3.5" Fossil Spinosaurus Toe Claw - Kem Kem Beds, Morocco

This is a spectacular, 3.5" long toe claw from the largest known theropod dinosaur, Spinosaurus. While Spinosaurus teeth are common and readily available for sale, claws (in particular, well preserved ones) are RARE finds!

Unlike many claws available for sale, this one has very minimal restoration. The restoration on this specimen is in the form of gap fill along the left edge where a small section of bone chipped away. At this point of restoration (about 1.3" from the tip), there is a repaired crack through the claw. There is another repaired crack near the tip of the claw as well.

Spinosaurus is one of the most spectacular and horrible creatures that ever stalked the Earth. Evidence suggests that it was semi-aquatic, so there was nowhere to escape from this fish and dinosaur-eating monster. It belonged to a genus of theropod dinosaur, and lived in what is now North Africa during the Cretaceous period, about 112 to 97 million years ago. The original fossil evidence of S. aegyptiacus from Egypt was destroyed in WWII. More recently, relatively abundant Spinosaurus fossils have been found in the Kem Kem Beds of Morocco, and there are almost certainly multiple species present.

Spinosaurus is currently the largest of all known carnivorous dinosaurs, even larger than T-Rex! While the exact size is debated ,recent finds and studies suggest Spinosaurus may have reached 41-59 feet in length and weighed in excess of 20 tons.

Spinosaurus had distinctive neural spines, extensions of the vertebrae that grew to at least 1.65 meters (5.4 feet) long. They were likely connected by skin to form a sail-like structure, but some authors suggest that the spines were similar in purpose and design to those of hump-backed mammals. Thermoregulation, display, and added weight while in the water are other likely explanations for this remarkable structure.

Spinosaurus's massive, nearly 6-foot skull is narrow like that of a modern crocodilian. Indicative of a piscivore, it had elongated jaws, conical, unserrated teeth, and raised nostrils. Isotope analysis of the teeth suggests a semi-aquatic lifestyle. It was likely a generalized and opportunistic predator, biased toward fishing.

Spinosaurus was a monster that lived among monsters. A picture of its life is pieced together with the gruesome contents of its meals and other macabre details of Cretaceous North Africa. Spinosaurus may have lived alongside similarly large dinosaurian predators such as Carcharodontosaurus, titanosaur sauropods, and the 33-foot long crocodylomorphs Stomatosuchus and Sarcosuchus.

A note on fossil Spinosaurus teeth:

Spinosaurus teeth are relatively common fossils, but large (3+ inches), well-preserved examples are rare. These large Spinosaurus teeth will often be heavily doctored. We’ve seen many examples where multiple partial teeth can been glued to together to create a larger fake tooth, or where enamel has been painted on. One giveaway to look for is a ring of sand around the middle of the tooth, usually glued on to hide a break. Sometimes this is a sign that multiple partial teeth have been composited, but other times it is used to disguise a badly done repair job.

While some teeth on FossilEra for sale have these types of repairs or restoration, we are careful to note it in the descriptions and they are priced accordingly.

The Kem Kem Group is famous for yielding a diverse Late Cretaceous vertebrate assemblage, including fish, reptiles, and dinosaurs such as Spinosaurus. These fossils are found in a thin bed that outcrops around the edge of a large plateau near Taouz, Morocco. Local miners collect these fossils by digging narrow tunnels by hand into this plateau, following the layer.

A paper on this assemblage can be found at: Vertebrate assemblages from the early Late Cretaceous of southeastern Morocco: An overview

One of the tunnels dug into the Kem Kem beds by local miners following the productive fossil beds.
One of the tunnels dug into the Kem Kem beds by local miners following the productive fossil beds.
Spinosaurus sp.
Taouz, Kem Kem Basin, Morocco
Kem Kem Beds
3.5" long, 1.4" wide
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