(ORDO NEWS) — Canadian scientists have found the first dinosaur to be affected by cancer. The ancient animal was discovered in the Dinosaur Nature Reserve (Canada) in 1989, according to Reuters.
The centrosaurus was about six meters tall, had massive jaw muscles and a horn, and apparently suffered from osteosarcoma of one of the limbs. This cancer is malignant, common in humans and animals, and is treated with chemotherapy and surgery, and sometimes limb amputation. Experts have identified traces of a tumor the size of an apple on one dinosaur tibia.
Due to the fact that tumors are usually localized in soft tissues, it is not possible to consider this particular case in more detail. However, the limb was carefully examined using computed tomography and a microscope, which made it possible to unambiguously judge the presence of a tumor.
According to paleontologist David Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada), the centrosaurus studied by scientists suffered from the disease until the end of its life. Cancer most likely reduced the animal’s mobility, making it easy prey for the larger inhabitants of ancient Canada.
However, Evans is confident that the dinosaur did not die of cancer. First, life in a large herd protected the animals from attack by the more aggressive Daspletosaurus and Gorgosaurus. Secondly, the body of the animal was found in a huge niche of natural origin next to its relatives: apparently, the herd of centrosaurus died during the flood.
Earlier, American scientists found that the cause of the cold snap, due to which mammoths died out, was the eruption of volcanoes. After a series of eruptions, an aerosol suspension rose into the air, which prevented the penetration of sunlight. Previously it was thought that a similar effect was caused by a large meteorite hitting the Earth.
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