Spinosaurus crossing a river

Spinosaurus

Spinosaurus may have been the largest meat-eater to walk the Earth. At a jaw-dropping 17m long and weighing up to 20 tonnes, it was even larger than the mighty Tyrannosaurus. The story of this giant killing machine is a recent one. Although bones were found and described between 1912 and 1915 in Egypt, it's only in the last few years that a skeleton has been reconstructed. It would have been a formidable predator of North Africa's giant fish 100 million years ago. The long narrow skull is very similar to modern crocodiles and Spinosaurus lived and hunted in water and on land, as crocodiles do today. The most distinguishing feature of this enormous dinosaur were the 1.5m spines running along its back. They formed a sail that could have been used to regulate heat, to deter enemies or to attract potential mates.

Scientific name: Spinosaurus

Rank: Genus

Common names:

spine lizard

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