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If you want to catch up on some of the dinosaur discoveries from the past five years, check out our book, 50 Dinosaur Tales at Why Slash 50 Dinosaur Tales. And that's Talley's. Hello and welcome to I know, Dana, I'm here, and I'm Sabrina. And today in our three 100th episode, we're doing Spinosaurus Revisited.
So we're going to go really in-depth into Spinosaurus, including an interview with Nizar Ibrahim, the guy who brought back Spinosaurus in a major way with some excellent new discoveries and all sorts of good work. So we have a lot to talk about with him, obviously. And in the news, unfortunately, not a lot of Spinosaurus news comes up all that often. But I do have a new dyna carried a relative of Dyna Kairis. That's super weird. Klodt herbivore not there.
Is Dinosaurus a different weird one of those. Yeah I Spinosaurus is also a weird one. I mean that's not an herbivore but. Oh we're talking about herbivores right. Yes. They're saying we are dinosaurs. Unless I miss something in the interview producers. But a source is still a carnivore. But yeah. So we'll get into a little bit of directress Kairis to break up all of the Spinosaurus. But before we get into all of that really quickly, I want to thank some of our patrons for helping us make it all the way to Episode three hundred.
And this week, we'd like to thank Reesa Ranger Chris from Dynel for hire Robert Pollycarpus, a yummy rhinoceros, Bill Jeggo and Francis and his Allosaurus and Roon. Yeah.
Thank you so much for all of your support. Without you all, we would not have made it to Episode 300. This is true. And we really enjoy talking to everyone on our discourse, getting to know you through our patron. So if you want to get in on that, then check out our page at Patreon, Dotcom, Eino, Dido. And since this is our three 100th episode and the Spinosaurus episode, we've been mulling over doing another top tier for our Patreon for a while.
So we might as well just release as we kind of just decided to do it right now. But we were planning on calling it Spinosaurus because they sort of go up in scale as we go up the tiers. So Spinosaurus is bigger and sort of batur the penny Zoosk.
Yes, depending how you ask, if you ask the creators of Jurassic Park three, then definitely. So we're launching our Spinosaurus here and with it we're going to give away an exclusive thing every year to only members of the Spinosaurus tier. And for the first year we're going to give away that metal print of the dinosaur that Sabrina made the parading Paris where all of us. Yes. And if you are at the Tyrannosaurus level, you got that before. But we only did that as a one time thing for the hundred and sixty Patrón Mark.
So in the future, if you want it, you can join the Spinosaurus here. And then for future years we'll have to come up with some other exclusive give away. Well, we've got ideas. We do. So there you go.
New tier Spinosaurus Spinosaurus episode. Yeah, 300.
Yep. But before we get into all the crazy Spinosaurus details that we have in this episode, we're going to quickly go into our new. Read the paper describing this new dinosaur was published in the Journal of South American Earth Sciences and written by Claudia Inês, Sorano, Brunious and others. And in it they describe how Rocks and saurus. Pretty sure as how you say it, like I mentioned earlier, is a dinosaur hybrid, which means as a relative of Dana Kairis and Dana Kairis is that dinosaur where the first bones that were found were the large arms with huge claws.
And everybody had these hypotheses that it must be this massive carnivore because what other animal would need such huge arms and huge claws?
Right. Something terrifying. Yes. And they just had the arms on display at the American Museum of Natural History for many years before we found the rest of the skeleton. And then when we found it super weird, Sabrina likes to refer to it as the Jar Jar Binks of dinosaurs because it's got a big, weird head. It's got a humpback, a wide pelvis, because it needed a big gut for its herbivorous diet, despite having these big imposing clawed hands.
So really goofy dinosaur. It's one of my favorites. Definitely. And dinosaur hybrids in general are big weirdoes. So I like the whole group. And I didn't remember this when I started reading the paper. But dinosaur hybrids are ornithomimus hours, which means they're close relatives to things like ornithomimus and Galam. Famous. Oh, fast running dinosaurs. Yeah. When you know that that's the case and then you look at Dyna Kairis, you can see the family resemblance, the sort of bird likeness of them and the legs and the arms and everything, but they're very strange.
So it's hard to remember that they're in that group and not one of the many other groups, kind of like a platypus, like where would it fit? It could be a lot of different places.
Right. Plus, Dyna Kairis was slow moving. Yes, because I don't think its legs were quite as long and gangly as you see on some of the other ornithomimus horse. But this ornithomimus or more specifically, Dyna Chytrid is Roxana saurus. Maybe it should be pronounced Perak Spinosaurus because it starts with the same Paros, Paris or Alvis. But when I was looking up the Greek pronunciation of Paracon, that's how they say it. And Parachini is Greek for Strange, which is just the perfect name for a Dyna chytrid because they are some of the strangest dinosaurs and it literally translates then to strange dinosaur or strange lizard.
I love that name. And then ironically, the species name is Norma Leonsis.
Yeah. Strange but normal.
Yeah, but it's normal. Senses are normal and says because it was found in the nineteen nineties and then it's been sitting in the collection at Ben Amoretta Escuela Normal Day, Coahuila or BNC for short. So really the normal refers to the university that it's related to not it's normalness.
I don't know if there is such a thing as a normal dinosaur anyway. That's true. But if there is a normal dinosaur it's definitely not dinosaur iris or Pakistani source. The location where Pakistani source was originally dug up is in the Cerro del Pueblo formation of Coahuila, Mexico. It's not too far from Texas, sort of southwest from San Antonio, crossed the Rio Grande and all that good stuff. And the Hallah type has a hand claw, some foot bones and a foot claw.
But they also referred some other bones, including more of the hand bones. It's kind of weird that the hand bones are in the referred material, but the hand claws in the hall type must have been where it was found. Yeah, there's also foot claw in the hollow type and some foot bones, but then there's more foot bones in the referred material and then there's also a partial femur and several tail vertebrae. So it's a pretty good smattering of fossils from around the body of Pakistani source.
As with all new dinosaurs or any sort of Jinro or taxon in the animal kingdom, when you're naming a new species or genus or whatever, it has to have something unique about it. And in this case, the unique thing is its claw.
They describe it as strongly curved, which I find strange because I thought maybe that was for a dinosaur hybrid that is strongly curved, but it's not even as curved as the Alvira saw it from two weeks ago, which isn't all that curved. It's way less curved than something like a jamaah with a really curved thing. And it even looks less curved to me than Dyna Kairis. And there's a dedicated its less curved than some of the other ornithomimus or as though than say like Struther Mima's or Galam Amos.
So maybe that's where they're going for that. It's like, it looks like it's in Dyna Kyra, because it's more curved than some of the other ornithomimus or that's my best guess because compared to anything else, it isn't really strongly curved. But they say that the claw is also laterally compressed, which implies that it's not good for digging and it would be better for something like slashing. When we were talking the other day about large claws that animals use that aren't for attacking and therefore digging, they tend to be a little bit broader because that's better for shoveling.
You don't want just like a knife is hard to dig with, but to dig with a spoon. But these are laterally compressed, which is interesting for an herbivore. And the claw also has a large flexor tubercle. What's that? So that's where the muscle attaches to the claw. It's if you were going to hold a claw like a claw bone and then use it as like a knife. All right. As you do, you'll be holding the non sharp end of it, you know what I mean?
Sure. The big bulge that's sticking out of the bottom of the claw there is the flecks or tubercle. So it's the part that the animal would have the muscle attached to that if it flexed it, it would sort of be in the grasping mode and as large. So I guess it probably had a large muscle there and had some good grasping ability. One would assume what it used it for. Nobody knows, because it's dangerous, aggressive. It's just a big mystery.
Andina carried here. Oh, yeah, true. Not Dana Kairis. It's Perak Sensories. So given that it's laterally compressed, it might have been used for slashing at something. Maybe it could be used for combat self-defence, holding leaves, ripping them violently from trees. I don't know.
It's weird something we might find out years from now that we would never have considered.
Yeah, or it could be a combination of lots of things, as is usually the case with evolutionary traits. Maybe it was for building nests or something. Yeah, could be.
I mean that's what it ended up being with sauropod claws on their feet. Do you think part of it is for digging nests. So sure, any source is from the campaign in which is a first for North American Dyna Chytrids, which puts it at eighty million years old, plus or minus about four million years. So it's pretty late as far as dinosaurs are concerned. All Democrats are Cretaceous. So that's not too surprising. I think all ornithomimus in general are Cretaceous.
I might regret saying that, but yeah, it's a more derived animal, obviously. And in terms of size, it was about five point seven metres, ah, 19 feet long and it weighed about 600 kilograms or thirteen hundred pounds, which makes it similar to Baoshan long, another dinosaur. And they also have similar looking feet, the authors pointed out. But both of those are way smaller than Dyna Kairis. Just for the sake of completeness. Dyna Kairis was about eleven metres ah thirty six feet long and weighed about sixty four hundred kilograms or fourteen thousand pounds so large.
So it's like a tenth of the weight of Dyna Kairis and half the length basically. And the length doesn't really mean all that much because these are really stocky animals. They didn't have long tails. It's not like a sauropod where the length really gets extreme as they get bigger. It's all in the gut, in the hips for these animals.
So, yeah, it's it's pretty small. As far as Dudnik kids go, I would say in their phylogeny. I was expecting it to come out near Baoshan long since they're from a similar time period. They have similar looking feet, similar sizes and all that. But they didn't. It actually came out closer to Dyna Kairis, which maybe shouldn't be too surprising since it's from North America and they're both from North America. But it's also a close relative to Garuda Mima's, which is a Mongolian dinosaur hybrid.
So that's kind of weird. Just add that to the strangeness. Yes. However, Baoshan Long is in a nearby outgroup, so it's not that far away. And real quick, so we don't interrupt the interview because it is amazing and I don't want to pause for an outbreak, we're going to do a quick and break from our sponsor. Today's episode has brought to you by every plate America's best value meal kit, they recently started offering contactless delivery to your doorstep, which is awesome if you're trying to minimize exposure.
