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SUCHOMIMUS

a fish-eating spinosaurid theropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Niger.
suchomimus
Pronunciation: SOOK-o-MY-mus
Meaning: Crocodile mimic
Author/s: Sereno et al. (1998)
Synonyms: None confirmed
First Discovery: Gadoufaoua, Niger
Chart Position: 365

Suchomimus tenerensis

Discovered in the heart of Niger's Sahara desert, the spinosaurid theropod Suchomimus, with its distinctly crocodile-like snout, powerful forelimbs, long thumb claws and cone shaped teeth, was a fish hunter like no other. Except, it was like another...

Because of remarkably similar features, right down to the spines on some of its vertebrae that may have supported a modest sail, many consider Suchomimus to be an African species of the European Baryonyx. They are both thought to be fish eaters who waded into shallow water or sat on riverbanks and "hooked" unsuspecting fish with their thumb claws. And because of their powerfully built tails, back sails, and the angle at which they held their head, some paleontologists have speculated that spinosaurids may have evolved for a semi-aquatic lifestyle.

Brian J. Ford dredged up this age-old theory as recently as 2012, insisting it applies to ALL dinosaurs, for reasons no more scientific than he thinks "dinosaurs just look wrong ambling about on land". Quite rightly his "theory" was promptly and mercilessly slapped down as pure nonsense and Ford himself was tagged "a glorified amateur who likes to play with his toy dinosaurs". But 2015 saw a review of Spinosaurus that may have implications for its entire family; its bone density, limb proportions and snout pits that are being interpreted as ISOs (integumentary sensory organs, as found in crocodiles) suggest it may have been fully aquatic, though this theory has also met resistance from many paleontologists.

Suchomimus tenerensis smashed the record regarding the number of co-authors involved in a new dinosaur paper when Paul Sereno, Allison Beck, Didier Dutheil, Boubacar Gado, Hans Larsson, Gabrielle Lyon, Jonathan Marcot, Oliver Rauhut, Rudyard Sadleir, Christian Sidor, David Varricchio, Gregory Wilson and Jeffrey Wilson all stuck their non-spiked thumbs in the proverbial pie in 1998. Unfortunately, Suchomimus will probably end up sunk into Baryonyx because the latter was named first and has priority, and Cristatusaurus may go the same way.
(Crocodile mimic from Tenere)Etymology
Suchomimus is derived from the Greek "Souchos" (crocodile) and "mimos" (mimic), so named because of its low, elongate snout and fish-snagging features. The species epithet, tenerensis, means "from Tenere" in Latin, which refers to its discovery in the Tenere Desert.
Discovery
The "Crocodile mimic" was discovered in the Tegama Beds of the Elrhaz Formation at Gadoufaoua (known as “the place where camels fear to go” to locals), Tenere Desert, Niger, by Paul Sereno in 1988. The holotype (MNN GDF500, currently housed at the Musee National du Niger, Niamey, Republic of Niger) is the partial skull and disarticulated skeleton of a sub-adult. Currently, this is the only known specimen.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Aptian
Age range: 125-112 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 12 meters
Est. max. hip height: 4 meters
Est. max. weight: 4.5 tons
Diet: Carnivore
References
• Sereno PC, Beck AL, Dutheil DB, Gado B, Larsson HCE, Lyon GH, Marcot JD, Rauhut OWM, Sadleir RW, Sidor CA, Varricchio DD, Wilson GP and Wilson JA (1998) "A Long-Snouted Predatory Dinosaur from Africa and the Evolution of Spinosaurids". Science, 282(5392): 1298-1302.
• Holtz TR Jr (1998) "Spinosaurs as crocodile mimics". Science, 282(5392): 1276-1277.
• Lambert D (2003) "Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life".
• Holtz TR Jr, Molnar RE and Currie PJ (2004) "Basal Tetanurae" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska (eds.) "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
• Hone DWE and Holtz TR Jr (2017) "A Century of Spinosaurs - A Review and Revision of the Spinosauridae with Comments on Their Ecology". Acta Geologica Sinica 91(3): 1120–1132.
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "SUCHOMIMUS :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 24th Jul 2017.
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