The 100-million-year-old river monster

Published April 30, 2020

Finding a fossil tail of a Spinosaurus shows that the monstrous beast swam — making it (possibly) the first known dinosaur to do so. (There were other creatures that swam 100 million years ago, but they weren’t dinosaurs.)

“Jaws” doesn’t look so bad now, does it?

The structure of the bones—along with state-of-the-art robotic modeling of the tail’s movement—add fresh and compelling evidence to an argument that has raged for years among paleontologists: How much time did Spinosaurus actually spend swimming, and, by implication, how close did large predatory dinosaurs ever get toward a life in the water?