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Re: sick bones

> Subject:       sick bones

>   I'm very interested in injury related pathologies - healed fravtures
> especially.
>   Being stuck in Britain there are rather few specemins to study. Of
> course a rather large sample is required to produce any particularly
> interesting results, but general observations would be interesting 
> the less.

At the Hunterian Museum we have a large number of marine reptiles 
from the Alfred Leeds collection in which there are a number of 
pathologies and healed fractures etc.....  The collection is from the 
Oxford Clay near Peterborough.  We have the skull of a 
*Metriorhynchus* that has a fractured and healed lower jaw 
(presumably as a result of a fight).  Healed fractured ribs of another 
croc and some osteo diseased animals too.

>   As a more general discussion, what types of pathology do people 
> they are seeing? One thing to be very careful of is arthritis. There 
> NO cases of osteoarthritis that I know of, despite references to the
> contrary.

We have a specimen of a plesiosaur in which the socket of the 
hip/femur has been heavily pathologically ossified (on both the femur 
and the hip).  As you state it is assumed that it represents an arthritic 
condition and I have not found a medic who will pronounce on this 
one.  The plesiosaur would have had to swim around on three 
paddles as it would not have been able to use the sick limb.  No one 
has looked at this specimen in any detail as far as I am aware, and it 
has not been published on.  You are most welcome to come a visit 
our extensive collections Clive.

Neil Clark
Curator of Palaeontology
Hunterian Museum
University of Glasgow
email: NCLARK@museum.gla.ac.uk

The first law of Geology is the law of supposition.
(Geological Howlers - ed. WDI Rolfe)