All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
31 12, 2015

Dinner Inside a Dinosaur? What a Wonderful Idea!

By |2024-05-05T18:21:27+01:00December 31st, 2015|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

New Year’s Feast Held Inside an Iguanodon

As we move towards the close of 2015, our thoughts go back to a very unusual event that took place on this day in London, on New Year’s Eve 1853, there was a dinner inside a dinosaur!  To help promote the permanent exhibition at Crystal Palace where the huge, concrete prehistoric animals designed by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins under the scientific direction of Richard Owen were to be put on permanent display, a very peculiar dinner party was held.

A Banquet in a Crystal Palace Dinosaur

Twenty-one leading academics and notable persons of the day held a New Year’s Eve dinner inside the belly of the Iguanodon, the largest of the Crystal Palace exhibits that had been commissioned.  Eleven of the guests could be seated inside the animal, the remainder were sat at an adjacent table.  Even the invitations to the eight course banquet had a prehistoric theme.

The invitations were written on a diagram of an outstretched wing of a pterosaur and they stated:

“Mr Waterhouse Hawkins requests the honour of_________________at dinner in the mould of the Iguanodon at the Crystal Palace on Saturday evening December the 31st at five o’clock 1853 – an answer will oblige.”

The guests (all men) included Richard Owen, he was seated at the head of the table, in the skull of the Iguanodon, as he was regarded as the “brains behind the project”.  Naturalist, geologist and the President of the London Geological Society Professor Edward Forbes attended along with eminent geologist Joseph Prestwich and other well-known scientists at the time.  Also in attendance were investors in the Crystal Palace Company and newspaper editors, we suspect in order to maximise the media coverage this event would receive.

A Banquet in the Belly of the Beast

Dinner inside a dinosaur.

Dinner inside a dinosaur.

Picture credit: Illustrated London News

A Stage Erected Around the Statue

A stage was erected around the giant reptile and from the newspaper accounts it seems that the evening became quite raucous with much drinking and singing.  Mounted on plaques around the huge beast were names of prominent scientists of the day who had all played a role in the understanding of the Dinosauria, Georges Cuvier, William Buckland and of course Richard Owen were honoured.  Gideon Mantell, who had passed away a year earlier also had a plaque.

Richard Owen was an ambitious man who was quick to exploit developments to suit his own ends.  On numerous occasions he belittled the work of his contemporary, he even took credit for a number of Mantell’s discoveries.  This evening was no exception.  Richard Owen, whose own contribution to the nascent science of palaeontology has been well documented, chose this occasion to take full credit for the study of Iguanodon.

Still on Display at Crystal Palace Park – the Dinosaurs

The model of the Iguanodon used in the banquet is under the scaffolding.

The model of the Iguanodon used in the banquet is under the scaffolding.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Gideon Mantell and Iguanodon

It was Gideon Mantell who named and described Iguanodon and his insight and reconstruction proved to be much more accurate than that of Owen’s.  For example, Mantell insisted that the forelimbs of this dinosaur were much smaller than its hind legs, but Owen still recreated Iguanodon with four column-like legs of roughly equal size.

Although much is known about the meal itself, thanks to the illustrators from various newspapers who sketched the scene, debate remains as to exactly where the event was held and indeed, just what the eleven guests inside the “belly of the beast” sat in.  Was the final model used, or the mould to recreate the model press-ganged into service as a makeshift restaurant?  Perhaps, both were utilised, the final model sat snugly in its mould jacket with portions of the finished beast on display.

Take a look at the illustration from the Illustrated London News above, the head of the Iguanodon shows lots of skin texture, whilst on the side of the body there is none.  Perhaps the head of the final model was exposed for the evening with the rest of the enormous replica still encased in its mould.

Dinner Inside a Dinosaur

Preserved copies of the menu card cannot be doubted, this is what the luminaries had to tuck into on the night:

Soups: Hare, Julien and Mock Turtle

Fish: Fillets of Whiting, Turbot à l’Hollandaise, Cod and Oyster Sauce

Removes: Roast Turkey, Ham, Raised Pigeon Pie, Boiled Chicken and Celery Sauce

Entrées: Cotolettes de Moutonaux Tomates, Currie de Lapereaux au riz, Salmi de Perdrix, Mayonnaise de filets de Sole – the French theme presumably to further honour Georges Cuvier

Game: Pheasants, Snipes and Woodcocks

Sweets: Macedoine Jelly, Bavaroise, Charlotte Russe, French Pastry, Nougat à la Chantilly, Buisson de Meringue aux Confiture and Orange Jelly

Dessert: Apples, Grapes Pears, Almonds and Raisins, French Plums, Pines, Filberts, Walnuts and other nuts

Wines:  Quite a selection including – Sherry, Port, Madeira, Moselle, Claret and from contemporary reports it seems that a number of the party became exceedingly drunk and boisterous.

