Sydney: Dinosaur-like creatures may have scarred themselves during leisurely deep-sea diving and not from resurfacing too quickly, as previously believed.
A recent study identified bone deformities on the fossilised remains of Ichthyosarians, which were giant dolphin-like reptiles that first appeared about 245 million years ago.
These deformities were similar to those found in human divers who develop them as a result of changes in body pressure, and suggest that the reptiles suffered from a version of `the bends`, Naturwissenschaften: Science of Nature journal reports.
A new analysis by John Hayman, associate professor of pathology at the University of Melbourne in Australia, sought to explain what might have caused the bone lesions (abnormality or damage in tissues of an organism).
The research argues that the scarring may be the result of deep diving and spending too much time at depth, causing excess nitrogen to be dissolved in the body, and not from quick ascents as previously thought, according to a Melbourne statement.
"Ichthyosarians probably evolved the ability to dive deeper and to remain at depth for longer periods. 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," Hayman said.