Who said that only us humans and animals could be affected by cancer? It seems like those huge beasts that had been roaming the surface of Earth millions of years ago were also not tough enough to be spared by abnormal cell growth. A team of researchers from the Royal Ontario Museum and McMaster University came to prove it.
The scientists concluded that they’re dealing with an aggressive type of bone cancer called osteosarcoma and found on fossils of Centrosaurus, a dinosaur that lived over 76 million years ago. David Evans is one of the scientists involved in the study, and he revealed more to the public on Twitter:
Excited to share our new research on bone cancer in a dinosaur! In our new paper we diagnose advanced osteosarcoma in a 76 million yr old Centrosaurus. Its been 4 years work w an incredible team of specialists, incl @Dinosaur_MD @crowthrm from @McMasterU & @kchibs @MesozoicMuse pic.twitter.com/0NI52V0AyV
— David Evans (@DavidEvans_ROM) August 3, 2020
He also didn’t hesitate to provide a closer look at the cancerous dinosaur:
And here’s a closer look at the histology. Normal Centrosaurus shin bone on the right, cancerous shin bone on the left- check out all the cancerous bone deposition. Beautiful thin section histology slides by @kchibs pic.twitter.com/WhnyqxjuZa
— David Evans (@DavidEvans_ROM) August 4, 2020
Wikipedia tells us that Centrosaurus is a genus of herbivorous ceratopsian dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of Canada. Their remnants have been found in the Dinosaur Park Formation. Centrosaurus are most likely known for the large horns that grew over their noses. These creatures measured up to 5.5 meters (18 ft), but despite this fact, they are not considered large dinosaurs.
The discovery shows that regardless of what imposing creatures dinosaurs were, they were suffering by many diseases that we also see in humans and animals. One of the official statements even says:
Evidence of many other diseases that we share with dinosaurs and other extinct animals may yet be sitting in museum collections in need of re-examination using modern analytical techniques,
There were 700 different species of dinosaurs, and they had been roaming the surface of our planet for around 179 million years during the Mesozoic Era. The Mesozoic Era is divided into three other periods: the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous. The Triassic period, for instance, occurred during 237 million years ago – 201.3 (+/- 0.2) million years ago.
The study of the Centrosaurus’ cancer was published in the journal Lancet Oncology.