Bats and snakes are the latest victims of mass killers in the wild
by Darryl Fears
Jeremy Coleman was on the trail of a ruthless serial killer, recently studying its behavior, patterns and moves at a Massachusetts lab. The more he saw, the more it confirmed a hunch. He had seen it all before. He was looking at a copycat.
The mass killer of bats under Coleman’s microscope, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, has a lot in common with Chytridiomycosis, a mass killer of frogs and other amphibians. The culprits resemble a third killer, Ophidiomyces, which kills and disfigures snakes.
They are fungi, and they arrived in the United States from overseas with an assist from humans — through travel and trade. They prefer cold conditions and kill with precision, so efficiently that they’re creating a crisis in the wild…