Spinosaurus facts for kids and students. Learn all about one of the biggest carnivorous dinosaurs ever to have walked the Earth …
- This page is part of ourDinosaur Factsseries.
You can read the whole page if you want to become a Spinosaurus expert, or you can jump straight to the facts you need using the links below:
- Spinosaurus Facts for Kids and Students: Introduction
- Spinosaurus Skull
- How big was Spinosaurus?
- When did Spinosaurus live?
- What type of dinosaur was Spinosaurus?
- Other members of the Spinosauridae Family
- What did Spinosaurus eat?
- Where did Spinosaurus live?
- What was the sail for?
- Spinosaurus fossils
- Spinosaurus vs Tyrannosaurus
- Top 10 Spinosaurus facts for kids
Spinosaurus Facts for Kids, Students &Adults: Introduction
Spinosaurusis one of, if not the, biggest meat-eating dinosaurs yet discovered.It’s also one of the most distinctive dinos, with a huge sailon its back and long, crocodile-like jaws.
Inside those jawsSpinosaurus had widely-spaced, cylindrical teeth. It also had short legs, and flat, paddle-like feet – all of which suggest that itwas able to swim, and spent at least some of its time in the water, preying on fish
On this page, you’ll find out what Spinosaurus looked like, where it lived, what it ate and what scientists think its sail was for. We’ll also take a look at other members of the Spinosauridae family.
Thanks to a starring role inJurassic Park 3, Spinosaurus has become one of the most famous dinosaurs.
You can see Spinosaurus in this clip from Jurassic Park 3. It’s a bit scary … but no one gets hurt!
The Dinosaur with a Fin on its Back
Spinosaurus was a giant meat-eating dinosaur that grew to lengths of 18 m (60 ft.). Spinosaurus probably walked on two legs, but scientists think that it may have been able to walk on all four legs too.
Spinosaurus had a huge sail on its back. This was supported by elongated vertebrae (bones that make up the spinal column). These bony spines were at least 1.65 meters (5.4 ft.) long. They would (probably) have been covered with skin.
Spinosaurus got its name, which means ‘spine lizard’, fromthese elongated spines.
A number of theories have been put forward as to what the sail was actually for. We’ll investigate some of these further down the page.
Spinosaurus’ skull was long and thin, resembling that of a modern crocodile. It was around 1.5 to 1.75 meters (5 to 5.74 ft.) in length.
Spinosaurus had long jaws which widely-spaced, straight teeth. These would have been ideal for catching fish. Its nostrils were on the top of its snout, also suggesting a fish-based diet.
Spinosaurus had a small ridge on top of its head, just before its eyes.
The First Swimming Dinosaur?
Spinosaurus had relatively short hind legs, and proportionally longer arms than most other two-legged carnivorous dinosaurs. Scientists think that because of this, Spinosaurus would have spent at least some of the time walking on all four legs.
Spinosaurus Facts: Size
Spinosaurus grew to lengths of between 12 and 18 metres (40 and 60 ft.).
Estimates as to how much Spinosaurus weighed vary considerably, ranging from 4 to 23 metric tonnes (4.41 to 25.35 short tons). Most studies suggest that weights of between 12 and 20 tonnes (13.23 and 22.05 short tons) were likely.
When Did Spinosaurus Live?
What Kind Of Dinosaur Was Spinosaurus?
Spinosaurus was a theropod. Theropods were a branch of two-legged, predatory dinosaurs that were present from the Late Triassic right up to theCretaceous–Paleogene Extinction Eventthat wiped out the dinosaurs.
In fact, some theropods branched off and evolved into the ancestors of all birds, and are therefore still around today!
Spinosaurus is agenusof dinosaur. A genus is a ‘type’ of animal. A genus can either contain only one species, or several different (but very similar) species.
Palaeontologists have identified two species of Spinosaurus. TheSpinosaurus aegyptiacuswas found in Egypt, and theSpinosaurus maroccanuswas found in Morocco.
Members of the Spinosauridae Family of Dinosaurs
Spinosaurus was a member of theSpinosauridae family. Dinosaurs in this family all possess distinctive, crocodile-like heads. Some also possess sails on their backs.
