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

Everything Dinosaur’s work with photoshop and other platforms.

18 04, 2024

Further Helpful Information About European Parcel Deliveries

By |2024-04-18T14:21:26+01:00April 18th, 2024|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

The European customs network is continuing to experience software problems. This is leading to a delay in European parcel deliveries. Everything Dinosaur team members became aware of delays in the network on the 9th of April. We are continuing to monitor the situation on behalf of our European customers.

We apologise to all our affected customers for the delay in delivery. Please be assured your parcel is not lost but stuck in the European customs network and the parcel is unable to move until this problem has been resolved.

A statement was released by the company on the 13th April.  We feel that it is important to be honest and transparent with our customers.

Read our earlier statement here: Information on European Parcel Deliveries.

Everything Dinosaur is registered for VAT in Ireland.  We have continued to lobby the company responsible for our VAT payments (SimplyVAT), who in turn have been communicating with the Irish Tax and Customs Authority, with whom, it is believed the problem lies.

The Irish Tax and Customs Authority has released a statement.  Everything Dinosaur was forwarded a copy this morning (18th April, 2024).

Statement from Irish Tax and Customs regarding problems with IOSS.

Statement from the Irish Tax Authority (Irish Tax and Customs) about the continuing difficulties with regards to validating IOSS numbers for customers including Everything Dinosaur. The statement, although brief does confirm that the ongoing difficulties are not the result of any actions undertaken by Everything Dinosaur. However, we continue to put pressure on SimplyVAT and the Irish Tax Authorities to resolve this issue. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Everything Dinosaur and IOSS (Import One Stop Shop)

According to information received by Everything Dinosaur, the difficulties in European deliveries have arisen as the unique IOSS number registered to companies is not being recognised by computer software at the Irish Tax and Customs Authority.

The Import One-Stop-Shop (IOSS) number was introduced in July 2021 to streamline international shipping and harmonise the declaring and payment of VAT.

Everything Dinosaur, like many UK companies wanted to keep trading in Europe and in order to do so applied and received a unique IOSS number. This permits us to pay the correct tax on all the prehistoric animal, dinosaur models and other items we sell in the EU. We pay a VAT monthly return. A criterion for membership of the IOSS scheme is that you have to be registered for VAT in an EU member country.  Everything Dinosaur is registered for VAT in Ireland for this purpose.

With an IOSS number VAT payment is harmonised for UK and European companies and the amount of paperwork that is required is greatly reduced. This means that we can pack and despatch parcels to our European Union customers swiftly and offer them the convenience of Delivery Duty Paid (DDP).

Our customers have the assurance of a DDP parcel service with no hidden charges, extra taxes or courier company administration fees to pay.

The parcel delays are believed to relate to difficulties that have arisen following the installation of software updates by the Irish Tax and Customs Authority.  This software is not recognising valid IOSS numbers.  This is preventing parcels from moving through the European parcel network.

Team Members Seeking Answers

Whilst the software difficulties have nothing to do with Everything Dinosaur’s systems and processes.  We have kept lobbying our VAT payment partner SimplyVAT in order to do our best to ensure a swift resolution.  We want the current difficulties concerning European parcel deliveries to be resolved.

This morning, we received two statements from SimplyVAT about this issue.  SimplyVAT has reiterated that they are not the source of the problem and we have enclosed both statements that we have received.

IOSS Issues and Everything Dinosaur.

Statement from SimplyVAT, the company which manages Everything Dinosaur’s VAT compliance for ecommerce. This statement was received on the morning of the 18th April. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

A few minutes later, we received a second statement from SimplyVAT.  It provides a link to a brief statement from the Irish Tax and Customs Authority.

Second IOSS statement from SimplyVAT received by Everything Dinosaur.

A second, follow-up statement from SimplyVAT received on the morning of 18th April confirming that a statement about the continuing issues in the European customs network had been issued by the Irish Tax Authority. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Reassuring Customers About European Parcel Deliveries

Whilst we stress, the delays in the European custom network have not been caused by Everything Dinosaur, we continue to do all we can to lobby those parties that can resolve this issue to act swiftly and to seek a rapid resolution.

We once again apologise to those customers who have been affected and we promise to continue to monitor the situation closely.

For further information and advice email Everything Dinosaur: Email Everything Dinosaur Team Members.

17 04, 2024

Ichthyotitan severnensis – A Colossus of the Late Triassic

By |2024-04-17T19:03:57+01:00April 17th, 2024|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

A scientific paper has just been published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE that describes a new species of giant ichthyosaur. This huge marine reptile, named Ichthyotitan severnensis could have been about as big as a blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus).  The discovery of the fragmentary remains of a second gigantic jawbone in Somerset supports the hypothesis that giant ichthyosaurs were present in the Late Triassic ecosystem.

