Spinophorosaurus nigerensis was a midsize sauropod that lived in what is now Nigeria in the middle Jurassic, about 170 million years ago. It resembled a small Brachiosaurid and belonged to a sister taxon of the Eusauropoda. It was 13 metres long. Its most famous attributes are the spines at the end of the tail. They probably helped keeping off theropods, the tail was used rather like a club than a whiplash.
A team of scientists from the “Staatliches Naturhistorisches Museum” Braunschweig discovered two incomplete skeletons of Spinophorosaurus in 2009, one of which now is being examined in Braunschweig, the other one in the Museo Paleontológico de Elché in Spain.
The reviewed figure is a remittance work by Bullyland for the “Staatliches Naturhistorisches Museum” in Braunschweig. Together with popular Korbach Procynosuchus it is the second prehistoric creature that has been exclusively produced for a museum and not just in cooperation with a museum, like the Stuttgart animals for example. Furthermore, this Spinophorosaurus figure has been designed by “Mesoart Studios”, so that three companies were involved in the production of this little guy.
First thing I thought after I had unwrapped this figure was “I didn´t expect it to be that small”. I had expected it to be about the size of Schleich Saltasaurus. It seems to be much bigger on pictures. In fact, it´s only 7,3 cm tall and 17,5 cm long.
Colouring and skin texture
The skin of this Spinophorosaurus figure is brownish green, and bright beige at the underside.
The skin texture is somewhat strange, for it reveals furrows and folds like a dried out mudflat. I´m not sure if this texture is scientifically proofed and is intended to remind at the bone plates of Saltasaurus or other Titanosaurids. Maybe this texture is only the result of a sculptor’s caprice. Somehow or other: I can´t find another dinosaur toy with such an unusual skin pattern. It definitely needs getting used to.
What a pity: the nostrils have been placed wrong, as in so many sauropod figures before. I thought scientists and sculptors got over with the theory of nostrils between the eyes, but Mesoart Studios proofed me wrong. Placing the nostrils that far back leads to a bump at the head. This makes the figure look like a dwarf version of bigger Brachiosaurids. The mouth is opened widely with a toothpaste smile. Unfortunately the designers seem to belong to the “skinny head” – group – no lips, no throat sac, no fleshy anything here.
The pose shows Spinophorosaurus watching out for a predator or browsing. It´s a little boring. But: If it wasn´t for the sheer size, Schleich Apatosaurus´ pose would be boring, too. The legs are slender and muscular , the toes are worked out well.
What I like
I like the fact that this is the only Spinophorosaurus figure. No wonder, it is a species that has been unearthed only one year ago! This makes only 15 or so months between its discovery and release as a figure. I also like this figure is so small and yet so detailed. It has exclusively been made for a single museum, like Korbach Procynosuchus and Basel Tsintaosaurus. Loyal readers know that I like figures with such a background.
What I don´t like
According to the pose, the sculptor obviously couldn´t decide for an approach: Should this figure be a Brachiosaurid or a basal sauropod? One can´t really tell this by the pose of its head. As mentioned above, the skin texture will be a matter of discussion, too. The skinny head is the last minus of an overall nice little figure.
Bullyland Spinophorosaurus is a matter of debate in our forum. It does not deserve being compared to rough AAA style – it is a museum quality figure by it´s overall look.
In my opinion it is a must for every collector who does not only want the average “Stegosaurus, Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus” stuff. The neat little guy perfectly fits in every collection and will probably become a collector´s item due to its exclusiveness. Let the hunt begin!