(KCBS)— Archaeologists believe some lost dinosaur bones unearthed nearly a century ago of a creature bigger than a T-Rex may have belonged to one of the weirdest creatures to ever roam the Earth.
The 50-foot long, semi-aquatic predator, known as Spinosaurus, apparently had a crocodile snout as big as a person and walked on duck-like, webbed feet in what is now North-African territory some 97 million years ago.READ MORE: Student Arrested For Making Threats; Security Heightened At Livermore High School
Nizar Ibrahim, a paleontologist from the University of Chicago, has been studying some recently-discovered bones shed light on the carnivorous dinosaur. The original discovery of Spinosaurus’ bones was found in the Egyptian desert in 1912 by a German paleontologist, Ernst Freiherr Stromer von Reichenbach.
Those fossil finds were later destroyed during World War II when the Allies bombed Munich in 1944 in Munich, Germany.
The discovery and findings from Ibrahim’s work were published this week in the journal, Science.
While the original bones were destroyed, Ibrahim said the German paleontologist’s “beautiful” drawings survived. “They provide some really important information when we’re interpreting our new find,” he said.
The new skeleton was found in Southeastern Morocco on the border of Algeria. Spinosaurus appears to have been a widespread predator that lived in an area equivalent to the size of the continental United States.READ MORE: Redwood City Man Accused Of Molesting Stepdaughter Over Several Years
The area is referred to as the “river of giants” full of large, crocodile-like predators, big sawfish, flying reptiles and plenty of predatory dinosaurs.
Ibrahim said some of the most interesting things about the pre-historic creature are its size and that it was the first dinosaur known to swim.
“The really interesting thing about Spinosaurus is that it looks different from all other predatory dinosaurs.” Its slender snout full of cone-shaped teeth was perfect for catching slippery prey.
On its back stood a seven-foot-fin, which he likened to a sail, or an appendage similar to that of a sharks’ that would stick upright out of the water.
Scientists have theorized that the sail was actually a display structure since the creature spent a fair amount of time in the water. It was a way of warding off other predators from its fishing territory, he said. In addition, Spinosaurus’ forelimbs were very powerful.MORE NEWS: San Jose Man Charged In 'Horrific' Torture Murder Of 72-Year-Old
A replica of Spinosaurus stands on exhibit outside the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C. National Geographer Society funded the digital reconstruction of the bones.