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Oxygen isotope evidence for semi-aquatic habits among spinosaurid theropods

Romain Amiot, Eric Buffetaut, Christophe Lecuyer, Wang Xu, Larbi Boudad, Ding Zhongli, Francois Fourel, Steven Hutt, Francois Martineau, Manuel Alfredo Medeiros, Mo Jinyou, Laurent Simon, Varavudh Suteethorn, Steven Sweetman, Haiyan Tong, Zhang Fusong and Zhou Zhonghe
Oxygen isotope evidence for semi-aquatic habits among spinosaurid theropods
Geology (Boulder) (February 2010) 38 (2): 139-142


Spinosaurs were large theropod dinosaurs showing peculiar specializations, including somewhat crocodile-like elongate jaws and conical teeth. Their biology has been much discussed, and a piscivorous diet has been suggested on the basis of jaw as well as tooth morphology and stomach contents. Although fish eating has been considered plausible, an aquatic or semiaquatic lifestyle has seldom been suggested because of the apparent lack of corresponding adaptations in the postcranial skeleton of spinosaurs, which on the whole is reminiscent of that of other large terrestrial theropods. On the basis of the oxygen isotopic composition of their phosphatic remains compared with those of coexisting terrestrial theropod dinosaurs and semiaquatic crocodilians and turtles, we conclude that spinosaurs had semiaquatic lifestyles, i.e., they spent a large part of their daily time in water, like extant crocodilians or hippopotamuses. This result sheds light on niche partitioning between large predatory dinosaurs, since spinosaurs coexisted with other large theropods such as carcharodontosaurids or tyrannosaurids. The likely ichthyophagy and aquatic habits of spinosaurids may have allowed them to coexist with other large theropods by reducing competition for food and territory.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 38
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Oxygen isotope evidence for semi-aquatic habits among spinosaurid theropods
Affiliation: Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Beijing, China
Pages: 139-142
Published: 201002
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 55
Accession Number: 2010-024669
Categories: Vertebrate paleontologyIsotope geochemistry
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2010038
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch map
S35°00'00" - N37°00'00", W18°00'00" - E51°00'00"
N35°00'00" - N71°00'00", W25°00'00" - E75°00'00"
S55°00'00" - N13°00'00", W82°00'00" - W35°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Ecole Normale Superieure-CNRS, FRA, FranceUniversite de Lyon I, FRA, FranceUniversite Moulay Ismail, MAR, MoroccoDinosaur Isle, GBR, United KingdomUniversidade Federal do Maranhao, BRA, BrazilChina University of Geosciences, CHN, ChinaDepartment of Mineral Resources, THA, ThailandUniversity of Portsmouth, GBR, United Kingdom
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201015
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