A highlight of the autumn is “All Hallows’ Eve” – Halloween. An opportunity to post up pics of some Halloween dinosaurs. It is time for some spooky stories, murderous monsters and scary skeletons, all harmless fun but 66 million years ago real monsters roamed planet Earth and one of the most frightening dinosaurs of them all was Spinosaurus, a giant carnivorous dinosaur that is thought to be the biggest meat-eating land animal that ever lived.
Our thanks to Caldey who sent in a picture of a spooky Spinosaurus holding a Halloween pumpkin.
Picture credit: Caldey
The “lion of the Jurassic” Allosaurus has joined in the Halloween fun and games, with Caldey sending into Everything Dinosaur a second picture of a Halloween pumpkin held in the jaws of a ferocious dinosaur.
Picture credit: Caldey
As we approach the “witching hour” we want to wish all our customers and readers a happy Halloween! “All Hallows’ Eve” is traditionally linked with demons and monsters and the fossil record is jam-packed full of very scary looking invertebrates and vertebrate specimens that would have been very much at home in the cast of a horror movie.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur thanked Caldey for sending in the cleverly composed Halloween dinosaur photographs and commented:
“We enjoyed looking at the dinosaur pictures and we appreciate the spooky lighting effect that Caldey has used to depict her Halloween dinosaurs.”
Industrial action by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will continue in November. The strike action will continue to disrupt the UK mail network and also delay the despatch of parcels overseas. Team members at Everything Dinosaur are working hard to try to mitigate the impact of this strike action on their customers.
A Statement from Royal Mail
Everything Dinosaur has received the following statement issued by Royal Mail’s management:
“The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has notified us they plan to call on their members who collect, sort and deliver parcels and letters to take six days of strike action in November. Royal Mail has well-developed contingency plans, but we cannot fully replace the daily efforts of our frontline workforce. We’ll do what we can to keep services running, but you should expect disruption when strike action is taking place.”
Royal Mail and the CWU – Facilitation
The CWU and Royal Mail have jointly agreed to engage with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), in a bid to resolve this current dispute. Both parties are working hard and wish to see a resolution, however, there are significant differences in their respective positions. A preliminary session took place on Tuesday 25th of October with a follow-up meeting on Thursday 27th of October. The planned strike action in November is still scheduled to go ahead.
What Does the Strike Action Mean for Postal Services?
The planned strike action scheduled to commence in November is different to the national strike action which had occurred previously. Different parts of the Royal Mail network will be affected on different days. The Communication Workers Union is taking industrial action in different parts of Royal Mail on different days of the week.
Royal Mail has summarised the impact these strikes are expected to have on services, in the table below:
Table credit: Royal Mail
Disruption to Delivery and Collection Services
Everything Dinosaur has numerous collections by Royal Mail scheduled each week. The nature of this industrial action means that our warehouse collections will be affected on one day during each week of strike action. Larger vehicle collections are more likely to be affected on 3 and 9 November and smaller van collections on 4 and 10 November. However, Royal Mail are unlikely to be able to provide us with advance notice as to which of our collections will be affected.
Delivery services will also be affected. UK Customers will not receive postal deliveries on either Friday 4th of November or Thursday the 9th of November.
Everything Dinosaur Working Hard to Help You
Everything Dinosaur has implemented contingency plans to help to minimise the inconvenience for customers, but with the on-going Royal Mail industrial action and strikes at UK ports the advice given in previous blog posts remains pertinent.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“We have an extremely good relationship with all the delivery companies that we work with, although we are beginning to see delays in parcel deliveries due to this industrial action. We have our own plans in place to help minimise any disruption to our customers, we are working weekends to ensure that orders can be despatched as promptly as possible, in order to reduce any delays. We do advise that it is best to shop early to avoid disappointment in the lead up to the festive season.”
Following a legal letter from Royal Mail, the Communications Workers Union (CWU) has called off the industrial action scheduled for the 2, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 10 of November. Royal Mail and the CWU are due to attend further talks on the 31st October (2022).
Feefo the independent ratings agency, reports very positive Everything Dinosaur customer feedback once again this month. In total as we near the end of October (2022), Everything Dinosaur has received twenty-nine customer service reviews and all of them rate Everything Dinosaur’s customer service as 5-stars. That is top marks for Everything Dinosaur.
