Spinosaurus aegyptiacus was a genus of giant Theropod that lived in late Cretaceous (112-97 milion years ago) in
|Name meaning: Spined Lizard|
|Area: North Africa|
|Period: Late Cretaceous|
|Diet: fish and occasionally meat|
|Lenght: 12-17m (40-56ft)|
|Height: 6-7.5m (20-25ft)|
North Africa. It was the longest theropod dinosaur, with most estimates being 50 feet with an estimated body mass that varies from 4 to 9 tons. This is comparable with Giganotosaurus , Carcharodontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus, although sizes are debatable.
Spinosaurus' most distinguishable feature was its back sail, uncommon to most theropod dinosaurs.
Spinosaurus was a very large theropod, with modern estimates ranging from 50 ft in lenght and over 4-9 tons in weight. It's skull is the longest of any theropod, estimated to be 5.7 feet (1.75meters). It's skull was, as for the other Spinosaurids, crocodile-like. It had unusually tall neural spines on it's back, up to 6 feet (2 meters) tall. The uses of such neural spines are heavily debated, from whether it was a hump that stored fat or if it was a sail.
Like other Spinosaurids, it's large, powerful arms had three razor sharp claws; which may have been used for catching and grasping prey.
Due to the design of it's skull, which was long, thin, and narrow, it has been suggested that Spinosaurus may have preyed on large aquatic animals such as giant fish. One such giant fish that lived in the same habitat and may have been a prey item of Spinosaurus was Mawsonia, which could've grown up to 6 meters in length and weighed up to 2 tons (4,000 lbs).
While it would have preyed on the giant fish of the Cretaceous, it may have also preyed on small to medium sized land animals.
Discovery and fossilsEdit
The first remains of this theropod were discovered in the first years of the 20th century. The first specimens was a juvenile (called IPHG), and it was found by Stromer. This specimens wasn't complete. During the night between 25 and 26 April 1944, this specimens get destroyed by the bombing on Monaco (place where this specimen wa conservated). After many years, in 2005 some italian paleontologist make a description of another, adult specimen, MSNM V4047. This specimen is incomplete too - it's just a 1-meters long rostrum. We have some other specimens too - but all fragmentary.
Spinosaurus in the MediaEdit
Spinosaurus' claim to fame was in the blockbuster Jurassic Park 3, where a controversal scene involving Spinosaurus killing a Tyrannosaurus has caused uproar and debate among the dinosaur community. Spinosaurus was also featured in the documentary Planet Dinosaur, as well as many dinosaur-based video games.