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Mosasaurs with co-ossified vertebrae from pathologies



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A recent paper:



Bruce Rothschild and Michael J. Everhart (2015)
Co-Ossification of Vertebrae in Mosasaurs (Squamata, Mosasauridae);
Evidence of Habitat Interactions and Susceptibility to Bone Disease.
Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 118(3 & 4):265-275
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1660/062.118.0309
http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1660/062.118.0309

Pathologies involving the fusion of mosasaur vertebrae have been
documented in the literature since the late 1870s. Although some
instances can clearly be demonstrated to be the result of an attack by
another predator, usually a shark, the source of the pathology is more
difficult to discern in other specimens. Here we discuss the evidence
for pathologies as the result of interactions with the mosasaur's
habitat and the apparent susceptibility of certain kinds of disease
affecting the skeleton as preserved in the specimens.