Spinosaurus fossil tail suggests dinosaurs were swimmers after all

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 - 10:06 in Paleontology & Archaeology

Sharp-toothed Spinosaurus didn’t just stand in the shallows to snag fish for dinner; this dinosaur may have been an excellent swimmer. Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, a new fossil discovery reveals, had a paddle-shaped tail that may have helped the predator slice through the water with the grace of a crocodile. The fossilized tail, unearthed from 95-million-year-old rocks in Morocco, is the most complete Spinosaurus tail ever recovered. Its unusual shape suggests that this dinosaur may have been aquatic — contrary to prevailing wisdom that dinosaurs were solely land dwellers, researchers report in a study published online April 29 in Nature. “It was basically a river monster,” says Nazir Ibrahim, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Detroit Mercy who led the study. “When I first saw the illustrations of the tail, I literally giggled with surprise and delight — and I’m not someone who usually giggles,” says Matthew Lamanna, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, who reviewed the paper for Nature....

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