Our team have had splendid fun breaking new ground – using synchrotron-imaging techniques – that sheds new light, literally, on the healing process that took place when these magnificent beasties were still alive....some 150 million years ago!
The research, published in the Royal Society journal Interface today, took advantage of the fact that dinosaur bones occasionally preserve evidence of trauma, sickness and the subsequent signs of healing, we called these pathologies. The lead author on the paper, Jennifer Ann'e (a PhD student a Manchester) has been methodically wading through the slings and arrows of misfortune that befell dinosaurs....as revealed by their pathologies. She was quick to see the potential of the existing synchrotron imaging work being undertaken at Manchester and started her grizzly search for a chemical ghost of the healed injuries.
|Allosaurus getting down to lunch.....and possibly acquiring its own injuries in the process!|
It is a fine line when diagnosing which part of the fossil was emplaced after burial and what was original chemistry to the organism. It is only through the precise measurements that we undertake at the Diamond Synchrotron Lightsource in the UK and the Stanford Synchrotron Lightsource in the US that we were able to make such judgments.
The impact of massive trauma, we discovered, seemed to be shrugged off by many predatory dinosaurs – fossil dinosaur bones often show a multitude of grizzly healed injuries, most of which would prove fatal to humans if not medically treated.
|Jon Hoad's splendid image of Allosaurus....with a wonderful howl of pain!|