From fossilised teeth, we know that the Spinosauridae were present from the Late Jurassic period. However, they became more abundant duringthe Cretaceous Period.
What Did Spinosaurus Eat?
As we’ve found, Spinosaurus had many adaptations for a semi-aquatic lifestyle. Its long jaws were filled with widely-spaced, cylindrical teeth, which would have been ideal for catching fish.
Its nostrils were placed on top of its nose, nearer its eyes than other dinosaurs. This may have allowed it to wade with only its eyes and nostrils showing above the waterline.
Where Did Spinosaurus Live?
Spinosaurus fossils have been found in the north African countries of Egypt, Algeria and Morocco. It would have lived alongside dinosaurs such as the plant-eatingOuranosaurusand the fearsomeCarcharodontosaurus,a T-Rex-sized predator.
Spinosaurus teeth have been found in Pterosaur fossils, suggesting that Spinosaurus’ diet wasn’t restricted to fish alone.
Spinosaurus didn’t have things all its own way. A Spinosaurus spine bone that was broken in half by a Carcharodontosaurus has been found.
What Was Spinosaurus’s Sail For?
There are several theories as to what Spinosaurus’s sail was actually used for. One theory suggests that it was a means of controlling body temperature.
Blood vessels close to the surface of the sail would have been warmed by the sun. This would have allowed Spinosaurus to warm up faster than other dinosaurs, giving it a head start when it came to finding prey.
Other theories suggest that the sail of Spinosaurus was brightly colored, and used by males to attract females – in much the same way as the male peacock uses its large, colorful tail.
All that we know about Spinosaurus comes from six fossil specimens.
The first was a partial skeleton found in 1912 and named in 1915 by German palaeontologistErnest Stromer. Sadly, this specimen was destroyed in World War 2, but detailed descriptions remain.
A reconstruction of this specimen can be seen below.
Spinosaurus Vs Tyrannosaurus
WithT Rexbeing up to 12 metres (40 ft.) long, and weighing up to 9.5 tonnes, it was smaller than Spinosaurus. However, T Rex’s huge, powerful jaws and (probable) greater standing height would have made it an evenmatch.
In Jurassic Park 3, Spinosaurus and Tyrannosaurus fight, with Spinosaurus emerging victorious.
Some T Rex fans have disputed the outcome, saying that although Tyrannosaurus was smaller, it was stronger and had a more powerful bite.
However, Spinosaurus wasn’t just a fish-eater, and you only have to look at grizzly bears to know that part-time fish eaters can be pretty tough!
Of course, we’ll never know what would really have happened unless a John Hammond-like billionaire opens a real Jurassic Park!
Top 10 Spinosaurus Facts for Kids
- Spinosaurus is one of the biggest meat-eating dinosaurs, and may even have been the biggest!
- Spinosaurus lived in the late Cretaceous period, around 112 to 97 million years ago.
- Spinosaurus lived in what is now northern Africa. It has been found in Egypt, Morocco and Algeria.
- All that we know about Spinosaurus comes from just 6 specimens.
- The first Spinosaurus ever found was destroyed in World War 2.
- Spinosaurus’s most distinctive feature is its huge sail. This may have been used to control the dinosaur’s temperature, or as a display to attract females.
- Spinosaurus had a long, thin snout filled with straight teeth. It is likely that fish formed part of Spinosaurus’s diet.
- Scientists think that Spinosaurus’s relatively long front legs mean that it probably spent some of the time walking on four legs.
- Spinosaurus may have been able to swim.
- Spinosaurus was a theropod. Theropods are still alive, in the shape of birds.
Spinosaurus Facts for Kids and Students: Conclusion
We hope that you have enjoyed reading about Spinosaurus.
Isn’t it amazing that all that we know about this Cretaceous giant comes from just six incomplete fossil specimens!
- You can find out about many other types of dinosaur here:List of Dinosaurs with Pictures and Information.
- How much do you know about dinosaurs? Read this page and become a dinosaur exert:Dinosaur Facts.
