This article was originally posted by PLOS Paleo editor Jon Tennant over at Discover Magazine on January 11, 2016, featuring a paper published last week in PLOS ONE. We bring you a snippet of the article here, and encourage you to head over to Discover Magazine’s D-Brief blog to read the article in its entirety.
Spinosaurus gained a notorious reputation in Jurassic Park 3 (spoiler alert), stomping on to the screen to take down the mighty T. rex in a rather memorable duel. Since gaining global fame on the silver screen, researchers now believe Spinosaurus was an adept swimmer, terrorizing local inhabitants of ancient river systems in North Africa some 100 million years ago.
A new study of the jaws of Spinosaurus indicates that it may have devoured its prey much like a giant pelican or modern snakes, opening its jaws wide to swallow unlucky critters whole. New fossils from rocks dating to the Cretaceous period from southeastern Morocco, known as the Kem-Kem beds, show that spinosaurs were able to widen their jaws and greatly open the pharynx to swallow over-sized chunks of food.
Read the complete, original article over at Discover Magazine’s website: