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Semiaquatic adaptations in a giant predatory dinosaur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Nizar Ibrahim
  • Paul C. Sereno
  • Cristiano Dal Sasso
  • Simone Maganuco
  • Matteo Fabbri
  • Professor David Martill
  • Samir Zouhri
  • Nathan Myhrvold
  • Dawid A. Iurino
We describe adaptations for a semiaquatic lifestyle in the dinosaur Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. These adaptations include retraction of the fleshy nostrils to a position near the mid-region of the skull and an elongate neck and trunk that shift the center of body mass anterior to the knee joint. Unlike terrestrial theropods, the pelvic girdle is downsized, the hindlimbs are short, and all of the limb bones are solid without an open medullary cavity, for buoyancy control in water. The short, robust femur with hypertrophied flexor attachment and the low, flat-bottomed pedal claws are consistent with aquatic foot-propelled locomotion. Surface striations and bone microstructure suggest that the dorsal “sail” may have been enveloped in skin that functioned primarily for display on land and in water.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1613-1616
Number of pages4
Issue number6204
Early online date11 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2014


  • Semiaquatic_adaptations

    Rights statement: Semiaquatic adaptations in a giant predatory dinosaur Nizar Ibrahim, Paul C. Sereno, Cristiano Dal Sasso, Simone Maganuco, Matteo Fabbri, David M. Martill, Samir Zouhri, Nathan Myhrvold, and Dawid A. Iurino Science 26 September 2014: 345 (6204), 1613-1616.Published online 11 September 2014 [DOI:10.1126/science.1258750]

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 295 KB, PDF document

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