The Spinosaurus saga continues..

Spinosaurus is without a doubt one of the most iconic and badass dinosaurs that ever roamed the planet. It’s research history, however, has been complicated to see the least. Some of the original material of this species was lost or destroyed during World War II, and newer specimens discovered since come from questionable sources without detailed information regarding where they were collected from. This makes it one of the more heavily debated dinosaur species, which is not helped by its fearsome public image!

Fantastic new artwork of Spinosaurus by Sergey Krasovskiy

Fantastic new artwork of Spinosaurus by Sergey Krasovskiy

I’ve written about Spinosaurus before, and other great writers have gone into great detail about its history. A new research paper though, by Christophe Hendrickx and colleagues, reports on some new spinosaur discoveries from North Africa that help to clarify previous suspicions about specimens assigned to this beasty, as well as reveal an unusual behavioural feeding aspect of it. The new study is published in PLOS ONE (open access ftw!), and Discover Magazine were kind enough to let me write about it for them, so plenty to catch up on for dinosaur lovers!

Your bite or mine?

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It rises from the dark waters like some behemoth from the deep, and lets out a blood-curdling roar. It’s feeding time. One of the most iconic scenes from Jurassic Park III is where the long-snouted, sail-backed giant theropod dinosaur Spinosaurus emerges from underwater to try, yet again, to eat our beleaguered rabble of misfortunates. It’s always been the way these dinosaurs have been portrayed, including one of Spinosaurus’ close cousins Baryonyx from the UK. With their long snouts, bulbous tips, and pointy teeth, it’s often been thought that spinosaurid dinosaurs were quite a lot like modern crocodiles. But how much of this is true?

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