Spinosaurus was a formidable underwater hunter

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Dinosaurs are amazing creatures by their nature, their abilities or their size. They have no equal in the current animal world. Futura-Sciences interviewed Eric Buffeteau, paleontologist, to tell us about the most amazing dinosaurs.

That dinosaurs were they good swimmers? Adaptation, partial or complete, to life in the aquatic environment has long been considered unrelated non-avian dinosaurs. One of the reasons why it was difficult for these now-extinct dinosaurs to conquer the aquatic environment wasanatomy musculoskeletal system of their pelvis, hind limbs and tail. However, the study anatomy Egyptian Spinosaurus over the past decade, indeed, hypothesized that the dinosaur could obey the aquatic environment.

Elements in favor of this hypothesis consisted of short hind limbs, webbed feet, and a finned tail.

Elements in favor of this hypothesis consisted, for example, of conical teeth, small nostrilsshort hind limbs, webbed feet and a fin-like tail, as well as fish diet.

However, if some elements pointed to ecology water from S. aegyptiacus, this, like spinosaurids in general, has remained controversial. Spinosaurids were described after variety and criminals, as predators capable of pursuing their prey in a submerged state, or, on the other hand, as predators possessing similar hunting mode to modern herons.

Bone structure that does not deceive

To determine what the ecology of different spinosaurs was like, the researchers analyzed the bone structure of different species. fossils this group, as well as representatives of modern species with very different lifestyles. The study includes ecology, ranging from the ability to fly to underwater feeding, as well as various organisms, including pinnipeds, mosasaursbut tyrannosaurpenguins and cormorants.

The authors explain in article published in Nature that osteosclerosis is common in many aquatic amniote species, such as crocodilians and cetaceans. Osteosclerosis is determined by adding weight extra bone in the outermost or cortical portion of a bone element. The internal cavity of the bone element also includes very dense networks of bone tissue, which gives the aquatic animal a higher skeletal density than a terrestrial individual. This increased density allows the specimen to submerge in water for hunting or hiding.

Analysis bone density from hip and ribs in three spinosaurids are evidence of diverse ecologies. Significant bone density Spinosaurus and from Baryonyx similar to those of modern crocodile and waterfowl. Thus, these data suggest that these two spinosaurids had a way of hunting underwater, as opposed to Suchomimus whose bone structure was more like that of terrestrial amniotes.

The authors note that some spinosaurids are to date the only non-avian dinosaurs adapted to aquatic life. The authors also explain that the analysis phylogenetic what they have done shows that the mode of spearfishing is the ancestral ecology of spinosaurids. In addition, they point out that if bone density proves that some types were adapted to hunting underwater, this does not mean that other species were not particularly dependent on the aquatic environment. Anatomy Suchomimus indicates adaptation to diet piscivorous and therefore this great predator probably prowled, if not in the streams, then along the banks of the rivers.

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