Tags: spinosaurus | swimmer | dinosaur | bigger | t rex

Spinosaurus: Swimmer Dinosaur Was Even Bigger Than Tyrannosaurus Rex

Image: Spinosaurus: Swimmer Dinosaur Was Even Bigger Than Tyrannosaurus Rex
A full-sized skeletal model of a Spinosaurus, the largest predatory dinosaur ever to roam the Earth, is seen in a new exhibit at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 12 Sep 2014 03:13 PM

A newly discovered swimming dinosaur, the Spinosaurus, was even bigger than a T-Rex and reportedly spent a lot of time in the water.

Whether dinosaurs could swim has been up for debate among scientists for years, but discovery of the bones of the Spinosaurus in Morocco showed evolutionary adaptations suitable for living in the water, the journal Science reported.

The Spinosaurus aegyptiacus lived 95 million years ago and was apparently the largest “predatory dinosaur to walk the Earth,” according to The Los Angeles Times.

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The semi-aquatic swimming dinosaur is the first of its kind, and its water life was shown by nostrils that were pushed up to the top of its skull and teeth that stuck out diagonally to grab fish, the Times said.

“It was not a balancing, two-legged animal on land,” study coauthor Paul Sereno, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago, told the Times. “It would have been something very peculiar.”

The differences between the swimming Spinosaurus and dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus Rex were significant, the Times said. The T. Rex and other theropods like it had strong legs but weak, small arms, while the Spinosaurus had strong arms and short legs that weren’t good for walking.

“It’s about time that they found a dinosaur that was semi-aquatic,” Hans Thewissen, an anatomist at Ohio Medical University who was not involved in the research, told the Times. “I’m not surprised, but I’m delighted that they found it.”

A Spinosaurus skeleton was found in 1912 in Egypt, but the bones were destroyed during an Allied bombing of Germany in the 1940s. This current skeleton was found in 2008 by paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim in Morocco when a Bedouin fossil hunter brought him a box full of bones, the Times said.

He later put them together with “peculiar” fossils stored at an Italian museum that came from Morocco.

“My jaw dropped,” Ibrahim, the lead author of the Science report, told the Times about matching the two collections of bones.

Ibrahim returned to Morocco to track down the Bedouin who gave him the fossils so that he could determine if all the bones came from the same site.

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A newly discovered swimming dinosaur, the Spinosaurus, was even bigger than a T-Rex and reportedly spent a lot of time in the water.
spinosaurus, swimmer, dinosaur, bigger, t rex
384
2014-13-12
Friday, 12 Sep 2014 03:13 PM
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