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Spinosaurus dorsal sail function riddle
A new paper:
Jan Gimsa, Robert Sleigh and Ulrike Gimsa (2015)
The riddle of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus' dorsal sail.
Geological Magazine (advance online publication)
Spinosaurus aegyptiacus was probably the largest predatory dinosaur of
the Cretaceous period. A new study shows that it was a semiaquatic
hunter. The function of Spinosaurus’ huge dorsal ‘sail’ remains
unsolved, however. Three hypotheses have been proposed: (1)
thermoregulation; (2) humpback storage; or (3) display. According to
our alternative hypothesis, the submerged sail would have improved
manoeuvrability and provided the hydrodynamic fulcrum for powerful
neck and tail movements such as those made by sailfish or thresher
sharks when stunning or injuring prey. Finally, it could have been
employed as a screen for encircling prey underwater.