Gerbils Implicated in Spread of Bubonic Plague
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences released a study on climate data suggesting the European bubonic plague was not in fact caused by black rats but by gerbils. Climate data showed that weather patterns do not support the theory that disease-carrying fleas were hosted by the continent's rat population. Instead, data showed that Europe always experienced outbreaks after central Asia had wet springs followed by warm summers--ideal conditions for Asia's gerbil population. The gerbils were then suspected to have hopped the Silk Road to reach Europe.
By Jordan Moses
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