All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
31 01, 2014

Dinosaurs Explored by Navigation Primary School in New Term Topic

By |2024-05-02T09:20:20+01:00January 31st, 2014|Early Years Foundation Reception, Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Dinosaurs Explored by Navigation Primary School in New Term Topic

Reception and Year 1 Explore Dinosaurs

For children in Reception and Year 1 at Navigation Primary School today was a special “red letter” day as they got the chance to learn all about fossils and dinosaurs when an expert from Everything Dinosaur visited their school.  The children took part in a wide range of prehistoric animal themed activities described as “awesome” by one enthusiastic reception class pupil.  The children had the chance to handle real fossils and to see just how big some dinosaurs actually were.

As part of the planning for the dinosaur workshop, the teaching team had helped the children formulate questions and the dinosaur expert did his best to answer them throughout the day.

Questions Prepared for the Dinosaur Expert

Children prepare questions about dinosaurs.

Dinosaur day inspires young, creative minds.

Picture credit: Navigation Primary School

Dinosaurs either as a term topic or part of a specific science week help young children develop a keen interest in reading and exploring books.  One little boy in Year 1 even brought in his dinosaur book to show Everything Dinosaur.  He was very keen to point out which dinosaurs and flying reptiles we had just been talking about.

Imaginative Works of Art

Imaginative Art Project Inspired by Plant-Eating Dinosaurs

Dinosaur art in school.

A colourful dinosaur created by Year 1 children.

Picture credit: Navigation Primary School

Dinosaurs and Fossils

The children were keen to show a number of art projects that they had been working on, including a beautiful “Spottysaurus” that had been suggested to the class as part of Everything Dinosaur’s preparations for the visit.  The posters were used to help reinforce learning about plant-eating and meat-eating dinosaurs.

With Miss Carney and Miss Bolchove  helping, the children explored adjectives which could be used to describe fossils.  It was a very successful dinosaur workshop and the children were inspired by all the fossils that they had seen.

To view the range of educational games and toys in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Dinosaur Crafts, Toys and Games.

31 01, 2014

Navigation Primary School and Special Dinosaur Days

By |2024-05-02T09:20:48+01:00January 31st, 2014|Educational Activities, Teaching|0 Comments

Year 1 and Reception Explore Dinosaurs

Children in Year 1 and Reception at Navigation Primary School had the chance to explore dinosaurs and fossils when an expert from Everything Dinosaur was invited to their school.  As part of a day of dinosaur themed teaching activities that had been planned by the teachers and the school’s hard-working support staff, the children were given the opportunity to make their own comic strips, design prehistoric animals, create giant dinosaur themed art as well as to get up close to fossils.


Dinosaurs as a topic can really help young children develop a keen interest in reading and the children were enthusiastically showing all the books that they had been studying about dinosaurs, one little boy even brought a book from home to show our dinosaur expert.

When it comes to developing an extensive vocabulary the children were quick to help out with lots of adjectives and having seen the long list of questions that Miss Carney and Miss Bolchover had compiled with the help of the children, it was clear that the dinosaur workshop had fired young imaginations.

Lots and Lots of Questions About Dinosaurs Generated

Dinosaur day inspires young, creative minds.

Dinosaur day inspires young, creative minds.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows some of the questions that the children in Year 1 came up with.  There were some amazing and thoughtful questions asked by the children, Miss Johnston’s favourite was why do dinosaurs go “grrr”?

Dinosaur Term Topic

As a topic, whether just for a day, as in the case of Navigation Primary or for a whole term, dinosaurs enthuse both girls and boys and really get them to engage with creative writing activities as well as helping to underline important teaching aims related to literacy, numeracy and simple scientific fundamentals.  For example, Emma showed our dinosaur expert part of a comic strip that she had started to create.  She had taken a great deal of care over the selection of her characters for her story, no doubt inspired by some of the fossils she and her class mates got the chance to handle.

Miss Sugden commented on how excited all the children were, she also mentioned that the teaching staff were also very keen to learn all about dinosaurs.

The Start of Emma’s Dinosaur Comic Strip

Dinosaur comic strip

Dinosaur comic strip.