Ichthyotitan severnensis illustrated.

A washed-up Ichthyotitan severnensis carcase on the beach being visited by two hungry theropod dinosaurs and a flock of curious pterosaurs. Picture credit: Sergey Krasovskiy.

Giant Ichthyosaurs from Somerset

Fossil collector and co-author of this study Paul de la Salle, found a portion of fossil jaw in May 2016. He later returned to the location (the beach at Lilstock, west Somerset) and found more pieces that together formed a partial surangular more than a metre in length.  The second fragmentary jawbone, also a surangular was found on a beach a few miles to the east of the original fossil discovery.

In May 2020, Father and daughter, Justin and Ruby Reynolds from Braunton, Devon found the first pieces of the second surangular.  They were fossil hunting on the beach at Blue Anchor. Ruby, then aged eleven found the first chunk of fossil bone and went onto to find several more fragments.

Realising that Ruby may have discovered something of considerable scientific value, the family contacted leading ichthyosaur expert, Dr Dean Lomax, a palaeontologist at The University of Manchester. Dr Lomax, who is also a 1851 Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, contacted Paul de la Salle as he recognised the striking similarity between the two fossil finds.

Dr Dean Lomax commented:

“I was amazed by the find. In 2018, my team (including Paul de la Salle) studied and described Paul’s giant jawbone and we had hoped that one day another would come to light. This new specimen is more complete, better preserved, and shows that we now have two of these giant bones – called a surangular – that have a unique shape and structure. I became very excited, to say the least.”

Photographs of the surangular bones associated with the giant marine reptile Ichthyotitan severnensis.

Photograph of the nearly complete giant jawbone (surangular), along with a comparison with the 2018 bone (middle and bottom) found by Paul de la Salle. Picture credit: Dr Dean Lomax.

Hunting for More Fossil Evidence

Justin and Ruby, together with Paul, Dr Lomax, and several family members, visited the site to hunt for more pieces of fossil bone. Over time, the team found additional fragments of the same jaw which fit together perfectly, like a multimillion-year-old ichthyosaur jigsaw.

Father Justin explained:

“When Ruby and I found the first two pieces we were very excited as we realised that this was something important and unusual. When I found the back part of the jaw, I was thrilled because that is one of the defining parts of Paul’s earlier discovery.”

The last piece of bone was recovered in October 2022.

Some of the research team members with Ichthyotitan severnensis fossil bones.

Part of the research team in 2020 examining the initial finds (at the back) of the new discovery made by Ruby and Justin Reynolds. Additional sections of the bone were subsequently discovered. From left to right, Dr Dean Lomax, Ruby Reynolds, Justin Reynolds and Paul de la Salle. Picture credit: Dr Dean Lomax.

Ichthyotitan severnensis

Lead author of the study, Dr Lomax commented that the jaw fossils belong to a new species of enormous ichthyosaur.  It would have measured perhaps as much as twenty-five metres in length.  Ichthyotitan severnensis was probably larger than any extant toothed whale.  Based on comparisons with better known shastasaurid ichthyosaurs, it could have been as big as a blue whale.  Analysis of the geology of the two fossil sites along with a detailed comparison of the two surangular fossils supports the team’s hypothesis that these fossils represent an enormous ichthyosaur that is new to science.

Ichthyotitan severnensis scale drawing by Everything Dinosaur.

An Ichthyotitan severnensis scale drawing. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The genus and species name translates as “giant fish lizard of the Severn”.

The fossil material is estimated to be around 202 million years old, dating to the end of the Triassic (Rhaetian faunal stage).  Gigantic ichthyosaurs (Shastasauridae) swam in the seas while the Dinosauria were beginning to dominate terrestrial environments.  Ichthyotitan was one of the last of the shastasaurids, these Somerset fossils represent the last of their kind.  The Shastasauridae family are thought to have become extinct at the end of the Triassic.

Ichthyotitan severnensis was not the world’s first giant marine reptile, but de la Salles’ and Reynolds’ discoveries are unique among those known to science. These two bones appear to be approximately thirteen million years younger than their latest geologic relatives, including Shonisaurus sikanniensis (British Columbia, Canada), and Himalayasaurus tibetensis from Tibet, China.

Dr Lomax added:

“I was highly impressed that Ruby and Justin correctly identified the discovery as another enormous jawbone from an ichthyosaur. They recognised that it matched the one we described in 2018. I asked them whether they would like to join my team to study and describe this fossil, including naming it. They jumped at the chance. For Ruby, especially, she is now a published scientist who not only found but also helped to name a type of gigantic prehistoric reptile. There are probably not many 15-year-olds who can say that! A Mary Anning in the making, perhaps.”

