Fossilized Spinosaurus Tooth
Species: Spinosaurus aegyptiacus
Age: Mid Cretaceous (112 - 93.5 mya)
Formation: Kem Kem
Size: 4 ¾” x 1 ½” x 1”
Weight: 4.1 oz
This fossilized Spinosaurus tooth has a beautiful hombre hue with absolutely zero restoration needed. The tooth has been warped into a wavy, undulating shape, it is unclear whether this occurred during fossilization or if the tooth itself was malformed. The enamel is a rich brown at the tip, but has worn away towards the base. The effect this creates is quite beautiful, the exposed bone ranges in hue from deep reddish orange, to rosy pink, to a light yellow. While this Spinosaurus fossil is not in perfect condition, all its flaws come together to create something marvelously unique.
Measuring 49 - 52 ft in length and weighing in at an estimated 6 ½ tons, Spinosaurus remains the top contender for the title of “Largest Carnivore to Ever Walk This Earth.” The African theropod was named “Spinosaurus” (or “spine lizard”) after the neural spines which grew out of its back vertebrae. Most paleontologists believe that the the spines were covered by a thin layer of skin, creating a large sail, which may have existed for the purposes of thermoregulation and mating displays. Another theory posits that Spinosaurus used its sail to swim and heard fish while hunting, much like modern sailfish. However, some paleontologists have hypothesized that Spinosaurus had a large, fatty hump which may have stored energy and shielded the dinosaur from the heat. It's unclear whether Spinosaurus was a terrestrial predator or if it was primarily a piscivore. Its skull and jaw were shaped perfectly for catching fish, but it may have been an opportunistic predator (like the modern grizzly bear), eating whatever it could most easily catch.
Fun fact: A 2014 study suggested that Spinosaurus’s legs were too small to support it on land. However, this hypothesis has been all but thrown out, as the study relied on a reconstruction of Spinosaurus using bones from several different specimens, resulting in an inaccurate (and rather horrifying) chimaera.