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Dinosaurs suffered painful arthritis - study

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London - Dinosaurs suffered painful arthritis, scientists have revealed.

A degenerative condition similar to human arthritis was found in the jaw of a pliosaur – a sea reptile that lived 150 million years ago.

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An undated handout shows an illustration of a 50 ft (15 metre) long Jurassic era marine reptile crushing a rival plesiosaur in the Jurassic ocean about 150 million years ago. A giant fossil pliosaur reptile found in the Arctic and known as "Predator X" had a bite that would make T-Rex look feeble, scientists said on March 16, 2009. The pliosaur had a crushing 33,000 lbs (15 tonnes) per square inch bite force, the Natural History Museum of Oslo University said of the new find on the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. REUTERS/Atlantic Zoo/Oslo University/Handout (ANIMALS SOCIETY IMAGE OF THE DAY TOP PICTURE) NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

The discovery marks the first time such diseases have been found in fossilised Jurassic reptiles.

A team from Bristol University studied an eight-metre long creature found in Westbury, Wiltshire.

With a crocodile-like head and a whale-like body it hunted fish and was vulnerable only to its own kind.

But it developed an arthritis-like disease which caused its left jaw joint to erode and distort until it broke.

Dr Judyth Sassoon told Tuesday’s Palaeontology journal: “That final accident probably led to her demise.” - Daily Mail

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