Ruby exclaimed:

“It was so cool to discover part of this gigantic ichthyosaur. I am very proud to have played a part in a scientific discovery like this.”

A life reconstruction of a pair of Ichthyotitan severnensis.

A giant pair of swimming Ichthyotitan severnensis. Picture credit: Gabriel Ugueto.

Not Yet Fully Grown

Further examinations of the bones’ internal structures have been carried out by master’s student, Marcello Perillo, from the University of Bonn, Germany. His research confirmed the ichthyosaur origin of the bones and also revealed that the animal was still growing at the time of death.

He said:

“We could confirm the unique set of histological characters typical of giant ichthyosaur lower jaws: the anomalous periosteal growth of these bones hints at yet to be understood bone developmental strategies, now lost in the deep time, that likely allowed Late Triassic ichthyosaurs to reach the known biological limits of vertebrates in terms of size. So much about these giants is still shrouded by mystery, but one fossil at a time we will be able to unravel their secret.”

Concluding the work, Paul de la Salle added:

“To think that my discovery in 2016 would spark so much interest in these enormous creatures fills me with joy. When I found the first jawbone, I knew it was something special. To have a second that confirms our findings is incredible. I am overjoyed.”

Ichthyotitan severnensis Fossils on Public Display

The fossilised remains will soon be put on display at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (Bristol).

Dr Lomax summarised the study:

“This research has been ongoing for almost eight years. It is quite remarkable to think that gigantic, blue whale-sized ichthyosaurs were swimming in the oceans around what was the UK during the Triassic Period. These jawbones provide tantalising evidence that perhaps one day a complete skull or skeleton of one of these giants might be found. You never know.”

To read Everything Dinosaur’s 2018 article about the first surangular fossil discovery: Late Triassic Giant Ichthyosaurs.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the University of Manchester in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper “The last giants: New evidence for giant Late Triassic (Rhaetian) ichthyosaurs from the UK” by Lomax D. R., de la Salle, P., Perillo, M., Reynolds, J., Reynolds, R. and Waldron, J. F. published in PLOS ONE.

Visit the website of Dr Dean Lomax: British Palaeontologist Dr Dean Lomax.

16 04, 2024

Dinosaur Books from Childhood Bring Back Happy Memories

By |2024-04-17T14:40:17+01:00April 16th, 2024|Adobe CS5, Book Reviews, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page|0 Comments

Sorting out cupboards can be tiresome.  However, sometimes exciting discoveries can be made.  In a large box on one of the shelves some books and dinosaur models were discovered.  Examining the models and the dinosaur books from childhood brought back lots of happy memories.  One of the books found was the Ladybird book of dinosaurs.  It must have been published more than forty-five years ago.

The ladybird book of dinosaurs inspiring a fascination for dinosaur models.

The Ladybird book of dinosaurs. One of the first dinosaur books owned by a team member. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur Books from Childhood

The front cover of the Ladybird book of dinosaurs is pictured above.  The cover is somewhat worse for wear.  However, inside the colour illustrations of prehistoric animals are surprisingly well-preserved.  The dinosaur depicted on the front cover is some form of theropod.  The posture of the dinosaur is very outdated.  For example, we now know that these dinosaurs held their tails off the ground.  There are four large digits associated with the hand.  This too, is not a scientifically accurate depiction.  Such inaccuracies can be expected when examining dinosaur books from childhood.

The dinosaur might represent a taxon known as Antrodemus (A. valens).  It is a dubious theropod genus from the Morrison Formation of Colorado. Antrodemus valens was described in 1870 (Joseph Leidy).  Described from fragmentary caudal vertebrae, this genus is regarded today as nomen dubium.  The validity of this genus is now doubted by most palaeontologists.  The holotype material is regarded as undiagnostic and lacks unique traits and characteristics that could lead to the designation of a new genus.  The caudal bones could represent an Allosaurus.

Finding an Iguanodon Dinosaur Model

In addition, an Iguanodon dinosaur model was discovered.  This was a figure from the Natural History Museum series.  The Iguanodon figure has been retired and out of production for many years.  It was unboxed but it probably came from the same batch as the infamous Iguanodon figures that were supplied with a spelling error on the packaging.

Iguanodon dinosaur model.

A spelling error on the box!  The Natural History Museum Iguanodon dinosaur model with a spelling mistake on the packaging.  The “Iguanadon” is incorrect.  Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture (above) shows a Natural History Museum Iguanodon model.  There is a spelling mistake on the packaging.  The Iguanodon dinosaur model that was found probably came from this inaccurate production run.

