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Question:
Did malaria or other diseases exist during the time of the dinosaurs? How can we tell??



Replies:
I suspect that most diseases we worry about today (like malaria) did not exist 65 million years ago because they are specific to warm-blooded animals and there weren't many of them around 65 million years ago! BUT, I really don't know...
However, I do know how you might tell: from insects petrified in amber (ala Jurassic Park), scientists might be able to detect the malaria-causing protozoan, if it existed at the time the bug was caught in the amber. Prehistoric protozoa should be much easier to detect than prehistoric bacteria or viruses.
Jade Hawk



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