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Baryonyx

Build & Characteristics

  • Baryonyx means “heavy claw” in Greek because it has a large claw on the thumb of each hand that was over a foot long.
  • Baryonyx measured 30 feet (9 meters) long, 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall, and weighed on average 4,000 pounds (2 tons) that’s equivalent to a modern day Rhino.
  • As a bipedal quadruped, they had the ability to walk on their hind legs for short distances, much like modern day bears
  • Baryonyx had two small arms with foot long thumb claws and a crest on its crocodile-like jaw and over 95 serrated saw-like teeth. That’s more teeth than the Tyrannosaurus Rex!
  • These adaptations helped Baryonyx hunt its primary source of food, fish. Baryonyx was one of the few fish eating dinosaurs in history.

History

  • Baryonyx lived during the Cretaceous period (125 million years ago) in what is now known as England, Spain and Portugal.
  • Baryonyx is believed to have caught fish much like modern day grizzly bears do, using their claws and snout to catch their prey. Due to their bipedal gate and long snouts, another theory is they hunted like modern storks and herons do using their long snout in the water and trapping unwary fish.
  • The Baryonyx main diet of fish may have been supplemented with scavenged Iguanodon or even eating other dinosaurs. Remains of Iguanodon have been found alongside fish scales with Baryonyx.
  • Based on sediment near the remains of Baryonyx, their environment would have had lagoons and been much like a marsh land.

Discovery

  • The first Baryonyx specimen was found in Surrey, England in 1983 by William Walker who was an amateur fossil collector/plumber.
  • The first Baryonyx specimen is still the most complete Theropod (two-legged carnivore) from the United Kingdom as well as the first ever carnivore found in England.
  • You can find the original Baryonyx specimen at the London Natural History Museum.