Baby dolphin deaths unprecedented, says scientist

2011-02-25 07:31

New Orleans – A scientist says the deaths of about two-dozen baby bottlenose dolphins is unprecedented in 30 years of studying dolphin deaths in the Gulf of Mexico.

Moby Solangi says the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Mississippi, has no record of previous mass deaths in which the majority were infants.

The recent deaths occurred in birthing areas off Mississippi and Alabama.

Six bodies intact enough for dissection were a mix of stillborn, premature and full-term calves that died shortly after birth.

Solangi says possible causes include cold winter and disease.

He said scientists are investigating whether there was a link to the BP oil spill.

But he says only one dolphin species – and no other kind of animal – appears to be dying in unusual numbers. 

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