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This week had been very happening from the perspective of new discoveries of dinosaurs and things related to the giant animal. Now scientists have uncovered a new dinosaur species, Spinosaurus, which is larger predator than Tyrannosaurus rex. But the special thing about the new species is not its massiveness but its quality to survive in the water.
Dinosaur is considered as land animal and it was the plesiosaurs that used to dominate the sea, while the air was ruled by the pterosaurs.
“Spinosaurus wasn’t a land animal. This was a creature adapted to life in the water,” Dr Nizar Ibrahim, one of the researchers and paleontologist at the University of Chicago, said.
According to the researchers, Spinosaurus is expected to have lived in North African rivers for about 97 million years ago (Ma) during the last age of the dinosaurs, i.e. the Cretaceous.
At that time, the researchers say, the region, which is now eastern Morocco, was a rambling river and marsh system. These giant species are believed to be dependent on fish, crocodiles and sharks.
The researchers made the massive finding after the unearthed the fossils of a Spinosaurus aegyptiacus that depicted its bones, skull and claws in its dorsal sail, in the Moroccan Sahara.
Desribing the animal, the researchers said that Spinosaurus’ overall length was about 15.2 metres but despite the massiveness, it had short rear legs (that ended in paddle-like feet and narrow thighs. They were poorly adapted to chase for their prey on land but were awesome in the water.
It had narrow upper jaw and nostrils half way along its long which together allowed the creature to semi-submerge in the waters just like crocodiles. Its blood vessel channels on the tip of its snout made it stand to pressure changes developed by fleeing prey.
The new dinosaur species had long forelimbs possessing hooked claws and backward slanted teeth.
The trunk and long neck are expected to have helped Spinosaurus to walk upright on ground. The species also had unusually dense leg bones.
The researchers said Spinosaurus’ most striking feature was the massive, 1.8 metre sail on its back. Scientists said it probably helped it to attract its mates for display, and also to warn the enemies.
The study was published in the journal Science.