A Review of the Safari Wild Dinos Vagaceratops Dinosaur Model
Part the 2012 additions to the Safari Ltd “Wild Dinos” model series, this model of the Vagaceratops is bound to be of interest to dinosaur model collectors. Although the fossil material relating to this dinosaur was first studied more than ten years ago, it was only in 2010 that the genus of Vagaceratops was established (following a review of the fossils and the discovery of Kosmoceratops).
This model represents one of four new models in the Wild Dinos series made by Safari Ltd. Ironically, the Marginocephalia (bird-hipped dinosaurs with a bony shelf at the back of their heads), represent fifty percent of the new additions, with this Vagaceratops being joined by the Pachycephalosaur Dracorex.
A Recent Fossil Discovery
Known from a few isolated pieces of skull and the one distorted skeleton found in the Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation of Alberta, Canada, Vagaceratops had a large neck frill that was about one metre wide at the top. The frill was not solid bone. It had a pair of large holes within it, these were very probably covered in skin.These holes (the scientific term is fenestrae), served to lighten the skull. This dinosaur had a single, broad horn located on the top of its snout. Although a horned dinosaur associated with northern latitudes, it seems that it shared its environment with another horned dinosaur, as fossils of Styracosaurus have been found in the same aged strata.
The Vagaceratops Replica
The model measures a little under twenty centimetres in length from the tip of its horny beak at the front of its jaws down to the tip of the tail. As palaeontologists have estimated this Ceratopsian to have been around four and a half metres in length we estimate that this dinosaur model is in approximately 1:20 scale.
Interesting Choice of Colour Scheme for this Dinosaur
The model is well painted. It being coloured in a predominately sandy/brown hue. This is an interesting choice by the designers at Safari Ltd, as the fossils of this particular horned dinosaur have been found in strata laid down in a lush, wet, floodplain environment. The colour choice on this dinosaur model, seems more suited to a dinosaur that may have lived in dry, arid, desert environments.
The skin on the model shows lots of texture and fine detail, the face and the open mouth have been carefully painted and the characteristic curled over bony, lumps on the top of the animal’s neck frill can be clearly made out on the model. The design team have obviously paid attention to the fossil material ascribed to this genus.
The dinosaur’s tail has a set of stripes on it and it is pleasing to note that this horned dinosaur has the correct number of toes on each foot, an error in some horned dinosaur models of lesser quality.
The Vagaceratops will no doubt, be a welcome addition to the collections of dinosaur model fans.