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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Painting of the Carboniferous Period

The Carboniferous Period of 345 Million Years Ago is the subject of this painting, by renowned paleo-artist, Josef Moravec, whose oil paintings of ancient sea life and dinosaur pictures are recognized as some of the finest representations of prehistoric life by Museums of Natural History throughout Europe and the United States.  Prints of this painting, a vivid depiction of the shark-like Xenacantus decheni and other denizens of the ancient seas during the Carboniferous Period are available, along with many more prints and dinosaur pictures by this artist.  Josef Moravec’s love and extensive study of prehistoric life and paleontology led to his creation of accurate and beautiful dinosaur paintings and drawings of the time when dinosaurs ruled the unspoiled Earth and enormous prehistoric sea creatures dominated the oceans and inland seas.

The name Carboniferous means coal bearing, and it is named that because that is when the major coal beds were formed across the globe.  In regards to North America, the early Carboniferous Period is sometimes divided into two geological periods; the earlier part called the Mississippian, the latter referred to as the Pennsylvanian.

In the oceans, marine life was becoming more sophisticated; the sharks and their relatives like Xenacantus decheni were the predominant fish of these ancient seas, and are the primary subject of this accurate oil painting.  Some of the sharks had piercing teeth, while others had crushing teeth that they used to eat shellfish and crustaceans of the time.  Fresh water fish were abundant as well.  Marine invertebrates were widespread and varied.

Life was becoming well established on land at this point in time, with the arthropod’s development continuing.  Today, members of the arthropods that we are familiar with would include insects, spiders and crustaceans, the word itself meaning “jointed leg”.  Essentially, they are invertebrates with jointed limbs, segmented bodies and exoskeletons.  The closest animal to the ancient, extinct ones that we would see today would be the horseshoe crab.  It is estimated that arthropods make up over 80% of today’s known living animal species.

Four legged amphibians (tetrapods) were quite common by the middle of the Carboniferous period.  Some were as large as 6 meters (over 19 feet), and had scaly skin, while it was more common for the various amphibians to be smaller, probably about 6 inches long and to be smooth skinned.  Towards the end of this period, the huge rain forests that had dominated the earth suddenly collapsed, because of a major shift in climate to a cooler, drier climate, which slowed the development of amphibians to a great degree and favored the development of strictly land dwelling reptiles, whose eggs were better suited to this less humid world. As for the terrestrial plant life, they were primitive, but huge members of the fern and moss families, along with early coniferous trees that appeared in the drier, later part of this period.

As for the earth itself, the Carboniferous period was a time of continental shifting, collision and mountain building.  The climate changed several times, glaciers formed and receded, and sea levels rose and fell.

Because of the authenticity of the images and colors of these paintings, the impact of them is quite striking.  Not only are they decorative - they are also educational.   

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dinosaur Party Decorations

For people with have small children, they will know that birthday parties can be difficult and stressful. Many people could find themselves scratching their heads trying to think of something unique and different to do for their child. Picking a party theme can be a great way to excite the children and make organizing a party easier on the parents.

Dinosaurs are a big favorite among many children, particularly younger children, and so picking a dinosaur theme could be a great idea for a birthday party. Stocking up on dinosaur party decorations can make this job so much easier. Parents could make a list of decorations that they might need for their child's dinosaur birthday party. This makes it easier to plan and execute the best themed childrens birthday party.

For a proper themed birthday party for children, you can get all the dinosaur party decorations you might need. The devil is in the detail and so parents should make sure that they have all the small supplies for their party. The very first thing any parent considering this idea is going to have to think about is invitations. Party invitations with a dinosaur theme are a great way to enhance the anticipation of the children before the event. 

Once the invitations are sent out, parents can start thinking about decorating the house or party venue and turning it into a dinosaur paradise. It's a good idea to cover the party table with a dinosaur themed tablecloth, and then comes the art of decorating the table. Dinosaur party decorations are available that include dinosaur napkins, cups, plates and colorful plastic cutlery. For a final finishing touch to the dinosaur party table, a dinosaur centerpiece could be included. This would be a small display including miniature models of dinosaurs, possibly in a scenario.

  There are even dinosaur shaped candles to liven up any birthday cake.

Now that the main party table is set, what about the rest of the room? There are plenty of big dinosaur shaped balloons available to spice up any dinosaur party. Perhaps the most exciting party thing you could add to your party are life-size, realistic cardboard cut-outs of some of the most famous dinosaurs in history, such as the velociraptor and the T-Rex.  Why not include pictures of the party goers with these fun cut-outs in some matching dinosaur thank-you notes?

To add a final touch to the preparations, dinosaur party hats are available. Not to mention, dinosaur masks, drinking straws, cake molds and much more. Sticking to the dinosaur theme doesn't need to stop at the decorations. Also available is dinosaur shaped candy that is sure to make those kids very happy.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dinosaur Birthday Party Favors

If a child wants a dinosaur themed birthday party, what are their parents to do? Where do they find dinosaur party favors? What party favors do they get?