Picture credit: Emma/Everything Dinosaur

We look forward to hearing more about how Emma and her friends develop their comic strips.

Marine Reptiles

Tyler was delighted to learn that there was a large and fearsome marine reptile that had a name similar to his own (Tylosaurus).  Alex’s favourite dinosaur was Spinosaurus and we were happy to help Alex appreciate just how big this carnivorous, African dinosaur actually was.

School Children Draw Flying Reptiles

Which flying reptile am I?

Which flying reptile am I?

Picture credit: Dylan/Everything Dinosaur

Flying Reptiles

Young Dylan was inspired to draw a flying reptile (pterosaur), he challenged our dinosaur expert to have a go at identifying which one it might be.  With something like 130 different species of pterosaur now described it was quite a challenge working out which flying reptile Dylan had illustrated, we might have to ask Mrs Grosscurth (one of the teaching support staff at the school), to help us out.

During the dinosaur themed day, the teaching team had come up with lots of creative, hands-on activities for the children to try.  Young Freddie created his very own “Jurassic Park” scene on one of the classroom’s computers.  If there was a competition for the most amount of dinosaurs squeezed into a single picture then we think Freddie’s colourful  illustration would win.

Dinosaur Scene Created after Dinosaur Workshop

School children create dinosaur scenes

School children create dinosaur scenes.

Picture credit: Freddie/Everything Dinosaur

Teaching about dinosaurs in schools can lead to all sorts of extension activities.  Everything Dinosaur challenged the Reception and Year 1 children to have a go at designing their very own dinosaur.  They were asked to label the body parts and to think of a name for their prehistoric beast.  We saw some amazing and very imaginative dinosaurs, one of the best we saw was young Henry’s contribution.  Not sure what name Henry will give his multi-coloured dinosaur but “Rainbowsaurus” was suggested.

Designing a Dinosaur

Dinosaur drawings in school.

Dinosaur drawings in school.

Picture credit: Henry/Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur Drawings

A lot of work had gone into planning the day and it was nice to explain to Mr Harrison, that, just like Tyler there was a prehistoric animal that shared a similar name – Scelidosaurus harrisoni and it was an English dinosaur too.  It was a pleasure visiting the school to teach about dinosaurs and our thanks to all the teachers and staff who helped make the children’s day so special.  Unfortunately, a couple of the teachers were unable to attend, but not to worry, we are confident that Mrs Mykoo, Mrs Fisher and  the rest of the staff can fill them in about all things Dinosauria.

Miss Johnston and Miss Bolchover had even made a large, outline sketch of the dinosaur.  The children were encouraged to use their thumb prints to make the scales of the classroom’s very own dinosaur.  Our dinosaur expert was not sure what name the children would come up for their very own prehistoric monster, but we look forward to hearing what they came up with.

Year 1 Create a Classroom Dinosaur

A colourful dinosaur created by Year 1 children

A colourful dinosaur created by Year 1 children.

Picture credit: Year 1/Everything Dinosaur

Young Rosie, amazed us when she explained all about the armoured dinosaur Ankylosaurus and Nora learned that there were some fantastic dinosaurs whose fossils have been found in Spain.

Teaching about dinosaurs in primary schools can help young minds to gain an appreciation of quite challenging concepts such as deep time, extinction,  how fossils are formed and evolution.  Looks like Navigation Primary School are helping to produce the next generation of scientists.

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s website to view their range of prehistoric animal themed toys and games: Prehistoric Animal Models, Toys and Gifts.

30 01, 2014

New Study Suggests that Some Diseases in Modern Humans Linked to Neanderthal DNA

By |2024-05-02T09:19:46+01:00January 30th, 2014|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Neanderthal Genes Linked to Modern Human Diseases

Modern humans (Homo sapiens) are susceptible to some diseases as a result of inherited genes due to our interbreeding with Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) according to a study published in the academic journal “Nature”.   A joint American and German-based team of researchers from Harvard Medical School, (Boston, Massachusetts) and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig, Germany), have looked at the genetic makeup of over 1,000 people and compared this to the analysed genome of a Neanderthal toe-bone that is believed to be around 50,000 years old.

