Science daily has an article discussing a new book, “What Bugged the Dinosaurs? Insects, Disease and Death in the Cretaceous,” by George and Roberta Poinar. In it they discuss the effect that insect born disease and parasites possibly had on the mass extinction of the dinosaurs. Modern technigues have shown that diseases like malaria existed during the Cretaceous and were present in blood taken from parasites preserved in Amber.
I love the new information we can discover from materials that are so old, and build such complex pictures of what was essentially a completely different world. Well worth the time to read the full article. It sort of puts a damper on the Jurasic Park idea though, if there are parasitic organisms mixed up in the dino blood samples there is even less chance of sequencing dinosaur DNA than ever.