Biting Insects May Be Responsible For The Extinction Of Dinosaurs
Today it seems that the cause of dinosaur extinction is no longer shrouded in mystery. Many scientists agree that dinosaurs went extinct due to an asteroid’s violent impact with earth. However, not all scientists agree that this was the cause. In any case, one thing is for sure, a serious global catastrophe must be responsible for dinosaur extinction, right? Of course we hear about alternative theories that are commonly entertained, such as the ice age or volcanic eruptions, but one theory is not so common. One entomologist has recently published a book accusing biting insects of causing dinosaur extinction.
When it comes to the possible causes of the dinosaur extinction, scientists typically refer to one single event. According to entomologist George O. Poinar, the extinction of dinosaurs was gradual and not sudden. Poinar believes biting insects and arachnids killed-off dinosaurs by spreading a deadly disease. Early biting insects that may have been responsible for the demise of the dinosaurs include mosquitoes, mites, ticks and biting flies.
Poinar found a biting insect encased in amber that dates back to the Late Cretaceous period. A DNA analysis of the insect’s gut contents revealed that it was carrying a deadly disease called leishmania. This disease still exists today and it causes disease in humans and other vertebrates. Poinar also found another fossilized insect that contained a form of malaria that kills modern birds and lizards. Poinar has also noted that fossilized dinosaur feces have been found containing parasitic worms and single celled organisms that result from infection. Poinar has stated that other biological catastrophes certainly helped to wipe out vast dinosaur populations in the distant past, but these events alone could not have been the sole cause of extinction. Poinar insists that infection was the primary driver behind the eventual dinosaur extinction. Poinar has also claimed that dinosaur DNA can be extracted from insects that are found fossilized in amber. This scenario is reminiscent of the film Jurassic Park. Many experts view this DNA extraction method as impossible and purely a matter of science fiction.
Do you believe that vector-borne disease may have wiped out the dinosaurs since the human race is also threatened with extinction from the vector-borne disease?