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Spinosaurus aegyptiacus
Temporal range: Early–Late Cretaceous
Neotype Spinosaurus © Witton 2020 low res.jpg
An artist's illustration of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus - artwork done by paleoartist Mark Witton
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
Synonyms
  • ?Sigilmassasaurus brevicollis Russell, 1996
  • ?Spinosaurus maroccanus Russell, 1996
  • Spinosaurus spinins Irahim & Sereno et al., 2015
Longdeadspinosaur

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus (spin·o·saur·us/pronounced SPINE-oh-SORE-us) ("spine lizard") is a species of large spinosaurid theropod dinosaur, that inhabited the early to middle Cretaceous northern Africa (about 112 mya - 93.5 mya).

It is one of the largest known theropod dinosaurs.

History

The first remains have been officially discovered and named in Egypt by paleontologist Ernst Stromer, in 1915 however, the original remains were destroyed in World War II. The name; Spinosaurus means, spine lizard in Latin. It gets its name from the sail on its spine.

Description

Spinosaurus was a large species of theropod that has belonged to the family of Spinosauridae. The current estimations for Spinosaurus suggest a length estimation between 15 to 16 meters long, [1] 5 to 7 meters tall and weighted between 6.5 to 7.5 tonnes. The most well known anatomical feature of this animal is the elongated spines on its back. The theropod had a crocodylian like elongated face, large arms; long body, and, possibly; elongated and dense tail.

Paleobiology

The main scientific consensus for Spinosaurus, establishes that this theropod was likely a semi aquatic animal. This conclusion has been established by the 2014 fossil discoveries that gave Spinosaurus highly differentiated anatomical features [2], this conclusion has been bolstered by recent discovery as a highly elongated and dense tail, that might, potentially; helped animal to swim against the current of the Rivers. [3]

In addition; there are conducted research that refutes the semi-aquatic thesis for Spinosaurus, such as; a 2018 research, done by paleobiologist Donald Henderson, the research has 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 semi-aquatic animals do not need to perform. The research conducted that Spinosaurus probably did not hunt completely submerged in water as previously hypothesized, but instead would have spent majority of its life on land or around water [4][5][6] however; These studies of the tail vertebrae of Spinosaurus refute Henderson's proposal that Spinosaurus mainly inhabited areas of land near and in shallow water and was too buoyant to submerge. Studies of the tail, specimens recovered and analyzed by Ibrahim, Pierce, Lauder, and Sereno, in 2018 indicate that Spinosaurus had a keeled tail that was well adapted to propelling the animal through water. The elongated neural spines, which run to the end of the tail on both dorsal and ventral sides, indicate that Spinosaurus was able to swim in a similar manner to modern crocodilians. Through experimentation by Lauder and Pierce, the tail of Spinosaurus was found to have eight times as much forward thrust as the tails of terrestrial theropods like Coelophysis and Allosaurus, as well as being twice as efficient at achieving forward thrust. This discovery indicates that Spinosaurus may have had a lifestyle comparable to modern alligators and crocodiles, that this animal might have capable of remaining in water for long periods of time while hunting. [7] In addition; there is also the research conducted at 2010, the scientists directly looked to the oxygen isotope ratios of spinosaurid bones, by comparing Isotope ratios from teeth from Baryonyx, Irritator, Siamosaurus, and Spinosaurus were compared with isotopic compositions from contemporaneous theropods, turtles, and crocodilians. The study found that, among theropods, spinosaurid isotope ratios were closer to those of turtles and crocodilians. However; Siamosaurus specimens tended to have the largest difference from the ratios of other theropods. Spinosaurus tended to have the least difference, this strongly suggests that the different species of Spinosaurids have had differentiated preferences for their habitats. Spinosaurus specimens show similar isotope ratios to other terrestrial theropods. This meant different species of spinosaurids have had differentiated habitat preferences [8][9][10]

Additionally there are a number of counter thesis against the extended tail spines usage for propolsion, and in water; as well [11][12]

The debate whether that the Spinosaurus was entirely aquatic, terrestrial or amphibious, switched between both habitats, will continue to be a matter of debate.

