When a team of paleontologists began studying a rather bizarre fossil they were shocked to find that it was a completely-new dinosaur. One related to the famous velociraptor, with the neck like a swan, forelimbs like flippers and a snout like that of a goose. This fossil’s extremely strange features made the experts put in some extra work just to verify its authenticity. According to their study, which journal Nature recently published, this dinosaur might have lived both in water and on dry land.
This species’ official name is Halszkaraptor escuilliei, and if their suspicions are true, it is only the second dinosaur that could swim ever discovered. The spinosaurus is the first one, even if it’s nature is also subject of debate. According to the experts, there are actually some very prominent clues that point towards this dinosaur’s semiaquatic nature. Those include the long neck and the teeth that look like crocodile ones, which it may have used to catch fish from the water surface.
A new type of semiaquatic dinosaur
As for its snout, this dinosaur had one like crocodiles have, full of sensory nerves, used for detecting temperature changes and movement in water. As for its forelimbs, they resemble flippers more than wings, exactly like marine reptile have.
According to Pascal Godefroit, one of the paper’s authors, the team is still not sure how exactly did this dinosaur swim. Maybe it had movements like penguins do, or maybe its long legs made it behave like a crane. Godefroit said that one thing is sure: this dinosaur didn’t swim like a swan. It’s even weirder that its feet look like they were more suited for dry land and for running, more than for swimming.
The Halszkaraptor escuilliei was also about the size of a modern-day turkey and it was a raptor. Its existence proves that raptors were not only terrestrial predators, but they were also able to swim.
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