A dinosaur themed birthday party is quite popular with children; therefore, there are many different options available for planning such a party. A parent can find many different dinosaur party favors online or at many different department stores.  But keep in mind that one can save time, gasoline and trouble by doing their shopping for this big event. Another big plus to shopping online is that all of the decor items can be chosen from one design, so that all of it will match perfectly.

A great way to start the event off is to send out dinosaur themed party invitations. These can be handmade with the help of the birthday child, or they can be store-bought. Dinosaur invitations come in many different styles, so the parent can plan the invitation any way they or their child would like. A dinosaur invitation is also great to let the children invited know what the party is going to be like and what they can expect.

For the party itself, parents can go all out with everything dinosaur, or they can do a partially themed party. Parents can get plates, napkins, plastic ware, cups, table clothes and the cake, among other things, all with a dinosaur theme. They can decorate their home with dinosaur balloons, banners, even stand ups shaped like different dinosaurs to make their home feel like it is in the age of dinosaurs.  The cutout stand ups are also great for taking pictures of the children who attended, posing with the lifelike dinosaurs, to enclose in the dinosaur thank you notes.

Now what to do once the children get there? There are dinosaur-themed games the children can play. These are great in that it will entertain the children while being educational, too. The parents, along with the child can make little dinosaur themed gift bags for the children to take home, which can include coloring books, crayons, tattoos, stickers, erasers among other things, all dinosaur themed. Parents can also give out prizes to the winners of the dinosaur games such as dinosaur masks, dinosaur kites or the dinosaur stand ups that were used for decoration. The children can wear masks of their favorite dinosaur; another idea is placing a dinosaur toy on top of cupcakes served at the party.

As mentioned, there are many, many different options and ideas a parent can do in planning a dinosaur themed birthday party, and many different dinosaur party favors available for whatever the parent plans, from every little detail being dinosaur themed to just the cake being dinosaur themed. There are party favors available that are suitable for however extravagant the parent and child want to make the party, and to be entertaining and memorable for everyone involved.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dig Those Crazy Dinosaur Bones

Dinosaurs are some of the oldest known animals to ever walk the earth. Some were very massive creatures that towered over treetops but ate only plants, and others were predators that were not quite as huge, but were fierce and able hunters. They became extinct millions of years ago, but their fossil remains are left to testify that they were real. Just knowing how important these creatures were, and the importance of learning about their extinction can fascinate your kids for a lifetime.  There is no better way to teach small children about dinosaurs than to throw a dinosaur dig party that is fun and educational.

Do you have children that just love dinosaurs? You should try finding dinosaur dig party supplies that show your children just how exciting being a paleontologist on their very first dig would be. Toy dinosaurs, replicas of real dinosaur bones, books about dinosaurs, and even dinosaur party supplies will make an exciting, full-of-fun dinosaur party for your child; one they will love and never forget. There are companies on the Internet that specialize in childrens dinosaur education material. Finding an on-line company that sells dinosaur-related supplies for a child’s party can save you time, gasoline and frustration. Not only will all the party cups, plates, napkins match and coordinate perfectly, but in all likelihood, you will save money by ordering online.  Some companies even offer free gifts with your purchase, depending on the amount of your order.  One company even offered a free piñata that coordinated with their dino party supplies!

Your dinosaur party will benefit the other children who are invited. Your child's friends will be excited about having a chance to learn about dinosaurs and to experience a dinosaur dig party. They are taught in school about dinosaurs from a very young age, and there are so many movies and television shows that include dinosaurs as main characters.

To set up one of these digs is a fairly easy thing, and even easier if you already have a sandbox in your backyard.  But if you don’t, play sand is readily available at any home improvement store, usually in 40 lb. bags.  If you don’t want to border the sand with landscape timbers to keep as a sandbox, place it in an area of your yard where it can just be raked into the lawn after the party.

There is a wealth of things available as dinosaur dig party supplies that you can bury in the sand for your budding paleontologists to discover, that the kids can keep as party favors.  There are many different kinds of dinosaur and ice age mammal skeletons made of resin or plastic, some all in one piece and others that consist of separate bones that can be reassembled when found, as part of the game, which would be great if the children were a bit older, though you might want to stick with the whole ones if younger children are present.  You might also want to get some polished gemstones or pieces of iron pyrite (fool’s gold) that would be thrilling for the children to uncover.  You could either buy or make excavation kits for each child, that consist of a bag to store their discoveries, a small shovel and a brush to uncover the delicate fossils.