Everything Dinosaur stocks a range of iguanodontid models including a 1:40 scale Iguanodon model in the CollectA Deluxe range: CollectA Deluxe Dinosaur Models.

On behalf of everyone at “Everything Dinosaur” we wish you a happy New Year, wherever you are celebrating, even if you are dining inside a giant dinosaur!

30 12, 2015

Everything Dinosaur’s Top Ten Amazing Prehistoric Animals (Part 2)

By |2024-05-05T18:21:57+01:00December 30th, 2015|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|2 Comments

Top Ten Prehistoric Animals 2015 – The Top Five

Today, we continue our countdown of the top ten prehistoric animals for 2015.  This chart is compiled from various data, such as questions asked by school children during our dinosaur workshops, email requests for fact sheets, product sales, on line comments, blog article views and so forth.  Having crunched the numbers we have listed our top ten.

To see the first part of our list: Top Ten Prehistoric Animals 2015 (10-6).

Prehistoric Animals

Now, for that all important top five!

5.) Stegosaurus

Down one place this year, the armoured dinosaur Stegosaurus.  This was a favourite amongst Year 1 and Year 2 children with lots of Stegosaurus themed drawings sent into our offices from young dinosaur fans.  The popularity of this dinosaur was also boosted by the “Sophie Stegosaurus” exhibition which began this year at the London Natural History Museum.  Stegosaurus and “Sophie” also featured in a number of news stories we covered over the last twelve months.

Scientists calculate the weight of Stegosaurus: Sophie the Stegosaurus Weighs in at 1.6 Tonnes.

The Ever Popular Dinosaur Known As Stegosaurus

Still lots to learn about this Ornithischian dinosaur.

Still lots to learn about this ornithischian dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

4). Triceratops

A slight fall this year for Triceratops, although “three horned face” still ends 2015 as our highest ranked ornithischian.  Ironically, Triceratops benefits from the discovery and scientific description of other ceratopsids.   Each time a new ceratopsian is named or new fossils found, these fossils, almost inevitably, get compared to the most famous of all the horned dinosaurs.  This year has been another boom year for all things ceratopsian (actually for the Marginocephalia* clade as a whole) with lots of new horned dinosaur discoveries such as Wendiceratops and Regaliceratops.

Ceratopsian News Stories

To read more about Wendiceratops: Wendiceratops pinhornensis from southern Alberta.

To learn more about Regaliceratops:  A Right Royal Rumble – Regaliceratops.

* Marginocephalia (“fringed heads” includes the Ceratopsia and the Pachycephaliasauria).

3.) Indominus rex

An imaginary dinosaur makes our top five, the first time this has happened since we started compiling this annual list.  Originally referred to as Diabolus rex, this huge meat-eating dinosaur proved to be a big hit especially with young dinosaur fans after it starred in the film “Jurassic World”.  Such was the hyperbole surrounding this genetically engineered dinosaur that last year, even before the film came out it entered our top ten (number nine).  It climbs six places this year to finish in the top three.

Indominus rex – So You Went and Made a New Dinosaur?  Probably Not a Good Idea

Nanmu Studio Indominus Berserker Rex

A model of a genetically designed dinosaur. Inspired by InGen?

Nanmu Studio has created a range of prehistoric animals that are reminiscent to the prehistoric animals seen in the “Jurassic Park/Jurassic World” movie franchise: Nanmu Studio Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models.

Velociraptor is at Number Two

2). Velociraptor

Retaining the position of runner-up is Velociraptor.  This dromaeosaurid proved popular across a wide range of categories.  It was helped by the Velociraptor pack that featured in “Jurassic World”.  We should give a vote of thanks to Echo, Charlie, Delta and Blue – the names of the “raptors” from the film.  The introduction of the highly collectible set of three hatching Velociraptor chicks from Rebor also boosted this dinosaur’s popularity.  The Rebor hatching Velociraptors figure is a limited edition sculpt, only 1,000 models were made, the Rebor range has certainly proved to be a big hit amongst serious dinosaur model collectors.

Helping to Boost the Popularity of the Velociraptor

Introducing "Lock, Stock, and Barrel".