Feefo and Google Reviews
In addition to the twenty-nine customer service reviews logged by Feefo so far this month (October 2022), there have also been over sixty product ratings recorded by Feefo. Product ratings are provided by customers who rate and review the various items that they have received from Everything Dinosaur. Over this period, all the product reviews recorded also awarded Everything Dinosaur top marks (five stars).
Over this same period Everything Dinosaur also received seventeen Google reviews, all of these were also 5-stars. As with Feefo reviews, team members read all the feedback that they receive and they do respond to them, providing additional information and thanking customers for taking time out of their busy day to leave a comment.
Receiving a Smiley Face
In a Feefo review from a UK-based customer received today, Everything Dinosaur team members were awarded a “smiley face”.
The reviewer wrote:
“Nice website, clear process, easy to shop and purchase. Item arrived quickly and was well packaged. Job done! Smiley face!”
Everything Dinosaur Customer Feedback
A spokesperson from the award-winning, UK-based mail order company commented that team members read every single review and that staff were grateful for all the customer service and product reviews that Everything Dinosaur receives. They also added that it was wonderful to have received a “smiley face” from a customer in their service review.
To view the extensive range of prehistoric animal models and figures, dinosaur soft toys and other extinct animal related merchandise available: Everything Dinosaur Website.
At this time of year, as we approach the run up to the festive season, team members at Everything Dinosaur receive emails asking for book recommendations, here is a trio of ideal dinosaur books for Christmas.
All three books have been written by Dr Dean Lomax. Dr Lomax is an English vertebrate palaeontologist and science communicator, a world authority on ichthyosaurs and their close relatives.
“Locked in Time”
Fossils have provided scientists with a unique insight into life in the past. The book “Locked in Time – Animal Behavior Unearthed in 50 Extraordinary Fossils” takes the reader on a journal through deep geological time and highlights fifty of the most incredible fossil discoveries ever made. Illustrated by Bob Nicholls, fossils discussed include brooding dinosaurs, prehistoric fish entombed in giant clams, predator death traps and Jurassic crocodilians with broken jaws.
“Prehistoric Pets” is aimed at the younger reader. It links animals alive today with their prehistoric ancestors. Favourite pets had prehistoric animal ancestors and Dr Lomax provides fun facts on fish and their 500-million-year evolutionary history, demonstrates that budgerigars are dinosaurs and that guinea pigs are distantly related to a rodent the size of a horse!
Search for author Dean Lomax to discover the books.
“Dinosaurs Ten Things You Should Know”
Dr Lomax builds on his extensive experience as a science communicator and presents ten bite-sized essays that brings the Dinosauria to life in the 128-page “Dinosaurs Ten Things You Should Know”. He tackles big ideas about the dinosaurs, their evolution, their diversity, how they behaved and their ultimate demise.
Published by the Orion Publishing Group, “Dinosaurs Ten Things You Should Know” can be found here (just search for author Dean Lomax): Orion Publishing Group.
Everything Dinosaur has confirmed that they will be stocking the recently announced PNSO Qingge the Therizinosaurus dinosaur model. This figure is probably going to be in stock in the New Year (early 2023).
A PNSO Feathered Theropod
PNSO have developed several theropod replicas, but this is their first model of a “Scythe Lizard”. This beautifully crafted dinosaur model will join the feathered Nanotyrannus, and Jacques the Deinocheirus which is currently on the water and expected in stock at Everything Dinosaur in a few weeks (November 2022).
PNSO Qingge the Therizinosaurus
As Everything Dinosaur understands the situation, this is the last PNSO dinosaur figure to be announced this year. The factory was keen to get this model launched and so, there is no beautifully painted life reconstruction as part of the official publicity photographs. Instead, the model has been photographed against a simpler background giving the impression of a forest environment.
Therizinosaurus Model Measurements
Named and described in 1954 (Evgeny Aleksandrovich Maleev), Therizinosaurus cheloniformis fossils are associated with Upper Cretaceous deposits of the Nemegt Formation in the Gobi Desert (Mongolia). The tyrannosaur Tarbosaurus was coeval (lived in the same habitat at the same time). Qingge the Therizinosaurus will join the PNSO Tarbosaurus (Chuanzi) in the company’s mid-size model range.
