Temporal range: Early–Late Cretaceous
Spinosaurus durbed.jpg
An artist's illustration of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Theropoda
Family: Spinosauridae
Subfamily: Spinosaurinae
Genus: Spinosaurus
Stromer et al., 1915
Type species
Spinosaurus aegyptiacus
Stromer, 1915
  • ?Sigilmassasaurus brevicollis Russell, 1996
  • ?Spinosaurus maroccanus Russell, 1996
  • Spinosaurus spinins Irahim & Sereno et al., 2015


Spinosaurus (spin·o·saur·us/pronounced SPINE-oh-SORE-us) ("spine lizard") was a species of very large theropod dinosaur that inhabited the early to middle Cretaceous northern Africa; such as the Kem Kem River Basin of Early Cretaceous Egypt (112 mya - 93.5 mya). It is among in the largest known theropod species, potentially being the largest.
Colored spinosaurus aegyptiacus by zewqt-d8es4z4

A reconstruction of Spinosaurus

Currently; the Spinosaurus is only known from several poor, incomplete and extremely fragmentary specimens. The holotype specimen was discovered in 1912 in Egypt, by German paleontolal could have capable of reaching a length of 18 meters (59 feet); albeit it is not certain; latest research estimations gave it a size between 15/15.6 meters (51.5 feet) to 16 meters (52 feet).

The largest known specimen; reffered as the MSNM V4047; was found by Spanish paleontologist Cristiano Dal Sasso, in Morocco in 2005. The specimen includes a near complete upper jaw which measures about 1.75 meters (5.7 feet) long, with a few well-preserved teeth. The latest finds, also discovered in Morocco, were discovered by Dr. Nizar Ibrahim and Dr. Paul Sereno. The specimen includes frachard. Another large specimen; potentially the new largest instance; referred as the NHMUK R 16421; has been recorded as well.

Spinosaurus swimming

A Spinosaurus Skeleton

Markgraf discovered a partial skeleton of a dinosaur in the Bahariya Formation of western Egypt. In 1915, German paleontologist Ernst Stromer published an article assigning the specimen to a new genus and speciesentary additional remains from Bahariya, including vertebrae and hindlimb bones, were designated by Stromer as "Spinosaurus B" in 1s be compared directly with the S. maroccanus specimen, and that it is unknown which cervical vertebrae the S. maroccanus specimens represent. Therefore, though some have retained the species as valid without much comment, most researchers regard S. maroccanus as a nomen dubium or as a junior synonym of S. aegyptiacus.

General Description

Spinosaurus FSAC-KK11888 GetAwayTrike

A more well scaled model done with more accurate proportions. Art done by the artist getawaytrike

Spinosaurus was estimated to grow lenghts between 14 - 18m. The largest specimen of S. aegyptiacus measured 15 meters (49 feet) in length, 4 meters (13 feet) in height at the head and 6.9 tonnes (7.6 tons). It's mouth had a similar appearance to that of the Irritator & Suchomimus (crocodile-shaped).

It got its name, which means "spine lizard," because of the tall spines on its vertebrae (bones of the spine), some reaching a height of six feet; which created a sail structure along the dorsal edge of the animal.

Chunky spino by arvalis-d7z799f

a depiction of the post-2014 spinosaurus by artist arvalis

The enlarged vertebrae of Spinosaurus that give it its name have been a cause of a great deal of controversy in recent years, with some people claiming they were a shrink-wrapped sail akin to Dimetrodon or Edaphosaurus, and others arguing instead that it was a thick ridge or hump n to a bison or rhinoceros. The remains published in 2014 have shown that the vertebral spines narrow at the top nearer the front end of the animal, which means they would not have supported a thick fatty hump, however, they still do not display the characteristics of a “true sail-back” either. There were "few channels for blood vessels" meaning it likely wasn't for thermal regulation. Sail-backed reptiles have the supports for their sails that are thin, almost like the rays of a fishes fins, this can be seen for example in modern basilisks, whereas the vertebrae of Spinosaurus are thick at the base and narrow towards the top.

In life the structure would have appeared rising from the body to form a triangular shape over the animals back (when viewed from in front), as opposed to either a shrink-wrapped sail or a large hump, it would have been most akin to chameleons. However, the vertebrae towards the animal's hips were thicker and could have supported a hump, perhaps to aid in buoyancy or balance.


