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Published on Friday, 12 September 2014 11:10
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Dinosar 410px 14 09 12A giant fossil, unearthed in the Sahara desert, has given scientists an unprecedented look at the largest-known carnivorous dinosaur: Spinosaurus.

The 95-million-year-old remains confirm a long-held theory: that this is the first-known swimming dinosaur, BBC reports.

Scientists say the beast had flat, paddle-like feet and nostrils on top of its crocodilian head that would allow it to submerge with ease.

The research is published in the journal Science.

Lead author Nizar Ibrahim, a palaeontologist from the University of Chicago, said: "It is a really bizarre dinosaur - there's no real blueprint for it.

"It has a long neck, a long trunk, a long tail, a 7ft (2m) sail on its back and a snout like a crocodile.

"And when we look at the body proportions, the animal was clearly not as agile on land as other dinosaurs were, so I think it spent a substantial amount of time in the water."

While other ancient creatures, such as the plesiosaur and mosasaur, lived in the water, they are marine reptiles rather than dinosaurs, making Spinosaurus the only-known semi-aquatic dinosaur.

At more than 15m (50ft) from nose to tail, the researchers say it was potentially the largest of all the carnivorous dinosaurs - bigger even than the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 11:10