Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
Unexplained Mysteries
You are viewing: Home > News > Palaeontology > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  
All ▾
Search Submit


Dinosaurs crossed hundreds of miles of ocean

By T.K. Randall
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)

Other news and articles
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Jon the frog 4 years 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.

Our new book is out now!
Book cover

The Unexplained Mysteries
Book of Weird News


Take a walk on the weird side with this compilation of some of the weirdest stories ever to grace the pages of a newspaper.

Click here to learn more

We need your help!
Patreon logo

Support us on Patreon


For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can gain access to a wide range of exclusive perks including our popular 'Lost Ghost Stories' series.

Click here to learn more

Recent news and articles