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Yes, yes. That's why we have this podcast to keep up with the Golden Age of Data's. So in this book, we have a whole bunch of stories. Fifty, to be exact, including every major group of dinosaurs from all seven continents. And every short story is from a dinosaur discovery since twenty fourteen. So they're all very new discoveries that aren't in a lot of other books. In addition to those 50 stories, they're also one hundred quick fact sheets about other finds from the last six years.
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And now we begin our epic dive into Spinosaurus, starting with our interview with Nizar Ibrahim and real quickly, I should mention, we have an extended version of this interview for all of our patrons, which is especially important this time because it includes a lot of questions that patrons asked. We told our patrons that we were going to be interviewing Nesar and asked if they had any questions and we couldn't fit them all in the show because we were bumping up against a two hour lag episode.
So if you want the extended version of the interview, then check out the premium content feed, which is available to all of our patrons. We're joined this week by Izzat Ibrahim, he's a paleontologist, anatomist, assistant professor of biology at the University of Detroit, Mercy, National Geographic explorer and TED Fellow. And of course, you probably know him for his work on Spinosaurus, but he's done other cool stuff with dinosaurs as well. Thank you so much for joining us.
We've been looking forward to this interview for quite a while, though. My pleasure. OK, so diving right in what first got you interested in Spinosaurus? Well, it is in many ways the holy grail of dinosaur paleontology, right? It's a really, really bizarre dinosaur. And for a very long time, we just had all these tantalizing clues. Right. We had a few drawings of the very first Spinosaurus skeleton described. And all the bones of this original Spinosaurus were destroyed in World War Two.
We knew that it was a very large dinosaur, probably even bigger than T-Rex. And we knew that it was a very strange dinosaur with a giant sail on its back and crocodile like Jaws. And that was pretty much it for several decades. And so there was always a mystery I wanted to solve one day. Right. In science, I think you always want to make a discovery that is shedding light on a big mystery. Right. And we also my team was really interested in exploring this particular part of the world because Africa is really lagging behind other continents in terms of its representation in paleontology.
We know very little about Africa's age of dinosaurs. And so I always wanted to go to Africa and fill some of these big gaps in our knowledge, and that included resurrecting Spinosaurus and the strange world that lived in. So there are a number of reasons why I was interested in Spinosaurus, and the historical background was also an important factor. Spinosaurus was uncovered by a pioneering German paleontologist and trauma. And so I also got to to do a lot of historical research on this paleontologist and his life and the loss of his fossil collection.
And it's very dramatic. And so I always had this desire to kind of follow in his footsteps and and rediscover Spinosaurus and these other African dinosaurs he unearthed over one hundred years ago.
Yeah. So how did you what was your first or maybe last step? I'm not sure. I'm getting into Africa looking for Spinosaurus, trying to actually find the material. Well, it was a long journey. I guess I knew that I wanted to be a paleontologist since I was about five years old. And it was always my goal to go to these far flung places, places like the Sahara, and unearth dinosaurs like Spinosaurus. But of course, there are a few things you have to do before you can embark on your first expedition.
So I got my undergraduate degree at the University of Bristol and Geology and and Biology. I then embark on a PhD project at the University College Dublin in Ireland, which is kind of ironic. It's one of the few places in the world that doesn't have any dinosaur Ireland. But that's where I kind of crafted my plan to explore the Sahara, and that became the focus of my PhD thesis. And so I decided to explore a portion of the Sahara known as the Kamkwamba region and the border region between Morocco and Algeria.
And I decided to visit museum collections all around the world to look at fossils of Saharan dinosaurs and other animals that lived alongside these dinosaurs. And I also decided to start a series of expeditions, which was a pretty daunting task at the time I was in my mid twenties. Right. And it's there's no handbook that tells you how to lead an expedition to the Sahara. It's not there's no Sahara expeditions one to one course right at the university. And so I put together this this very first expedition on a shoestring budget.
And I was the first of many. And over the next few years, we uncovered thousands of incredible fossils of flying reptiles and crocodile like hunters and of course, dinosaurs, including a new skeleton of Spinosaurus, the only one in the world today.
Yeah, that is amazing and quite an achievement, especially for such an early paleontologist.
Well, it was, I think when we first described new remains of dinosaurs, I think many people said, well, you set the bar pretty high. This is a you know, I don't want to reveal too much, but of course, we ended up publishing what I think was an even bigger. Brian Spinosaurus this year in terms of the impact it has on our understanding of dinosaur biology, but we have a few other things, if you are the manuscripts in preparation and we have found some really amazing new field sites.
And so I guess I can tell you that there are a number of really, really exciting discoveries in the pipeline. So good. Yeah.
So there's more to come on some of PubMed.
How'd you end up picking going to the chemical beds rather than going to Egypt where the original Spinosaurus material was found?
Well, we knew that the barrier formation in Egypt, which is where the first Spinosaurus fossils were unearthed, were actually unearthed by a fossil collector at Margraf, not by his not by its former himself. We know that this geological package preserves fossils of animals that are very similar to animals we find in other parts of the Sahara. In fact, we know that Spinosaurus remains are found all across the Sahara in places like Algeria and Morocco. And the thing about the Moroccan outcrops is that there is a lot more exposure to the area, the area that you can actually collect fossils and in Egypt is actually not that big.
But in Morocco, you have rocks off, we think, pretty much the same age, and they're exposed over a much, much larger area. And also it just seemed more doable in terms of the logistics. If you look at places like Libya today or also Egypt, which can be really complicated in terms of getting access to to to dig sites, Morocco just seemed like a safer option if your thesis depends on job.
So it was risky enough as it was, because I basically set out to uncover new fossils from the temkin and it's a very difficult place to find good fossils in. So it was already a pretty big gamble in many ways. So I didn't want to make it even riskier by going to Egypt or other places where maybe I wouldn't get all the necessary paperwork and what have you. Having said that, we're now in the process of expanding our scope. And, you know, I am in frequent communication with colleagues in Tunisia, Egypt and other places.
So we're really going to tackle other areas of the Sahara in the in the very near future.
So that's great. I'm glad that you're going back to Egypt, too, because we got a listener question that was basically what do you think about the difference or potential differences between Spinosaurus that was in Egypt and Spinosaurus that was in the chemical imbeds? Do you have any thoughts about that?
Well, I'm really, really glad that you bring this up, because this is a question that a couple of people have asked. I know that animals like Spinosaurus generate a huge amount of interest and discussions. And you're not just not going to get those kinds of discussions and that level of interest if you're describing a new bivalve or ammonite. Right. But one of the things that people kept saying is like, oh, you know, this is so and so many thousands of miles away from the Egyptian Spinosaurus site, you know, can this be the same species?
So here's the thing, two parts to my answer. One is that all the bones we have are a really good match to the ones from Egypt, as far as we can tell, from the drawings and the photographs of the original Spinosaurus skeleton. And that includes the Taleban's Chioma had Taleban's that were just not very well preserved. But they're a perfect match for our tail bones. But the other thing I would say is if you look at the distribution of other dinosaurs, nobody seems to be bothered by the fact, for example, the T-Rex ranges from Texas all the way to Canada.
Right. And so that kind of raises some questions. And the other thing is look at the distribution of large animals today. Look at the geographical distribution, especially especially historical ranges of, say, lions or Nile crocodiles, you know, the range of a huge parts of the African continent. So I really don't see why an animal the size of the Spinosaurus wouldn't range from, you know, across North Africa. There's really no particularly good reason to say that it didn't.
So I really don't think that's a big issue.
That's a good answer. Makes sense. They're just saying how the Sahara is about as big as the continental US. So, yeah, we've got plenty of animals that exist on the east and West Coast.
That's right. I was just thinking that because there's there's been a few debates online about Spinosaurus and your recent papers, I guess as one, because you mentioned comparing to modern animals. Can you talk a little bit about the tail in the most recent paper and how you tested for it being Bayway, although Paddleford Water and everything?
Yeah, sure. So the thing is, every part of the skeleton of Spinosaurus essentially has water like. Written all over it. All right, so you look at the head and it is an animal with long, narrow jaws and conical teeth, which are great for catching slippery prey. We know that Spinosaurus had unusually dense bone, which we know is important in buoyancy control. In the water, the hind limbs are reduced in size, which again is something we see, for example, in the evolution of whales.
Right. We can see how the legs get shorter and shorter and essentially disappear. You just have remnants of hipbones and some whales today. And of course, we know this, Finestra, have lived in a place that was full of giant fish. We're talking car sized fish. And so there was a lot of circumstantial evidence for Spinosaurus being essentially a river monster. Right. One key part that we're missing in our story, I guess, was a motor car, something to move this animal through the water.
And when we unearthed the tail, which was almost complete, it's about 80 percent complete. We just couldn't believe our eyes. Right. This was a tail that looks like a giant paddle. You know, it's a fin like structure. And so knowing what we know about Spinosaurus, of course, we thought, well, this must be the thing that actually propels this animal through the water. But rather than just focusing on our anatomical observations and and our interpretations of the fossils, we specifically decided to team up with literally the best people on the planet to do this, to show quantitatively that this tale would actually provide a significant advantage.
So we teamed up with George Lawder, who is like the Yoda aquatic locomotion.
You know, he's just a really, really good and and and known all around the world for his work on fish tails and so on. And so when he looked at this, he was just like, oh, my God, this is a tail that propels this animal through water. Right. And so they did some testing. And I saw the test set up in this waterflood tank where they basically compare different tail shapes, the shapes of other dinosaurs to Spinosaurus also compared the test of some living animals to to the tail of Spinosaurus.
And the main message you get from the testing is, yes, this tail provides a significant advantage in water. And to be honest, it's really hard to think of any other reason why an animal that basically looks like a river monster in all other aspects of its anatomy would have such a tail. So it's consistent with all the evidence we have at all points in the same direction. And so those were rigorous analysis. Having said that, of course, this is not the end of the Spinosaurus story and we're going to do further testing.
We're going to build highly sophisticated 3D models of this animal to really reconstruct in detail how this animal moved through the water. But this is this is work that will take years to do if you want to do it well, you know. So there are lots of other interesting projects and projects for other students in the Spinosaurus skeleton because it's such an amazing dinosaur.
Did you have, like, a favorite piece of your art or anything like something that the paleo art showed you that you really appreciated?
