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Re: Brain cancer in Gorgosaurus

In a message dated 11/25/2003 1:15:16 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
xrciseguy@prodigy.net writes:

< http://www.discover.com/web-exclusives/killer-cancer1102/>

There is also an article about the "cancer" on the National Geographic website 
with not so unanimous agreement on what the mass is.

The _Thescelosaurus_ dinosaur-with-a-heart at the North Carolina Museum of 
Natural Sciences had a number of other fossilized structures and was subjected 
to close CT scan scrutiny by a team of paleontologists, radiologists and 
veterinarians--enough to be published in Science.  

With the _Gorgosaurus_, there are interested parties giving the nod to the 
structure being a brain tumor, and some pet theories are also being brought in:

>From Discover:  "Two other pathologies hint at the sex of the specimen. Fused 
>vertebrae at the base of the tail are potentially a 'mounting injury' 
>sustained during mating with the larger male of the species. Plus, a loss of 
>bone mass in the tail (like osteoporosis in humans) could be due to the 
>calcium demanded by egg production, added Larson."

No other soft tissue structures seem to have been fossilized in this 
_Gorgosaurus_ specimen, so why the extraordinary preservation for this one 

The speculation that it is extraskeletal osteosarcoma is in direct contrast 
with statistics on where these form in animals, which is usually in the long 
bones (but also in the lungs and lumbar vertebra):
According to sources above, a dog with the disease will live about 73 days 
without treatment.  

Bruce Rothchild found tumors only in hadrosaurs, scanning 10,000 dinosaur