Bullyland Europasaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Bullyland Prehistoric World Europasaurus Dinosaur Model

It is not often a dinosaur gets named after an entire continent but there are three instances that spring to mind. Firstly, there is Antarctosaurus (although its fossils have not been found in Antarctica), secondly, there is Australovenator, whose fossils do come from Australia and now we have Europasaurus, a long-necked dinosaur from Germany.

Fossils from Lower Saxony

A Dutch amateur fossil collector exploring a limestone quarry in Lower Saxony came across the fossilised remains of approximately a dozen dinosaurs in 1998. It was thought that all the dinosaurs represented babies, as the bodies ranged in size from under two meters long to a fraction over six meters in length. These were herbivorous Sauropods, a group of prehistoric animals that includes the mighty Brachiosaurus, classification and Apatosaurus, yet since these fossilized skeletons were so small it was thought this must be the fossilised remains of a crèche of youngsters. Only when a researcher from the University of Bonn, who was conducting research into how quickly baby Sauropods grew, examined the skeletons was it discovered that the fossils of the larger individuals represented adult animals. A new genus of Late Jurassic Sauropod was established and Europasaurus holgeri came into being. This dinosaur was officially named and described in 2006.

A Miniature Sauropod Dinosaur

The fossils of Europasaurus were found in marine deposits. It seems this small member of the Dinosauria, one of the smallest members of the Sauropoda assigned to date, was a dwarf form. Land cut off from the mainland of Europe formed an island chain about 154 million years ago, the islands continued to shrink as the sea level rose and populations of dinosaurs marooned on these shrinking landmasses had to adapt to environments with fewer resources. Over many generations, the huge, long-necked Sauropods that were the ancestors of Europasaurus evolved into miniature versions. Being smaller these dinosaurs needed less food to sustain them, a good thing when on an island with limited food resources.

The Europasaurus Dinosaur Model

The replica represents the known fossil material well. It shows the longer forelimbs compared to the hind-limbs, so typical of a Brachiosaurid Sauropod. The model has been nicely painted with a light tan color on the flanks with darker stripes and spots – excellent camouflage for a forested environment. The dinosaur model measures around twenty-five centimetres in length so it works well to the scale of other, larger figures representing much larger Sauropod dinosaurs.

Domed Skull of a Brachiosaur

The model makers have been careful to depict their dinosaur model with a domed skull, just like other Brachiosaur replicas made by Bullyland of Germany and it is great to see a German dinosaur being made by a German company.

"Europe's Lizard"

As for being named after a continent, Europasaurus means "Europe's Lizard", a reference to the European fauna known to have existed at the end of the Jurassic geological period. The species name honors the Dutch fossil collector who first found the fossils of …

Papo Dilophosaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Papo Dilophosaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Papo, the France based manufacturer of figures and replicas have added a Dilophosaurus dinosaur model to their prehistoric animal model range and very good it is too. A member of the coelophysid group of Theropods, this lithe, agile hunter was probably the apex predator in early jurassic environments. Scientists have estimated that this carnivore could have reached lengths in excess of six meters. It may have weighed over five hundred kilograms, that's twice as heavy as an African lion ( Panthero leo ).

Almost a Quadrupedal Pose

Although most definitely a biped, Dilophosaurus did have relatively long arms. The arms were much longer than those of later Theropods. The Papo figure has been balanced on its hind legs but as the body is bent forwards the right hand with its three-fingered claws is also touching the ground. This is a more than acceptable stance for a dinosaur model and it permits the design team to keep the hind feet of their replica in proportion to the rest of the animal whilst still permitting it to balance.

Lots of Detail and Beautiful Painting

Papo have made sure that they include lots of fine detail. Individual scales can be picked out along the flanks and the patterning continues onto the belly, which is not found in cheaper dinosaur models. There is a row of triangular scales running from the top of the head down the slender neck and there is even a tiny, white-painted row of scales running down under the jaw. The famous double head crest of this dinosaur has been painted a vivid crimson color. Obviously, the artists at Papo believe that this thin crest served no defensive or aggressive role, but that it was probably used for visual communication amongst Dilophosaurs. The rest of the model is painted a dark tan color with flashes of blue set out in a stripe pattern across the legs, the flank and along the back.

