Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, Barremian
Baryonyx by Jiggy/Paleocolour
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
clade: Dinosauria
Suborder: Theropoda
Family: Spinosauridae
Genus: Baryonyx
Charig & Milner, 1986
Species: B. walkeri
Type species
Baryonyx walkeri
Charig & Milner, 1986

Baryonyx (meaning "heavy claw") is a species of medium to large sized carnivorous spinosaurid baryonychinae theropod dinosaur discovered in clay pits just south of Dorking, England.[1][2][3]

The species only known from a single subadult specimen, and because remains of its last meal were discovered fossilized in its ribcage; both remains of fish and a juvenile Iguanodon.

It gave true clear indication that spinosaurids wouldn't have only ate fish. It lived in the Barremian period of Early Cretaceous, around 125 million years ago.[4]


1600px-Baryonyx Size Diagram by PaleoGeek

Maximum size estimate for a fully matured Baryonyx. Credit: PaleoGeek

Baryonyx estimated between 7.6 - 9 to potentially 10 meters long (25 to 30 feet) and around 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) tall at the hip. It probably weighed in the region of 1-2 tons, but analysis of the bones suggests that the only known specimen was not even fully grown.[5][6]

The fact that the skull and vertebra of B. walkeri holotype specimen (NHM R9951) do not appear to have fused likely suggests that the individual was not even fully grown, and the mature animal may have been much larger; as is the case for several other species of spinosaurids.

On the other hand, the specimen's fused sternum indicates that it may have been mature. The debate about the growth status of the only specimen of Baryonyx hasn't solved or determined to a conclusive result; yet.


Baryonyx skeleton. Notice: Its large and robust arms and claws.

Baryonyx is a very unusual tetanuran. The design of its hips and pelvis suggests that it was bipedal for the purposes of walking from place to place; somewhat similar to other regular theropod genera. However, its forelimbs were noticeably large, well developed and robust for the anatomy of a regular theropod.

Baryonyx en el bosque inundado by epic3d

Baryonyx hunting through shalllow water; on a mangrow like environment. Credit: epic3d

This anatomical development has been speculated by some, that it might be a potential indicator of this genus of theropods spent at least some of its time on all fours; thought lately the notion or gait of total quadrupedalism even semi-quadrupedal behavior in spinosauridae is deemed quite unlikely and fallen out of favour.

  • That is because of the common anatomical constraints in theropods gait including megalisaurs and spinosaurs. A similar case of misunderstanding of anatomical capabilities is known to be occurred in its distant cousin Spinosaurus and even in a basal allosaurid with enlarged arm and claw structure Xuanhanosaurus.
    Thumb Claw Baryonyx

    The enlarged claw of Baryonyx

    Unlike in a vast majority dromaeosaurid species, this particular theropod had a long curved claw directly on the thumb of each hand, rather than the classical '' sickle claw '' on its hind legs. This claw measured at about 30.4 centimeters (12 inches).



The only known; but well preserved Specimen of The Baryonyx

The skeleton was not arranged exactly as it would have been in life (articulated), so the paleontologists reconstructing it placed them on the front feet because these legs were so powerful.

The bone structure suggests a massive bulk of muscle ran down the sides of these front legs, and it therefore seems probable that the claws were placed here.

Theropod had a longer neck compared to average for other theropod species and genuses. The skull was set at an acute angle, not the 90° angle that is common in similar dinosaur theropods.[7]


A realistic Baryonyx skull Replication. Credit: eofauna

The long jaw was distinctly crocodilian, and had 96 teeth, twice as many as its relatives. Sixty-four of the teeth were placed in the lower jaw (mandible), and 32 large ones in the upper (maxilla). The snout probably bore a small crest.

According to a scientific study officially published in 2023; Spinosauridae families; in particular the specimens taken as exemplary samples and clade representatives from Baryonychidae; shows that their brain anatomy and skull cavity structure shows no identifiable differentiation or any significant deviation from other common, regular Theropod clades; particularly their genera megalosauridae.

Baryonyx walkeri by sebasruna-d5pymn3

Baryonyx full body illustration. Credit: sebasruna

The results interpreted as these theropods; presumably, showing similar behavior and traits with other general theropod species in terms of brain structure, overall preferences and behavior.[8][9]

A research has been conducted to show and truly legitemize the differentiation and validify of Suchosaurus by comparing, noting and analyzing the remains and skeleton of Baryonyx.[10]


Baryonyx was a more basal member of the Spinosauridae family, that lies within the Megalosauroidea. It was a member of the sub-family Baryonychinae; which the subfamily derivers its name from.[11]


Credit Natural History Museum

Paragrapgh from a paleo-report belonging to Natural History Museum. Paleontologist confirming the Generalist carnivorous behavior of Baryonyx; baryonychinae and spinosaurids in general

Until the discovery of the closely-related Suchomimus, Baryonyx was the only known ( partially ) piscivorous (fish-eating) dinosaur; the crocodile-like jaws and large number of finely serated teeth suggested to scientists that Baryonyx could potentially be a true fish-eater.

