Rare Spinosaurus Dinosaur Fossils Found on the Isle of Wight | Science | In-depth Science and Technology Reports | DW

With its massive size, unusual scales and fearsome crocodile skull, Spinosaurus has long been a dinosaur fan favorite – its appearance is so distinctive that it was portrayed as even bigger and more powerful than the ferocious Tyrannosaurus rex in the movie Jurassic Park III.

However, despite its popularity, scientists know little about Spinosaurus. Their fossils proved to be nearly impossible to find. So far, archaeologists have discovered only seven of these fossils – the most complete set has been found in eastern Morocco.

So the researchers are ecstatic that new remains of the mighty dinosaur have been unearthed off the southwest coast of the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England.

Spinosaurus: Possibly the Greatest Hunting Dinosaur

In a study published in the journal PeerJ Life & Environment, researchers say the fossils are about 125 million years old.

“It was a huge animal, over 10 meters long and, judging by its dimensions, possibly the largest hunting dinosaur ever discovered in Europe,” said lead author Chris Baker of the University of Southampton.

Where did Spinosaurus come from?

The researchers say the finding supports the hypothesis that Spinosaurus originally came from Western Europe, where it split into several species before migrating further.

Related Spinosauri groups have also been found in southern England, Brazil, Niger, Thailand and Laos.

When was Spinosaurus first discovered?

The first Spinosaurus skeleton was discovered in 1912 in the Egyptian oasis of Bahariyya by Austrian paleontologist Richard Markgraf. It was categorized as spinosaurus in 1915 by the German paleontologist Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach.

Unfortunately, some of the fossils were severely damaged when they were transported from Egypt to the Deutsches Museum in Munich, and the remaining bones were lost in a 1944 air raid on the Alte Akademie museum in Dusseldorf.

On land, Spinosaurus may have walked on two legs

So how big was Spinosaurus?

As there are few other surviving specimens, scientists can only estimate the size and weight of an adult Spinosaurus.

Spinosaurus was possibly between 15 and 18 meters (49-59 ft) long and weighed between six and nine tons. Its skull alone possibly measured around 1.75 meters, making it one of the longest of any carnivorous dinosaur.

And how did Spinosaurus walk and hunt?

Some features, such as its webbed paddle-like feet and a fin-shaped tail, suggest that Spinosaurus hunted fish in shallow water.

On land, Spinosaurus may have walked on two legs. With its long neck and trunk, the dinosaur likely had a very forward-leaning center of gravity.

Fossils found on the Isle of Wight – which include pelvic bones and vertebrae – show that after death, several scavengers likely attacked the two-legged Spinosaurus.

The researchers now want to examine the fossils’ thin layers under a microscope to accurately calculate age and other information about the dinosaur’s growth.

Edited by: Zulfikar Abbany

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: