All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
31 07, 2019

The Late Cretaceous of Northern China

By | July 31st, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page|0 Comments

The Late Cretaceous of Northern China

Today, we wanted to post up some more of the amazing artwork produced by Zhao Chuang that was created in association with the Peking Natural Science-Art Organisation (PNSO).  Zhao Chuang has an extensive portfolio of palaeoart, we have already featured a number of illustrations of prehistoric scenes and individual dinosaurs and other long extinct creatures on this blog.  However, rather than focus on one particular dinosaur we thought that for a change, we would post up an imagined dinosaur diorama.

Northern China in the Late Cretaceous

The Late Cretaceous of northern China

Northern China in the Late Cretaceous.

Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang (PNSO)

A Stunning Piece of Palaeoart

The picture (above), depicts northern China (Inner Mongolia), in the Late Cretaceous, approximately 77-75 million years ago (Campanian faunal stage of the Late Cretaceous).  The armoured dinosaur in the foreground (left), is Pinacosaurus (P. grangeri), a member of the Ankylosaurinae.  At around five metres in length, this heavily armoured dinosaur probably had little to fear from the numerous dromaeosaurids such as Velociraptor and Tsaagan which shared its environment, although there is some evidence to suggest that larger theropods (tyrannosaurids) were present.  The artist has depicted a dromaeosaurid on the extreme left of the diorama.  This fleet-footed predator is on its own, no pack or flock behaviour for this little carnivore is inferred.  The feathered dromaeosaurid is making a swift exit as it does not want to get involved with the herd of duck-billed dinosaurs approaching the oasis, although in truth, these herbivorous giants have very little to fear from this particular theropod.

A Closer View of the Small Theropod Dinosaur Depicted in the Dinosaur Diorama

A dromaeosaurid takes evasive action to avoid a herd of duck-billed dinosaurs.

A closer view of the beautifully coloured dromaeosaurid dinosaur depicted in the illustration by Zhao Chuang.

Picture Credit: Zhao Chuang (PNSO)


We have commented on this artwork on a previous post, but on that occasion we did not identify the hadrosaurids approaching the waterhole.  Although the Hadrosauridae has an extensive fossil record in northern latitudes, identifying the group approaching the oasis in this illustration is quite tricky.  Remarkably, despite the multitude of vertebrate fossils associated with the Djadokhta Formation (sometimes also referred to as the  Djadochta Formation), of northern China, very few Ornithischian dinosaurs have been identified.  The majority of Ornithischian dinosaurs known from this region are either members of the armoured Thyreophora such as Pinacosaurus or Neoceratopsia (part of the horned dinosaurs group).

The duck-billed dinosaurs could represent Plesiohadros (Plesiohadros djadokhtaensis), which is known from both cranial and postcranial fossil material from the same locality where Velociraptor fossils have been found.  As Plesiohadros is the only hadrosaurid discovered so far from the Djadokhta Formation , then the large herbivores in the diorama could represent this species.  However, as Plesiohadros was only named and described in 2014, if the artwork had been completed earlier, then the presence of hadrosaurids could be speculative on the part of the illustrator.

Are the Hadrosaurids Depicted in the Diorama Plesiohadros?

A herd of dubk-billed dinosaurs.

Is this a herd of Plesiohadros?

Picture Credit : Zhao Chuang (PNSO)

Whatever the species represented, the illustration is truly spectacular and one of our favourites.

To view the range of PNSO prehistoric animal models and figures available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs

30 07, 2019

Illustrating the PNSO Ankylosaurus “Sede”

By | July 30th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Illustrating the PNSO Ankylosaurus “Sede”

Our thanks to dinosaur fan and model collector Ian who sent us an illustration of “Sede” the PNSO Ankylosaurus model on receipt of his order.  Ian has sent us some beautiful drawings of various prehistoric animals and we have been delighted to receive them and to post them up onto our social media pages.

The Illustration of “Sede” the Ankylosaurus Dinosaur Model

A drawing of "Sede" the Ankylosaurus dinosaur model (PNSO).

An illustration of an Ankylosaurus based on the PNSO “Sede” the Ankylosaurus model.