Well, there was just so many great pieces out there. It's just I was actually, you know, I would scroll through pages and pages of paleo art like at 1:00 in the morning, because that's usually the earliest I would I would actually have time to do that because we what on other papers and stuff. And I would just go like, oh my God, I spent the last hour looking at these images. I don't think I can do this anymore.
But there's so many amazing piece of artwork in here. And so I probably missed most of them. But there are just so many great ones. I don't think I can really pick one. That's great particular example. But of course, we have our own very talented artist, David Panettone. But it was really amazing. And he's going to illustrate many of our future finds. So he already knows about some of these other things we uncovered. Oh, nice.
So, yeah, there's some really great artwork coming from David in the next few months.
Going back a little bit, it seems like you've been building a case like this last paper with the tail was the nail in the coffin. But there was a recent paper, was it? I think just before that it was kind of talking about the marine environment, basically that Spinosaurus was in. And then, of course, like the 2014 papers, it seems like. Would you say that you're kind of building a case like does it seem likely that there are other dinosaurs that could have this kind of semi aquatic lifestyle?
Well, I guess the other paper you're referring to is probably a paper we published just a week before the Spinosaurus paper that was kind of like a big overview of the fossil assemblage. And it was really looking at everything. And, you know, the. Environments, everything from tiny little lizards to dinosaurs and was a that was largely based on my PhD thesis and ended up being a two hundred plus page monster. But yeah, there was really just kind of a holistic view of the time.
So it wasn't really so much about Spinosaurus. It was really about providing a proper geological framework for all of the fossils that I found there and the different a review of the taxonomy and so on. So but as far as the Spinosaurus papers are concerned, yes, I guess in some ways we have been building up a case and that's just based on the fossils we find. You know, I mean, if we had found the other adaptations, you know, that's not the idea we'd have.
We would have pushed. But as I said, everything we find just builds up this picture of essentially a river monster, a dinosaur going after large aquatic prey. And the tail was probably the most important piece in the sense that it strongly suggests that this animal was not a waiter, just kind of wading into the water and waiting for a fish to swim by, which is a bit of a problematic strategy to begin with for a very large animal and animals to do that today.
Like grizzly bears, for example, only spend a small amount of the time doing that. And not all grizzly bears do that right, catching fish. And they also eat a lot of other things. But with an animal like Spinosaurus, I always felt like that was not really a very realistic strategy. And there are some other issues which which were publishing in another upcoming paper, actually. But the tale shows us that this was an animal actively pursuing prey in the water column.
And that's a big difference from a waiter to an animal that's actively pursuing prey in the water. And as I said, the prey it was going after was in the XXL category. Right. Redefeat, big fish. That's another important thing to remember, because some people said, oh, an animal the size of Spinosaurus, how could it catch fish? If you're that big, that fast, you only need to be faster than the prey you're after.
Right. It's a bit like when people are saying, oh, T-Rex wasn't very fast, so it must have been a scavenger. Well, you only need to be as fast as a triceratops or something. And, you know, T-Rex could definitely do that. So I think that's an important thing to remember when we look at the size of dinosaurs. But, yeah, the tail was kind of the the big missing piece. There are other pieces of evidence.
And one thing I should also add, I don't know if I ever said that in another interview, but I'll do this on your in this interview. So this is a little piece of exclusive news, but we have other parts of the skeleton of Spinosaurus that have not been described yet.
Oh, nice. Is it from the same individual?
It is from the same individual. Yes.
So, again, stay tuned.
I'm excited. Yeah. Yeah, I was there was the idea.
I just have to wait a few months. Yeah, just a few months. I'll take it. Yeah. It's not long at all.
You're very patient. We mentioned briefly how like Africa in particular is really under explored and really underserved in a paleontological context.
Yeah, I think well I think Africa is an interesting story because it's our planet's second largest landmass. And yes, it's a very important piece of the bigger picture. But when you look at at the data sets we're using to reconstruct the Mesozoic and really the entire history of life on Earth, these data sets are heavily biased. And so they're mostly based on discoveries and museums and universities located in places like North America and Europe. And we now have some more contributions from places like China and Brazil and so on.
But it's pretty obvious that Africa is severely lagging behind. And so we're trying to fill these big gaps in our understanding, but we're also trying to do some capacity building in the developing world. And so for a long time, paleontological expeditions to Africa were essentially kind of in many ways performed a bit like in colonial times. Right. So there's a bunch of Western scientists going in there. They'll involve one or two local scientists, but not in a serious manner, and then they'll just take the fossils out of the country.
So we're trying to take a very different approach. We established a big research collection in Casablanca in Morocco. So that's where all the Spinosaurus bones are right now as we speak. How fantastic. And thousands of other Kanchan fossils. This is, in fact, the best Kanchan fossil collection in the world right now. So we established this research collection. We involve Moroccan scientists and students and we're trying very hard to get museum projects in this part of the world off the ground, including a campus museum in Casablanca.
And so for me, one very important aspect. If you know that the kind of publicity our work is getting, the kind of visibility of our work, is that it really draws attention to Africa's incredible paleontological heritage. So for people in Morocco, for example, it's really important to see that discoveries from their country have such a big impact. You know, Spinosaurus was featured on the cover of Nature. That's the world's top scientific journal. And that makes people in places like Morocco listen to know, oh, my God, this is apparently a big deal.
Maybe we do need to to to do more to kind of protect our ancient paleontological heritage. So that's one of the things I'm trying to achieve to to make sure that African countries can can develop a more vibrant cultural landscape with museums and exhibits and also professionally curated collections. But it's it's it's difficult. I'll admit that it's not easy. It's not, you know, knowing that the Spinosaurus bones are in Casablanca now, for example, is a really great feel good story.
But it's challenging because you want to make sure that these fossils are kept under in a professionally curated collection for for many more decades to come. You know, and that's not always easy. And we've seen in places like Syria and Iraq what can happen to museums and archaeological sites, right. When things suddenly change, you know? Yeah. So it's it's a pretty daunting challenge. But at the same time, I think that this is really a responsibility we have as paleontologists today.
We can't just keep doing things like in colonial times. Right. We really have to do more.
I think we have some listener question for you if if you have time. Yeah. So first, basically, if you think Baryonic and Suco Mima's were also very Aquatica, were they maybe more in between, more semih aquatic?
Well, in many ways, uh, they seem to be more in between. And, you know, they obviously lived before Spinosaurus. And so you can see some features like the narrow jaws and what have you. But then other parts of the skeleton still look more or less like like what you would see in other predatory dinosaurs. Having said that, we're currently working on a paper that is going to directly address that question. So I can't reveal much more.
But I can tell you it's it's very exciting. And stop talking now because I know I'm going to give something away. Next question.
You mentioned a little bit how the really big fish. And so that tells you about the food source of Spinosaurus. Do you think that's enough to account for all the large predators we had in Northern Africa, or do you think maybe there was something else that was allowing them all to exist in the same space?
Well, it is true that this place, which I call the River of Giants, for obvious reasons, was home to an incredible, dizzying diversity of giant fish. Right. Huge coelacanths and giant swordfish and lungfish. And it's really pretty amazing. You know, sometimes we pick up fish scales that are so big, it's just kind of blows your mind. So that's certainly true. There are lots and lots of fish, many of the predators we see.
And actually that's true not just for the dinosaurs, but also for the pterosaurs. And the crocs were relying on fish as the primary food source. And of course, we know that many pterosaurs were probably fish eaters, but that partly explains what we're seeing. Another thing I would add is that the different predators are quite different in their skull architecture. So if you compare the skulls of Spinosaurus and carried the and so on, you see pretty dramatic differences.
So they're clearly avoiding direct competition. And for one thing, so we know that most of the predators, fish eaters. But you're absolutely right, there's still some other predatory animals in that strange world that probably would have mostly relied on things like other dinosaurs. And Stormare speculated about this and he was wondering, what were they feeding on whether just feeding on other predatory dinosaurs, which is probably very unlikely. That's not typically how food webs function. That's consistent with what we know about the physiology of dinosaurs and so on.
Although there are some present day examples, there are some cobras almost exclusively feed on other snakes, for example. Right. So so predators eating predators, it's not completely unheard of, but it's very, very rare. And it's not something we would expect in dinosaurs based on many, many different lines of evidence. But another possibility is that, you know, what we're seeing is this this this nearshore river system. Right. So this would have been the margin of Africa about one hundred million years ago.
And so it could be that this particular region, this river system that was near the coast or was on the coast was not a. A particularly good environment for large plant eating dinosaurs, maybe just didn't have the kind of vegetation they needed and so on, but those are the places where excavating. So maybe if you go further inland, so to speak, you would see a slightly different picture. But that's something we'll we'll have to wait to find out.
Um, another thing I would add is that we do have a large plant. Eating dinosaurs are very rare compared to pretty much any other dinosaur assemblage we know, but they are not absent. And we found some bits and pieces of very large sauropod dinosaurs. So they were clearly not particularly frequent visitors in this river of giants. But every now and then you stumble over a sauropod bone and some of the pieces we have found belong to animals that were absolutely gigantic.
You know, that would have weighed as much as an entire herd of elephants. A great meal.
Yes, exactly. So I think it probably would have been enough to to feed things like Cascara. Don't just, you know, if if most of the other predators are relying on fish primarily.
Awesome. Thank you. So you have, I think, just a couple more. This one's really interesting. Something I hadn't considered. I don't know if you've thought of it. It probably really helps that you've had a good look at the fossils compared with trying to piece together information from pictures. But one of our listeners is saying, when you look at the sort of sail shape, whether it's the fossils themselves or in the paleo diet, it kind of has a back swept look to it.
Is that do we think that was a Spinosaurus trait or could it have possibly been like a tough economy issue, whereas there might have been more variability or maybe it was more upright during lifetime?
Well, our tail shape is entirely based on the fossils we found, as well as Thomas Sayle. It just is, I think, the most accurate representation of the fossils we have. Having said that, you know, we have found a couple of isolated Dorsets of dinosaurs in the past. And I you know, I don't think that every Spinosaurus individual had an absolutely identical Sayo shape. Right. I think this is I wouldn't be surprised if this is a feature that actually varied pretty drastically across individuals and probably also changed when as the animals grew larger.
