canada and Europe.  A lot of research is being carried out on the new discoveries and many more amazing finds will come out of the fossil rich sediments in and around the quarries at Sihetun.

A Scale Drawing of Caudipteryx (Caudipteryx zoui)

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Fossils of Caudipteryx

The first fossils of Caudipteryx were found in 1997 and the animal was formerly named and described by a joint North American and Chinese team in 1998.  Two species are now known, the first species named and described was Caudipteryx zoui.  This little dinosaur grew no bigger than the size of a peacock (estimated length up to 100 centimetres).  Caudipteryx was very light, with delicate bones that resembled those of a modern bird.  It even had a highly developed wishbone, (furcula) just like modern birds.  Scientists estimate that it weighed about 8 kilos, about half the weight of a Velociraptor.

Caudipteryx had long legs, short arms covered in long feathers forming a wing-like structure and long-tail feathers.  It is from the ornate tail that this dinosaur gets its name as this dinosaur’s name means “tail feather”.  Close analysis of the structure of the feathers indicate that they were symmetrical, these means that they were not designed for flight.  The long feathers on the arms and tail could well have been used for display.  Dark bands in the fossilised feathers indicate that they were probably brightly coloured, reinforcing the theory that these feathers were used by these little dinosaurs for display.

The colouration of Caudipteryx can only be speculated.  It was covered in small, downy proto-feathers, probably for insulation.  Fossils of Caudipteryx are one of the few dinosaur fossils that show the impression of feathers.  The tail feathers are particularly long, with quills in excess of 15 centimetres long.

A Model of Caudipteryx – Carnegie Collection Caudipteryx

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view models of feathered dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

A Fast Runner

Scientists are not sure how Caudipteryx lived.  Its long shin bones and proportionately smaller thigh bones (femurs), indicate that this dinosaur was probably a fast runner indicating a cursorial (running) lifestyle.  However, some palaeontologists believe that as the fossils of Caudipteryx were found in association with lake sediments, this little dinosaur may have waded in the shallows catching small fish, amphibians and insects like a modern wading bird.  The toes on the feet seem to be quite well spaced apart, perhaps an adaptation for walking around on mud and other soft ground.

Recent research on the feet of Caudipteryx has led some scientists to conclude that this little, light dinosaur was capable of perching, just like garden birds.  As for Caudipteryx’s diet, scientists remain divided as to whether this dinosaur was an active hunter, an omnivore or a plant-eater.  Its large eyes, the sharp teeth in the upper jaw and its long legs indicate a hunting lifestyle, but gastroliths associated with this dinosaur may indicate that this animal also ate plants.  The gastroliths (stones swallowed by birds and dinosaurs and retained in the gizzard used to grind up food), has led some scientists to deduce that this animal was a herbivore.

Caudipteryx is certainly a curious little dinosaur.

A Drawing of the Feathered Dinosaur Caudipteryx


An illustration of the feathered theropod Caudipteryx. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Caudipteryx model featured in this article was part of the model series introduced by Safari Ltd, to view this range of replicas: Safari Ltd. Prehistoric Animal Models.

27 02, 2009

The A-Z of Dinosaurs

By |2023-09-02T08:17:57+01:00February 27th, 2009|Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|4 Comments

A Dinosaur Alphabet – From Ankylosaurus to Zuniceratops

Science and palaeontology have changed a lot since the naming of the first dinosaur (Megalosaurus – 1824), but people’s fascination with these remarkable creatures has not.  It seems that the more fossils we find the greater the number of questions that we have about dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals from the past.

Dinosaurs Alphabet

Children seem to be captivated by them and we are often told by proud parents that their child knows more about dinosaurs then anything else.  Some of these children are very young so we thought it would be a good idea to put our teaching skills to good use and create some learning materials to help children get to grips with the alphabet and numbers.  We have a number of products already aimed at helping children learn, combining their love of dinosaurs with creative play and cognitive development.  One such example is the wooden counting dinosaurs set.

This product combines a jigsaw concept where children can learn to recognise numbers with pictures of dinosaurs that can help them to grasp the concept of numeracy.  It is a great product and one that always performed well when put in a focus group for testing.

