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Dinos must have lived in water to support their heavy weight

London , Tue, 03 Apr 2012 ANI

London, April 3 (ANI): Dinosaurs must have lived in water, as they were too big and heavy to support themselves on dry land, a scientist has claimed.

Professor Brian J Ford said the prehistoric creatures "just don't work" in the way palaeontologists have understood for decades.

He believes their tails were too large and cumbersome for them to hunt or move with agility, and said they could not have consumed enough food to sustain their energy needs.

Instead, he claimed they must have lived in water where their environment would support their bulk successfully, the Telegraph reported.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4 's Today programme, he described how a shallow water landscape would have been "sympathetic" to their size.

"Every time you see these images, they are always the same. These huge dinosaurs crunching across arid deserts holding these huge tails erect as they are looking around for prey," the Telegraph quoted Prof Ford, a scientist, broadcaster and lecturer, as saying.

"It makes no sense. Just imagine that the landscape was water - it suddenly makes sense. This huge tail is buoyant, floating in the water. It becomes a swimming aid. Suddenly his environment is sympathetic to him.

"Earlier theories have suggested they might have swum, or lived in swamps; and much work has been done to show them wading into streams to catch fish.

"My view is different. I argue that they must have evolved in shallow water.

"It's not that they could manage to cope with it, or that they swam, or even that they were submerged; but that they lived in water that supported their weight," he added.

The programme declared his theory "so revolutionary it stands the whole world of palaeontology on its head."

But an expert from the Natural History Museum has claimed that a similar theory had been discussed and largely dismissed up to 100 years ago.

Dr Paul Barrett said: "Things have moved on quite a lot. I don't think we will be re-writing the text books just yet." (ANI)

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