Necropsies begin for 25 pilot whales found dead

January 24, 2014
In this Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) some of the of 25 dead pilot whales that were found on shore near Marco Island, Fla., are shown. The whales were found two days after eight other pilot whales died near Lover's Key State Park, about 40 miles north. Biologists say pilot whales are prone to mass strandings because they form close-knit pods that won't leave a sick whale behind. (AP Photo/NOAA)

Teams of biologists are investigating the deaths of 25 pilot whales in the shallow waters off southwest Florida.

Necropsies began Friday morning on 16 males and nine females found on Kice Island. Boaters found the carcasses Thursday.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service say the whales were part of a pod first spotted in the area Sunday. State wildlife officials marked some of the whales that had temporarily stranded near Naples, and the markings helped identify the marine mammals found near Marco Island.

The whales were found two days after eight other died near Lover's Key State Park, about 40 miles north. Biologists say pilot whales are prone to mass strandings because they form close-knit pods that won't leave a sick whale behind.

Twenty-five dead pilot whales discovered along the shore of Kice Island on the southwest Florida coastline on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 await National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers, who will perform necropsies on Friday. At least 33 pilot whales have been found dead in the area since Sunday. (AP Photo/Naples Daily News, Carolina Hidalgo)


Twenty-five dead pilot whales discovered along the shore of Kice Island on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 await National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers, who will perform necropsies on Friday. At least 33 pilot whales have been found dead in the area since Sunday. (AP Photo/Naples Daily News, Carolina Hidalgo)

Explore further: Race on to save 40 stranded whales in US; 10 already dead

Related Stories

Fresh hope for stranded Florida whales

December 6, 2013

Thirty-five pilot whales stranded in a remote part of Florida's Everglades National Park headed toward deeper waters, raising hopes that they could be saved.

Fate of stranded Florida whales unclear

December 6, 2013

The fate of some 40 stranded whales off Florida was unclear Friday, with officials saying they had lost track of two dozen but were hopeful these had swum to safety.

Recommended for you

Shedding light on millipede evolution

August 2, 2015

As an National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded entomologist, Virginia Tech's Paul Marek has to spend much of his time in the field, hunting for rare and scientifically significant species. He's provided NSF with an inside ...

Researchers design first artificial ribosome

July 29, 2015

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins ...

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.