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Re: Brain cancer in Gorgosaurus



Lurking non-professional with many questions on this, can someone please 
explain in laymans terms?

How can a tumor, which is soft tissue, be preserved in a fossil?

Can anyone be sure the functions of a dinosaurs brain regions coincide with the 
same function in modern animals?  ie: is the section of the brain that controls 
motor function in modern animals necessarily in the same place on a dinosaur to 
result in the tumor affecting the described areas?

The article claims the dinosaur had suffered a torn tendon in the left leg - 
again, a tendon is soft tissue which generally is not revealed on a fossil, how 
could they make this conclusion?

The link provided to the article in Discover Magazine definitively states the 
dinosaur was a female.  The exerpts in Mary's post pertaining to evidence 
pointing toward it being a female I did not find in the link, it is my 
understanding that fossil evidence has yet to provide a clear definition 
between genders.  Is that understanding outdated?  

Are fused vertebre in the tail section found in other fossil specimens to 
support this theory or in any modern animals?  Seems to me evolution would not 
have been so careless as to make one of its highest priorities, mating, an 
occurance to cause significant injury, except of course between rivals.

Thank you

Donna