At an estimated maximum length of roughly 15 metres, Spinosaurus was the largest of all known theropod dinosaurs. This enormous, strange-looking theropod prowled the coastal plains of northern Africa, 100–95 million years ago.Can Spinosaurus swim? ›
These arguments are based on new fossils that suggest Spinosaurus had a fleshy, paddle-like tail for swimming and dense bones to help submerge it underwater.Is The Spinosaurus A Boy or a girl? ›
In Jurassic Park III, the Spinosaurus gender is male by Alan Grant after he and the rest of the group escape the plane crash. Alan Grant says in relief, "I think we lost him." The gender is also mentioned in the 8th episode of the fourth season of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous titled "Technical Diffculties".What is Spinosaurus famous for? ›
Spinosaurus was a large meat-eating dinosaur from Africa. Scientists think it may have lived a semi-aquatic lifestyle. Our understanding of Spinosaurus has changed in recent years. For over 100 years we only had very incomplete remains of this dinosaur.What did Spinosaurus prey on? › Did Spinosaurus have 4 legs? ›
According to Ibrahim, Spinosaurus was shaped unlike any other dinosaur, with drastically smaller hind legs than anyone had previously believed. This meant that it was likely quadrupedal, walking on four legs most of the time.Do Spinosaurus lay eggs? ›
Spinosaurus still was able to move on land and lay eggs there, perhaps walking on four legs rather than two like other meat-eating dinosaurs.What is the nickname of the Spinosaurus? ›
Spinosaurus, or “spined reptile,” was named for its “sail back” feature, created by tall vertebral spines.How big are Spinosaurus teeth? ›
The largest teeth were close to 5 inches long! This size is rare however. More commomly, 2 to 3 inch teeth are found. Complete unrepaired teeth are very rare because of the fragile nature of the fossil teeth.Why is Spinosaurus weak? ›
The Spinosaurus also had a major design flaw: its weakest point (its spine) was completely exposed. Although the Spinosaurus' sail may have helped scare away potential threats by making it appear bigger, one bad move and it could be paralyzed by its attacker.
While there is no direct evidence of a battle between T-Rex and Spinosaurus, some scientists believe that Spinosaurus may have been a better swimmer than T-Rex, as it had adaptations for aquatic life, including a long, narrow snout and paddle-like feet.Was the Spinosaurus warm or cold blooded? ›
Spinosaurus' huge sail may have been used for regulating its temperature. It could collect warmth from the sun and also disperse excess body heat when in the shade. The presence of this sail as a thermo-regulatory device is evidence that Spinosaurus may have been a cold-blooded animal.Who is older T-Rex or Spinosaurus? ›
Spinosaurus was probably a bit longer than T. rex, though it was more lightly built. But Spinosaurus lived 10-30 million years before T. rex tromped the Earth.Who is taller Spinosaurus or T-Rex? ›
Giant Spinosaurus Was Bigger Than T. Rex—And First Dinosaur Known to Swim.What are the 2 types of Spinosaurus? ›
Two species of Spinosaurus have been named: Spinosaurus aegyptiacus ("Egyptian spine lizard") and Spinosaurus marocannus ("Moroccan spine lizard"). S. marocannus was originally described by Russell as a new species based on the length of its neck vertebrae.Who hunted the Spinosaurus? › What fish did Spinosaurus eat? ›
What did Spinosaurus eat? Spinosaurus is thought to have survived primarily on fish, including giant coelacanths, sawfish, large lungfish and sharks, which lived in the dinosaur's river system, according to Ibrahim.Are Spinosaurus aggressive? ›
Actually, Spinosaurus is extremely aggressive and territorial, and it attacks any other predator that invades its domain. A very reliable witness claims that Spinosaurus is actually attracted by the territorial marks of other predators, such as T-Rex, and quickly appears to get rid of the intruder.Do Spinosaurus eat fish only? ›
Spinosaurus is known to have eaten fish, and most scientists believe that it hunted both terrestrial and aquatic prey. Evidence suggests that it was highly semiaquatic, and lived both on land and in water much like modern crocodilians do.What dinosaur ate sharks? ›
Mosasaurs were the ocean's most dominant predator at the end of the Cretaceous period and lived across the world's oceans. Large mosasaurs would have likely eaten almost any kind of prey they were able to catch, including fish, sharks, sea birds and even other mosasaurs, according to the U.S. National Park Service.
