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Baryonyx Facts:8 Most Curious Questions You Will Love

Baryonyx stands in a fire broken room

Source by: Pixels

Is it a prehistoric gator, a Spinosaurus, or a very large raptor? The Baryonyx grips the imagination like no other dinosaur.

In fact, according to Ahrefs’ database, dinosaur enthusiasts all over the world search for this incredible theropod dinosaur 32,000 times a month! You’re in for a treat if you’re one of those eager learners.

Despite its popularity, some knowledge is still poorly understood. Get to know the most interesting Baryonyx facts in our short guide as we answer your most curious questions about these awesome carnivorous dinosaurs. Let’s go!

A Baryonyx is catching a fish in the river

Source by: DeviantArt

Here are 7 interesting quick facts about Baryonyx that convenient for you to get a preview of: 

  1. Baryonyx was a carnivorous dinosaur and the first fish-eating dinosaur in history.
  2. This fish-eating dinosaur name pronunciation is ‘beh-ree-aa-nuhks’. Its name meaning in Greek is “Heavy Claw”
  3. Baryonyx has lived in Spain during the Early Cretaceous
  4. An adult Brontosaurus may have a length of 7.5 to 10 meters (25 to 33 feet), a height of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet)
  5. It has a weight of around 1.2 to 1.9 tons
  6. Baryonyx was closely related to three African dinosaurs–Suchomimus, Carcharodontosaurus, and the truly enormous Spinosaurus
  7. Baryonyx is discovered in 1983

What Is the Baryonyx Known for?

large white Baryonyx skeleton on display

Source by: Ripton Scott

Baryonyxes are most known for their fearsome claws, crocodile-like jaws, long neck, and  Spinosaurus-like bodies (minus the sail). These theropod dinosaurs are known by their type species, the Baryonyx walkeri.

The Type Species' Discovery Details

A green Baryonyx is eating fish on the ground

Source by: ZSL

  • They’re named by paleontologists Angela Milner together with Alan Charig. The name was in honor of the fossil collector who discovered the holotype specimen, William Walker.
  • The species walkeriwas found by William Walker in 1983.
  • Its fossils were found in England at Surrey’s Smokejack Clay Pit. It took six years to free all the bones from the rock.
  • Additional specimens aside from the holotype have been found too. There were teeth discovered from others areas like the Isle of Wight, England, and Papo Seco Formation, Portugal.

What Did the Baryonyx Look Like?

A Baryonyx is walking on th ground

Source by: Weasyl

Have you ever seen a gharial? The Baryonyx looked just like that. These dinosaurs looked like prehistoric gharials with larger bodies, fearsome long claws, and a menacing snout. But don’t go just yet because here are more intriguing details about the Baryonyx’s physical features.

The Baryonyx Rocked a Heavy Claw

Did you know that Baryonyx means “heavy claw” in Greek?  The claw was so large that you can’t miss it! The Early Cretaceous dinosaur’s hand had three fingers with one sporting a large claw that was 12 inches long. Paleontologists suggest that the long claws were used to catch fish when they hunted for meals.

The Baryonyx Sported Sharped Jagged Teeth & Preyed on Fish and More

What’s more perfect for hunting delicious fish than with perfectly serrated teeth, a long jaw, and a narrow snout? Its long claws helped break down the big prey it caught.

Then its lower jaw helped the upper jaw grip the fish using its numerous teeth. The dinosaur’s adaptations let it hunt fish by the riverbanks anytime, no problem.

A roaring Baryonyx on the ground

Source by: Jurassic World Evolution Wiki

Interesting Baryonyx Stomach Contents

  • Fish scales were found in the holotype specimen’s stomach. This made it the first dinosaur identified as a fish-eater.
  • Did you know a juvenile iguanodontid’s bones were also found in the holotype specimen? This fish-eating dino discovered in England could then be one of the Early Cretaceous’ meat-eating dinosaurs too.

The Baryonyx Was a Heavy-Weight Champion

Are you wondering how big is a Baryonyx? This fish-eating dinosaur grew as big as 33 feet long and weighed as heavy as 3,800 lbs. But is a Baryonyx bigger than a T. rex? Most likely, no.  The T. rex was taller and larger. It stood at around 42 feet and weighed up to 16,000 lbs.

Are Spinosaurus and Baryonyx Related?

A Baryonyx is fighting with a Spinosaurus on the ground

Source by: Youtube

Yes! The Spinosaurus is the Baryonyx’s close relative as they belong to the same family –Spinosauridae.

Baryonyx & Spinosaurus' Common Family Features

  • This family is known for skulls that are like modern crocodiles. Crocodile-like jaws and pointed teeth are characteristic of Spinosaurids.
  • Some like the Baryonyx even had a small crest on their heads. This small crest stood out because of the sharp triangular shape that was different from other closely-related spinosaurids.

Baryonyx & Spinosaurus Important Connections

  • Since it was discovered in England, this fish-eating dinosaur helped paleontologists understand the Spinosaurus better though the latter was discovered many decades earlier.
  • Other family members of the Spinosauridae, which were originally thought of as crocodile fossils, became more easily identifiable because of the Baryonyx.

Can the Baryonyx Swim?

A red Baryonyx stands in a river and eats a fish

Source by: Six Flags

Paleontologists Alan Charig and Angela Milner suggested that the Baryonyx could swim. But it may not have lived an aquatic lifestyle because of its nostrils that were far from the tip of the snout and were set on its sides.

Did Baryonyx Hunt in Packs?

a man is carrying a Baryonyx on his shoulder

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

We haven’t discovered studies yet that prove that Baryonyx hunted fish in packs with its large claws. If they did, that would be quite a scene!

But even if they didn’t, their life is already awesome and teaching about its life wouldn’t be any less fun. Take the fun up a notch with realistic Baryonyx puppets that make the prehistoric creature come alive.

Is Baryonyx Intelligent?

a large Baryonyx skeleton in front of gray walls on display at a museum

Source by: ケラトプスユウタ

We can’t say for sure but the Natural History Museum shares a good rule of thumb.

The Encephalization Quotient: Determining a Dinosaurs' Intelligence

  • Paleontologists compare the size of the dinosaur’s brain to its body mass.
  • Then they take the shape inside the dinosaur’s skull (endocast) where the brain used to be to determine its volume.
  • Finally, they use living animals as a baseline which will give them a rough measure of the Baryonyx’s intelligence.

When Did the Baryonyx Go Extinct?

a green Baryonyx model lying on the ground at a museum exhibit

Source by: Ballista

The Baryonyx went extinct around 125 million years ago. These carnivorous dinosaurs lived during the Early Cretaceous period and did not live to survive the rest of the Mesozoic Era.

Where is Baryonyx Found?

A Baryonyx stands in a forest

Source by: tunturisusi.com

They lived roughly 130 to 125 million years ago during the Barremian stage in Europe.

Countries Where Baryonyx Lived

  • In the mudflats of prehistoric England which were surrounded by marshes. Other dinosaurs that lived in the same area were Iguanodons and sauropods among others
  • And in the lagoons of ancient Portugal where it shared the place with other dinosaurs like the Megalosaurus and Mantellisaurus. The Baryonyx enjoyed a subtropical climate in these places.

The Fascinating Dinosaur Behind the Baryonyx Facts

3D art of a big brown dinosaur with large claws

Source by: kamomeen

What interesting dinosaurs Baryonyxes were, aren’t they? Let’s continue looking forward to new studies to come up so we’d get to know this awesome dinosaur even better.

For now, living out our prehistoric dreams with lifelike dinosaur costumes and puppets is a great way to keep the imagination eagerly waiting. See you at our next blog post!

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