Introducing “Lock, Stock, and Barrel”.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

With the introduction of more Velociraptor models next year, look out for two from Papo for example, we think that Velociraptor is almost certain to remain in the top five.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of Rebor replicas: The Rebor Range of Prehistoric Animal Replicas.

Just before we reveal our number one, time for some honourable mentions.  Spinosaurus finds itself just outside the top ten this year, quite a fall for Spinosaurus which was a number five in 2014.  Sales of the three new CollectA Spinosaurus models helped but Spinosaurus ends the year just out of our top ten.  Smilodon was a high climber amongst the prehistoric mammals and the top ten list in general, as was the pterosaur Dimorphodon.  This Early Jurassic flying reptile’s popularity was down to its appearance in the film “Jurassic World”.

The Most Popular Prehistoric Animal is…

1). Tyrannosaurus rex

Topping the charts once again is the “tyrant lizard king” – Tyrannosaurus rex.  This dinosaur remains a perennial favourite amongst school children, dinosaur fans and model collectors.   Once again we saw a peak in T. rex popularity over the summer months which we attributed to its role, albeit quite a restricted role in the film “Jurassic World”.  A confident prediction, since it is that time of year when many pundits look ahead, expect Tyrannosaurus rex to have a role in the sequel which is due out in 2018 (June 22nd 2018).  The introduction of a beautiful feathered T. rex model from CollectA also helped to keep this fearsome theropod firmly at number one.

The Amazing Feathered T. rex Dinosaur Model from CollectA

We even supply a roll of cardboard with every model!

We even supply a roll of cardboard with every model!

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

To see the full range of the CollectA Deluxe scale models: CollectA Deluxe Prehistoric Animal Models.

With “Jurassic World” having dominated the cinemas, well, at least until a certain film came out a few days ago, it seems fitting that we should end our annual review of the top ten most popular prehistoric animals of 2015 with a picture of Tyrannosaurus rex from the film.

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s award-winning website: Everything Dinosaur.

29 12, 2015

Everything Dinosaur’s Top Ten of Amazing Prehistoric Animals 2015 (Part 1)

By |2024-05-05T18:22:22+01:00December 29th, 2015|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Top Ten Prehistoric Animals of 2015 (Part 1)

As 2015 draws to a close, staff at Everything Dinosaur have the opportunity to reflect on all the new dinosaur and prehistoric animal discoveries made over the last twelve months.  In addition, we have been busy compiling our top ten prehistoric animals of 2015, an annual survey that takes into account all the fact sheets sent out, drawing materials requested, views on website pages, blog views, comments, emails and product sales.  We have also included data from our dedicated schools website and all this information has been brought together to create our list of the ten most popular prehistoric animals.  Here is the first part of the countdown, from number ten to number six.

Prehistoric Animals

10). Pteranodon

Making a welcome return to the top ten is the pterosaur Pteranodon.  It has been a good year for Pterosaurs generally with the likes of Quetzalcoatlus and Dimorphodon doing well.  We suspect this was due in part to the fairly prominent role played by pterosaurs in the summer blockbuster “Jurassic World”.  This is not the first time that record breaking film will be mentioned in this compilation.  However, the popularity of pterosaurs in 2015 can also be explained by a number of new flying reptile discoveries, such as the fearsomely fanged Triassic pterosaur recently described.

To read more about this new pterosaur discovery: Utah’s Fearsome New Pterosaur.

The introduction of the beautiful (and quite large) Guidraco pterosaur model also helped to boost the popularity of the Pterosauria.

1:4 Scale Pterosaur Model from CollectA

Model has an articulated jaw.

Model has an articulated jaw. A wonderful prehistoric animal replica.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Prehistoric Mammals Make an Entry

9). Woolly Mammoth

Down one place from last year, the only mammal in our top ten, the enigmatic Woolly Mammoth.  The Sabre-toothed cat was listed in our top twenty, once again helped by the introduction of a CollectA model, but the only representative of the Mammalia in our top ten for the second year running is Mammuthus primigenius.

Woolly Mammoth Featured in the Top Ten for 2015

Woolly Mammoth Model without the usual brown coat

Woolly Mammoth Model without the usual brown coat

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Woolly Mammoth’s popularity was maintained in part by news this year that the genome of this iconic Ice Age creature had been sequenced.

To read an article about this: Woolly Mammoth Genome is Sequenced.