Inherited Genes from Neanderthals

The team also concluded that along with our susceptibility to some diseases, the inability to give up tobacco in some portions of the human population may be due to genes passed onto us from Neanderthals (not that Neanderthals smoked, as far as we know).  In addition, other traits such as hair colour, strong nails and the ability to adapt better to cold climates could be a result of our partial Neanderthal heritage.

Study Suggests Neanderthal DNA May Make Parts of Modern Human Population Susceptible to Diseases

Neanderthal skeleton compared to modern human skeleton

A Neanderthal skeleton (left) compared to a modern human skeleton (right). Picture credit: Ian Tattersall/ Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Picture credit: Ian Tattersall/ Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Related Research Projects into the Human Genome

This study is one of a number of related research projects (no pun intended), as scientists attempt to unravel the complex relationship between early hominid species in Europe.  To read a news story on a research paper published late last year that looked at the genetic inheritance for a prevalence for diabetes in the human population: Modern Human’s Risk of Diabetes Inherited from Neanderthals.

In those members of our present population who are non-African in origin, there is a small amount of Neanderthal DNA present in their genetic make-up.  The level of Neanderthal DNA varies from approximately 2% to 4%.  Some Neanderthal DNA would be expected due to the belief that modern humans and Neanderthals shared a common ancestor.  However, the relatively high level suggests that there was interbreeding between these two species in the past.

New research suggests that in parts of the Old World, there were as many as four different types of hominid living at the same time.  The genetic relationship between these populations is very complex.  Part of this complexity is put down to interbreeding between species.

Adaptations for a Colder Climate

One of the genetic traits identified in this new research is that the Neanderthal’s genes to help adaptation to a colder climate by having tougher skin and nails may have been passed onto Homo sapiens that migrated northwards out of Africa.

People alive today, who are indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa, whose ancestors did not migrate out of Africa when Neanderthals were still present in Europe, carry very little Neanderthal DNA.  What they do carry would be as a result of our species sharing a common, ancient ancestor with the Neanderthals or perhaps a species of hominid from very far back in the human evolutionary line.

One of the conclusions made from the genetic study of the Neanderthal toe bone suggests that based on this evidence Neanderthal populations may have been very inbred.  The exact genetic relationship between Neanderthals and a third species of human that lived in Europe the same time as Neanderthals as well as H. sapiens has yet to be fully understood.

To read more about this: Mystery of the Denisovans.

Implications for Diabetes Research

Everything Dinosaur team members have already reported on one of the findings from research of this kind, the prevalence for type 2 diabetes being an inherited trait from Neanderthals.  In addition, it seems that Neanderthal genes may also predispose parts of the modern human gene pool to lupus, long-term depression, Crohn’s disease (inflammation of the digestive tract, a condition that affects around one person in every 700 in the United Kingdom), plus an autoimmune disease of the liver.  When Crohn’s disease is considered, it seems that Neanderthals passed on different genetic markers that increase and decrease the risk of this condition.

Commenting on the research, one of the authors of the academic paper, Professor David Reich (Harvard Medical School) stated:

“Now that we can estimate the probability that a particular genetic variant arose from Neanderthals, we can begin to understand how that inherited DNA affects us.  We may also learn what Neanderthals themselves were like.”

The London Natural History Museum’s Professor Chris Stringer, although not an author of this research, is regarded as an authority on the study of ancient hominids.  He explained that the findings added a new dimension to the debate over how early humans interacted with Denisovans and Neanderthals.  He stated that this research, in his opinion, did not challenge the current thinking that our ancestors originated in Africa.

Professor Stringer commented:

“The genetic data also shows there are thousands of DNA changes that are unique to Homo sapiens, and these distinctions are likely to have accumulated during the several hundred thousand years since Homo sapiens separated from the Neanderthal and Denisovan lineages as they evolved in Africa and Eurasia respectively.  Our genetic heritage is still largely from a recent African origin, despite the interbreeding with other human populations that undoubtedly occurred.”

