[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Sue Post Mortem Reveals Extensive Injuries
Sue, the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex yet found, was tough
enough to survive extensive injuries during its lifetime, say
palaeontologists who have completed the first detailed postmortem of the
whole skeleton. However, the cause of Sue's death remains a mystery.
Elizabeth Rega, now at the Western University of Health Sciences in
Pomona, California and Chris Brochu of the University of Iowa conducted
the post mortem. They say the 13 metre-long, six-tonne dinosaur had been a
Rega and Brochu found evidence of numerous injuries that had
healed before the giant carnivore died. Fractures of the right and left
ribs indicate Sue recovered from two traumatic blows to the body. Studies
of arm and leg bones showed they had healed from infections. Both sides of
the jaw also showed lesions common in other large tyrannosaurs. And bony
growths on vertebrae indicated back problems.
Yet the dinosaur may have reached old age, says Rega. "The maturity of the
specimen and the clear evidence of healing indicate that Sue was a robust
individual who survived many insults," she says.
Rega and Brochu concluded that infections accounted for holes in
the jaw - rather than bites by other dinosaurs, as had been suggested. The
spacing of the holes did not match the teeth of potential suspects, they
say. In fact, careful examination of the skeleton found no evidence of
what finally killed the dinosaur.
Peter Larson of the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in Hill
City, South Dakota, whose group originally found the skeleton in 1990,
thinks the evidence of extensive injury suggests that Sue could not have
survived without "complex social behaviour such as spousal care."
The scientists presented their research at the annual conference of the
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Montana.
(NOTE: I wonder if this is the guy who list members said was wandering
around taking notes on conversations?)
- From: Jeff Hecht <email@example.com>