Cancer Found In 60-million-years Old Fossilized Dinosaur Tail Plagues Humans To This Day


Archaeologists have recently found cavities in the tailbones of a fossilized dinosaur, indicating that dinosaurs suffered from cancer which still affects humans

Written By Shubham Bose | Mumbai | Updated On:
Fossilized dinosaur

Archaeologists have recently found cavities in the tailbones of certain dinosaurs, indicating that they suffered from cancer. This discovery proves that the ancient reptiles suffered from painful tumours that afflict humans even to this day. The existence of tumours was found in a 60-million-year-old fossilised tail of a hadrosaur, commonly referred to as a duck-billed dinosaur.

The hadrosaur suffered from langerhans cell histiocytosis

According to reports, the hadrosaur that resided in modern-day Alberta, Canada suffered from 'langerhans cell histiocytosis', or LCH. In the present day, the disease is rare among humans and is more commonly found in children between the age of 5-10.

This type of cancer can lead to tissue damage and lesions across the body, with symptoms varying with the location of the cancerous cell. The discovery was made by biologist Hila May of the Tel Aviv University and her team. According to reports, the team located the fossil at the Dinosaur Provincial Park in southern Alberta, Canada and spotted large cavities in two of the vertebrae segments.

In an effort to better understand the cavities, the fossils were sent for micro-CT scanning at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History. The micro-CT provided the team with very high-resolution images of the bones and subsequently the cavities where the tumours are believed to have been.

Read: 'Reaper Of Death': Older Dinosaur Species Related To T-Rex Discovered In Canada

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Reports indicate that micro and macro analysis of the bones confirmed that the dinosaur, in fact, had LCH. This was the first confirmed case of the disease in a dinosaur. According to Tel Aviv University anthropologist Israel Hershkovitz, who was not part of the study, such studies make immense contribution to evolutionary medicine, which is still a relatively new field of study that focuses on investigating the development and behaviour of diseases over time. The study was published in the Scientific Reports journal.

'Reaper of Death'

Recently, Canadian scientists have announced that they have discovered a brand new species of dinosaur. The new species of dinosaur is closely related to Tyrannosaurus rex that strode the plain of North America about 80 million years ago. This new species of dinosaur is believed to be the oldest member of the T-rex family.

According to researchers, the Thanatotheristes Degrootorum would have grown around 26 feet in length. Its name translated from Greek means the 'reaper of death'. According to Darla Zelenitsky, who is an assistant professor of dinosaur palaeobiology at Canada’s University of Calgary, the new species of dinosaur was named that way because, as per their research it was the only known large apex predator of its time in Canada.

Read: 120 million-year-old Dinosaur Fossil With Feathers Discovered In China

Read: Secret Mission Saves Australia's 'dinosaur Trees' From Bushfires

(Image Credit: Pixabay)

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