Doubts Cast on Oldest Fossil Case of Deafness

I recently wrote an article on this site about the possible occurrence of Surfer's Ear in Neanderthals. During that article we mostly discussed what might have caused these external auditory exostoses (EAEs), but I didn't discuss what implications these might have had for the Neanderthal's hearing. Until this month (October 2019) if you had looked up the... Continue Reading →

Neanderthal Inner Ear Infections?

Did Neanderthals die out because they suffered from chronic ear infections? That’s the possibility raised by a new study that has attempted to reconstruct the structure of the Neanderthal inner ear. Today middle ear infections are usually a minor hazard of childhood that clear up quickly following a course of antibiotics. Untreated though ear infections... Continue Reading →

An Ancient Case of Paget’s Disease

A new study has identified a potential case of Paget’s disease in the bones of a 298 million year old lizard-like animal. The results come from a study of two fused tail vertebrae recovered from a fossilised cave system in Richards Spur, Oklahoma, USA. Today Paget’s disease is a relatively rare condition, which mainly effects... Continue Reading →

Back from the dead?

So it's been a while since our last post on this blog. I do apologise for the 4 year hiatus - life got in the way a bit, as it does, but the good news is that we are now back and I will be publishing new posts on a (hopefully!) once weekly basis again... Continue Reading →

What Killed the Berezovka Mammoth?

It isn't often that palaeopathology enters popular culture but then mammoths have long fascinated humanity. Perhaps it is because our ancestors actually lived alongside them, or maybe it is the existence of such beautifully preserved examples, often with intact hair and skin, that has given us such an intimate glimpse of these prehistoric mammals. A... Continue Reading →

‘Zombie’ Worms Fed On Plesiosaur Bones

From mind-controlled ants to zombie worms. Although the 'zombie' tag is a bit misleading as these worms do nothing any more sinister then feed on the dead flesh of whales at the bottom of the ocean. This specialist genus of worms, properly known as Osedax, was first discovered by science in 2002 when a remotely... Continue Reading →

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