|Wolff et al., 2007|
WOLFF, E.D.S., FOWLER, D.W. & BONDE, J.W. (2007) A possible case of necrotizing dermatitis in the crocodylian Diplocynodon , from the Oligocene of the Isle of Wight , UK, Historical Biology 19(2): 203–207 [email for pdf]
Here we describe a pathological osteoderm from the crocodylomorph Diplocynodon hantoniensis (Bouldnor Formation, earliest Oligocene, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom). The specimen bears a porous, erosive branching channel that distorts the surface ornamentation and periosteum over 60% of the preserved dorsal surface area. We diagnose this condition as necrotizing dermatitis: a surficial bacterial or fungal infection that can penetrate the dermal layers to affect the underlaying periosteum of osteoderms. This condition has been previously reported for an extant tortoise and caiman; however, this is the first reported occurrence in the fossil record.
Click image for full size closeup