Spinosaurus was first discovered over 100 years ago in Egypt
by Ernst Stromer. The fragmentary remains indicated a large dinosaur
with a dramatic sail on its back. Unfortunately all the specimens
from that original discovery were lost in a bombing raid in World
War II. Since then, fragmentary remains of isolated teeth, claws,
and a few bones were all that were known of this enigmatic dinosaur.
A local Moroccan collector of fossil discovered a partial specimen
which has provided additional clues as to its appearance. Unfortunately
the remains are still quite incomplete and in a n effort at hyperbole,
researchers have cobbled together bones from this find, photos
(all that exists) of the original specimen, extrapolations of
specimens of diverse size and analogy with related types to arrive
at a composite specimen of some 15 meters in size they term ‘bigger
than T-rex”, a term seized upon by fossil dealers to sell
specimens. While such may indeed be the case, a quick perusal
of the image in a recent National Geographic magazine will reveal
just how cobbled together this composite is. Compare this to “Sue”,
the T. rex at the Field Museum that is some 90% complete.
Spinosaurus was a large carnivorous dinosaur which appears to
have lived a near aquatic existence. The large, unserrated conical
teeth are more suited for seizing slippery prey than for slicing
meat from bones. The example offered here is from a juvenile,
and has no repairs. I have included a photo of different examples
currently on offer.
- Science, Vol 345, Issue 6204, 26 September 2014, pp1613-1616
and 48 pages of supplementary material
- National Geographic, October
2014, pp 100-121.