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Re: Bakker says

>John Bois wrote:
>> I think Bakker is correct in looking for a biological contributor in 
>> 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 
>> usually knock out the entire species.
>Most bacteria and viruses are species-specific, but not all.  Look at 
>pathogen called Rinderpest -- spread from domestic cattle to wild 
>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 -- 
>species, in several genera -- getting hammered by a fungal skin 
>Fungi and other external pathogens don't always have the same 
>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

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