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Sue, gout and metabolism



I forwarded Guy Leahy's message about the Rothschild et al. paper to
one of the als (Ken Carpenter).  The following is a quote from Guy
followed by Ken's response:

  > The recent description of gout in a specimen of T. rex (Rothschild
  > et al 1997) invites speculation as to the cause.  As Rothschild et
  > al note, one possible explanation is that the diet of T. rex
  > included large amounts of red meat due to the high purine content
  > of red meat relative to white meat.  Since red meat= high
  > oxidative capacity muscle, the skeletal muscle of T. rex prey
  > items (other dinosaurs, most likely) may have possessed a high
  > aerobic capacity for sustained activity relative to extant
  > reptiles.
  >
  > Rothschild, B.M., Tanke, D., & Carpenter, K. (1997).  Tyrannosaurs
  > suffered from gout.  Nature, 387, 357.

  Maybe, but I suspect the actual cause was renal failure due to the
  many pathologies Sue has on the humerus, skull, and fibula. Sue was
  not a healthy individual at the time of her death.  As was pointed
  out in the article, other non-mammalian occurances of gout are
  known. What was not stated was that these cases are often linked to
  unhealthy kidneys.  Therefore, nothing about the metabolism of Sue's
  prey can be inferred from the presence of gout.

  Kenneth Carpenter

  Kenneth Carpenter
  Department of Earth Sciences
  Denver Museum of Natural History
  2001 Colorado Blvd.
  Denver, CO 80205