Thursday, January 20, 2022
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
You are viewing: Home > News > Palaeontology > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  

Did you know that you can now support us on Patreon ?

You can subscribe for less than the cost of a cup of coffee - and we'll even throw in a range of exclusive perks as a way to say thank you.

Dinosaurs crossed hundreds of miles of ocean

November 7, 2020 | Comment icon 1 comment

Some land-dwelling dinosaurs were capable swimmers. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Lisa Andres
A chance fossil discovery in Morocco has indicated that some dinosaurs swam vast distances across the sea.
The discovery of a duck-billed dinosaur fossil in a mine near Casablanca has been described as "like finding a kangaroo in Scotland" by study leader Dr. Nicholas Longrich from the Milner Center for Evolution at the University of Bath, England.

The fossil belongs to a species known as Ajnabia - a type of duck-billed plant-eater that grew up to 15 meters long and was native to North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

The most notable aspect of this particular find however is the fact that during the Cretaceous, Africa was an island continent separated from the rest of the world by an extensive ocean.

"[The fossil is] about the last thing in the world you would expect," said Dr Longrich. "It was completely out of place... Africa was completely isolated by water - so how did they get there ?"
To have made its way there, this dinosaur must have crossed hundreds of kilometers of open ocean.

It might seem incredible but it's not that much of a stretch - the species was likely good at swimming and the animals could have taken advantage of driftwood to help them cross.

"Sherlock Holmes said, once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth," said Dr. Longrich.

"It was impossible to walk to Africa. These dinosaurs evolved long after continental drift split the continents, and we have no evidence of land bridges."

"The geology tells us Africa was isolated by oceans. If so, the only way to get there is by water."

Source: | Comments (1)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Jon the frog 1 year ago
swimming or drifting... but if you look at the Komodo dragon and salt water crocs, they do swim for long distances.

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

 Total Posts: 7,213,175    Topics: 295,851    Members: 195,254

 Not a member yet ? Click here to join - registration is free and only takes a moment!
Recent news and articles