The Wooden Dinosaur Counting Set

Dinosaurs by Numbers.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed gifts available from Everything Dinosaur: Dinosaur Toys and Gifts.

Inspired by Teachers

Inspired by comments from teachers, we are currently in the process of designing a Dinosaur Alphabet – the joke around the office is that we can handle the dinosaurs but learning the alphabet is a different matter.  We have twenty-six dinosaur cards, each one represents a letter in the alphabet.  They show a dinosaur beginning with the letter, a scale drawing, pronunciation and the letters themselves to help young learners recognise and remember them.

It has been fun to make and includes lots of popular dinosaurs such as Carnotaurus, Stegosaurus and of course Tyrannosaurus rex, as well as some more unusual ones to represent letters such as X and J.  We have had to take a little bit of licence with the letters H and Q, using marine reptiles and the pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus.  We could have commissioned drawings for dinosaurs such as Hadrosaurus and Qantassaurus, but instead we have opted to broaden the type of animals used in this series.

Our new dinosaur alphabet will now go forward into our testing programme and should be available as a download shortly.

From Ankylosaurus to Zuniceratops an Illustration from the Dinosaur Alphabet

An A-Z of the Dinosauria.  Helping young dinosaur fans to learn the alphabet.  A dinosaurs alphabet. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur (Zuniceratops)

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s website: Everything Dinosaur.

26 02, 2009

Dinosaurs in your Living Room – Living with Dinosaurs

By |2022-12-20T13:22:40+00:00February 26th, 2009|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page|2 Comments

A Novel Piece of Design – Inspired by Dinosaurs

Most people have furniture. There’s nothing especially unique or cool about owning a couch or sofa, no matter how expensive or how well upholstered they are.  However, if you want something truly original for your home you could take inspiration from a young Japanese designer who has created a series of giant foam dinosaur bones.

Sayaka Yamamoto, a graduate of the Hiko Mizuno Jewellery College in Tokyo, now resident in Holland has produced a number of pieces based on the fossilised bones of extinct prehistoric creatures such as Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex.

Life-size Foam Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs are a source of fascination for old and young alike.  When mounted in a museum; the huge skeletons of meat-eaters such as the one depicted in the picture above are quite astonishing.  Dinosauria as an Order is arguably the most successful vertebrate mega fauna, there is a beauty and elegance about their anatomical structure.  Ms Yamamoto has used the mounted specimens seen in museums as the basis for an art project, interpreting various parts of the skeletons and creating soft, foam objects designed for interior spaces.

Commenting on the project brief, she stated:

“In daily life, many interior objects are made of animal materials.  In this project I tried to imagine how such products could look if dinosaurs were still alive”.

Interpretation of Triceratops Lower Jaw

Creative sculptures.

The picture depicts a lower jaw of a Triceratops (T. horridus), known as a dentary by scientists.  In reality, the dentary would have a further bone adjacent to it at the front of the animal, the predentary.  This was the beak of the Triceratops, part of a powerful set of jaws that could cut and crush branches several centimetres thick.

When Ms Yamamoto was asked why she had selected dinosaurs for her latest art project, she said:

” I was fascinated by the huge sizes of the dinosaurs, compared to most animals we know and wanted to bring this feeling into our living environment.  Living with Dinosaurs consists of soft-interior-objects in the shape of dinosaur skeletons, made in life-size.  This results in playful objects which can be described as interior toys for adults”.

Go to Ms Yamamoto’s website and view more of her artwork.

Since September 2005, Ms Yamamoto has been resident in Holland and she has recently graduated from the prestigious Man and Identity faculty at the Design Academy in Eindhoven.

Saurischian Hip Bones as a Piece of Art

Sculpting replica dinosaur bones.

The piece in the picture above reminds us of an theropod’s (Tyrannosaurus rex), hip bones.  The bones are depicted upside down, the broad flat section on the bottom would in reality be the ilium, the hole in the centre would be attachment for the femur and the bones sticking out would be the pubis and the ischium which would have pointed towards the tail.

