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I am a newcomer, and as I have been browsing through the archives of this forum
I must say that I am quite impressed with the immense amount of knowledge that
has been so well articulated by everyone! I am, by far, no paleontologist, nor
am I a dinosaur expert, but I recently became interested in the dinosaurs in my
study of zoonotic viruses. I know, it seems a far stretch between the two, but
last year (before I graduated college) I stumbled upon some new thoughts that I
hoped could be discussed (or even trashed!) by some of you. Thanks in advance
for hearing me out :o)
During college, my interest in Level 4 viruses (the uncurables) brought me to
wonder why these types of viruses do not infect reptiles, or if they do, why
reptiles do not show symptoms of the diseases they cause. This fostered my
interest in herpetology, which recently led to an interest in dinosaurs. Given
the current "warm-blooded/cold-blooded" dinosaur debate, I wondered if it might
be possible to consider the idea that IF dinosaurs were warm-blooded, the
following MIGHT be true:
1. Dinosaurs were susceptible to viruses, like most warm-blooded animals.
2. A level-4-type "dinosaurian" virus may have evolved and infected the
dinosaurs, explaining the already-in-process decline of the dinosaurs before
the asteroid crash, and explaining the rapidity of their final demise.
3. The cold-bloods survived this outbreak because reptiles do not get mammalian
I know I'm probably sounding like science fiction right now, but there is one
more point I'd like to discuss and get your opinions about as well. I've always
thought of frogs and toads as the "canary in the coal mine" so to speak. They
are very sensitive to changes in their environment, and usually are the first
thing to die off in any kind of climactic change. If the asteroid and the
following nuclear winter killed off the adaptable dinosaurs, why did the
sensitive amphibians survive?
Thank you so much for considering my thoughts, and I would love to hear
feedback from any or all of you!
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