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Temporal range: Lower Cretaceous, 130–125 mya
Reconstruction of the holotype skeleton, National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Theropoda
Family: Spinosauridae
Genus: Baryonyx
Charig & Milner, 1986
B. walkeri
Binomial name
Baryonyx walkeri
Charig & Milner, 1986

Baryonyx was a carnivorous theropod dinosaur discovered in clay pits just south of Dorking, England, and also in northern Spain. It has been dated to the Barremian stage of the Lower Cretaceous period, between 130 to 125 million years ago.

It was first discovered in 1983 by the amateur fossil hunter William Walker. A group of scientists lead by Alan Charig and Angela Milner of the Natural History Museum of London examined the skeleton and named the animal Baryonyx (meaning 'heavy claw'), and the species name walkeri after the man who discovered it.[1] Other good skeletons were discovered in England and in Spain, which gave scientists a good idea of what the dinosaur was like.

Baryonyx grew up to between 7.5 and 10 metres (25 and 33 feet) long and weighed 1.2 and 1.7 t (1.3 and 1.9 short tons). It had long arms which were probably used for holding on to prey, the claw on the first finger was 31 centimeters (12 in) long. It ate mostly fish, like a grizzly bear would; for this it had a long snout like a gharial, and straight, cone-like teeth perfect for fishing. It had a triangle-shaped crest on the top of its skull.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. Edwards, D. D. (1986). "Fossil claw unearths a new family tree". Science News. 130 (23): 356. doi:10.2307/3970849. JSTOR 3970849.
  2. Psihoyos, L.; Knoebber, J. (1994). Hunting Dinosaurs. London: Cassell. pp. 176–179. ISBN 978-0679431244.