Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 90, Issue 11, pp 495–500

Epidemiologic study of tumors in dinosaurs

  • B. M. Rothschild
  • D. H. Tanke
  • M. HelblingII
  • L. D. Martin
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

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. M. Rothschild
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • D. H. Tanke
    • 5
  • M. HelblingII
    • 1
  • L. D. Martin
    • 4
  1. 1.Arthritis Center of Northeast OhioYoungstownUSA
  2. 2.Northeastern Ohio Universities College of MedicineRootstownUSA
  3. 3.Carnegie Museum of Natural HistoryPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.University of Kansas Museum of Natural HistoryLawrenceUSA
  5. 5.Royal Tyrrell Museum of PalaeontologyDrumhellerCanada