To Scale with Other Replicas

The model measures around 14cm in length, but as the tail curls around the body, it is actually much bigger than that, measuring around 18 to 19 centimetres in length. As Dilophosaurus ( D. wetherilli ) is estimated to have reached lengths around six and a half meters, we estimate that this figure is in approximately 1:34 scale. Size wise it fits very well alongside two other Papo Jurassic dinosaur figures, the Allosaurus and the plant-eating Stegosaurus.

Details Around the Mouth

Unlike other predatory dinosaur models made by Papo, the jaw is not articulated, it does not open. However, this is more than made up for by the superb details that can be seen around the mouth. The distinctive curve in the premaxilla of this dinosaur is present and individual teeth have been skilfully painted – all credit to the production team.

This is an excellent dinosaur model, one that will prove popular with collectors and young dinosaur fans – highly recommended.

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A Review of the Schleich Pentaceratops Dinosaur Model

Pentaceratops from Schleich Reviewed

One of the lesser known horned dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous of North America Pentaceratops ( P. sternbergi) was discovered by the famous 20th Century fossil collector and scientist CM Sternberg. The trivial name honors, Charles Mortram Sternberg, in recognition of his work on fossil vertebrates both in his native United States and in Canada, specifically the Dinosaur Provincial Park of Alberta. The honor was bestowed upon him, by a fellow American palaeontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn, who was given the responsibility of naming and describing this member of the Chasmosaurinae. It is always a pleasure to see a new type of horned dinosaur turned into a prehistoric animal replica and the Schleich Pentaceratops is an excellent figure.

Herbivore of New Mexico 70 Million Years Ago

Known from a number of skeletons including several complete or partial skulls, Pentaceratops was a spectacular looking dinosaur. It had two huge horns over its eyes and a small, stubby nose horn. Extending over the back of the neck was a high but disproportionately narrow, bony head and neck shield. The name means "five horn face", but this is misleading as Pentaceratops did not have five horns, it had three, in the same configuration as its more famous relative Triceratops. The name comes from the additional pair of large jugal processes that stick out over the dinosaur's cheeks. These are not horns as such but these bony processes would have been very prominent when the dinosaur was viewed from the front. The Schleich model reproduces the head and neck shield very accurate. The design team at the German manufacturer have obviously taken care to reproduce their model based on the known fossil material.

Striking Coloring – Scarlet Member of the Dinosauria

The paint work on the dinosaur is superb. The Pentaceratops has been painted a mottled red, almost scarlet color with patches on the back and the flanks painted a bronze hue. It is certainly a vivid and eye-catching model, one that will appeal to dinosaur fans and model collectors alike. A scarlet horned dinosaur such as this may not have been very well camouflaged but with those meter long brow horns, only a brave or very hungry tyrannosaur would have dared to have tackled it.

An Accurate Dinosaur Model

The correct number of digits can be seen on the front and hind feet, and the skin texture has been rendered extremely well. The replica is posed with one front leg raised off the ground, an interesting pose, one that distinguishes this replica from most other Ornithischian dinosaur models.

Six Meter Long Giant

Reaching lengths in excess of twenty feet (six meters), Pentaceratops was a large herbivore. A fully grown adult could have weighed as much as three tonnes. With a three meter plus skull, it rivalled the likes of Torosaurus latus and Triceratops horridus for the title of the biggest-headed terrestrial vertebrate. It is always a pleasure to see a new type of dinosaur reproduced as a dinosaur model, this …

Collecta 1:20 Scale Carcharodontosaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

The Collecta 1:20 Scale Deluxe Carcharodontosaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Originally described as a type of Megalosaur dinosaur, Carcharodontosaurus was first scientifically described in the mid 1920's. Fossils had been collected from Egypt by a German led expedition, unfortunately, most of the fossils associated with these excavations were stored in a German museum and subsequently destroyed by Allied bombing raids in World War Two. However, an American expedition to Morocco uncovered more fossil evidence of this huge, meat-eating dinosaur and much of what we know today about Carcharodontosaurus comes from studies of this Moroccan fossil material.

