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Re: Brazilian Spinosaur: more info
I agree, any vertebrate can swim, many just not very well (even sloths can
swim!). Probably what they meant to say is that this was not an *aquatic*
dinosaur. People may have gotten confused when they started comparing it
to crocs, which have a more aquatic lifestyle. However, I think the only
thing close about the two groups stems from their piscivorous feeding
adaptations. Sereno has said many times that it did not swim around
hunting for fish and that is probably what they meant to say, but like
many news reports, goofed it up.
there's my two bits,
On Tue, 14 Nov 2000, Ray Stanford wrote:
> Ben Creisler quoted, from a press report on a Brazilian spinosaurid,
> "...[the Spinosaurid] could cruise the shallows of
> lakes for fish, balanced on its two feet. But it would not venture further
> into the depths as it could not swim."
> All modern vertebrates of which I have any knowledge can swim, at least
> beyond the recently-born stage, and I suspect the same may have been true of
> Mesozoic vertebrates. If whomever originated that "could not swim"
> statement were swimming in 40-foot water and such a Spinosaurid, hungry and
> hunting, were wading in shallower water nearby and having no luck, I suspect
> he or she would 'haul it' to the other side of the river mighty rapidly, not
> venturing a test of the statement. I'm not implying that a spinosaurid would
> not prefer to stand in shallow water and try for a meal, but I surely would
> not want to personally test the "could not swim" assertion.
> If I'm too far out in 'left field' in feeling this way, please correct
> me. Meantime, never smile at the dino who (to paraphrase Paul C. Sereno)
> seems trying like heck to be a corcodile, wading nearby. :)
> Ray Stanford
> Azevedo said the animal they are looking for could have
> been one of the biggest carnivorous dinosaurs to have
> walked the earth, measuring about 13 meters (43 feet) long
> and 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) high. It weighed about three
> The expedition to gather more fossil evidence on Brazil's
> own spinosaurs will begin in January of next year, Azevedo
> said. The 1.5 million dollars needed to fund the
> expedition to northeast Brazil will be raised from the
> private sector.