Picture Credit: Ian

“Sede” the Ankylosaurus

The Ankylosaurus replica is regarded by many collectors as being one of the best armoured dinosaur models to have been produced.  Everything Dinosaur team members have been busy supplying a number of academics, museum staff and educationalists.  We have supplied this finely detailed model to authors of scientific publications on the Thyreophora (shield bearers).

A Picture of “Sede” the PNSO Ankylosaurus Dinosaur Model

"Sede" the Ankylosaurus dinosaur model.

The image of Sede the Ankylosaurus that probably inspired Ian’s illustration.  Can you see the resemblance?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We congratulate Ian for his fabulous drawing.  It is always a pleasure to receive artwork from model collectors and fans of dinosaurs.  We have added this model to our own collection, in doing so, we took some outdoor shots of this figure so that we could show the beautiful detail and colouration on this Ankylosaurus.

An Outdoor Shot Showing the Beautiful Detail and Colouration 

PNSO Ankylosaurus "Sede".

“Sede” the Ankylosaurus dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To view “Sede” the Ankylosaurus and the rest of the PNSO prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs

29 07, 2019

Everything Dinosaur – 1,000 Instagram Followers

By | July 29th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur – 1,000 Instagram Followers

Everything Dinosaur has achieved the landmark of 1,000 followers on Instagram.  We are truly humbled and we would like to thank all those wonderful people who have followed our Instagram adventures.  We are honoured and with the building of a bespoke photography and video studio we look forward to posting up lots more videos and images of prehistoric animals in the near future.

Everything Dinosaur Has Achieved 1,000 Followers on Instagram

Everything Dinosaur has achieved 1,000 instagram followers.

Celebrating 1,000 instagram followers.  Everything Dinosaur has achieved the landmark of 1,000 followers on Instagram.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson for the UK-based company stated:

“All the team members at Everything Dinosaur are immensely proud of this achievement.  We only started our instagram account a short while ago and to have 1,000 followers is a great honour for us.  We are currently in the process of converting an area into a bespoke studio so we can take lots of photographs and produce many more videos showing prehistoric animal models and figures.  We hope to have the studio project completed in just a few more weeks.”

Everything Dinosaur on Instagram

Everything Dinosaur already has a very active Facebook page (Facebook owns Instagram).  Team members at Everything Dinosaur post onto the company’s Facebook page several times a day and this page has attracted more than 6,000 followers.  Once the photography and video studio has been completed, staff intend to post up onto Instagram with almost the same frequency as their Facebook postings.  With so many new models and figures coming into stock, there will certainly be lots and lots of candidates available for photography.

Follow Everything Dinosaur (everythingdinosaur1) on Instagram: Everything Dinosaur on Instagram

29 07, 2019

A Komodo Dragon Drawing

By | July 29th, 2019|General Teaching|Comments Off on A Komodo Dragon Drawing

A Komodo Dragon Drawing

Our thanks to young Caldey for sending into us a superb illustration of a Komodo dragon, the largest living lizard in the world today, with some individuals attaining lengths of around 3 metres and weighing as much as 75 kilogrammes.

An Illustration of a Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis)

Komodo dragon drawing.

An illustration of a Komodo dragon.

Picture Credit: Caldey

“Land Crocodile”

When first described by Europeans in the early years of the 20th century, this large lizard was thought to be a form of “land crocodile”.  Scientist now know that the Komodo dragon is a member of the monitor lizard family, although how it evolved is a bit of a mystery.  As it is restricted to a handful of islands in the Indonesian archipelago, it had been thought that a lack of other large carnivores in its habitat enabled this lizard to reach such a large size.  However, some scientists now think that the Komodo dragon is part of a long line of large, ground dwelling monitor lizards that inhabited south-eastern Asia and Australia for several million years.  If this is the case the Komodo dragon represents the last of this evolutionary line, “a dead clade walking”.  Listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, its range has contracted due to human activity, but it has protected status within Indonesia and there are controversial plans to reduce the human population on Komodo by forcing villagers to locate elsewhere in order to protect this species.

Our thanks to Caldey for providing us with such a super Komodo dragon drawing.

28 07, 2019

Rare Papo Prehistoric Animal Models in Stock

By | July 28th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Rare Papo Prehistoric Animal Models in Stock

Several rare Papo prehistoric animal models have come into stock at Everything Dinosaur.  These figures which include the Papo blue Velociraptor dinosaur model, represent figures that have been retired or that have been removed from production.  These dinosaur and prehistoric animal models will be available for a limited period.

