Fun Ichthyovenator Facts For Kids

Martha Martins
Feb 02, 2023 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Sep 20, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Check out these interesting Ichthyovenator facts!
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.0 Min

Ichthyovenator is a genus of fish-eating dinosaurs that lived during the Early Cretaceous period.

This genus is represented by a single species, I. laosensis, which is also the type species. It is the most well-known spinosaurid found in Asia due to the discovery of its partial skeleton in the Grès supérieurs Formation in Laos in 2010.

It was later named and described by the paleontologists Ronan Allain,‭ ‬Tiengkham Xeisanavong,‭ ‬Philippe Richir,‭ and ‬Bounsou Khentavong in 2012.

Even though its skull and limbs have not been found yet, its discovery was considered to be important because of the unique sails that this dinosaur sported on its back.

Unlike other spinosaurids whose neural spines of the vertebrae elongated and formed a single sail that extended over their backs, the sail of the Ichthyovenator curved downward at its hips and then rose again to form two separate sails in the shape of a wave.

A few years after the first fossils were discovered, some more fossil material including teeth, vertebrae, and pubic bone were also found belonging to the Ichthyovenator, which revealed that the dinosaur would have fed on small ground-dwelling dinosaurs as well as fish.

Skulls of other spinosaurids suggest that an Ichthvyovenator skull would have had a sensitive receptor to help it detect fish underwater.

Here are some amazing facts about this sail-backed fish hunter!

If you want to read about other cool dinosaurs, check out our Austroraptor interesting facts for kids and Orodromeus fun facts pages.

Ichthyovenator Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Ichthyovenator'?

The phonetic pronunciation of this dinosaur is "Ik-fee-o-ven-ah-tor".

What type of dinosaur was an Ichthyovenator?

Ichthyovenator is a type of theropod dinosaur and is a member of the family of spinosaurids. The dinosaurs with a similar classification are characterized by their long, narrow skulls and conical teeth.

They were named after the sails that were formed from the neural spines of the vertebrae in many of the dinosaurs, but sails of Ichthyovenator divided into at its hips. This dinosaur was put into the subfamily Baryonychinae as it was considered to be related to Baryonyx.

However, after the discovery of its teeth, vertebrae, and several other bones, it was found that it had more in common with the Sigilmassasaurus and could be related to it instead. Thus, it was placed in the subfamily Spinosaurinae.

In which geological period did the Ichthyovenator roam the earth?

The fossils of these dinosaurs date back to 125-113 million years ago. Therefore, it can be concluded that they lived on Earth during the Aptian stage of the Early Cretaceous period.

When did the Ichthyovenato-r become extinct?

It is difficult to say exactly when these spinosaurids went extinct as only a few specimens of them have been found as of yet, but none of them can be dated back to later than the Early Cretaceous. Thus, it may be assumed that these animals became extinct sometime during the Early Cretaceous.

Where did an Ichthyovenator live?

Ichthyovenator has been found to have lived in the semiaquatic habitats of Asia. Its remains were recovered from the Grès supérieurs Formation that is situated in the Savannakhet Basin in Laos.

What was an Ichthyovenator's habitat?

Research has shown that the bones of spinosaurids, including the Ichthyovenator, had a very high density that allowed them to maintain their buoyancy. Therefore, it was determined that these animals spent a lot of time in the water as well as on land. This would have also helped them catch fish easily.

Who did an Ichthyovenator live with?

It is assumed that these creatures led a solitary life and did not have a grouping system. However, evidence has been found of other theropods, ornithopods, and sauropods existing during the same time period within the Grès supérieurs Formation.

How long did an Ichthyovenator live?

Although the lifespan of this prehistoric animal cannot be calculated due to lack of evidence, Spinosaurus, another spinosaurid dinosaur, would have had an estimated lifespan of 30 years.

How did they reproduce?

These dinosaurs were oviparous, that is, they laid eggs, from which young ones emerged. It has often been suggested that sails in dinosaurs like these were used to impress the opposite sex, and this theory was supported by the discovery of the divided sail of an Ichthyovenator.

However, it is also possible that it could have been used for recognizing members of the same species.

Ichthyovenator Fun Facts

What did an Ichthyovenator look like?

The Ichthyovenator had a curious and unique appearance. This was because its neural spines rose up and formed a sail-like structure on its back.

However, instead of it extending till its tail like in other spinosaurids, the sail dropped low over its hips and rose again to form another sail, thus dividing the structure in two.

It had a long tail, and its skull, though not found along with its partial skeleton, is thought to have been narrow with a low snout. Its nostrils would have higher upon its head than other theropods.

Ichthyovenators were carnivorous dinosaurs.

How many bones did an Ichthyovenator have?

The total number of bones in an Ichthyovenator cannot be quantified due to the lack of a complete skeleton fossil found of the animal.

How did they communicate?

There is no sure way to know how these prehistoric animals would have communicated with each other. However, scientists have proposed that they may have used grunts, bellows, or booms to express themselves.

How big was an Ichthyovenator?

These sail-backed animals were estimated to have measured 28-34 ft (8.5-10.5 m) in length. They were about half the length of a Spinosaurus, but a bit bigger than an Irritator, another spinosaurid genus.

How fast could an Ichthyovenator move?

The speed of an Ichthyovenator is not known due to a lack of research and evidence.

How much did an Ichthyovenator weigh?

The weight of these animals could have been in the range of 2.2-2.6 short tons (2-2.4 long tons).

What were the male and female names of the species?

There were no specific names for males and females in this genus.

What would you call a baby Ichthyovenator?

A baby Ichthyovenator could have been called a hatchling when it emerged out of its egg.

What did they eat?

This dinosaur has been considered to be a fish-hunter due to its semiaquatic lifestyle and the density of its bones. However, they could also have fed on small dinosaurs and pterosaurs.

How aggressive were they?

There is a huge possibility that these spinosaurids were highly aggressive and territorial, given their large size and carnivorous diet. The bite force of a Spinosaurus has also been estimated to have been really high.

Did you know...

The neural spines of the tail vertebrae of this dinosaur were found to be very tall, and the pubis bone was found to be shorter compared to other similar dinosaurs. This led to the conclusion that the Ichthyovenator would have used its tail to move when in water, just like modern-day crocodilians.

What does 'Ichthyovenator' mean?

The name Ichthyovenator was given by Ronan Allain and his team in 2012 and is Old Greek for "fish-hunter" because of its diet, which mainly consisted of fish. The species name, I. laosensis, also given by Ronan Allain and his team, refers to the country of Laos, in which its fossils were originally found.

How many Spinosauridae dinosaurs are there?

Spinosauridae is a family of theropod dinosaurs and consists of 12 different genera. All of them have been found to have existed during the Cretaceous period, about 139-93 million years ago. Each genus consisted of bipedal dinosaurs who had a carnivorous diet, and some of them had a semiaquatic lifestyle.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Atrociraptor facts and Heterodontosaurus facts for kids.

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

Main image by Kumiko and second image by Alexander Vieira.

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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