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Spinosaurus (quadrupedal restoration)
Spinosaurus (bidepal restoration)

Spinosaurus (Spine-oh-sore-us), Spine Lizard lived in the Early Cretaceous of North America. The fossils are scrappy and the original type fossils found in Egypt were destroyed. Reconstructions are based on better know relatives like Baryonyx and size estimates vary widely. Some have estimated its size as large as 59 ft and its weight as much as 9 tones, making it the largest theropod.

Content List

1. Genera & species

2. Characteristics

a. Size

b. Behavior

3. History of Discovery

4. Paleoenvironment

5. References

Genera and Species

Classification: Theropoda, Spinosauridae

Species: S. aegypticus, S. maroccanus.


Spinosaurus The large spines on the back supported a skin sail that may have served as a heat exchanger or for communication or display. Its teeth were conical, without serrations and straight, not curved like most large theropods. It had twice as many teeth as other theropods and the skull and jaws resemble those of crocodilians. The forearms were equipped with large hooked claws.


LENGTH: 12 - 18 m (39 - 59 ft).

WEIGHT: 4 - 9 tons.


Spinosaurus teeth were those of a fish eater and the mangroves were home to the giant fish. Spinosaurus adults would have had a broad range of prey much like modern crocodiles. Scavenging would have been an option as the sail would have been too easily damaged when attacking large prey.

History of Discovery

Discovered by Stromer in 1915, the original fossils were destroyed in WW2. It is not sure that recent scrappy fossils found in Morocco are the same species as the originals from Egypt. More complete remains discovered in 2014 suggest Spinosaurus may have been more suited to a four-legged manner of movement, with smaller hind limbs than previously thought.


Found in north Africa and lived in Mangrove swamps.


1. Paul, G. (2010). The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (pp. 10-12). Princeton, New Jersey: University Press Princeton.

2. Worth, G. (1999). The Dinosaur Encyclopaedia (pp. 2070). Scarborough, Western Australia: HyperWorks Reference Software.

3. Griffin. (2010, July 9). Spinosaurus. .