It always fascinates the dinosaur experts at Everything Dinosaur, how prehistoric animals inspire others.  We wish Sayaka every success with her project.

25 02, 2009

New Long-Necked Stegosaur Discovered

By |2022-12-20T13:21:03+00:00February 25th, 2009|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page|2 Comments

A Stegosaurus that Tried to Compete with the Sauropods

When scientists talk about long-necked dinosaurs, it is natural to assume that they are referring to the sauropods, animals such as Camarasaurus and Diplodocus, huge animals with long, necks and in many cases whip-like long tails.  However, a recent discovery of a stegosaur in Portugal demonstrates that when it came to long necks the sauropods had one or two rivals.  Along with the typical stegosaur features of robust forelimbs, small head with a beak and the plates running along the back, this new stegosaur genus had a much longer neck than any other stegosaur known to science.


This new type of stegosaur, named Miragaia longicollum (the long-necked creature from Miragaia – the village in Portugal where the fossilised bones were found), has nearly twice as many neck bones as some other members of the Stegosauridae.

A Close up of Miragaia longicollum and Scale Drawing

Scale Drawing of Miragaia

“Long-neck from Miragaia”. A scale drawing of the newly described Miragaia longicollum.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

To view a model of Miragaia and other replicas of armoured dinosaurs available from Everything Dinosaur: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

The robust humerus, ulna and radius of the forelimbs can be clearly seen in the picture above along with the extremely long neck for a member of the Stegosauria.  The illustration provides an estimate of the size of the animal (5.5 – 6 metres in length).  Much of the front end of this stegosaur has been found, along with important parts of the skull and the ilium and pubis bones, part of the hip structure that identify this dinosaur as an ornithischian.

Compared to a Chinese Stegosaur

Dr Octavio Mateus, a vertebrate palaeontologist at the New University of Lisbon, compared this new find with the primitive stegosaur genus Huayangosaurus, fossils of which have been found in the Dashanpu quarries in China.  This particular animal had nine neck vertebrae.  However, this newly discovered genus had a total of 17 neck bones, the neck makes up about one third of the animal’s body length.  Proportionately, the neck of Miragaia is about twice the length of other members of the Stegosauridae, enabling comparisons with the long-necked sauropods to be made.

This discovery will re-open the debate about bipedalism in stegosaurs and may indicate an adaptation for browsing on taller vegetation compared to other stegosaurs.  Alternatively, a longer neck may have helped these animals reach into dense groves of cycads in order to feed.

Discussing the new find, Dr Richard Butler of the Natural History Museum in London stated:

“The new fossils reveal a range of variation in anatomy [in stegosaurs] that we had no idea about”.

Dr Mateus, is one of the leading palaeontologists in Portugal and specialises in research into Jurassic dinosaurs found in his homeland.  He recently made headlines himself when he and his colleagues vehemently opposed the sale of a partial dinosaur tail by a construction company boss.

To read more about the sale of the dinosaur fossils: Anger over Dinosaur Tail up for Sale in Portugal.

24 02, 2009

Sea Monsters – Magnetic Play Set

By |2022-12-20T13:17:32+00:00February 24th, 2009|Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Newsletters, Main Page|0 Comments

Sea Monsters – Magnetic Play Set

Building on Everything Dinosaur’s work with a number of marine reptile and other creatures that lived in the ancient seas of the Mesozoic, the company has introduced a sea monster magnetic play set.

Now young dinosaur fans can create their own underwater scenes featuring such amazing and wonderful animals as Dolichorhynchops, Elasmosaurus and Tylosaurus.  These play sets don’t just focus on marine reptiles, the magnetic play sets include giant sharks, primitive fish and the torpedo shaped Xiphactinus.

The Magnetic Play Set from Everything Dinosaur

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the huge range of dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed gifts available from the company’s award-winning website: Visit Everything Dinosaur.

