Baryonyx was a large bipedal carnivore dinosaur and it gets its name from the long, curved claws on its thumbs. Baryonyx means “heavy claw”. It lived during the Early Cretaceous period about 130-125 million years ago. The first Baryonyx was discovered in clay pits just south of Dorking, England. Later on, more fossils would be discovered in northern Spain and Portugal. Baryonyx was approximately 33 feet long from nose to tail and it weighed up to 2 tons. However researchers speculate that the most complete specimen did not reach maturity, so Baryonyx may have been even larger. Its narrow skull was packed with 96 small, sharp teeth. Baryonyx had a long, low snout, similar to the modern crocodile. Baryonyx had a long, muscular neck, which is unusual for larger carnivore dinosaurs. Most dinosaurs of its size had necks shaped like an “S”. The famous claw by which Baryonyx is known measured almost 10 inches in a straight line from tip to base. The claw is what makes researchers believe that Baryonyx’s diet consisted of fish. Also the discovery of fish remains found inside its stomach is supportive of this theory. The fish is known as Lepidotes, and they are known to have grown up to 3 feet in length, it would have made a good sized meal for Baryonyx. So far, Baryonyx is the only known dinosaur that ate fish. In 1983, William Walker found a rock the size of a soccer ball in a clay pit in Surrey, southern England. He noticed that a small fragment of bone was sticking out from it, and with a blow of his hammer he shattered into pieces. Out fell several fragments of an enormous claw bone. This was a major discovery. Scientists of the Natural History Museum in London spent three weeks searching for more remains of the dinosaur in the clay pit, and eventually unearthed three-quarters of the skeleton.
Class Order: Saurischia
Name Meaning: Heavy claw
Period: Early Cretaceous 125 million years ago
Length: 30 feet (9.15meters)
Weight: 2+ Tons