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Temporal range: Cretaceous
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Superfamily: Megalosaurs
Family: Spinosauridae
Genus: Spinosaurus
Ernst Stromer, 1915
Annotated skull diagram.

Spinosaurus (which means 'spiny lizard') was a huge meat eating dinosaur from the Cretaceous, 112 to 97 million years ago.

Its bones were first discovered in Egypt in 1912 by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer in 1915. Two species, S. aegyptiacus and S. marocannus, are recognized by many paleontologists, but there may only be one. Spinosaurus looked like Baryonyx except it was larger and more heavily built. Six specimens of Spinosaurus have been uncovered.

Description[change | change source]

Spinosaurus wss larger than Tyrannosaurus. Estimates suggest that it was 12.6 to 18 metres (41 to 59 ft) in length and 7 to 20.9 tonnes (7.7 to 23.0 short tons) in weight. It had a two meter high sail on its back like Dimetrodon. Several uses have been suggested for this sail, such as to help control its body temperature, as a way to attract a mate, and to intimidate or frighten enemies. It lived in what is now Sahara Desert, but which then was mangrove forests alongside shoreline conditions, tidal flats and channels.

The skull of Spinosaurus was long and narrow like that of a modern gharial. Spinosaurus is known to have eaten fish; evidence suggests that it lived both on land and in water like a modern crocodilian.

Media[change | change source]

It was featured as the main dinosaur in the 2001 film Jurassic Park III. It has also apppeared on postage stamps in several countries, and many toy companies have made models of Spinosaurus.