On test this particular product proved very popular.  The set consists of two prehistoric scenes and a set of magnetic play pieces representing animals from the Age of Reptiles, from the Triassic right up to the end of the Cretaceous.  In the set, giant sharks such as Squalicorax, squid and the fearsome Xiphactinus fish are featured.  Naturally, the marine reptiles have the largest presence with nothosaurs, mosasaurs, elasmosaurids and even ichthyosaurs included.  The pieces are easy to move and place on the realistic underwater scenes and we found that lots and lots of different stories could be made up about the animals.

This proved an excellent item for creative play and linked into some key stage teaching areas such as building ecosystems and understanding food webs.  We certainly saw a huge number of different scenes, each one depicting a child’s view of an ancient seascape populated by fearsome sea monsters.

As well as stocking an large range of dinosaur and marine reptile toys and gifts, Everything Dinosaur also stock a huge range of prehistoric animal models and replicas including a wide range of marine reptile figures.

There are plesiosaurs, pliosaurs, mosasaurs, ichthyosaurs and also replicas of important fossil invertebrates such as ammonites, trilobites and belemnites.

To view the extensive range of prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

23 02, 2009

Dolichorhynchops – A Prehistoric Hunter of Squid and Fish

By |2022-12-20T13:15:56+00:00February 23rd, 2009|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Dolichorhynchops – A Prehistoric Hunter

Dolichorhynchops (pronounced Dol-ee-koh-rin-kops) was a short-necked plesiosaur from the Late Cretaceous. Two species of this marine reptile are known, the first to be named and described (the largest species known), is called Dolichorhynchops osborni.  The name means “long snout face” and a glimpse at the long, narrow jaws is proof of this animal’s apt name.  The first fossils of this creature, called the holotype, were found by George Sternberg, the teenage son of the American palaeontologist Charles Sternberg.  The species name is in honour of another American palaeontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn, one of the leading scientists in this field at the time of the Dolichorhynchops discovery.

Osborn, is perhaps best known for naming and describing Tyrannosaurus rex in 1905, although his contribution to palaeontology was much greater than this.  He was president of the American Museum of Natural History in New York from 1908 until 1935.


Ironically, for an animal named in honour of the man who was to name and describe the fearsome T. rex; Dolichorhynchops lived in an environment that has been nick-named “Hell’s Aquarium”.  Dolichorhynchops shared its watery world, known as the Western Interior Seaway with fierce predators such as the giant mosasaurs and huge meat-eating fish such as the swift and powerful Xiphactinus, a fish that could reach lengths in excess of six metres.

The Western Interior Seaway covered much of North America during the Late Cretaceous, at some times during the very end of the Age of Reptiles it stretched from the Gulf of Mexico right up to the Arctic circle.

A Scale Drawing of Dolichorhynchops

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The team members at Everything Dinosaur, have just added a soft toy Dolichorhynchops to their prehistoric animal series, a companion to their other prehistoric animal plush including a sea monster soft toy a Megalodon (giant shark).

To view the marine prehistoric animal soft toys and dinosaurs: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Soft Toys.

From the illustration above, it can be seen that Dolichorhynchops was quite a large animal.  Scientists have estimated that this marine reptile could grow up to 5 metres in length.  It was a nektonic creature, this means that it was an active swimmer, using its strong flippers to “fly” through the water a bit like a penguin.

It would have been very agile and a fast swimmer, helpful when you shared the water with Tylosaurus for example.  Tylosaurus was a huge mosasaur, a fossilised Tylosaurus has been found with parts of a young Dolichorhynchops preserved with it.  Scientists believe that the Dolichorhynchops had been eaten by the Tylosaurus.

The Jaws of Dolichorhynchops

The jaws of Dolichorhynchops, although long were not very powerful.  The jaws were lined with between forty and sixty, sharp teeth.  Analysis of the scars on the fossilised jaw bone where muscles would have been attached indicate that Dolichorhynchops had relatively weak jaws.  Scientists believe that this short-necked plesiosaur specialised in hunting squid and small fish.

It is wonderful to find a soft toy of a marine reptile, a plesiosaur at that and this Dolichorhynchops soft toy makes a super addition our range of dinosaur soft toys.

