Tiny biting mites may have killed off dinosaurs

This isn’t really about what’s biting you, but a new theory suggests biting mites may have led to the extinction of dinosaurs.

CORVALLIS, Ore., Jan. 3 (UPI) — A U.S. zoologist says dinosaurs may have been killed off by tiny, biting, disease-carrying insects.

If true, it represents one of many causes, not the sole reason for the extinction of dinosaurs.

The concept is outlined in the new book What bugged the dinosaurs? Insects, Disease and Death in the Cretaceous by George and Roberta Poinar.

“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 explanation.”

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