BBC Planet Dinosaur Wiki
Spinosaurus 1


'Spine Lizard'


95 Million Years


17 Metres


11 tonnes


North Africa

Spinosaurus may have been the largest carnivore ever to walk the Earth. At a jaw-dropping 17m long and weighing up to 11 tonnes, it was even larger than the mighty Tyrannosaurus. The story of this giant killing machine is a recent one. Although bones were found and described between 1912 and 1915 in Egypt, it's only in the last few years that a skeleton has been reconstructed properly. Earlier reconstructions had it look much more like an Allosaurus especially in terms of its skull, and making it much smaller as an animal overall. It would have been a formidable predator of North Africa's giant fish, such as Onchopristis, around 100 Million Years Ago. The long narrow skull is very similar to modern crocodiles and Spinosaurus is believed to have lived and hunted in water and on land, as crcodiles do today. The most distinguishing feature of this enormous dinosaur are the 2 metre neural spines running along its back. They formed a sail that could have been used to regulate heat, to deter enemies or to attract potential mates. Probably all three. Nevertheless, Spinosaurus was driven to extinction when sea levels rose, and the rivers that it thrived in eventually turned to sea.


Spinosaurus would also coexist with other theropods, such as Carcharodontosaurus and Rugops. While Rugops was a scavenger, Spinosaurus and Carcharadontosaurus may have competed for prey during the annual droughts that the monsoons would bring. There was also a huge crocodilian known as Sarcosuchus.


The Doomed Spinosaur