Baryonyx feast

a Baryonyx feasting on the carcass of a Iguanadontid. Nearby a Neovenator is approaching. Artist: Unknown

The only known Baryonyx specimen gives a clear and irrefutable picture of these theropods diet ( and in general Spinosauridae and its subgroup Baryonychinae ), a number of scales and bones from the fish Lepidotes were discovered in the body cavity.

Additionally and noticeably digested bones of an immature Iguanodon were also found in direct association with the Baryonyx skeleton.

Baryonyx iguanodon chase by ryn0saur d2

A Baryonyx chases and harasses a subadult Iguanodon. Credit: ryn0saur

A definitive proof, that Baryonyx and in general spinosauridae and baryonychinae; wouldn't have only gone after fish; and that it was quite likely a far more diverse and generalist carnivorous theropod.[12][13][14][15]

Credits Kirkby Teaching Resources

Another paragraph depicting Baryonyx; pointing out its generalist, opportunistic carnivorous behavior. Credit: Kirkby teaching

Even more fossil evidence shows that the Portuguese/Iberian Baryonychinae ( could be identified as potentially Iberospinus or less likely other 4 to 5 species of Baryonychinae present within Iberian peninsula; as Spinosaurid Baryonychinae were very common throughout Iberia; perhaps in whole Europe continent as well ) fossils are, also, found directly associated with Iguanodon teeth.

Credit Morphofunctional Analysis of the Quadrate

The full parapgraph from a paleontology report pointing out the Baryonychinae generalist carnivorous nature; even including a spinosaurinae Irritator 's being directly attributed to a large pterosaur.

This is formally listed; with other such associations as true support for opportunistic and generalist carnivorous feeding behaviour and preference in spinosaurs [16]

It was one of the biggest carnivores of its habitat; its only noteworthy competitor was the Neovenator; which was smaller than a fully grown Baryonyx; it was a relative of the Allosaurus.

Habitat Preference & Lifestyle[]

Thought not actually depicted as a truly semi-aquatic theropod; often described as more akin to a wader or a bear.

Baryonyx by jelsin-d3g3tkv

Baryonyx traversing throughout a deep waterway; or a river. Carrying a smaller dinosaur as prey. Credit: jelsin

A 2022 study actually presented that it had the physical features and capabilities that is deemed fit for such a habitation preference and lifestyle.[17]

However more research is throughly needed to fully confirm such a research; as there are a number of other published research takes; analyzes and rebukes the notion of entirely semi-aquatic Spinosauridae theory.


Baryonyx by IsisMasshiro

Baryonyx on a riverbank. Credit: IsisMasshiro

It is speculated that Baryonyx would sit on a riverbank, resting on its powerful front legs, and then sweep fish from the river with its powerful striking claw.

This is similar to the modern bear or ursid species such as Grizzlies and Kodiaks; or modern riverbank avian species such as egrets; herons; pelicans and such. The long but low stance and angled head likely support this type behavior and probable lifestyle interpretation and theory.[18][19]


In the Media[]

  • Rudy in vines

    Rudy, the Colossal Baryonyx

    Rudy is a large albino Baryonyx and is the main antagonist in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. However all three claws are the same size, and it is shown to be bigger than a Suchomimus; as big as a Spinosaurus.
  • Baryonyx makes a cameo appearance in the first episode of Planet Dinosaur, showing on how spinosaurids may have eaten other varied prey rather than being exclusive or obligate fish eaters, as showing part of a juvenile Iguanodon inside the ribcage of Baryonyx. Along with Irritator teeth directly embedded to the neck vertebrae of a large pterosaur.
  • Baryonyx dk

    Baryonyx as depicted in "Dinosaur King"

    InGen created 5 Baryonyx in the InGen Compound in Isla Sorna. It was planned to live in its own paddock for Phase I of Jurassic Park, but never made it to Isla Nublar. Its paddock was located near a river, which could have supplied its residents with fish to eat. It is unknown if there were any surviving wild populations on Isla Sorna after Hurricane Clarissa hit the island.
  • Baryonyxlogo

    Cancelled logo depicting a Baryonyx. For JPIII

    Baryonyx is mentioned in Jurassic Park III as the survivors of the plane crash (caused by a Spinosaurus) try to figure out what type of dinosaur that chased them was. Baryonyx was also meant to appear in the film itself, but was cut. However, a logo featuring it was produced before the decision to cut the animal was made.
  • Baryonyx appeared on the Jurassic World website and is stated to be in the park, but it is unfortunately never seen in the film, it was seen in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, when it attempted to eat the crew in the lava chamber.
  • Baryonyx-Jurassic-park

