The Spinosaurus is established to be one of the largest dinosaurs that ever existed on Earth. With its massive features and body build, it comes as no surprise that many species feared the Spinosaurus. Of course, it won’t be the only dinosaur that roamed the lands of what is now known as North Africa. Other dinosaur species coexisted peacefully with the Spinosaurus, or so we thought.
What dinosaurs lived with Spinosaurus? The Carcharodontosaurus and the Bahariasaurus existed with the Spinosaurus and smaller theropods such as the Deltadromeus and Rugops. Meanwhile, contrary to popular belief, the Tyrannosaurus rex did not live together with the Spinosaurus.
Also, it discusses the long-standing popular belief that the T-rex and the Spinosaurus have lived at the same age. Lastly, this article discusses the habitat where they lived back then — the marshy wetlands of North Africa.
Where The Spinosaurus Lived – Did The T-rex and Spinosaurus Live Together?
One of the popularly contested theories was that the Tyrannosaurus rex and the Spinosaurus lived together. It is an interesting theory since these two were the biggest and the largest dinosaurs globally.
Had they lived together, scientists and paleontologists would not have imagined the setup back then because these two are some of the biggest dinosaur species on Earth.
Spinosaurus Was The African Beast
Spinosaurus was known as the biggest of all carnivorous dinosaurs. They are much larger than other dinosaurs, such as the Tyrannosaurus rex and the Giganotosaurus. It roamed the swamps of North Africa during the Cretaceous period, about 112 million to 97 million years ago.
YouTube Video About Spinosaurus Detailing Fossil Discoveries Using Modern Technology
Their remains and fossils were discovered in the modern-day countries of Egypt and Morocco. Some of their remains were also discovered in Tunisia and Niger. However, the fossils discovered were destroyed when a bombing raid in World War II damaged where they were being kept.
These places gave their names, the Spinosaurus aegyptiacus or the Egyptian spine lizard and the Spinosaurus marrocanus or the Moroccan spine lizard. (Source)
Tyrannosaurus Rex: The King of North America
On the other side of the world, the Tyrannosaurus rex was known to live in the vast expanses of North America. It was nicknamed the King of Tyrant Lizards and one of the largest dinosaur species on Earth.
They are also carnivores, just like the Spinosaurus, and they grew up to 40 feet long and 12 feet tall. They also weighed between 5.5 and eight tons, making them one of the heaviest dinosaurs as well.
They dominated the lush forests of the river valleys in western North America during the late Cretaceous period, about 68 million years ago. Tyrannosaurus rex is also one of the most famous dinosaurs, often immortalized in the media as a huge and menacing beast.
They Never Lived Or Existed Together
These two dinosaurs did not live together simultaneously, as the Spinosaurus existed before the T-rex did. The Spinosaurus existed during the Cretaceous period, while the T-rex lived during the upper Cretaceous period, between 67 to 65 million years ago.
The T-rex was one of the latest species that were alive before the mass extinction began. Thus, they never existed alongside each other. However, since the T-rex lived later than the Spinosaurus, the scientists were more exposed to them.
Over 30 specimens belonging to the T-rex were found, while only six known specimens of the Spinosaurus were discovered. It shows how their timelines did not overlap with each other, and that meant the Spinosaurus’ earlier demise to the world gave the scientists more mysteries than clues on how they lived in general.
Dinosaur Fossils Found Together with Spinosaurus
Of course, Spinosaurus lived with other dinosaurs. Dinosaur fossils were discovered near where the Spinosaurus remains were also discovered, signifying that these dinosaur species existed during the Cretaceous.
The Contemporaries Of The Spinosaurus
The Spinosaurus lived in the coastal wetlands and marshes covered with mangroves found in North Africa. However, it was not the only dinosaur species that were alive during the period. It lived alongside other dinosaurs as well.
