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The riddle of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus' dorsal sail

Jan Gimsa, Robert Sleigh and Ulrike Gimsa
The riddle of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus' dorsal sail
Geological Magazine (May 2016) 153 (3): 544-547


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.

ISSN: 0016-7568
EISSN: 1469-5081
Coden: GEMGA4
Serial Title: Geological Magazine
Serial Volume: 153
Serial Issue: 3
Title: The riddle of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus' dorsal sail
Affiliation: University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany
Pages: 544-547
Published: 201605
Text Language: English
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, London, United Kingdom
References: 14
Accession Number: 2016-072918
Categories: Vertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Secondary Affiliation: Sleigh Technical Translations, DEU, GermanyLeibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology, DEU, Germany
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Cambridge University Press. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201635
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