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Dilophosaurus Forelimb Bone Maladies
New in open-access PLoS ONE:
Phil Senter & Sara L. Juengst (2016)
Record-Breaking Pain: The Largest Number and Variety of Forelimb Bone
Maladies in a Theropod Dinosaur.
PLoS ONE 11(2): e0149140
http: // journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0149140
Bone abnormalities are common in theropod dinosaur skeletons, but
before now no specimen was known with more than four afflicted bones
of the pectoral girdle and/or forelimb. Here we describe the pathology
of a specimen of the theropod dinosaur Dilophosaurus wetherilli with
eight afflicted bones of the pectoral girdle and forelimb. On its left
side the animal has a fractured scapula and radius and large
fibriscesses in the ulna and the proximal thumb phalanx. On its right
side the animal has abnormal torsion of the humeral shaft, bony tumors
on the radius, a truncated distal articular surface of metacarpal III,
and angular deformities of the first phalanx of the third finger.
Healing and remodeling indicates that the animal survived for months
and possibly years after its ailments began, but its right third
finger was permanently deformed and lacked the capability of flexion.
The deformities of the humerus and the right third finger may be due
to developmental osteodysplasia, a condition known in extant birds but
unreported in non-avian dinosaurs before now.