Did Spinosaurus Swim?

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Did Spinosaurus dive into water to seek its prey or lay in wait by the shore awaiting a meal of opportunity? New findings into Spinosaurus’ habitat have made the prospect of a swimming spinosaur even more intersting.

Click to enlarge… © tinbutti

Paleontologists from the University of Pennslyvania have found clues in Egypt giving information about spinosaurus’ habitat. It is believed that the Bayharia Oasis which was where the orginal spinosaur fossils were found, was once a Mangroove swamp. This swamp would have been similar to the Florida Everglades of today.


Click to enlarge… © Luis Rey

Spinosaurs fed on fish and was probably in the mangroove waters eating coelacanth and sharks. The long narrow snout of Spinosaurus contained jaws full of sharply pointed teeth. Spinosaur teeth were smooth, round, and resembled the bite of crocodiles, where the upper teeth of the Spinosaurus interlock with the lower teeth. In addition, Spinosaurus had nostrils that faced upwards. A very useful adaptation for swimming and hunting fish , much like the nostrils in Crocodilians. Like the American Crocodile, Spinosaurus may have also ventured out into the ocean to catch prey.

There are reports and suggestions that Spinosaurus also fed on juvenile dinosaurs such as pterosaurs and Iguandon, but most agree that its staple food source came from the water.

Many hypothesize that the sail was a means by which to radiate heat, whereas I can envision just the opposite. I picture Spinosaurus silently floating on the surface of a body of water using its forelimbs as a stabilizing mechanism while utilizing its sail as a solar collector maintaining body temperature as it waits for prey.


Click to enlarge… © paleoguy60

 

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Last modified: Friday, November 13, 2009 23:43:36 EST -0500 (GMT)