    Baryonyx as portrayed in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

    Baryonyx makes a major appearance in the action film, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. These Baryonyx clones are different enough from their real-life counterparts and the Jurassic World 'depicted' clones. These clones have a far much more crocodilian-like appearance such as noticeably armored back, lined with bony osteoderms and very crocodilian-like underbelly, a long but broad snout which makes it look like an actual caiman, a less pronounced notch in the upper jaw, pronated wrists like all of InGen’s cloned chirmeric theropods, as well as a much smaller thumb claw, and teeth more like a needlefish, quite differentiated and unlike their real-life counterparts.
  • Baryonyx-detail-header

    Original model and render of Baryonyx. Even used in promotional material in the first movie

    However Thd Original depiction and modeling of Baryonyx from the first Jurassic World movie depicted and portrayed a highly different Baryonyx that was far much more closer to real animal.
  • The Baryonyx also makes another major appearance in the animated series, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous in its Season 2 follow up episodes. The three Baryonyxes, Grim, Limbo and Chaos are one of the main antagonists in the series. The design of these Baryonyxes are incredibly similar to the references in Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom.
  • A juvenile Baryonyx appeared in Jurassic World: Dominion in Malta at the Amber clave market attempting to kill Rainn Delacourt, nearly eating his whole arm. It was also seen being pitted in a fight against a juvenile Allosaurus.
  • Baryonyx makes a brief cameo in the third episode of Monsters Resurrected, considered a close relative of Spinosaurus.
  • Baryonyx appeared in a free Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom DLC for Jurassic World: Evolution, based on the Fallen Kingdom dinosaur.
  • Baryonyx appeared in Dino Stampede.
  • Baryonyx appeared in both seasons of the anime series Dinosaur King.
  • It also appeared In Dink, the Little Dinosaur episode 22 "Encounter At Flatrock", Where it was called a Shell Eater & it almost ate Crusty.
  • Baryonyxes

    A whole pack of Baryonyx'es

    Baryonyx is seen in the follow-up game, Jurassic World: Alive, where it is an Epic dinosaur, and the game requires you to dart 150 Baryonyx DNA to unlock it. A reddish Gen-2 version is also seen in the game.
  • Baryonyx also appear in Land before time series; several times.
  • Baryonyx appeared in several Jurassic Park based games including Jurassic Park: Builder, The Lost World: Jurassic Park PS game, Jurassic Park III: Park Builder, and LEGO Jurassic World. It was going to be in Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis before being cut.
    Baryonyx Skin Render

    Baryonyx as it appears in The Isle

  • Baryonyx made it's 1st Arcade appearance in the 1999 Dinosaur Arcade Game Savage Quest.
  • A fictional species of Baryonyx called, Baryonyx aquafulgur appears in ARK: Survival Evolved. Described inaccurately as a solely fish-eater/piscivore unlike the counterpart species in real life; which shown clear evidence of Being a generalistic carnivore.
  • Baryonyx made an appearance in the ROBLOX game called Dinosaur Simulator
  • Baryonyx made an appearance in an anime called Kyouryuu Wakusei.
  • It appears in both builds of The Isle.


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3785404/
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/324359a0
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3785404/
  4. https://kids.britannica.com/students/article/Baryonyx/310096
  5. https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/dino-directory/baryonyx.html
  6. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-baryonyx-caused-the-great-spinosaur-makeover-113934266/
  7. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285762094_A_new_specimen_of_the_theropod_dinosaur_Baryonyx_from_the_early_Cretaceous_of_Po
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36781174/
  9. https://blog.everythingdinosaur.com/blog/_archives/2023/02/14/spinosaurs-modified-skulls-but-conservative-brains.html
  10. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285762094_A_new_specimen_of_the_theropod_dinosaur_Baryonyx_from_the_early_Cretaceous_of_Portugal_and_taxonomic_validity_of_Suchosaurus
  11. https://www.nature.com/articles/324359a0
  12. https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/how-did-baryonyx-change-what-we-knew-about-spinosaurs.html
  13. https://kirkby.esci.umn.edu/displays/tate-108/baryonyx
  14. https://www.sixflags.com/newengland/events/dinosaur-walk-thru/baryonyx
  15. https://everythingdinosaurs.weebly.com/baryonyx.html
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4703214/
  17. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/spinosaurus-had-penguin-like-bones-a-sign-of-hunting-underwater
  18. * https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/how-did-baryonyx-change-what-we-knew-about-spinosaurs.html
  19. https://gagebeasleyprehistoric.com/profiles/baryonyx