December 31, 2013 at 6:03 pm #1892MikeKeymaster
Hundreds of dead penguins wash up on Brazil beaches
(NOTE: What about aluminum, barium and other toxic metals being found in ocean waters across the world? Killing the penguins or the fish they feed upon? — MC)
Hundreds of penguins that apparently starved to death are washing up on the beaches of Brazil, worrying scientists who are still investigating what is causing them to die.
Published: 7:00AM BST 21 Jul 2010
About 500 of the black-and-white birds have been found just in the last 10 days on Peruibe, Praia Grande and Itanhaem beaches in Sao Paulo state, said Thiago do Nascimento, a biologist at the Peruibe Aquarium.
Most were Magellan penguins migrating north from Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands in search of food in warmer waters.
Many are not finding it: Autopsies done on several birds revealed their stomachs were entirely empty – indicating they likely starved to death, Mr Nascimento said.
Scientists are investigating whether strong currents and colder-than-normal waters have hurt populations of the species that make up the penguins’ diet, or whether human activity may be playing a role.
“Overfishing may have made the fish and squid scarcer,” Mr Nascimento said.
He said it was common for penguins to swim north this time of year. Inevitably, some get lost along the way or die from hunger or exhaustion, and end up on the Brazilian coast far from home.
But not in such numbers – Mr Nascimento said about 100 to 150 live penguins show up on the beach in an average year, and only 10 or so are dead.
“What worries us this year,” he said, “is the absurdly high number of penguins that have appeared dead in a short period of time.”
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