50 life-size animatronic robot dinosaurs are going up for auction

I found this listing on AbleAuction for, "Over 50 life size animatronic dinosaurs inc. T-Rex, Brontosaurus and Raptors; plus hundreds of fossils, animatronic equipment, lighting, speakers and more." So of course, I had to know more.

While the auction house won't say where, exactly, these delightful leviathans came from, the Vancouver Sun reports that, "the Vancouver-based Experiential Media Group (Canada) Corp. went into voluntary bankruptcy on May 5, 2020 and KPMG was appointed trustee." The article continues:

According to a KPMG report, EMG Canada was formed in January 2019 to buy the assets of Dinoking Tech Inc., that had been operating an animatronics business since 2007. In 2015, Dinoking merged with a U.S. company Premier Exhibitions that focused on historical artifact exhibitions and began having financial problems a year later.

[…]

The company’s failure come despite it creating touring exhibitions of dinosaurs and bugs that were leased to museums, zoos and tourist attractions for a fix period in over 100 cities around the world.

Apparently Dinoking Tech, Inc. also owned the only collection of artifacts for display from the Titanic wreck as well.

Able Auctions CEO Jeremy Dodd also told the Sun, "There’s just about every type of dinosaur. We also have a whole pile of authentic and original fossils and all the equipment that’s related to putting on a show like this."

Bidding on this army of robotic dinosaurs begins on Wednesday, August 5; AbleAuction advises that you sign up for their service at least one day ahead of time. Read the rest

Largest known soft-shell reptile egg discovered in Antarctica

A new article from Nature describes the discovery of a 100-million-year-old fossilized reptile egg with a soft, leathery shell that's nearly a foot long. It's the second-largest egg fossil ever discovered (after the egg of the elephant bird, which had a hard shell about five times thicker), and also the first such discovery made on the continent of Antarctica.

As National Geographic summarizes:

The 68-million-year-old egg, called Antarcticoolithus bradyi, is the first fossil egg ever found in Antarctica, only outsized by the eggs of Madagascar’s extinct elephant birdAntarcticoolithus is also one of the few fossil eggs ever found in marine sediment. “For the first egg remnant from Antarctica to be a nearly complete egg that has finely preserved microstructure is kind of insane,” says Julia Clarke of UT Austin.

[…]

Under a microscope, Antarcticoolithus not only lacked the internal structure of hard eggshells, but also the pores of hard-shelled eggs, suggesting the large egg was soft.

At the time the egg was laid, large marine reptiles called mosasaurs lived in the Antarctic waters where the fossil egg was entombed. The bones of a mosasaur were found less than 700 feet from the site, suggesting the egg may have belonged to these 20-foot-long swimming reptiles.

Here's the real kicker though: the scientists didn't find any bones inside of the egg. And while they think it would have belonged to a mosasaur, or some other 20-plus-foot-long swimming reptiles, that wouldn't gel with their current knowledge of those leviathans. From Nature(emphasis added):

The identity of the animal that laid the egg is unknown, but these preserved morphologies are consistent with the skeletal remains of mosasaurs (large marine lepidosaurs) found nearby.

Read the rest

Flying T-Rex fossils found in Australia, because of course they were

Scientists in Queensland, Australia have pieced together the most complete pterosaur fossil collection yet—a big-headed reptile  with a 12-foot wingspan they've named Ferrodraco lentoni, or "Butch's Iron Dragon."

"It’s kind of scary when you think their heads are disproportionately large, it would have had a skull maybe 60cm," Adele Pentland from Swinburne University, the lead author on the study, told The Guardian. "To see it walking around on the ground it would have walked on four legs and looked really different to any kind of animal we have today." You can check out an artist's rendering of the derpy-looking lizard-bird here.

The field of dinosaur research is in a bit of a renaissance period, with some three dozen new species discovered this year alone. More importantly: of course a flying mini-T-Rex was found in Australia of all places. After all, this is the land of such natural wonders as mutant eel-sharks, birds that weaponize fire, projectile bull semen, human-sized jellyfish, and more strange spiders than anyone ever wants to hear about, except for that guy who was bit on the penis not once but twice (and still hasn't gained any spider-penis super powers).

