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Parasite may have felled a mighty T. rex

Skull holes in several dinosaur specimens are consistent with those found in diseased birds

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2:10pm, September 29, 2009

Talk about a cold case. The culprit behind a 67-million-year-old murder may be exposed at last. A common avian parasite may have brought down one of the world’s most famous Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaurs, a study appearing online September 29 in PLoS ONE suggests.

Formally known as FMNH PR2081, Sue is the largest and best-preserved T. rex specimen in the world. Although scientists know a lot about Sue, whose skeleton currently resides at the Field Museum in Chicago, they still puzzle over what caused the smooth-edged holes in her jaw. (She’s named Sue even though her sex is one of her mysteries.)  

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