All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
14 05, 2017

A New Armoured Dinosaur is Named

By | May 14th, 2017|General Teaching, Key Stage 1/2|Comments Off on A New Armoured Dinosaur is Named

Dinosaur Gets “Ghostbusters” Inspired Name

A team of researchers from the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada), have described a new type of Late Cretaceous armoured dinosaur.  The dinosaur has been named Zuul crurivastator after “Zuul the Gatekeeper of Gozer” a horned monster from the 1984 film “Ghostbusters”.

When it comes to researching armoured dinosaurs like Zuul crurivastator, who you gonna call?

 The New Dinosaur (Z. crurivastator) Size Comparison to a White Rhino

Zuul compared to a White Rhino.

Armoured dinosaur compared to a White Rhino.

Picture Credit: Royal Ontario Museum with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

 The Inspiration Behind Dinosaur Names

When team members are delivering dinosaur and fossil themed workshops in schools, we set a number of challenges to the children concerning the names of dinosaurs.  There are rules about giving animals names, these rules are set down and governed by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN).  So long, as an animal’s name meets the criteria, then virtually anything goes and in this case, the two pairs of prominent horns towards the back of the head reminded the researchers of “Zuul the Gatekeeper of Gozer” and that’s how this dinosaur got its name.

An Illustration of the Head of Zuul crurivastator

Zuul crurivastator portrait.

A portrait of Zuul crurivastator.

Picture Credit: Danielle Dufault

The nearly complete fossilised remains of this armoured dinosaur, distantly related to the enormous Ankylosaurus, were found in Montana (USA).  This dinosaur lived between approximately 76.2 and 75.2 million years ago (Late Cretaceous).  The specimen represents the most complete Cretaceous armoured dinosaur known from North America.

A Member of the Ankylosaurinae Clade

Budding young palaeontologists will tell you that these kinds of armoured dinosaurs had bony tail clubs.  These clubs were used as weapons to help defend these herbivores from carnivorous dinosaurs.  The species name acknowledges the dangerous club tail of Zuul, it translates as “destroyer of shins”.  The back portion of the tail was stiff and the tip of tail was covered in large, sturdy, bony plates.  Together they formed a sledgehammer which would have made a formidable defensive weapon.  The club may also have been used in disputes between ankylosaurids (intraspecific combat), perhaps fights over territory or mates.

Royal Ontario Museum Staff Remove the Protective Cover from the Fossil

Examining the dinosaur fossil.

Museum staff remove the protective cover from the dinosaur fossil.

Picture Credit: Royal Ontario Museum

Teaching Extension Ideas

  • Challenge the children to design their own dinosaur, consider what it might have eaten, where might it have lived?  Link this to simple food chains and to adaptation and evolution.
  • Cut out images of characters from recent films – Captain America, Wonder Woman, Buzz Lightyear, Groot etc.  Ask the class to describe the character, to look at their features, can they match these features to an animal they know?
  • Research the dinosaur known as Dracorex hogwartsia – a dinosaur that was named after the Hogwarts school in the Harry Potter books.  Looking at images of Dracorex, is this “dragon king of Hogwarts” a good name for this dinosaur?
  • Why do scientists give animal names using Latin or ancient Greek?  What are the advantages of using this naming system?
14 05, 2017

JurassicCollectables Compares Acrocanthosaurus Models

By | May 14th, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur videos, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Papo Acrocanthosaurus Compared to Rebor Acrocanthosaurus

Over the last couple of years, dinosaur fans and model collectors have had the opportunity to obtain a number of replicas of the enigmatic Cretaceous Theropod Acrocanthosaurus (A. atokensis).  As well as the Safari Ltd replacement for the extremely rare Carnegie Collectibles Acrocanthosaurus, CollectA added an Acrocanthosaurus model into their Deluxe 1:40 range.  In 2016, Rebor introduced their highly-acclaimed 1:35 scale replica “Hercules” and a few weeks ago Papo added Acrocanthosaurus to their “Les Dinosaures” series.

But how do these models compare?  That’s a question that those clever people at JurassicCollectables set out to answer in their latest video review.  In this video, the Rebor Acrocanthosaurus and the Papo Acrocanthosaurus are put side by side, viewers have the chance to compare and contrast these two models.

JurassicCollectables Compares Acrocanthosaurus Models

Video Credit: JurassicCollectables

Giving Channel Subscribers Want They Want

This comparison video came about as several subscribers to JurassicCollectable’s YouTube channel had requested it.  We admire the way in which the team behind the video channel responded promptly to requests and in this short video, (duration just under two minutes), dinosaur fans get the chance to examine these two excellent replicas and compare and contrast them.

To subscribe to JurassicCollectables YouTube channel: JurassicCollectables on YouTube

The Two Acrocanthosaurus Replicas are Compared

The Papo Acrocanthosaurus compared to the Rebor Acrocanthosaurus.

Comparing the Rebor Acrocanthosaurus to the Papo Acrocanthosaurus.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

The Papo Acrocanthosaurus (left) shown next to the Rebor 1:35 scale Acrocanthosaurus (right).

High-spined Lizard Models

Only a handful of body fossils of this large, meat-eating dinosaur have been found.  It’s phylogenetic relationship within the Theropoda is still debated and exactly over what time period Acrocanthosaurus roamed the United States is difficult to establish definitively.  Trackways from Texas have been ascribed to Acrocanthosaurus along with isolated teeth from as far away as Maryland in the eastern United States, even the exact size of this predator is controversial, although most estimates suggest a maximum length of around twelve metres.

Comparing the Heads of the Two Acrocanthosaurus Models (Papo and Rebor)

The Rebor Acrocanthosaurus compared to the Papo Acrocanthosaurus.

Comparing the Papo Acrocanthosaurus with the Rebor Acrocanthosaurus.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

As with all the videos from JurassicCollectables, the camerawork is excellent and the models are always in focus.  In this video, the viewer is given the opportunity to get a really close look at these two striking dinosaur models.

Same Dinosaur, Different Styles but Similar Poses

The narrator points out that the Papo model’s head is lower than the Rebor replica version, both companies have depicted Acrocanthosaurus in a different way.  However, there are similarities in the pose, particularly the position of the hind feet and the curve of the long tail.  This is best seen from overhead (see picture), in the JurassicCollectables video, care has been taken with shot selection to ensure that these differences and similarities can be highlighted.

An Overhead View (Dorsal View) of the Papo Acrocanthosaurus and the Rebor Acrocanthosaurus

Acrocanthosaurus models compared.

Overhead views of the Rebor Acrocanthosaurus (right) compared to the Papo Acrocanthosaurus (left).

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

Commenting on the similar poses of the two dinosaurs, a spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur stated:

“It is all to do with stability.  Although the Papo model has the added benefit of having its front claws resting on the ground to give support, when it comes to getting a large, bipedal figure to stand up it is important to get the balance point over the hips.  The neck is slightly curved and the tail has been give an “S” shape in both these figures, this helps to balance the model and allows the design team to make the hind feet more in proportion with the rest of the sculpt.”

Both figures have their merits and it is great to see another type of apex predator included in a model range, other than the usual T. rex and Allosaurus figures.

To view the Papo Acrocanthosaurus and the rest of the Papo range: Papo Prehistoric Animal Models
For the Rebor 1:35 scale Acrocanthosaurus and the other Rebor replicas: Rebor Prehistoric Animals

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