A prominent English scientist has theorised that dinosaurs were primarily aquatic animals which spent most of their time in shallow lakes and used their giant tails as swimming aids.
Cambridge cell biologist Brian Ford said he was led to the conclusion after studying the unusual bodies of dinosaurs, the Daily Mail reports.
“They have a large and bulky body with a huge and muscular tail which would be better used to propel and steer a swimming dinosaur,” Mr Ford said.
“When you think of it like that, it all makes sense. The bulky muscular tail would have been impracticable as depicted in the conventional images, and the abundant fossil footprints do not show tail dragging.”
However, Dr Paul Barrett, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London disagrees with the hypothesis.
He said Mr Ford’s comments about dinosaurs struggling to support their tails have been discredited by recent engineering discoveries on load-bearing structures.
“Dinosaurs had more than enough muscle strength in their legs to get around easily on land,” Dr Barrett said.
“They were engineered for it.”
Mr Ford is an independent research biologist and UK media personality who reports on scientific issues for the general public.
He has fellowships at numerous UK universities including Cambridge and Cardiff.