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AQUATIC THEROPODS!!



Hey - wah - look at this, a post about dinosaurs! Whatever next? (MEOW MEOW)

I am *amazed* at Bakker, Kralis, Seigwarth and Filla's collective claim that
various of the early Cret (Cenomanian?) African theropods - _Spinosaurus_,
_Bahariasaurus_ and _Carcharodontosaurus_ - were marine predators! Speculation
on the possible piscivorous habits of spinosaurids is all well and good, and
_maybe_ I can agree with the suggestion in Currie and Spinar that _Spinosaurus_
could have been a swimmer.. but to suggest that these animals were analogues of
'early Tertiary seals and toothed whales' is.. well.. I'm amazed that anyone
could ever go that far.. (but am I surprised?).

We have a fair bit of postcrania in at least _Spinosaurus_ (and, of course, more
details filled in by _Baryonx_) and _Carcharodontosaurus_, and this is not at
all consistent with semi-marine or marine habits. No way are these animals in
the least bit as specialized as seals or even the earliest of whales.. of
course, all theropods were good swimmers, but not lithe bodied, full-time
paddlers. I'm reckoning that the already very successful and numerous marine
reptiles of the Mesozoic prevented other groups, like theropods, from evolving
aquatic forms. Had non-avians made it into the Tertiary though..

Of course, I invite response and additional comments. If anyone can fill me in
on more of the story behind the Bakker et al interpretation (e.g. the
philosophy), I'll be more than grateful. And anything that drags this group from
the pits of thermophysics.. or whatever it is.. is good (no offence directed at
individuals involved you understand).

What the hell is a 'beach bear'?

My first whale article has just been published, and copies were distributed
today. The Cetacea have now been renamed Cetacia, and _Basilosaurus_ is now
_Basiliosaurus_. Oh well..

"I don't care what you smell you furry oaf.."

DARREN NAISH