Everything Dinosaur also stocks a wide range of prehistoric animal models including several marine reptile figures.

To view the range of prehistoric animal models available: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

22 02, 2009

Exploring the Geology of Cheshire – Alderley Edge

By |2022-12-20T13:13:45+00:00February 22nd, 2009|Geology, Main Page|0 Comments

Exploring the Geology of Cheshire – Trip to Alderley Edge

Just a few miles from our warehouse the Cheshire plain ends and gives way to a huge sandstone ridge that rises to something like 190 metres above sea level.  This is the famous sandstone landscape of Alderley Edge, a place where legends of wizards, witches and warlocks are abundant, but unfortunately fossils are very rare indeed.

However, feeling the need for a bracing walk and wanting to get out of the warehouse and office for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon, a couple of Everything Dinosaur team members took the opportunity to visit the this National Trust site and do a little exploring.  Although this site is owned by the National Trust, much of the sandstone outcrop is classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and indeed, the rock formations in the area have been designated RIGS – Regional Important Geological Sites.

The sandstone was laid down as sedimentary rock under the action of wind and water deposition during the Triassic period (approximately 230-240 million years ago).  A number of beds are visible in the area, the sediment of the beds vary in terms of composition, hardness, size of sand grains and their colouration.  During this part of the Triassic period, Cheshire was much closer to the Equator than it is today.  It made up part of the super-continent Pangea, the northern part, known as Laurentia, land that would eventually form the Americas and Europe. To the east there were salt marshes and ultimately shallow seas forming the mighty Tethys ocean.  To the west, travelling inland you would have encountered a harsh, desert environment similar to the Sahara desert in North Africa.  The area was very hostile to life, being hot, dry and effectively classified as “red desert”.  The lack of water and subsequently the lack of life explains the very poor fossil record for this part of Cheshire.  Only a few tiny brachiopod fossils (shellfish) are associated with this part of eastern Cheshire.

The stratigraphy of the sediments, the order in which the various sediments have been deposited is quite complicated.  Two main stratigraphic groups are represented, Sherwood sandstones and the more recent Mercia mudstone deposits.  The oldest exposed sediments belong to the Wilmslow formation (Wilmslow is a large town in the area).  A number of layers of conglomerate can be viewed at Alderley edge.  These layers represent deposition of sediment by rivers.  It is believed that during this time in the Triassic, this area had a number of seasonal rivers that ran in an north-westerly direction, eventually reaching the coastal salt marshes and then the sea.  Occasionally, flash floods occurred and the action of water bringing sediment into the area for eventual deposition can be viewed at a number of exposed rock outcrops.  For example, a layer of conglomerate deposition, lying directly above sandstone can be seen at the Church Quarry site, one of the places of interest we visited on our walk.

Close up of Conglomerate Layer (Church Quarry site)

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

In the picture, a number of rounded, small pebbles can be seen.  This is evidence of deposition by the action of water.  The pebbles range in size from a few millimetres to up to 8 cm across, one of our trusty geology hammers has been placed in the picture to provide a scale.  As the water lost energy, it was unable to carry so much sediment and so these pebbles were deposited to form what are termed “inclusions” within the conglomerate.

This part of Cheshire has been mined for metals such as copper, lead and iron.  Archaeological evidence indicates that mining first began in this area around 4,000 years ago.  As we walked towards the very edge of the sandstone ridge we encountered the Pillar and Doc mines, evidence of excavation deep into the sandstone.  Looking carefully amongst the debris and scree on the steep slopes we found several examples of malachite.

The sandstone has veins of green minerals (the malachite) running through it.  This is the most common ore found at the Alderley Edge site (copper carbonate hydroxide) and from this ore copper can be extracted.  Malachite is formed by the reaction of water containing dissolved carbon dioxide with sulphide ores.

Some of the pieces of Malachite found near the Pillar and Doc Mines

Exploring the Geology of Cheshire. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

In the picture, the green veins of malachite can be seen, we put the 20 pence piece in for scale.

