100-Million-Year-Old “River Monster” Discovered Beneath Africa’s Sahara Desert

Must Read

How The Mokomokai Heads Of The Maori Tribesmen Became Valuable Trade Items During The 19th Century

The brain and eyes were removed from the severed heads, with all orifices sealed with flax fibre and gum....

African Tribe: The Daasanach People of Eastern Africa

The Daasanach are a semi-nomadic tribe numbering approximately 50,000 whose clans stretch across Sudan, Kenya and Southern Ethiopia. The Daasanach...

Mali Swears In Bah Ndaw As New Civilian Leader

Mali's new president Bah Ndaw has been sworn into office, five weeks after the overthrow of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. Former...



The first ever evidence of a dinosaur which swam, lived and hunted underwater has been discovered in the now-barren wilderness of the Saharan desert.

100-million-year-old “River Monster” Discovered In The African Sahara Desert

Paleontologists have unearthed new fossils in southeastern Morocco that provide a deeper understanding of one of the greatest mysteries of the dinosaur world: The Spinosaurus.

Moroccan-German paleontologist and researcher Nizar Ibrahim spearheaded the new study on the discovery of fossil bones from a Spinosaurus tail, published in the science journal Nature yesterday, April 29.

The river Monster – called Spinosaurus aegyptiacus – lived in North Africa 95 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. The highly unusual animal was the biggest predator to ever walk the planet, up to 15 meters (50 feet) long and weighing seven tons.

The Spinosaurus aegyptiacus powered through the water with a fin-like tail and captured slippery prey with six-inch long conical teeth.

A fossilised tail of a juvenile of the species, which belongs to the therepod group, the same as the T-rex, was found in modern-day Morocco.

Adults are known to reach up to 50ft long and weigh up to 20 tonnes but this specimen had yet to reach its full size, measuring 35ft from snout to tail and weighing around four tonnes.

The findings suggest the Spinosaurus terrorized both rivers and riverbanks as a semi-aquatic dinosaur, eating huge fish and even sharks. The Spinosaurus still was able to move on land, perhaps walking on four legs rather than two, and lay eggs there.

“But it had so many adaptations to an aquatic existence,” said University of Portsmouth paleontologist and study co-author David Martill.

Its “nostrils high on the skull and further back from the tip, flat bottomed-toe bones and claws, dense and thickened bone for buoyancy control, and this newly discovered tail form” made the Spinosaurus “at least as aquatic as Nile Crocodiles,” he added.

Harvard University vertebrate paleontologist and biomechanist Stephanie Pierce, a study co-author, said the “discovery overturns decades-old ideas that non-bird dinosaurs were restricted to terrestrial environments.”

“We believe that this discovery does indeed revolutionize our understanding of dinosaur biology,” she continued. “It just might topple T. rex as the most famous and exciting meat-eating dinosaur.”

In the history of paleontology, no researcher has ever found evidence of a terrestrial dinosaur spending most of its life in water—until the discovery of the Spinosaurus. The latest study on the findings in southeastern Morocco confirms the Spinosaurus was, in fact, the first and perhaps only aquatic dinosaur.

100-million-year-old “River Monster” Discovered In The African Sahara Desert

100-million-year-old “River Monster” Discovered In The Sahara

100-million-year-old “River Monster” Discovered In Sahara Desert

Enormous Dinosaur discovered in Sahara Desert

Source



Mr Madu
Mr Madu is a freelance writer, a lover of Africa and a frequent hiker who loves long, vigorous walks, usually on hills or mountains.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to receive email updates

With a subscription profile, you automatically receive updates without having to return to the website and check for changes

Just In

How The Mokomokai Heads Of The Maori Tribesmen Became Valuable Trade Items During The 19th Century

The brain and eyes were removed from the severed heads, with all orifices sealed with flax fibre and gum....

African Tribe: The Daasanach People of Eastern Africa

The Daasanach are a semi-nomadic tribe numbering approximately 50,000 whose clans stretch across Sudan, Kenya and Southern Ethiopia. The Daasanach are a primarily agropastoral people;...

Mali Swears In Bah Ndaw As New Civilian Leader

Mali's new president Bah Ndaw has been sworn into office, five weeks after the overthrow of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. Former Defence Minister Bah Ndaw, 70,...

Troublesome South African Baboon Evicted For Organizing Gang To Raid Homes

Kataza is an urban baboon who was captured and put in a local prison for organizing a band of baboons to join him in raiding 15 homes in Kommetjie, on Cape Town's southern peninsula in South Africa.

A Leading University In China Now Teaches Ethiopia’s Amharic Language As A Full Course

A leading university in China — Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) — has started to offer Ethiopia's widely spoken Amharic language as a full...

More Articles Like This