Carcharodontosaurus saharicus et al

At least two species have been identified. This dinosaur has now been classed as a member of the Allosaur family (allosaurids), a highly successful group of large to gigantic Theropod dinosaurs that lived during the Late Jurassic and into the Cretaceous. Fossils of Carcharodontosaurus have been dated to around 100 million years ago and this dinosaur was a giant predator

Skull bigger than a T. rex Skull

Size estimates vary as no near complete fossil specimen has ever been found. However, many palaeontologists estimate that this creature was around twelve to fourteen meters in length and that it weighed in excess of six tonnes. This makes it amongst the largest meat-eating dinosaurs known to science. The largest skull specimen measures 1.53 meters long, which is bigger than most of the skulls associated with Tyrannosaurus rex .

Collecta Carcharodontosaurus

The Collecta Carcharodontosaurus measures around thirty-two centimetres in length and the impressive head stands more than ten centimetres high. Based on an adult Carcharodontosaurus being around thirteen meters long (taking a mean average measurement), we estimate that this model is in approximately 1:40 scale. This is exactly the scale stated by the manufacturer (Collecta).

Detailed Dinosaur Replica

The model is painted a bronze color with black stripes running along the body. These stripes are also present on the long tail. The replica is beautifully balanced and stands without the aid of a base. Two blue splashes can be seen around the eyes and the snout has been painted a creamy white color. This contrasts nicely with the sandy colored underside of the model. The Carcharodontosaurus replica has a row of prominent spines that descend from the back of the skull, along the neck and down the body to the top of the tail. Other rows of large scales can be seen in the detailed texturing of the dinosaur's skin.

Grasping Hands and Big Teeth

The long, narrow skull is very well crafted and the open jaws show the large teeth of this dinosaur very clearly. Each tooth was highly curved and finely serrated to help this dinosaur slice chunks of meat from its victims. Grooves along the teeth allowed blood to flow away. Like most other allosaurids, this dinosaur had three-fingered hands. The arms of this dinosaur were bigger than in similar sized tyrannosaurids and they could have been used to help grasp and secure struggling prey.

This is an excellent model made …

Collecta Saurophaganax Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Collecta Saurophaganax Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Collecta, a figure and replica manufacturer have released a model of the dinosaur known as Saurophaganax into their prehistoric animal model series. Saurophaganax may not be the best known of all the dinosaurs, but it does deserve greater recognition, as it may well turn out to be one of the biggest carnivorous dinosaurs of all. Some palaeontologists have even suggested that this dinosaur was the size of Tyrannosaurus rex.

Jurassic Predator

Fossils of this prehistoric reptile were first found in the State of Oklahoma. More recently fossils ascribed to this genus have been excavated from nearby New Mexico. This dinosaur was named Saurophagus in the early 1940’s, but this name had to be changed as scientific literature had already acknowledged this genus as being assigned to a species of fly-catcher, a bird. The new name Saurophaganax was erected, however, it was not until 1995 that this genus was established, following a review of the fragmentary fossil material by Daniel Chure of the Dinosaur National Monument (Utah).

Fantastic Detail on this Dinosaur Model

Unlike the majority of the Collecta range, this figure is supported by a base. This permits the hind feet to be kept in approximate proportion to the rest of the body. The figure is beautifully painted with a green body, and cream underside with dark, black stripes running down the trunk and along the lengthy tail. The crests over the eyes, so typical of an allosaurid dinosaur are very prominent. They have been painted a fetching pink colour, which contrasts nicely with the paintwork on the rest of the replica. This dinosaur is posed with its huge jaws wide open, the long tongue and rows of teeth can be clearly seen. Collecta are to be congratulated for the superb care that they have demonstrated in getting the detailing of the skull so accurate.

