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Re: Size of *Neoceratodus africanus* and/or *N. tuberculatus*



----- Original Message -----
From: "Christophe Hendrickx" <nekarius@hotmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 29, 2009 8:32 PM

When I gave a talk on Spinosauridae, someone told me that the very elongated
neural spines could support a hump of fat which could help Spinosaurus floating
into the water. Again, it is a new (but quite interesting) speculation therefore, in conclusion, we should wait new
discoveries about the anatomy of Spinosaurus (and Spinosauridae) that could help us to interpret
the living habit of this dinosaur before proposing many hypotheses that no one can demonstrate.

Also, why would an animal with an air-sac system need such an adaptation to float?


In my opinion, the elongated neural spines of *Spinosaurus* are much too tall and much too numerous to have (at least in their entirety) supported a hump composed of fat. A muscular hump -- at the very least one of anywhere near that size -- would simply have been useless. We will have to look for a function in sexual selection or -- maybe -- a thermoregulatory one that the smaller *Baryonyx* and apparently the similar-sized *Carcharodontosaurus* somehow didn't need.