One of the spinosaurids that stalked the lush Cretaceous swamps was Suchomimus. It was as big as Tyrannosaurus but hunted fish. Suchomimus probably stood in water watching for passing fish, which it then snapped up in its huge mouth or speared with its thumb claws. With its long jaws and sharp teeth, it was the perfect swamp predator.
■ When: 112 million years ago (Early Cretaceous)
■ Fossil location: Africa
■ Habitat: Mangrove swamps
■ Length: 30 ft (9 m)
■ Diet: Fish, possibly meat
Suchomimus, meaning “crocodile mimic,” got its name from its crocodile-like snout and sharp teeth, which it used to catch fish and other slippery prey. Compared to other meat eaters, it had long and powerful arms—perhaps it used them to reach into the water to grasp prey. A bladelike sail ran along its back and perhaps its tail.
Suchomimus had more than 100 teeth along its jaw that slanted backward and were pointed like the prongs of a rake. Another set of longer teeth lay clustered at the tip of its snout.
Suchomimus’s nostrils were set a long way back from the tip of its snout. This allowed it to breathe while feeding in water or when scavenging inside the body of a dead dinosaur.