Fun Baryonyx Facts For Kids

Ritika Katariya
Oct 20, 2022 By Ritika Katariya
Originally Published on Oct 12, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Uncover amusing Baryonyx facts in this article!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

The Baryonyx or the Baryonyx walkeri was first discovered in In 1983, by a fossil hunter William Walker who uncovered a giant claw in a brick pit in Surrey, England. Its initial research started indicating the resemblance to the Spinosaurus.

Walker's son-in-law then took the bone to specialists at London's Natural History Museum, (England) where they assumed the bone to be a part of some unidentified predator.

To uncover the mystery, the team then descended to Walker's pit, which yielded several new bones, including vertebrae, limb elements, and a slender snout.

Initial in 1986, Charig and Milner named a new genus and species with the skeleton as holotype specimen: Baryonyx walkeri. Just through the quickest findings, the snout and length of its jaws emerged as a distinctive feature.

Its jaws could take a lot of stress which is probably why they have a name meaning 'heavy claw.' The snout of Baryonyx was unlike that of most theropod dinosaurs: long and narrow, with rows of, finely serrated teeth.

The serrated teeth are a feature borne by animals like a crocodile who predate on and eat flesh.

Their teeth were rounded in cross-section rather than flat like the teeth of lots of other meat-eating dinosaurs.

Such a feature was more suited to a predator that ate fish. They also had sharp three-toed claws which a lot of modern piscivores have.

Subsequently, their remains revealed that they resided near rivers and freshwaters which made the researchers conclude that the Baryonyx was a fish-eating dinosaur who dipped and hunted in shallow waters alone. One of the first piscivores, the Baryonyx is a unique dinosaur in the Jurassic world.

Despite the striking resemblance of its specimen to the crocodiles of the modern world, it is not the ancestor of crocodiles, although the taxonomic identity of the fish-eating dinosaur was confirmed to be a Spinosaurus.

If you enjoy this article, learn more about other dinosaur species with these Puertasaurus and Incisivosaurus facts.

Baryonyx Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Baryonyx'?

Baryonyx is pronounced as 'Bah-ree-on-icks.'

What type of dinosaur was a Baryonyx?

Baryonyx was a mid-large-sized meat-eating Therapod. It belonged to the Spinosaurus family, a family of aquatic dinosaurs.

In which geological period did the Baryonyx roam the Earth?

It lived around 145-125 million years ago in the Berriasian - Barremian era of the early cretaceous.

When did the Baryonyx become extinct?

The Baryonyx went extinct around 65 million years ago, after the end of the early cretaceous era.

Where did a Baryonyx live?

The first Baryonyx fossil was discovered in Surrey, England. However, its range is spread across two continents - Europe and Africa. Its fossils have been found in places such as Rioja, Castile and León (Spain) and England (United Kingdom).

What was a Baryonyx's habitat?

The dinosaur was known to inhabit wetlands and riverine areas where freshwater and fish were readily available. They were known to inhabit flooded natural caves that are found beside a river.

Who did a Baryonyx live with?

The Baryonyx lived alongside a variety of dinosaurs which included sauropods like Polacanthus, theropods such as Eotyrannus, and Neovenator and ornithopods such as Iguanodon on which, it used to prey.

How long did a Baryonyx live?

According to German paleontologists Katja Waskow and Mateus these dinosaurs had a lifespan of 20-25 years.

How did they reproduce?

These theropods were oviparous like other reptiles and dinosaurs. The female used to lay around 100 eggs and incubated them in a shallow pit-like nest. It's probable that their nests were located on the riversides as they spent most of their time near the water bodies.

Baryonyx Fun Facts

What did a Baryonyx look like?

The Baryonyx was a Spinosaurus with classic features like a downturned, humped body, shorter forelimbs, and the long slender snout. The Baryonyx skull was very similar to that of a crocodile and these theropods crocodile-like jaws as well.

They had brown patches on their body and stripes on their tail. Finally, it contained crocodilian osteoderms running down its back, with crocodilian scales covering the underside.

Baryonyx as compared to a human.

How many bones did a Baryonyx have?

