Length 4.41 inches 112mm
Date Obtained August 2020
Location Kem Kem beds, Begga, Morocco
Age 96 million years, Cenomanian, Cretaceous
This beautiful spinosaurid dorsal vertebra measures just over four inches long and would make a great addition to any collection. Although it is only the centrum, it is beautifully preserved with a fine red-brown coloration and a nice mixture of smooth bone surface and porous bone structure visible.
It is still being debated how many spinosaurids are present in the Kem Kem Beds. Virtually nothing is known about the potentially valid genus Sigilmassasaurus, but Spinosaurus aegyptiacus is currently thought to have lived much like a stork or heron, stalking aquatic prey such as crocodiles and giant fish from the water's edge, though some argue it was specialized for a largely aquatic life in the water itself.
The Kem Kem Beds of Morocco date to the middle of the Cretaceous Period and seem to preserve an unusual delta ecosystem with a high proportion of carnivores, including Spinosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, two abelisaurids, Deltadromeus and an abundance of crocodylomorphs, in addition to many species of freshwater fish. Herbivorous dinosaurs seem to consist almost entirely of sauropods and some paleontologists believe that aquatic prey served the base of the predatory food chain.