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Walker's heavy claw (2018)

By ScottHartman
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2018 Update: Some more revisions in preparation for tackling other spinosaurids (hopefully!) in the coming year. I've decided that there is probably less missing from the incomplete femur (missing a section out of the middle) than before, which brings the femur more into line in terms of how robust it is relative to its length. I updated the scaling of the incomplete lower limb elements to reflect his. I also updated the vertebral column somewhat, reducing the rate at which the neural spines increase in height in the mid-posterior dorsals. Along this line, I've seen some internet hacks of my skeletal (note: please don't hack up or modify my skeletal reconstructions and post them!) that restore the last dorsal as having a very short neural spine; the neural spine of the last dorsal is obviously broken and is clearly labeled as such in the classic Charig & Milner description, so there's no reason to try and force it to have a really short neural spine. Finally, I've raised the neck a bit - not due to any changes in the anatomy, but to put it more in line with the semi-flexed pose I use on other theropods, and because I think it will make a more useful comparative pose in its relatives. For posterity I've left the previous updates below.


2016 Update: I updated the presacral series to reflect the new identifications of Evers et al. 2015 in their Sigilmassasaurus description. This has the effect of putting a stronger S-curve back into the neck, but it still leaves us with a hangdog angle for the skull. Interestingly, the neural spine morphology suggests the building up of axial muscles or nuchal ligaments (or both) along the back of the neck and front of the dorsal column, which is not unlike what Andre Cau has suggested for Spinosaurus, and would make it analogous to what we see in Deinocheirus as well (but on a smaller scale than either of those taxa).

2015 Updated: After nearly a decade and a half here is the overhauled skeletal. The overall proportions aren't all that different, but some of the details are. The midline crest has been moved back above the lacrimal, and I can now confirm that the odd downcurving neck seems to be a real thing, although it also uses some upwardly deflected almost cervicalized anterior dorsals to achieve it. The gray portion of the ilium is the part that was preserved as an imprint (i.e. there is no surviving bone from those parts) and so its accuracy depends entirely on the observations of the original excavators.

Original description: Baryonyx wasn't the first spinosaurid found, but it went a long ways in clarifying what these sorts of theropods looked like and ate. And it turns out they ate fish - although like modern crocodilians, Baryonyx almost certainly ate anything else it could get a hold of too (both fish scales and iguanodont bones were found in its stomach).
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anonymous's avatar
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action-figure-opera's avatar
I noticed that if one were to omit the crests from the skull of dilophosaurus, it would be long and slender like a spinosaurid. Dilophosaurus also has the same kind of snout as a spinosaurid, with the adapted notch for catching fish. Is dilophosaurus related to spinosaurids, or are these features just examples of convergent evolution?
ScottHartman's avatar
Greg Paul noticed these things as well, and suggested in the 1980s that it might mean they were close relatives. But a large amount of data suggests that it is convergence, as Dilophosaurus is a much more primitive theropod in other anatomical respects.
mark0731's avatar
I don't like the new pose to be honest, but it's great work nevertheless.
Whitedragon66's avatar
um this is baryonyx skeleton correct
Philoceratops's avatar
Yes, it is. Scott Hartman is pretty reliable when it comes to these...
Ameban's avatar
Checking your works about the Theropoda family, I've noticed Spinosaurids have the most masive hips of the family. However, their skulls are pretty lighter than Carnosaurua or Tyranosauriade members.  Of course, lesser members of this family have lighter structures.

Do you think there is a conexion between the skull size and the hips size? 
JES86's avatar
Hmmm.  I actually don't see that at all - I would say tyrannosaurs have the most massive hips - even in the profile.  In dorsal (from the top) views that are available, this is emphasized even more.
Ameban's avatar
Oh! I understand what you say, but I think I didn't explained myself well enough. I didn't mean the hip bone, but the hip-arc. For some reason, this family has long crests over the spine, and here, you can see the hips are higher than the shoulders, unlike other Theropoda members, such as the Megalosaurs here:  This IS your (great?) grandfather's theropod by ScottHartman , where you can see the shoulders and hips are place at same level.
I just wondered why such difference. Is it related to the skull size? The locomotion? Habitat? 
JES86's avatar
Perhaps it's an adaptation for fish hunting, spending a lot of time poised over streambeds and such.
Form fits function.
JES86's avatar
How do the dorsal views of spinosaurs compare with each other?
Mesozoic0906's avatar
Some more revisions in preparation for tackling other spinosaurids (hopefully!) in the coming year. ”

So.. Wait for 2019?
ScottHartman's avatar
That's the goal.
SpinosaurusDinosaur's avatar
Very lovely! Still awesome to me~
DeinonychusEmpire's avatar
Alas, come June 22 this beautiful creature will no longer be known for what it really was.
GigaBoss101's avatar
FUCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKK.
Mesozoic0906's avatar
Jurassic World 2
ShinRedDear's avatar
I am constantly surprised by how what could be seen a minor re-adjustments can change our perception of the overal skeleton! This new 2018 is all kinds of strange, reminds me more of a big heron/swan than before! Thank you for helping us improve our understanding of extinct animals!
Dinosaurlover83's avatar
Noice. Glad to see more skeletals from you, Scott.
AlternatePrehistory's avatar
Looking awesome!
What are the measurements you're basing the dorsal vertebra on? They seem a bit longer than in the original description.
anonymous's avatar
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