Spinosaurs Were Lousy Croc Mimics
I love dinosaur names. Many of them are so beautifully evocative of the animals they represent. There may be no more perfect title in the history of nomenclature than Tyrannosaurus rex, to pick just one classic. Yet dinosaur names can also be reminders of incorrect interpretations or assumptions about those animals. Stegosaurus – the “roofed lizard” – was so named because paleontologist O.C. Marsh thought the dinosaur’s characteristic plates laid flat on the herbivore’s back as bony tiling, rather than sticking straight up out of the skin as fossil finds later made clear.
Of the spinosaurs known so far, Cuff and Rayfield investigated the snouts of Baryonyx – a roughly 125 million year old