Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 90, Issue 11, pp 495–500

Epidemiologic study of tumors in dinosaurs

Authors

    • Arthritis Center of Northeast Ohio
    • Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine
    • Carnegie Museum of Natural History
    • University of Kansas Museum of Natural History
  • D. H. Tanke
    • Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology
  • M. HelblingII
    • Arthritis Center of Northeast Ohio
  • L. D. Martin
    • University of Kansas Museum of Natural History
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s00114-003-0473-9

Cite this article as:
Rothschild, B.M., Tanke, D.H., Helbling, M. et al. Naturwissenschaften (2003) 90: 495. doi:10.1007/s00114-003-0473-9

Abstract

Occasional reports in isolated fragments of dinosaur bones have suggested that tumors might represent a population phenomenon. Previous study of humans has demonstrated that vertebral radiology is a powerful diagnostic tool for population screening. The epidemiology of tumors in dinosaurs was here investigated by fluoroscopically screening dinosaur vertebrae for evidence of tumors. Computerized tomography (CT) and cross-sections were obtained where appropriate. Among more than 10,000 specimens x-rayed, tumors were only found in Cretaceous hadrosaurs (duck-billed dinosaurs). These included hemangiomas and metastatic cancer (previously identified in dinosaurs), desmoplastic fibroma, and osteoblastoma. The epidemiology of tumors in dinosaurs seems to reflect a familial pattern. A genetic propensity or environmental mutagens are suspected.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003