Rare whales die beached in South Florida

March 30, 2006

Three rare, deep-dwelling whales that became beached Wednesday on Florida's South Hutchinson Island reportedly have been euthanized.

Workers spent more than an hour trying to keep the melon-headed whales still in the crashing surf on the barrier island, east of Stuart, Fla., the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported Thursday.

The animals were euthanized after scientists decided they were too sick to be saved. The three animals were thin and obviously malnourished, the newspaper said.

Dr. Greg Bossart, director of marine mammal research and conservation at Florida's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, said the three whales most likely were part of the same pod as a dead melon-headed whale that washed ashore Wednesday at Vero Beach.

Bossart, a veterinarian and pathologist says scientists have no idea why the beachings occur.

Although strandings have been reported for centuries, Bossart told the Palm Beach Post he fears environmental degradation could be making the events more common.

"And the more we see these rare species coming ashore, the more I think it points to that," he said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Antarctic research and king crabs connect the climate change dots

Related Stories

Menopausal whales are influential and informative leaders

March 5, 2015

Menopause is a downright bizarre trait among animals. It's also rare. Outside of the human species, only the female members of two whale species outlive their reproductive lives in such a major way. Female killer whales typically ...

Hot flashes? Thank evolution

July 29, 2013

A study of mortality and fertility patterns among seven species of wild apes and monkeys and their relatives, compared with similar data from hunter-gatherer humans, shows that menopause sets humans apart from other primates.

Recommended for you

Tiny drops of early universe 'perfect' fluid

September 1, 2015

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a particle collider for nuclear physics research at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, smashes large nuclei together at close to the speed of ...

ATLAS and CMS experiments shed light on Higgs properties

September 1, 2015

Three years after the announcement of the discovery of a new particle, the so-called Higgs boson, the ATLAS and CMS Collaborations present for the first time combined measurements of many of its properties, at the third annual ...

Distant planet's interior chemistry may differ from our own

September 1, 2015

As astronomers continue finding new rocky planets around distant stars, high-pressure physicists are considering what the interiors of those planets might be like and how their chemistry could differ from that found on Earth. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.