The Spinosaurus is believed to be the largest carnivorous dinosaur in the world's history. Yet, that doesn't mean it can immediately be considered the deadliest. The Giganotosaurus was another massive dinosaur that could go toe-to-toe with the T-Rex.How do Spinosaurus walk? ›
Spinosaurus stood on its hind legs and walked upright, new evidence has suggested.Did Spinosaurus walk on its knuckles? ›
Scientists believe that Spinosaurus probably walked on its knuckles. Spinosaurus's legs were short, and its jaws were good at catching slippery prey, like fish.How much can a Spinosaurus lift? ›
How strong were arms of the spinosaurus | Fandom. Tyranno's forelimbs were probably vestigial but even those little arms could lift 200 kilograms.Did Spinosaurus have strong legs? ›
Strong, long-boned feet and long, flat claws.
In fact, Spinosaurus may have had webbed feet for walking on soft mud or paddling.
No other carnivorous dinosaur that we know of lived like this. But Spinosaurus is still changing. Our understanding of the water-loving beast is pieced together by scattered remains, and a full skeleton of the animal has never been found.Why did Spinosaurus have a spine? ›
We know from bite marks on hadrosaurs that the back was a favourite area to target for the big meat-eaters, perhaps the spine helped protect the vulnerable back and neck of Spinosaurus.How strong is the Spinosaurus? ›
Spinosaurus. Also known as the “spine lizard”, the Spinosaurus roamed during the Cretaceous period and could exert a force of 4,200 lbs per square inch. This is similar to that of the modern Nile crocodile.Is T-rex an egg? ›
No T. rex eggs have ever been discovered, though scientists have stumbled upon eggs from many other dinosaur species.Why is it called Spinosaurus? ›
Named for its seven-foot-long spines, Spinosaurus lived about a hundred million years ago during the Cretaceous period. It inhabited what is now North Africa's Sahara region, which at the time featured a large river system. Spinosaurus was well adapted for aquatic life.
The researchers who named the newest species of spinosaurid dinosaurs looked at the right jawbone and also vertebrae from a dinosaur found at the Arcillas de Morella Formation in Castellón, Spain. The team named the species protathlitis cinctorrensis – p. cinctorrensis for short.Did Spinosaurus eat other dinosaurs? ›
Evidence, from chemical signatures in isolated fossil teeth to the structure of its jaw, implies that Spinosaurus often ate fish and other shoreline snacks. At the same time, some fossil records suggest that spinosaurids had no issues gobbling up land-dwelling dinosaurs and even winged pterosaurs.What dinosaur has 3000 teeth? ›
|Nigersaurus Temporal range: Aptian – Albian|
Nigersaurus had a delicate skull and an extremely wide mouth lined with teeth especially adapted for browsing plants close to the ground. This bizarre, long-necked dinosaur is characterized by its unusually broad, straight-edged muzzle tipped with more than 500 replaceable teeth.What's a dinosaur with 1000 teeth? ›
Nigersaurus -- so named because it was discovered in Niger -- had the long neck of a Diplodocus and up to 1,000 teeth in its intricate jaws, Sereno, of the University of Chicago, said on Monday.Why is Spinosaurus unique? ›
What really makes Spinosaurus special are its unique adaptations that may have allowed the dinosaur to hunt underwater. Like crocodiles, Spinosaurus had a long narrow snout with nostrils mid-skull, perfect for submerging.Is A Spinosaurus Dead? ›
The battle was hard fought and even led to the scars on the larger dinosaur, but sadly, the Spinosaurus was killed in the battle for dominance. Throughout the Jurassic Park franchise, the Spinosaurus was always the aggressor and was known to attack any prey on sight.Can a spino beat a rex ark? ›
The spino also has great speed on all 4, is quite slow on 2 legs, and is even faster with the water buff. It is also extremely powerful. mode. It also attacks faster than a rex.Who is smarter T-Rex or Spinosaurus? ›
|Swimming Ability||Can swim||Never swim|
|Intelligence||Less intelligent||More intelligent|
|Legs||Thinner legs than the T-rex||Thicker legs than the Spinosaurus|
“Tyrannosaurus rex remains the one true king of the dinosaurs,” said paleontologist Steve Brusatte, study coauthor of the latest analysis and professor at The University of Edinburgh's School of Geosciences in Scotland, in a news release.
