Baryonyx was a theropod dinosaur of the early Cretaceous Period, about 130–125 million years ago. An identifying specimen of the genus was discovered in 1983 in Surrey, England; fragmentary specimens were later discovered in other parts of the United Kingdom and Iberia. Meaning "heavy claw", Baryonyx refers to the animal's very large claw (31 cm or 12 in) on the first finger. The 1983 specimen is one of the most complete theropod skeletons from the UK, and its discovery attracted media attention. Baryonyx was about 7.5 m (25 ft) long and weighed 1.2 t (1.3 short tons). It had a long, low, bulbous snout and narrow, many-toothed jaws, which have been compared to gharial jaws. It is now recognised as a member of the family Spinosauridae of large, sail-backed predators. It was the first theropod dinosaur identified as fish-eating, and may also have been an active predator of larger prey and a scavenger, since the 1983 specimen contained bones of a juvenile Iguanodon. Baryonyx caught and held its prey primarily with its strong forelimbs and large claws. The creature lived near bodies of water, in areas where other theropod, ornithopod, and sauropod dinosaurs have also been found. (Full article...)
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