Spinosaurus makes debut at Chicago’s Field Museum

[anvplayer video=”5180101″ station=”998132″]

The newest addition to the Field Museum on Chicago’s lakefront will give visitors a glimpse of the largest predatory dinosaur yet discovered via a 46 foot long cast of a Spinosaurus suspended high above the museum’s main hall.

Field Museum officials unveiled the cast Friday and it will be available for visitors starting Saturday.

Field researcher Matteo Fabbri said the cast is about 60 percent of a skeleton, the most complete specimen of the species.

Scientists have long struggled to interpret Spinosaurus fossils to determine the animal’s behavior when it lived, uncertain whether it swam or waded in to hunt from the surface. Fabbri is among a team of researchers who in March published their theory that the density of Spinosaurus suggests they likely did go underwater to hunt

“Spinosaurus is a very weird animal,” Fabbri said. “The proportions of the entire body are incredibly weird in comparison to any other dinosaur. The tail is extremely long, the legs are incredibly short, and the skull reminds of the ones we find in modern crocodiles.”

According to the museum, a team of artists in Italy created the cast based off of fossils found in the northern Africa’s Sahara Desert where the semi-aquatic Spinosaurus lived nearly 100 million years ago. The original fossils are kept at the Hassan II University of Casablanca in Morocco.

AP Video shot by Teresa Crawford