No Traces of Neanderthal DNA in Parts of the H. sapiens Genome

This research also found that some areas of the human genome had no traces of Neanderthal DNA present within them.  This could be explained by alleles (pronounced al-eels) to these genes being dominant and the genes from the Neanderthals that may have been detrimental to the individual with those genes in some way, being lost out of the general population as a result of natural selection

Post-doctoral Fellow, Sriram Sankararaman (Harvard Medical School), one of the authors of this new research paper, explained:

“We find that there are large regions of the genome where most modern humans carry little or no Neanderthal ancestry.  This reduction in Neanderthal ancestry was probably due to selection against genes that were bad – deleterious – for us.”

The evidence suggests that some Homo neanderthalensis/H. sapiens hybrids may have had reduced fertility, or in some cases they may have been sterile.  Sterility in such hybridisation indicates that our species and Neanderthals, despite probably sharing a common ancestor, were so genetically far apart at the time of interbreeding, that these two species were only just compatible in terms of the ability to produce fertile offspring from any such union.

Unravelling More of the Neanderthal/Modern Human Genome

Human and Neanderthal genetic research.

Models of Neanderthals.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Neanderthal Models and Figures

To view Neanderthal figures (whilst stocks last) and other prehistoric animal figures: CollectA Prehistoric Life Figures and Models.

Exploring the issue of infertility occurring as a result of mating, Professor Reich added:

“It tells us that when Neanderthals and modern humans met and mixed, they were at the very edge of being biologically compatible.”

There have been a number of papers published recently highlighting the research into the various taxonomic and genetic relationships between our species and other ancient hominids.  At the turn of the year, Everything Dinosaur team members made a number of predictions about what news stories this web log was likely to cover over the next twelve months.  We confidently predicted that further genetic research such as this would reveal more data relating to the linkages between our species and other hominid branches on the human family tree.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s 2014 predictions in full: Everything Dinosaur’s Predictions for 2014.

29 01, 2014

School Children Make “Egg-citing” Dinosaur Egg Discovery

By |2023-03-03T10:32:42+00:00January 29th, 2014|Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on School Children Make “Egg-citing” Dinosaur Egg Discovery

Dinosaurs Inspire a Creative Writing Exercise

The Literacy Co-ordinator at Yeading Infant and Nursery School turned to Everything Dinosaur to help motivate Key Stage 1 pupils when it came to a novel creative writing exercise.  Mrs Siyani, wanted to motivate Year 1 and Year 2 pupils to write and a visit from a fossil expert from Everything Dinosaur was just the ticket when it came to enthusing the children to think up and write stories with a prehistoric animal theme.

Dinosaurs and Fossil

The pupils discovered a strange object out in the school vegetable patch.  It was identified as a dinosaur’s egg.  Under the teaching team’s supervision, the children had to write letters to our dinosaur experts explaining what they had found and asking for help in looking after the eggs.  Would a dinosaur expert be able to visit the school?

Had the School Children Found a Dinosaur’s Egg?

Dinosaur egg discovered by children.

Dinosaurs inspire young children to write.

Picture credit: Yeading Infant and Nursery School

Visit from Everything Dinosaur

Prior to the visit the children had created various displays all about dinosaurs.  The girls and boys had made posters with lots of facts on them and explained using a comic strip format how the egg was discovered.  During a break from the dinosaur workshops, the fossil experts were give a tour of the school work by the budding palaeontologists.

A number of creative writing extension ideas and activities came out of the school visit, including one where the children were encouraged to write thank you letters to the team members.  The dinosaur themed creative writing exercise certainly proved inspirational for the children and the teaching team.

An Example of One of the Letters Sent into Everything Dinosaur

Letter sent to Everything Dinosaur.

Tiya, sketches the egg.  A letter sent to team members at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Yeading Infant and Nursery School

A spokesperson for Everything Dinosaur stated:

“When working with the teaching team we wanted to help them come up with dinosaur themed creative writing ideas for Key Stage 1.  From our huge mail bag that we received, our school visit must have been very successful”.

To view the range of prehistoric animal toys and games available from Everything Dinosaur: Prehistoric Animal Toys and Gifts.

29 01, 2014

School Children Make “Egg-citing” Dinosaur Discovery

By |2023-03-03T08:10:47+00:00January 29th, 2014|Educational Activities, Teaching|0 Comments

Primary School Children Get to Grips with Writing Thanks to Dinosaurs

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have received reports from Yeading Infant and Nursery School that a strange object has been found in the school’s discovery play area.  A number of children examined the large, white object with the help of their enthusiastic teachers and it has been decided that a dinosaur could have built a nest and laid an egg in the school grounds.

