Step Aside Sue, Here Comes Spinosaurus

Nov 4, 2014

Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex discovered in South Dakota in 1990 was 40 feet long and one of the largest predatory dinosaurs. But a century ago, paleontologists found fossils of an even bigger dinosaur on the edge of the Sahara Desert, the Spinosaurus. The fossils were completely destroyed in a World War Two allied bombing raid, leaving the dinosaur something of a mystery and not as familiar as the T. Rex. But the recent discovery of new Spinosaurus bones has answered many questions about what some paleontologists have called one of the strangest and weirdest creatures that ever existed on Earth.

Workers at the National Geographic Museum in Washington grind the rough edges off a life-size replica of a Spinosaurus skeleton.
Credit Mike Hettwer National Geographic

A new NOVA/National Geographic special, “Bigger Than T. Rex,” explores the mystery of the Spinosaurus. It's a story that includes an eccentric German scientist, Nazis and mysterious Moroccan fossil traders. One of the experts consulted for the program is Matt Lamanna, assistant curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. He joined Dakota Midday and discussed the 95-million-year-old dinosaur and the story behind its discovery.

"Bigger Than T. Rex" is featured tonight on SDPB1 Television at 8 pm, Central; 7 pm, Mountain.