[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Bakker says



>John Bois wrote:
>
>> I think Bakker is correct in looking for a biological contributor in 
order
>> to explain the _pattern_ of extinction, not extinction _per se_.
>> But diseases don't do it for me.  First, diseases have never been 
known to
>> wipe out whole taxa.  For starters bacteria and virus are usually
>> species-specific, secondly diseases even within a single species 
don't
>> usually knock out the entire species.
>
>Most bacteria and viruses are species-specific, but not all.  Look at 
the
>pathogen called Rinderpest -- spread from domestic cattle to wild 
African
>antelope, and wiped them out by the thousands, across several different
>species.  Look at rabies, which can infect almost any mammal species 
known.  A
>pathogen as lethal and cross-contagious as rabies that was transmitted 
by air
>could do a heckuva job on a fauna.  And some ecosystems don't need to 
lose all
>that many species before they become unstable.
>
>Also, I've heard some reports recently of Central American frogs -- 
several
>species, in several genera -- getting hammered by a fungal skin 
disease.
>Fungi and other external pathogens don't always have the same 
compatibility
>problem between species that internal pathogens do.
>
>-- Jon W.
>
>
>Has anyone ever thought to take blood (DNA, or whatever) from some 
fossils and try to see if they contain some form of virus?

                                           Caleb Lewis



______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com