The dinosaur known as a hadrosaur Amurosaurus riabinini appears to have survived the accident.
02 March 2022
The bone of a 68-million-year-old “majestic” dinosaur reveals that it had a broken wrist, most likely from running or jumping over rough terrain in search of food or water.
While the Russian dinosaur known as a hadrosaur Amurosaurus riabinini appeared to have survived the accident, the resulting limp may have made it difficult to escape from predators, according to researchers from Queen’s University Belfast.
The team of experts, led by palaeontologist Dr Filippo Bertozzo, analysed a single bone found in a quarry of the city of Blagoveshchensk in far eastern Russia.
While investigating the cause of some swelling, they say they uncovered some impressive results.
Dr Bertozzo said: “After detailed examination of the broken bone, we have 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 and water.
“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.”
Professor Eileen Murphy, deputy head of the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s, supervised Dr Bertozzo.
She said: “The study of ancient diseases and injuries, whether in past animals or humans, can provide a huge amount of information about the lives of past individuals.
“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.”
Dr Bertozzo, who carried out the research during his PhD in Queen’s, is now based at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Science in Brussels.
The findings are published in Historical Biology.