Children will remember these special parties.  It’s never too early to awaken the love of learning, especially when you can turn it into fun.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Evolution Comes to Life with Cambrian Period Paintings and Illustrations

Dinosaurs have fascinated people of all ages for generations. These gigantic reptiles have been the focus of some of Hollywood's best loved films. From “Jurassic Park” to the slew of “Godzilla and King Kong” feature films, from the “Pete's Dragon” children's film to the ever loveable “Land Before Time” animated movie series, there is no lack of hunger to know more about these giant beasts that roamed the earth long ago. In addition, there are a host of wonderful theme books of so many children's stories that swirl with dragons and large lizard beasts such as “Where the Wild Things Are” and “Puff the Magic Dragon”.  While there were many years of preliminary discoveries of the dinosaurs, recent discoveries now paint a much clearer picture of the phases of early life on earth.

With the advancement of Paleontology and the scientific discoveries of the last three decades, the understanding as well as the fascination about dinosaurs and the forms of life that preceded them has increased significantly. No longer are dinosaurs just the stuff of fantasy and fiction; the many newly found fossils have become a window into the history of life on the planet.  But before the dinosaurs ruled the planet, life had to evolve in the sea to the point where it could exist on dry land.  That is why the Cambrian Period is such an interesting time for paleontologists.

With the more recent discoveries, scientists now have good collections of fossils from different time periods, and great knowledge of the forms of life that preceded the dinosaurs. The Cambrian period pictures of fossil life show the beginning of defined life and the first forms of life that eventually evolved into those that could leave the seas and venture onto solid ground. The Cambrian Period, as it is known, occurred between 540 million years ago and 490 million years ago according to scientific radiocarbon dating. The Cambrian Period was a time of great evolutionary change on the planet. This geological time period has three stages and was the very beginning of substantive life on earth. The three stages are known as: the Early Cambrian period, the Middle Cambrian Period, and the Late Cambrian Period. It is during these 50 million years of the Cambrian Period that a great explosion of life occurred on the planet; much of it was smaller life forms. The larger life that evolved during this time were the beginnings of what are known as marine dinosaurs. In fact, life was teeming in the seas and the oceans all over the earth during the Cambrian Period.

Today, many science museums, science-oriented retail outlets, libraries and colleges have a wealth of information about this wonderfully exciting time on earth. In addition to their wealth of data, they also have wonderful paintings and illustrations of the living things on earth during the Cambrian period explosion. One of the better-known painters, Joseph Moravic has a series of classic Cambrian Period pictures that can be found in a variety of museums, colleges and libraries across the country. These paintings are great illustrations of living creatures of the time period, painted in a way that gives depth and concept to the fossils that have been discovered. The world has always been a fascinating place, and having windows to the past like Joseph Moravic’s paintings and illustrations help us connect with the wonderful history of our planet earth.

Dinosaur Corporation has an amazing selection of these magnificent and scientifically accurate works of art,  like this Cambrian period art, and can supply you with all things prehistoric, from fossil replicas to cuddly woolly mammoth stuffed animals, not to mention everything you would need to throw a world class Jurassic birthday party.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

An Artist’s View of the Ordovician Period

The Ordovician period represents a time in which primitive plant species and sea creatures multiplied and marine life became abundant. It was one of the stages of the Paleozoic era which was an era broken down into six different periods. The period also marks the end of the Cambrian era, which is called the Cambrian-Ordovician extinction.

The life that flourished is depicted through Ordovician period pictures, and many artists of today create these illustrations so that the world to see different aspects of that era. One of the animals that are commonly featured in Ordovician drawings are the nautiloids, which were squid-like creatures. Marine life was diverse during that period and most paintings capture the range of marine invertebrates that lived in the seas. Some of those invertebrates were brachiopods, graptolites and trilobites. Vertebrates are also drawn, which included the conodonts. Most of the pictures also capture the moisture and warmth that defined the atmosphere during that time.

Different kinds of stones can also be seen in paleontology art. Sandstone, shale, dolostone and limestone are carefully illustrated in an array of colors. Fossil imprints are engraved in most of these stones. Even though there was a lot of sea life in the Ordovician period, the waters started to become shallow as the era came to its end. This is why the stones and some land are depicted in paintings of this ancient time. Since the fossils are the only evidence of their existence, paleoartists strive to keep the memory of the animals mentioned alive. 

Josef Moravec was captivated by the prehistoric era since his childhood, and his interest started with visits to museums, which had reassembled fossils and dioramas on display. The rarity of this era and part of nature, which is considered a world that existed before time, drove Moravec to start illustrating his imagined version of that world. He aimed to create depictions that would embody the true essence of the prehistoric world through a paleontologist's point of view. This can account for why he drew most of his inspiration from Zdenek Burian. Burian was also a paleoartist, and strove to depict such images with the same accuracy. Natural History Museums hold Moravec's works in great respect, and he has won awards throughout North America and Europe.

