BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Dinosaurs lived both on land and underwater and some of them could fly, but one particular marine dinosaur swam like a penguin.
The species of dinosaurs are extremely various. Some were predators some were herbivores; some walked on two legs, others on all four; some had long necks and others had horns; and last but not least, some could fly and some could swim.
The ocean was back then the home of many types of dinosaurs. Among them, there was one species called the plesiosaur. One type of plesiosaur was the meyerasaurus, which lived underwater in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Scientists have been studying this creature in order to find out how it lived and most importantly, how it swam.
Their conclusion was that the meyesaurus swam very similar to how penguins swim nowadays. To reach this conclusion they studied an almost complete fossil of the creature. Because the fossil had to be handled with great care, as scientists are trying to preserve it, they created a digital version of it to help them have a better look.
Ever since the fossil was discovered 200 years ago, researchers have been wondering about their swimming mechanism. Now, after having a digital image of the creature, they were able to discover that it used its front limbs for propulsion, while the back limbs were probably used for direction and keeping afloat.
The way this dinosaur swam was quite rudimentary and resembled flying. In other words, they were just flapping their wings underwater. The back flippers did basically nothing except steering, which is quite surprising given their size. But researchers will definitely be looking more into this to find out exactly how the meyerasaurus used different parts of its body to advance underwater.
This type of swimming is very similar to the way penguins swim, by flapping their flippers up and down, except penguins hind limbs are small compared to the dinosaur’s back limbs. Although this similarities might lead us to think the ancient creature could be an ancestor of the penguins, scientists are not making any indications towards such a theory. However, we could still hope they are somehow linked in the history of evolution.
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