To read an earlier article about the mistake on the product packaging: Spot the Mistake on the Product Packaging.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented that they enjoyed reminiscing and that they were delighted to have found the dinosaur book and the dinosaur model.  Both items will be safely stored in the company’s offices.

Visit the award-winning Everything Dinosaur website: Dinosaur Figures, Models and Toys.

15 04, 2024

New CollectA Deluxe Polacanthus Model Video Review

By |2024-04-15T17:57:21+01:00April 15th, 2024|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur Products, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases, Product Reviews|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur team members have completed their review of the new for 2024 CollectA Deluxe Polacanthus model.  Their video review is now live on the Everything Dinosaur YouTube channel.  The video is approximately twenty minutes in length.  It provides a comprehensive overview of the new CollectA figure and highlights the extraordinary details seen on this new armoured dinosaur model.

Video credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Review of the CollectA Deluxe Polacanthus

The YouTube video review explores how our perceptions regarding this armoured dinosaur have changed.  Named in 1865, this dinosaur was further described in 1887 (John Whitaker Hulke).  The Hungarian polymath Franz Nopcsa was tasked with creating a museum exhibit of this dinosaur in 1905.  He had little fossil material to work with and it has been speculated that Nopcsa based his reconstruction on Stegosaurus.  This taxon had been described earlier from much more complete fossil material.

Studying Polacanthus and the connection with Stegosaurus.

Nopcsa’s 1905 reconstruction of Polacanthus foxii seems to have been heavily influenced by the Stegosaurus taxon.  Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The influence of Stegosaurus on Polacanthus foxii is discussed in the video review.  This might explain why a lot of early reconstructions of Polacanthus show it with the narrow skull of a typical stegosaur.  The comparison with Stegosaurus may have led to the interpretation of the dermal armour, it being placed on the back of the animal in two, parallel rows.

Illustrations of Polacanthus foxii.

The 1905 reconstruction of Polacanthus foxii by the very talented Baron Nopcsa strongly influenced how Polacanthus was depicted for over a century. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Video Contents

The Everything Dinosaur Polacanthus video has been helpfully split into different segments.  Each segment deals with a different aspect of the model or highlights an area of research.

The video segments are outlined below:

  • 0:00 The new CollectA Deluxe Polacanthus – a remarkable story.
  • 0:42 How closely does the CollectA Polacanthus reflect the fossil record?
  • 1:31 Subscribe to Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel.
  • 1:42 A single taxon?
  • 2:22 Discussing Vectipelta barretti.
  • 3:11 More armoured dinosaurs from the Wealden Group will be discovered.
  • 3:43 How Polacanthus got its spikes.
  • 4:45 The influence of Stegosaurus.
  • 5:45 Nopcsa’s restoration and its influence.
  • 6:42 The CollectA Deluxe Polacanthus model.
  • 6:54 Looking at the head of the Polacanthus figure.
  • 7:24 The neck and cervical armour.
  • 8:40 The spikes on the upper arm are explained.
  • 10:56 No spines on the back!  Here is why!
  • 12:53 The sacral shield.
  • 15:17 The fantastic tail.
  • 16:38 The scale of the dinosaur model.  Is it 1:20 scale?
  • 17:14 When will the CollectA Deluxe Polacanthus be available?
  • 17:47 The Everything Dinosaur Blog.
  • 18:16 Where to buy CollectA prehistoric animal models.
  • 18:41 Two brilliant dinosaur books!
Reviewing the new CollectA Deluxe Polacanthus figure - looking at the sacral shield.

The exquisite detail of the model’s sacral shield is discussed. It is an accurate representation of the Polacanthus holotype material. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

The image (above) shows a still from the Everything Dinosaur video review.  The astonishing detail on the model’s sacral shield is highlighted.  It accurately reflects the holotype fossil material (NHMUK R175).

Take a look at the CollectA Deluxe prehistoric animal models available from Everything Dinosaur: CollectA Deluxe Scale Prehistoric Animal Figures.

CollectA Deluxe Polacanthus video review - highlighting the spines associated with the humerus.

The video highlights some of the unique features of this new for 2024 Polacanthus figure. For example, the pair of defensive spines on the upper arm are discussed. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

When will the Polacanthus Dinosaur Model be Available?

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur confirmed that the new for 2024 CollectA Polacanthus figure was likely to arrive in the late spring.

Visit the Everything Dinosaur YouTube channel: Dinosaur Model Video Reviews.

The award-winning Everything Dinosaur website: Dinosaur Models and Toys.

