London: Dinosaurs might be the oldest victims of osteoarthritis, say researchers.
Bruce Rothschild at the University of Kansas in Lawrence and colleagues have revealed that Caudipteryx, a dino-bird that lived 130 million years ago, was prone to osteoarthritis - perhaps the oldest such diagnosis on record.
Some modern birds are susceptible to osteoarthritis, the degeneration of bone and cartilage in joints.
Curious about when the condition first appeared, the researchers examined the fossilised anklebones of ancient birds and feathered dinosaurs held in Chinese museums.
Three of the 10 available fossils of Caudipteryx showed signs of osteoarthritis, the News Scientists reported.
Why Caudipteryx, which was the size of a peacock, should have been prone to the condition is a mystery: osteoarthritis is most common in smaller birds today, said Rothschild.