Right. So I don't even know, maybe a baby Spinosaurus would have hatched without a sail out of the egg. Right. It certainly would have been pretty awkward to fit a sail in an egg. Right. So so I don't really I know some people are very interested in not to say obsessed with the sail shape, but I really don't think it's you know, it probably varied quite a bit. And I know some people are wondering, did it have a circular a kind of more circular shape or did it have the little the little dent or kind of saddle shape?
Or as I said, our reconstruction is based on the material we have. And if we find other parts of the sail, we might revise it. But I don't think that the same shape is really a feature that that looked exactly the same in different individuals.
And then the final listener question, maybe the most relevant is what are you working on next, if there's anything you want to share?
Well, I hinted at a couple of people were working on it. So as I said, there is more to come on Spinosaurus. We have some really cool new fossil material from a wide range of groups, from fish to crocs to flying reptiles. We also have one really, really exciting new site. And that site is completely different from all the other sites we have worked on in the past. And I think we've got something really big there. That's all I'm going to say.
We'll have to find out if I can you can you give us a hint of where the site is?
If you insist. It's in Africa. You're welcome.
In the Sahara Desert. You wow. See, I gave away too much. You guys are good.
So we've narrowed it down to an area the size of the US. Yeah. Just because I'm so generous.
Well, for our listeners, then where's the best place for them to learn more about you and your work online? The best place to learn about my work is when National Geographic put together some really great pieces. Actually, we brought one of their writers to the chem camp last summer. Michael Resko and Michael is great. It was a fantastic team member. So I feel a little bad that we made him suffer so much because we were out there in July, which is pretty hot in the Sahara.
And so, you know, but he survived. He's still tweeting, so clearly he's still alive. And I promise, Michael, that the next time we go, we're not going to go in July and I'm going to keep that promise.
You're going to go that August in August. That's right.
Yeah. So Michael wrote this great article on the new tale. There are a couple of TED talks. I did. I have my own website as well. Oh, great. What's that? It's just my name. Did you just search for news that paleontologist should be one of the first things that pops up? Great. So there's more to come. And we're working on a number of interesting outreach projects as well. So that includes things like potential documentary films, exhibits and so on.
So we're just getting started. Yeah.
So it's like you said before we started recording, there's so many aspects here. You got historical, biological and then outreach and so things.
Yeah, I think I think it's a it's a good time for for paleontology outreach, but it's also challenging one in some ways. I think, you know, scientific outreach in general is really important now. But the problem is that I alluded to this earlier on. I think it's difficult for some people to to kind of identify good, reliable information from someone's blog musings. Right. And so that's that's one challenge now with science communication. You know, I mean, I do not use events like as a speaker, Nancy, or live events.
And that's great because you really have the time to engage with the audience and take them through the whole scientific process and so on. But there's also a lot of misinformation out there, not just in paleo, but even more so in other areas of science. And so, yeah, it's a it's a big challenge. But I think as scientists, we have to spend some of our time doing outreach and making sure the public remains interested in science and also understand that science is very important in answering many, many different questions.
Well, thank you so much for spending some of your outreach time on us. We really appreciate it.
I was a lot of fun. I think it's great what you guys are doing. So keep up the good work. Thanks again. These are not only for coming on our show and doing the interview with us, but also for all your work with Spinosaurus, because it is truly inspiring and one of the greatest dinosaur stories I've ever heard of. So excellent in all regards. We look forward to the upcoming papers.
Oh, yeah. And now the moment you've all been waiting for our Dinosaur of the Day is Spinosaurus, although if you just listen to our interview with Nizar Ibrahim, we did cover a lot about Spinosaurus already, but we'll go deeper in this segment.
There's a lot of history here to get into. Yes. So buckle up. It's going to be long. Spinosaurus was a spine, a sword that lived in the Cretaceous and what is now North Africa. It's one of the largest known carnivorous dinosaurs. It's estimated to be up to 59 feet long, which is about 18 leaders, and weighed 20 tons. The new estimates from 2014 and 2018 suggested it could be between 49 and 52 feet long, or 15 to 16 meters, and weighs six point four to seven and a half tons is another case of a shrinking dinosaur, which often happens.
The estimates get a little more realistic as time goes on, but is comparable in size to T-Rex, at least lengthwise. Spinosaurus had a long, low, narrow skull similar to a modern crocodile, so it wasn't short and high. Like other theropods that had large bite forces, Spinosaurus had a narrow snout and the tip of the top of the snout rounded up a little bit to fit the lower jaw. And you see this in crocodiles. It's so they can grip smaller prey like slippery fish.
It's one of the only dinosaurs that has a bit of an underbite.
Yes, a complete snout from the Kamkwamba estimates the skull length of Spinosaurus of about six inches or 175 centimetres, although the skull length by Ibrahim and others was closer to 63 inches or one hundred and sixty centimeters.
Still large. Yeah, Spinosaurus had a small crest in front of its eyes. Again, the tip of the snout was expanded and it had large front teeth. The nostrils were high up in front of the eyes, which is unusual for carnivores because usually the nostrils are in front of the snout and this nostril placement may be based on how Spinosaurus lived, which was that it was semi aquatic. Spinosaurus had straight conical teeth that were serrated. However, the teeth could not crush bone.
The teeth were narrow and sharp and the largest teeth stuck out from the tip of the snout and the sides. Spinosaurus had a long, muscular neck that curved in an s shape, and it had large shoulders and large, stocky forelimbs on its hands. It had three fingers each and there was a large claw on the first digit of each hand.
The other digits had reasonably sized claws as well.
Yeah, just this one was much larger. Yeah, the fingers were long, the claws were somewhat curved and its hands may have been longer compared to other Spinosaurus compared to other large theropods. Spinosaurus had a smaller hipbone. Its hind limbs were about 25 percent of its total body length and its tibia was longer than its femur.
In general, its legs were shorter than other theropods. Hmm.
The fourth toe, the helix touched the ground too, which was unlike other theropods and its toes had shallow claws with flat bottoms similar to shorebirds. And that may mean that Spinosaurus feet were webbed. There is a lot of debate over how much time Spinosaurus spent in the water and we will get to that. But for now, let's talk about the spine's. So Spinosaurus had neural spines on the back that were about five point four feet or one point six five metres long, and they were probably connected by skin making it sail like these neural spines were a little longer front to back at the base.
Some scientists, however, think that instead of a sail, the spines were covered in fat and formed a hump. If it was a sail, though, there'd be a membrane of skin and thin tissue. In 2014, Ibraham and others suggested that the spines were covered by skin like a crested chameleon, and due to compactness and sharp edges, it probably had poor blood flow. Spinosaurus is neural spines are much larger than the neural spines of other spinal soreheads, the sale on its back may have been for thermoregulation or display.
So to attract mates or intimidate rivals or make it look larger, if it was for thermoregulation, it had a lot of blood vessels so they could have used the large surface area to absorb heat so that it would not overheat. Spinosaurus was so large that it had effects of giganto 30.
So basically it was so big that when it produced heat from moving around or digesting food or something, that its body tissue, even if it wasn't blubber or something intended to keep heat in all that extra mass around, it would keep heat in. So it might have been in danger of overheating and thus the help of having a sale for reducing that. Yes, the sale also may have helped it warm its blood enough to counter the cold waters that Spinosaurus spent its time in.
That's a fine idea. And of course, it could be for both display and thermoregulation doesn't necessarily have to be either or so.
Spinosaurus spent time in river systems in North Africa, in the Cretaceous. So what is now North Africa? This may mean that dinosaurs lived in climates where the night temperatures were cool and then in the day it wasn't too cloudy. So it's possible that the seal radiated excess heat from the body instead of collecting it, and that would have cooled it down. Bailey thought that the seal could have absorbed more heat than eradiated and suggested that Spinosaurus and other dinosaurs with long durrel spines had fatty humps to store energy or insulate or shield them from the heat.
If Spinosaurus Nergal spines were for display, Ernst Stroma, who named Spinosaurus, thought that the size of the neural spines may have been for sexual dimorphism.
In other words, the males may have had a huge sale to impress females, yes, but the females might not have had them or it had smaller ones.
Stroma did compare Spinosaurus neural spines to bison and some chameleons and other lizard bison had spines covered in muscle and fat. They form a hump. But he also thought it was unlikely for a predator and thought Spinosaurus probably had. Assael Spinosaurus was mounted in the Paleontological Museum in Munich. More on the WAS later and it had a short very ARCT sale. And then in 1936, Stroma rearrange the vertebrae to be longer and then the seal had a more gentle slope.
Jack Bailey in 1997 supported this buffalo back hypothesis of the spine's and suggested that Spinosaurus, a rhinoceros and other dinosaurs with long natural spines had shorter, thicker spines to those found in animals with sales and that the natural spines were similar to humpbacked mammals such as bison. So if it was a hump, it could store energy or it may have stored fat during seasons when fish swam upstream to spawn so it could get by the rest of the year with less food.
And Spinosaurus may have had to travel to search for fish for long periods. The camel dinosaur here, the hump could also have been for display if it was a hump. The fat hump shows that it was well-fed and a successful predator and then more likely would have been chosen to be a mate. But anyway, back to the sale idea because that is more widely accepted, Gimson. Others in 2015 suggested that the Spinosaurus sale was like the dorsal fins of sailfish and they were for hydrodynamics.
He said that the dorsal neural spines formed a roughly rectangular shape similar to sailfish, and so it may have used its long, narrow tail to stun prey like a thresher shark. And I should say the way we viewed Spinosaurus Tail in 2015 is different from how we see it now. Oh yeah. Sailfish heard schools of fish into a bait ball and they trap the fish so they can snatch them with their bills and they use as a screen to encircle the prey.
The dorsal seal would have helped Spinosaurus with moving sideways the neck and tail like sailfish and thresher sharks.
And we discussed this similarity or really lack of similarity between Spinosaurus and sailfish and their respective sails in the extended version of our interview, which is available to all of our patrons. So if you're interested in hearing more about the comparison between sailfish and Spinosaurus, definitely check out the extended version of our interview with Nesar in our premium content feed on Petrea.
