Spinosaurus Name

Spinosaurus   >   Name


Spinosaurus Name

The first fossils of Spinosaurus were discovered by Richard Markgraf in Bahariya Formation of western Egypt.

Richard Markgraf:
Richard Markgraf

Scientists classify living things, including animals, using a hierarchical system of names. The lowest two levels in this system are the Genus (which refers to a closely related group of animals), and the Species (animals so closely related that they can breed and produce fertile offspring). The Genus and Species are often used in combination to identify a particular animal (this is known as the "Scientific Name" or "Binomen") of the animal. This system of naming animals is known as "Binomial nomenclature".

Spinosaurus was first described and named by Ernst Stromer in 1915. He chose the name:
  • For the Genus, he chose "Spinosaurus", which is derived from Ancient Greek, and means "spine lizard".

  • For the Species, he chose "aegyptiacus" to indicate the animal was found in Egypt.
Ernst Stromer:
Ernst Stromer

In 1934, Stromer tentatively identified a second Spinosaurus species based on fragmentary fossils, which he referred to as "Spinosaurus B" but did not formally name. With the benefit of hindsight, we now know that these fossils were probably Carcharodontosaurus or Sigilmassasaurus (although many scientists consider Sigilmassasaurus itself to be an invalid identification, and think Sigilmassasaurus is the same animal as Carcharodontosaurus).

In 1934, Canadian paleontologist Dale Russell identified a second species of Spinosaurus which he called Spinosaurus maroccanus. (meaning "Spinosaurus from Morocco").

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