Cancer from 240 million years ago. It was found in the great ancestor of turtles

A prehistoric ¿ółw without a shell, whichóry walked the Earth during the Triassic period, suffered from neoplasticór bones – researchers have ruled. This is probably the oldest case of bone cancer ever found among theód reptileów, the birdóin and mammalów.

The results of the study appeared in the pages of the journal „JAMA Oncology”.

Bruce Rothschild of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of the authors of theóin the publication, noted that it’s a rare discovery, but not because tumors in theóat the time did not exist. Former równie common among theód of ancient animals, as among theód wspóThe results were published in the journal Biology, but cancer detectionóin fossils is a challenge without taking X-rays.

– Ogóln general, paleopathologies are rare in fossils, especiallyólency of malignant tumors, whichóre is an incredibly rare discovery in the fossil record,” said Patrick Asbach, coółautor of the publication from Charité Hospital in Berlin.

Wspóhen scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Research on Evolution and Biodiversity in Berlin, working with Rothschild, using microscopy and CT scans, examined the left femur of a shell-less tortoise, Pappochelys rosinaeółwia – Pappochelys rosinae. The bone was discovered in southwestern Germany in 2013. Researchers believe there was once a lake at the site of the find.

Pappochelys rosinae Is the ancestor of wspóThe researchers also found a new marker for the diagnosis ofółwi. Fossils found earlier suggested that the reptile was only 20 centimetersów and had no shell. For this he had a partially armored abdomen. It resembled a lizard more than wspómodern ¿ółwia. Żólion with shells did not appear until around 205 millionóIn up to 210 millionów years ago, at least that’s the conclusion that can be drawn from the fossil record.

Computer imaging has revealed a compacted mass on the femur. The growth on the bone itself had already piqued the curiosity of scientistsów. The researchers diagnosed it as an osteosarcoma (osteosarcoma) – type of tumoróin bone. An osteosarcoma was also found in amphibian fossils róAlso dating back to the Triassic, but slightly older than the Pappochelys rosinae.

Someóre animals are more likely to develop canceróin from others. However, it is not known whether this relative ¿ólion has experienced other cancersów, leadównly because soft tissues do not preserve well in the fossil record, meaning that paleontologists are limited to hard remains thatóre are well preserved even millions of years póź later.

– Our discovery provides further evidenceów for the fact that cancers are not wspóa modern disease affecting humans. The roots of the disease go back hundreds of millions ofóin the years before the creation of man,” said the head of theów author of the publication Yara Haridy.