A tumor has been found in a mammal forerunner fossil that is 255 million years old. This is the first such discovery of its kind.

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A thin section of the gorgonopsid lower jaw, taken about halfway along the length of the canine root. The dark area on the right is bone. The backward C-shaped structure on the left is the canine root. The odontomas have eaten away at the canine root. Root resorption is a characteristic of odontomas and helped the researchers diagnose this tumor. Megan Whitney/Christian Sidor/University of Washington

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