Yes, Spinosaurus had short legs for its body. Originally, Spinosaurus was thought to be bipedal. No, I think it's thought to be quadrupeds or at least facultative. So if it needed to be, it could. It may have crouched in a quadruped posture. Ibrahim and others in 2014 found that the high limbs of Spinosaurus were shorter than thought, and the centre of mass was in the midpoint of the trunk region, not near the hip, like in bipedal theropods.
So they thought that Spinosaurus was poorly adapted for walking on land and would have been quadrupeds outland. Its pelvis was also smaller than previously thought, which meant less space for large leg muscles into. Henderson found that Spinosaurus was probably fine, walking on two legs on land and at Center Mass was close to the hips and that it could be bipedal. So does a lot of debates over pretty much every aspect of Spinosaurus. Spinosaurus had a long, narrow tail with its own tall, thin, narrow spines and long chevrons, so that made a flexible fin or paddle like structure.
Scientists used to think that the sail on the back extended to the sail on the tail. But as of this year, 2020, Ibrahim and others found that the tail was deep and narrow with a paddle or fin like shaped like newts and crocodilians. The 20 20 paper about the tail, which we did cover in an earlier episode. Did in as part of the news, it describes neural spines and deep chevrons on the tail, which had a broad paddle shape.
Let's start with the thin spines on the tail. They were thin compared to the back. The back spines are broad. The tail spines are thin in all directions, and they're long. They're about a third the length of the spines on the back. So there's not a smooth transition between the tail spines and the back spines. The shorter spines are just behind the hips. The tail is asymmetric as well. The top has long, thin spines and the bottom has deep chevrons.
So on the bottom, it's this flexible, ordinary looking tail. But then on the top it's tall and thin and the tail vertebrae overlap less. The tail was flexible and it can move side to side. So it wasn't a stiff tail and that would have helped Spinosaurus propel itself through the water. This broader, bulkier tail may mean that the center of mass of Spinosaurus was shifted back and bipedal walking would have been a little bit easier. The model shows the center of mass in front of the hips, but close enough to still be bipedal.
The 2014 study by Abrahim and others found Spinosaurus had dense bones, which is common in animals that swim a lot because greater bone density helps with buoyancy so it can swim under the surface. They also found the feet to be flat bottoms. So originally Spinosaurus was thought to be bipedal and have a tripod posture and a hump from the 1990s to twenty fourteen. Spinosaurus was thought to be this long, lightly built theropod. So we moved a little away from this tripod posture with a sail or a hump on its back.
And sometimes in that period it's depicted with a more round sail on its back, sort of the drastic Park three model. It's a good time capsule of that time period. Yeah, the 2014 model changed things, though, and that's when it showed it with this crocodile skull and the sail on the back and as an obligate quadruped. But the accuracy of the 2014 model has been questioned because it's a composite of different Spinosaurus individuals and other Spinosaurus. John Hutchinson warned that could result in it being inaccurate.
Scott Hartmann thought of the legs in the pelvis were too short. Mark Witten agreed with the proportions in the paper. However, after talking to Ibrahim and Simmern, there's also been debate on the size of the hind legs of Spinosaurus. Baryonic and succubi minus are thought to have hind legs like other theropods. But reconstructions are based on subadults and juvenile, so it's possible that their hind legs shrink proportionately as they matured. It's possible that Spinosaurus was more advanced and specialised than other Spinosaurus.
So to recap, Spinosaurus had dence limb, bones, long four limbs, flat feet, tiny nostrils high on its snout, short legs, large claws on its hands, longy to jaws and conical teeth. The flat feet would help it walk over Supai Substrate so it wouldn't get stuck. Possibly they were webbed and it also had a sensitive snout so it could hone in on prey underwater and it had a flexible tail that could propel it through water. So based on all these characteristics, Spinosaurus probably spent most of its time in the water.
The big debate is how deep was it in the water at this point? Yes. How Semin aquatic versus aquatic was it? Yes. And as of the latest paper in 2020, there's still a lot of debate over Spinosaurus. Mark Witten said, quote, Our science on this unusual dinosaur is in its infancy and forming robust ideas about swimming pools and capability is going to take time. And in twenty eighteen, Donald Henderson suggested that Spinosaurus was not set by aquatic.
He created 3D models of Spinosaurus and other dinosaurs to test the centres of mass buoyancy and equilibrium of animals and fresh freshwater. So baryonic t rex allosaurus struth yumminess and sealife ISIS. He studied the buoyancy in the lungs of crocodilians as well and then compared it to Spinosaurus lung placement and found that Spinosaurus couldn't sink or dive below the water surface. And it also would have been able to keep its head above the water surface while floating like other known aquatic theropods.
Yeah, so it would have had to exhale most of its air in order to dive, which is still possible. But it would have had to exhale more than crocodilians do, which he thought was unlikely. So maybe it just wasn't in the water.
He also found that Spinosaurus had to paddle its hind legs to keep it from tipping over to the side. Which modern semi aquatic animals don't need to do any, modeled this and tested the model with alligator, Mississippi insists and emperor penguins. So they found that Spinosaurus could float with its head above water and other dinosaurs had similar results. This is compared to alligators, which return to their original topside position when they were tipped to the side. Basically, semi aquatic animals can self right themselves, but the Spinosaurus model rolled over to the side when it was tipped, so maybe it would have easily tipped over and then would have had to use its limbs to stay upright in the water.
So Henderson then suggested that Spinosaurus probably didn't compete to hunt in water, but would have spent time on land or in shallow water.
But that was in twenty eighteen and we're expecting an updated Spinosaurus model to come out any day now.
True, Ibrahim Peerce, Louder and Sarino and others in twenty eighteen studied Spinosaurus tail and found that it was killed and well adapted to propelling it through water. They found that the elongated neural spines and chevrons meant it could swim in a similar way to modern crocodiles. So it could have been in the water for long periods of time to hunt. A juvenile specimen found in nineteen ninety nine, described by Seaman Manukau and Kristiansand, also found that it developed SEMIH aquatic adaptations at a young age or maybe even at birth, and that specimen was about five point eight feet or one point seven eight metres long.
So going back to the tail, the tail could probably have helped it with propelling underwater like modern crocodiles. But not all scientists agree on this. Some think that the thin bones at the end of the tail made it not as flexible as a crocodiles. Others think that it being a stiff paddle underwater could make sense, but that Spinosaurus wasn't necessarily a predator that pursued prey often, and there could be other reasons for its weird tail. In 2016, Buelow, Allen and Kevin suggested dinosaurs would be able to adapt in the water like eels.
And that's based on convergence in the shapes of jaws and teeth in Spinosaurus and Pike Conger Eels. But they didn't say anything about Spinosaurus being some aquatic Spinosaurus probably lived in something similar to the mangrove swamps of today's Florida Everglades. That's based on roots found growing from the lagoon ombuds in Marine Sands. And that only happens in mangrove swamps. So mangroves, that means there's seawater that's calm, the temperatures are warm and there's low energy shorelines.
So Spinosaurus lived in a human environment with mudflats in the mangrove forests. And it was also an area covered with sprawling lakes, rivers and deltas. It's possible Spinosaurus only came onto land legs or moved to a different river and then spent the rest of its time in water. Other dinosaurs that lived at the same time and place Spinosaurus, where titanosaurs like Parrella, Titan and Egypt, estrus and other animals included fish, crocodiles, more lizards, turtles, pterosaurs and plesiosaurs.
Fish found in the same fossil formations and lungfish, giant coelacanths and large sawfish. Spinosaurus probably ate fish. So Churgin Milner suggested that baryonic another Spinosaurus eight fish based on being similar to crocodilians baryonic has also been found with fish scales and juvenile iguanodon bones in its stomach. A Spinosaurus tooth and a pterosaur bone in South America suggests that Spinosaurus also preyed on pterosaurs maybe during dry seasons, or at least scavenge them right.
Spinosaurus was probably a general and opportunistic predator, but it may have been biased to fishing, so that would mean it probably scavenged and then a lot of small or medium sized prey and it never would have given up an easy meal. In 2009, Del SASO and others looked at for Amina small passages that lead to the same cavity in the snow and found probably pressure sensitive receptors that could tell motions of fish when they swam through water, so would have created pressure waves.
So Spinosaurus could know when fish were around and when it was best to attack them without even looking. Sensing them through the big nose. Yes. In 2013, Andrew covid Emily Rayfield found via biomechanical data that Spinosaurus was not an obligate Pisgah bore so didn't have to eat fish and that its diet changed as it grew up. Spinosaurus Jaws were not adapted well to resist lateral bending compared to baryonic and modern alligators, so probably ate fish more than land animals.
In 2010, Roumain Amul and others did an isotope analysis and found that oxygen isotope ratios of Spinosaurus teeth, including of spinn sources, had a semi aquatic lifestyle. The ratios were closer to those of turtles and crocodilians, so it may have switched between terrestrial and aquatic habitats to compete for food with large crocodilians and other large theropods. But these oxygen isotopes showed exposure to aquatic environments for long periods of time. Spinosaurus teeth were more widely spaced apart than other.
iPods and its teeth interlock like a fish trap. They were good for puncturing and tearing, you could grab its prey and then yank its head violently up and down, ripping out chunks. According to Hans DataSource, if you've ever seen a crocodilian like a Nile crocodile, do this move, you know what we're talking about.
So Spinosaurus may have been specialized to hunt for fish at the edge of rivers or to swim and hunt the higher nostrils mean that it could breathe while Snapp was in the water, but probably didn't have a good sense of smell. It also wouldn't have needed it when going after fish. The type species of Spinosaurus is Spinosaurus a genetics or Spinosaurus Egypti ECUs. And now we get to the crazy history part, so Spinosaurus was first discovered in Egypt in 1912 and then described by Ernst stromuhr in 1915, the genus name means spined Lizzard and Spinosaurus.
Egypt means Egyptian spinn lizard that there's a potential second species also along story Spinosaurus, Moroccan's, and that means Moroccan spinn lizard. Some scientists also think SEJIMA Saurus is a synonym of Spinosaurus, but not everyone agrees. The type of Spinosaurus included ribs, gastric vertebrae, teeth, dentifrice, left maxilla and neural spines. So again, starting at the beginning with Ernst Stroma, Stroma went to the Biharis oasis in Egypt in 1911. That wasn't his first visit to Egypt.
