Posts Tagged 'medicine'

Sauropod Caudal Pathology

One of my quick posts since there is not too much to say, but it is an interesting photo and one that will be of interest to the SV-POW! boys. It shows the anterior part of the tail of Mamenchisaurs on display at the Chengdu University of Technology (CDUT) in China. As you can see, one of the neural spines on the left of the picture has a large and prominent growth of bone protruding from it. Now stupidly I did not take any real notes about it, but it is not a result of distortion or just some matrix left hanging on the neural spine, but fossil bone.

Mamenchisaurus tail with pathology

Mamenchisaurus tail with pathology

I can only assume that it is either the result of a badly healed break (though if so, it must have been close to the tip of the original spine and it is odd that it has healed so badly and created such a large mass as a result), but I think it more likely that this is a result of an infection that spread inside the tail causing the build-up of ossified tissue. Clearly it was not too bad as it never spread down the neural spine nor reached the other vertebrae. An interesting little snippet though I hope.

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