Sorry it's not in color, but I just finally got it scanned! A Suchomimus catching a young plesiosaur.
A few years ago I was asked what I thought of the swimming Spinosaurus idea (I was told this was put forth by Robert Bakker but I've only heard it mentioned a few times so I have no idea.) At the time I said I found it unlikely, at least for Spinosaurus, the sail would be a hinderence in the water, waves would topple it, the local crocs would eat it for lunch as they were far more adapted to the water, yadda, yadda, yadda. I didn't really look into it, I knew spinosaurs seemed to found close to water, and that they would eat fish (fish scales found in the stomach area of Baryonyx) but that's all I had read about swimming spinosaurs... until a few months ago.
Other than the scene in JP3 most of the spinosaur pictures show them wadding out into ankle deep water looking for fish, like some giant egret or stork. Since spinosaurs are so poorly known and fragmentary it's very difficult to get an idea about what they might have been doing, why did they get to big? Spinosaurs has been said to be 65 feet long dwarfing every other theropod, that's at least 17 feet longer than the next largest theropod (this is highly unlikely but is found all over the web. They were more likely similarly sized to the other large theropods, perhapse a bit longer but more gracile.) Did they eat fish exclusively? A spinosaur tooth has been found embeded in a pterosaur bone, along with the fish scales in Baryonyx's stomach were the remains of an Iguanadon (so the answer to that would be no.) How did they behave? Questions upon questions that we'll most likely never be able to fully answer.
I stumbled upon this site looking for skeletal reference: spinosauridae.fr.gd
(This is the English translated version, its really easy to read so don't let the translation stop you!)
On the site are papers, drawings and pretty much the best place to go for info on spinosurs on the web. As I read the papers cited, and looked at the images, the site was trying to tell me something. The papers mentioned isotopes from spinosaur bones are more in line with crocodiles and animals that live in an aquatic habitat, foot print traces of swimming theropods... this site was arguing FOR semi aquatic spinosaurs. I spent a few hours looking everything over (I'd go over specifics some, but I can't get it to load properly, my computer has bogged down, but go read it for yourselves!) And while I think more finds need to be located, it's very compelling stuff. Semi aquatic spinosurs... cool!
Dinosaur dimorphism, cryptic absence
1 week ago