Complex respiratory infections of dinosaurs

Thai Rath Edition

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14 Feb 2022 10:01 a.m.

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Dinosaurs are no different from other animals that suffer from disease.

Evidence of disease in dinosaurs is also rare in paleontology or fossils.

This is because soft tissues are not usually preserved in the fossilization process.

Unlike bones, teeth, claws, however, earlier dinosaur fossils have shown deformities such as fractures, pus-filled abscesses at the root of the teeth.

bloodstream infection

affecting the bone

arthritis

or even bone cancer

Recently, a research team of paleontologists and veterinarians led by experts from the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum in Malta, Montana, USA, has revealed the results of three cervical vertebrae fossils of "Dolly", a dinosaur group. The herbivorous, long-necked, gigantic sauropods lived on Earth 150 million years ago.

The team identified an unusual bony protrusion of Dolly that had never been seen before.

It also has a strange shape and texture.

These protrusions are located in the area of ​​each bone.

and was pierced by air bags

The air sacs eventually connect to Dolly's lungs.

until it became part of the dinosaur's complex respiratory system.

Using computed tomography, imaging of the abnormal protrusions revealed that these bones were likely formed in response to an infection in the respiratory tract.

It eventually spreads the infection to the cervical spine through the air sacs.

causing abnormal bone growth

The research team speculated that this respiratory infection could be caused by a fungal infection.

similar to aspergillosis

Aspergillosis is a common respiratory disease in modern birds and reptiles.

This can lead to bone infections.

The dinosaur Dolly probably had a cough, difficulty breathing, and a fever as well, and it could eventually lead to its death.

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