However, his first expedition in Egypt was in 1991. So what happened was George Finfer founded the Royal Geographical Society of Egypt in the late eighteen hundreds, and he was an archaeologist, geologist and botanists who discovered mammals and other fossils. And that led Strohmayr to his first expedition there. Some background on Egypt because it impacted the history of Spinosaurus. Egypt was in a lot of debt and in 1876 formally declared bankruptcy. A few years later, there was a nationalist uprising and Britain stepped in and Britain and France ruled as its creditors.
Then Britain ruled Egypt as a protectorate and they solemnised this in the arrangement in the 1954 Entente Cordiale, France got Morocco and then Egypt went to Britain. So Strohmayr had to get his permits from the British authorities to dig. On November 7th, in 1910, Stroma landed in the Port of Alexandria, Egypt. But then he had to be in quarantine for two days because somebody on board was suspected to have cholera. So the cargo was unloaded, but the passengers were still on board.
Ernes Stroma was a baron, a gentleman from Nurnberg in Bavaria. He was also an associate professor at the University of Munich, and he was 40 years old in 1910. At the time, he was accompanied by scientist Dr Lukes, who brought his wife. Strummer was not married yet, and he thought that the journey was too difficult with a wife. So he didn't like his companions that much. They didn't get along. On November 9th, they all got off the boat and then on November 10th, they took a train to Cairo.
At the time, German geologist Karl Alfred von Sydow was a mentor and thesis advisor to Stroma. He published the Rolf's expedition, which produced a reliable but incomplete geological map of the Western Desert, which did help Stroma in Cairo. Stromuhr went to George Steinhaus office, a German Egyptologist, as a courtesy call and to help plan as Expedition Stein Dorff in nineteen. No one had visited several places of the Western Desert, including the Haria. On November 15th, Stroma was still missing.
Richard Margraf, a man from Austria who lived in the desert now and collected fossils commercially and sold them to paleontologists in museums, mostly in Europe. Margraf and stromuhr had met in the winter of one in nineteen eighty two, and Margraf was Strummer's fossil collector Semmler for a decade and a half as well as a friend. Margraf was an itinerant musician that at the time he was also ill and painless. So that's how he ended up setting up as a commercial collector of fossils and other natural collectibles in Egypt before World War One.
Margraf is the one who managed to ship fossils to Munich for stromuhr to prepare and study. But they ended up being badly damaged and didn't get to Munich until well after the war. Makarov kept collecting for Stroma during World War One between 1911 and 1914, but the conflict severed their contacts and Margraf ended up dying in 1916. So at this point in 1910, Margraf was often sick, could have been malaria or intestinal bleeding from typhoid or chronic amoebic dysentery.
So Strohmayr was worried about him and the fact that he couldn't find him in November of 1910. Stromuhr also got in an argument with Dr Lukes and then offered to provide him with half the expedition's water containers and supplies so that that he could go on his own journey and be rid of each other. There was tension between Germany and Britain at the time, so it took a while for Stroma to get his permits to go into the desert. He finally left on his expedition November 18th, and at that point he had reunited with Margraf.
Stroma at the time, was looking for early mammals in North Africa. Like early whales and sea cows and land mammals. He thought the mammals, including humans, originated in Africa, not Europe, which went against the popular thought at the time. Stromuhr, luckily for us, kept very detailed journals. In December of 1910, he met his then future wife, but he didn't marry her until 1920. They had three sons together, and then he went back to Cairo on December 21st.
Margraf was ill again and couldn't go with Strohmayr. Who Beharie Oasis, but stromuhr didn't speak much Arabic, so he still needed help. The budget for his 19 10 to 11 expedition was eighteen thousand German marks, and that included shipping. Strohmayr came from an aristocratic family but was not that wealthy. Stromuhr needed a replacement for Margraf, so someone recommended a gentleman, Hartmann. It took stromuhr, two days to locate him, but he didn't get along.
So he didn't get along with a lot of people in this trip. Anyway, he found a dragoman, a guide and translator. Mr. Mohammed Hasnain El-Hai two. It took them a while to secure permits from the British, French and Egyptian authorities to travel to the Western Desert. Then New Year's Eve of 1910, he took a train to Medina El Fail, and that's where he met Mr Mohammed, who had actually worked with him in earlier expeditions but as a servant.
So we hired him for the trip, but he didn't trust him. He was a bit of a colonialist snob and he didn't like that Mr Mohammed was trying to rise, quote unquote, above his station. Yikes. Yeah. However, stromuhr made it deep into the desert by noon the next day. So January 11th, he was in Beharry Oasis and he found dinosaurs.
So this is now two months after he got there, he got there.
And in November, you said to a long trip he had his base of operations in the Beharry oasis, but there was a sandstorm. So he explored, but he couldn't find too much. Then on January 14th, 1911, he found three large bones. So he cut up mosquito netting and soaks them in a flour and water paste to cover the two larger bones. This actually might have been maybe January 18th instead of the 14th. There's conflicting sources, but he wrote in his journal he he found, quote, three large bones, which I attempt to excavate and photograph.
And then later he found more bones, including a gigantic claw. He wrote in his journal, quote, Apparently, these are the first of Egypt's dinosaurs. And I finally before made the layer that contains land animals, unquote. So he went there looking for mammals and he found dinosaurs. But logistically, it wasn't clear how to preserve and collect these fossils. The desert's really destructive for exposed fossils. In February, they packed up specimens in eight would increase with the help of Margraf who had recovered by this time and then arranged to ship them to Munich.
And then Ernst Stroma was in Munich at home by February. Twenty third, Margraf kept excavating fossils in the winters of 1912 in 1913, and he ended up finding a partial what would be named Spinosaurus skeleton in 1912 in the barrio formation in western Egypt. On Strummer's instructions, Margraf finally closed excavations in April of 1914 and then returned to Cairo to ship his fossils to Munich. That was about one month before World War One. So Margraf had a hard time getting Anglo Egyptian authorities to cooperate.
They did not trust him and stromuhr because Stroma was German. Margraf, unfortunately, would only get paid once his fossils were delivered successfully to Munich. After the war broke out, Stroma wrote to British and Egyptian authorities begging for his fossils. But it didn't work. And then Margraf died and his wife was desperate. So she wrote to Stroma. Stromuhr appealed to his British friends at the Geological Survey of Egypt, and they paid Mark Ross widow a fee and then took the 12 cases of fossil material for safekeeping.
And then eventually Stroma got the fossils in nineteen twenty two.
So about a decade after they got out of the ground. Yes, but that didn't stop Stroma from publishing.
So meanwhile, he wrote monographs on the geology of the Baha'i oasis and then pieced together fossils that Margraf had shipped in 1912. In 1915, he officially named Spinosaurus A.I.s in World War One. Stroma served as a male nurse. He had medical training and then he became a military geologist at the Geological Survey in Strausberg, which was German territory, and his geological skills were valuable to tactical planners. I never thought of that.
When you're digging lots of trenches, geologists are useful. Yeah, that's true.
So Stroma returned to Munich November 1st, 1919, and got an appointment to the Bavarian state collection of paleontology and historical geology. After the war, however, there were food shortages in Munich and food riots and violence. So Stroma went home to Nuremberg in the winter of 1919 to 1920. He taught at the city's commercial college and retreated to his family's nearby castle in a state that had food because of the Land's End farm. In October of nineteen twenty, he was back in Munich with his wife, Elizabeth Raynham, and then promoted to chief conservator of the Bavarian state collection of paleontology and historical geology and then nine months later made an honorary professor of paleontology at the University of Munich.
So July 23, 1921, he became a full member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. He worked with international scientists to get his fossils from Egypt. But because of inflation, Strohmayr couldn't afford to ship them. So a former pupil of. Is Bernard Payer pay Cairo officials to have the crate shipped and they arrived in the summer of 1922, but the fossils were astronomer later said, quote, badly smashed up in Cairo. The staff at the Museum of the Geological Survey had unpacked and examined the fossils and then done a poor job repacking them.
Stroma knew he probably wouldn't go back to Egypt. Margraf was dead at this point and stromuhr was poor because of Germany's conditions. After the war in 1936, he provided a reconstruction of Spinosaurus with a sale and a skull similar to a megaliths or al-Saud. Though he knew it had a peculiar lower jaw, Stroma compared this specimen to a crested chameleon because of the neural spines or sales. He gave Spinosaurus a more than eight foot sail and a Longet trunk, massive forelimbs, long neck and a long skull and showed that it may have been quadrupeds on land.
But Spinosaurus led to what's known as Strummer's Riddle, where it was found. There are multiple carnivores in the area, yet the carnivores didn't seem to compete for prey. So the riddle was how was this possible? And it wasn't until many years later that we figured it out. So Spinosaurus was mounted at the wall at the Palaeontological Museum in Munich, and then the Nazis came to power and Stroma openly resisted the Nazi regime. However, he was an aristocrat, so that protected him.
In 1930, Stroma was head of the paleontology section of the Bavarian state collection of paleontology and historical geology. But his career stalled because he didn't join the Nazi party and he spoke out against Nazis. And he also kept close relationships with Jewish friends and associates. That's a nice legacy. Yeah, there were many paleontologists who were relieved to find this out. July 7th of 1937, Stroma was 65 years old and then forced to retire from the university and the state collection.
He stayed in Munich and remained a fellow of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, and he kept doing research and publishing papers. The Nazis during that time made sure that every institution in Germany was headed by loyal party members, which is why they made him retire. This meant that the director of the Bavarian State Collection Post went to Carl Berlin in 1940 after Strummer's friend Ferdinand Brawley reached his mandatory retirement age and Berlin was an ardent Nazi. Stromuhr kept demanding Berlin to remove the Bavarian state collection from the museum and put it into a protected location far from Munich.
But Berlin kept dismissing him. He didn't think that Munich or Germany would be attacked. And that's based on Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering. Even when the fine art and science museums throughout Germany removed collections to caves and salt mines, Berlin didn't change his mind. Brawly, who was still an emeritus of the museum, quietly removed small specimens from the museum in his briefcase, and he stored them in Princess Teresa Zoo against Spielberg's Castle, who was an ally. She was a paleontologist and noble woman, but he couldn't transfer a lot of the collection, especially any bigger pieces.
