All About the Baryonyx: The Heavy Claw

Photo: Kitti Kahotong via Getty Images

Did you know that there was a dinosaur that ate fish? The Baryonyx is one of the most incredible dinosaurs due to its diet and where it was discovered.

The first known fossils of the dinosaur were discovered in England in 1983, although they have also been found in Portugal and Spain.

It was a theropod, a carnivore that walked on two legs. It was also a member of the Spinosaur family, which includes other well-known dinosaurs such as the Velociraptor.

The Baryonyx was a giant fish-eating dinosaur that roamed the earth during the early Cretaceous period.

Unlike most other dinosaurs, the Baryonyx seems to have been comfortable in both water and land.

It's conceivable that this fantastic animal used its muscular tail to propel itself through the water while hunting for fish.

Or maybe it simply walked along the edge of rivers and lakes, ready to snatch unsuspecting victims from the surface!

Whatever the case may be, this dinosaur is sure to fascinate any paleontologist or dinosaur enthusiast. Let's explore more about it!

Description and Appearance

The Baryonyx is a carnivorous theropod dinosaur that lived around 130–125 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous Period.

The first fossil of this species got discovered in 1983 in Surrey, England.

Thanks to its distinctive appearance, the Baryonyx is one of the most well-known dinosaurs.

The name "Baryonyx" comes from the Greek words "barys," meaning "heavy," and "onyx," meaning "claw."

It measured around 9 meters (30 ft) in length and weighed approximately 1,100 kilograms (2,400 lb).

It had a long neck and tail and strong, muscular legs. Its most distinctive feature was its enormous claw, which could measure up to 12 inches (30 cm) in length.

The claw was used for slicing through the flesh of its prey. The Baryonyx had razor-sharp teeth used to tear its game apart.

Baryonyx was a meat-eater that is known to have hunted both fish and other small animals and reptiles, according to fossil records.

Despite its fearsome appearance, the Baryonyx was ultimately no match for the giant Tyrannosaurus rex, which appeared on the scene later in the Cretaceous period.


The Baryonyx was a carnivore, and its diet consisted mainly of fish. 

Fossilized fish bones supported the idea that dinosaurs were aquatic in Baryonyx stomachs.

It probably used its long, curved claw to snag fish from the water. However, it has also been suggested that the Baryonyx may have scavenged for dead animals and reptiles along the riverbanks.

The Baryonyx had several adaptations to catch and eat its prey.

These included sharp teeth, a long neck, and a giant claw on its right hand.

The Baryonyx hunted for food in both water and on land.

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As with most dinosaurs, very little is known about the Baryonyx's reproductive habits.

The Baryonyx probably nested in groups, as this is common among other theropod dinosaurs.

This dinosaur may lay eggs, as this is the case with most other theropods.

However, it is also possible that it gave birth to live young, as some crocodilians do today.

Given its size and predator status, it is likely that the Baryonyx was a solitary creature.

It may have only interacted with others of its kind during the mating season. Fossil evidence suggests that the Baryonyx may have had a mate, as two individuals have been found together in the same fossil bed.


Photo: Kitti Kahotong via Getty Images

The Baryonyx was a theropod dinosaur that lived during the Early Cretaceous period, around 130-125 million years ago. It was thought to live in wet, marshy conditions near rivers and lakes.

Fossils of this dinosaur have been found in England, Spain, and Portugal.

This suggests that the Baryonyx had a wide distribution across Europe during the Early Cretaceous period.

While most dinosaurs preferred to stay on land, the Baryonyx was comfortable in the water and on the ground.


The Baryonyx is a genus of theropod dinosaur that includes some of the largest carnivores.

The first Baryonyx was discovered in 1983 by amateur fossil hunter William J. Walker. While exploring a quarry in Surrey, England, Walker came across a fossilized claw, which he soon recognized as belonging to a theropod.

After further investigation, he found several more bones, including a partial skeleton.

The fossils were sent to paleontologists Alan J. Charig and Angela C. Milner, who helped to confirm that they belonged to a new genus of dinosaurs.

Since then, several more Baryonyx fossils have been found, giving scientists a better understanding of this large and fearsome predator.

The name Baryonyx means "heavy claw" and alludes to the weight of the palm claw, which is three times heavier than any other known theropod.

Other Interesting Facts

The Baryonyx was a giant predatory theropod dinosaur that lived during the early Cretaceous period.

It was discovered in 1983 by amateur fossil hunter Alan J. Charig and professional paleontologist Angela C. Milner.

The first skeleton of this dinosaur to be discovered was incomplete, but it was enough to provide some interesting information about this creature.

The Baryonyx was approximately 10 meters (33 feet) long and weighed around 1.2 metric tons.

The creature had a long, narrow nose full of pointed teeth and short arms that were proportionally far shorter than its long legs.

This dinosaur is believed to have been a scavenger and a predator, and it may have fed on fish and other relics.

The Baryonyx is one of the most exciting and well-known theropod dinosaurs.

Final Thoughts

The Baryonyx is a fascinating theropod dinosaur with many unique features.

Although its exact appearance and behavior are still largely unknown, it has captured the imaginations of scientists and the public alike.

As more fossils are discovered, we will continue to learn more about this intriguing creature.



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