Some dinosaur species that lived with Spinosaurus include large predatory theropods such as Bahariasaurus and the Carcharodontosaurus. Smaller theropods such as Deltadromeus and Rugops existed with the Spinosaurus, alongside sauropods Paralititan and Aegyptosaurus, pterosaurs, plesiosaurs, and large crocodylomorphs. (Source)
Bahariasaurus: The Lizard Of The Middle East
One of the contemporaries of the Spinosaurus is the Bahariasaurus. Its name means Bahariya lizard, taken from the Bahariya Formation in Egypt, where it was found. Some specimens were also found in the Farak Formation in Niger, also in North Africa.
They existed during the late Cretaceous period, about 95 million years ago. As mentioned before, it was a huge theropod the same size as the Tyrannosaurus. It measures about 11-12 meters in length and weighs up to four tons. (Source)
YouTube Video About the Spinosaurs and Carcharodontosaurus
Carcharodontosaurus: The Other King Of North Africa
One of the other known dinosaur species that existed in North Africa aside from the Spinosaurus is the Carcharodontosaurus. It is a large theropod that existed during the mid-Cretaceous period.
It is known as one of the longest and heaviest carnivorous dinosaurs. It measures up to 13.3 meters and weighs up to 15.1 metric tons. They have enormous jaws and long, serrated teeth, measuring up to eight inches long.
The Watery Habitat Where Spinosaurus and Other Dinosaurs Lived
The watery habitat where the Spinosaurus existed plays an important role in studying more about the ways of life of the Spinosaurus and the other dinosaur species. It also contributes a lot to the study of dinosaurs in the area since it happened when a supercontinent was breaking apart.
The Oasis In The Desert
The Spinosaurus and the other dinosaur species were known to live and frequent the marshy wetlands of North Africa. Today, North Africa consists of different countries, such as Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, and Niger.
They lived in a habitat that may have been wet, humid, and swampy. It is safe to say that they lived in swamps. Their habitat is a perfect location for the Spinosaurus to hunt for its prey, including sawfish, groupers, coelacanths, and ambush small crocodiles for food as well.
Back then, Egypt and Morocco were known to have marshy swamps along the coastlines. (Source)
The Time When Pangaea Was Broken
The Spinosaurus and the other dinosaurs existed when the supercontinent Pangaea was already starting to break up and form the landmasses of the continents that we know today.
At the onset of the Cretaceous epoch, the continents had already started splitting from the mother continent. As the Jurassic period continued, North America became separated from Africa across a narrow seaway to the north, known as the Atlantic Ocean. It was also when South America and Africa became separated from each other by the South Atlantic Ocean.
A Closer Look At The Jurassic Era North Africa
The African coast was largely equatorial, and that meant that the climate was hot and humid. The current climate patterns in North Africa were similar to the climate back then in the Jurassic period. Thus, the warmer climates have forced the Spinosaurus to spend most of their time underwater to cool themselves off.
The separation of Africa and South America is relevant because the Spinosaurus existed with the dinosaur species and other animals in South America, such as the Oxalaia. Ninety-four million years ago, when the Spinosaurus lived in North Africa, a vast seawater area covered the north-eastern region. Back then, Egypt was the perfect place for the Spinosaurus.
Mangrove forests lined its coastlines, channels, and tidal flats. It was a perfect place for them because they can freely hunt for their prey, consisting of sea animals and other amphibians and reptiles. Spinosaurus might have resorted to eating pterosaurs during the dry seasons, as suggested by a tooth found in a South American pterosaur.
Spinosaurus is known as one of the fiercest and strongest dinosaur species on Earth. They have reigned supreme in North Africa, but other dinosaur species lived peacefully along with the Spinosaurus, such as the Bahariasaurus and the Carcharodontosaurs. They might not have lived together with the Tyrannosaurus rex on the other side of the world, but they left a big mark on the legacy of the dinosaur species around the world.
● I’ve written a whole article about hadrosaurs including the different types and the ones with distinctive head crests which gives a broader perspective on these duck-billed dinosaurs.
● If you are interested in reading more about dinosaur teeth, including hadrosaurs and why scientists speculate hadrosaurs did not feast on hard vegetation, I wrote an article just about this topic.