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Re: Killer Pterosaurs?

Just thinking about the highly toxic environments of certain bat-infested caves. The floors are covered with guano and a wide variety of decaying matter--a really hostile environment. (See David Attenborough's "The Life Of Mammals") I wonder if there might be some similar environment created by Pterosaurs in which to breed a certain kind of disease--something having to do with waste build-up in an area? I'm just riffin' here.

I'm reminded of that deadly South American disease which, it was finally discovered, had its source in mouse urine.

(stand by while I Google...)

Hantavirus? How about a kind of "Pterosaur hantavirus"? Caused by some kind of natural anomaly which allows the Pterosaurs population to explode (figuratively--although actually exploding Pterosaurs may be different way to go)? Maybe some kind of insect or prey animal boom which leads to a Pterosaur boom which leads to...?

Fun to think about.


On Jul 9, 2005, at 12:56 AM, John Hunt wrote:

And birds are dinosaurs!

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu] On Behalf Of T.
Michael Keesey
Sent: 09 July 2005 03:56
To: dinoworld@msn.com
Cc: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Killer Pterosaurs?

Birds were more common than pterosaurs in the Maastrichtian.

Well, okay, the sample size is not terribly large--but that's how it
seems so far.

On 7/8/05, Dinosaur World <dinoworld@msn.com> wrote:
Hi everyone.
I'm doing some advanced work for a video project and would like your
opinions on the following.

If I proposed a theory that Pterosaurs were a carrier of, and had immunity
to, a disease that was fatal to dinosaurs, and this disease played a
role in the extinction of dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous. Could you
please give me your opinions as to the plausibility of such an idea? And
you find it implausible, could you please tell me why.

I realize that fossilized evidence of disease is rare, and so there may
be much evidence for support or nonsupport of such a theory, but I was
hoping you could give me your personal opinions on this.


--Mike Keesey