STATES CHRONICLE – Recent news reported the mysterious deaths of sperm whales are caused by squid hunt.
Scientists believe they have discovered the cause of the unusual deaths of dozens sperm whales in Europe. Last month 30 sperm whales were left stranded on the beaches of the North Sea leaving scientists wonder how such thing might have happened.
Dr. Peter Evans, head of the Sea Watch Foundation, said all of the 30 sperm whales that died might have come from the same pod of juvenile males. This group was located near Norway’s west coast. The sperm whales are believed to have migrated in search of squid.
This theory is backed up by the necropsy results of the whales’ examined carcasses. Experts claim they discovered a particular squid species in the guts of the dead animals. It is believed such type of squid is usually found in the Norwegian Trench, in the northeastern part of the North Sea.
As Dr. Evans noticed,
“the animals which were first stranded in Holland had quite a lot of a particular species of squid in their stomachs – which they can catch, up in the Norwegian Deep.”
Researchers think the young sperm whales swam too far from their habitat so as to find the prey. Normally, these marine animals are used with depths over 10, 000 feet. However, they ended up trapped in a surprisingly shallow part of the North Sea.
In this area depths reach almost 164 feet, and water is below 65 feet. Sperm whales use echolocation to find prey and navigate. In shallow waters, though, they are powerless. Eventually, they reach too close to the chore where they remain stranded and defenseless.
At first, it was believed that perhaps human intervention is to blame for the deaths of so many sperm whales. However, scientists didn’t find any evidence to sustain such idea. According to statistics, mortality rate among whales and other mammals was high even when humans weren’t involved as much as they are nowadays.
Moreover, sperm whales have been considered an endangered species for so long that researchers think their population may experience a resurgence. This idea came up after so many sperm whales have been spotted in this area in the last months.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia