Spinosaurus

Spinosaurus’ name means “spine lizard”. It was named after the sail-like feature along its back. It was discovered in Africa.

Related dinosaurs, Irritator, Suchiomimis and Baryonyx were found in Brazil, Niger and England respectively. Given recent evidence found1, scientists widely believe that Spinosaurus spent most of its time in water.

Spinosaurus restoration, as of 2020

Discovery & Location

Spinosaurus’s remains was first discovered in Egypt in 1912. German pathologist, Ernst Stromer named the specimen in 1915.

The original fossil remains were destroyed during World War II. However, more were discovered later in the 21st century in Algeria, Tunisia, and Morroco.

Size

Spinosaurus was likely the largest predator to walk the earth. It was longer and heaver than Tyrannosaurus Rex. It grew as large as 16 metres long. Its skull was 1.75 metres long, and its total body weight could be up to 4 tons.

spinosaurus size comparison

Spinosaurus’ Diet

This dinosaur’s powerful jaws resembled that of a crocodile, and the teeth were conical and straight. This made it possible for the animal to eat fish with scales. It is believed that this creature also hunted for terristrial prey. This is because this animal likely lived both on land and in water.

Its legs had a high bone density, which gave the dinosaur buoyancy in water. Furthermore, it could use its tail to propel itself, so that it could move like a fish in water.


Image credits: Spinosaurus size comparison (KoprX), Spinosaurus 2020 reconstruction (Mario Lanzas).

  1. Thomas Beevor, Aaron Quigley, Roy E.Smith, Robert S.H. Smyth, Nizar Ibrahim, Samir Zouhri, David M. Martill “Taphonomic evidence supports an aquatic lifestyle for Spinosaurus“.