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Re: disease-carrying varmints biting dinos
> 2) Did said disease cause the K/Pg extinctions? Almost certainly not!!
> Consider the wide spectrum of organisms that were affected (from [most]
> coccolithophorids and inoceramids and ammonoids to pterosaurs and
> non-avian dinosaurs and so forth), any hypothesis that would just affect
> one but not all is an unlikely candidate.
Also, the article is 5 years old, and it cites George Poinar as starting from
the assumption that the extinction was extremely gradual:
"We don't suggest that the appearance of biting insects and the spread of
disease are the only things that relate to dinosaur extinction," Poinar said.
"Other geologic and catastrophic events certainly played a role. But by
themselves, such events do not explain a process that in reality took a very,
very long time, perhaps millions of years. Insects and diseases do provide that
Yay insects biting ammonites.
The pentastomids, BTW, are limited to the respiratory tracts of tetrapods.
Neontologists have come to consider them internalized fish lice.
Paleontologists instead point to Early Cambrian fossils that look like
pentastomids but had no hosts as far as anyone can see... I wouldn't be
surprised if they turned out to be a completely different sort of arthropod