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Thread: Follow-up report- Scientists alarmed by scope of octopus deaths

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    Follow-up report- Scientists alarmed by scope of octopus deaths

    Follow-up report- Scientists alarmed by scope of octopus deaths

    VILA NOVA DE GAIA, Portugal, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- "More than 1,200 pounds of dead octopus have washed ashore on a 1.8-mile stretch of beach in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, concerned scientists say. "It's very strange that so many should be killed, and in such a confined area," said Nuno Oliveira, head of the Gaia Biological Park. "There's nothing in the scientific literature for this kind of mass mortality among octopus." An estimated 1,100 pounds of octopus all ages and sizes washed up dead Saturday and another 110 pounds Sunday, said Mike Weber, head of the Aguda coastal station in Gaia.

    "That suggests that it wiped out the entire local population," Weber told Time magazine in a story published Wednesday. Firefighters gathered up the dead animals, with many sent for testing at a laboratory in Lisbon. Biologists have ruled out pollution as the cause of death because no other species were affected. The cause is likely some form of disease-causing parasite or bacteria, Oliveira said." –United Press International

    This ocean kill phenomenon started in December with 3 separate incidents of hundreds of thousands of dead starfish being washed up on shores in the UK, Ireland and Russia. Now dead fish in the Gulf of Mexico and thousands of dead octopuses wash ashore in Portugal- if these events are connected and they may not be- what could be responsible for killing so many deep sea creatures? Octopuses are bottom-sea dwellers and they are solitary creatures which means this was not a school of animals killed off in some passing mishap- it’s a very intriguing scientific mystery that begs for us to unravel it sooner rather than later.

    Last edited by day; February 4th, 2010 at 08:50 PM.

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