Researchers from Canada have diagnosed a terminal malignant form of bone cancer in a dinosaur,media reported. A team of cancer experts has examined a giant growth in the leg bone of the long-dead dinosaur using diagnostic techniques used in humans, marking the first such diagnosis by the scientific community. It is reported that the dinosaur specimen under study is Centrosaurus apertus – a trigonometry belongs to the same section of horned dinosaurs.
The fossil was first discovered in Alberta in 1989, 76 to 77 million years ago. A deformed block at the end of the animal’s fibula was noticed. Initially, this deformation is thought to be caused by fractures that do not heal well. But bone expert Mark Crowther noticed the strange bone during a visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta and decided to study it more deeply.
A team of scientists were called in to study the fossil, including experts in pathology, radiology, plastic surgery and other fields, as well as experts specializing in dinosaur diseases. The scientists examined the bones, performed the gypsum and performed a CT scan, then cut the fossils into thin slices and studied them under a microscope. In summary, these tests allowed scientists to reconstruct the internal and external cross-sections of the entire bone to determine the progression of the disease.
Eventually, researchers were able to diagnose osteosarcoma. This type of cancer affects the bones of humans and other animals, most commonly at the end of the long leg bone, as was the case with this Centrosaurus dinosaur.
The team confirmed the diagnosis by comparing the affected bones with the fibula of healthy dinosaurs of the same species and the human fibula with osteosarcoma. In this dinosaur, the disease was already so severe that researchers who understood the behavior of osteosarcoma suggested that the tumor was likely to have spread in the dinosaur at the time of death.
Interestingly, cancer doesn’t seem to be the cause of the dinosaur’s death. The fossil was found on a huge bone bed, along with many other Centrosaurus, suggesting it was sudden death.
Study co-author David Evans said: “The tibia shows advanced invasive cancer. Cancer can have a serious impact on individuals, making it very vulnerable in the face of the then-terrible predator, The Tyrannosaurus. In fact, this herbivorous dinosaur lived in a large, protected herd, which may have made it live longer than normal for this devastating disease. “