Baryonyx walkeri

  • Pronounced:  Bear - ee - On - ix

  • Diet:  Carnivore (Meat-Eater)

  • Name Means:  "Heavy Claw"

  • Length:  40 feet (12 m)

  • Height:  16 feet (5 m)

  • Weight:  4 tons (3,600 kilos)

  • Time:  Early Cretaceous - 120 MYA

Fossil remains for this Dinosaur have been found in Northern Europe, Africa?

Baryonyx was first discovered in a clay pit in England in 1983 by an amateur fossil collector named William Walker. He found its one-foot-long hand claw and took it to the British Museum in London for help in finding out just what he had discovered. Like its relative, Spinosaurus  , this dinosaur seems to have eaten mainly fish. It is thought that the huge claw on its hand would have been used to reach into the water and hook the fish.

The body and back legs of Baryonyx are similar to other theropod dinosaurs, but from there it gets a little peculiar. The arms were long and powerfully built. They had three fingers, one with an enormous claw. The skull was long and low with twice as many teeth - 128 - as most other theropods. Even more strangely, the nasal openings were located on top of its head, just in front of the eyes. It had teeth similar to Spinosaurus  long and conical with small serrations, which was also very unlike most theropods. Baryonyx's neck was long and relatively slender. It is no accident that its skull and teeth are very similar to those of a crocodile as they probably both had a diet consisting primarily of fish. Imagine them as huge reptilian grizzly bears, fishing with those terrible foot long claws.

Scientists are still studying the curiosities this dinosaur presents. It seems to combine some very primitive characteristics with more advanced dinosaurian design. As the only known specimen seems to have been a sub-adult, the upper limits of its size are still theoretical.

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