Life in Water

Some scientists disagreed with Ibrahim. So, with a grant from the National Geographic Society, Ibrahim searched for more fossils. He needed proof. The work was hard. But, it became rewarding after the team discovered
more pieces.

In other dinosaurs, the tail comes to a point. In Spinosaurus, the tail is broad. It looks like a paddle. Tiny bumps near the tip may have let it move back and forth.

Spinosaurus had crocodile-like jaws with large, cone-shaped teeth to grip slippery fish.

Ibrahim wanted to know how this tail worked in the water. He found out that the tail has more forward thrust in water than other dinosaur tails have on land. Now, Ibrahim was sure. Spinosaurus spent most of its time in the water.

Fossil segments of Spinosaurus’ tail show that it was broad and used as
a paddle.

Scientists previously thought Spinosaurus’ tail was narrow
and pointed.

In this animation, a Spinosaurus uses its paddle-like tail to move through water.

Questions Remain

Research goes on. Another fossil could be another clue. It’s a bone from the dinosaur’s foot. Now, the team can recreate the whole foot. Was it webbed? That would be good for an aquatic dinosaur.

Ibrahim continues to dig to find answers to his Spinosaurus questions.

Scientists attempt to create a life-size model
of Spinosaurus.
This shows what is now known about its tail.

A View Around Spinosaurus

Drag the slider to turn this 3D model of Spinosaurus.