Scientists Discover Dinosaur Adapted To Life In Water

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In the past, it was assumed that dinosaurs were mostly terrestrial species that avoided the oceans. Those assumptions were thrown into question by the 2014 discovery of a Spinosaurus with characteristics that suggested it lived in water — retracted nostrils, small hind legs, a finlike tail, and paddle-like feet.

As a result, the question of whether certain dinosaurs were able to swim or just stood on the surface of the water and immersed their heads in has split paleontologists. A team of experts has investigated 380 bones from 250 creatures, some alive and others extinct, notably marine reptiles, in an effort to settle this disagreement. An aquatic species like the hippopotamus has a thick bone structure, which may be used as proof that the animal has adapted to live in the water, according to the research posted in Nature.


An investigation by scientists showed that spinosaurid dinosaur bones were thick, indicating that they were suited for living in the water. Spinosaurids may grow up to 15 meters long, making them the largest carnivorous dinosaurs. The researchers found no evidence that any of the other 39 dinosaurs studied were comfortable in the water.

Because of their high bone density, spinosaurids like Spinosaurus (whose spine has a sail-like feature) and Baryonyx (whose spine also has a sail-like feature) could swim and hunt underwater, similar to crocodiles and hippos. It would have been more difficult for Suchomimus to swim because of its lighter bones. Despite its crocodile-like snout and cone teeth, it wasn’t truly swimming, according to the research, relying on its bone density.

To eat, Spinosaurus used its snout like a heron or other water-dwelling animal, rather than submerged like hippos and crocodiles that rely on their nostrils to breathe via their noses. While it was not an excellent swimmer, the dinosaur relied on water to find its prey.

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