So stromuhr kept demanding. But Berlin threatened Strohmayr at least twice that he would move into a concentration camp. Berwin reported stromuhr to Nazi authorities, but they didn't take direct action. What happened was stromuhr had three sons Ollman, who was born in 1921, Wolfgang born in 1922, and Gerhard born in 1927. Ollman and Wolfgang were sent to the Russian front as soon as they were conscripted, and Olman was killed November 10th of 1941. Wolfgang survived until November of 1944 and then disappeared somewhere into Russia.
Stroma and his wife by then had retreated to Grundberg. And April 24th, 1944, Stroma learned of the Royal Air Force bombing in Munich that destroyed his life's work, including the Spinosaurus haplotype. The terrible few years for him. Yes, and a lot of Europeans, I suppose. Yes. On April 25th of 1945, Gerhard died within months of being assigned to a battalion fighting allied forces in northern Germany. And then, less than two weeks after his death, Germany surrendered the Royal Air Force bombing of Munich.
Of course, that happened. It ended at 140 a.m. on April 25th. More than 200 Lancasters dropped hundreds of bombs and more than 7000 buildings near the train station were in flames. The museum was on fire. The collection was destroyed. And of course, again, that includes stromuhr Spinosaurus. However, there are still detailed drawings and descriptions after World War Two. Paleontologists were more conscientious about making castle fossils in case the originals were destroyed because of this.
So Stroma, again, he had moved to his family's land. So he was not in Munich at the time. He still wrote and published scientific monographs into his late 60s. And then May 5th of 1950, Wolfgang, his son, who was referred to as missing at the Russian front during the war, returned. He was a physicist and the Russians apparently kept pressuring him to produce poison gas. After they captured him, he refused and then he was put in multiple prison camps in Siberia for years.
Stroma was eight years old when Wolfgang came home, and he lived long enough to learn that his son and his wife, who he married shortly after, would have a daughter. So at least there's that. I think there was some things I read where he seemed to be holding out until his son came home. That's nice. He died at age 82, December 18th of 1952. So after that, not much was known about Spinosaurus. For many years.
There were Spinosaurus remains that were first identified as Spinosaurus in Tunisia from the Lower Cretaceous in nineteen eighty eight. They were found in 1912 by perving here, but they were thought to be reptile fossils. And then in 1951, Laperriere thought that they were dinosaurs. In the eighties we knew they were Spinosaurus. The teeth are different. It was thought to be other reptiles and briefly in 1978, thought to be plesiosaurs, teeth.
They do have a certain aquatic nature about them. It's true.
In 1987, drawings of the Spinosaurus haplotype were compared to baryonic, which had a crocodile skull, and then in 1998, Sukma. I was was described and named from Niger, and it had tall, narrow spines and then an international expedition in the Sahara Desert in 1995 found more Spinosaurus fossils in the kumkum region, including isolated teeth and fused nasals. And the kumkum region is in Morocco and Algeria. Dentally fragments, cervical vertebra and a dorsal neurology found in the northern part of the Kenyan region led to Dale Russell naming Spinosaurus rockiness in 1996, and Russell and Talke described a partial snout in 1988.
But again, the validity of Spinosaurus Moroccan's is debated. There was other Spinosaurus material in 2003. Milnor described an incomplete snout and left entry that was at the Natural History Museum of London in 2005. SASO and others reported a snout found by locals in 1975 and said that it was Spinosaurus triptychs. But before we get to 2005, we have to go back to Spinosaurus in 1999. So January 1999, Jennifer Smith, a doctoral candidate in Penns Department of Earth and Environmental Science, was studying the geology of Egypt's Beharry Oasis, which is about one hundred and eighty two hundred and ninety miles from Cairo.
For evidence of climate change and hominid and human habitation. She brought along her fellow doctoral student, Joshua Smith, who was also her fiancee, to accompany her for five weeks because she needed a man to be with her in a Muslim country. And her dissertation advisor couldn't make it that year. So Joshua Smith was a trained set of anthologist who'd always wanted to see Egypt. And actually the year before that 2004, he and Matt Lallana tried to find a way to go.
LaManno knew somebody who was working in the area. And then, of course, Straw had found his fossils there. Josh, however, has studied vertebrate paleontology, and he needed a reason to go to get his PhD advisor, Peter Dodson, to agree to the trip, Jenn's research site pass through where Ernst Frommer had found Spinosaurus. So Josh negotiated and they settled on three days of the five week trip for him to search for Strummer's lost dinosaurs. Of course, they had low expectations because there were no maps or known photographs of the sites, but there were notes about where he excavated and descriptions of landforms.
He got really lucky and he found a bone 10 inches in diameter of one foot long on his first morning while driving around. And then he found 20 accumulations of bones by the end of the first day. So he had found Gibble eldest or Gebel oldest, two distinct landform. And it was actually Strummer's isolated Komeito. So they found a lot of bones. And Josh knew that he needed to go back for more excavating, but he needed funding. So once he was back in Philadelphia, Josh had drinks with our Scott Winters, a PhD candidate in biology who was involved in the Explorers Club, which was founded in 1984 to promote field research and scientific exploration, which was also a partner in a film production company that made science and expedition based documentaries.
So he got a deal with fifty thousand dollars to fund the first field season between January February of 2000 in exchange for the rights to make the documentary in association with Winters' company Last Word Productions. They made the film and it premiered in 2002. It's called The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt. And with the funding, they had 21 people and they excavated for six weeks. And the people included Josh Smith, Jen Smith, Peter Dodson, Matt LaMagna, Kenneth Lacovara, Jason Poole and volunteers, as well as the film crew.
Jen Smith, PhD advisor Bob Gignac had a network working as a geologist in Egypt, and they formed a partnership with Cairo Geological Museum and the Egyptian Geological Survey and Mining Authority for exclusive excavation rights in the Baha'i oasis for five years. They agreed that half of the fossils they excavated will go to Philadelphia and the other half would stay in Cairo. So this team arrived in Egypt January 11, 2000, and they set up headquarters at El Bhishma Lodge, a cushy place they described because they could have hot showers almost every day and toilets that flush the rooms had tile floors and someone cook them food.
John Smith said in an article about it, quote, Normally we work based out of a mud brick hut with a dirt floor and a pit toilet, and there's no running water. That's what I'm used to. It is cushy down here. Their first few weeks out there were cold in the high 30s to low 40s degree Fahrenheit with strong winds. And then by the end of their trip, the temperatures went up to 85, 90 degrees. They had three sandstorms in two weeks and the team got food poisoning in between sandstorms before they found many fossils.
They think they found some of Australia's original sites. They said, quote, We found what are very obviously excavation pits that had been filled in with sand blown in by the wind. In some cases burlap and which are soaked in plaster was wrapped around fossils for protection during transport and even found in one case a, quote, little scrap of newsprint with German writing on it. Inkwell, which sounds promising. They said that in the desert with the wind, sometimes you can see a bone, but then you dig and then there's nothing else.
On January 27th, they found more bones, including a humorous those 67 inches. And it was part of the sauropod that they ended up naming paralytic. By the end, they had excavated a quarter of the skeleton. Matt Lamanna also found half a mile from the Sauropod site, non dinosaur material, including turtle shells, fish jaws and other things that helped show the environment. They named that area John's birthday site in honor of his brother John, who was born January 27.
After their expedition, Josh Smith and Matt Lamanna went to Munich to look for more evidence to help with future excavations. Luckily for them, Stroma son Wolfgang had donated Ernst Rohmer's archives to the Palaeontological State collection in Munich in 1995. So Smith and Lallana were able to go through Strummer's diaries. They found more than 100 glass plate negatives of stromuhr specimens, and one showed a partial skeleton of Spinosaurus mounted in a glass case in the museum. Before that, people didn't even realise the Spinosaurus had been mounted before it was destroyed.
They also found evidence that stromuhr was not a Nazi sympathizer, and they found two photographs of the hollow type based on a photograph of the lower jaw and a photo of the mounted specimen. Smith said that the 1915 drawings were a little inaccurate. Oliver wrote in 2003 said that Strummer's haplotype was a camera with vertebrae and neural spines from a Karkare Don Tussaud similar to aquacade, thesaurus and identity from baryonic or suka Mima's. But not everyone agrees. Kozmo Studios and Entertainment planned a sequel documentary before the first one aired.
The last dinosaurs of Egypt was the first one, and the team went for a second field season. The quarry known as John's birthday site had a lot of diversity in fossils. These fossils, the weird hard sandstone, and that's hard to excavate. On one of their expeditions, Josh Smith and the team found one of Stroma sites which Margraf had excavated. These were back filled pits. Maybe because whoever dug them ran out of time or money or both and they wanted to preserve whatever was in there until they could return.
It's possible this was Margraf last site. So now fast forward to 2008. Nizar Ibrahim was on a fossil hunt expedition in Morocco. A man in a town near our food showed him bones in a cardboard box, and Ibrahim arranged for them to go to the University of Hazan second in Casablanca. In 2014, Ibrahim went to Italy on a small doctoral student budget after Christianity. SASO contacted him about fossils that the museum had got in 2006. So he saw these bones in Milan and recognized a distinctive pattern that he remembered seeing in Morocco.
The bones in Milan have been found in 1975, and they were originally thought to be the lower jaw of a crocodile, but they were part of a Spinosaurus note. The fossils were collected by amateur fossil hunters and then sold to collectors on the private market, teeth, vertebrae and a partial skull found in North Africa. Joe Strummer at the Natural History Museum in Milan, Cristiana SASO had gotten a large collection of bones from an Italian fossil trader and told that they're from Morocco and they were likely spirited out illegally.
They seem to be from a single specimen. This included all the spines, the leg bones for bone, skull fragments, more fossils than stromuhr Spinosaurus. There were 60 bone fragments, Ibragimov, the fossils to the University of Chicago balseros lab to be studied. It wasn't clear where exactly the bones were from or had originated from. So Ibrahim noticed that the spines had unusual lines, strange reddish lines, which was the first thing he noticed. But he also told us he noticed that the bones in Mulan and the ones in Morocco were really similar in size, texture, color and preservation.
