New Dinosaur Fossil Reveals The Ancient Lizards Were Swimmers After All

General Health

A new research reveals that the sharp-toothed Spinosaurus didn’t just dip its scaly feet into the water to snag fish, but are actually dinosaurs that were also excellent swimmers, based on the discovery of a paddle-shaped tail fossil.

New Research Points To Spinosaurus Being Excellent Swimmers

Just when you think you know everything there is to know about the ancient gigantic dinosaurs, another rock gets upturned, this time referring to some of them being actually excellent swimmers. This is because per a new research, the sharp-toothed (and saw-backed) Spinosaurus is as much a danger underwater than it is on land since a new fossil discovery revealed that it actually had a paddle-shaped tail.

Previously, scientists first thought that it merely stood in the shallows in order to snag some fish for dinner. However, the fossil hints that Spinosaurus aegyptiacus was basically a sharp swimmer, using its tail to slice through water and help propel it through.

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Per the study findings published Wednesday in Nature, the 95-million-year-old fossil was discovered in Morocco and is actually the most complete Spinosaurus tail ever recovered. The tail hints at the dinosaur being an able-bodied swimmer, contrasting previous beliefs that they were mostly land-locked predators.

“It was basically a river monster,” Nazir Ibrahim, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Detroit Mercy, who led the study, said.

“When I first saw the illustrations of the tail, I literally giggled with surprise and delight — and I’m not someone who usually giggles. The tail was just so awesomely weird-looking for a predatory dinosaur. I’d never seen anything like it,” Matthew Lamanna, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh , who reviewed the paper before it got published in the scientific journal, said.

It’s already known that Spinosaurus dined on fish, and so usually lived near the water.  “But for most people, the model they were more comfortable with was a wading dinosaur that waited for the fish to swim by, the way a grizzly bear may splash into the water to catch a fish,” Ibrahim said.

This new discovery, however, proves otherwise.

Dinosaur Skeleton A Camptosaurus (L) and an Allosaurus skeletons are displayed on November 13, 2018 at the Artcurial auction house in Paris. Volcanoes and an asteroid are most likely the reasons for dinosaur extinction. STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images

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