The Ancient Spinosaurus Fossil Sheds Light on the Giant Semi-aquatic Dinosaurs
By: April Carson
We have a plethora of semi-aquatic animals in our lives. Alligators, crocodiles, and other creatures roam the earth and sea. But what if we had to worry about huge dinosaurs emerging on the beach? That would be something else. But it absolutely could have happened in the good old Cretaceous Period.
Analyzing a 125-million-year-old fossil, scientists have discovered more information about a dinosaur species known as Spinosaurus. The research shows how scientists are able to reconstruct the past.
The Spinosaurus dinosaurs were enormous, ferocious, and to top it off, my favorite dinosaur.
A research published in PLoS ONE last month sheds further light on these land and water-dwelling dinosaurs, according to a news item we first read on Gizmodo. “Spinosaurids are one of the most perplexing Mesozoic theropod dinosaurs due to their unique adaptations to aquatic environments and scarcity,” says the study. Their taxonomy has been especially difficult to define.
This group of dinosaurs are believed to have had both arms that are paddle-like, helping them stay submerged beneath the surface of the water. Scientists say this deters would-be predators from attacking by submerging themselves in water until the threat passes over them.
The newly discovered spinosaurines are a group of dinosaurs that lived during the Late Cretaceous Period. However, discoveries from Western Europe have helped us learn more about this dinosaur breed. The Iberospinus natarioi is one such example.
Scientists initially thought that the fossil in question belonged to a distinct dinosaur species. Paleontologists Octavio Mateus and Darío Estraviz-López, on the other hand, identified it as a new species after conducting further research. This discovery is significant since it allows scientists to better understand spinosaurid evolution.
The research team believes that the discovery is consistent with the theory that early spinosaurines lived in forested areas. They also believe that these dinosaurs transitioned into semi-aquatic species due to global warming and increased ocean levels during the Late Cretaceous Period, which caused drastic changes to Iberia's environment.
A press release for the study offers further information about what this new fossil may reveal. The “new spinosaurid dinosaur from Portugal, which lived over 125 million years ago, had a crocodile-like skull, a spiny back, and may have been a wading, fish-eating predator,'” according to researchers.
That does indeed paint a picture. Given the apparent parallels, it seems reasonable that they had a crocodile-like skull. However, more study is needed to figure out how these dinosaurs evolved or who their descendants are. A life-sized replica of the dinosaur adds color and context to the facts revealed by the fossils. The reconstruction includes “3D digitization of some of the recovered bones, as well as reconstructed musculature." We always appreciate how fossils can translate into reality.
The Spinosaurus dinosaurs, which may have reached a height of 59 feet and weighed up to 60 tons, were among the largest known carnivores in history. We even have evidence that the Spinosaurus dinosaurs used their tails for swimming. Perhaps this dinosaur species dined on more than just fish. It appears as though it consumed sharks as well.
There is still much to learn about dinosaurs, and other prehistoric animals. Every new discovery takes us one step closer to comprehending the incredible variety of creatures that once populated the planet. The new Spinosaurus fossils are truly an amazing discovery. These beautiful dinosaur remains have given us insight into the massive size of these dinosaurs, and they may also help to explain how the creature was able to tackle prey larger than itself.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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