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A bone pathology refers to abnormalities in bone growth or healing from injury or disease. Such abnormalities (pathologies) are not limited to modern or living animals and are also found in the fossil record. Finding bone pathologies in the fossil record are rare.
The replica specimen presented here shows how injury or disease affected the normal growth of the bone. It is fascinating to see how the animal reacted to the injury or disease and to speculate if it ultimately led to the animal’s death.
The skeleton of a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex was discovered in the Cretaceous, Hell Creek Formation badlands of South Dakota in 1998. The skeleton was given the nickname Tinker in honor of its discoverer. This skeleton proved to be one of the most complete juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons yet found. After a lengthy court battle over ownership the bones were assembled, repaired, replaced and mounted into a 7.5-meter skeleton with about 40% original bone with a body size approximately 70% of an adult. The teeth are particularly interesting because they show the same shape and profile of adults. This helped proved that the genus Nanotyrannus was indeed a valid genus and not the juvenile version of Tyrannosaurus rex. The next surprise about Tinker was two broken and headed ribs, the subject of this paper.
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