Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Dinosaur bends' caused by prolonged diving

Date:
August 16, 2012
Source:
University of Melbourne
Summary:
Dinosaur-like creatures may have injured themselves during leisurely deep-sea diving trips and not from resurfacing too quickly, as previously thought.

Ichthyosaurus.
Credit: iStockphoto/Ivan Burmistrov

Dinosaurs-like creatures may have injured themselves during leisurely deep-sea diving trips and not from resurfacing too quickly, as previously thought.

Related Articles


A recent study identified bone deformities on the fossilized remains of Ichthyosarians, which were giant dolphin-like reptiles that first appeared about 245 million years ago.

The lesions were similar to those human divers develop as a result of changes in body pressure, and suggest the reptiles suffered from a version of 'the bends'.

A new analysis by University of Melbourne pathologist Associate Professor John Hayman -- published in the latest edition of the Naturwissenschaften: Science of Nature journal -- sought to explain what may have caused the bone lesions.

That research argues the scarring may be the result of deep diving and spending too long at depth, causing excess nitrogen to be dissolved in the body, and not from quick ascents as previously thought.

"Ichthyosarians probably evolved the ability to dive deeper and to remain at depth for longer periods," Professor Hayman said.

"An alternative explanation is that the reptiles developed decompression sickness from being trapped in shallow water by predators.

"It wasn't from sudden and rapid ascents," he said.

Associate Professor Hayman said the dangerous practice of deep sea diving wouldn't have affected the replites' long-term survival because any ill effects would have developed later in life.

"The lesions wouldn't have been enough to kill the animal, and wouldn't have affected it's ability to hunt or breed."

Professor Hayman said the new analysis was possible because structure of modern humans' necks are very similar to the prehistoric reptiles.

"The arterial blood supply to the humerus and other bones such as the neck of the femur is highly conserved. It has remained much the same for 250 million years."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Melbourne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. John Hayman. Deep-diving dinosaurs. Naturwissenschaften: Science of Nature, 2012 DOI: 10.1007/s00114-012-0937-x

Cite This Page:

University of Melbourne. "'Dinosaur bends' caused by prolonged diving." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816092459.htm>.
University of Melbourne. (2012, August 16). 'Dinosaur bends' caused by prolonged diving. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816092459.htm
University of Melbourne. "'Dinosaur bends' caused by prolonged diving." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816092459.htm (accessed April 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Giant Amphibian Fossils Found in Portugal

Giant Amphibian Fossils Found in Portugal

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) Scientists discover a new species of giant amphibian that was one of the largest predators on earth about 220 million year ago. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ancient Egyptian Beer Making Vessels Discovered in Israel

Ancient Egyptian Beer Making Vessels Discovered in Israel

AFP (Mar. 30, 2015) Fragments of pottery used by Egyptians to make beer and dating back 5,000 years have been discovered on a building site in Tel Aviv, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said on Sunday. Duration: 00:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Party Like It's 3000 BC: Egyptian Beer Vessels Unearthed in Tel Aviv

Party Like It's 3000 BC: Egyptian Beer Vessels Unearthed in Tel Aviv

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) Israeli archaeologists unearth ancient Egyptian beer vessels in downtown Tel Aviv. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

Newsy (Mar. 29, 2015) A 508-million-year-old arthropod that swam in the Cambrian seas is thought to share a common ancestor with spiders and scorpions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins