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Suchomimus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Superclass Tetrapoda
Class Reptilia
Subclass Diapsida
Superorder Dinosauria
Order Saurischia
Suborder Theropoda
Superfamily Megalosauroidea
Family Spinosauridae
Subfamily Baryonychinae
Genus Suchomimus
1st Species Suchomimus tenerensis
Other attributes
Time Range 125-112 mya
Location Niger
Name Meaning Crocodile mimic
Physical Dimensions 11.4 meters long
Weight 3.3 tonnes
Dietary Classification Carnivore
Suchomimus is a spinosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Niger. It was named in 1998 by Paul Sereno. It was one of the biggest theropods of the Early Cretaceous, and its discovery helped paleontologists gain a better understanding of the spinosaur family.

PhysiologyEdit

Like its close relative Baryonyx, Suchomimus was a theropod with a semi-bulky body, webbed feet, moderately long legs, a long tail, moderately long arms with 3, long-clawed fingers on each hand, a moderately long neck, and a long head with large, notched jaws and small, conical teeth. As well as this, it had a small, angular hump on its back. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin.

DietEdit

Suchomimus was a predator, preying on sharks, gars, rays, small crocodylomorphs, small ornithischians, and smaller theropods. Its conical teeth were used for getting a hold of struggling prey while its large claws were used for ripping them apart, and a notch in its upper jaw would have helped in capturing them as well.

EcologyEdit

Like all other spinosaurids, Suchomimus was primarily piscivorous, swimming through its riverine habitat in search of prey in a similar manner to modern crocodiles; upon spotting potential prey, the dinosaur would snag it in its notched, toothy jaws and, depending on how big the prey item was, either swallow it headfirst or use its curved claws to slice it into smaller, more easily edible chunks of flesh. However, isotope studies show that it would have occasionally fed on terrestrial ornithopod dinosaurs like Ouranosaurus, much like how Baryonyx, its smaller relative, is known to have eaten juvenile Iguanodon from time to time. This primarily piscivorous lifestyle was a great contrast to the terrestrial theropod predators that lived with it (which typically preyed on larger sauropods such as Nigersaurus, but also occasionally ate Ouranosaurus and even fish), as well as the large, similarly semiaquatic crocodylomorph Sarcosuchus (which mainly fed on Ouranosaurus, but also incorporated fish into its diet). As well as this, the function of the hump on Suchomimus' back remains open to debate; as was the case with many other sail-backed and hump-backed prehistoric animals, the most prevalent theory at the time was that it was used to regulate its body temperature, although possible other theories include being used for display or for being used to store fat so that the dinosaur could survive harsh dry seasons (so far the most likely theory).

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