14 04, 2024

Popular Beasts of the Mesozoic Figures Coming Back into Stock

By |2024-04-12T18:22:38+01:00April 14th, 2024|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur Products, Main Page, Photos of Everything Dinosaur Products, Press Releases|0 Comments

Popular Beasts of the Mesozoic figures are coming back into stock at Everything Dinosaur. A shipment of Beasts of the Mesozoic models is expected next week. The shipment will consist of ceratopsians and tyrannosaurs including the blue-coloured Beasts of the Mesozoic Gorgosaurus model.  Team members will be spending time contacting all those customers who wanted to be informed when these articulated dinosaur models arrive.  In addition to the horned dinosaurs and the tyrannosaurs the delivery will also include some “raptor” figures too.

Beasts of the Mesozoic Gorgosaurus figure.

The Beasts of the Mesozoic Gorgosaurus libratus articulated figure is coming back into stock at Everything Dinosaur. The Gorgosaurus figure was scheduled to be part of the third wave of these tyrannosaur figures (September 2023).  A new delivery of these figures is expected at Everything Dinosaur’s warehouse.

Beasts of the Mesozoic Figures

The Beasts of the Mesozoic range consists of articulated models.  Each figure can be posed in a multitude of positions.  These replicas have proved to be extremely popular amongst dinosaur fans and model collectors.  The colourful Bistahieversor model (Bistahieversor sealeyi) is also in the latest Everything Dinosaur shipment.

To view the Beasts of the Mesozoic range available from Everything Dinosaur: Beasts of the Mesozoic Figures.

The Beasts of the Mesozoic Bistahieversor sealeyi box.

The Beasts of the Mesozoic Bistahieversor sealeyi box. More tyrannosaur figures are heading to Everything Dinosaur’s UK warehouse.  Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson confirmed that the company had been notified about the impending delivery.  At this stage, the exact delivery date remains uncertain.  However, transport had been arranged to take the shipment from the port to the company’s warehouse.  The spokesperson added that the company had put in plans to ensure the shipment could be unloaded rapidly and booked into stock.

All things considered, it is going to be another extremely busy week for team members.

Visit the Everything Dinosaur website: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Toys.

13 04, 2024

Providing Helpful Information About European Parcel Deliveries

By |2024-04-10T21:01:57+01:00April 13th, 2024|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Everything Dinosaur has been notified about possible delays concerning European parcel deliveries.  A system error has been identified in the software that manages the European customs network. This is causing some disruption to parcel delivery services on the continent and elsewhere within the European Union.  Team members routinely monitor parcel movements to Europe.  It is part of our customer service promise to our customers.  We like to make sure that parcels are delivered promptly.  However, we noted that updates to tracking information was being delayed and this led to enquiries with the courier network. Everything Dinosaur was then informed that a problem with the software had been identified.

European parcel deliveries an update from Everything Dinosaur.

A software problem in the European customs network may cause some parcels heading to customers in Europe to be delayed. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

European Parcel Deliveries – An Update

Although the problem was not caused by Everything Dinosaur, the issue has nothing to do with us, we did request a release from the European customs authorities so that we could share this information with our customer base.  In addition, a statement was prepared so that this could be posted up on social media and also sent out in response to enquiries from concerned customers.

Some Everything Dinosaur European customers may experience a delay in their parcel delivery. This is due to a software problem within the European customs network which is causing delays for international parcels clearing customs. Team members at Everything Dinosaur were made aware of this problem earlier this week and have requested that they be kept informed.

If you have any questions about European parcel deliveries, please contact Everything Dinosaur: Email Everything Dinosaur.

Everything Dinosaur has been assured that technicians are currently working to resolve this issue and normal service should be resumed shortly.

Everything Dinosaur sincerely apologises to customers who have been affected by this disruption. Whilst we are not able to solve this problem ourselves, we continue to work on behalf of our customers to ensure a swift resolution.

In addition, we have ensured that all queries from our customers have been handled promptly and we continue to do all we can to keep customers informed.

Visit the award-winning Everything Dinosaur website: Dinosaur Toys and Dinosaur Models.

12 04, 2024

New CollectA Polacanthus YouTube Video Nears Completion

By |2024-04-12T15:41:00+01:00April 12th, 2024|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Everything Dinosaur videos, Main Page, Photos/Pictures of Fossils, Press Releases|0 Comments

The new CollectA Polacanthus YouTube video is nearly complete. This video review will examine how accurately the model reflects the known fossil material.  A review of armoured dinosaur fossil specimens associated with the Wealden Group is continuing.  Isolated dermal armour fossils from southern England and the Isle of Wight may not necessarily represent the Polacanthus taxon.  With the arrival of a new CollectA Polacanthus figure this year, team members have taken the opportunity to create a short YouTube video outlining the changing perceptions regarding Polacanthus foxii.

How accurate is the new CollectA Polacanthus?