The model measures 15 cm tall and has an overall length of 19.5 cm. Although PNSO does not declare a scale for their mid-size model range, we estimate that based on an adult length of 10 metres, this model is in approximately 1:50 scale.
The dinosaur model will be supplied with an A3 Sci-Art poster depicting a life reconstruction. The box will also contain a fully illustrated, 64-page colour booklet and the outer packaging will show a QR code which links to a Therizinosaurus video.
An Articulated Lower Jaw
Qingge the Therizinosaurus will have an articulated lower jaw. It is thought that therizinosaurs evolved from their meat-eating ancestors to become herbivores. Their strong arms with their enormous three-fingered hands and huge claws were used to grasp and pull down branches of trees upon which they could feed. As one of the tallest animals in their ecosystem (notwithstanding the presence of titanosaurs), Therizinosaurus could browse on parts of the plant canopy that other herbivorous dinosaurs could not reach.
PNSO Qingge the Therizinosaurus
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur confirmed that a shipment of PNSO prehistoric animal models was already on its way to the company’s warehouse. This shipment includes the new Deinocheirus and Sinopliosaurus figures, but the Therizinosaurus was not ready at the factory when the container vessel had to sail.
The PNSO Qingge the Therizinosaurus is likely to be in stock at Everything Dinosaur in the New Year (2023).
With the recent arrival of the Rebor display bases “Summer Kisses” and “Winter Tears”, team members at Everything Dinosaur have been busy preparing them for despatch to customers, however, we did take time out of our busy schedule to create a short YouTube video of these fabulous new additions to the Rebor range.
“Summer Kisses” and “Winter Tears”
These are the first, bespoke display bases that Rebor have made, and they have been cleverly designed to accommodate a variety of models, bipedal theropods but also some of the Rebor ornithischians such as their Stegosaurus figures.
A Dry Season and a Wet Season
Each base has amazing details, but there is still plenty of room to pose a prehistoric animal figure or two. A large tree stump towards the rear of each base provides additional support for the model on the base. Although the bases depict the same area of prehistoric landscape, their colour schemes are very different. The lush, verdant “Summer Kisses” depicts the area during the wet season, whilst “Winter Tears” with its muted browns and greys depicts the same location but in the dry season when the lack of water leads to a reduction in the amount of vegetation.
Rebor Display Bases
These stunning Rebor display bases are delicate, fragile polystone casts and we advise customers to remove them from their protective foam packaging with care. In Everything Dinosaur’s short video (it lasts just under five minutes thirty seconds), we provide a really useful tip to help customers avoid damaging their display base when they attempt to unpack it.
In our YouTube video, we explain that each box has been opened and the contents checked and then the bases have been repacked with extra cardboard protection. Team members have included a helpful advisory note to assist with unpacking in the box.
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that the video gave viewers the opportunity to have a really good look at these two bases as well as providing advice and assistance to ensure that the polystone bases were not damaged when being removed from their packaging.
At Everything Dinosaur, we receive lots of emails from young collectors and fans of prehistoric animal models. For example, we recently received a suggestion for a new prehistoric animal figure for us to pass onto our chums at CollectA. We received a Smilodon cub model suggestion. The emailer can be assured that we have forwarded on this request.
Suggestions from Customers
We receive lots of feedback from our customers, and as we await the announcements about new figures for 2023 from the manufacturers, we are happy to pass on such helpful information. Ironically, our chums at Papo recently introduced a replica of a Sabre-tooth cat (Smilodon), this model arrived at our UK warehouse earlier this year.
The Smilodon (Sabre-toothed cat), is a popular Ice Age animal. It regularly appears in the top-ten of our prehistoric animal surveys, and we receive numerous requests for Smilodon fact sheets and drawing materials. It is one of two prehistoric mammals that feature in these surveys, the other being the largely contemporaneous Woolly Mammoth (M. primigenius).
A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:
“We are grateful for all the new product suggestions that we get. We review all our correspondence, and we pass on the feedback about new prehistoric animal figures. We enjoy reading all the comments and suggestions about new dinosaur and prehistoric animal models.”