Dinosaur Egg Discovery

Encouraged by their school’s literacy co-ordinator Mrs Siyani, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils wrote letters to our dinosaur experts inviting one of our team members to visit the school to teach about dinosaurs and to help with a programme of creative writing that had been inspired by the discovery.

Could This Be a Dinosaur Egg?

Dinosaur Egg helps with creative writing week.

Dinosaur egg helps with creative writing week.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur


Everything Dinosaur received lots of letters from school children inviting one of the company’s experts to visit the school, our thanks to Tiya, Jeevan, Amani, Shanaiya, Habib, Praveen, Zara, Arham, Hanan and all their chums for writing to us.  Tiya even drew a picture of the object and sent it into us, with her letter.  Tiya and her friends measured the egg and discovered that it was approximately 35 centimetres long.

Tiya’s Sketch of the Strange Object Found in the School Grounds

Tiya, sketches the egg.

Tiya, sketches the egg.

Picture credit: Tiya

A Dinosaur Workshop

A source close to the school stated that there had been reports of a dinosaur being sighted in Hayes Town Centre, although the team member from Everything Dinosaur despatched to investigate was unable to confirm whether or not a dinosaur had been spotted in this part of the London area.

Praveen Writes to Everything Dinosaur

Praveen's letter to Everything Dinosaur.

Praveen’s letter to Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Praveen

Helping the Teaching Team

The teaching team are using the discovery as part of a week of themed writing activities with Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes.  The boys and girls at the school are being encouraged to write about dinosaurs and other amazing prehistoric creatures and the teachers have prepared an innovative and “egg-citing” range of activities including Year 2 children researching about their favourite dinosaurs and creating fact sheets about them.

The Everything Dinosaur team member who visited the school was most impressed with the children’s knowledge about dinosaurs.  He promised to send to the teachers some more information and resources to help with the intended scheme of work, as well as encouraging the children to write about their dinosaur egg and what might happen if the egg hatched.

Shanaiya Invites Everything Dinosaur to Visit the School

Everything Dinosaur invited to visit school.

Everything Dinosaur invited to visit school.

Picture credit: Shanaiya

Everything Dinosaur

As part of a number of dinosaur workshops held throughout the day, children got the chance to get up close to some real fossils and they learned some amazing dinosaur facts.  The Everything Dinosaur expert challenged the children to include some of the facts that they had learned in their stories and writing exercises.   He even promised (with the support of the teaching team), that some of the children’s work might even get onto this web log.  In this way, the children’s stories, fact cards and posters could be published just like a real scientist’s.

For information about Everything Dinosaur’s outreach work: Email Everything Dinosaur.

Dinosaur Discovery Helps to Inspire and Enthuse Young Writers

Dinosaurs inspire young children to write.

Dinosaurs inspire young children to write.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Perhaps the reception children, with the help of their teacher could compose a thank you letter.  Could the children have a go at designing their own dinosaur with some of the materials supplied by Everything Dinosaur?  We look forward to hearing more about the children’s work on dinosaurs and discovering what ideas the staff have had after our visit with regards to teaching about dinosaurs in schools.

For educational dinosaur toys, crafts and models: Everything Dinosaur.

28 01, 2014

Comparing New Schleich Velociraptors

By |2024-05-02T09:02:47+01:00January 28th, 2014|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Schleich Velociraptors Designed for Creative Play

In May of this year, team members at Everything Dinosaur are expecting to receive stocks of the new Schleich Velociraptor (Velociraptor green, as it is referred to in some circles), this will mean that Schleich will have three Velociraptor models available.

Two of these models are in the larger prehistoric animal series, the third is in the “die kleinen Dinos” range.  This will mean that for the moment, Velociraptor figures make up 12.5% of the entire Schleich prehistoric animal model collection.  When the tyrannosaur models are considered, T. rex and Velociraptor figures make up a quarter of the entire “World of History” prehistoric animal offering from the German company.