How accurate is the new for 2024 CollectA Polacanthus? In a new video Everything Dinosaur team members take a look at the science behind this new CollectA Deluxe scale model. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Reviewing the CollectA Polacanthus

Everything Dinosaur were fortunate to be sent an early prototype of the figure.  This figure has been used in our video review.  It is a 3D print, and it has been painted in accordance with the production figure’s approved colour scheme.  However, it is approximately the same size as the production model, albeit the model has two drainage holes located on its underside.

To view the current range of CollectA Deluxe prehistoric animal figures in stock: CollectA Prehistoric Animal Scale Models.

A spokesperson explained that as the material representing members of the Thyreophora was being reviewed, so it was likely that more taxa of British armoured dinosaurs would be erected.  The spokesperson outlined that the Thyreophora was a clade.  It consists of ornithischian armoured dinosaurs.  To date, three armoured dinosaur taxa are associated with the Wealden Group, these dinosaurs are:

  • Hylaeosaurus (H. armatus) named by Mantell in 1833.
  • Polacanthus (P. foxii) named in 1865.
  • Vectipelta (V. barretti) named in 2023.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s blog post about the scientific description of Vectipelta barrettiVectipelta Honours Natural History Museum Palaeontologist.

Polacanthus fossils.

Fragmentary and eroded armoured dinosaur fossils on display at Liverpool Museum. These fossils have been assigned to Polacanthus foxii. However, palaeontologists have become less confident over assigning armoured dinosaur fossils from the Wealden Group to a specific taxon.  Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Completing the CollectA Deluxe Polacanthus Video

The video consists of several pieces of narration including a short segment that explains the history of Polacanthus research.  In addition, the video highlights some of the confusing perceptions that arose following the first scientific reconstruction of Polacanthus in 1905 (Nopcsa).  Fortunately, the review of the figure has been concluded.  This section has proved to be the most difficult part of the video to create.  The work entailed undertaking an examination of the CollectA model and comparing it to the holotype fossil material.

The CollectA Polacanthus YouTube video review should be live on Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube site in a few days.

Visit the Everything Dinosaur website: Dinosaur Toys and Models.

To visit Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube channel: Everything Dinosaur’s YouTube Channel.

11 04, 2024

New Study of Ancient Jawless Fish Suggests They were Filter-feeders

By |2024-04-10T14:47:06+01:00April 11th, 2024|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Newly published research has demonstrated that early, jawless fish (agnathans), used bony plates surrounding their mouths to modify the mouth’s shape whilst feeding.  CT scans of a three-dimensionally preserved Rhinopteraspis fossil suggest that these early vertebrates were suspension feeders, not hunters or scavengers.  The study, led by scientists from the University of Birmingham helps to improve our understanding of the evolution of feeding ecology.  The Devonian pteraspidid heterostracan Rhinopteraspis dunensis, the jawless fish studied, was probably a nektonic filter-feeder.

Rhinopteraspis fossil.

The anterior portion of a three-dimensionally preserved Rhinopteraspis dunensis specimen. CT scans of the fossilised remains of this Devonian fish enabled scientists to study feeding ecology. Picture credit: University of Birmingham.

Studying the Feeding Behaviours of Early Vertebrates

Scientists often use the inferred feeding behaviours of early vertebrates to help piece together the evolution of Vertebrata.  Different jaw morphologies and jaw composition can suggest a wide range of feeding strategies.  In the jawless fishes many competing theories have been proposed for their feeding habits.  For example, scientists have examined whether these animals were passive feeders or active hunters.

A new paper, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B reconstructs the feeding apparatus of the Devonian pteraspidid Rhinopteraspis dunensis.  Computerised tomography enabled the research team to construct 3D models of the fish’s mouth.  The images revealed the structure and arrangement of finger-like bones that project from the lower “lip” of the animal’s mouth.  The researchers suggest that these projections controlled the mouth’s size and shape as it filtered food particles from the water.

Senior author and project lead Dr Ivan Sansom (University of Birmingham) stated:

“The application of CT scanning techniques to the study of fossil fish is revealing so much new information about these ancient vertebrates and giving us the opportunity to study precious and unique specimens without destructive investigation.”

Rhinopteraspis fossil.

Three-dimensional reconstruction of the oral region of Rhinopteraspis dunensis (NHMUK PV P 73217). Picture credit: University of Birmingham.

A Remarkable Rhinopteraspis Fossil

The Rhinopteraspis fossil used in the study is part of the London Natural History Museum fossil collection. It is specimen number NHMUK PV P 73217. It consists of an almost complete anterior portion of the animal. The entire headshield is present along with body scales. Although the Rhinopteraspis fossil has been compressed laterally, elements associated with the oral cavity appear to have maintained their original shape and relative location.

