Niger, Africa back in the Early Cretaceous was a land full of weird and unusual dinosaurs. Unlike the desert-like environment of today, back then it was lusher with many rivers that crisscrossed the land. Here lives one of the most distinctive basal hadrosaur, Ouranosaurus nigeriensis (meaning Brave lizard).
The family of hadrosaur dinosaur, unless sporting outrageous head crest, are often overlooked due to their “generic” look, let’s face it, they are so similar to each other. So, it is surprising that given its unique physical appearance, we don’t see more Ouranosaurus figures, well good ones at least. Originally assigned to the iguanodont family, it was later grouped with the hadrosaurs, a basal one.
Ouranosaurus was first introduced in the toy world by Battat way back in the mid-1990′, and to this day, even with a few new figures release in the last few year, this figure remains the best version of the species. One of the newer versions to hit the market is one from Recur, this is the subject of our review today.
Ouranosaurus is a large animal with some size estimates ranging from 23-27 feet long. It roamed the landscape of what is now the African country Niger during the Early Cretaceous. Here, they shared the landscape with other dinosaurs, both big and small. Two fairly complete fossils of this animal were found in 1965 and 1970. The holotype is believed to be that of a subadult animal, so there is a chance that it may have grown larger than the estimate given.
The first impression upon seeing this Recur figure is that it is very muscular! The body is solidly built and its musculature very much defined with plenty of skin folds and bulge.But despite this somewhat exaggerated musculature, it is really not that out of the possibilities especially for a large animal.
Ouranosaurus in general have large and robust hind limbs to better handle the animals’ weight and also be strong enough to allow bipedal walk which they are believed to do more often than quadrupled. So, this muscular physique seen on the figure is fairly appropriate. The front limbs are shorter than the hind limbs, although still long enough to be able to walk quadruped when the need arises.
The toes are pretty good on the figure. The hind limbs have three toes, they may look a little too rounded, but at least it has the correct digits.Ouranosaurus is not believed to be a fast runner based on its anatomy and muscle attachment on the back legs.The front limbs have five digits and exhibits that distinctive thumb spike very similar, but much smaller than that of the earlier iguanodon. The digits second and third does not show that hoof-like shape that it should have.
The figure is posed in an active, quadrupedal walking stance with all its limbs and foot firmly planted on the ground. The most distinctive feature of Ouranosaurus is it’s large sail on its back, very similar to what is seen on Spinosaurus and Dimetrodon.These tall neural spines and flattened and held together by tendons. While the most popular restoration shows these tall neural spines as very thin and sail-like, others have shown it to be almost looking like a thick “hump”.
This figure looks like a cross between these two; sail-like and yet very thick and robust.The evolution of this sail-like tall neural spine seems to have benefited many animals that lived in Africa around this time, so there must be a good reason why unrelated animals evolve similar features.
The head is actually pretty good and recognizable as an Ouranosaurus.The skull of Ouranosaurus is rather long and narrow with the top of it flattened, making it one of the most elongated skulls on any non-hadrosaur. The figure managed to captured these shapes nicely. There is also a low ridge just above the eyes that creates a downwards sloping took to the face.
The snout is covered in keratin sheath in life and is toothless and forms a wide beak. On the figure, the beak could be slightly longer, but it is well defined with lots of details in the form of textures such as grooves.The nostrils are flared and large, but nicely sculpted and really adds a sense of action to the figure.The head has a surprising amount of details in the form of small scales and knobs, as well as skin folds.
The color is rather drab, dominated by olive greens, browns, yellow ochre, and dark browns. There are stripes on its back and sides, as well as neck area that adds a little bit of interesting patter. these lines are dark brown. On the top of the sail, the colors turn into a brighter and vibrant ochre highlighting it nicely. This light tone can also be seen all over the body where it creates a nice highlight and breaks out the monotonous color.Overall, the color is rather pleasing and natural looking especially for a large animal.
It is believed that Ouranosaurus preferred lowland areas with lush and often wet environment based on other associated fossils found with it. Due to its size, it probably frequents the more open areas where low plants abound. This environment also supported other dinosaurs such the medium sized sauropod Nigersaurus which browsed on the same vegetation Ouranosaurus fed on.
In addition to other herbivorous dinosaurs, there are also predators, both large and small that lurked in the shallow delta and forest edges.Patrolling the water edge is the huge crocodile Sarcosuchus, while rare terrestrial predators such as the huge Carcharodontosaurus and Suchomimus made its rounds on land.
This Recur figure is definitely one of the better models of this species currently available on the market. Personally, this is my second favorite version after the Battat.CollectA, Schleich, PNSO, GeoWorld are just some of the other brands out there that has produced an Ouranosaurus figure to varying success within the last few years.
Its dynamic pose sets it apart from the more typical conservative poses seen in other figures.This is my first, along with the Smilodon, Recur figure, and overall, I am rather pleased with it. The material is soft and squishy unlike the solid PVC. Looking at the seams, it looks like there are two parts to it attached together.
Recur figures definitely have their own charm and style that incorporates vintage, stylized, and modern look rolled into one. For me, the only drawback is that the figures are rather large, bigger than your standard 1:20,1:30,1:40 scale figures.
For collectors like me who’s struggling with space, this large size makes it a problem when display and storage space is an issue or in short supply. This is the only reason why I haven’t expanded my Recur collection beyond these two.I still recommend it to those wanting a figure of this species who are not able to acquire the Battat one.
Well, I hope you all enjoyed the review, thanks for reading. Until the next one, please stay safe and healthy. Cheers!