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Scientific classification


















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Baryonyx (pronounced /ˌbæriːˈɒnɪks/ meaning "heavy claw", referring to its large claw (Greek βαρύς/barys meaning 'heavy' and ὄνυξ/onyx meaning 'claw' or 'nail') is a genus of

Artist's depiction of Baryonyx.

carnivorous theropod dinosaur first discovered in clay pits just south of Dorking, England, and later reported from fossils found in northern Spain and Portugal. It contains one species, Baryonyx walkeri. Its fossils have been recovered from formations dating from the Hauterivian to early Barremian stages of the early Cretaceous Period, around 130-125 million years ago.[1]

Baryonyx was a spinosaur, and as such related to Spinosaurus, Irritator, and Suchomimus, and is included with Suchomimus in the subfamily Baryonychinae.

Description[edit | edit source]

Baryonyx looked similar in most respects to Spinosaurus. Its skull is at a 60 degree angle from its neck, unlike the 90 degree angle seen in Spinosaurus and other spinosaurids. The neck was elongated and nearly straight with a slight C-shaped curve as opposed to the S-shaped curve of the skulls of other theropods. The skull itself is highly porous with a narrow, elongated snout like that of a gharial, designed for sweeping through shoals of fish. Baryonyx had conical teeth, perfect for grabbing and cutting small prey.

The most notable feature of Baryonyx was its front legs, each featuring dextrous hands with three fingers. The thumbs of Baryonyx each bore a massive 35-cm long gaffe-like claw, which it probably used to spear fish and scoop them from the water. The claw may have also been used to slash at larger prey; in which case it would have been a formidable weapon.

Size[edit | edit source]

The most complete specimen of Baryonyx is estimated to weigh 1.7 metric tons and is 8.5 metres in length, similar in size to the famous Albertosaurus. New scientific evidence[1] suggests that this specimen of Baryonyx was not fully grown when it died. This is baacked up by a recently discovered 38-cm claw that suggests a larger adult individual, perhaps 2 tons in weight and 10 metres in length-this Baryonyx would have been similar in size to an average Allosaurus. However, it as been suggested that it can even bigger than that. As some paleotologists believe Suchomimus and baryonyx are the same Dinosaur. This would mean Baryonyx was at least 11m long, since the only known Suchomimus is a sub-adult it may be even larger than that.

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