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science

'River monster' Spinosaurus ate like a heron

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image-2_life-reconstruction-of-a-spinosa

More than 95 million years after it prowled North Africa’s ancient river systems, the predatory dinosaur Spinosaurus is still raising a ruckus—by fueling a long-running scientific debate over how it lived and hunted.

Last year, researchers led Nizar Ibrahim made the case that Spinosaurus, a 50-foot-long scaly beast with a six-foot-tall sail on its back, was a “river monster” that actively pursued prey while swimming. But in a new study published in the journal Paleontologia Electronica on Tuesday, two of the world’s leading experts on spinosaurids—the group containing Spinosaurus and its kin—argue for a different model.

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Their review of the anatomical evidence instead advocates for the competing notion that Spinosaurus was a jack-of-all-trades shoreline predator that jabbed its head into water for prey, somewhat similar to a modern stork or heron.

In an email to National Geographic, study coauthor Tom Holtz, a paleontologist at the University of Maryland in College Park, said that he agrees with the idea that Spinosaurus is the most water-based dinosaur of its kind yet discovered.

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Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2021/01/did-the-river-monster-spinosaurus-hunt-like-a-stork/

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TimisaMonster

That would be scary having this creature fishing for you...life dinosaurs GIF

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