In that context, it's frankly surprising that a flying T-Rex hadn't been discovered there until now.

(Image via Luis Rey/Wikimedia Commons) Read the rest

Pack of T-Rex race down the track instead of horses

This is quite a sight! At Emerald Downs in Auburn, Washington, a bunch of folks in inflatable T-Rex costumes struggled to make their way down the horse-racing track this past weekend. Triguard Pest Control puts on this annual race, which serves as a terrific promotion of the racetrack. This video was placed on Facebook late Friday night and has already garnered over 195K shares.

Here's a video of the dinos racing back in 2017:

Read the rest

Watch: Pole-dancing T-rex

Why simply work the pole when you can work the pole in a T-rex costume? Well, one unnamed Gong Show contestant did just that.

Previously: Watch this Jewish surf band rock the new 'Gong Show' Read the rest

Remarkably preserved dinosaur fossil

Alberta’s Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology displays a nodosaur fossil that is so well-preserved that bumps and crevasses on its surface are clearly visible. National Geographic's Robert Clark captured amazing images. Read the rest

Zuul the ankylosaur bears likeness to 'Ghostbusters' namesake

Scientists have found fossils of an ankylosaur they've named Zuul. Perhaps this dinosaur slept above the sheets.

Via the LA Times:

Someone call the Ghostbusters: Scientists have discovered a new species of horned, club-tailed dinosaur with a spooky resemblance to the monstrous demigod Zuul, one of the villains of the 1984 movie.

The ankylosaur, described in Royal Society Open Science, could shed light on the surprising diversity of these creatures near the end of the age of dinosaurs.

Zuul crurivastator’s scaly body stretched some 20 feet long, with an impressive tail that took up half that length. Its tail was lined with forbidding spikes and ended in a sledgehammer-like club. Two horns sat on its skull right behind the eyes, giving it a very Zuul-like look that inspired the genus name.

Similarly, I call my Cavalier King Charles by "Zuul" as well. Read the rest

WATCH: Feathered fossil links proto-birds to velociraptors

Artist Zhao Chuang rendered this cool illustration of a newly-discovered Zhenyuanlong. It was over six feet long and had copious feathers, as shown in a beautifully preserved Chinese fossil below. Read the rest

World-beatingly giant fossil poo for auction

It may be the longest coprolite ever found, a truly magnificent turd, virtually a relief casting of a horribly constipated dinosaur's ancient animal's colon.

This truly spectacular specimen is possibly the longest example of coprolite - fossilized dinosaur feces - ever to be offered at auction. It boasts a wonderfully even, pale brown-yellow coloring and terrifically detailed texture to the heavily botryoidal surface across the whole of its immense length. The passer of this remarkable object is unknown, but it is nonetheless a highly evocative specimen of unprecedented size, presented in four sections, each with a heavy black marble custom base, an eye-watering 40 inches in length overall.

Full Details for Lot 340

(via JWZ) Read the rest

Would you trade a house for "personal dinosaur services"?

Suddenly, I'm curious. Back in the days when newspaper classifieds ruled the Earth (and charged by the line), did wacky parodies like this one from Vancouver Craigslist also exist? Or is this sort of humor dependent on the Internet and the existence of a free public billboard?

This offer is not for everyone...

Do you own more than one property? Do you have so many rental homes with no mortgage payments, yet you still feel unfulfilled? Tired of your illegal tenants whining that there are rats in the walls? Have you always wanted your own dinosaur? Now is your chance my friend.

In exchange for one of your properties, I will be your personal dinosaur for one year. I will be at your beck and call, 24 hours a day, wearing a dinosaur costume. The type of dinosaur is negotiable. I can babysit your children (references upon request), scare the mailman, wash dishes, entertain and impress your guests, and much more. (No sex stuff though, sorry.) I will make realistic dinosaur sounds, eat what the particular dinosaur eats and maybe even sit on a fake dinosaur egg, if you are so inclined. I am well educated, fluent in English and French (as well as dinosaur), can play several musical instruments and have no criminal record or outstanding warrants.

All this and more. This is the only way you will ever have your pet dinosaur, and the only way I will ever be able to acquire a house in Vancouver. Serious offers only please.

Read the rest