Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Whale Stranding

A bunch of whales are stranding themselves in Manila Bay in the Pacific. The best explanation for mass strandings is that the animals were deafened by an undersea earthquake making them essentially blind. At least it makes sense.

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Hi John

Its interesting your post talks of non-human causes. This is supported by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beached_whale

"Whales have been found beached throughout human history so many strandings can be attributed to natural and environmental factors. There could be many natural reasons like rough weather, weakness due to old age or infection, difficulty giving birth, hunting too close to shore and navigational mistakes."

The kneejerk human factor blame of environmentalists is not as valid as they would wish.

Pete
 
Pete,

Yes, except for whales killed by collisions with big ships (a few blue whales last year) or getting entangled in undersea cables, most whales die at sea. The seaquake explanation seems most plausible for causing strandings. I believe that hunting whales except by Indians should be abolished until their populations recover to their pre-whaling levels. A decision can then be made about whether to hunt them again as a fishery. Personally, I don't believe we should hunt these mammals, but the scientific reason against hunting them is that they and sharks are top predators and removing the top predators damages ecosystems. But we don't seem to be a very wise animal ourselves at times. This planet is our only Garden of Eden right now, but we treat it like a sewer and trash dump to our detriment. There is no place else to go right now, so we better be better caretakers until we have developed interstellar spaceflight. Other Earths seem to be quite rare statistically in the Universe.

John

John
 
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