It's an incredible discovery that shows dinosaurs suffered from some of the same ailments as humans today.
Scientists have taken a closer look at a 70-million year old duck billed dinosaur and found something amazing: a disease commonly associated with elderly humans. That’s right, scientistss have just made the oldest discovery of a case of septic arthritis, a condition where the joint of the bones become inflamed due to bacteria or fungus, causing pain when one moves those joints, according to a study published in the Royal Society of Open Science.
The fossilized remains were first discovered by David Paris, a curator at the New Jersey State Museum, but he wasn’t able to fully examine the fossil because he didn’t have the proper tools to study such a fragile specimen.
So Jennifer Anné, the lead study researcher and recent doctoral graduate at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Manchestser in England conducted a study along with colleagues using a micro computed tomography scanner. The micro-CT scanner uses X-rays more powerful than regular CT scanners to produce higher-resolution images. This helped the researchers find evidence of septic arthritis, indicating the dinosaur probably had a limp and may not have used the arm at all because it was so painful.
“Based on extant archosaurian comparisons, the hadrosaur was diagnosed with severe septic arthritis affecting the proximal ulna and radius,” the paper’s abstract reads. “Diagnosis was based on erosion of the joint and highly reactive periosteal bone growth and fusion of the elements. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first recorded account of septic arthritis in dinosaurs. The severity of the pathology suggests the animal suffered with this condition for some time before death. Unfortunately, only the ulna and radius were found. Thus, the extent to which the condition spread to other parts of the body is unknown.”