Ibrahim works slowly and carefully.

On the Trail

It was crazy. Ibrahim knew that. Five years had passed. Ibrahim didn’t know the fossil hunter’s name or address. All he knew was that he had a mustache. Still, if he could find him, maybe he could find Spinosaurus.

Ibrahim traveled back to the small town in Morocco. Days went by without success. His spirits sank.

On his last day in Morocco, Ibrahim sat with two friends in a café. He looked up. A tall man wearing white passed by. The man looked familiar. And, he had a mustache!

Ibrahim leaped up and chased after him. It was the fossil hunter! Would the fossil hunter lead him to the fossils?

Ibrahim was led into the desert to find Spinosaurus.

Ibrahim worked with a team to uncover Spinosaurus bones.


The man with the mustache listened closely. He agreed to lead Ibrahim to where he’d found the fossils.

The next day, the two men drove into the Sahara. They climbed a steep slope on foot. Near the top, they reached a small cave. This was where the fossil hunter had been digging.

Ibrahim picked away at some of the sand and rock. Within minutes, he discovered several bones. At last, he had found Spinosaurus!

Building the Beast

Many large dinosaurs seemed to have lived in this area at the same time. Were they competing for the same prey? If so, how did Spinosaurus survive? Ibrahim had a hypothesis.

To prove it, he had to conduct an experiment. Recreate Spinosaurus. He didn’t have all the pieces. But, he had enough to get started. His method was to make a digital model on the computer based on what he knew. With other scientists, he made a skin for his model. It looked different from other dinosaurs.

This Spinosaurus foot bone was found at the dig site.

Spinosaurus’ head was long and thin.

Ibrahim’s conclusion was that this dinosaur spent most of its time in water. Its long tail helped propel it. Its webbed feet helped it paddle. High nostrils allowed it to keep its head underwater while it hunted. It was able to exist with other dinosaurs because it hunted in the water.

Making a Model

Spinosaurus’ neck and body were longer than those of other dinosaurs. It had short hind legs and powerful forearms. Its back feet were wide and flat. To Ibrahim, they looked like paddles. The skull had a long snout. Yet, its nostrils were halfway up the skull. And then there was the sail. It was long and high.

Spinosaurus’ wide, back feet may have been webbed, ​​​​​​​which would have helped it swim.