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Re: Jurassic Park 4 Synopsis

n g wrote:
> --- Roberta Meehan wrote:
> >Just so long as no one things the disease actually is rabies!!  Only
> >certain of our friends would be able to contract rabies itself --
> >because of body temperature and other internal conditions.  I seriously
> >doubt the raptors would be good candidates for rabies.  It is possible
> >that none of the dinos would be about to contract rabies.
> >
> Do any modern birds contract rabies?  Or is rabies limited to mammals only?
> Nick Gardner

And I finally have an answer for you!!!!  What a fascinating question!

Rabies can be experimentally induced in both domestic and wild birds. 
It does not occur in nature.

However --

The owl has been known to develop antibodies to rabies (just as a mammal
that had been immunized would).

In examining 343 birds, 23 (6.7%) were found to have a low passive
titer.  This means that they would be classified similarly to mammals
that carry but do not develop rabies in the classic sense.  The majority
(but not all) of these 23 birds were raptors.

Theoretically, a bird could pass on rabies by talon or mouth.

No cases have ever been reported!

It is speculated that body temperature might be involved.  But, the
types of receptor sites may also play a role.

Further information:

Gough, PM; Jorgenson, RD; "Rabies Antibodies in Sera of Wild Birds";
*Journal of Wildlife Disease*.  Vol 12  pp. 392-397 (1976).

This increases my belief that dinosaurs were not susceptible to rabies
-- or any of the related viruses.

Roberta Meehan

Oh, and I was essentially right in what I thought!