Allosaurus versus Saurophaganax

The genus name (Saurophaganax) remains in dispute with a number of scientists not accepting this as a valid genus (nomen dubium). The fossils, first excavated in 1931 are extremely fragmentary and although the bone bed where the fossils were found might contain the remains of four meat-eating dinosaurs, no skull material has been discovered and the bones that palaeontologists do have could be those of a very big Allosaurus. Some scientists prefer to call this dinosaur Allosaurus maximus rather than Saurophaganax maximus. These palaeontologists think that the fossil bones do not represent a new genus at all, but represent a super-sized species of an already named and described genus – Allosaurus.

This Collecta model of a Saurophaganax of if preferred Allosaurus maximus, is very well made and wonderfully well painted. We recommend this replica to dinosaur model fans and to collectors.

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Bullyland Lambeosaurus Dinosaur Model Reviewed

The second dinosaur model to be introduced by Bullyland this year is a replica of the huge, Late Cretaceous duck-billed dinosaur known as Lambeosaurus. The model has been added to the German company’s “Prehistoric Life” range of replicas and figures and the Lambeosaurus is currently the only member of the Hadrosaur family represented in the range.

One of the largest of the Lambeosaurine Hadrosaurs, or to be more precise, one of the largest Lambeosaurines known from North America, Lambeosaurus is famous for having a “hatchet-shaped” head crest. In this new replica, the head crest is painted scarlet, which contrasts nicely with the blue coloured back and more subdued brown and tan tones of the flanks and the tail.

Four-legged Stance of a Herbivorous Animal

Although regarded as a facultative biped, that is, an animal that usually walked on four legs but could if it wanted to, resort to a bipedal stance, the Lambeosaurus figure has been posed in a very dynamic position. The model is balanced on three legs, with the right rear leg raised off the ground if this dinosaur is walking or even trotting along. This is a very unusual stance for such a replica, most duck-billed dinosaur toys tend to be posed in a bipedal position with their long tail resting on the ground. This new for 2014 addition to the Bullyland range has its long, narrow tail held clear off the ground.

Fine Details Can be Made Out

Lots of fine detailing can be made out, the beak, for example is broad and spatulate in shape. This accurately reflects the known fossil material. The eyes are positioned correctly in the skull and even the tiny holes in the side of the head which comprised this dinosaur’s ears can be made out. The figure measures a fraction under twenty-seven centimetres in length from that long tail raised off the ground to the tip of this dinosaur’s broad beak.

Hand-painted by Bullyland

The German manufacturer is keen to point out that every replica they make in this particular model series is hand-painted and the painting and finish on this plant-eating, prehistoric animal is excellent. The size of this figure means that it works well with other dinosaur models made by Bullyland such as their Tyrannosaurus rex and the very rare Ankylosaurus and Pachycephalosaurus models.

All in all this is a well crafted figure, one that depicts this large member of the Ornithischian dinosaurs as a fast-moving, active, dynamic animal. We recommend this model to prehistoric animal model collectors and dinosaur fans alike. If Bullyland operate a similar policy with this Lambeosaurus as they have done with other figures, this model will soon be retired making it highly collectible and prized.

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The Collecta Gastonia Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Collecta Gastonia Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Collecta have added a model of the American dinosaur known as Gastonia to their prehistoric animal model range. The company, based in the Far East, has built up a strong reputation for making dinosaur toys and figures and this new Gastonia armored dinosaur is an excellent example of their craft.

The fossils of this plant-eating dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous geological period were found in the same quarry as the formidable Dromaeosaur called Utahraptor. It is no wonder that this dinosaur was heavily armored as it needed to be, to withstand attacks from packs of Utahraptors, the largest "raptor-like" dinosaurs known from the fossil record.

