The Spinosaurus is one of the most recognizable dinosaurs to ever walk the earth, alongside the T-rex and the Triceratops, thanks to the large veil that adorned its back Paleontologists discovered the Cretaceous dinosaur for the first time in 1915 and have since tried to gather clues about its past It has long been thought that the dinosaur, who lived there 112 at 71 million years, lived on the earth, although some researchers have argued that the beast of 50 feet long was an aquatic predator more like a crocodile.
Researchers at the University of Portsmouth came up with the latter theory last year when they said the Spinosaurus was living a “aquatic lifestyle”
Researchers claimed in their study that dinosaurs spent most of their lives in water after large numbers of Spinosaurus teeth were found in an ancient riverbed in North Africa.
New research from Queen Mary University of London and the University of Maryland, however, has challenged this theory., reigniting the debate on how the six-ton Spinosaurus spent its time
According to a new study published today in Palaeontologia Electronica, the dinosaur would have swam very well and fed water
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But paleontologists are now convinced that the dinosaur was not very well suited to be an aquatic predator after all.
Instead of that, researchers suggested the dinosaur was standing on the shore and plucked its prey like a stork or a heron does
The researchers came to this conclusion after comparing the skulls and skeletons of various dinosaurs with living and extinct reptiles that live on earth., in water or both.
The main author, Dr David Hone, senior lecturer at Queen Mary, said: «The biology and ecology of Spinosaurus have preoccupied paleontologists for decades.
“Some recent studies have suggested that he actively hunted fish in water, but if they could swim, they wouldn't have been fast or efficient enough to do it effectively
“Our results suggest that the idea of wading is much better supported, even if it is slightly less exciting”
University of Maryland co-author Tom Holtz added: “The spinosaurus was a bizarre animal even by dinosaur standards, and unlike anything that is alive today, it will therefore always be difficult to understand its ecology.
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According to the lecturer in palaeontology of vertebrae, the study found no attributes that would match other aquatic predators known to chase prey, such as sea lions or the short-necked plesiosaur.
Dr Hone said: “Crocodiles are excellent in water compared to land animals, but are not very specialized for aquatic life and are not able to actively hunt fish.
“If the Spinosaurus had less muscle on its tail, less efficiency and more drag, it’s hard to see how these dinosaurs could hunt fish in a way that crocodiles cannot”
However, dinosaur expert concluded many more paleontologists could still learn more about the life and behavior of Spinosaurus, adding: “It won't be the last word on the biology of these amazing animals”
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Dinosaur, Spinosaurus, Paleontology, Research
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– Study sheds new light on behavior of giant carnivorous dinosaur Spinosaurus