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The spinosaurus, a huge prehistoric dinosaur

Updated on April 18, 2015

The discovery of the spinosaurus

In 1912 Scientists discovered the remains of a huge dinosaur. They named him "spinosaurus", inpsired by his reptile-like look and its huge sail on his back. Literally translated, he's called the spine lizard. The spinosaurus is part of the superfamily called "spinosauroidea", also known as "megalosauroidea". Both predators existed during the Jurassic era and Cretaceous. THe creature existed around the end of the Cretaceous. Either though his fossils are enormous, only a small amount of fossils have been found.


Lifespan

The spinosaurus existed 112 till 97 million years ago. This era was part of the late Cretaceous. The Cretaceous started from 145 million years ago. It ended with the disappearance of the dinosaurs. This happened 56 million years ago. The exact reason of the extinction of the dinosaurs, still remain unclear. It was most likely caused by a gigantic meteorite impact.


Measurements

The precize length of the creature, remains unclear. Estimations vary in huge amounts. Some scientists say that he could reach a length of 54 foot (18 meters). Its size was bigger than the tyrannosaurus rex. The tyrannosaurus rex was a similar prehistoric predator, which could "only" reach a length of 36 to 42 foot (12/14 meters). Also, the weight of the spinosaurus was a lot more than the average tyrannosaurus. Just like its length estimations, its weight estimations vary a lot. Scientists estimated his weight of somewhere between 7 to 20 tons. To predict its weight, researches have to take account its huge sail on his back.


An enormous sail

Its striking sail on his back probably looked impressive. It is directly connected with its skeleton. It could reach a height of more than one and a half meter (4.5 foot). The exact shape of the sail and skin remains uncertain. Most of the found fossils of its sail are found incomplete. The color of the sail is therefore unknown.


The multiple ways the sail could have been used
Most likely, his sail could cause a sexual attraction between the different genders. In this case, female spinosaurs had a preference for big sails. Just like nowadays bird species, the sail would be colored brightly. It's not only a benefit for the matingritual, it could also be some sort of protection against predators. It could actually scare predators with its sail. Its sail could also function in a way to keep himself warm during night. During daytime it could recollect the warmth from the sun.


A small habitat

Remains of the spinosaurus are only found in North-Africa. These remains are especially found in Marocco and Egypt. This proofs the fact that his habitat was limited. It also proofs that the spinosaurus and tyrannosaurus could not cross each other due space and time. The first spinosaurus fossile had been found in 1912. It was named in 1915. During the end of second world war, these remains got destroyed by allied forces. Thanks to scientific research, scienstist discovered in what kind of environment this creature used to live.


The spinosaurus used his environment effectively

Researchers discovered the fact that a lot of big carnivores live and hunt in packs. Prehistoric animals probably displayed the same kind of behaviour. Although, it remains unclear if the spinosaurus ever worked together. Around spinosaurus fossils, the remains have been found of small creatures and fish. To catch these kind of animals, he probably did not hunt in packs. The dinosaur had long jaws to eat his pray. His skull is comparable with crocodiles. Also, the environment of where the spinosaurus used to live in, looked most likely the same. By hiding in a swamp, he could initiate a surprise attack. With its gigantic jaws, he managed to stop his pray immediately from escaping.

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