Spinosaurus and Film

Friday, August 28, 2009

The fossil bones of Spinosaurus, a large theropod dinosaur of the Late Cretaceous, 95 million years ago. The type specimen was first described in 1915 near Marsá Matruh, Egypt, on the Mediterranean coast. Its most striking feature is a set of dorsal spines that probably supported a sail-like membrane.

The Spinosaurus is one of the most massive predators on land; more than 50 feet long and weighing over ten tons. The massive sail on its back only increases the terrifying impact of this creature. Fortunately, it is not as swift as some other large predators and is generally a scavenger rather than an active hunter.

If a Spinosaurus gets a hold of prey with its bite, it deals bite damage if it maintains the hold, as it shakes its prey violently in its long jaws. Creatures up to three sizes smaller can be swallowed whole


While surfing channels last night, I had come across the second half of "Jurassic Park 3" on TV. It had reminded me of an often misunderstood point when it comes to Tyrannosaurus.rex sized or larger (only slightly though) or maybe only longer but not necessarily heavier (as far as I know for Spinosaurus aegyptiacus which in 2001,to my amazement, seemed to become the most hated dinosaur of every geek on the internet who, upon finding out that it would not only defeat Tyrannosaurus in battle in "Jurassic Park 3",but there would not be a second battle between the two species ending with a Tyrannosaurus victory.) The specialists,(movie versions, anyway)would point out continually that the Spinosaurus (Giganotosaurus would have been more appropriate for most of the Spinosaur's roles, but would likely have appeared to be just another T.rex lookalike to the movie-going public) was bigger than the T.rex, setting up the battle, really giving the impression that T.rex didn't stand a chance against it in any battle, at any time. I would really think of the Spinosaur (if really that big, remains are still too fragmentary to tell) as a potential rival to the tyrannosaur with any conflict liable to go either way. Not that it hurts my feelings to see a Spinosaurus take down a T.rex in an action movie that's not realistic anyway, (I prefer the Spinosaurus over T.rex any day!)I would have tried to make it more of a surprise to the audience if I really wanted the T.rex to get killed in battle, say against another incidental dinosaur like Triceratops, where the outcome of the fight is not important to the rest of the film.

John Bridgman

As far as Jurassic park 3 went, the reason the Tyranosaurus-Rex/Spinosaur battle was so early, was to set the Spinosaur up as a stalking horse for the rest of the film (How a 45 foot animal sneaks up on you I don't know). It was then supposed to have a cataclysmic battle with all those US marines who appeared at the end of the film. But they ran out of money, and the film "just stopped".

The bit that annoyed me most was when the Spinosaur's neck was in the Tyrannosaurs jaws, and it shrugged the T-Rex off. I'd have thought with the bite strength that would have been game over.

David Craven