The largest ever carnivorous dinosaur — bigger than the Tyrannosaurus rex — hunted its prey underwater, according to researchers.
Driving the news: A team of researchers recently published a study that looked into how the Spinosaurus and its relative, the Baryonyx, had such dense bones that they could dive underwater to hunt, per BBC News.
- “The bones don’t lie,” Portsmouth University paleontologist Dr. Nizar Ibrahim said, per BBC News.
- The research was published in the research journal Nature.
What they found: The researchers compared femur and rib bones from 250 different species of animals, including whales, elephants, hippos, alligators and more.
- The researchers said they found a direct connection between bone density and aquatic hunting behavior.
What they’re saying: “The new evidence is consistent with it being able to submerge, at least sometime(s). But as we showed in a paper last year, it couldn’t have been a really fast swimmer with that large sail, at least not in shallow water,” said Thomas Holtz, a principal lecturer in vertebrate paleontology at the University of Maryland, according to CNN.
What’s next: Jason Poole, an adjunct professor at Drexel University, told CNN that more research has to be done into the Spinosaurus specifically to understand its behaviors.
- “I think this study is a good one to keep the ball rolling but more work is always needed to get a better picture of the life of something so strange and far removed in time.”