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Swimming Dinosaurs Existed For Real, Scientists Claim

Update Date: Sep 12, 2014 02:19 PM EDT

Researchers have found a rich horde of fossils from the Sahara that reveals the largest known predators to ever walk the earth were also excellent swimmers, according to a new study.

Findings of the study overturn the common view that dinosaurs were just terrestrial beasts. 

"We've resurrected a giant from deep time...a lost world buried for more than 95 million years," said Nizar Ibrahim, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago and lead author of the study, in the press release. "It is arguably the most enigmatic dinosaur" yet described.

"It is a really bizarre dinosaur - there's no real blueprint for it.

"It has a long neck, a long trunk, a long tail, a 7ft (2m) sail on its back and a snout like a crocodile.

"And when we look at the body proportions, the animal was clearly not as agile on land as other dinosaurs were, so I think it spent a substantial amount of time in the water," added Ibrahim, according to BBC

Remains of the Spinosaurus aegyptiacus were first discovered about 100 years ago in Egypt. They were then moved to a museum in Munich, Germany but they were destroyed during World War II. 

The new fossils, which are around 95-million-year-old were extracted from  Kem Kem fossil beds in eastern Morocco by a private collector. 

"For the very first time, we can piece together the information we have from the drawings of the old skeleton, the fragments of bones, and now this new fossil, and reconstruct this dinosaur," said Dr Ibrahim.

The study has been published in the journal Science

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