At Long Last, Paleontologists Find Remains of a Swimming Dinosaur—’a Cretaceous Cormorant’

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Across the whole history of paleontology, which has identified more than 700 species of dinosaurs, there’s never been one found with aquatic features—until now.

Natovenator or “swimming hunter” was a foot-long, streamlined, distant cousin of Velociraptor with a slender neck and a mouth filled with sharp teeth, leading to one scientist to call it a “Cretaceous cormorant.”

If dinosaurs weren’t real, their biological forms would have certainly shown up in fantasy stories as monsters or aliens.

Across the whole history of paleontology, which has identified more than 700 species of dinosaurs, there’s never been one found with aquatic features—until now.

Natovenator or “swimming hunter” was a foot-long, streamlined, distant cousin of Velociraptor with a slender neck and a mouth filled with sharp teeth, leading to one scientist to call it a “Cretaceous cormorant.”

If dinosaurs weren’t real, their biological forms would have certainly shown up in fantasy stories as monsters or aliens.

Yet for all this staggering diversity, it seemed at one point that dinosaurs had been content never to get their feet wet, as no swimming or diving adaptations had ever been discovered in the fossil record.

Then, in 2017, Halszkaraptor escuilliei, a feathered theropod dinosaur was discovered in Mongolia which appeared to have some adaptations for swimming. That fossil had comparatively similar features to certain waterfowl, or even crocodilians, and a theory emerged that it could have been semi-aquatic.

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