8). Brachiosaurus

Down two places from last year, Brachiosaurus is at number eight in our countdown.  It is the only sauropod in the top ten list, although both Diplodocus and Apatosaurus were climbers this year.  Brachiosaurus is the first dinosaur to be listed in our chart.  The top ten remains dominated by the Dinosauria.

Maintaining a Position in the Top Ten – Brachiosaurus

A Traditional Brachiosaur interpretation?

A traditional Brachiosaur interpretation?

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Marine Reptiles Too

7). Mosasaurus

The biggest climber this year is Mosasaurus.  It enters our top ten list for the first time.  Marine reptiles only rarely make the top ten, for example, Dolichorhynchops was at number ten when we completed this exercise in 2012.  The reason for the popularity of Mosasaurus, quite simply “Jurassic World”.  One of the best scenes in the whole movie was the Mosasaurus feeding time.  We won’t mention what else happens to Mosasaurus, just in case blog readers have yet to see the film, suffice to say, that Mosasaurus plays quite a role in the unfolding action.

Mosasaurus – One of the Stars of “Jurassic World”

Different mosasaurs. The Royal Tyrrell Museum has a mosasaur exhibit.

Comparing different models of mosasaurs.

As a result of “Jurassic World” Everything Dinosaur has experienced a record year for mosasaur model sales, with several models selling out many times over in the last six months or so.

Mosasaur fossils also made the news in 2015.  Here is an article we wrote recently about a fascinating fossil find from Japan: Big-eyed Mosasaur Monster from Japan.

Giganotosaurus at Number Six

6. Giganotosaurus

Up two places from last year is Giganotosaurus.  This dinosaur, (the name means “Giant Southern Lizard”), proved to be particularly popular amongst school children.  We had lots of requests for fact sheets and drawings of this large carnivore.  This helped boost this South American dinosaur’s popularity.  In addition, new models by Schleich and the inclusion of a Giganotosaurus in one of the new model sets by CollectA kept dinosaur model fans happy.

 New Model Introductions by Schleich Boosted Sales

Well painted model has an articulated lower jaw.

Well painted model has an articulated lower jaw.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view the range of Schleich “World of History” models: Prehistoric Animal Models from Schleich.

Giganotosaurus brings to a close the first part of our top ten countdown for 2015.  We will post up in a couple of days that all important top five.

28 12, 2015

Dinosaur Forelimbs at Rest as New Study Explores Locomotion

By |2024-05-05T18:24:56+01:00December 28th, 2015|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

Putting Dinosaur Forelimbs in Their Place

Ask any young dinosaur fan to tell you some facts about the body of Tyrannosaurus rex and you can bet that after that huge skull, powerful bite, and those awesome teeth are mentioned, a comment will be passed regarding those very short arms.

New research published this month in the academic, on line journal PLOS One puts the forelimbs of the Dinosauria centre stage, the study conducted by scientists from  Fayetteville State University (North Carolina) and South-east Missouri State University suggests that the position of the arm bones in many museum reconstructions, the front legs of many a dinosaur model may be wrong.  The study does not pretend to be the last word on dinosaur limb placement, but it does point out that a number of museum exhibits have different reconstructions amongst mounted dinosaur skeletons.

Ceratopsidae (Horned Dinosaurs) Were Included in the Study

Centrosaurus (top) and Styracosaurus (bottom)

Centrosaurus (top) and Styracosaurus (bottom).

Picture credit: PLOS One with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

The picture above shows two articulated specimens of horned dinosaur, both centrosaurines.  The research team only used dinosaurs that had specimens which had been preserved in articulation.  In this way, the resting pose of the shoulder blades (scapulae) and the forelimbs can be summarised without having to be too concerned with distortion or extensive crushing which may have resulted from the fossilisation process.

Dinosaur Forelimbs

The photographs show that the ceratopsid sacrum (vertebrae over the pelvis) is horizontal, that is parallel with the ground when the humerus is held horizontally.

As both specimens in the picture above are shown in right lateral view (viewed from the right side), we have outlined the approximate position of the right humerus, it can be seen to be held almost horizontal.  The black line through the long axis of the sacrum is sub-parallel with the line that serves as a proxy for the horizontal by connecting the tips of the metapodials (the long bones in the hand) of the right forelimb (with the horizontal humerus) and a line drawing showing the right rear leg re-positioned to simulate a normal standing pose.

