Dinosaur tail rare disease, Israeli researchers find modern tumor.
Israeli researchers identified a benign tumor in two fossilized vertebrae of a young dinosaur’s tail, Tel Aviv University (TAU) in central Israel said Tuesday.
The tumor, called LCH (langerhans cell histiocytosis), grew in a dinosaur that lived in southern Alberta, Canada, over 60 million years ago, researchers said.
This type of tumor is a rare disease still found today in humans, especially children under 10 years of age, and can cause significant pain.
The research, led by TAU researchers and published in the journal Scientific Reports, indicates that the disease is not unique to humans, and has survived through the long evolutionary process, from dinosaurs to humans, for over 60 million years.
Researchers in North America, who recently studied dinosaur fossils, identified large cavities, evidently created by tumors, in two tail vertebrae of a young dinosaur discovered in southern Alberta.
The specific shape of the cavities was very similar to cavities created by the rare tumor LCH, which still affects humans today.
This benign tumor, found mostly in the bones of 2 to 10-year-old children, can cause pain, but often disappears by itself.
The TAU researchers inspected the vertebrae with advanced micro-CT scanner, which generates images with a very high resolution of up to a few microns.
Thus, the team formed a reconstructed three-dimensional (3D) image of the tumor and the blood vessels leading to it, and the image confirmed in a high probability that the dinosaur did suffer from LCH.