Spinosaurus Facts

Spinosaurus Facts
Spinosaurus was a type of theropod dinosaur. There were two species of Spinosaurus that lived in North Africa 112 to 97 million years ago (Cretaceous period). First fossil of Spinosaurus was discovered in 1912 in Egypt and described 3 years later by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer. Second species of Spinosaurus was found in Morocco and described in 1996. Spinosaurus lived in mangrove forests, tidal flats and areas near the rivers. Based on the morphology of the head and assumed lifestyle, Spinosaurus was very similar to a modern crocodile.
Interesting Spinosaurus Facts:
Spinosaurus was able to reach length of 49 feet and weight of 7 to 20 tons.
Spinosaurus was much larger than Tyrannosaurus rex. It was maybe even the largest carnivorous dinosaur that ever existed on the planet.
Spinosaurus had long, narrow, crocodile-shaped skull, small pelvis, short hind legs and long tail. The most prominent feature on the body was sail-like structure on the back. It was huge and composed of 5 to 6-feet-long neural spines (extensions of vertebrae) that were connected via skin.
Name "Spinosaurus" means "spine lizard". It refers to the prominent, long neural spines on the back of this dinosaur.
Some experts believe that main purpose of the sail of Spinosaurus was to increase the size of this dinosaur and intimidate nearby competitors.
Large surface area of the "sail" could have been used for absorbing and releasing of heat (it may have played important role in thermoregulation).
Final hypothesis about Spinosaurus sail is that it has been used to attract females during the mating season (it may have played important role during the courtship).
Spinosaurus primarily walked on two legs (bipedal animal), but it was also able to walk on all four of its legs.
Recent discoveries suggest that Spinosaurus was semi-aquatic creature. Based on the anatomy of pelvis, legs and tail, researchers concluded that Spinosaurus was good swimmer.
Spinosaurus was a carnivore. Its diet was based on various types of fish and aquatic reptiles. Land animals were occasionally on the menu.
Spinosaurus had numerous straight, conical, widely spaced teeth and two large canine teeth. Its teeth were very sharp and designed to firmly hold slippery prey.
Spinosaurus lived side by side with 40-feet-long, 10-tons-heavy Sarcosuchus (prehistoric crocodile). The chance to meet each other in the shared habitats was high, but clear picture of how they behaved during the encounter remains a mystery.
Original and most complete set of Spinosaurus bones, that was kept in the museum in Munich, was destroyed during the bombing in 1944 (during the WWII).
Spinosaurus is featured in the third part of the "Jurassic Park" (popular movie).
Spinosaurus can be seen on the postal stamps of Liberia, Guyana, Angola, Gambia and Tanzania.

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Spinosaurus Facts