It’s All in the Pose

The lead author of the research biologist Phil Senter (Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Fayetteville State University, along with is co-collaborator Professor Jim Robins, used their own photographs of mounted skeletons in combination with museum figures to analyse the correct angle of the resting position of the shoulder blades, the coracoid and the front limb bones.  In addition to selecting only articulated individuals to study, the scientists studied those animals that were preserved lying on their sides and for each of the animal’s included in the study the front limb joints had to be preserved in an articulated state, providing as much information as possible with regards to their position when the animal was alive.

Basal Ornithopods, early theropods and dinosaurs close to evolutionary split into Aves (birds) were included in the research.

Although the focus was on bipedal dinosaurs, facultative bipeds such as Edmontosaurus and Parasaurolophus were included in the genera examined. The long axis of the scapular blade (shoulder bone) was found to be most horizontal in bipedal saurischians, most vertical in basal members of the Ornithopoda, and intermediate in hadrosauroids.

The Little Chinese Theropod Caudipteryx was Included in the Study

Included in the limb position study.

Included in the limb position study.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Implications for Theropod Dinosaurs

The research suggests that in bipedal dinosaurs other than theropods with semi-lunate carpals (semi-lunate carpals are unique in the Maniraptora which include dinosaurs such as Velociraptor, Microraptor, Oviraptor, Khaan and Caudipteryx), the resting position of the elbow is close to a right angle and the resting orientation of the wrist is such that the hand exhibits little deviation from the rest of the arm.  However, in the Theropoda with those more flexible wrists (thanks to the semi-lunate carpals), the elbow and wrist are more flexed at rest, with the elbow at a more acute angle and the wrist approximately held at ninety degrees.

Theropods with Semi-lunate Carpals Such as Velociraptor Have Elbows and Wrists More Flexed at Rest

The model in the picture shows the proposed configuration (inset).

The model in the picture shows the proposed configuration (inset).

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Caudipteryx and the Velociraptor models depicted in this article are part of the Safari Ltd range of prehistoric animal figures. To view this range: Wild Safari Prehistoric World Animal Models.

Whilst this may not be a definitive study, due to the relatively low numbers of skeletons assessed, it does have significant implications for the curators of dinosaur collections in museums aiming to mount an anatomically correct exhibit.  It may be time to re-adjust those forelimbs in order to better reflect this interpretation of the fossil record.

28 12, 2015

Persistence Pays Off in Palaeontology How to Maintain Enthusiasm in the Classroom

By |2024-05-05T18:23:10+01:00December 28th, 2015|General Teaching|Comments Off on Persistence Pays Off in Palaeontology How to Maintain Enthusiasm in the Classroom

Keep Trying, Keep Searching, Keep Finding

Sometimes, it can be difficult to maintain the enthusiasm and motivation of pupils as they struggle with tasks such as reading, writing, and grasping greater complexities associated with numeracy.  Here is a tale from the world of palaeontology about how being persistent can eventually yield results.

The Willwood Formation of Wyoming is one of the most researched, documented and explored fossil bearing formations in the world.  The rocks that make up the Formation were laid down around ten million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs, the strata dates from approximately 55 million to 52 million years ago.  The fossils found document a changing world, with animals taking over the roles in the ecosystem that were once occupied by fearsome dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus rex and the huge plant-eating Triceratops.  Fossils of giant birds, ancient crocodiles and some of the very first large mammal carnivores have been discovered.  In fact, scientists have been collecting fossils in this part of the world for over 150 years.

Giant Flightless Birds Once Roamed The Americas

A drawing of Kelenken

The Kelenken in all its glory.  In the past, flightless birds were apex predators in parts of South America.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Persistence Pays Off in North-Eastern Wyoming

Tens of thousands of fossils of back-boned animals have been collected from this corner of north-eastern Wyoming.  However, one of the early mammals, a creature named Galecyon posed a bit of a palaeontological puzzle for the scientists.  Although, it had been named and described one hundred years ago, it was only known from a few fragmentary bones and teeth.  Galecyon was a member of a group of mammals called the hyaenodontids.  It was the hyaenodontids that evolved into the first, large mammalian carnivores, well before the Order Carnivora evolved.  The Carnivora (cats, dogs, bears, seals, weasels and so forth) came later.

New Fossil Finds Helps to Map the Evolutionary Path of the Hyaenodontidae

Galecyon reconstruction.

An artist’s rendition of the shape of Galecyon, with its fossilised bones laid out anatomically. Background shows fossil formation, right humerus (inset).

