Producing a Display Board About Baryonyx

Our project work continues despite the lockdown (COVID-19).  For example, in anticipation of outdoor events and exhibitions in the UK starting up again in the summer of 2021 an events company has requested the assistance of Everything Dinosaur team members to help them provide suitable dinosaur-themed data for a series of prehistoric animal display boards being prepared for an exhibition.

One of the theropods we have been asked to help with is Baryonyx (B. walkeri), the first fossils of which were brought to the attention of science back in 1983.  This dinosaur was formally described in 1986 (Charig and Milner).

A Model of the Theropod Dinosaur Baryonyx (B. walkeri)

CollectA Baryonyx dinosaur model.

The CollectA Deluxe 1:40 scale Baryonyx dinosaur model, photographed outside.  A recently introduced model of Baryonyx with a human figure providing an approximate scale.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Information for the Display Board

Name: Baryonyx (B. walkeri).
Means: Heavy Claw.
Period: Early Cretaceous, about 125 million years ago.
Where have Baryonyx fossils been found: England, Spain, (Europe).

In 1983, amateur fossil hunter, William Walker discovered parts of a giant claw, a claw bone and a tail bone whilst exploring a clay pit in Ockley, Surrey.  Palaeontologists from the British Museum (now known as the Natural History Museum) in London were despatched to investigate and this led to the recovery of approximately 70% of the skeleton of a new type of theropod dinosaur.  The huge claw, after which Baryonyx is named, measures over 30 cm along its curve.  It is possible that Baryonyx used this claw to hook fish out of water, while hunting on riverbanks.  The fossils found in the Surrey clay pit came from a dinosaur that was not fully grown.  Baryonyx could have measured up to 9.5 metres long, 2.5 metres high at the hips and probably weighed over 2 tonnes.

Dinosaurs Associated with the Wealden Group

A reconstruction of the Isle of Wight in the Lower Cretaceous

The prehistoric animals associated with the Wealden Group (Isle of Wight).  A Baryonyx feasts on the carcase of an Iguanodon, whilst a herd of sauropods (Pelorosaurus) passes by on the right.  The Baryonyx may not have too long to feed as a Neovenator approaches from the left.

Picture Credit: John Sibbick

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