From a palaeontological perspective, there have been a number of exciting discoveries made in the last few years concerning the Velociraptorinae.  Velociraptorinae is the term used to describe a sub-family of dromaeosaurids – small meat-eating dinosaurs.  Although scientists still debate the taxonomic relationships between different types of dromaeosaurids, including which ones may or may not have been more closely related to Velociraptor, new fossil finds has led to the describing of several new genera.  We have Linheraptor (L. exquisitus) named in 2010 and Tsaagan (T. mangas) discovered just a few years earlier.

Both these dinosaurs come from Asia, but recently, a paper on a new Late Cretaceous dromaeosaurid from North America was published.

To read more about this fossil discovery: New North American “Raptor” Described.

It is always a pleasure to see new interpretations of dinosaurs introduced into the model market.  Velociraptor is a perennial favourite with both young boys and girls and this dinosaur regularly features in the top five of our annual survey of the most popular prehistoric animals.  For instance, in 2013 Velociraptor was ranked at number four, up one place from the previous year.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s annual prehistoric animal survey: Top Ten Most Popular Prehistoric Animals of 2013.

Schleich Velociraptor Models Compared

Comparing two Schleich Velociraptor dinosaur models.

Comparing two Schleich Velociraptor dinosaur models.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

In the picture above, the new Velociraptor-like model has been placed by the smaller Schleich Velociraptor from the series which we at Everything Dinosaur refer to as the “Schleich Dinosaurs”.  Although the models share the same colouration, the new figure is considerably larger, measuring around 18 cm in length and standing 12 cm high.

Schleich Velociraptor Dinosaur Models

The posture has been changed from the earlier pre-production, concept images that we have viewed.  The skull has been re-sculpted to permit it to have an articulated jaw and the model has been given a more classical “Velociraptorinae look”, with a longer snout.  The tail on the new model has been made longer and straightened, perhaps in response to comments received after the concept images were viewed.  This new version will also have moveable arms, a feature that will no doubt, prove very popular with this model’s target market, children aged from 3 years upwards.

The feet are not posed in the classical raised second toe posture of the “raptors”.  Both the other Schleich Velociraptor figures show this anatomical feature very clearly.  The second toe is somewhat enlarged in this new replica, but the claw tip is resting on the ground.

Track way evidence suggests that for most of the time this claw was probably held aloft with these types of carnivorous dinosaurs, but studies have shown that this second toe could be rested on the ground.  When walking or running, this claw was pulled up and back to avoid the tip being blunted.  When attacking this claw with its sharp tip, could swivel through 180 degrees and be used as a crampon to help these fierce predators hold fast when struggling with prey larger than themselves.  The three-toed, resting claws position is probably a concession aimed at the younger aged model market, as this pose helps the model stay upright and stable on an uneven surface such as a bedroom carpet.

 The New for 2014 Schleich Velociraptor Dinosaur Model

Velociraptor Dinosaur Model from Schleich.

Velociraptor dinosaur model from Schleich.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Model Colouration

The red and green colouration, along with the fearsome reputation of this particular dinosaur should make the Schleich Velociraptor a firm favourite.  This model will be suitable for children from three years of age and its large size makes it ideal for creative, imaginative play.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s current range of prehistoric animal models: Schleich Dinosaur Models and Replicas.

The arm has bright red quills, a feature recorded on the fossilised ulna of Velociraptor spp.  For those model fans who prefer their dinosaurs to have slightly muted tones, there is always the “World of History” Velociraptor which was part of the original set of replicas introduced by Schleich back in 2012.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s short video review of this Velociraptor model simply click on the YouTube video link below.

Everything Dinosaur Reviews a Schleich Velociraptor

Video credit: Everything Dinosaur

27 01, 2014

A Video Showing the New Schleich Dinosaur Models (2014)

By |2023-03-02T14:44:31+00:00January 27th, 2014|Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos|0 Comments

Schleich New Dinosaur Models Captured on Video

Team members at Everything Dinosaur were given special permission to make a short video that shows the four new dinosaur models being introduced by Schleich this year.  We have already posted up pictures of the new Velociraptor, the Tyrannosaurus rex, the brightly painted Schleich Pentaceratops (our favourite) and the long-clawed and fearsome looking Therizinosaurus.  These models are currently in production and they will be available from Everything Dinosaur in May of this year.