Picture credit: Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology


Scientists from the University of Arizona and The Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland), never gave up the quest to learn more about how these ancient meat-eaters changed over time.  Their persistence and dedication has paid off, as thanks to some more recent fossil discoveries, including limb bones such as the humerus shown above, palaeontologists are now confident in stating that the early hyaenodontids were adapted to tree climbing, but later forms such as Galecyon were evolving into more terrestrial forms.  The descendants of mammals like Galecyon evolved into speedy, pursuit predators, niches in ecosystems occupied today by the bigger members of the Order Carnivora, like wolves and lions.

Persistence pays off in palaeontology just as it does in school.

Everything Dinosaur stocks an enormous range of prehistoric animal figures including models and replicas of early mammals: Prehistoric Animal Models and Figures.

27 12, 2015

New Dinosaur Switch-A-Rooz Soft Toys

By |2024-05-05T18:23:41+01:00December 27th, 2015|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|2 Comments

Dinosaur Switch-A-Rooz (T. rex and Triceratops)

Two soft toy dinosaurs for the price of one, now that sounds like quite a bargain.  It’s exactly what you get with these very cleverly designed dinosaur Switch-A-Rooz.  Simply turn the T. rex inside out to reveal a Triceratops or should that be turn the Triceratops inside out to make the Tyrannosaurus rex soft toy appear.

Dinosaur Switch-A-Rooz

If you aren’t quite sure what we mean, the helpful elves at Everything Dinosaur have made a short, forty second video that shows the dinosaur Switch-A-Rooz in action.

How to Turn a Triceratops into a Tyrannosaurus rex and Vice Versa

Video credit: Everything Dinosaur

Soft Toy Dinosaurs

We are reliably informed that the Triceratops soft toy is called “Rocky” and the Tyrannosaurus rex is called “Rex” (we should have been able to work that one out ourselves).  Suitable for children form three years plus, these dinosaur Switch-A-Rooz give soft toy dinosaurs a new “twist”.

To see the Switch-A-Rooz dinosaurs at Everything Dinosaur and the huge range of dinosaur soft toys available: Dinosaur Soft Toys.

“Rex” and “Rocky” Together They Make a Very Cute and Cuddly Pair of Dinosaurs

Switch-A-Rooz Dinosaur Soft Toys

Do you turn T. rex into Triceratops or Triceratops into a T. rex? Can you decide?

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Reversible Dinosaur Soft Toys

The soft toys stand just a fraction under twenty centimetres high and they are made from super-soft material which can be sponge cleaned if required.  These reversible stuffed Late Cretaceous dinosaurs will really help to inspire creative play amongst young palaeontologists.  We couldn’t decide which one was our favourite.

They certainly make a perfect pair, two soft toy dinosaurs for the price of one.  Give Triceratops a twist and watch him transform into a Tyrannosaurus rex called Rex.  Switch-A-Rooz dinosaurs, a dinosaur double-act which provides a pair of prehistoric plush.

Cute and Very Cuddly Switch-A-Rooz Dinosaur Soft Toys

Two soft toy dinosaurs for the price of one.

Two soft toy dinosaurs for the price of one.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

26 12, 2015

Remarkable Wyoming Fossil Find Helps to Explain Mammalian Carnivore Evolution

By |2024-05-05T18:24:14+01:00December 26th, 2015|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

“Polecat Dogs” Galecyon mordax et al and Mammalian Carnivore Evolution

As 2015 draws to a close, after all, this time next week it will be 2016, team members at Everything Dinosaur have been reviewing a paper published in the most recent issue of the “Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology” (we can’t bring ourselves to use the “Americanised” spelling), entitled: “The postcranial skeleton of Galecyon: evidence for morphological and locomotor diversity in early Hyaenodontidae (Mammalia, Hyaenodontida)”.

An Early Eocene Carnivore

Exactly one hundred years ago the fossil bones of an Early Eocene carnivorous mammal were scientifically described.  The fossils, including skull bones, jaw fragments and teeth were between 55 million and 50 million years of age and demonstrated an early radiation of the Mammalia towards larger predators after the demise of the Dinosauria.

Subsequently the fossil bones were assigned to the genus Galecyon and a number of species have been erected for example, Galecyon mordax (the name translates from the Latin as “biting polecat dog”- we think).

In this newly published paper, scientists from the University of Arizona in collaboration with colleagues from The Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland) were able to pull together a number of Galecyon fossil finds, including limb bones and from this study they have concluded that this fox-sized hunter was on the way to becoming a fully terrestrial carnivore.

An Artist’s Rendition of the Ancient Carnivore

An artist’s rendition of the shape of Galecyon, with its fossilised bones laid out anatomically. Background shows fossil formation, right humerus (inset).

