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An international team of scientists detected a rare disease, which still affects humans today, on the fossilized tail of a young dinosaur that lived more than 60 million years ago.
The fossil, discovered in southern Alberta (Canada), is from a little hadrosaur —A herbivorous dinosaur with a flattened beak—, a species that was «common in the world 66-80 million years ago«Reads a statement from the Tel Aviv University researchers.
The study authors found large cavities in two of the vertebral segments, which turned out to be «extremely similar»At produced by tumors associated with Langerhans cell histiocytosis (HCL), a «rare and sometimes painful disease that still affects humans, particularly children under the age of 10«, Details the statement.
The tail vertebrae underwent advanced scanning by computed microtomography.
After scanning, a 3D computerized reconstruction of the tumor and the blood vessels that fed it was created.
«Micro and macro analysis confirmed that it was indeed HCL«, Explained Hila May, one of the authors of the investigation, who added that it was that«the first time this disease has been identified in a dinosaur«.
According to the researcher, «most LCH-related tumors, which can be very painful, appear suddenly in the bones of children 2 to 10 years old«, Although they usually disappear «without intervention«.
The findings, published last week in Scientific Reports, suggest that the disease is not unique to humans and that it has continued to rage for more than 60 million years, May says.