Gerbils, Not Rats, Spread The Black Death

February 28, 2015 10:53 PM

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Rats have been blamed for spreading the plague for more than a century, but new research suggests the real culprit was their cousin the gerbil.

Black rats were thought to have brought the plague bug (Yersinia pestis) along the Silk Road to Europe from the Far East, causing a series of outbreaks from 1347 on.

Also read: 2 Suspects in Nashville Tourist's Death Arrested in NC

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