The Niger Firespitter was a dragon like theropod reported in Arlit, Niger, in 1984. It was found by local uranium miners who were then chased by the Firespitter to the town where it was shot by local army soldiers.
Almost all information on the Niger Firespitter comes from a single email from a man whose servant had seen it. This makes almost the entire case only hearsay. However one fact that makes the story more believable is the description.The man who sent the email was well educated but his servant had none. One he drew the outline of brontosaur-like dinosaur expecting ether a "yes I saw this on the TV once." or "No sir." He surprised to say the least when his servant answered "Oh yes I have seen this before. In my home village." He later corrected him saying that while it did have long neck and tail, but the head was more like a crocodile's or caiman's. He also added that while both of it's feet were the same length they were clawed, much like a spinosaurus would be described today.
It is important note that while today spinosaurus is well known today at the time almost no one had heard of it and it was thought that the front arms would be shorter than than the back legs.
Reptilian, with tough skin "like that of elephant". It had the color of the sand, with small, black and white spots. Spines started from the base of the neck, finished before the tail. It had four legs with same length. The feet were like that of an ostrich, with big claws. Its tracks on the ground was like that of an ostrich. The eyewitness said it had long neck and tail, but not as long as the brontosaur drawing. The tail is thick and very strong. The head was like a crocodile's head, with big eyes. Big eyes may indicate it's a nocturnal or young creature. When attacked by soldiers, the creature retaliated by spitting fire to them while hunching and elevating its spines. The eyewitness indicates a height of 60-80 cm, which makes people thought it was just a baby. A month long search was undertaken to search for its mother.
The term "Firespitter"
Kponungo are "funeral head masks", referred under the term "Firespitter" by outsiders. Used by both Poro and non-Poro male societies, these helmet masks embodied an aggressive supernatural power to combat any forces that might disrupt the well-being of the community. The powerful features of antelopes, buffaloes, crocodiles, warthogs, hornbills, chameleons and humans combined to symbolize power and to recall important myths.
A possible explanation for the Niger Firespitter is the crocodile, which is the subject of many local legends revolving around firespitter masks. A large and aggressive species with a broad snout, especially in older animals. It has a dark bronze coloration and darkens as the animal matures. Lives in a variety of freshwater habitats but is also found in brackish water. It is an apex predator that is capable of taking a wide array of African vertebrates, including large ungulates and other predators