Spinosaurus, the Villainous Dinosaur of 'Jurassic Park', Was a River Monster
Representative image. Credits: Reuters.
The Jurassic Park III monster, Spinosaurus, who terrified all the 90s kids by defeating the hero of first Jurassic Park film, T-rex, might have been historically accurate in its representation.
According to the latest studies conducted on fossil records, researchers now confirm that Spinosaurus was, without any doubt, a river creature. As shown in the film, it could actually swim.
The study was conducted by the University of Portsmouth where they collected fossils from an ancient riverbed in Morocco. Thousands of fossilised dinosaur teeth were extracted from the excavation site. Most of the fossils were identified as Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. He is the same villain from Jurassic Park III who terrorised the marooned group of both humans and other dinosaurs on Isla Sorna.
The study was published in the journal Cretaceous Research. Until a few years ago, the Spinosaurus, like most other dinosaurs, was expected to be an exclusively terrestrial creature since most fossils indicated the dinosaurs to be land animals.
But, in the past decades, palaeontological discoveries have evidence that dinosaurs were, in fact, both terrestrial and aquatic. The most prominent discovery in this field was the excavation in Sahara around the remains of an ancient river, Kem Kem. The river existed around 100 million years ago and multiple Spinosaurus remains were discovered from the site.
The confirmation, however, came recently when a tail was discovered. The structure of the tail confirmed that it was adapted for swimming underwater. David Martill, Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Portsmouth, confirmed that the 1200 teeth excavated were 45% of total remains found at the site. As far as his knowledge, no other site in the world has yielded such a high number of teeth fossil at one site.
“The enhanced abundance of Spinosaurus teeth, relative to other dinosaurs is a reflection of their aquatic lifestyle. An animal living much of its life in water is much more likely to contribute teeth to the river deposit than those dinosaurs that perhaps only visited the river for drinking and feeding along its banks,” he reasoned.
The researchers hypothesized that the Spinosaurus not only lived in the Kem Kem river but also died there.