Poll: Do you think spinosaurids would be good at fighting multiple opponents?
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Would spinosaurids have been good at fighting multiple foes?
So I had this conversation in the 'Most Overrated and Underrated Animals' thread with Black Ice, and he was pretty unconvinced, so I brought it here to Dinosauria: 
Do you think spinosaurids would do well at fighting multiple smaller opponents? They seem to be at least SOMEWHAT good at it, with features like gripping jaws, large thumb claws they could maul smaller foes with, and a potentially quick striking time.
The example I used was a Baryonyx fighting a clan of Pachycrocuta (a type of prehistoric hyena), and it seems to have the tools for doing so, like the aforementioned gripping jaws and thumb claw. So, what do you think? Discuss.
As i understand, the arms have a limited range of motion, the jaws aren't really adept at restraining a large struggling animal, and being able to "strike" quickly, would not benefit it much, therein. So, i am not sure, but leaning towards probably not.
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By multiple opponents I assume you're talking about multiple smaller opponents (taking multiple opponents of similar size is definitely not something any animal would be comfortable with, unless these opponents are that feeble/unimpressive for their size).

In that case, the disadvantages their jaws typically have against animals of similar size are reduced, increasingly so the smaller each individual foe is. Striking speed (which I would suppose spinosaurids would not only need if they were hunting fish smaller than themselves, but would also have with their longirostrine snouts and skulls without the massive jaw musculature of say, tyrannosaurids) would then come in handy against multiple smaller opponents that are in all likelihood faster and more agile than the spinosaurid itself. As for the forelimbs, recent research suggests that estimates for range of motion in the bones of extinct animals are potentially too conservative (because there are some soft tissues present in life that will grant greater range of motion than suggested by the bones alone). But spinosaurid forelimbs, I believe, are still not as proportionately long as those of cats or bears, so I think it will still be more limited in its ability to strike out with its forelimbs (but god help the smaller animal if it does manage to get hit or caught by those claws). A better option might be to kick out and stomp with the clawed hindlimbs (for spinosaurids that have normally proportioned limbs; obviously the ridiculously short-legged Spinosaurus couldn't do this) or perhaps even swat with the tail. And as with the jaws, these are more potent against smaller animals than they are against same-sized, or larger ones.

My guess is they would be alright in holding their own against multiple smaller foes. More so if they're not of the short-legged sort and are dealing with something that won't struggle hard enough to ruin the structural integrity of their skulls. However, I don't think they were especially good at it by the standards of predatory Mesozoic theropods, as jaws to strike out with, or legs and maybe even tails to kick and swat with are characteristics they share with a lot of those.
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  • ChocolateCake123
^Yeah, multiple smaller foes is what I meant.
Although, for whatever reason, no theropod I am aware of seems to have as many potential adaptations to fight multiple smaller foes.
I believe that multiple opponents will be more effective than a prey animal that runs rather than a predator which is more willing to fight. It all depends. I support multiple opponents over eve a larger predator if the outweigh it with their combine weight all other factors being equal.
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I think it depends on what spinosaurids we are talking about really there are different sides of the Spinosaurid family the older side the Baryonychinae that has the ones that have adaptations for catching fish but are also more suited for life on land that have larger hind legs and different body designs such as Baryonix and Suchomimus these animals would have been good at moving around on the land and would have been more agile so i guess they could of used there claws in a limited capacity to defend themselves or attack certain prey items but then you have the later spinosaurs such as Spinosaurus that are more suited for life in or around the water and have reduced hind legs so its doubtful they were as competent on land plus we have very little fossil evidence regarding the arms and claws of Spinosaurus we normally just guess and use Suchomimus remains to fill in the gaps for it so who knows how useful its claws were we will only know when we finally find the fossil evidence.
(01-12-2019, 09:12 PM)ChocolateCake123 Wrote: ^Yeah, multiple smaller foes is what I meant.
Although, for whatever reason, no theropod I am aware of seems to have as many potential adaptations to fight multiple smaller foes.

There is a laundry list of Allosaurids and Melagosaurids that have well developed forelimbs (by theropod standards) and more effective jaws, that are equivalent in or exceed the size of several spinosaurids. I think these animals would be the most effective.

I'd bet that medium to large Tyrannosaurids such as Daspletosaurus or Albertosaurus and up would likely be just as if not more effective than a Spinosaurid of equivalent size when against the same opponents due the fact that they are more robust and have more structurally sound jaws. Theropod arms, as Tupinambis said, had a fairly limited range of motion. While I concede that a Spinosaurid would likely get more milage out of them in this particular situation, I don't think they would be quite as effective as you are imagining.
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