Ninety-five million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period, lived the Spinosaurus. Spinosaurus was an aquatic dinosaur, and its name means spine lizard. It is considered to be one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs, exceeding the size of famous Tyrannosaurus-rex.
Spinosaurus caused a lot of debate among scientists. One of them is about the distinctive neural spines that it was named after. They were long extensions of the backbones and grew to at least 1.65 meters long. Some scientists say that they and had skin connecting them, while other scientists say that the spines were covered in fat, and the Spinosaurus was hunched.
The first fossils were discovered in 1912 in Egypt, but they were destroyed during World War II. In 2008, in Morocco, another fossil was found, and then another piece, in 2015. This last piece was of the tail of this giant.
The Spinosaurus, a species of aquatic dinosaur, was found
The former belief was that the aquatic dinosaur Spinosaurus measured 12.6–18 meters in length and 7 to 20.9 tones in weighing. Recent and more accurate estimations say that it weighted 6.4–7.5 tones. Now, that’s a giant! Also, there was a debate concerning the Spinosaurus’ diet. Evidence pointed to the suggestion that it was a semiaquatic creature, living on both land and water and feeding with fish.
A recent laboratory experiment used a plastic model of the dinosaur’s tail, and they mounted it on a robotic swimming device. The researchers wanted to understand how the Spinosaurus hunted since it is considered to have become a river monster that invaded the waters. The experiment confirmed the scientists’ belief that it hunted big fishes with the help of the tail that made it swim like a crocodile. Presumably, it killed sharks too.
“This discovery overturns decades-old ideas that non-bird dinosaurs were restricted to terrestrial environments. So, yes, we believe that this discovery does indeed revolutionize our understanding of dinosaur biology,” said Harvard University vertebrate paleontologist and biomechanist Stephanie Pierce, a study co-author.