First-known swimming dinosaur

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus

The 95-million-year-old remains of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus unearthed in the Sahara desert, confirm a long-held theory: that this is the first-known swimming dinosaur.

The new fossil, extracted from the Kem Kem fossil beds in eastern Morocco, shows that Spinosaurus was a fearsome beast. At more than 50 feet from nose to tail, it was potentially the largest of all the carnivorous dinosaurs — bigger even than the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex. It had a long neck, trunk and tail, with a 7-foot sail on its back and a snout like a crocodile. It had flat, paddle-like feet and nostrils on top of its crocodilian head that would allow it to submerge with ease.

It lived in “the river of giants”, a waterway that stretched from Morocco to Egypt, feasting on giant sharks and other car-sized fish called coelacanths and lungfish and competing with enormous crocodile-like creatures for its prey.