Giant Shark-Eating Dinosaur Found
Spinosaurus was able to swim, say researchers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2014 11:53 PM CDT
Updated Sep 12, 2014 2:00 AM CDT
A replica Spinosaurus skeleton is seen at an auction house in Paris.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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(Newser) – Move over, T. rex: Fossils unearthed in the Sahara Desert have revealed that Spinosaurus was not only a bigger carnivore, it dined on giant sharks. The creature from 95 million years ago, now believed to be the first swimming dinosaur ever found, was first discovered around a century ago, but the only previously known fossil was destroyed by WWII bombing in Germany, the BBC reports. In a study published in Science, researchers say the new find in Morocco has revealed features like paddle-shaped feet, dense bones like those found in penguins, conical teeth, and crocodile-like nostrils that all point to a semi-aquatic lifestyle.

The creature also had a huge sail along its back, but researchers believe it was mostly for display, National Geographic reports. "The animal we are resurrecting today is so bizarre, it is going to force dinosaur experts to rethink many things they thought they knew about dinosaurs," says Chicago University palaeontologist Nizar Ibrahim. At more than 50 feet from nose to tail, Spinosaurus is the biggest predatory dinosaur ever found, and it had plenty to eat, including crocodile-like creatures and other dinosaurs as well as sharks, in the huge river and wetland system that once covered what is now north Africa, reports the Guardian. (Another recently unearthed dinosaur, Dreadnoughtus, was a lot bigger than Spinosaurus—or a Boeing 737—but dined on plants.)