What Was the Spinosaur's Back Fin Used For?


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There seems to be a general lack of consensus among paleontologists as to what purpose the Spinosaurus' sail served; not only is there a lack of certainty as to why the sail existed, there also seems to be some question about whether the dinosaur actually had a sail at all. All questions about the Spinosaurus' anatomy must be answered using fossil evidence, which is limited to fossilized skeletal remains that show a crest of bones protruding upward from the dinosaur's spine. While some scientists feel that these bones provided the structure for a sail-like flap of skin, other argue that this spinal structure actually supported a large hump rather than a distinct sail.

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What Was the Spinosaur's Back Fin Used For?
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One theory as to why the Spinosaurus might have had a sail posits that the dinosaur was amphibious, with evidence to support the idea that this carnivorous dinosaur was able to maneuver deftly through water. Though the Spinosaurus is considered to be the largest known carnivorous dinosaur, it might have hunted in water and on land, with scientists who hold to this theory believing that the sail served more of a visual function than anything else. Under this theory, the sail would serve as a clear identifier that the Spinosaurus was present, providing other dinos with a warning.

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