Spinosaurus (pronounced: SPINE-oh-SORE-us), which means “spine lizard, spiny lizard or thorn lizard”, is the largest predatory dinosaur known to man, measuring 55 feet (17 meters) from nose to tail and weighing in at approximately 12 tons. Spinosaurus lived in the Cretaceous period, around 95 million years ago in an area that is now known as Egypt in northern Africa.
Until just a few years ago, scientists had believed that Tyrannosaurus Rex was the largest predatory dinosaur with the largest fossil specimen measuring 42 feet (13 meters) long. Tyrannosaurus Rex is believed to have weighed about 6.5 tons when it roamed Earth 67 million years ago. Gigantosaurus, another of the largest meat-eaters measured 45 feet (14 meters) in length and weighed approximately 8 tons.
Spinosaurus was a theropod which is a dinosaur that stood on two legs. Tyrannosaurus Rex and Gigantosaurus were also theropods. Spinosaurus utilized bipedal locomotion meaning that he moved about on his two hind legs.
Spinosaurus was first discovered in 1912 by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer while conducting a dig in Egypt. This original specimen, thought to be that of a subadult, was destroyed during World War II although the original detailed drawings and descriptions still remain.
Last modified: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 12:35:26 EST -0500 (GMT)