Dr Richard Dearden (University of Birmingham) and lead author of the study explained:

“In this case, these methods have allowed us to fit all of the small bones of this animal’s mouth together, and try and understand how it fed from this integrated system rather than by using isolated bones. Instead of a steady trend towards ‘active food acquisition’ – scavenging or hunting – we see a real diversity and range of feeding behaviours among our earliest vertebrate relatives.”

To read a related article that questioned whether heterostracans were suspension feeders: New Study Features Extremely Old Vertebrate.

Bony Plates with Limited Movement

The mineralised plates around the mouth had limited movement.  It is unlikely that these early vertebrates were hunters capable of biting.  Many Pteraspidiformes had elongated, bony snouts this would have made it difficult to strain food particles from sediment.  However, the mouth plates would have allowed it to control the opening of the mouth, and perhaps strain food from water in a way also used by animals such as flamingos or mussels.

This new study offers a new perspective on the evolution of feeding strategies in early vertebrates.  Many current hypotheses argue that there was a long-term evolutionary trend away from passive food collection and consumption to predatory behaviour.  This research challenges these earlier theories and suggests that primitive fish had a broad range of different feeding behaviours long before the evolution of a jaw structure.

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the University of Birmingham in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “The three-dimensionally articulated oral apparatus of a Devonian heterostracan sheds light on feeding in Palaeozoic jawless fishes” by Richard P. Dearden, Andy S. Jones, Sam Giles, Agnese Lanzetti, Madleen Grohganz, Zerina Johanson, Stephan Lautenschlager, Emma Randle, Philip C. J. Donoghue and Ivan J. Sansom published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The Everything Dinosaur website: Prehistoric Animal Models and Figures.

10 04, 2024

Twelve New Australian Sauropods Described

By |2024-04-10T19:08:17+01:00April 10th, 2024|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page, Palaeontological articles, Photos/Pictures of Fossils|0 Comments

Twelve new Australian sauropods have been classified following a comprehensive reassessment of Winton Formation fossil remains.  Twelve new sauropod fossil specimens from the Winton Formation (Queensland, Australia) have been described. The extensive review, which involved CT scanning hundreds of fossil bones, has resolved the known sauropods from the Winton Formation into three distinct taxa.

Assessment of Twelve New Australian Sauropods Confirms Three Taxa

The taxa are Diamantinasaurus matildae, Savannasaurus elliottorum and Wintonotitan wattsi. A fourth sauropod, Australotitan cooperensis is now considered an indeterminate diamantinasaurian. The review suggests that the material previously assigned to A. cooperensis might represent a Diamantinasaurus. If this is the case, then Diamantinasaurus was capable of growing much larger than earlier studies indicated. A. cooperensis may become nomen dubium (dubious scientific name not widely recognised).

Twelve Australian sauropods described.

PhD candidate Samantha Beeston scanning Diamantinasaurus fossil material.  Picture credit: Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History.

Picture credit: Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History

The ground-breaking study into these enormous, ground-shaking dinosaurs was led by University of College London PhD candidate Samantha Beeston in collaboration with the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History. Beeston’s research was conducted as part of her Master’s thesis at Swinburne University of Technology, under the supervision of Dr Stephen Poropat (now at the Western Australian Organic and Isotope Geochemistry Centre, Curtin University). The paper has been published in the open-access journal PeerJ.

Australotitan cooperensis life reconstruction

A life reconstruction of Australotitan cooperensis, the largest known animal to have ever lived in Australia. A reassessment of the fossilised bones suggests that A. cooperensis might be nomen dubium as the fossil remains could represent a very large specimen of Diamantinasaurus matildae.  Picture credit: Queensland Museum.

Picture credit: Queensland Museum

To read an earlier blog article (2015) about titanosaur fossil remains later named A. cooperensis awaiting scientific description: Super-sized Aussie Titanosaur Awaits Scientific Description.

Twelve new Australian sauropods described.

A sauropod excavation site photographed in 2011.  Picture credit: Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History.

Picture credit: Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History

Three Australian Sauropods

The researchers were able to assign two new specimens to Diamantinasaurus matildae. In addition, two specimens were assigned to Savannasaurus elliottorum with three more being assigned to Wintonotitan wattsi. The other five specimens are too incomplete to classify at the genus level. They have been described as indeterminate diamantinasaurians.  A lack of comparable specimens with overlapping bones has hampered precise classification of these five specimens.

The three recognised Winton Formation sauropod taxa are:

  • Diamantinasaurus matildae – named in 2009 (Hocknull et al).
  • Savannasaurus elliottorum – named in 2016 (Poropat et al).
  • Wintonotitan wattsi – named in 2009 in the same scientific paper as D. matildae and the theropod Australovenator wintonensis (Hocknull et al).

