Possibly the most impressive feature of Suchomimus was its large thumb claw. This claw was present on each thumb of Suchomimus' forearms. It was likely used to help the dinosaur catch its prey-large, 10+ feet long fish. But, not only was the claw significant to the dinosaur's lifestyle, it also played a major role in the discovery of Suchomimus. While exploring the Sahara Desert in Niger with Sereno's team, Montana paleontologist Dave Varricchio noticed some white flakes on the sand a few feet ahead of where he was walking. He ran over to the spot and sitting on top of the sand, separated from any rock formation or matrix, was a foot-long claw. He immediately called over Sereno, and the team began to dig. The claw was the first bone discovered of what turned out to be Suchomimus.

Here is a quote from a November 1998 San Francisco Chronicle article about Suchomimus:

"Suchomimus' thumbs were about 16 inches long and tipped with 12-inch claws curved like a sickle. The two fingers on each hand had shorter, curved claws."

"'The hand is amazing,' Sereno said. 'It was probably ideal for fishing, for grabbing...into those large fish.'"

"It is likely, Sereno said, that giant crocodiles and Suchomimus competed for the same large fish, 'and I imagine the two squared off.' But, ruling the enviroment, he said, was Suchomimus."

 

Front Skeleton | Upper Body | Skull Front | Skull Side | Skull Comparison | Claws | Spines | Rosette | Back Skeleton | Side Skeleton

See Steve Brusatte's web site Dino Land.

 

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Geologic History of West Virginia
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