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Re: Spinosaurus dorsal sail function riddle



Until they realize that the nearly solid bones of the sail are
counter-intuitive to flotation, as argued by Sereno at this years'
SVP, and in general contradiction to previous arguments for a bouyant,
crocodilian-like surface swimmer.

On Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 6:26 AM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
> Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
>
> A new paper:
>
> Jan Gimsa, Robert Sleigh and Ulrike Gimsa (2015)
> The riddle of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus' dorsal sail.
> Geological Magazine (advance online publication)
> DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0016756815000801
> http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=10036572&fulltextType=RC&fileId=S0016756815000801
>
> 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.



-- 
Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff: http://qilong.wordpress.com/


"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth" - P. B. Medawar (1969)