Heavily Armored Dinosaur – Gastonia

At least four fossilized individuals have been described. As a result, Gastonia ( G. burgei ) is one of the best known of all the Early Cretaceous amoured dinosaurs and examples of reconstructions of this dinosaur can be seen in a number of museums in the United States. The genus name of this dinosaur honors Robert Gaston, an American palaeontologist who discovered the first bones of this prehistoric animal.

Gastonia Dinosaur Model

Measuring around thirteen centimetres in length this replica represents an animal that would have grown to be the length of a car and it would have weighed over a tonne. The model shows the sacral shield of armor over the hips and the rows of dangerous looking spikes and spines that covered this dinosaur's wide body. The head is triangular in shape and the mouth and beak quite narrow. Scientists think that this dinosaur that lived around 125 million years ago was probably an unfussy browser of low growing plants.

Slow-Moving Herbivore

This heavily armored dinosaur was probably quite slow-moving. It relied on its extensive armor to protect itself. The tail, which palaeontologists believe was lined with rows of triangular spines could have been swung backwards and forwards and would have made a formidable defensive weapon. The bony armor, spikes and scutes on the model have been very well created by the model making team. The paint color is predominantly brown with occasional black stripes. The bony armor itself has been cleverly painted an ivory color and there is lots of detail on the underside of the figure to be admired too.

Works Well with Other Collecta Replicas

This dinosaur model works well with other Collecta figures, including the Collecta Utahraptor dinosaur, so model fans can recreate a battle between this powerful herbivore and the fleet-footed, dangerous Utahraptor. All in all, this is a super, armored dinosaur model and it is one of the best dinosaur models of its type on the market.

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The Collecta Bistahieversor Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Collecta Bistahieversor Dinosaur Model Reviewed

Collecta the figure and replica manufacturer based in the Far East have added a model of a Bistahieversor to their dinosaur and prehistoric animal replica range and the Collecta Bistahieversor is a credit to the model makers at the company. For many years, palaeontologists had been finding fragmentary fossils in New Mexico that hinted at the likelihood that the Upper Cretaceous rocks in the area preserved remains of a large Tyrannosaur. In 1995, the partial remains of a sub-adult, carnivorous dinosaur were found. In 1997, the discovery of a second specimen, an adult animal, was announced. It was from these fossils that Bistahieversor was named and described.

"Bistahi Destroyer"

At nearly nine meters in length and weighing more than two tonnes, Bistahieversor was a formidable predator. It lived around seventy-five million years ago and it was an ancestor of the later, more famous tyrannosaurids such as Daspletosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex. Ironically, this dinosaur had more teeth in its strong, powerful jaws than most of its more famous meat-eating relatives.

Bistahieversor sealeyi

This dinosaur species was only formally named and described back in 2010. The trivial name, otherwise known as the species name, honors Paul Sealey, a volunteer at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History who found the adult specimen in 1997.

Bistahieversor Model

The figure measures around eighteen centimetres long, but in reality the model is much larger than that as the black painted tail is curved round, back towards the hips. The model stands on a base and the model makers at Collecta even depict leaf fronds on the base of this replica, a nice touch of detail. However, judging by the carefully painted teeth in the open jaws, this dinosaur model would not have been interested in eating leaves, Bistahieversor was an apex predator, hunting and killing other large dinosaurs.

Not to Scale Replica

This figure is part of Collecta's not to scale dinosaur model range. It has been painted with alternating black and brown stripes with flashes of white on the flanks, the head and along the tail. The narrow skull possesses a small crest and directly in front of this, Bistahieversor has been given a red spot. It is a beautifully painted dinosaur.

Feathered Dinosaur

The texture of the skin indicates the presence of feathers. Scientists believe that many dinosaurs were covered in an insulating coat of feathers to help keep them warm. Although no direct evidence of the presence of feathers has been found with the Bistahieversor fossil remains, other Tyrannosaurs are believed to have been feathered and direct feather evidence has been discovered. This new figure represents the first model of an adult Tyrannosaur to be depicted as covered in a coat of feathers in the whole of the Collecta model range. This model is a must-have for dinosaur model collectors.

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