A more accurate Reconstruction of the Spinosaurus, MSNM V4047 (art done by artist SpinoInWonderland)

Spinosaurus' primary weapons are its 5 foot arms with 25-30cm fingers armed with 15-20cm claws, designed for wrestling and slashing potential prey, and its jaws. In a defensive scenario, Spinosaurus' arms would be capable of crudely swiping (most theropods arms were deeply locked in their shoulder sockets) at its attacker(s), however they would work far more effectively when used to grapple its attacker(s) to immobilize them in order to land a thrashing bite. Its secondary weapon, its 1.6-meter jaws, would have been highly effective at grabbing prey and or rivals due to the conical, non-serrated teeth. The teeth were hollow, meaning it had a relatively weak bite compared to other predators.
Cenomanian north african spinosaurs by getawaytrike d9wr5jt-fullview

A more accurate Rrepresentation of Spinosaurus specimens, by paleoartist GetAwayTrike

Spinosaurus is thought to be a semi-aquatic animal. Speculative proof of this theory is the elongated feet, speculated hydrodynamic design, and small holes on the top of its snout, much like the electroreceptors of a shark or alligator. Further studies've been made by Romain Amiot and colleagues, at 2010. They found that oxygen isotope ratios of spinosaurid teeth, might have indicate semiaquatic lifestyles.

Spinosaurus vs Carcharodontosaurus The balance of power Planet Dinosaur

Spinosaurus vs Carcharodontosaurus The balance of power Planet Dinosaur

The Study itself concluded Isotope ratios from teeth from BaryonyxIrritatorSiamosaurus, and Spinosaurus were compared with isotopic compositions from contemporaneous theropods, turtles, and crocodilians. The study found that, among theropods, spinosaurid isotope ratios were, closer, albeit not similiar, to those of turtles and crocodilians. Siamosaurus specimens tended to have the largest difference from the ratios of other theropods, and the Spinosaurus tended to have the least difference from other theropods. This study gave suggestions that the Spinosaurids had amphibious (lives both land and water) lifestyle. [1]

 The shape of the skulls show that Spinosaurus is similar to Baryonyx and Suchomimus. They are both parts of the group Spinosauridae, but Spinosaurus belongs to a sub-group known as Spinosaurinae, while Baryonyx belongs to a separate group known as Baryonychinae, which have different features among their members.    

Spinosaurus is believed to have eaten aquatic-water based prey such as species of very large fish and crocodyliomorphs, but in times of famine and drought which were common, it would be more than capable of hunting small to medium prey such as juvenile and subadult Aegyptosaurus, Deltadromeus, Rugops and scavenging off or bullying the Carcharodontosaurus for its kill.   

A depiction of a possible Juvenile Spinosaur

   The shape of the skulls show that Spinosaurus is similar to Baryonyx and Suchomimus. They are both parts of the group Spinosauridae, but Spinosaurus belongs to a sub-group known as Spinosaurinae, while Baryonyx belongs to a separate group known as Baryonychinae, which have different features among their members. 
Spino and Carcharodontosaurus

One of the food items for Spinosaurus : The giant multiton, car-sized sawfish Onchopristis

Spinosaurus is believed to have eaten aquatic-water based prey such as large fish and crocodyliomorphs, but in times of famine and drought which were common, it would be more than capable of hunting small to medium prey such as juvenile and subadult Aegyptosaurus, Deltadromeus, Rugops, scavenging off or bullying for the kills of Carcharodontosaurus. Direct fossil evidence from several of its relatives (Irritator teeth on a large pterosaur, Siamosaurus remains with direct relation with sauropod fossils; Baryonyx gut contains both fish and Iguanadon remains); indicate that spinosaurs were very likely a generalist apex carnivore that ate any prey item available; whether aquatic or terrestrial, rather than being primary piscivorous.

An up to date, reconstruction of Spinosaurus, made by paleoartist Sergey Krasovskiy

A new study challenging the theory that Spinosaurus was semiaquatic has been published, In 2018, the analysis cocnluded by paleonotlogist, Henderson at. al. has been found that Spinosaurus probably was competent at bipedal terrestrial locomotion; the center of mass was instead found to be close to the hips, allowing Spinosaurus to stand upright like other bipedal theropods. By studying the buoyancy in lungs of crocodilians and comparing it to the lung placement in Spinosaurus, it was discovered that Spinosaurus could not sink or dive below the water surface. It was also capable of keeping its entire head above the water surface while floating, much like other non-aquatic theropods. Furthermore, the study found that Spinosaurus had to continually paddle its hind legs to prevent itself from tipping over onto its side, something that extant semiaquatic animals do not need to perform. Henderson therefore theorized that Spinosaurus probably did not hunt completely submerged in water as previously hypothesized, but instead would have spent much of its time on land or in shallow water. [2][3]
Spinotest con sigilmassa

A reconstruction of Spinosaurs; if the smaller legs are valid, a more bipedal and erect gait has been concluded.

