Epidemiologic study of tumors in dinosaurs
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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.
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- 1. Arthritis Center of Northeast Ohio, 5500 Market Street, Youngstown, OH 44512, USA
- 2. Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, OH 44527, USA
- 3. Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
- 4. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
- 5. Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta, T0J 0Y0, Canada