Over five hundred sauropod bones were scanned as part of this research. This innovative approach enabled the scientists to evaluate each bone and compare it to other fossil specimens in the Museum’s extensive collection. The study has led to a better understanding of the unique traits that help to separate known species.  Student Samantha Beeston explained that as there are so few bones preserved for Australotitan it makes it very difficult, if not impossible to assign new specimens to it, or to differentiate it from any of the other Winton Formation sauropod taxa.

She added: “Due to the limited fossil evidence for Australotitan, resolving its classification will be challenging.”

Twevel new Australian sauropods described in new study.

Student Samantha Beeston scanning the toe bone of Diamantinasaurus.  Picture credit: Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History.

Picture credit: Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History

Significant for Australian Palaeontology

David Elliott, the Executive Chairman of the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History commented that he was delighted to have more sauropod specimens in the Museum’s collection assigned to distinct species. He explained that having a better understanding of autapomorphies and anatomical traits leading to more confident assignment of taxa was a significant leap forward in Australian palaeontological research.  The twelve new Australian sauropods would provide the basis for further research into the dinosaurs of the Winton Formation.

He added:

“These dinosaurs help demonstrate the diverse natural history of Australia during the Cretaceous Period and will become important exhibits at the new Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History.”

The "Devil Dave" sauropod site (2017).

Volunteers work at the “Devil Dave” sauropod excavation site (2017).  Picture credit: Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History.

Picture credit: Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History

Everything Dinosaur acknowledges the assistance of a media release from the Australia Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History in the compilation of this article.

The scientific paper: “Reappraisal of sauropod dinosaur diversity in the Upper Cretaceous Winton Formation of Queensland, Australia, through 3D digitisation and description of new specimens” by Samantha L. Beeston​, Stephen F. Poropat, Philip D. Mannion, Adele H. Pentland, Mackenzie J. Enchelmaier, Trish Sloan and David A. Elliott published in PeerJ.

The Everything Dinosaur website: Dinosaur Models and Toys.

8 04, 2024

A Colourful Stegosaurus at Quince Tree Day Nursery

By |2024-04-10T09:32:36+01:00April 8th, 2024|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Drawings, Early Years Foundation Reception, Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

At Everything Dinosaur, we get sent lots of pictures, photographs and artwork from dinosaur fans.  The budding young palaeontologists at Quince Tree Day Nursery (Essex), created a colourful classroom Stegosaurus and they were eager to show our dinosaur experts their armoured dinosaur illustration.  The Stegosaurus seems quite happy in its forest home.  As a plant-eater it would certainly have enough food to eat.  This Jurassic giant probably spent most of its time eating.  A fully-grown Stegosaurus was around nine metres long and it loved its greens.  Our dinosaur experts estimate that this herbivore would have eaten around ten kilograms of plants every day!

Quince Tree Day Nursery Stegosaurus.

The children and teachers at Quince Tree Day Nursery in Essex have created a super Stegosaurus. The nursery recently rated as “Outstanding” by Ofsted, have placed their Stegosaurus in a forest, We are sure this plant-eater will be happy with so many plants to eat. Picture credit: Quince Tree Day Nursery.

Picture credit: Quince Tree Day Nursery

Dinosaur Artwork on Display at Quince Tree Day Nursery

The children and teachers at the day nursery have added plates to the back of their Stegosaurus.  In addition, the dinosaur has plates on his neck and around his head.  Quince Tree Day Nursery provides care for children from six weeks to five years of age. The dedicated staff work hard to create a supportive and nurturing environment for the children.  Many youngsters obsess on the Dinosauria, and we often amazed by their knowledge when we get to meet them.

A recent Ofsted inspection of Quince Tree Day Nursery (January 2024) rated this nursery as “Outstanding”.

Stegosaurus lived in the Late Jurassic.  The world looked very different compared to today.  For example, flowering plants had probably not evolved.  However, Stegosaurus would have eaten plants that you can still see today, plants like horsetails.


Stegosaurus lived in a world with very few (if any) flowers.  It munched on horsetails and other plants.  Horsetails (Equisetum) continue to thrive as they are able to grow in areas where other plants would find it difficult to get a foothold. Often regarded as weeds, these tough little plants are essentially living fossils as the earliest examples of the genus Equisetum date from the Early Jurassic of South America. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur congratulated the teachers and children at the nursery for the stunning Stegosaurus artwork.

Our thanks to Rachael for sending into us the delightful photograph.

For a further information on Stegosaurus and free Stegosaurus drawing materials: Contact Everything Dinosaur.

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