The Niger Firespitter was a large dragon like theropod reported in west Africa in 1984. It was.found by local uranium 

Firespitter mask

A Senufo Firespitter mask

miners who were then chased by the Firespitter to the mine entrance where it was shot by local army soldiers. 

Almost all information on the Niger Firespitter comes from a single email from a man who's 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 dinosaur expectating 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." 
Spinosaurus in Japan Expo
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.

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.

Possible Explanation


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