Diet

Its unclear that the Spinosaurus was whether a highly specialized piscivore (obligate fish eater) or a generalist carnivore. All known evidence for Spinosaurus dietary preferences, directly comes from the relative spinosauridae species, for example: The Baryonyx had shown clear indication for generalist behavior, as one specimen's fossilized rib cage has been found to contain prehistoric species of fish, as well as the remains of a sub-adult Iguanodon [13]; as well as another spinosaurid, a more closer relative to Spinosaurus, the Irritator has been found, that either attacked, or ate a large pterosaur [14] and has been suspected to be the dominant predatory theropod of its environment. [15] Additionally, there has been a recent discovery of another spinosaurid, a south Asian spinosaurid known as Siamosaurus, has been directly consumed sauropods, albeit its uncertain that if this event was a scavenging situation or a true hunting.[16]

Based on these paleontological discoveries that the Spinosaurus could be a generalist predator that hunted aquatic animals as massive multiton fish species; such as Mawsonia and Onchopristis, the inhabitant crocodylimorphs, as well as the terrestrial animals, as pterosaurs, such as Alanqa, Anhanguera as well as, small to medium sized dinosaurs, such as Ouranosaurus. It is also possible that the Spinosaurus could be a scavenger, as well as a predator; similiar to modern carnivores.

Notable Specimens

▪NMC 41852/NMC 42852 humerus : Potentially, The Largest Spinosaurinae & Spinosuridae specimen known.

Images (4)-0

The Illustration of NMC 41852 humerus; attributed to Spinosaurinae - Spinosaurus

Cau et. al. compared it to a Limaysaurus humerus and claimed that it was a rebbachisaur, however later determined that it doesn't match rebbachisaur humeri. Ibrahim et al. (2014) supports a spinosaur affinity [17]

▪MSNM V4047 : a very large specimen that has been recovered from the

4 - Copia

The MSNM V Specimen

Kem Kem fossil beds, estimated to be 15 - 16m long and is currently in the Milano Natural History Museum [18]

▪NHMUK R 16421 : another, potentially even larger specimen

Images (3)-1

NHMUK R specimen's illustration/replica

▪FSAC-KK-11888 : a partial, fragmentary subadult

▪MSNM V6894 : a potential juvenile

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.
    Spinosaurus-0
  • 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.
  • Spinosaurus does appear in the game Jurassic World Alive as it does in Jurassic Park 3.
  • Spinosaurus appears in the game Jurassic World The Game.

References

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308792335_Records_y_curiosidades_de_los_dinosaurios_teropodos_y_otros_dinosauromorfos
  2. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/phenomena/2014/09/11/the-new-spinosaurus/
  3. https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/science/2020/04/first-spinosaurus-tail-found-confirms-dinosaur-was-swimming
  4. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/laelaps/spinosaurus-was-a-terrible-swimmer/
  5. https://royaltyrrellmuseum.wpcomstaging.com/2018/08/16/new-research-refutes-claims-that-spinosaurus-was-semi-aquatic/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6098948/
  7. https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/science/2020/04/spinosaurus-graphic-reconstructing-gigantic-aquatic-predator
  8. https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geology/article-abstract/38/2/139/130188/Oxygen-isotope-evidence-for-semi-aquatic-habits?redirectedFrom=fulltext
  9. https://www.oieau.org/eaudoc/eaudoc/page/Oxygen-isotope-evidence-semi-aquatic-habits-among-spinosaurid-theropods-0
  10. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/222090629_Oxygen_isotope_evidence_for_semi-aquatic_habits_among_spinosaurid_theropods
  11. https://mobile.twitter.com/MarkWitton/status/1255814025931296769
  12. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2539575042962116&id=100007289359441
  13. https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/how-did-baryonyx-change-what-we-knew-about-spinosaurs.html
  14. https://www.nature.com/articles/430033a
  15. https://paleorxiv.org/mjt95/
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4734717/
  17. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/suppl/2014/09/10/science.1258750.DC1/Ibrahim.SM.pdf
  18. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1671/0272-4634%282005%29025%5B0888%3ANIOTSO%5D2.0.CO%3B2

Gallery

Videos

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 what a Spinosaurus' vocals might have sounded like.

References

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