Dinosaurs DIDN’T rule the earth: The huge creatures ‘actually lived in water’ - and their tails were swimming aids.
A new theory claims that dinosaurs weren’t land animals - they lived in water to support their weight, and their huge tails were swimming aids.
Scientists have found many dinosaur footprints, but there are few tail marks - and one expert claims that the reason is that dinosaurs held their tails aloft as they splashed through water.
He says thinking of them as aquatic creatures explains everything, and means a major reassessment of the ‘Jurassic Park’ idea of them roaming grassy plains.
Brian Ford, a cell biologist, believes this explains why archaeologists have unearthed dinosaur footprints for the dinosaurs, but there is no sign of tailmarks as if they wasted large amounts of energy holding their tails in the air.
Read the full article on Daily Mail
Okay, where do I start with this article? Yes, we’ve found evidence that some dinosaurs like Spinosaurus, Baryonyx, and other Spinosauridae had partial aquatic lifestyles because of stable isotope ratios found in their teeth, which are to similar levels when compared with crocodiles of today. Another thing here is that they call them ‘archaeologists’, and I do assume they meant “palaeontologists”…
Are we going back in time to the image of dinosaurs as they are depicted at Dinosaur Court? How about all of John Ostrom’s work, plus all our new discoveries and research we’ve done over the past 40+ so years since Ostrom led the “dinosaur renaissance”?
If all dinosaurs were fully aquatic, evolution would have made them much differently than what we find in the rocks. Many would have developed flippers like plesiosaurs or mosasaurs. What about all the nesting grounds we’ve found? It’s hard to see them hatching fully submerged without drowning, unless they were hatched on a riverbank. What about all the evidence we’ve found in dinosaur stomachs? All carnivores would have had much more of an aquatic diet if they were living 24/7 in the water, and then herbivores wouldn’t have eaten things like conifers and other plant life too high in the air if their bodies (like sauropods) were let’s say 15 - 30 feet in the water - their necks wouldn’t have been able to reach those higher trees then. Much of the formations we’ve found dinosaurs in - like the famous Morrison Formation - has been found/studied to have distinct seasons. Yes, there were many floodplains during the time of the dinosaurs to which they lived, but if they stayed fully in water 15 - 30+ feet deep, we would have found different diets and even more stable isotope ratios in dinosaurs other than Spinosauridae members. We’ve found many dinosaur tracks made by the same group of animals, which support the theory of herds and possible migration (that I doubt were done by walking/swimming through lakes all the time).
In the article, he says, “The bulky muscular tail would have been impracticable as depicted in the conventional images and the abundant fossil footprints do not show tail dragging.” My first thought is, “I wonder if he’s ever studied dinosaur skeletons, looked closely at how it pieces together, and studied the bones itself.” I’m all for new ideas, but this (old) theory just doesn’t cut it for me. There’s so many questions that can counteract a fully aquatic life theory, which I’ve stated a few.
I agree that many dinosaurs (and other animals) enjoyed the swamps and lakes as types of watering holes - the earth was much different back in the Mesozoic - but the thought of these animals living in lakes and other types of water 24/7 just doesn’t sit right with me. I’ve been to many palaeontology events the past month, talking with some of the best palaeontologists and geologists out there about biomechanics, ecology, osteology, expeditions, formations, and all that good stuff. I’d love to hear their thoughts on this theory as well.