'Gnarly' tumour: New research shows this herbivorous dinosaur got cancer too

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fairly difficult
The malformation was a manifestation of osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer, making this Centrosaurus, which lived 76 million years ago, the first known example of a dinosaur afflicted by malignant cancer.

Updated: Aug 04, 2020 18:44 IST

When scientists first unearthed fossils of a horned dinosaur called Centrosaurus in the badlands of Dinosaur Provincial Park in Canada's Alberta province in 1989, they spotted a badly malformed leg bone they figured was a healed fracture.

A fresh examination, researchers said on Monday, shows something different.

About 20 feet (6 meters) long, Centrosaurus was a four-legged beaked plant-eating Cretaceous Period dinosaur possessing a long horn above its nose and a bony frill above its neck with two smaller hooked horns.

A comparison between thin sections of the cancerous leg bone (L) and normal shin bone of the horned dinosaur Centrosaurus apertus is seen in this image released on August 3, 2020. The fossils were thin sectioned to compare the bone microstructure and properly diagnose the osteosarcoma. Courtesy of Royal Ontario Museum/McMaster University via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. ( via REUTERS )

The Centrosaurus fibula, a lower leg bone, contained "a massive gnarly tumor larger than an apple," said paleontologist David Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, one of the researchers in the study published in the journal Lancet Oncology.

"This particular Centrosaurus was likely weak and lamed by…
Reuters | Posted by Saumya Sharma
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