Although we did deviate from the designated walk we were supposed to be on (the wizard walk), we did manage to see most of the points of interest our guide book had informed us about.  The walk took about 3 hours and it was a most pleasant afternoon.

View from “the Edge” the end of the Sandstone Ridge

What a view! Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

We did make frequent stops to admire the views and examine the exposed strata, even finding a couple of thin layers of mudstone (but no fossils).  The above picture is the view from the edge of the sandstone ridge looking out towards Derbyshire.  On a clear day, it is possible to see the city of Manchester to the north (twenty miles away) and out over the Cheshire plain to the Derbyshire hills.

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s website: Everything Dinosaur.

21 02, 2009

Becklespinax – A Very English Theropod

By |2022-12-20T13:11:00+00:00February 21st, 2009|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|1 Comment

Becklespinax – A Very English Theropod

One of the characteristics of the English is that they are supposed to be very reserved.  This attribute can be ascribed to a number of theropod fossils found in England also, as fossils of these meat-eaters are very reluctant to show themselves.  For example, a number of theropod fossils recovered from the Wealden Formation of southern England are extremely fragmentary and several genera of theropods are known from just scattered and isolated fossil fragments as a result.  There are exceptions to this of course, for example, Neovenator (Allosauridae) from the Isle of Wight and Eustreptospondylus (Megalosauridae) from Oxfordshire.  Scientists have been lucky enough to find almost complete specimens of these particular dinosaurs.  However, for the majority of the theropod fossils associated with the United Kingdom fossil discoveries are very rare and what fossils we have are very incomplete.


The dinosaur known as Becklespinax (B. altispinax) is typical.  This particular theropod is known from just three articulated vertebrae (back bones), discovered in East Sussex in 1884.  Some metatarsal and theropod teeth have been found in the same locality but whether or not these belonged to a Becklespinax or to other dinosaur genera is unknown.

Although, these fossils were first discovered 125 years ago, their exact taxonomic nature remains in doubt.  Becklespinax was only finally pronounced to be a valid genus about 20 years ago, and the relationship between Becklespinax and other meat-eaters is still poorly understood.

From the fossils, scientists have been able to create an impression of what they think this dinosaur looked like.  Typically about the size of Megalosaurus (M. bucklandi), with a length around 8 metres, the tall neural processes on the vertebrae indicate some sort of ridge or sail-like structure running down the animal’s back.

An Artist’s Impression of Becklespinax (B. altispinax)

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

From a review carried out by the American palaeontologist and leading expert on Theropoda, Gregory S Paul, Becklespinax was classified as a member of the Allosauridae family.   A further study of the published work and papers was carried out a couple of years later by George Olshevsky, another freelance palaeontologist, like Paul.

Closely Related to Sinraptor

It is thought that Becklespinax was closely related to Sinraptor a type of allosaur, best known from fossil finds in Asia.  However, the paucity of European fossil theropod remains makes establishing any form of cladistic or taxonomic relationship between meat-eating dinosaurs extremely difficult.

When it came to producing a model of this dinosaur, the prototypes were based on a combination of allosaur and specific Sinraptor morphologies.  For instance, the slightly elongate jaws and the brow crests are typical of an allosaur, whilst the relatively long tail is a trait associated with the Sinraptoridae.

The Model of Becklespinax (Procon/CollectA)

Becklespinax – an English dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the model of Becklespinax and other theropod replicas: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

The actual size of this dinosaur is also a subject for speculation.  It has been estimated that this animal would have perhaps reached lengths in excess of 8 metres and weighed more than 1,000 kilogrammes, but in the absence of further fossils, this remains conjecture.

20 02, 2009

A Drawing of the Bizarre Stegosaur – Wuerhosaurus

By |2022-12-20T13:09:02+00:00February 20th, 2009|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings|0 Comments

Wuerhosaurus Illustrated

One of the more unusual of all the Dinosauria, our drawing of Wuerhosaurus, a Chinese stegosaur.  Everything Dinosaur commissions drawings of prehistoric animals including members of the Stegosauria clade and other ornithischian dinosaurs.  These drawings are used to help our education programmes and feature in the Everything Dinosaur prehistoric animal fact sheets that are sent out with orders of dinosaur and prehistoric animal models and toys purchased from the company’s award-winning website.

