• Discovery of 1,200 teeth in the river bed in Morroco proved Spinosaurus lived in water
  • Teeth were found along with the remains of ancient aquatic animals
  • Spinosaurus was the main protagonist in 'Jurassic Park III'

A team of paleontologists from the University of Portsmouth digging an ancient river bed in Morocco found 1,200 teeth that belonged to the Spinosaurus. The discovery affirmed earlier theories positing that this dinosaur species lived in water.

The amount of Spinosaurus teeth found in the Kem Kem river system, which ran through the Sahara Desert 100 million years ago, “proved beyond reasonable doubt” that they are river-monsters, the team said in a study recently published in the Journal Cretaceous Research.

One factor that made a strong case for the paleontologists was that most of the Spinosaurus teeth were found within the river bed together with remains of other prehistoric fishes and aquatic species. The location of the teeth meant that Spinosaurus was living in the water, swimming in it most of the time and not simply on standby along the river bank. In the modern-day scenario, their daily activities are mostly similar to crocodiles or hippos.

Workers put the final touches to an 8 metre long, 100 million years old Spinosaurus dinosaur during a presentation at an auction room in Paris Reuters

"The enhanced abundance of Spinosaurus teeth, relative to other dinosaurs, is a reflection of their aquatic lifestyle. An animal living much of its life in water is much more likely to contribute teeth to the river deposit than those dinosaurs that perhaps only visited the river for drinking and feeding along its banks,” David Martill, Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Portsmouth, said in the university’s press release.

“The results are fully consistent with the idea of a truly water-dwelling, river monster,” Martill added.

There has been a significant amount of attention on Spinosaurus because people became familiarized with the species through the movie "Jurassic Park III." The Spinosaurus was the franchise’s main antagonist. It was the one that chased Sam Neil's character all over the island. Interestingly, the present study provided a loophole in the movie now that Spinosaurus was said to be more of a river-monster than a land predator.

A full-grown Spinosaurus could weigh seven tons and could get as tall as 50 feet. The species could be taller than its more famous counterpart, the Tyrannosaurus rex. The Spinosaurus has a long snout that looks more like that of the crocodiles’.

The new study was significant because it was always believed that dinosaurs lived exclusively on land. It also built on two previous studies that first floated the possibility that Spinosaurus was water-dwelling. A 2010 chemical study, first reported by the National Geographic, concluded that Spinosaurus spent more time in the water on a daily basis. Meanwhile, a 2014 study found that the species had features similar to swimming animals.