Academics have defined different types of play activity that children indulge in and concluded that dinosaur toys encourage play. Creative, imaginative play is very important for a child’s development and there are lots of dinosaur and prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur to keep even the most discerning young dinosaur fan happy.
Picture credit: Schleich
Defining Different Types of Play
Scientists such as psychologists and paediatricians have defined six types of basic play activity namely:
Independent Play – playing on their own, using imagination.
Co-operative Play – playing with others, learning to share and to play together.
Motor skills – hand and eye co-ordination.
Visual Development – learning to focus, to develop observational skills such as being able to track moving objects.
Linguistic skills – learning language skills and developing a vocabulary.
Mathematical skills – learning with numbers, developing confidence with mathematics.
Children engaging in play whether on their own or with others helps them to develop important life skills.
Dinosaur Toys Encourage Play
A spokesperson from the UK-based Everything Dinosaur commented that they were aware that many Reception classes start their autumn term with a topic focused on dinosaurs. This term topic helps to encourage the children to take part in more cognitive based learning activities as they move away from free play.
Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur
We wish all the teaching teams every success with this autumn’s term topics.
Everything Dinosaur stocks a massive range of dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed toys and games, all of which have been tested and approved by team members.
Sometimes dinosaurs can be spotted in the most unusual places. For example, an eagle-eyed Everything Dinosaur team member spotted a fuelled by dinosaurs sticker on a car parked next to our “dino van” at our warehouse the other day.
A Mistaken Assumption
The idea that petrol and other oil derived fuels are made up of the constituents of dead dinosaurs is a common assumption. Unfortunately, whilst it might please a petrol head to think that their super-charged, sports car is powered by long extinct animals like Triceratops and T. rex, this is not true. Fossil fuels such as petrol and natural gas are derived from the remains of (mostly) plant matter such as plankton (algae) laid down in a marine environment.
Most people understand that coal is derived from plant material, in the case of the UK, our plentiful and ubiquitous supplies of coal that fuelled the industrial revolution and industry until very recently largely consists of the remains of Carboniferous swamps and forests.
Fuelled by Dinosaurs
We are sorry car fans, for all you petrol heads out there, your vehicle is not powered by dinosaurs but by the ancient remains of some of the simplest, yet most important organisms on Earth – marine plankton.
Still, it’s a thought. Perhaps some clever car maker or another part of the oil or automotive industry will latch onto this misnomer and use it in their advertising. After all, not so long ago, a well-known brand of petrol advertised its fuel by stating put “a tiger in your tank”!
Team members at Everything Dinosaur were sent an email asking whether titanosaurs roamed southern Africa during the Early Cretaceous. We were able to answer in the affirmative and sent a fact sheet all about the controversial titanosaur Malawisaurus. We even sent a picture of the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Malawisaurus model, to provide further information about this herbivorous dinosaur’s appearance.
We could have written about Karongasaurus (K. gittelmani) which is also known from Malawi, but as we had a Malawisaurus fact sheet to hand, it seemed sensible to provide information on Malawisaurus.
Originally described nearly one hundred years ago (Haughton, 1928), this sauropod is known from the disarticulated remains of several individual animals excavated from Lower Cretaceous deposits exposed in northern Malawi (southern Africa). The taxonomic history of this sauropod is complicated, however, in 1993 following a review of the fossil material it was assigned its own genus Malawisaurus and although its placement within the Titanosauria clade is uncertain, it is widely regarded as a basal member of the Lithostrotia, a clade of derived titanosaurs that were geographically widespread and survived up until the end of the Cretaceous. The species name honours the British entomologist Frederick Augustus Dixey (1855 – 1935).
Wild Safari Prehistoric World Malawisaurus
Introduced in 2018, the Wild Safari Prehistoric World Malawisaurus model tends to be one of the more difficult to obtain Safari Ltd sauropod figures, unless of course, you contact Everything Dinosaur.
Although sometimes overlooked by other stockists who prefer to stock the better-known dinosaurs such as Triceratops and Stegosaurus, the Malawisaurus replica has proved popular with collectors who appreciate the fine details of this prehistoric animal figure. For example, in the scientific description of Malawisaurus it was noted that this dinosaur had osteoderms (dermal armour) embedded in its skin. This anatomical trait has been faithfully recreated by the design team at Safari Ltd.