There is an apparent subchondral erosion on the articular surfaces on the proximal portion of the ischium and the distal, lateral condyle of the femur (the medial condyle is missing). The erosive area of the femur may be due to trauma, but the condition of the ischium may be due to some other widely diverse phenomena (Rothschild and Martin, 1993). Radiographic investigation is needed to successfully diagnose both bones more precisely.

There are also two lesions on the anterior blade of the acsending process of the astragalus (Fig. 24). Both lesions may be idiopathic especially since there seems to be reactive bone surrounding the lesion that penetrates the bone. However, although Bell and Currie (2009) suggest that some lesions could be from attacks that led to death, closer examination using radiology may elucidate if the lesions on the astragalus are due to trauma.

Full report

Sharing the science

We’re pleased to be able to share Preliminary Scientific Reports to help visitors who come to see these incredible T. rex understand more about them.

These reports are prepared by two of the world’s top therapod paleontologists, Dr David Burnham (University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum) and Dr John Nudds (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester), who have studied both Peter and Barbara in their university laboratories for many months. Their research has identified the unique pathologies of each specimen, such as the injury to Barbara’s leg and the marks on Peter’s leg. As these reports are preliminary, they’re not peer-reviewed yet.

It’s not standard practice for a museum to share this much information when a specimen is being exhibited for the first time, but with the benefactor’s agreement we’re keen to share the initial findings, to enhance the learning experiences that having these two specimens in our Museum provides for the people of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Updates to the Preliminary Scientific Reports will be an ongoing process and will most likely span decades, rather than years.