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Bone of 68-million-year-old 'majestic' dinosaur with broken wrist discovered by Queen's University team

A palaeoartist's reconstruction painting of the injured dinosaur

THE bone of a 68-million-year-old dinosaur that broke its wrist has been unearthed by experts from Queen's University Belfast.

Palaeontologist Dr Filippo Bertozzo and his team analysed a single bone found in a quarry located in Russia.

"We discovered that it was from the wrist of a dinosaur known as a hadrosaur Amurosaurus riabinini and that the accident most likely happened when the four-footed animal was running or jumping, possibly whilst roaming the land in search of food water," Dr Bertozzo said.

"Against all the odds the dinosaur survived the accident as we can see that the bone was actually beginning to heal - this suggests that it didn’t die immediately. However, it is likely that the injury led the animal to limp on three limbs, affecting its chances of escaping from predators."

Dr Alastair Ruffell, from the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s, was Dr Bertozzo's supervisor and singled out the "exceptional" analysis.

He added: "For many, to hear about disease and injury in dinosaurs sounds strange - for us, we kind of expect it. But for Filippo to work on this specimen from Russia in such detail, and find out so much from its injury, is pretty exceptional."

Professor Eileen Murphy from Queen’s highlighted the importance of studies on ancient diseases and injuries - be it animals or humans.

"This study has enabled us to learn more about the experience of an injured animal in the period leading up to its death; it serves to remind us that even majestic dinosaurs could have accidents."

The full research findings are published in Historical Biology.

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