Home / Science / New discovery confirms Spinosaurus was an ‘water and river monster’

New discovery confirms Spinosaurus was an ‘water and river monster’


A model of Spinosaurus installed at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan.

Getty Images – Junko Kimura / Staff

Scientists have long harbored suspicions about Spinosaurus’ aquatic tendencies. From its pointed sail to the crocodile snout, there were elements of the Spinosaurus that lent themselves to swimming and, more recently, the discovery of paddle-like tail bones everyone was wondering if the dinosaur was more Michael Phelps than Eddie the Eel.

Now, a study published in Cretaceous Research has confirmed that Spinosaurus swam with the best of them. Taphonomic evidence collected from the Kem Kem River bed in the Moroccan Sahara Desert supports this conclusion, with excavations unearthing over 1,200 fossilized teeth at the site.

Spinosaurus teeth accounted for nearly half of the results, with barely any evidence of terrestrial dinosaur teeth. This supported the conclusion that Spinosaurus was most likely an aquatic dinosaur, particularly a river-dwelling predator.

David Martill, co-author of the study, said the presence of Spinosaurus’ teeth was almost certainly a reflection of an aquatic lifestyle. “An animal that lives most of its life in water is much more likely to contribute its teeth to the river deposit than those dinosaurs who may have only visited the river to drink and feed along its banks,” he said.

“From this research we are able to confirm this place as the place where this gigantic dinosaur not only lived but died. The results are fully consistent with the idea of ​​a real” river monster “that dwells in the water” .

After all, with measurements estimated to be up to 18m (59ft) in length and weighing in at over 20 tonnes, it’s safe to say that the Spinosaurus was certainly not the kind of company you’d like to feel pushing your feet deep.

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