The knights honor the code of chivalry even extend to their enemy regardless of species and sizes. A team of 12 elite knights armed with only a lance each will ride on a horse and venture through a time portal into the Late Cretacecous period to hunt down an adult Spinosaurus and possibly capture it alive. My question is what kind of lance is suitable for this sport?

Note: You are to ignore adaptability, presence of the portal, being chase by other carnivorous animals that isn't spinosaurus, whether their armor still hold during the engagement possibly between 2 sets of razor sharp teeth each with a crushing pressure of more than 1 tons maybe, durability of the armor in case of stampede, the first reaction of the horse upon the arrival of spinosaurus, everyone trembled and frozen in excitement hearing a spinosaurus cry, just focus on the design of the lance and no worry these guys and gals are doing good they have been rehearsing hard with a dummy.

  • $\begingroup$ What exactly are you looking for with this? Lances are essentially elongated cones used for the first strike and are pretty much useless afterwards (even when they don't break). They aren't repeat weapons. Are you looking for materials? $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Aug 8 '15 at 5:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre I wanted to see if a modified lance can subdue a dinosaur of that calibre. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Aug 8 '15 at 5:17
  • $\begingroup$ Is cone shell venom off the table? $\endgroup$ – Jake May 4 '16 at 1:58

Realistic answer: This sounds like the worst way to hunt a large animal. Lances can only be used effectively once, when you charge the beast, and it will likely maul you before it dies, which it might not.

Awesome answer: This sounds like the BEST WAY to hunt an enormous dinosaur! Lances are for cavalry charges, which is a wicked cool way to fight a huge terrible lizard!

The dinosaur has a long reach, so you need a longer spear. It could be so front-heavy that you'd need a support on the saddle in front of you, a support on another horse in front of you (which defeats the purpose of having a long spear, but hey! Teamwork!), or you need to hold the lance upright as you charge and drop it at just the right time so it's level with your target at the moment of impact. Or just be super strong. That works too.

It should be made of a material with a high strength per volume ratio (specific strength). It needs to be strong but thin so that it punctures well. Titanium ought to do the trick, but there are some other materials with even higher specific strengths that have really great names like Zylon, Vectran, and of course "colossal carbon tube" (see Wikipedia page on specific strength). What are these? How are they made? What do they look like? I have no clue, but the names are sweet and they have Wikipedia entries so you can read up on them.

Aaanndd... the Gruesome Answer: Blood loss and trauma are key to surviving the fight. Unless you are lucky enough to sever critical nerves with your first strike, your beast will not go down fast enough to keep it from wrecking you. Unless you can make it bleed faster.

Here's what I have in mind: a telescoping spear that collapses on impact, but as it collapses blades pop out from all sides of it, shredding the innards of the target. This weapon would have huge stopping power because it would scrape through the target rather than sliding. Your knight would probably be thrown from his horse as the lance absorbs all of his momentum. (I also assume that the dinosaur is charging at your knight, so double trouble.)

This lance - let's call it the Death Flower - could also help a knight that has fallen from his mount: if he is charged by a foe, he can plant the butt of his Death Flower in the ground and aim. The terrible lizard hits the spear and comes to a halt inches away from the knight because all of its forward momentum has now gone into liquifying its own internal organs. Brutal.

Again, this is a one-shot weapon. Maybe bring spares.

  • $\begingroup$ I've heard story of hunter wounded by a ricochet bullet while hunting rhinos, with that much energy being deposited into a tiny area on the hide of the animal failed to penetrate the animal. A spinosaurus leather may be even thicker depends on its race, any way brilliant answer and I'll probably collate some answers first. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Aug 8 '15 at 6:23
  • $\begingroup$ Bullets don't weigh much. They are high energy, low momentum. For puncturing thick hide, a lance might actually be better than some bullet calibers. $\endgroup$ – master_gibber Aug 8 '15 at 6:39

Well, I'm not a massive medieval history buff, but I can try with the Spinosaur. Assuming your going off the newest and most accurate version, who possessed smaller back limbs than most theropods I've seen, and might even have been a mostly aquatic quadruped, you're going to need something that you can strike at range with, especially if you're going to fight it in its natural habitat: the water.

You'd probably be wise to somehow lure it out before attacking, and you'd need a lance that could penetrate skin similar to say, a crocodile, which is honestly the closest thing to a spinosaur besides a crane or a pelican or something of that nature. Multiple weapons are heavily advised given the one use nature of a lance. Team work is also strongly advised, as dividing the spinosaur's attention would be key to take it down. Also beware of any other predators in the area, as cretaceous Africa was crawling with them. (Charcharadontosaurus, Rugops, Sarcosuchus, and Kaprosuchus just to name a few from that area.)


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