How Much Did A Spinosaurus Eat?

Spinosaurus, arguably the longest, if not largest carnivorous dinosaur would have had to eat a lot of food to maintain its size. It is thought to have fed mainly on fish (although not above the odd dinosaur or two) and we look at, what, how and how much did a Spinosaurus eat here

The Spinosaurus consumed vast amounts daily, mainly eating large fish. Estimates suggest it required 400-500 kg of food daily. Given its size, comparable to a T. rex but with a piscivorous diet, it’s like a modern-day crocodile amplified in hunger and dimensions. Essential for its active, semi-aquatic lifestyle.

We look at this answer in more detail below and some comparisons in the article below, also how the Spinosaurus would hunt and catch its food, as well as the role it played in its ecosystem

how much did Spinosaurus eat?

Overview of the Spinosaurus (150 words)

The Spinosaurus, with an estimated length of up to 50 feet, was one of the largest, if not the largest, carnivorous dinosaurs. Native to what’s now North Africa, it thrived during the Cretaceous period, around 112 to 93 million years ago. We have more on its size in our how big was a spinosaurus article.

Distinctive for its long mouth filled with sharp teeth and a sail-like structure on its back, the Spinosaurus’ physical features were evolved for its semi-aquatic lifestyle.

Recent fossil evidence suggests that it frequented both land and water, positioning it as a versatile predator.

While it likely hunted fish in aquatic environments, it’s believed that the Spinosaurus also preyed on smaller dinosaurs and other terrestrial animals.

How Much Did a Spinosaurus Eat?

Understanding the eating habits of dinosaurs like the Spinosaurus involves a mix of detective work and educated guessing.

Given the limited fossil evidence available, the exact amount of food a Spinosaurus consumed daily definitely requires some educated guessing.

Still, by analyzing its size, body structure, and comparing it with present-day creatures, we can make some educated estimations.

A critical component of the Spinosaurus’s eating habits is the “feast or famine” lifestyle, a common characteristic among large predators.

In essence, a “feast or famine” lifestyle means that these animals would have days of abundant eating, followed by periods where they might not eat at all. It’s not always about daily consumption; it’s about sustaining energy over more extended periods.

This pattern can be observed in many modern predators, like lions or sharks, which might gorge on a big kill and then not eat for days.

Considering the Spinosaurus’s massive size and its diet, which likely consisted of both fish and smaller terrestrial prey, a reasonable estimate for its average daily intake would be around 110 – 320lbs – 50-150 kg of food.

However, it’s important to note that this wouldn’t be a daily routine. There could be days where a Spinosaurus consumed several hundred kilograms of food, and then there might be subsequent days of little to no eating.

For perspective:

  • One large feast might be equivalent to a Bluefin Tuna, which can weigh up to 80 kg. Given the Spinosaurus’s piscivorous nature, fish like these might have been a staple in its diet.
  • On leaner days, a Spinosaurus might eat the equivalent of 100-330 salmon, with an average salmon weighing approximately 0.45 kg.

While the Spinosaurus’s eating habits might sound like a lot, w e should remember the sheer size of these and other dinosaurs size.

How much did the Spinosaurus Eat Comparison Table

Equivalent to Modern Day…Estimated AmountNotes
Bluefin Tuna1 tunaAn average Bluefin Tuna can weigh around 80 kg. ( and be much bigger)
Nile CrocodilesHalf a crocodileAn adult Nile Crocodile weighs around 225-750 kg.
Human Adults1 personPurely a size comparison, not actual diet. (thankfully)
Salmon100-330 salmonAverage salmon weight is approximately 0.45 kg. Reflects the piscivorous diet of the Spinosaurus.
Sheep1-2 sheepA typical sheep weighs around 70-90 kg.
Chickens50-150 chickensAverage chicken weight is around 1 kg.
Large Catfish50-150 catfishWith an average large catfish weighing around 1 kg,


  • These comparisons are based on rough weight estimations and serve illustrative purposes.
  • The Spinosaurus’ feeding habits and exact prey size would vary based on several factors, including age, health, and availability of prey.
  • Fish is based on the thoughts that Spinosaurus would mostly eat in aquatic environments.
how much did Spinosaurus eat?

How Did the Spinosaurus Feed? (150 words)

The Spinosaurus, unlike most of its theropod relatives, had an elongated mouth that looked like modern crocodiles or alligators. This snout, lined with long sharp, conical teeth, ( we have one of these!) was great at catching fish and other water animals.

On land, its size and strength would have given it many advantages as well. Certainly capable of overpowering smaller dinosaurs or scavenging or fighting for remains when opportunities presented themselves.

While it might not have been as agile as smaller carnivores, its sheer size and strength would deter many potential competitors. Perhaps only Carcharodontosaurus, which lived in the same area at around the same time, being its main competitor.

What Did the Spinosaurus Eat? (150 words)

The primary diet of Spinosaurus was fish, especially large ones like sawfish and lungfish that existed during its time. Fossil evidence, including a Spinosaurus jawbone with embedded fish scales and bones, certainly shows it liked to eat fish.

Its teeth and jaw structure were great for catching and gripping slippery aquatic prey. However, fish wasn’t were not the only thing on the menu. As an opportunistic predator, it would have tried to eat any prey it came across.

At the time North Africa was rich with a range of animals from fish to dinosaurs. So while fish were provably eaten, smaller land animals, perhaps even juvenile dinosaurs or carcasses, would also be on the (dinner) table, especially when larger fish were scarce.

how much did Spinosaurus eat?

Spinosaurus’ Role in the Ecosystem (150 words)

At the top of its food chain the Spinosaurus would have played an important role in its ecosystem, keeping the balance.

By preying on large fish and possibly smaller land animals, it kept the populations of these species in check, preventing overpopulation and making sure resources were spread evenly.

Its preference for fish might have also allowed smaller carnivorous dinosaurs to thrive, as it wouldn’t directly compete with them for food sources. It would also keep it out of direct competition with other large predators like Rugops, Bahariasaurus and the similar sized Carcharodontosaurus.

Any waste or remains from its meals would become food for scavengers, ensuring energy was recycled within the ecosystem.

The Spinosaurus was more than just a massive predator; it was a keystone species whose presence or absence would significantly impact its environment especially the aquatic oen.

Comparison with Modern Day Animals

The Spinosaurus, due to its semi-aquatic nature, is often compared to modern-day crocodiles in terms of hunting techniques and food sources – although he fish were bigger back then!

However, its sheer size and terrestrial capabilities make this comparison only partially accurate.

Crocodiles, though apex predators in the water, don’t have the abilities on land that the Spinosaurus had. In terms of size and appetite, *The potential warm blooded, or somewhere inbetween Spinosaurus, when compared with cold blooded crocodiles, would have needed much more food than a modern alligator or crocodile.

*Whether spinosaurus was warm or coldblooded is not currently known, the huge sail, if used for heat regulation, may suggest it was cold blooded and then its food requirements would be much less.

Its role in the ecosystem perhaps more comparable to that of great white sharks or killer whales, both apex predators in their respective habitats, and both of which play essential roles in maintaining ecological balance.

Want to know how much other dinosaurs ate – we many eating habits of dinosaurs covered below.

how much did Spinosaurus eat?

Conclusion (100 words)

So while we admit that the 100-300 lbs of food a day to keep a Spinosaurus on its feet is a mixture of comparison and guesswork adn the actual amount would likely never be know.

We can be sure that with its massive size and possibly warm blooded to some degree (this is heavily debated) it would need a lot of fish in that crocodile shaped mouth.


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