Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast have concluded that the bones of a 68-million-year-old Russian dinosaur they analyzed may have spent a lifetime limping and at the mercy of predators after breaking them. its wrists in search of food and water.
The team of experts, led by paleontologist Dr Filippo Bertozzo, analyzed a single piece of bone they found in a local quarry in the city of Blagoveshchensk, eastern Russia.
The city’s Paleontology Museum holds the country’s largest collection of prehistoric dinosaurs in the Amur region dating back at least 65 million years. Fossils are still being found in the area today.
Dr Bertozzo said: ‘After a detailed examination of the broken bone, we discovered that it was from the wrist of a dinosaur known as hadrosaur Amurosaurus riabinini and that accidents are most likely to occur when the quadruped is running or jumping, possibly while roaming the land in search of food or water.
“By all means, the dinosaur survived the accident because we can see that the bones actually started to heal – which suggests that it didn’t die instantly.
“However, it is more likely that the injury caused the animal to limp on three limbs, affecting its chances of escaping the predator.”
Dr Bertozzo, who carried out research during his PhD at Queen’s, currently works at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels. His findings were published in the journal Historical biology.
Dr Alastair Ruffell, from the School of Natural and Built Environments at Queen’s, said: “For many people, hearing about disease and injury in dinosaurs sounds strange – to us, we hope wait for that.
“But for Filippo to work on this specimen from Russia in such detail, and figure out so much from its trauma, is quite special.”
Professor Eileen Murphy, vice-chancellor of the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s, said the finding was important. “The study of ancient diseases and injuries, whether in animals or humans in the past, can provide a tremendous amount of information about the lives of individuals in the past.
“This study has allowed us to learn more about an injured animal’s experience in the period leading up to its death. It helps remind us that even majestic dinosaurs can meet accident.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/even-majestic-dinosaurs-could-have-accidents-researchers-reveal-41396281.html Researchers Reveal ‘Even Mighty Dinosaurs Can Have Accidents’