Moravec’s Ordovician period pictures are featured by museums across the world. Paleontology is a richer study from having these accurate, lifelike illustrations to refer to. Even though artists are known for having the gift of vivid imagination, these paintings on paleontology are backed by extensive research and a passion to present those findings to the world.

Dinosaur Corporation has an amazing selection of these magnificent and scientifically accurate works of art, and can supply you with all things prehistoric, from fossil replicas to cuddly woolly mammoth stuffed animals, not to mention everything you would need to throw a world class Jurassic birthday party.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Decorating With Dinosaurs

Decorating a child’s bedroom or playroom with colorful murals gives the room a beautiful design and also stimulates the child’s creativity and imagination. There are many different types of murals out there including some that are designed to be purchased and placed on a wall as easily as if they were wallpaper. Children love all sorts of designs, but perhaps none is more popular and timeless than dinosaurs.
Dinosaur wall murals can make your child’s room seem as wild and free as ancient times before humans roamed the earth. Kids love these prehistoric creatures and having them on their walls will make children want to stay and play in their room all day.

Josef Moravec is an artist who focuses primarily on creating art depicting these prehistoric creatures in a realistic and scientifically accurate manner. He has created a serious of dinosaur wall murals that will lighten up any playroom or bedroom. The murals depict various different species of dinosaurs in a variety of scenes so you will be sure to find ones that complement the room you are decorating. They are incredibly detailed murals so you can rest assured that you won’t be posting something cheap and tacky in your home. Best of all, these dinosaur murals are designed in such a way that you can reuse them again and again. They are easy to peel off walls if you decide to move them or when your little child grows up. Some of the murals you can choose include just a single dinosaur so if there is a particular species that your child likes you can select that particular one. These murals are large enough so that a single dinosaur will take up a room’s door, for example. You can also choose scenes with many different types of dinosaurs present.

The murals are available in a wide array of different shapes and sizes as well. There are murals that are basically strips. You can use these to border the walls or accent the doorways. Some the murals are designed in such a way so that they appear to be optical allusions. One mural shows a tyrannosaurus rex breaking through the walls of the room. Any fearless child would love it. Other murals make it appear as if the dinosaurs are outside the child’s windows. This has a neat effect and will definitely stimulate a child’s imagination. You can also get a mural that can be divided into several different pieces. You will then be able to place these around the room for maximum effect.

To see more about these wonderful murals, click here.  Dinosaur Corporation is a fantastic site for all things prehistoric, from fossil replicas and fine art to a complete line of Jurassic party supplies

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Great Ideas for Dinosaur Birthday Cakes & Treats

While store bought cakes are convenient, and the decorations on them may be showy, let’s face it; Mom’s cake and icing ALWAYS tastes a whole lot better. You’re probably thinking “Oh, sure, fine for you to say, but I’m no great cake decorator, and I want this to look pretty!”

Making a beautiful cake your self for a “Jurassic” birthday party has gotten a whole lot easier.  Take a look at the Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus and T-Rex pans that are offered at Dinosaur Corporation.  Making the cake your self would be very little challenge, and they give you the perfect shape and outline to make a great dinosaur shaped cake on your own, and since you’ll own the pan, making dino shaped cakes in the future will be a breeze and a real treat to your dino birthday boy or girl in days to come.  There are even cake toppers that would make it simple to decorate your homemade sheet cake with an easy-to-duplicate design pictured on their page.  These dinosaur cake toppers are 5-6” dino skeletons and would make a nice addition to a dinosaur collection after the party is done.  Other sets of brightly colored dinosaur cake toppers are also available in sets of six.  Don’t overlook the dinosaur-shaped candles in primary colors that would just need a curvy blue river and maybe a palm tree as company to make a colorful, attractive and exciting cake.

And if you’re thinking of going with the recent trend of birthday cupcakes instead of one big cake, Dinosaur Corporation has you covered!  Check out their dinosaur party page – they have cupcake toppers and baking cups. That would make having cupcakes instead of cake an easy option.  You might also think about using some of the smaller plastic party favor dinos as decorations for the cupcakes that the party goers can keep as gifts when they’re done eating their cupcakes.

Dinosaur Corporation also offers an 11” flexible silicone mold with eight different dinosaur figures that would make great little dino-shaped cakes or even be good for making those Jell-O Jigglers that kids love so much.  There is also a very cool set of dinosaur shaped cookie cutters that would make other luscious Jurassic birthday treats.  Get the whole family involved decorating them before the big event!

There are so many exciting party ideas here at Dinosaur Corporation.  The selection of items to make your Jurassic birthday party unforgettable is absolutely amazing.  In articles to come, look for some awesome tips on dinosaur party decorations.  They have everything from piñatas to party favors to huge lifelike cardboard cutouts your party goers can pose with for cool pictures that would be great to enclose with the Jurassic thank you notes.