An artist’s rendition of the shape of Galecyon, with its fossilised bones laid out anatomically. Background shows fossil formation, right humerus (inset).

Picture credit: Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology

Galecyon mordax

The picture above shows a silhouette of the Early Eocene carnivore with the fossil bones used in the study placed in the correct anatomical position.  The Willwood Formation of Wyoming (southern Bighorn Basin), the location where the majority of the Galecyon material come, from is shown in the background.  The enlarged bone featured is the right humerus (upper arm bone).  From the subsequent analysis of the limb bones, the researchers were able to deduce that Galecyon was better adapted to a cursorial, terrestrial existence than its contemporaries which showed anatomical adaptations more akin to a climbing (scansorial) habit.

On the Road to the Carnivora

Prior to the evolution of the mammalian order Carnivora (the carnivores), which includes cats, dogs, seals, walruses, bears and raccoons, North America was dominated by group of primitive meat-eating mammals called hyaenodontids.  This group of placental mammals, in turn, have their origins in the Palaeocene Epoch.  Fossils, particularly teeth are relative common in Wyoming but other material, especially postcranial material is exceptionally rare.  Using a recently discovered more complete specimen and other referred material, the authors were able to piece together a better idea of how Galecyon moved.  This helps to provide a better understanding of how the hyaenodontids were evolving.

Lead author of the study, Dr Shawn Zack (University of Arizona) explained:

“The skeleton of Galecyon shows why we keep looking for fossils even in places where we already have a lot of specimens.  When this skeleton was found, tens of thousands of mammalian fossils had been collected from the Bighorn Basin, but this was the first decent skeleton of this animal.”

Wyoming Fossil

Weighing between five and seven kilogrammes, Galecyon was only about the size of a European Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the fossil limb bones show that it was not entirely scansorial (tree climbing), like some of its hyaenodontid Early Eocene contemporaries.  Nor was it a fast runner like some of the later hyaenodontids such as those genera that flourished in the Oligocene.  However, the team were able to infer locomotory abilities and show progression towards a more agile, pursuit predator existence.  For Galecyon itself, this new research suggests it was the Early Eocene equivalent of a skunk or a wolverine.

Helping to Build up the Hyaenodontid Family Tree

The postcranial material also allowed the researchers to explore the evolutionary relationships between different hyaenodontids.  Teeth are the most common parts of the skeleton found, so dental characteristics can be investigated, but the new specimen allows for other additional parts of the skeleton to be studied too.

Commenting on the significance of this study, Dr Zack stated:

“This study shows that postcranial and dental morphology support different patterns of hyaenodontid relationships.  That is an indication that there is still a lot to learn about hyaenodontid evolution.  In addition, this study shows that early hyaenodontids had diverse habitat preferences, which helps explain how several different hyaenodontids were able to co-exist in the same faunas, despite having similar diets and comparable body sizes.”

Everything Dinosaur stocks a range of prehistoric animal models including several replicas of Cenozoic carnivores: Models of Prehistoric Mammals.

25 12, 2015

Merry Christmas from Everything Dinosaur

By |2023-04-09T21:58:15+01:00December 25th, 2015|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Compliments of the Season

Just time to say on behalf of everyone at Everything Dinosaur we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Merry Christmas from Everything Dinosaur

Merry Christmas from Everything Dinosaur.

Merry Christmas from Everything Dinosaur.  Are you able to spot the dinosaurs in our festive scene?

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Merry Christmas

Team members will soon be tucking into their avian dinosaurs (turkey) and so forth but we thought we would post up today a seasonal message from all of us.  In the next few days we shall finish compiling our list of the top ten prehistoric animals for 2015 and in addition, we have to sort out some palaeontology predictions for 2016.  Our aim is to keep blogging and to post up at least one dinosaur, prehistoric, animal or fossil themed post a day, as well as to keep putting up helpful articles on this blog’s sister site which is dedicated to our work in schools.

On that note, we must also start planning for the spring term, one that looks like it is going to be the busiest on record for our teaching team.

If you get a moment, take the opportunity to visit Everything Dinosaur’s award-winning and user-friendly website: Everything Dinosaur’s Website.

We wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas!

