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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Names   >   Baryonyx
Dinosaur Jungle   >   Dinosaur Types   >   Baryonyx


dinosaur picture baryonyx

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Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Sauropsida
  Superorder Dinosauria
  Order Saurischia
  Suborder Theropoda
  Superfamily Spinosauroidea
  Family Spinosauridae
  Subfamily Baryonychinae
  Genus Baryonyx
Baryonyx was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived in the early Cretaceous period, about 125 million years ago, in England, Spain, and probably elsewhere in Europe too. It was about 20 feet (6.1 meters) long and probably weighed over 2 tons.

Baryonyx is known to have eaten fish as a fossilized meal containing fish remains was found in its stomach - and was for a long time the only known fish-eating dinosaur (scientists now believe that Spinosaurus mostly ate fish too).

Baryonyx was an unusual dinosaur in a several ways:
  • It has a very narrow skull, with many small pointed teeth, many more than its relatives, the other Theropod dinosaurs: Baryonyx's teeth included 64 teeth in the lower jaw ("mandible") and 32 larger teeth in the upper jaw ("maxilla"). Additionally, the upper jaw contained a sharp angle near the snout that help to prevent prey from escaping (a similar feature is founded in crocodiles for this purpose).

  • It did not have a flexible neck like other Theropod dinosaurs. Furthermore, Baryonyx's head was set an acute angle to the neck, rather than the 90 degree angle found in other dinosaurs.

  • A huge curved claw, about 1 foot (30 centimeters) long, was found with the fossil Baryonyx. It is not certain if this claw was attached to the front or rear feet. It is possible that Baryonyx used this claw to hook fish out of water, while hunting on riverbanks. In any case, Baryonyx was named for this claw, Baryonyx means "heavy claw".
Baryonyx is known from fossils found in southern England and Spain:
  • The first example was discovered by amateur fossil-hunter, William Walker, who, in 1983, came across an enormous claw sticking out of the side of a clay pit near Dorking, Surrey in England. About 70% of the skeleton, including the skull, as well as the fossilized remains of its last meal inside the rib cage (which is how we know it ate fish), was recovered from this find, and this provided a lot of detail to researchers. (This particular specimen is now located in the Natural History Museum in London, England).

  • Subsequently, further Baryonyx fossils were found in Spain. These principally consisted of a partial skull and some fossil tracks.

Baryonyx Timeline:

Baryonyx was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived about 125 million years ago

Baryonyx was a carnivore (meat-eater) that lived about 125 million years ago

Related Information & Resources

See Also

Baryonyx Facts

Here is a summary of some of the key facts about Baryonyx:
  1. Baryonyx was a genus of dinosaur.

  2. "Baryonyx" means "heavy claw" (because of the animal's large claw).

  3. Baryonyx was a member of the Saurischia ("lizard-hipped") order of dinosaurs. What this means, is that although Baryonyx was not closely related to lizards, it did have similarly shaped pelvic bones.

  4. Baryonyx was a Theropod - a member of a group of related bipedal dinosaurs that included the ancestors of birds (although Baryonyx was not itself an ancestor of birds).

  5. Baryonyx lived about 125 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.

  6. Baryonyx lived in Europe (fossils have been found in England and Spain).

  7. Baryonyx was a carnivore (meat-eater).

  8. Baryonyx's diet is known to have included fish, as fossilized fish remains have been found in its stomach.

  9. Baryonyx was about 2¼ feet (0.7 meters) in length - although this may be the juvenile size.

  10. Baryonyx weighed about 4½ pounds (2 kilograms) - although this may be the juvenile weight.

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