Temporal range: Early Cretaceous
|Suchomimus tenerensis as it appeared in Jurassic World|
Sereno et al., 1998
| Suchomimus tenerensis|
Sereno et al., 1998
Suchomimus ("crocodile mimic") is a genus of large spinosaurid dinosaur with a crocodile-like mouth that lived 112 million years ago, during the late Aptian stage of the Cretaceous Period in Niger, Africa. Sharing many traits with its larger, more intelligent descendant Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, such as a sail (though the sail of Spinosaurus was notably larger), Suchomimus was one of the dominant dinosaurs of its time and environment.Unlike most large theropods, Suchomimus had a very long, low snout and narrow jaws studded with some 100 or more teeth, which were not very sharp and curving slightly backward. The tip of the snout was enlarged and carried a "rosette" of longer and sharper teeth. The animal is reminiscent of crocodilians that eat mainly fish, such as the living gharial, a type of large crocodile with a very long, slim snout, from the region of India in that it had a similar habitat, snout and ecological niche.Suchomimus also had a medium sized extension of its dorsal vertebrae which may have held up some kind of low ridge or sail of skin, as seen in much more splendid form in Spinosaurus. Detailed study shows that the specimen of Suchomimus was a sub-adult about 11 meters (36 ft) in length and weighing between 3-5 tons, but scientists think that it may have grown to about 12 meters (40 ft) long and 6 tons, approaching the maximum known size to theropods or carnivorous dinosaurs such as T. rex.
The overall impression is of a massive and powerful creature that ate very big fish or similar water-based food and presumably all other sorts of meat (carrion, if nothing else is available) more than 100 million years ago, when the Sahara was a lush, swampy habitat full of life unlike the barren desert of today.
Etymology and taxonomic history
 There is a Mounted Suchomimus skeleton in Chicago. Suchomimus tenerensis claws and teeth are also in Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia. Suchomimus has been placed among the spinosaurids, a group of large predator-scavengers adapted for hunting fish and with less heavily-built skulls when compared to other similarly-sized theropods, like the tyrannosaurids or carnosaurs. Apart from the back ridge, Suchomimus was very similar to the spinosaurid Baryonyx, which also had strong forelimbs and a huge sickle-curved claw on its "thumb". And, as with Baryonyx, the claw was the first fossil part to be noticed by palaeontologists. Suchomimus was considerably larger than Baryonyx, but a few paleontologists have suggested that the latter might almost have been a juvenile of the former.
After discovering new specimens of Carcharodontosaurus and Sarcosuchus, Chicago-based palaeontologist Paul Sereno and his team added a discovery in 1997. In the Sahara, near the Tenere Desert in Niger, they found fossils that represented about two-thirds of the skeleton of a huge meat-eater in the Tegama Bed of the Elrhaz Formation. This was named Suchomimus ("crocodile mimic") after the shape of its head. Its species name comes from the Tenere desert near where it as found
In Popular Culture
- Suchomimus appeared on the website for Jurassic World, but unfortunately didn't appear in the actual movie. It was also mentioned in Jurassic Park III when Billy tried to indentify the Spinosaurus.
- It also appeared in three episodes of the anime series Dinosaur King in the first season.
- It also appears in When Crocs Ate Dinosaurs, being attacked by a SuperCroc.
- It also appears in Jurassic World: The Game as a legnendary carnivore. Since January 11th, 2016, a fully maxed Suchomimus could be mixed with a fully maxed Dsungaripterus to make the hybrid Suchoripterus.
- It also appears in Jurassic Park: Builder as a DNA tournament dinosaur.
- It also appears in Warpath: Jurassic Park.
- It appeared in the 2004 Sci-Fi Film Dinocroc as a hybrid that is a cross between Suchomimus and SuperCroc.