Schleich Dinosaur Models

A Short Video of the New for 2014 Schleich Dinosaur Models

Video credit: Everything Dinosaur

All these models are not to scale and they are going into the Schleich “World of History” dinosaur model range, that brings this particular series up to a total of sixteen replicas.

The Therizinosaurus will have moveable front limbs, as will (we think), the Velociraptor.  The T. rex and the Velociraptor will also have articulated jaws.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s current range of Schleich “World of History” models: Schleich Prehistoric Animal Models and Toys.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“These four new models represent a 25% increase in the larger-sized prehistoric animal replicas offered by this German manufacturer.  It is pleasing to see investment being made in the design and production of new dinosaur models.”

The current Schleich “World of History” range already features a Tyrannosaurus rex and a Velociraptor, the new T. rex and the bright green Schleich Velociraptor figure, which should be available from Everything Dinosaur in May, are not replacements but they are designed to complement the existing model range.

26 01, 2014

Everything Dinosaur Celebrates Australia Day – An Important Day in the Aussie Calendar

By |2024-05-02T09:03:19+01:00January 26th, 2014|Press Releases|0 Comments

Celebrating Australia Day with “Aussie Dinosaurs”

Today, January 26th, is Australia Day, the day when Australians celebrate “all things to do with Australia including the cricket” as one colleague described it.  It was not until 1994 that this day become a public holiday down under but in homage to Australians everywhere, we thought we would mark the twentieth anniversary of this day becoming a public holiday by putting up links to some of the many Australian dinosaur and prehistoric animal articles Everything Dinosaur team members have written and posted on this blog site.

Australian Dinosaurs

An Illustration of an Aussie Armoured Dinosaur

Minmi paravertebra illustrated.

An Aussie armoured dinosaur.  An illustration of Minmi paravertebra.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

For models and replicas of Australian dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals: CollectA Age of Dinosaurs Popular Figures.

Over the last twenty years or so there have been a number of new dinosaur species named and described by Australian scientists, very many of these from the fossil rich “Badlands” of Queensland around the small town of Winton.

Prehistoric Marsupial Fossils

There have also been a number of prehistoric marsupials fossils also found over the last two decades, which has helped extend our knowledge of the diversity of this particular group of mammals and to shed light on the possible causes of extinction for much of the country’s mega fauna.

Fossil Discovery Linked to Marine Mammals: Riddle of the Sea Cow.

New research into Mega Fauna Extinction (Australia): New Research on Australian Mega Fauna Extinction.

Dinosaur Discoveries from Queensland: A Trio of Dinosaurs from Down Under.

We hope Australians everywhere enjoy their national day.

25 01, 2014

Did Dinosaurs Feed on Grass? That is a Great Question

By |2024-05-02T07:13:07+01:00January 25th, 2014|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Teaching|0 Comments

Did Dinosaurs Eat Grass?

Spotted in a magazine and sent into Everything Dinosaur with some accompanying notes was this article (reproduced below), which stated that plant-eating dinosaurs did not eat grass.  The sender wondered why a picture of the carnivorous Tyrannosaurus rex had been used to illustrate this snippet and they asked whether the assertion that plant-eating dinosaurs did not eat grass was true.

Did Dinosaurs Feed on Grass?

Article Sent Into Everything Dinosaur

Did plant-eating dinosaurs eat grass?

Did plant-eating dinosaurs eat grass?

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Grasses are members of the Angiosperms (flowering plants), a very successful group and an important one to us humans as rice, oats, wheat, maize and barley are just some of the grasses that are cultivated by us for food.  It had been thought that the first flowering plants evolved early in the Cretaceous, but recent research has suggested that the first Angiosperms may have evolved much earlier, sometime in the Triassic possibly.

To read an article on the potential for Triassic flowers: Saying It With Flowers 100 million years Earlier than Expected.

The Gramineae Family

The grasses themselves (Gramineae), the true-grasses, were once thought to have evolved during the Cenozoic, with the first fossil evidence being dated to around 55 million years ago, a good ten million years or so before the extinction of the Dinosauria.  However, there is some fossil evidence to suggest that grasses were present at the very end of the Age of Dinosaurs, around 66 million years ago, so these may well have been grazed by herbivorous dinosaurs.

