Insect Attack May Have Finished Off Dinosaurs
“There are serious problems with the sudden impact theories of dinosaur extinction, not the least of which is that dinosaurs declined and disappeared over a period of hundreds of thousands, or even millions of years,” said George Poinar Jr., a courtesy professor of zoology at Oregon State University. “That time frame is just not consistent with the effects of an asteroid impact. But competition with insects, emerging new diseases and the spread of flowering plants over very long periods of time is perfectly compatible with everything we know about dinosaur extinction.”
And the evidence for this emerging threat has been captured in almost lifelike-detail — many types of insects preserved in amber that date to the time when dinosaurs disappeared. Poinar said. “We found in the gut of one biting insect, preserved in amber from that era, the pathogen that causes leishmania — a serious disease still today, one that can infect both reptiles and humans. In another biting insect, we discovered organisms that cause malaria, a type that infects birds and lizards today.