Dinosaurs 'suffered from arthritis'
Scientists say that a new study suggests that dinosaurs suffered from arthritis, just like humans.
Researchers studying a giant eight metre pliosaurus found evidence of an arthritis-like disease in its jaw.
Usually capable of ripping other dinosaurs to bits with its 20cm teeth, the gammy jaw would eventually have stopped her feeding and led to her death 150 million years ago.
Dr Judyth Sassoon, of Bristol University, was fascinated by the specimen since first seeing it in the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery.
In life, it had a crocodile-like head, a short neck, whale-like body and four powerful flippers to propel it through water in pursuit of prey, reports journal Palaeontology.
Studying the skeleton, Dr Sassoon noticed that it had the signs of a degenerative condition similar to human arthritis, that had eroded its left jaw joint, displacing the lower jaw to one side.
Marks on the bones showed it continued to feed despite the condition, but the jaw weakened and eventually broke, with fatal consequences.
Dr Sassoon said: "In the same way that aging humans develop arthritic hips, this old lady developed an arthritic jaw, and survived with her disability for some time.
"But an unhealed fracture on the jaw indicates that at some time the jaw weakened and eventually broke.
"With a broken jaw, the pliosaur would not have been able to feed and that final accident probably led to her demise."