Like modern birds, crocodiles, humans and a few large animals, dinosaurs were also suffering from the severe pain caused by septic arthritis, according to researchers from the University of Manchester. Paleontologists analyzed the x-ray result (x-ray microtomography) of a duck billed dinosaur that roamed the earth 70 million years ago.
According to the research report published in the journal Royal Society, Dr Jennifer Anne from the University of Manchester revealed that a plant-eating, duck-billed dinosaur has been diagnosed with septic arthritis and it had endured considerable suffering before taking its last breath.
Septic arthritis is a nasty form of disease, which gives a severe pain in bones after any kind of injuries followed by infections. Scientists analyzed two fossilized arm bones of a Hadrosaur, which is a duck-billed, plant-eating dinosaur, lived in the shallow sea area on the earth. These fossilized arms had enough evidence to get the results from the postmortem analysis.
As in the study’s lead author’s words, these arm bones don’t look quite right, even to the naked eye. The oddness of the fossil grabbed her attention to study it furthermore. Dr Jennifer Anne said:
“Our patient died 70 million years ago. A doctor doesn’t just look at bones to diagnose an infection. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first recorded account of septic arthritis in dinosaurs. As a result, how we’re approaching diagnosing is changing—it’s letting us look at more individuals, so we have a higher chance of finding things.”
Bones of Hadrosaur (including an ulna and a radius) were discovered in the 19th century in a Navesink formation of New Jersey. Navesink formation is a rich layer of greenish sand, mud and clay with high amount of calcium carbonate. These bones are rapidly decaying and are highly fragile.
Earlier, fossils of many other ancient swimming reptiles like turtles, crocodiles, mosasaurs, plesiosaurs and land-dwelling Hardsaurs were discovered in this area, that lead scientists to conclude that this area was covered by shallow water, millions of years ago.
Bruce Rothschild, a paleosteopathologist and radiologist at Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, said, this is a reasonable research to prove the septic arthritis in the Hadrosaur. He also noted that Hadrosaurs may have been susceptible to cancer for congenital reasons, that doesn’t figure into the current diagnosis.