In Stock at Everything Dinosaur – Rare Papo Prehistoric Animal Figures

In stock at Everything Dinosaur rare Papo models.

Rare Papo models either retired or out of production are in stock at Everything Dinosaur for a limited period.  The list includes the Papo blue Velociraptor (top), Papo Archaeopteryx, the Papo baby Triceratops, the original Papo Oviraptor complete with egg and the Papo green Velociraptor dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

As well as stocking a wide range of other Papo prehistoric animal figures, for a limited time, five rare Papo models will be available from Everything Dinosaur.  This list includes the original Papo Oviraptor, the Papo baby Triceratops, the green Velociraptor, the Papo Archaeopteryx and the very difficult to obtain Papo blue Velociraptor dinosaur model.

To view these rare Papo models and to see the rest of the Papo prehistoric animal model range that is available from Everything Dinosaur: Papo Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animal Models

An Evolving Product Range

The range of models offered by Papo is constantly changing and evolving.  The Papo Oviraptor was one of two dinosaur models to be introduced by the French manufacturer in 2010.  It was retired in 2016-17, being replaced by a new blue Oviraptor colour variant.

The Papo Blue Oviraptor Dinosaur Model

Papo Oviraptor dinosaur model (2017).

Papo blue Oviraptor dinosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In contrast, the Papo blue Velociraptor was only available for a very short time.  It was introduced in 2017 and retired within eighteen months.  It had been introduced to replace the Papo green Velociraptor that had been launched in the previous year.  For a short time, Papo fans had the chance to build up their very own “raptor” pack.  Now thanks to Everything Dinosaur, collectors who missed out the first time have another opportunity, but only whilst stocks last.

A Trio of Papo “Raptors” Available for a Short Time (Whilst Stocks Last)

Papo Velociraptors.

A trio of Papo Velociraptors.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The Papo Baby Triceratops and the Papo Archaeopteryx Model

The future of the Papo baby Triceratops remains uncertain.   It was introduced in 2014 and its demise was reported last year.  The Papo Archaeopteryx was added to the Papo model range (Les Dinosaures), in the same year as the baby Triceratops, an announcement was made about this figure’s retirement in the autumn of 2018.  We reported upon this and the withdrawal of the Papo Tupuxuara in October 2018: Papo Model Retirements in 2019.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“We do our best to report on model retirements and in this instance we have been able to hold back some stock of rare models so that we could introduce them now enabling collectors who had missed out first time around to purchase these models.  We have kept our pricing at the same levels as usual, we do not want to exploit the rarity of such figures, rather provide dinosaur model fans with one last chance of picking up one of these excellent figures for their collection.”

27 07, 2019

JurassicCollectables Reviews “Green Day” and “Oasis”

By | July 27th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page|0 Comments

Rebor Dilophosaurus Figures – Video Review

The talented team at JurassicCollectables have produced another Rebor model video review.  They have put together a most informative video review of the latest Rebor replica releases, the Dilophosaurus models “Green Day” and “Oasis”.  This in-depth analysis of these two scale model replicas looks at the packaging, examines the bases of the models in detail and of course, takes the viewer on a guided tour of each of the figures.

JurassicCollectables Reviews the Rebor Dilophosaurus Replicas “Green Day” and “Oasis”

Video Credit: JurassicCollectables

Rebor Dilophosaurus wetherilli

With JurassicCollectables it is “ladies first” with the female Dilophosaurus “Oasis” taking centre stage for the first part of the video.  The narrator carefully unpacks the model and comments on the secure foam packaging that Rebor uses to protect its figures.  The model is assembled, but first, the beautifully painted base is examined and then the actual figure is reviewed, with a detailed examination of all the articulated parts and moveable features associated with this Rebor replica.

The Rebor Dilophosaurus “Oasis”

The Rebor Dilophosaurus "Oasis".

