Read the Beforeitsnews.com story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Alton Parrish (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

Swimming Dinosaur: New Fossils Rewrite the Story of Dinosaur Evolution and Ecology

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


Scientists have long opposed the idea that dinosaurs lived in aquatic habitats. Now, an international team of researchers, supported by the National Geographic Society, has discovered unambiguous evidence that Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, the longest predatory dinosaur known to science, was aquatic and used tail-propelled swimming locomotion to hunt for prey in a massive river system. It is the first time that such an adaptation has been reported in a dinosaur.

The findings, published today in the journal Nature and featured on Nationalgeographic.com, are based on a multidisciplinary investigation of the world’s only existing Spinosaurus skeleton, found in the Kem Kem region of the Moroccan Sahara. The skeleton is now also the most complete one to date for a Cretaceous predatory dinosaur from mainland Africa.
Two Spinosaurus hunt Onchopristis, a prehistoric sawfish, in the waters of the Kem Kem river system in what is now Morocco.

Credit: Jason Treat, NG Staff, and Mesa Schumacher Art: Davide Bonadonna Source: Dr. Nizar Ibrahim, University of Detroit Mercy

Led by National Geographic Explorer and University of Detroit Mercy paleontologist Dr. Nizar Ibrahim, the team returned to the site where parts of a Spinosaurus skeleton had first been uncovered in 2008. In a previous study, Spinosaurus had been identified as a fish-eating dinosaur with adaptations for an amphibious lifestyle, supported by its relatively short hindlimbs, wide feet, dense bones and elongated jaws studded with conical teeth. However, suggestions that it may have been a truly water-dwelling dinosaur were met with considerable opposition, in large part because the partial skeleton provided little to no evidence of the propulsive structure needed to move such a giant dinosaur through water.

Between 2015 and 2019, Ibrahim’s team recovered many more fossils of the skeleton, including a remarkably complete, fin-like tail capable of extensive lateral movement and characterized by extremely long spines.

After preparing all of the fossils, the team used photogrammetry to digitally capture the anatomy of the tail.

To quantitatively assess the performance of the tail, a team of Harvard researchers made a flexible model and attached it to a robotic system that mimics swimming movements. They then compared the swimming performance of the model Spinosaurus tail to model tails from other animals, including crocodiles, newts and other dinosaurs. The results were fully consistent with the idea of a truly water-dwelling, tail-propelled, “river monster.”

“This discovery is the nail in the coffin for the idea that non-avian dinosaurs never invaded the aquatic realm,” said Ibrahim. “This dinosaur was actively pursuing prey in the water column, not just standing in shallow waters waiting for fish to swim by. It probably spent most of its life in the water.” The discovery also points to the possibility of a persistent and widespread invasion of aquatic habitats by relatives of Spinosaurus.

“This new discovery changes our current understanding of dinosaurs and reflects Dr. Ibrahim’s boundless curiosity and dedication to uncovering the secrets of the Sahara’s dinosaurs,” said Alex Moen, vice president of explorer programs at the National Geographic Society. “His work is at the nexus of science and exploration, and embodies the unique role National Geographic has in illuminating the wonder of our world.”

Today, all of the original bones found throughout the project are housed at the University of Casablanca in Morocco. For Professor Samir Zouhri, capacity and infrastructure building in North Africa was a major goal of this research project.

“In the past, Moroccan fossils like this one would inevitably end up in collections in Europe, Asia or the United States,” he stated. “Now we have the best collection of Kem Kem fossils right here in Morocco, including the most complete predatory dinosaur from the Cretaceous of mainland Africa. This is a game changer.”

About the Research Team

The research team was led by University of Detroit Mercy paleontologist and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Nizar Ibrahim and included scientists from around the globe, including Cristiano Dal Sasso and Simone Maganuco from the Natural History Museum in Milan, Italy; David Martill from the University of Portsmouth, UK; Matteo Fabbri from Yale University; Stephanie Pierce and George Lauder from Harvard University; Samir Zouhri and Ayoub Amane from the University of Casablanca in Morocco; Marco Auditore and Diego Mattarelli, collaborators of the Natural History Museum in Milan; Gabriele Bindellini from the University of Milan “La Statale”; David Unwin, from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom; Jasmina Wiemann, Yale University; Davide Bonadonna, Associazione Paleontologica Paleoartistica Italiana; Juliana Jakubczak, University of Detroit Mercy; and Ulrich Joger, Staatliches Naturhistorisches Museum Braunschweig.

About the National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit http://www.nationalgeographic.org

Contacts and sources:
Chelsey Perry
The National Geographic Society

See the article
Bizarre Spinosaurus makes history as first known swimming dinosaur at
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/04/first-spinosaurus-tail-found-confirms-dinosaur-was-swimming/

 



Source: http://www.ineffableisland.com/2020/04/swimming-dinosaut-new-fossils-rewrite.html
Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!


Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://mitocopper.com

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://www.herbanomic.com


Get our Free Ebook, "Suppressed Health Secrets"  with  Natural Cures THEY don't want you to know!

HuMineral Humic and Fulvic Liquid - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Organic Hemp Extract (CBD) - Full Spectrum high CBD (3300mg) hemp extract eases stiff joints, relieves stress and more!
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse
Loading...
Loading...

Comments

Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

MOST RECENT
Load more ...

SignUp

Login

Newsletter

Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.