A remarkable discovery of a dinosaur claw from the Cretaceous of Gondwanaland, now part of the continent of North Africa. The genus type we have attributed to Spinosaurus. Presently two types of Spinosaurus are known from North Africa and Morocco, Spinosaurus moroccanus and Spinosaurus aegypticus, the region from where the ungual was unearthed is geologically the fossil layers of the Cenomanian and Turonian strata of an age of 112,000,000 to 89,000,000 years.
Condition is very good, a break mid claw has been reaffixed, the claw has been coated with a preservative at the fossil site, no further work has taken place other than the preserving on finding. In a good stable condition, exhibiting a very good distal tip and bone structure, blood vessel pores etc. The morphology of the claw is very good having attributes of the Spinosaurid family. The point of the claw is complete, bone structure is evident and clear to the proximal end where the blood vessel structure is profuse and well defined. As is the nerve vein artery groove to both flanks of the claw. Towards the proximal end of the claw and this groove are the points of connection of the finger flex tendon points which also exhibit clear distinct morphology.
One of the most ferocious theropod dinosaur to have roamed the lagoons and waterways of what is now the northern Sahara desert of North Africa. One other dinosaur could dispute Spinosaurus for top predator at up to 59 feet in length and 21 tonnes. That is the Carcharodontosaurus, up to 44 feet in length and 15 tonnes which also ranged the Cretaceous of N.Africa. Spinosaurus being a semi-aquatic dinosaur, it is theorised the two apex carnivore dinosaurs were not in conflict over territory or prey too often. Spinosaurus having mainly a marine diet of sharks and large fish and no doubt the occasional other theropod dinosaurs, we would like to think.
There are many influences which play a role in the outcome and extraction processes when considering the value of these Dinosaur fossils and the diminishing resource, in this region of the world, of this unique site. Complete undamaged dinosaur fossils are limited in occurrence, it requires a lot of collecting time in the field to acquire such a fine example. The prestigious Spinosaurus fossils are rarer. These sites will too become exhausted, coupled with political and military unrest in the region making collecting more haphazard.
The only recorded Spinosaurus aegyptiacus partial skeleton up to the last decade of the 20th century, a partial jaw and large ribs of the sail back was discovered by the palaeontologist Ernest Stromer circa 1915. These were later lost in 1944 during a bombing raid on Germany during WWII which levelled the Munich Museum, then housing the most famous and remarkable find of Stromer's career. A much later discovery of Spinosaurus bones in the Kem Kem deposits has been described by Dale Russell in 1996, as Spinosaurus moroccanus, although to date this is not fully accredited by the whole paleontological community. Another 40% complete skeleton was reconstructed at the museum of Chicago by Paul Sereno and his team Paul Sereno Museum of Chicago bio >This is the most complete discovery of a Spinosaur sp. skeleton made from pieces of three different animals skeletal bones. The bones were dug by Moroccan fossil diggers in the Kem Kem region and found the way to Europe, once recognised and the importance realised they were used to build the almost half complete Spinosaur for the museum of Chicago in modern materials before the original bones returned to the Moroccan museum services.