a fish-eating spinoaurid theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of North Africa.
Ernst Stromer (1915
Marsa Matruh, Egypt
Since its discovery in Egypt's Baharija Formation in 1912 Spinosaurus has been a top contender for longest and largest theropod dinosaur ever. Unfortunately, whatever fossils weren't lost or broken during clumsy transit to Germany's Munich museum were blown to hell by WW2 allied bombing raids in 1944 and all that was left were some tantalising photos by Ernst Stromer.
(Spined Lizard from Egypt)Etymology
is derived from the Latin "spina" (spine) and the Greek "sauros" (lizard) because of the large paddle-like spines raised along its back.
The species epithet
, refers to its discovery in Egypt.
The first fossils of Spinosaurus
were discovered in the Baharija Formation of Marsa Matruh, Egypt by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer in 1912.
(BSP 1912 VIII 19) is a partial skeleton including neck and tail vertebrae, name-prompting spined back vertebrae, a partial lower jaw, teeth and other fragments. These remains were blown up during WW2, so in 2014 Ibrahim nominated a partial skeleton (FSAC-KK 11888), found by a local collector in 2008, as the neotype (new type), meaning the spined lizard from Egypt is now anchored by remains from Morroco!
: Early Cretaceous
: 99-94 mya
Est. max. length
: 16 meters
Est. max. hip height
: 4 meters
Est. max. weight
: 8 tons
Based on a single, 19.5cm long mid-neck vertebra (NMC 50791, held by the Canadian Museum of Nature) from the Kem Kem Beds of Morocco, Dale Russell named Spinosaurus maroccanus
in 1996. In 2014 Nizar Ibrahim et al
. tagged it a nomen dubium.
• Ernst Stromer (1915) "Results of Prof. E. Stromer's Research Expedition in the Deserts of Egypt
• D.A. Russell (1996) "Isolated dinosaur bones from the Middle Cretaceous of the Tafilalt, Morocco".
• P. Taquet and D.A. Russell (1998) "New data on spinosaurid dinosaurs from the Early Cretaceous of the Sahara".
• E. Buffetaut and M. Ouaja (2002) "A new specimen of Spinosaurus (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Lower Cretaceous of Tunisia, with remarks on the evolutionary history of the Spinosauridae
• T.R. Holtz, R.E. Molnar and P.J. Currie (2004) "Basal Tetanurae" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition
• C. dal Sasso, S. Maganuco, E. Buffetaut, M.A. Mendez (2005) "New information on the skull of the enigmatic theropod Spinosaurus, with remarks on its sizes and affinities
• J. B. Smith, M. C. Lamanna, H. Mayr and K. J. Lacovara (2006) "New information regarding the holotype of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus Stromer, 1915
• R. Amiot, E. Buffetaut, C. Lécuyer, X. Wang, S. Hutt, L. Boudad, Z. Ding, F. Fourel, S. Sweetman, F. Martineau, A. Medeiros, J. Mo, L. Simon, V. Suteethorn, et al. (2010) "Oxygen isotope evidence for semi-aquatic habits among spinosaurid theropods".
• Nizar Ibrahim, Paul C. Sereno, Cristiano Dal Sasso, Simone Maganuco, Matteo Fabbri, David M. Martill, Samir Zouhri, Nathan Myhrvold and Dawid A. Iurino (2014) "Semiaquatic Adaptations in a Giant Predatory Dinosaur".
• Evers SW, Rauhut OWM, Milner AC, McFeeters B and Allain R. (2015) "A reappraisal of the morphology and systematic position of the theropod dinosaur Sigilmassasaurus from the “middle” Cretaceous of Morocco
". PeerJ 3:e1323 https://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1323
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