The Rebor Dilophosaurus “Oasis” reviewed by JurassicCollectables.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

In the video, the narrator explains why the box for the “Oasis” figure is larger, it has to accommodate the tree stump element of the figure’s base.  It is intriguing to see these 2019 sculpts compared to a vintage Kenner Dilophosaurus figure, they are in approximately the same scale.  “Off-colour Alan” makes an appearance maintaining the nod in the direction of the “Jurassic Park” film franchise and JurassicCollectables demonstrate how the base for “Oasis” can also be used in conjunction with the recently introduced Rebor “Killer Queen” Tyrannosaurus rex model.

A Close View of the Head of Rebor “Oasis”

Rebor Dilophosaurus "Oasis".

The Rebor Dilophosaurus “Oasis”.  The JurassicCollectables videos provide plenty of opportunity for dinosaur model fans to get a close look at the figures.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

Having Reviewed the Female Dilophosaurus Figure, “Green Day” the Male Dilophosaur Takes Centre Stage

The Rebor Dilophosaurus "Green Day".

Rebor Dilophosaurus “Green Day”.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

The YouTube video channel of JurassicCollectables is crammed full of well-written and beautifully shot video reviews of lots of different prehistoric animal  models.   Everything Dinosaur recommends that readers subscribe to this channel: Visit JurassicCollectables on YouTube

Looking at the Bases

One of the many benefits of a video review like this is that viewers get to see and hear about parts of the figure not necessarily shown in the official model photographs.  Take for example, the bases for these two Dilophosaurus replicas.  Each model can be displayed on its own, but they are designed to be used as a pair.  At Everything Dinosaur, we offer the Rebor Dilophosaurus pair at a special discounted price, this gives collectors the option of purchasing one, or choosing to pick up the pair together.  In the video, the narrator takes care to demonstrate how the bases fit together.

The Rebor Models Can Be Displayed Together

Rebor Dilophosaurus bases.

The base of the Rebor Dilophosaurus “Green Day” and “Oasis”.  The bases fit together really well allowing the two figures to be displayed together.

Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

Adding a Frill to your Dilophosaurus Figure

As well as providing size measurements and showing these two Rebor figures against other dinosaur models to give a size comparison, the narrator talks about Rebor’s innovative idea to provide a download so that you can customise these models and add a “frill”, to mimic how these dinosaurs were depicted in the first “Jurassic Park” movie.

Customising Your Dinosaur Model

Rebor Dilophosaurus models with their accessories (ruffs).

Rebor Dilophosaurus models with their ruffs.

 Picture Credit: JurassicCollectables

Everything Dinosaur also offers a free download of these Rebor accessories, simply Email Everything Dinosaur and we will be happy to email the free download of the Dilophosaurus accessories to you.

Our thanks to JurassicCollectables for producing such an informative video.

To view the Rebor Dilophosaurus models “Green Day” and “Oasis” and the other Rebor replicas available from Everything Dinosaur: Rebor Prehistoric Animal Models

26 07, 2019

Everything Dinosaur Unboxing Video

By | July 26th, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos|0 Comments

Unboxing PNSO and Mojo Fun Prehistoric Animal Models

Our thanks to Matthew the Dinosaur King who has posted up onto his YouTube channel an unboxing video featuring the new for 2019 Mojo Fun figures and a pair of the new for 2019 PNSO prehistoric animal models (Sede the Ankylosaurus and Patton the Megalodon with the articulated jaw).

Unboxing PNSO and Mojo Fun Prehistoric Animal Figures

Video Credit: Matthew the Dinosaur King

PNSO Prehistoric Animals

PNSO have begun to develop an extensive portfolio of prehistoric animal models.   Their focus remains on animals from the Mesozoic and it is great to see a number of Chinese dinosaurs including stegosaurs featured in their model portfolio.  This short video (it is a little over six minutes in length), also focuses on some Mojo Fun replicas.  Everything Dinosaur will be making some exciting announcements about Mojo Fun prehistoric animals in the near future.  Checkout our blog and social media platforms for Mojo Fun updates.

Our thanks once again to Matthew the Dinosaur King for creating such an excellent unboxing video.  We look forward to viewing the individual model reviews.

