029 - Spinosaurids (Spinosaurus and Baryonyx)
February 19, 2021
The Dinosource Podcast
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Spinosaurus aegyptiacus: One of the largest theropod chompy-bois to have ever lived, measuring between 12 and 18m when fully grown and weighing in at 21 tons by some (incredibly unreasonable) estimates. A minimum weight estimate of 7 tons means that this is still no joke of a dino. Although Spinosaurus lived during the late Cretaceous, it was still on the scene about 10-20 million years before T. rex showed up. The first remains were found in North Africa by Richard Markgraf in 1912 and were described by Ernst Stromer. “Spino-” comes from “spine”, referring to the tall neural spines on the creature’s vertebrae, and “aegyptiacus” refers to Egypt, where the first fossils were found, giving “spined lizard from Egypt”.
Baryonyx walkeri: A spooky chompy-boi theropod from the Early Cretaceous of England. William Walker is noted as a “plumber and amateur fossil collector” in England; he found the first fossils of Baryonyx in 1983. Alan Charig and Angela Milner described the near-complete fossil which would have measured between 7 and 10m in life and weighed up to 2 tons. “Bary-” comes from the Greek “barus” meaning “heavy”, and “onyx” means “claw”, as in Acinonyx (a.k.a. the cheetah), giving “heavy claw”, so named because the first specimen collected was one of the creature’s claws. The specific name honors Walker, who found the first fossils in a clay pit.
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