The skeleton consisted of a partial skull, ribs, cervical, dorsal and caudal vertebrae as of the body. Other bones included teeth, arms, and hands, claws, chest bones, hip and leg bones. The Baryonyx skeleton was considered to be one of the fullest skeletons.

How did they communicate?

These dinosaurs splashed in the water by smacking the jaws together to communicate. Other common modes of communication were hisses and screeches.

How big was a Baryonyx?

The Baryonyx size ranged from a mid to a large size scale. The length of the Baryonyx was between 25-33 ft (7.6-10 m) whereas thelength of its prey, the Iguanodon ranged between 39.4-62.3 ft (12-19 m)! This makes it almost two times smaller than its prey the Iguanodon. They are slightly smaller than a T Rex.

How fast could a Baryonyx move?

The exact speed of the Baryonyx is unknown but it was a speedy dinosaur. It was considered to have a good speed on land and even better speed in water as a swimmer. Thus it was one of the faster dinosaurs.

How much did a Baryonyx weigh?

The Baryonyx was one surprising species that weighed less than its prey! The Iguanodon, whom the Baryonyx used to prey on was actually around 11023.1 lb (5,000 kg) whereas the Baryonyx weighed only as much as 4188.8 lb (1900 kg). Thus the Baryonyx was twice as lighter than its prey Iguanodon.

What were the male and female names of the species?

The male and female dinosaurs of the species were known by the same name Baryonyx.

What would you call a baby Baryonyx?

The baby of a Baryonyx was known as a baby reptile or baby dinosaur just like its cousin reptile species.

What did they eat?

The diet of the Baryonyx mostly revolved around fish. Some of the specimens indicate the presence of fish bones in their stomach, which clearly concluded that they used to prey on fishes with their sickle-like claws, it used to clench on the fish and hunt them down.

However, records reveal it to be meat-eating theropods who actually hunted down large terrestrial animals as well. Just as the fish bones, some partially digested bones of a young Iguanodon were found in its stomach as well.

How aggressive were they?

As is well-documented, these dinosaurs were meat-eating dinosaurs thus it's certain that they at least had some degree of aggression.

While you might think that they hunted down fish which was probably not the most vicious activity for a dinosaur, the Baryonyx actually had records of being a hunter of big terrestrial animals while being more than just a fish eater.

Thus they were more aggressive than you might think.

Did you know...

The teeth of the Baryonyx were accidentally identified as crocodile teeth during the early phase of examinations.

The initial fossils of the Baryonyx were destroyed due to bombing during the Second World War.

The Baryonyx gets its species name 'Walkeri' from the name of its first founder William Walker in England.

What is the Baryonyx known for?

Across the history of dinosaurs, Baryonyx is popularly known for being the first species to be the first piscivorous theropod dinosaur.

While being a theropod was no new thing until the discovery of the Baryonyx, the association of any dinosaur's diet with aquatic beings was something which was much anticipated as well but was never demonstrated with evidence until Baryonyx.

They were proved to have been piscivorous (fish-eating), as fossil remains clearly show residual fish scales in the stomach region of the dinosaur. Notably, its genus - Spinosaurus was a popularly anticipated fish-eating dinosaur and it was discovered much before the Baryonyx.

Then what makes the Baryonyx first?

It's the evidence. Since no concrete evidence was found for the Spinosaurus initially, the Baryonyx was officially crowned as the first piscivorous dinosaur.

Could the Baryonyx swim?

Originally in 1986, Charig and Milner did not consider Baryonyx to be aquatic. They concluded so after examining the structure of its nostrils.

Much later, however, as enough sources came to light and more examinations were performed, the Spinosaurus emerged as an 'excellent swimmer.' Likewise, it spent a lot of time in or near water, proven by many adaptations like claws which probably facilitated fish catching.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Procompsognathus fun facts, or Utahraptor facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Baryonyx coloring pages.


Main image by Андрей Белов.

Second image by Nobu Tamura.

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Written by Ritika Katariya

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritika Katariya picture

Ritika KatariyaBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A dedicated content writer and language enthusiast, Ritika holds a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Fergusson College. With a keen interest in linguistics and literary adaptations, she has conducted extensive research in these domains. Beyond her academic pursuits, Ritika actively volunteers at her university, providing academic and on-campus assistance to fellow students.

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