"The shin bone shows intense most cancers at an state-of-the-art phase".
When a lower leg bone or fibula from a horned dinosaur called Centrosaurus apertus that lived 76 to 77 million years ago was unearthed in Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada, in 1989, the malformed end of the fossilized bone was originally thought to be a healing fracture. Mark Crowther, Professor of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, and Snezana Popovic, an osteopathologist, both from McMaster University, made a decision to analyze it using modern medical techniques.
This deformed bone is the first clear example of a malignant tumor diagnosed in a dinosaur. Offered that it would have been simple for the ill dinosaur to drop prey to another dinosaur or get left at the rear of, unable to maintain up with its herd, Evans feel it is feasible that other dinosaurs were using care of it.
Originally, the deformation was chalked up to a broken bone that hadn't healed well.
Thus began a unique multidisciplinary effort to re-analyse the fossil, a project that included ROM paleontologist Louise Temerty and osteopathologist Snezana Popovic, also at McMaster, which is located in Hamilton, Ontario. The paper was published on August 3rd in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet Oncology.
A rendering of a Centrosaurus apertus.
The specimen is a Centrosaurus apertus, a horned dinosaur in the same general family as the famous Triceratops. Reaching some 18 feet (5.5 meters) long, these beasts featured a long horn on their snouts and a short frill adorned with four horns, the top two of which were quite small.
They assembled a team of specialists and approached the diagnosis similarly to how it would be carried out in humans.
The bone was examined, cast and CT scanned in advance of a slender slice of the bone was examinedbeneath the microscope.
To ensure their diagnosis, the staff in contrast the fossil to a usual fibula from a dinosaur of the very same species, as very well as to a fibula belonging to a 19-12 months-old male with a verified circumstance of osteosarcoma.
This remarkable find shows that no matter how big or powerful some dinosaurs may seem, they were affected by numerous same diseases we see in humans and other animals today, including cancer.
Using modern technology, a group of researchers was able to analyze the characteristics of the fossilized bone.
"The cancerous bone is severely malformed, with a massive gnarly tumour larger than an apple in the middle of the bone", he said.
"It gives us unique insight into the lives of other dinosaurs", he said, adding, "it's sad to think this dinosaur had cancer, but at least it didn't kill him - at least he died surrounded by his friends". Powerful three-dimensional CT reconstruction tools were used to visualize the progression of the cancer through the bone. And other organisms dwelling around the dinosaur period have revealed symptoms of the sickness, much too. In fact, he says, bone cancer "is probably more common than we think, or more common than we have found so far".
'The cancer would have had crippling effects on the individual and made it very vulnerable to the formidable tyrannosaur predators of the time'. It also connects us to dinosaurs in an unexpected way. "Dinosaurs seem like mythical beasts, but they were living, breathing animals that suffered through frightful injuries and diseases", he added.