A sub-adult Allosaurus fragilis (MOR 693) was discovered in 1991 in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of Big Horn County, Wyoming. Examination of the specimen reveals pathological conditions on five dorsal ribs, gastralia, cervical vertebra, three dorsal vertebrae, caudal vertebra, chevron, scapula, manus phalanx, ilium, two metatarsals, and two pes phalanges. Detailed description of these bones includes classification according to probable cause (i.e., traumatic; infectious; traumatic-infectious; developmental; idiopathic). In addition to the paleopathological analysis of MOR 693, descriptions and interpretations are given from a study in progress of pathological abnormalities in the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry collection. This study provides a model for future paleopathological analyses, emphasizing that description of the location, extent, and texture of an abnormality is crucial, since interpretations are subject to change.
This analysis discusses physiological implications of the abnormalities in MOR 693 and suggests probable behaviors and environmental influences resulting in injury and infection. Lifestyle and behaviors that likely predisposed allosaurs to injury and infection include pursuit of prey, intra-specific competition for mates, and intra- and inter-specific rivalry for carcasses and territory. Ultimately, paleopathological analysis of a large sample of dinosaur bones may reveal that certain abnormalities characterize taxa, and are diagnostic of specific behaviors, environmental influences, and physiology.