Skip to main content

Suchomimus tenerensis

Ok. Back to my usual passion - drawing theropods. This time, it's Suchomimus tenerensis. As always, I ran out of paper but this time, I scotch-tapee another piece of paper to fit the tail...however, the extra length made it too big for my scanner so I had to scan it in twice and stitch them together using Photoshop...

Anyway, a bit about Suchomimus - though this dinosaur is really famous that I probably won't have anything unique to comment on. Suchomimus is a spinosaurid dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian) of Niger (Sereno et al. 1998). It is quite distinctly different from the other famous African spinosaur Spinosaurus in snout morphology and in the lack of the giant sail - although Suchomimus also has elongated neural spines along the posterior dorsal, sacral, and anterior caudal vertebrae. The elongation is most pronounced in the sacral vertebrae but it is nowhere as long as those seen in Spinosaurus.

Along with the slightly older Baryonyx from the UK and contemporary Cristatusaurus of Niger, Suchomimus is phylogenetically distinct from Spinosaurus and Irritator of Brazil - the former three forming the subfamily Baryonychinae and the latter forming the subfamily Spinosaurinae. However, it has been suggested that Suchomimus is congeneric with Cristatusaurus as well as with Baryonyx. In which case, both Cristatusaurus and Suchomimus should be sunk into Baryonyx because of senior priority...whatever - I don't really know much about taxonomy but personal observations of the skull elements of Baryonyx and a cast replica of the same elements in Suchomimus lead me to believe that this may be the case - at least with Suchomimus and Baryonyx. Suchomimus is just slightly bigger than Baryonyx. Then again it is believed that Baryonyx is a sub-adult anyway, so if they were the same genus then we could just be observing an ontogenetic sequence...


Zach said…
I'm all for fewer genera rather than more, and all of the photos and restorations of the skull parts of Baryonyx and "Suchomimus" lead me to believe that the two are synonymous, but perhaps split at the species level, given their geographic and temporal differences. I wrote a McLarge Huge post about spinosaurs awhile back...I'm too lazy to link to it, though. ;-)
Mambo-Bob said…
I just read your blog piece on spinosaurs - I was aware of it but didn't have time to read it before...:P

I agree. S. tenerensis probably is Baryonyx tenerensis. Though, my colleagues and I follow the valid genera in the Dinosauria II for the moment until official renaming so we use Suchomimus.
saurian said…
Having spoken to Angela Milner not too long ago, she was very bullish that Suchomimus would be sunk into Baryonyx in the not too distant future but she also hinted that Paul Sereno would continue to be difficult to convince. But she gave the impression that this would be the year it would happen. We'll see....
Mambo-Bob said…
A few of my friends also had similar conversations with Angela Milner. But I didn't know it was gonna actually happen...
saurian said…
Well maybe it won't! She gave me the "this is as much as I want to tell you" look but, for sure, the feeling she exudes is one of absolute confidence and certainty that the two are the same.
It may have to do with the fact that she had been looking at newly recovered Baryonyx material from Portugal but that is just speculation on my part.

Popular posts from this blog

R for beginners and intermediate users 3: plotting with colours

For my third post on my R tutorials for beginners and intermediate users, I shall finally touch on the subject matter that prompted me to start these tutorials - plotting with group structures in colour.

If you are familiar with R, then you may have noticed that assigning group structure is not all that straightforward. You can have a dataset that may have a column specifically for group structure such as this:

B0 B1 B2 Family
Acrocanthosaurus 0.308 -0.00329 3.28E-05 Allosauroidea
Allosaurus 0.302 -0.00285 2.04E-05 Allosauroidea
Archaeopteryx 0.142 -0.000871 2.98E-06 Aves
Bambiraptor 0.182 -0.00161 1.10E-05 Dromaeosauridae
Baryonychid 0.189 -0.00238 2.20E-05 Basal_Tetanurae
Carcharodontosaurus 0.369 -0.00502 5.82E-05 Allosauroidea
Carnotaurus 0.312 -0.00324 2.94E-05 Neoceratosauria
Ceratosaurus 0.377 -0.00522 6.07E-05 Neoceratosauria
Citipati 0.278 -0.00119 5.08E-06 Oviraptorosauria

The difference between Lion and Tiger skulls

A quick divergence from my usual dinosaurs, and I shall talk about big cats today. This is because to my greatest delight, I had discovered today a wonderful book. It is called The Felidæ of Rancho La Brea (Merriam and Stock 1932, Carnegie Institution of Washington publication, no. 422). As the title suggests it goes into details of felids from the Rancho La Brea, in particular Smilodon californicus (probably synonymous with S. fatalis), but also the American Cave Lion, Panthera atrox. The book is full of detailed descriptions, numerous measurements and beautiful figures. However, what really got me excited was, in their description and comparative anatomy of P. atrox, Merriam and Stock (1932) provide identification criteria for the Lion and Tiger, a translation of the one devised by the French palaeontologist Marcelin Boule in 1906. I have forever been looking for a set of rules for identifying lions and tigers and ultimately had to come up with a set of my own with a lot of help fro…

Top 10 scientifically important theropod dinosaurs of all time (off the top of my head)

I thought I'd do a fun post for once. And since list based articles are the norm for fun on the internet, I thought I'd do one on dinosaurs, but given that I know most about theropods, I've decided to restrict my list to theropods (...maybe in a future post, I'll do other clades).

My ranking is based mostly on scientific importance so it may not reflect awesomeness, and it is obviously subjective as to how I rank importance to science. For instance, interesting discoveries or unique palaeobiology are ranked relatively low compared to wealth of information and data or completely revolutionising our understanding of the evolution of theropods.

So here are my top 10 scientifically important theropod dinosaurs of all time (off the top of my head)

10. Megalosaurus

Being the first dinosaur to be named, Megalosaurus automatically deserves a spot on this list, but given the fragmentary nature of known fossil specimens, and being mostly useless as a meaningful source for biologi…