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Suchomimus
Temporal range: Early Cretaceous
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Suchomimus tenerensis as it appeared in Jurassic World
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Theropoda
Genus: Suchomimus
Sereno et al., 1998
Species: S. tenerensis
Binomial name
Suchomimus tenerensis
Sereno et al., 1998

Suchomimus (Greek for "crocodile mimic") is a genus of large spinosaurid dinosaur with a crocodile-like mouth that lived 112 million years ago, during the late Aptian stage of the Cretaceous Period in Niger, Africa. Sharing many traits with its more larger, relative Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, such as a sail (though the sail of Spinosaurus was noticably larger), Suchomimus was one of the dominant dinosaurs of its time and environment.

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Suchomimus size

Unlike most large theropods, Suchomimus had a very long, low snout and narrow jaws studded with some 100 or more teeth, which were very sharp and curving slightly backward; similar to structure of Fishing Hooks. The tip of the snout was enlarged and carried a "rosette" of longer and sharper teeth. The animal's head and mouth anatomy is reminiscent of slim snouted crocodilians, such as the Australian fresh water crocodile, African slender snouted crocodile, American crocodile, Orinoco crocodile, and both gharial & false gharial, types of large crocodiles with a very long, slim snout, from the regions of Asia, Oceania and south america, that they presumed to have similar habitat and ecological niche. Although it is well known that the spinosaurids had rather generalistic/carnivore behavior; and most likely the suchomimus ecological niche wasn't as specific nor specialized as the gharial and similar slim snouted crocodilians.

Suchomimus also had a medium sized extension of its dorsal vertebrae which may have held up some kind of low ridge or sail of skin, as seen in much more splendid form in Spinosaurus. Detailed study shows that the specimen of Suchomimus was a sub-adult about 10.9 meters (36 ft) in length and weighing between 3-5 tons, but scientists think that it may have grown to about 11 - 12.1 meters (40 ft) long and 6 tons, approaching the maximum known size to most theropods and carnivorous dinosaurs such as T. rex, Allosaurus.

The overall impression is of a massive and powerful creature that ate very big fish & similar water-based prey items; such as medium-to large sized crocodilians; also all other sorts of meat (carrion, if nothing else is available) more than 100 million years ago, when the Sahara was a lush, swampy habitat full of life unlike the barren desert of today.

Etymology and taxonomic history

Suchomimus-factmonster
Fossil cast Suchomimus tenerensis.width-1600.e55677a

Fossil Model of Suchomimus. Notice the Well developed arms for a theropod.

[1] There is a Mounted Suchomimus skeleton in Chicago. Suchomimus tenerensis claws and teeth are also in Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia. Suchomimus has been placed among the spinosaurids, potentially in the subgroup of Baryonchidae. The spinosaurids were a group of large theropods adapted for hunting small to medium sized prey; with elongated, crocodilian-like skulls.

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Well developed hand and Claw of Suchomimus

Apart from the back ridge, Suchomimus was very similar to the spinosaurid Baryonyx, which also had strong forelimbs and a huge sickle-curved claw on its "thumb" and, as with Baryonyx, the claw was the first fossil part to be noticed by paleontologists. Suchomimus was considerably larger than Baryonyx, but a few paleontologists have suggested that the latter might almost have been a juvenile of the former. The only difference is the tall spines running down the backbone although not nearly as tall as the sail of the spinosaurus, it would have supported a low fin or sail in its life. Recent studies of the baryonyx suggests that it also could have supported a fin, and it may well be that the suchomimus is actually a new species of Baryonyx.

Discovery

C0013806-Suchomimus dinosaur, artwork-SPL

After discovering new specimens of Carcharodontosaurus and Sarcosuchus, Chicago-based paleontologist Paul Sereno and his team added a discovery in 1997. In the Sahara, near the Tenere Desert in Niger, they found fossils that represented about two-thirds of the skeleton of a huge meat-eater in the Tegama Bed of the Elrhaz Formation. This was named Suchomimus ("crocodile mimic") after the shape of its head. Its species name comes from the Tenere desert near where it as found.

In Popular Culture

  • It was also mentioned in Jurassic Park III when Billy tried to identify the Spinosaurus, which was the primary antagonist of the movie.
  • Suchomimus appeared on the website for Jurassic World, but unfortunately didn't appear in the actual movie.
  • While not in the trailers so far, it has been revealed that there are surviving Suchomimus populations on Isla Nublar, but they and many other dinosaurs will now face an impending danger in the form of an erupting volcano in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. It is possible that some Suchomimus was saved offscreen.
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  • It was seen as both a sculpture & a fully reconstructed Skeleton in the National Geographic Documentary Beyond 2000 The Explorers.
  • Both A life sized replica & a skeleton of Suchomimus appeared in the National Geographic TV show "Super Croc".
  • Suchomimus is in Jurassic World: Alive. It seems to be based on the Jurassic World website design.
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  • Suchomimus is one of five dinosaurs that are available in deluxe edition of Jurassic World: Evolution. It seems to be based on the Jurassic World website design.
  • It also appeared in three episodes of the anime series Dinosaur King in the first season.
  • It also made a brief cameo as an Animated skeleton next to the out of date Spinosaurus in the PBS Nova National Geographic Special Documentary Bigger Then T.REX.
  • It also appears in Jurassic World: The Game as a legendary carnivore. Since January 11th, 2016, a fully maxed Suchomimus can be hybrid-ed with a fully maxed Dsungaripterus to make the hybrid Suchoripterus.
  • It also appears in it's 1st PlayStation Game Warpath: Jurassic Park.
  • Suchomimus made it's 1st Arcade appearance in the 1999 Dinosaur Arcade Game Savage Quest.
  • It appeared in the 2004 Sci-Fi Film Dinocroc as a hybrid that is a cross between Suchomimus and Sarcosuchus.

Gallery

Suchomimus/Gallery

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