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The riddle of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus’ dorsal sail

  • JAN GIMSA (a1), ROBERT SLEIGH (a2) and ULRIKE GIMSA (a3)
Abstract
Abstract

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.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: jan.gimsa@uni-rostock.de
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Geological Magazine
  • ISSN: 0016-7568
  • EISSN: 1469-5081
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