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RE: Extinction scenarios



Mathematically, we use the term decimate in plasma physics all the time.  In
a plasma field, decimation is defined as a state in which the constituent
gases (or "partial pressures") are not robust enough to sustain a viable
plasma field.  So, the field collapses.  The term might be less stringent in
biology?

BTW: I located a 2nd reference to disease in ceretopsians - it was in a book
by Steven Parker of London.  The book is ~ 1.5 years old & is titled "The
Compact Guide to Dinosaurs".  This is a reference book for zoology students
& I picked it up in a local book store as a gift for my 12 year old nephew.
But (since it was about dinosaurs) I read it myself. :-)
Anyway, this Dr. Parker mentions evidence of bone cancer in  a torosaurus
"frill", but does not site sources, fossil ID, etc.  So, who knows???  

Dwight


        -----Original Message-----
        From:   Peter Von Sholly [SMTP:vonrex@gte.net]
        Sent:   Thursday, August 20, 1998 2:58 AM
        To:     TomHopp@aol.com; dinosaur@usc.edu
        Subject:        Re: Extinction scenarios



        > In a message dated 8/19/98 7:07:26 PM, Betty Cunningham wrote:
        > 
        > 
        > 
        > Nice term, decimate.  This is what virulent organisms often do,
take
        nine-out-
        > of-ten individuals out of a populate (as smallpox did to the
Native
        > Americans).  Still, the ever-variable immune system is prepared
for this,
        and
        > the remaining one-in-ten proliferate to produce a
disease-resistant
        > population.  

        I believe that decimate means to reduce by one in ten, not nine out
of ten.