Odd stegosaur from China, an illustration of the Chinese stegosaur Wuerhosaurus (W. homheni).

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Wuerhosaurus (W. homheni and W. ordosensis)

Fossils found in the early 1970s (Lianmugin Formation of the Junggar Basin in the Xinjiang region of western China), led to the erection of the genus Wuerhosaurus and the species W. homheni in 1973. This armoured dinosaur was formally named and described by the famous Chinese palaeontologist Dong Zhiming in 1973. Fragmentary fossils of a second, slightly smaller Wuerhosaurus species led to the erection of W. ordosensis in 1993. This second species was also named and described by Dong Zhiming.

The PNSO Wuerhosaurus dinosaur model.
PNSO Wuerhosaurus model. A replica of the strange stegosaur from the Early Cretaceous of China.

To view models of the Chinese, Early Cretaceous stegosaur Wuerhosaurus and other figures and replicas of armoured dinosaurs: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

19 02, 2009

Parents of Boy Eaten by Crocodile don’t want Croc Killed

By |2022-12-20T12:57:59+00:00February 19th, 2009|Animal News Stories, Main Page|0 Comments

Crocodile responsible for Death of Young Boy Identified

The parents of Jeremy Doble, the young boy who was attacked and eaten by an Estuarine crocodile have declared that they don’t want the crocodile killed by the Australian authorities.

The attack took place on February 8th as Jeremy played with his seven-year-old brother and pet dog in flooded swampland adjacent to the Daintree River in Queensland.  The Daintree river and rain-forest is a world heritage site but the river has a high density of Estuarine crocodiles and these huge reptiles have a reputation for being man-eaters.  The Estuarine or Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is the largest species of crocodile and the biggest reptile species on the planet.  Mature adults can reach lengths in excess of 6 metres, any crocodile bigger than 2 metres is considered a potential man-eater.

Nobody witnessed the actual attack, but Ryan saw a crocodile shortly after his brother had disappeared and Steve Doble, the boy’s father, ran into the water trying to save his son when he heard screams.  Steve Doble operates a tourist and trekking company and the family were used to seeing large crocodiles in the area.  The threat of an attack was always there, Saltwater crocodiles like most species of large crocodile are ambush predators and unfortunately, a number of fatal crocodile attacks are reported each year.

This incident was the second such occurrence in the Daintree area in recent months.  A man was eaten by a large crocodile on the Endeavour river just north of the Daintree.  One shoe, a camera and some crocodile slide marks were found on the spot where the man disappeared.  A hunt was launched by the local law enforcement agencies and a large crocodile trapped which when examined revealed the human remains inside its stomach.

After the attack on Jeremy, the authorities launched a large-scale search for the predator.  Two crocodiles were caught, one male and a female.  The female when x-rayed showed no human remains, however, the male croc was proved to be the culprit.

The boy’s parents have specifically asked authorities not to kill the animal.  Instead, it will be sent to a crocodile farm or zoo but will not be put on public display.   Crocodiles that measure over 4 metres long had been seen in the area and one of these creatures is more than capable of overpowering a human being.  It is very sad to hear of this news, unfortunately as the numbers of crocodiles increase and they have more contact with people, such incidents are likely to occur.  To a crocodile a person is another item of prey and there have been calls for another cull of large crocodiles in the area.

The population of Estuarine crocodiles in Australia fell dramatically in the 19th and early 20th Century due to hunting.  However, protection and conservation schemes running since the 1970’s has permitted the crocodile population to increase.  Australians seem to have a love – hate relationship with their crocodile species.  Only a few days ago we reported on a new exhibit, a showcase of crocodilian evolution being opened at Darwin.

To view this article: Crocodile Exhibition opens to celebrate Darwin’s Birth.

It seems that having such magnificent creatures sharing your neighbourhood has some very serious drawbacks and unfortunately, there is little evidence to suggest that crocodiles can be successfully deterred from making such attacks.

Go to Top