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Re: [Sick Dinos]

Richard W Travsky wrote:

> My question is, what contemporary animals *don't* get such things? Do
> birds, for example, get gout?
> I'm interested in what these diseases say about the metabolism and
> physiology of the "victims".

At <www.EnchantedLearning.com/dinosaurs/dinos/Trex.shtml>, on p. 5, it

"Gout is caused by a diet high in purine, a substance found in red meat,
which T. rex surely ate.  Other causes of gout are drinking too much
alcohol or lead poisoning.  Sue's gout may have been exacerbated by
dehydration or kidney (renal) failure.  Gout has been found in many
reptiles (including crocodiles and alligators), birds, and people."

Perhaps this should have read: "Gout has been found in many reptiles
(including crocodiles, alligators, and birds), and in people as well."
But you get the idea.  Evidently, the presence of gout does not indicate
the metabolic rate of the afflicted tyrannosaur.  Gout may reveal
information about the muscle composition of the prey, or it may not.  In
the article, _Tyrannosaurus Agonistes_, by Lybi Ma, on page 50 of the
January 1998 _Discover_, you can see a photograph of a dinosaur bone with
evidence of gout.  Quoting the article:

"Gout can be caused by chronic dehydration, kidney failure, or too much
red meat.  If Sue (the famous _T. rex_) had gout, (Bruce) Rothschild
blames it on her meat-eating habit.  (Ken) Carpenter, on the other hand,
suspects her hard, scrappy life.  "Sue had a lot of partially healed
injuries; there are tooth marks in her face, and broken bones from
wounds," he says.   "Being ill from these injuries, her kidneys probably
shut down."

I don't have the _Nature_ article at hand, but this is the citation:

Rothschild, B.M., Tanke, D. and Carpenter, K., _Tyrannosaurs suffered from
gout_. _Nature_, vol. 387, p. 357.

Ralph W. Miller III  <gbabcock@best.com>