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Spinosaurus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Superorder Dinosauria
Order Saurischia
Suborder Theropoda
Superfamily Megalosauroidea
Family Spinosauridae
Subfamily Spinosaurinae
Genus Spinosaurus
1st Species Spinosaurus aegyptiacus
2nd Species Spinosaurus quilombensis
Other attributes
Time Range 100-93 mya
Location Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Niger, Brazil
Name Meaning Spine reptile
Physical Dimensions 13.7 meters
Weight 5.2 tonnes
Dietary Classification Carnivore
Spinosaurus

A comparison of Spinosaurus specimens with an 1.8 meter tall human for scale. Click to expand.

Spinosaurus is a spinosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Niger, and Brazil. It was named in 1915 by Ernst Stromer. It was the longest theropod to walk the earth, as well as one of the most studied and most controversial.

PhysiologyEdit

Spinosaurus was a unique theropod, as it had a long, slender body, relatively short legs, webbed feet, a long tail, mid-sized arms with 3 fingers on each hand, a moderately long neck, and a large head with big, slender jaws. As well as this, it had a large, ridged hump on its back. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin.

DietEdit

Spinosaurus was a predator, preying on sharks, rays, gars, coelacanths, lungfish, small crocodylomorphs, pterosaurs, small plesiosaurs, and dromaeosaurs. Its conical teeth were used for getting a hold of struggling prey, and a notch in its upper jaw would have helped in capturing them as well.

EcologyEdit

Earlier, Spinosaurus was thought to have regular theropod proportions, often times wading near rivers and snatching fish from the water before dragging them onto land and eating their carcasses. However, a major discovery in 2014 had started to reconstruct this animal in a new light; it was now a short-legged carnivore that mostly relied on the water for food, diving into the rivers and searching for prey underwater (much like a crocodile). Despite all this, it was able to walk on land with little to no problems, as its center of gravity was extremely close to its hips. While the theropod was hunting, pressure sensors on the tip of its sensitive snout would have been used to detect the movements of aquatic prey even when it wasn't able to see them, allowing it to locate them much more easily; as well as this, while it didn't have a very strong bite force, its jaws are known to have been able to withstand a considerable amount of stress without breaking, which would have been very useful when dealing with large prey such as Onchopristis and Mawsonia.

In popular cultureEdit

Spinosaurus was first introduced to the public in the 2001 science fiction movie Jurassic Park III, where it is depicted as a hyperaggressive, brutish killer capable of snapping a Tyrannosaurus' neck with ease; since then, much controversy has risen about the two theropods and how the battle would have gone down in real life. One side of the argument perpetuates the depiction from the movie, while another downplays the spinosaurid and passes it off as a weak-jawed, strictly piscivorous carnivore that only eats small fish (and, in some egregious cases, cannot leave the water without being severely weighed down); in this case, both sides are far from the truth.

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