A disease still affecting people today was found in the fossilised tail of a dinosaur that lived over 66 million years ago.

Bizarre on Female First

Bizarre on Female First

The discovery came after a tumour was found in the vertebrae of a young dinosaur, which had been unearthed in Canada.

Following a micro-CT scan of the tail in Tel Aviv, Israeli researchers created a reconstruction of the tumour and found a disease called Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), a rare condition that is sometimes classified as cancer.

Dr. Hila May, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University, claimed that cavities in the dinosaur were ''extremely similar'' to those produced by LCH.

Dr. May added: ''This is the first time this disease has been identified in a dinosaur.''

The researchers think their findings could help the study of evolutionary medicine, which looks at the behaviour and development of diseases over time.

Israel Hershkovitz, also of Tel Aviv University, said: ''We are trying to understand why certain diseases survive evolution with an eye to deciphering what causes them in order to develop new and effective ways of treating them.''