Of course, the Tyrannosaurus Rex had the strength to be called “the strongest dinosaur”. Rex, a Latin word meaning “King”, reflects the kingly status it achieved due to its imposing characteristics.Did Spinosaurus have lungs? ›
With its pneumatised skeleton and a system of air sacs (modelled after birds), the Spinosaurus model was found to be unsinkable, even with its lungs deflated by 75%, and this would greatly hinder a semi-aquatic, pursuit predator.Did Spinosaurus hunt underwater? ›
While these dinosaurs probably wouldn't have been able to take to the sea, Spinosaurus and Baryonyx would have likely prowled lakes, swamps and rivers to hunt, using their dense bones to submerge themselves underwater where they could capture fish.Do Spinosaurus live in deserts? ›
Spinosaurus fossils were found in large numbers at the site of an ancient river bed in Morocco, which flowed through the Sahara Desert 100 million years ago. The scientists said their discovery meant the 15-metre (49ft) long, six-tonne dinosaur was not a land-based predator but a largely aquatic one.Is Spinosaurus worse than T. rex? ›
In a T-Rex vs Spinosaurus fight, the T-Rex would come away victorious. The Spinosaurus does have the benefit of being able to ambush a T-Rex at the edge of the water, and that might be the lone scenario where the T-Rex loses.Did Spinosaurus meet T. rex? ›
rex scene is a scene in Jurassic Park III. It features a fight between Tyrannosaurus rex and Spinosaurus. Because the Spinosaurus won the fight, the scene became very infamous among fans.Is Spinosaurus bigger than Megalodon? ›
Megalodon has also been found to be far larger than the gigantic theropod dinosaurs such as Spinosaurus, T-Rex, as well as the large ocean going marine reptiles such as Basilosaurus, and Tylosaurus.Is Spinosaurus the deadliest dinosaur? ›
The Spinosaurus was one of the most dangerous dinosaurs. It is considered the biggest carnivore because it was even bigger than Tyrannosaurus Rex and Giganotosaurus! It is easily identified by its spiny sail and crocodile-like snout.Who is stronger than Spinosaurus? ›
Giganotosaurus would use its speed to smash into the other dinosaur and land deadly, flesh-ripping bites on it. The Spinosaurus's bite was strong, but its teeth were built to grab and hold smaller prey, not take down massive theropods. The Giganotosaurus would be too much for the Spinosaurus to fend off in this fight.What is the scariest dinosaur? ›
- Tyrannosaurus rex.
This meant that it was likely quadrupedal, walking on four legs most of the time. Before this, it was thought that Spinosaurus was mostly bipedal, usually walking on two legs, and may have occasionally used all four.Who was the T-Rex the Spinosaurus killed? ›
The Bull was a male Tyrannosaurus rex that lived on Isla Sorna in 2001. He briefly encountered the rescue party led by Alan Grant before coming face-to-face with the Spinosaurus, where he was ultimately killed in the ensuing fight.What dinosaur has 500 teeth? ›
Bizarre 500-toothed dinosaur
Nigersaurus, you might remember, we named for bones collected on the last expedition here three years ago. This sauropod (long-necked dinosaur) has an unusual skull containing as many as 500 slender teeth.
Megalodons succumbed to global cooling due to the shrinking of their habitat, the vanishing of their favorite prey, and competition from other predators 3.5 million years ago.Is there still 1 megalodon alive? ›
Is the megalodon still alive? 'No. It's definitely not alive in the deep oceans, despite what the Discovery Channel has said in the past,' notes Emma. 'If an animal as big as megalodon still lived in the oceans we would know about it.'Is Spinosaurus the largest predator? ›
Spinosaurus. Spinosaurus was an enormous theropod dinosaur that lived around 95-70 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous. It's the longest carnivorous dinosaur currently known, around three times the length of an African elephant and more than 20% heavier.