Sep 17, 2014 02:58 AM EDT
In the common eye, the king of the world of dinosaurs is undoubtedly the Tyrannosaurus rex. But the common misperception is simply not true... there was a dinosaur bigger and far more terrifying than the T. rex. One that conquered land an sea-the Spinosaurus.
Reaching his claim to fame in the film Jurassic Park III, the species Spinosaurus aegyptiacus was digitally reconstructed from its fossils found in the Kem Kem beds of east Morocco. The 49 foot long dinosaur giant boasted an 8 foot length longer than the T. Rex, but what's more impressive is that was only an adolescent. Still growing, it is likely that a full adult, even on the smaller size, would dwarf the T. rex in comparison.
Luckily for the T. rex, and for us, Spinosaurus was a unique creature that is the first Dinosaur documented that was adapted to a semi-aquatic lifestyle. Similar to extinct marine reptiles like the pliosaur and modern crocodiles, fossil evidence points to the fact that not only was the Spinosaurus adapted to swimming, but the reptile also had a special sensory adaptation that allowed it to sense movement in the water-much like pressure sensors found in modern crocodiles.
With hooked teeth ideal for fishing adventures, and a highly specialized skeletal structure, including an unusually large sail on its back, the Spinosaurus was truly king of the seas and of the land. And as a bizarre example of the uniquity of some species, the National Geographic Museum will be presenting a display honoring the giant beginning this Friday Sept. 12. So if you thought the T. rex was the most terrifying species you've ever seen, you can find out just how wrong you were.
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