25 07, 2019

New Beasts of the Mesozoic “Raptors” Feature in Newsletter

By | July 25th, 2019|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Newsletters, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

New Beasts of the Mesozoic “Raptor” Models in Stock

The latest additions to the amazing Beasts of the Mesozoic range of articulated “raptor” figures feature in Everything Dinosaur’s July newsletter.  New replicas arrived at the company’s warehouse a few days ago, including the limited edition, exclusive Velociraptor osmolskae replica (alpha) as well as the trio of white nestlings.  As an exclusive model, it is the limited edition V. osmolskae (alpha) that takes the headline spot in our newsletter.

Highlighting the New for 2019 Limited Edition Velociraptor osmolskae Figure (Alpha)

Beasts of the Mesozoic Velociraptor osmolskae (alpha).

The exclusive limited edition Velociraptor osmolskae is in stock at Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

“Road Runner” and a New Velociraptor mongoliensis

Also available is the beautifully coloured purple “raptor” – Saurornitholestes (S. sullivani).  This figure has been nicknamed “road runner” as its colouration is similar to the cartoon ground dwelling bird in the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons (Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies).  Saurornitholestes was certainly ground dwelling and cursorial.  Its velocity when running is not known, nor are we at Everything Dinosaur aware of any research that has attempted to calculate its maximum speed.   The fossil record is particularly sparse for this species, the bauplan (body plan), of this species is not known, it has been reconstructed based on more complete dromaeosaurids.  It is presumed, that like most dromaeosaurids, Saurornitholestes was nimble, agile and a fast runner – hence the “road runner” moniker.

The Beasts of the Mesozoic Velociraptor mongoliensis figure has proved to be one of the most popular figures in the entire range.  A new version (version 2), has been introduced and this figure also features in our newsletter.

The Purple Saurornitholestes sullivani Figure and the New Velociraptor mongoliensis Model (Version 2)

Velociraptor (black) and Beasts of the Mesozoic S. sullivani.

Beasts of the Mesozoic “road runner” and a Velociraptor.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Those clever designers behind the Beasts of the Mesozoic range have also added a beautifully sculpted model of the second Velociraptor species (V. osmolskae) in a wonderful, fiery red motif.  In addition, Everything Dinosaur will be stocking the Velociraptor (V. mongoliensis) black colour variant.

Everything Dinosaur Also Stocks the Velociraptor osmolskae (red) and the Impressive Velociraptor mongoliensis (black)

A pair of Velociraptors from the Beasts of the Mesozoic range.

Beasts of the Mesozoic Velociraptor osmolskae (red) and a Velociraptor (black).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

An Extensive Dromaeosaurid-themed Range of Figures

The range of 1:6 scale figures also includes sets of baby dinosaurs.  These are available in a variety of colour combinations.  The Beasts of the Mesozoic white-coloured nestlings feature in the latest addition of our newsletter.  Everything Dinosaur stocks a huge range of Beasts of the Mesozoic models including the “Build-a-raptor” sets, the Deluxe figures and of course, the various environmental packs – mountain, desert, forest and wetlands.

To view the range of figures and models: Beasts of the Mesozoic Models.

A Trio of “Raptor” Nestlings and a Look at the Entire Beasts of the Mesozoic Model Range

Beasts of the Mesozoic "Raptor" models.

A trio of white “raptor” nestlings and a view of part of the extensive Beasts of the Mesozoic range.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To request to join the Everything Dinosaur newsletter subscribers list just send us an email: Email Everything Dinosaur

24 07, 2019

Mammaliaforms Could Swallow Just Like Us

By | July 24th, 2019|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Microdocodon gracilis – Hyoid Bones

A team of international researchers have announced the discovery of a tiny, Middle Jurassic mammaliaform that was not much longer than a pencil and had thigh bones no thicker than a matchstick.  The little critter, named Microdocodon gracilis comes from strata estimated to be around 164-million-years old, it measured under fifteen centimetres in length, most of which was tail.  It was very probably scansorial (capable of climbing), very likely arboreal and this lithe early mammal hunted insects.

A Life Reconstruction of the Newly Described M. gracilis

Life reconstruction Microdocodon.

A life reconstruction of Microdocodon gracilis.