So the color, he said, was unusual. That has to do with the Matrix at the site. He also said that he knew that associated dinosaur skeletons in the Kim Kim are very rare in the whole history of Khankan scientific exploration, which started in the late 1940s. Only three associated dinosaur skeletons were described Robosaurus, Delta Dreamiest and his Spinosaurus. Because of all these factors and remembering he'd seen the similar pattern in Morocco in 2008, he wondered if he could track down the fossil hunter to compare and learn where these fossils came from.
But all he remembered of the man was the man was tall, had a mustache and wore a white tunic. It's not the most unique characteristic to describe somebody in Morocco. True.
So Abraham flew back to Morocco and had some help, and he went village to village, shop to shop, chatting to locals for clues as to where this man might be. Morocco has big export laws and fossil diggers are allowed to trade and sell all common fossils. So dinosaur teeth, trilobites. But it's not legal to export rare fossils out of Morocco. These fossil diggers, they don't have special training. So sometimes the fossils will be damaged and not everyone documents the rocks or where something comes from.
It can also be a dangerous job. People have died breathing in too much dust or sometimes structures will fall on them. However, they play a really important role. Paleontologists depend on these fossil diggers to find fossils, and then the fossil diggers depend on the income. On his second to last day of his trip, Ibrahim was at a cafe sipping some tea about to give up. And then a tall man in white walked past his table and he happened to recognize the man's face.
So he ran after him. And it was the man who had found those fossils. He convinced them to show him where he'd found the bones. The man was worried about getting in trouble because the skeleton was illegally abroad. So he does remain unidentified. So they ended up driving an hour off road and then they trekked up a mountain for thirty minutes to a nondescript hole in the hillside. And this dig site had fragments of bones and teeth, most likely Spinosaurus.
The man said that it took two people digging two months to get the skeleton out, and they sold it to the Italian fossil dealer for fourteen thousand U.S. dollars. This site gave a lot of information about the environment of Spinosaurus, Paul Sarino del SASO and colleagues from the UK and went to excavate and then to characterize the rock and landscape to see when and how Spinosaurus lived. And they found fossils with the same unusual patterns. So they confirmed it all came from the same specimen.
They also found sea urchins and mollusks, marine animals and shellfish. Not many herbivores were found in the area, but there are a lot of different carnivores and predators. So back to Strummer's riddel sawfish, lungfish and coelacanths are in the fossil record and they could have fed Spinosaurus. The idea was that Spinosaurus were built to catch fish, and because they could eat fish, they wouldn't be competing with other predators in the area and that's how the area could sustain the carnivores.
So after the expedition, Ibrahim and the team scanned all the bones and they made a 3D model and Tyler Keller assembled them into a virtual Spinosaurus. They added some missing parts based on Strummer's figures and drawings, as well as scans of suka minus for the skull for the brain case, for example. So they started with Spinosaurus at 40 percent complete. Then they went to 60 percent, complete with scaling and other dinosaur parts and isolated bones. There's a lot of controversy on Ibrahim's 2014 paper on Spinosaurus.
And then, of course, as we've talked about, Ibraheem also published about the tail in twenty twenty. So diving into that in 1934, Strohmayr describes specimens including long bones, vertebrates and teeth that he thought was a single taxane. And he called that Spinosaurus B, but he said parts of an illium and leg bones were too small to be part of the same individual as the rest of the material. They found teeth, vertebrae, guest really on one side and the Long Island bones on the other side belong together.
But this has been questioned and the material is lost from World War Two. Stromuhr thought that this was a new species of Spinosaurus, so not Spinosaurus A.I.s. But he didn't like naming dinosaurs based on fragments. He wrote, quote, I refused to participate in the use of coining new genus and species name on the basis of such isolated and totally incomplete remains, which then due to the four paleontology, completely inadequate priority rules of nomenclature and there's senseless pedantic application will have to be used for further nomen clitoral ex, end quote.
I love that he's spinning in his grave, though, based on some of these recent datasource that are named. Right. But anyway, that's why he called this Spinosaurus B stromuhr also described another specimen in 1934, but briefly, no illustrations or photographs were found that included three cervical vertebral centera, two 1/2 neural arches, midsection of an Olonga dorsal neural spine, two ribs and possible distal fibula. And it was described as having similarities to Spinosaurus B and Spinosaurus Egyptian kiss.
But there's not enough information on this now to study because all those fossils were destroyed yet and there's no illustrations or photographs. The kumkum region of southeastern Morocco has many predatory dinosaurs, including Spinosaurus and Dale Russell, who named Spinosaurus Moroccan's, also named Sejima Saurus Brevik Holos in 1996, which has been interpreted as Karkare Idont to Saurus Zaharakis, then Spinosaurus rockiness, then Spinosaurus A.I.s. Russell also later proposed the Spinosaurus B was Sejima saurus because he said there was nearly identical to bones from the early late Cretaceous sediments in Morocco.
Russell then described Spinosaurus Moroccan in 1996 based on the length of the neck vertebrae and said that it was longer than the ones found with Spinosaurus A.I.s. Some scientists think that this is due to individual variation, but the whole type of Spinosaurus was destroyed so they couldn't compare directly with the new species. But some people think that Spinosaurus Moroccan's is a Nomen Duban or a junior synonym of Spinosaurus triptychs. In 2014, Ibrahim and others designated the new type of Spinosaurus A.I.s and said that seducers and Spinosaurus B were Spinosaurus Egypt and that Spinosaurus Moroccan was a noman W.M..
In 2015, Evers' and others said that SEJIMA source was a distinct genus and that was supported in twenty eighteen by Ardern and others, and they said it was a close relative of Spinosaurus and they said that there was more than one Spinosaurus Texan. They said the proportions of the Highlands were shorter than previous reconstructions. Based on Ibrahim's description, Spinosaurus had shorter limbs than previously thought, and they also found Sejima source had shorter neural spines than Spinosaurus since the Spinosaurus A.I.s Neotel type came from different museums and then parts were collected at different times.
Some scientists suggested that it wasn't made clear which fossils came from where, or that there was evidence that the material all came from the same place and was from the same individual. So it was hard to make the new type. So again, controversy, lots of debate on all aspects of Spinosaurus. Then Ibrahim and others published their twenty 20 paper on Spinosaurus. Ibrahim returned between twenty fifteen and twenty nineteen to that site and found, quote, new fragments of the cranium and mandibles, several previously missing bones of the left and right pens and an 80 percent complete tail by Linc's, which all became part of the proposed new type.
They estimated that the Spinosaurus type was at least 15 years old, based on 10 legs in the fibula. And then they estimated there were five more that were probably there before the ribs had a similar number of legs. The spine, however, had fewer. So it's possible that the sale grew taller as it aged. Ibrahim has said that he's hoping this might help get a Moroccan National Museum of Natural History built. And museums are really great at getting local support for paleontology.
As Garrett mentioned earlier in the show, if you can remember that far back, you can see dinosaurs in Jurassic Park three where it has the more typical theropod skull because that's before we found all this new material. Jack Horner said, quote, If we base the ferocious factor on the length of the animal, there was nothing that ever lived on this planet that could match this creature Spinosaurus. Also, my hypothesis is that T-Rex was actually a scavenger rather than a killer.
Spinosaurus was really the predatory animal, end quote.
Much disputed and controversial. Yes, we've spoken to him since that quote. And he no longer contends that T-Rex was a scavenger.
Yes, yeah. He's since retracted it. But again, we're always finding new evidence, new fossils and learning new things. You can also see Spinosaurus on postage stamps from Angola, the Gambia and Tanzania. And our fun fact of the day fits in pretty nicely with that last detail about where the stamp's showing Spinosaurus are, because I looked into where Spinosaurus fossils have been found across the world, not just Spinosaurus, Spinous or ID. So the whole family, which includes very and lots of others.
As a quick summary, Spinosaurus fossils have been found on four continents Africa, Europe, Asia and South America. None have been found in North America, Australia or Antarctica. According to the Paleo bio database. The top three countries for fossils in the Spinosaurus family are Spain, Morocco and Thailand. The usual paleo bio database caveats apply. It only counts. Published finds and a single publication can include lots of individuals. But when a new fossil taxon is found in a country, it often gets published.
So I generally see it as a pretty good way to see how widely spread something is in terms of countries, not necessarily definitively which one has the most, though. So there's, for example, twenty nine published papers in Spain, only twenty four in Morocco. I think you'd be crazy to say that there are more Spinosaurus materials found in Spain than Morocco, though, because you can find teeth for sale all over the place that are from Moroccan Spinosaurus.
Thailand to me was surprising, though, that that was in the top three. There is one report from North America, if you check on paleo bio database, like I did at first, I said that it's been on five of the seven continents, but looking more closely, the North American, quote unquote, Spinosaurus, it is actually a Torosaurus that is occasionally put in Spinosaurus media. But family wise is typically considered a megalo sorehead and almost certainly not a Spinosaurus.
So that's kind of an erroneous point in the paleo bio database. It's a super useful database, but you've got to be a little bit careful with it sometimes. Some of the other most popular countries to find Spinosaurus materials include Brazil, the UK, Niger, China, Egypt, Tunisia, Cameroon, Algeria, Japan, Libya, Tanzania. And then there's just one published paper from Argentina, France, Kenya, Laos and Portugal, one published paper for each country.
Yes, it'd be pretty weird if it was one paper about a find from Argentina, France, Kenya, Laos and Portugal. Yes, that's why I asked. But it's kind of funny because the postage stamps you mentioned, Angola, Gambia and Tanzania all have Spinosaurus on them. But Tanzania is the only country that actually has a Spinosaurus remains found in them. Must be popular. It is for sure. There are a lot of coins with Spinosaurus on it too, because it's such a cool looking dinosaur.
And that wraps are three 100th episode of Eino. Dino, thank you for listening. Don't forget to subscribe in your favourite podcast app so you don't miss out on any new episodes. And check out our page at Patreon Dotcom slash A.I.. Now to join our community, you can check out our new Spinosaurus reward Teer. Mm hmm. Thanks again.
And until next time to Jimmy.