Stephanie Pappas

Despite old, out-of-date drawings of long-necked dinosaurs wading in swamps, scientists have long believed that dinosaurs were a land-loving bunch: None were thought to swim. Now, though, a new tail fossil found in Morocco reveals that the sharp-toothed and fearsome Spinosaurus aegyptiacus was the Michael Phelps of the Cretaceous.

The predatory Spinosaurus, which could grow up to 23 feet (7 meters) long, had a broad, paddle-like tail that behaved more like the tails of today’s crocodiles than that of other carnivorous dinosaurs, researchers reported today (April 29) in the journal Nature.



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