Picture Credit: April I. Neander

Important Hyoid Bone Fossil Find

The researchers, which included scientists from the Shenyang Normal University in China’s Liaoning Province, Yale University, the University of Chicago (United States), as well as colleagues from the Institute of Geosciences, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat (Bonn, Germany) report in the academic journal “Science”, on the discovery of the earliest example of hyoid bones in the mammalian fossil record.  Hyoid bones link the back of the mouth (pharynx), to the openings of the larynx and the oesophagus.  They are arranged in a “U-shape” and suspended by jointed segments from the skull.  These bones permit mammals, including us, to chew food and then swallow it efficiently.  Reptiles such as crocodilians can only gulp down food, there is very little processing undertaken in the mouth.

Lead author of the scientific paper Zhou Chang-Fu explained that the hyoid bone is not closely connected to other bones such as the jaws, so it is easy for it to be lost as a body decomposes.  Zhou also added that the hyoid bone measures just a few millimetres in length and has mobile joints arranged in a saddle-shaped configuration, which are fundamentally different from the simple hyoid rods associated with nonmammaliaform cynodonts.

The Evolution of Hyoid Bones in the Mammalian Lineage

Hyoid bone evolution in mammals.

The evolution of hyoid bones in mammals.

Picture Credit: April I. Neander/University of Chicago

Commenting on the significance of the fossil discovery, Zhe-Xi Luo (University of Chicago) stated:

“Mammals have become so diverse today through the evolution of diverse ways to chew their food, whether it is insects, worms, meat or plants.  But no matter how differently mammals can chew, they all have to swallow in the same way.  Essentially, the specialised way for mammals to chew and then swallow is all made possible by the agile hyoid bones at the back of the throat.”

The scientific paper: “New Jurassic mammaliaform sheds light on early evolution of mammal-like hyoid bones.” by Chang-Fu Zhou et al and published in the journal Science.

23 07, 2019

Defining Allometric Growth

By | July 23rd, 2019|Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles|0 Comments

Defining Allometric Growth

Everything Dinosaur received an email from a dinosaur model collector the other day enquiring about the concept of allometric growth.  She had read in one of our blog articles about the growth rates of tyrannosaurids and wanted to enquire how we define allometric growth and what this might mean when looking at the lives of theropods.

Put simply, allometric growth occurs when different parts of an organism grow and develop at different rates.  The appearance of an organism undergoing allometric growth changes radically as the organism grows and matures.

Gorgosaurus libratus – One of the Most Extensively Studied Tyrannosaurs

Gorgosaurus libratus illustrated.

Faster and slightly more nimble when compared to contemporaneous tyrannosaurids and the extensive fossil record representing juveniles as well as adults has enabled palaeontologists to plot body plan changes.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Gorgosaurus libratus

The Late Cretaceous tyrannosaurid Gorgosaurus (G. libratus) provides palaeontologists with the most extensive fossil record of any member of the Tyrannosauridae.  It is known from numerous fossil specimens, including adults and juveniles, most of these fossils having come from the famous Dinosaur Park Formation of southern Alberta (Canada).  Leg bone proportions changed as these predators grew and matured.  For example, the femur (thigh bone), in adults  and sub-adults was slightly longer than or equal in length to the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula).  In the very largest specimens, the femur is more than a metre in length.  In many juveniles, it is the tibia that is longer than the femur.  The body proportions of these dinosaurs changed as they grew, so they are demonstrating allometric growth.

A Juvenile Gorgosaurus Feeding on the Carcase of a Centrosaurus

A speculative illustration of a young Gorgosaurus feeding on the carcass of a juvenile Centrosaurus.

A young Tyrannosaur (Gorgosaurus) scavenging the carcass of the juvenile Centrosaurus.  As Gorgosaurus grew and matured its body proportions changed.

Picture Credit: Marie-Hélène Trudel-Aubry/PeerJ

As the body proportions of Gorgosaurus changed as the animal grew and matured, this has implications for its behaviour.  For instance, young immature animals were very probably much faster runners than adult animals, they may have specialised in hunting and catching much smaller prey.  If these dinosaurs were pack hunters, then juveniles may have had a specific role in hunting, perhaps pursuing prey and driving it towards the adult members of the pack.

Isometric Growth

Organisms that have parts that grow at the same rate and therefore retain a consistent body plan as they grow are deemed to demonstrate isometric growth.  Many types of amphibian demonstrate isometric growth.  Once a frog has metamorphosised from the tadpole stage, its body proportions hardly change as it grows.


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