HomePLANTS & ANIMALSPaleontology & FossilsNew species of spinosaurid dinosaur discovered in Portugal

New species of spinosaurid dinosaur discovered in Portugal

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NOVA School of Science and Technology and Museu da Lourinhã scientists have found evidence that a group of fossils found 23 years ago in Portugal are the remains of a new species of Spinosaurus. This type of dinosaur featured prominently in the movie Jurassic Park III. Scientists have named it Iberospinus natarioi. The study has been posted on the open-access site PLOS ONE. The study has explained why scientists believed they belonged to a separate species of Spinosaurus.

Spinosaurids are one of the largest living carnivores to have ever walked the earth. They were long with large back legs and small front legs. They had long tails and large heads that resembled those of a crocodile. They lived during the Mesozoic in Africa and parts of Britain and Europe. They most notably lived on the Iberian Peninsula. Research has suggested that they lived most of their lives in the water. But they were quite capable of chasing down prey on land as well.

Estimates of their characteristics are generalized because a small number of fossils that have been found. Scientists suspected that the fossil remains discovered in 1999 close to Cabo Espichel, Portugal. It has been mistakenly identified. Scientists believed that the remains were from a single Spinosaurus known as Baryonyx walker. They were given the label ML1190. The fossils included dorsal vertebra, rib fragments, a pubis shaft, dentary fragments, a partial right scapula, a phalanx bone, a public peduncle, and dorsal neural arches.

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