24 12, 2015

Merry Christmas from Everything Dinosaur

By |2023-04-09T21:57:11+01:00December 24th, 2015|General Teaching|Comments Off on Merry Christmas from Everything Dinosaur

Merry Christmas from Everything Dinosaur

It may be Christmas and teachers, teaching assistants, administrators and the senior leadership teams of schools might be taking a well-earned break but team members at Everything Dinosaur will be hard at it planning for all the amazing dinosaur workshops scheduled to take place in the Spring Term.  However, we would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and peaceful, prosperous 2016.  Hope you like, the dinosaur themed Christmas card we have designed.

Merry Christmas from all the Team Members at Everything Dinosaur

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Merry Christmas

Dinosaurs and snow might not seem like an appropriate mix, but eager young dinosaur fans will probably point out that dinosaur fossils have been found in the Arctic Circle and in Antarctica.  These parts of the world were not quite as cold back in the Mesozoic as they are today, but dinosaurs from those high latitudes would have been used to seeing snow and to coping with freezing temperatures.  Fir trees that we associate with Christmas are also very ancient, these trees (conifers) pre-date the Dinosauria and for much of the Age of Dinosaurs these types of tree were the staple diet of most plant-eating dinosaurs.

Team members will be taking a well-deserved break, but not for too long, we have lots to keep us busy between now and the end of the year.

Visit Everything Dinosaur’s award-winning website: Visit Everything Dinosaur’s Website.

Just time to say once again, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

24 12, 2015

Everything Dinosaur and the Festive Period

By |2023-04-09T21:55:22+01:00December 24th, 2015|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page, Press Releases, Teaching|0 Comments

Christmas Time and Dinosaurs

Team members at Everything Dinosaur are working up to the late afternoon of Christmas Eve.  We have blog posts to finish for museums, a teaching resources article to complete and the warehouse needs a quick tidy up before Santa drops in.

We will also be monitoring the emails to deal with any customer queries should any arise.  In addition, we shall be keeping a listen out just in case we get any last minute phone calls.  As for the office and our working arrangements over the Christmas period, we shall of course, be taking a well earned break.  However, team members will be on hand throughout the majority of the holiday season to make sure that emails and other correspondence are answered promptly.

Nearly All Prepared for Christmas at Everything Dinosaur

Even members of the Thyreophora celebrate Christmas it seems.

Even members of the Thyreophora celebrate Christmas it seems.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Joys of the Annual Stock Take for Everything Dinosaur

Once the festivities are over, we shall be commencing our annual stock take.  This is a bit of a tradition and the task is made bearable thanks to lots of hot coffee, mince pies and a few savoury morsels to keep us all going.  Undertaking an inventory of our product range and fossil collection is quite an onerous task, we have thousands of products and lots and lots of fossils, even though this year we have given away a great many of our smaller specimens to schools and other institutions as part of our work in schools.  Speaking of which, January is going to be yet another record breaking month for our dinosaur workshops in schools.

We are going to have so much fun working with all the school children.

To learn about Everything Dinosaur’s outreach programmes: Email Everything Dinosaur.

Back to School with Dinosaurs, Rocks and Fossils

Everything Dinosaur and teaching work in schools.

Everything Dinosaur and teaching work in schools.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

New Models from CollectA, Schleich, Papo and Safari Ltd

2016 will see us once again expanding our product range with lots of new dinosaur models and replicas.  Only this morning we were telephoned by one of the senior managers at Papo, he wanted to tell us how excited he was after having seen the new Papo prehistoric animal models that are due out next  year.  In particular, he was “bowled over” by the new Papo Baryonyx replica that is going to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur sometime in quarter 1.

The New for 2016 Papo Baryonyx Dinosaur Replica

Papo Baryonyx dinosaur model - available early 2016 from Everything Dinosaur.

Papo Baryonyx dinosaur model – available early 2016 from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Papo with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

To read our exclusive article on the new Papo prehistoric animal model range: New from Papo for 2016.

To view the range of Papo models in stock: Papo Prehistoric Animal Models.

We have some interesting new additions to our portfolio so check out our Facebook page, social media and this blog for exciting announcements in the next few weeks.

Predictions and Favourite Prehistoric Animals

Over the next few days we shall also be finalising our palaeontology predictions for the year ahead.  We shall also be looking back on the predictions we made this year.  In addition, we have our annual list of the most popular prehistoric animals of 2015 to compile.  Given all the dinosaur sales, letters, pictures and fossil photographs we receive this will take some calculating.

Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur’s palaeontology predictions for 2015: Palaeontology and Fossil Predictions for 2015.

That’s enough about the future, just time to return to the present and to wish all our customers, supporters, followers and fans a Merry Christmas.

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