As for the other plants mentioned in the brief article, it is worth remembering that ferns would have represented a considerable portion of the biomass of most terrestrial Mesozoic environments but the inclusion of palm trees in the list is intriguing.

Palms may superficially resemble more ancient flora such as cycads, but they are not closely related.  In fact, palm trees are a relatively recent addition to the Angiosperm group.  The first fossils of palm-like plants occur in Late Cretaceous strata dating deposited around 80 million years ago.  By some 70 million years ago, during the Maastrichtian faunal stage of the Late Cretaceous and as the Age of Dinosaurs came to a close, it seems like a number of palm genera had evolved (members of the Arecaceae family).

The CollectA Palm Tree Model

The CollectA palm tree replica.

Tropical plants from CollectA.  Tropical palms are not closely related to cycads.

For models and replicas of prehistoric plants and animals: CollectA Prehistoric Life Replicas.

In the 15 million years or so after the end of the Mesozoic Era, the planet experienced a period of prolonged global warming.  Extensive rain forests covered much of the Earth’s land masses.  There were jungle habitats as far north as Canada and southern Scandinavia.  Palms and a number of other types of Angiosperms seem to have flourished in the hot-house atmosphere and a very wide range of palms evolved.  The grasses themselves really came into their own from about when global temperatures began to fall and the tropical forests began to be replaced by plants more suited to drier, colder environments.

25 01, 2014

Did Dinosaurs Eat Grass? That’s a Great Question

By |2024-05-02T07:14:52+01:00January 25th, 2014|Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on Did Dinosaurs Eat Grass? That’s a Great Question

Did Dinosaurs Eat Grass?

One of the questions that can quite easily trip up a member of the teaching team when it comes to looking at the food chains and food webs that existed during the time of the dinosaurs.  A question that comes up a lot when our teaching experts are quizzed by other professionals preparing schemes of work aimed at the Key Stage 1 or 2 cohort is the question did dinosaurs eat grass?

Typically One of the Questions we Get Asked

Did dinosaurs feed on grass?

Did plant-eating dinosaurs eat grass?

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Did Dinosaurs Eat Grass?

Grasses are a highly successful group of  Angiosperms (flowering plants).  Grasses not only include grass found in fields and that grazed by cattle and other herbivores, but rice, wheat, oats, barley and maize are also members of the grass family (Poaceae) otherwise sometimes called the Gramineae.  Nearly three quarters of all commercial crops grown in the world are members of the grass family.  These plants are extremely important to our own species, but did dinosaurs feed on grass too?

It had been thought that the first flowering plants evolved early in the Cretaceous period, around 120 million years ago, but recent research has suggested that the first Angiosperms may have evolved much earlier, sometime in the Triassic possibly.

To read an article that provides more information: Saying it With Flowers 100 Million Years Earlier Than Expected.

The true-grasses (Poaceae) were once thought to have evolved during the Cenozoic Era, with the first fossils of grasses dating to around 55-56 million years ago (Palaeogene Period).  This means that conventional thinking suggested that the dinosaurs had become extinct some ten million years or so before the first grasses evolved.  Over the last thirty million years, grass has come to dominate large parts of the world, especially as drier climates led to deforestation.

Lesson Plan Suggestions

Recently, some fossil evidence has come to light that suggests that at least some types of grass were present during the Cretaceous Period, a time when dinosaurs roamed.  These grasses could well have been eaten by plant-eating dinosaurs.  Analysis of micro-fossils including pollen supports the theory that grasses probably evolved during the Age of Dinosaurs.

Lesson Plan Ideas

  • Get the children to look at pictures of dinosaurs in books, can they identify in general terms what sort of plants are in the pictures?
  • Where in the dinosaur books do flowering plants first appear? – Hint (Cretaceous Period)
  • Compare the landscape at the time of the dinosaurs with pictures of modern landscapes – what is similar?  What is different?
  • Can the children produce a timeline showing when different animals and plants evolved?

For educational, dinosaur themed toys and games: Dinosaur Gifts and Toys.

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