|Loch Ness Monster (The Telegraph)|
A team of researchers, who studied a fossil of a 150-million-year-old marine reptile called pliosaur, the ancient creature apparently suffered from arthritis-like disease in its jaw. The condition reportedly eroded the beast's left jaw point.
"The most exciting aspect of this research for me is the arthritic condition, which has never been seen before in these or similar Mesozoic reptiles," researcher Judyth Sassoon from the University of Bristol told LiveScience.
She added: "In the same way that aging humans develop arthritic hips, this old lady developed an arthritic jaw and survived with her disability for some time. But an unhealed fracture on the jaw indicates that at some time the jaw weakened and eventually broke. With a broken jaw, the pliosaur would not have been able to feed, and that final accident probably led to her demise."
The findings of Sassoon's group were published online Tuesday in the journal Palaeontology.