Monday, January 07, 2008

Coroner fascinated by insects

Insects will rule the world? Or have they? Do they already?

I have written before about insects being crucial to decomposition and at times I have been concerned about insects serving as a vector for a variety of diseases. As a matter of fact, I was reading recently about concerns that as global warming progresses we will see a spread in insect-vectored illnesses out of typical subtropical regions and spreading in this country. Another thing that came up recently was a discussion of cysticercosis. While I saw several cases as an ER physician and working at HealthReach, apparently more areas of the country are finally seeing cases.

With these things recently in my head, I was intrigued by this brief article. It reports a hypothesis (reasonable in my estimation) from a recent book by some folks in Oregon. They posit that the fall of the dinosaurs was due to insects. The insects spreading reptilian disease and pollinating flowers, so that they proliferated and replaced plants they were more used to eating, spelled the doom of the dinosaurs.The mighty thunder lizards brought low by lowly insects.

Bug spray or pledges of peace? You decide.

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