Oil eating bacteria may be to blame for baby dolphin deaths says expert


Baby Dolphins Found Dead on Gulf Coast, ABC News, February 23, 2011:

A tide of dead infant dolphins has washed ashore along a 100-mile stretch of the Alabama and Mississippi coastlines in the past two weeks, and marine experts today said they believe last summer's Gulf oil spill may be to blame. ...

Moby Solangi, the head of the Mississippi based Institute for Marine Mammal Research, told ABC News. ... "[I]n my 30 years of studying dolphins I have never seen anything like this. This is highly unusual."

The relation between the oil spill and the dolphin deaths could be direct or indirect. The dolphin mothers may have ingested heavy metals in the oil or the chemicals used to disperse the oil, Solangi said. Or the oil eating bacteria that flourished during the summer may have caused an imbalance in the animals' guts, causing bacterial infections that may have caused the mothers to abort the calves.

Read the report here.

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