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More Dinosaur Fact Sheets
Spinosaurus Fact Sheet
Dinosaur/Paleontology Dictionary
NAME: Meaning - Spinosaurus means "spiny lizard" because it had large bony spines on its back
Pronounced SPINE-o-SAWR-us
Named By - Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach
When Named - 1915
DIET: Carnivore (meat-eater). Spinosaurus probably ate plant-eating dinosaurs and large fish.
SIZE: Length - 40-50 feet (12-15 m) long
Weight - 4 tons or more
WHEN IT LIVED: Middle Cretaceous period, about 97.5-95 million years ago
WHERE IT LIVED: Fossils have been found in Egypt and Morocco, Africa.
FOSSILS: Incomplete fossils have been found, including blade-like neural spines up to 6 feet (1.8 m) long. The original fragmentary fossil specimen from Egypt (found in 1912) was destroyed in World War 2.
  • Kingdom Animalia (animals)
  • Phylum Chordata (having a hollow nerve chord ending in a brain)
  • Class Archosauria (diapsids with socket-set teeth, etc.)
  • Order Saurischia - lizard-hipped dinosaurs
  • Suborder Theropoda - bipedal carnivores
  • Tetanura - advanced theropods
  • Family Spinosauria - huge Cretaceous period predators with crocodile-like jaws and neural spines forming a sail.
  • Genus Spinosaurus
  • Species S. aegyptiacus (type species named by Stromer, 1915)
Spinosaurus' sail may have been for heat dissipation - it lived in a swampy environment near the equator during the warm Cretaceous period. The sail may have also been used to attract mates or seem bigger than it was.

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