Spinosaurus aegyptiacus is a dinosaur that you might have heard of because it showed up in a Jurassic Park movie to break the neck of a Tyrannosaurus rex. But in the real world, it had a slightly weirder story.

The original skeletal remains of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus were collected by a team of German paleontologists out of North Africa in the 1910s. The fossil remains did okay for themselves until the Second World War, when the Munich museum they were in was destroyed in the Allied bombings of Nazi Germany.

Until a few years ago, that was the story of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. Further incomplete specimens of it were occasionally found, but the original locality was difficult to find again because the 1910s field notes weren't very good (note to modern fossil hunters: take good field notes). But researchers finally tracked down the original locality, found some more exposures of the original fossil-bearing formation, and found moar Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. Like, an almost complete skeleton's worth of moar.

This almost complete skeleton allowed the current researchers to present the hypothesis that Spinosaurus aegyptiacus was a semi-aquatic predator of North Africa of 95 million years ago.

If you like reading Science articles, here's a link to it. If you like reading National Geographic talking about it (...they helped fund the expedition), here's this and this. If you like reading Brian Switek's Laelaps blog, here's that.


Top image from National Geographic. Their credits: Art: Davide Bonadonna. Sources: Nizar Ibrahim, University of Chicago; Cristiano Dal Sasso and Simone Maganuco, Natural History Museum of Milan