In the Media

  • Spinosaurus has become an iconic dinosaur and its fame started with the film, Jurassic Park III, the first Jurassic Park film not based on a Michael Crichton book. Spinosaurus was portrayed as the main "villain" that caused destruction in its path. In an infamous scene, this Spinosaurus was seen fighting a Tyrannosaurus rex and defeating it. A Spinosaurus fossil Skeleton was seen in Jurassic World where it was destroyed by the Tyrannosaurus Rexy during the Isla Nublar Incident of 2015. It is also one of the dinosaurs included in the Holoscape of Innovation Center, though it is unknown if Spinosaurus actually lives in Jurassic World. Spinosaurus also apparently into cruelty after the Isla Nublar Incident of 2015 before Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, on Isla Nublar, though it's unknown if there were any surviving populations left. However, it was planned to be in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has a rematch with the T. rex before being cut from the film entirely. Spinosaurus also appears in most of the Jurassic Park expanded the universe, including games and toy lines.
  • A Spinosaurus nicknamed Spiny is one of the main dinosaurs in Dinosaur King, but the depiction of the dinosaur is now considered to be outdated.
    Spinosaurus Old

    A Very outdated description\reconstruction of Spinosaurus.

  • Spinosaurus appears in the video game Carnivores 2, with inaccurate anatomy because in the epoch there was little information about this dinosaur.
  • Spinosaurus appears in series 4 of Primeval and is shown living in the same place as a Raptor (Dromaeosaur). Another one appears in Series 5.
  • Spinosaurus is also in the Discovery Channel's Monsters Resurrected, portrayed as the "Biggest Killer Dino", where it was inaccurately shown to be the super top predator on land. It was seen lifting up and consuming a Rugops whole, kill a Carcharodontosaurus with a single slash of its claws, and slice up the sides of Sarcosuchus. But in the end, it was brought down by a pack of 5 Rugops. The portrayal was noticeably over-powered compared to the real dinosaur.
  • A Spinosaurus, nicknamed "Spike", makes an appearance in the video game Jurassic: The Hunted appears as a boss.
  • Spinosaurus appears in National Geographic's Bizarre Dinosaurs, where its sail is talked about. The same Spinosaurus model was briefly seen in another National Geographic Documentary Dinomorphosis.
  • Spinosaurus appears in the Japanese animated film Doraemon: Nobita's Dinosaur 2006, where it is the abused pet of an evil time-traveling dinosaur poacher. Also, near the climax, Spinosaurus faces off with Tyrannosaurus only to be defeated.
  • Spinosaurus appears in the first episode of BBC's Planet Dinosaur as a fish hunter and during the drought shown to hunt land animals if there are no aquatic animals to eat (no animal eats one thing being an opportunist spinosaurus would likely eat whatever it could), At one of the remaining pools a Sarcosuchus awakens from its hibernation & warded off the Spinosaurus and then resumed hibernation. It later competes against a Carcharodontosaurus for an Ouranosaurus carcass and defeats it in battle with its claws. The same Spinosaurus model was seen in two other Documentaries PBS's Nova National Geographic Special Documentary Bigger Then T.REX & Top 10 Biggest Beasts Ever from Nat. Geo. Wild AKA World's Biggest Beasts from The Smithsonian Channel. Only it was two documentaries.
  • It also is a playable character in Primal Carnage.
  • Spinosaurus also appears in the 12th episode of The Land Before Time but is inaccurately shown with only two fingers. It was also a minor antagonist in the film.
  • A Spinosaurus makes a brief appearance in the Asylum film Age of Dinosaurs where it was running around the city with the rest of the escaped Dinosaurs & somehow is able to climb on top of a tall building.
  • Spinosaurus appears in the game Jurassic World: Evolution. It is based on the Jurassic Park III variant.
  • In Fossil Fighters series, Spinosaurus is a playable vivosaur.
  • Spinosaurus was the main character in Ricardo Delgado's Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians mini-series.
  • The Dinobot Scorn of Transformers: Age of Extinction, the Decepticon Undermine and his Autobot copy Repugnus of Transformers: Cybertron all turn into a mechanical version of Spinosaurus.
  • The spinosaurus appears in ARK: Survival Evolved as one of the tameable creatures.
  • The Spinosaurus appears in the game Parkasaurus.
  • Spinosaurus appears in the ROBLOX game "Era of Terror: Remastered", like the other dinosaurs in the game, it starts off as a juvenile then grows into an adult, taking about 40 real-life minutes to complete a growth stage.





Calls of the Spinosaurus

Calls of the Spinosaurus

A hypothetical reconstruction on Spinosaurus vocalization.

Jurassic Park - Spinosaurus

Jurassic Park - Spinosaurus. aegypticus Sound Effects HD

Sounds of the Spinosaurus from the Jurassic Park franchise.

Reconstructed sound on the Spinosaurus. Based on the ecological niche, morphology and behavioral evidence in the fossil records and from closest relatives

Reconstructed sound on the Spinosaurus. Based on the ecological niche, morphology and behavioral evidence in the fossil records and from closest relatives.

Reconstructed sounds of the Spinosaurus. aegypticus. Based on Paleontological and Zoological evidence about the animals ecological niche, habitat, morphology, and behavioral patterns in relation to its closest living relatives, sounds of the Great Blue Heron, Nile Crocodile, Southern Cassowary, Griffon Vulture, American Alligator, and Great Barbet all create the base low frequency and chilling bellow of the of what a Spinosaurus' vocals might have sounded like.


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