does Spinosaurus belong?
was Spinosaurus like?
was thought to be as long as
Tyrannosaurus rex but with a more slender body. Its most striking feature was
its tall skin "sail" down its back, held aloft by bony spines. These
were about 1.6 metres tall.
The new evidence and the records of the original find suggest that the animal
had a long, low skull with a kinked snout very similar to Baryonxy.
The spines of the animal were very flat and bladelike. To this day--even with the proliferation of technological advancements like broadband internet and other innovations that can greatly aid researchers-- no other dinosaur specimen has been found with such extremely tall neural spines.
was the function of Spinosaurus' Sail?
classically thought to be a device for regulating body temperature I, personally,
don't subscribe to this theory. As a means for heating the blood its very clumsy.
It also implies that this dinosaur was cold-blooded and would have had to carefully
position itself in the sunlight. If this was true it might have severely overheated
if it fell asleep in the afternoon sun!
belief is that, as with all known peripheral adornments, it was sexual. It would
have been used to make the animal look bigger both for attracting a mate and frightening
opponents. Perhaps the skin across the surface had such a profusion of blood vessels
that it could "flush" its colour, creating vivid patterns that were
alluring to the females. A Peacock's tail plume is a modern-day comparison.
thanks to Steve Coombs
It was an interesting note that in the film of Jurassic Park III, Sam Neil's character
of Dr Grant talks of how these are not really ressurrected prehistoric animals,
they are theme park attractions. It raises the point that his job is not actually
"extinct" as they joked in the first Jurassic Park film (also available
on video and DVD from all good stockists! See links on top right of page) because
the creatures of Jurassic Park are not real dinosaurs, they have been engineered.
Its also regonition of the fact that these creatures shown in film are innaccurate
in many ways and the fact they're purely for entertainment is true on many levels!