PUBLISHED: 10:27, Wed, Feb 12, 2020 | UPDATED: 10:40, Wed, Feb 12, 2020
The unprecedented discovery was made in southern Alberta, Canada, by a team of international archaeologists. Led by researchers from Tel Aviv University, Israel, the archaeologists unearthed the fossilised tail of hadrosaur herbivore that once roamed North America.
But the most critical part of the discovery came when the researchers analysed unusual cavities on the dinosaur’s vertebrae.
According to Dr Hila May from the Dan David Center for Human Evolution and Biohistory Research in Tel Aviv, the cavities are evidence of a benign tumour still seen today.
The expert said archaeologist have never found evidence of such cancer in dinosaur fossils.
Tumours like these are associated with Langerhans cell histiocytosis or LCH, a form of cancer that affects many children under the age of 10.
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Archaeology news: Researchers found evidence of a cancer suffered by humans in a dinosaur (Image: GETTY)
Archaeology news: The unusual cavities were left behind by a painful tumour (Image: Assaf Ehrenreich, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University)
The incredible find was published on February 10 in the latest issue of Scientific Reports.
In their study, the researchers wrote: “The hadrosaur pathology findings were indistinguishable from those of humans with LCH, supporting that diagnosis.
“This report suggests that hadrosaurids had suffered from larger variety of pathologies than previously reported.”
Professor Bruce Rothschild of Indiana University, US; Professor Frank Rühli of the University of Zurich, Switzerland; and Darren Tanke of the Royal Museum of Paleontology also contributed to the study.
Dr Hila said: “Professor Rothschild and Tanke spotted an unusual finding in the vertebrae of a tail of a young dinosaur of the grass-eating herbivore species, common in the world 66 to 80 million years ago.
“There were large cavities