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The controversy over the reliability of ectocranial suture status (open vs. closed) as an age estimation stimulated the pursuit of Meindl and Lovejoy's suggestion (Meindl and Lovejoy  Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 68:57-66) for large scale analysis. The extent of the sagittal suture closure was assessed in 3,636 skulls from the Hamann-Todd and Terry… (More)
Population data are presented for erosive arthritis, osteoarthritis, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH), joint eburnation and dental injury in a fauna from Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming, represented by over thirty thousand bones from twenty-four different species. Erosive arthritis is limited to the bovids, Bison, Ovis and Bootherium. Erosive… (More)
Decompression syndrome (caisson disease or the “the bends”) resulting in avascular necrosis has been documented in mosasaurs, sauropterygians, ichthyosaurs, and turtles from the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous, but it was unclear that this disease occurred as far back as the Triassic. We have examined a large Triassic sample of ichthyosaurs and compared… (More)
Recognition of cancer in extreme antiquity has been limited to osteomas in mosasaurs and haemangiomas and growths of unclear origin in dinosaurs. We describe a metastatic cancer in a dinosaur.
Tracing the evolution of ancient diseases depends on the availability and accessibility of suitable biomarkers in archaeological specimens. DNA is potentially information-rich but it depends on a favourable environment for preservation. In the case of the major mycobacterial pathogens, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae, robust lipid… (More)
Data on the prevalence of bone cancer in dinosaurs is available from past radiological examination of preserved bones. We statistically test this data for consistency with rates extrapolated from information on bone cancer in modern vertebrates, and find that there is no evidence of a different rate. Thus, this test provides no support for a possible role… (More)