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Once Again, a Massive Group of Whales Strands Itself

ED YONG:Around 150 short-finned pilot whales stranded themselves at Hamelin Bay, a site on Australia’s western coast around 200 miles south of Perth… Western Australia is no stranger to mass whale strandings. Nine years ago, to the day, 80 long-finned pilot whales—a closely related species—stranded themselves in the very same spot…

there is something deeply unsettling about mass strandings. Cetaceans—the group that includes whales and dolphins—are highly intelligent and beautifully adapted to life in the water. Why would they leave the aquatic world to risk death? And why do so many of them do so at the same time?…

Cetaceans can be disoriented by the underwater din of human activity, from naval sonar to the seismic airguns used in oil and gas exploration. Several stranding events have been tied to military exercises… Even low levels of sonar could harm cetaceans by distressing them, forcing them to flee into unfamiliar territory’. SOURCE…


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