Brazilian researchers recently reported in the British journal Cretaceous Research that they have found tiny fossils of a blood parasite in dinosaur fossils. Previously, the scientific community had found fossils of prehistoric parasites only in amber insects or animal feces fossils, the first time in the body.
Researchers at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, the Federal University of San Carlos and the University of Campinas in Brazil have found the parasite fossil in the fossil of a Titan dragon, a herbivorous dinosaur from the Cretaceous period, which may have been linked to myelitis in dinosaurs.
In 2017, they noticed spongy lumps in the titan’s fossils, said Ariane Girardi of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, who was involved in the study. Researchers at Campinas University then used microscopes and fault scanning techniques to study the bones.
After analysis, they found that the Titan dragon had myelitis, which caused bone deformation. When they examined the bones, they found tiny biological fossils in the blood vessel passages of the bones, which they later identified as a blood parasite.
“When we found out that these tiny fossils in the bones were parasites, we couldn’t believe it, because similar findings have not been published publicly before,” said Tito Orellano, a researcher at campinas University. But we don’t know if the parasite caused myelitis or if myelitis caused the parasite to appear, and we’ll continue to look into it. “
“This is a study of histology, pathology, and palaeontology researchers,” Girardi said. The results are important for understanding the development of myelitis disease and the treatment of human myelitis. “