Was T-Rex some kind of gigantic, stubby-armed shark? Cambridge University professor Brian J. Ford thinks so. In a recent paper, Ford argues that dinosaurs were just too large to exist on dry land. "Every time you see these images, they are always the same. You have these huge dinosaurs crunching across arid deserts holding these huge tails erect," Ford said on BBC Radio today. "It makes no sense."
Ford doesn't think the dinosaurs were constantly swimming; rather, he believes they lived in a flooded landscape of shallow water that supported their weight. In that scenario, "this huge tail is buoyant, floating in the water. It becomes a swimming aid." But Ford is a biologist, not a paleontologist, and his work is far from widely accepted. One leading dinosaur expert said the theory was broached many years ago, and debunked. "I don't think we will be re-writing the text books just yet."