FP TrendingAug 05, 2020 16:48:56 IST
Scientists have discovered a massive malignant tumour in the leg bone of a 76 million years old dinosaur. This is the first known case of osteosarcoma, a type of primary bone malignancy, found in a dinosaur.
The fossils of the Centrosaurus Apertus, a herbivore dinosaur, revealed that the giant being was suffering from a huge tumour in its hind leg. Moreover, the cancer was malignant in nature, meaning that cancerous cells might have developed at other parts of the dinosaur’s body as well. The research was published in the journal The Lancet Oncology.
The fibula or the lower leg bone of the dinosaur was discovered from the Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada, in 1989, CNN reported. However, scientists thought the malformed part of the leg was due to some injury the animal might have received and not a dangerous tumour.
Dr Mark Crowther, the co-author of the study, said in a statement, “Diagnosis of aggressive cancer like this in dinosaurs has been elusive and requires medical expertise and multiple levels of analysis to properly identify.”
The cancer was at an advanced stage, according to the scientists, and hence would have made its daily life quite difficult. “The cancer would have had crippling effects on the individual and made it very vulnerable to the formidable tyrannosaur predators of the time,” said Dr David Evans.
The researchers believe that since the herbivores dinosaurs lived in herds, the 'group existence' might've helped the diseased dinosaur have a comparatively better life.
The site the bones were discovered is also interesting - the cancerous bones were found along with the bones of several other dinosaurs of the same species.
Scientists are of the opinion that many members of the herd might've died together, probably in a flood. Hence, despite surviving in the wild with a damaged hind leg, the dinosaur finally succumbed to a natural calamity.
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