Author Topic: Black Death Was Caused By Gerbils And Not Rats  (Read 1709 times)

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Offline mayya

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Black Death Was Caused By Gerbils And Not Rats
« on: February 25, 2015, 12:31:38 PM »
Black Death Was Caused By Gerbils And Not Rats

By Brian Thompson -
 
Feb 25, 2015
 
 
 
 


Researchers have stated that gerbils, and not rats, could have been the real carriers of the Black Death from Asia to Europe in the 14th century.
The researchers at Norway’s University of Oslo have cleared the much maligned black rats and shifted blame to gerbils from central Asia. The researchers pinpointed that the gerbils from central Asia were the carriers of the Yersinia pestis bacteria which gave rise to the bubonic plague, which keeps on coming backing sporadically in Europe until the 19th century.
 
The Black Death was one of the most horrible pandemics in the annals of human history as it claimed the lives of an estimated 75 to 200 million people and reached its peak in Europe from 1346 to 1353.
 
The plague killed 30 to 60% of the total population of Europe. The population of the continent bounced back after one and half century.
 
Nils Christian Stenseth, biologist and the head of the Nordic Centre for Research on Marine Ecosystems and Resources under Climate Change (NorMER), and the lead author of the study said, “For this, you would need warm summers, with not too much precipitation. And we have looked at the broad spectrum of climatic indices, and there is no relationship between the appearance of plague and the weather.”
 
For their study, the researchers examined tree-ring records to discern the kind of climate conditions, which were present during the time when the plague was common. They also analyzed more than 7,700 documented outbreaks of plague in Europe there and Asia.
 
They found out that the weather conditions in Europe were not optimal for the development of plague, and when it warmed in Asia, it was optimal conditions for the giant gerbil to thrive – and plague appeared in Europe around 15 years later.
The study also hinted that Silk Road routes either by land or sea could have served as the mediums for the plague.


http://dailysciencejournal.com/black-death-was-caused-by-gerbils-and-not-rats/21394/