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Sahara Desert and Spinosaurus

Today’s Sahara is a huge desert area, the largest hot desert in the world, and it covers 9 million square kilometers engulfing most of North Africa. The desert covers large sections of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and Tunisia.

Spinosaurus (spiny-lizard) was the biggest of all the carnivorous dinosaurs, larger than T.Rex and Giganotosaurus.

It lived during part of the Cretaceous period, about 112 million to 97 million years ago roaming around North Africa.
A few bones of Spinosaurus were first discovered in the Egypt desert by a German paleontologist in 1912.

Unfortunately, all these dinosaur bones were destroyed during World War II. So, all were left with just a few drawings and notes. From these drawings, we know this creature lived about 100 million years ago, was very big. It has tall spines on its back forming a magnificent sail and had a long slender jaw a bit like a crocodile with conical teeth that may have to use to catch slippery prey, like fish. These were pretty much what we all knew about this animal for the next hundred years.

In February 2010, scientific studies revealed that the Spinosaurus, an enigmatic group of carnivorous dinosaurs had a semi-aquatic lifestyle in the same way as today’s crocodiles and hippopotamus. The study pointed toward Spinosaurus preferring a fish diet.

A study published September 2014 in the journal Science said that recent fossil discovered in sandstone beds in the Moroccan Sahara, complete with skull, claws, and bones that formed the sail on its back, revealed a crocodilian snout, paddle-like feet, and dense bones that aided buoyancy. Spinosaurus was the first dinosaur known to swim, and likely spent most of its life in the water.

(To be continued) (Floro Mercene)

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