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70 whale bodies wash ashore in Patagonia again

Thu, Jul 21, 2016, 03:17 PM
Seventy whale remains have washed ashore in Patagonia in southern Chile, after 337 had washed ashore in the same region last year. The whale remains were stated to be in a highly decomposed state, meaning they were dead for quite some time. Scientists estimated that they were dead for 2 months now.

The scientists have not been able to fix the cause for the mass death of whales. They speculate that the whales may have died owing to the algal bloom in the seas. Whales filter the waters and consume krill and algae.

Last year, 337 whale bodies had washed ashore in Patagonia. Of them, 305 were whale bodies and 32 were skeletons. They washed ashore between the Gulf of Penas and Puerto Natales.

Lead scientist Carolina Simon Gutstein of Universidad de Chile says probably they are sei whales.

Endangered throughout their range, sei whales are large, bluish-gray baleen whales that filter the water to feed on krill and other small creatures. They can reach 64 feet (19.5 meters) long and weigh about 50 tons each. Considered the fastest cetacean, sei whales can swim at speeds up to 31 miles (50 kilometers) per hour. Their lifespan is 50 to 70 years, and they are usually found in deep waters far from coastlines. Their worldwide population is estimated at about 80,000.
Agency: Ap7am Desk

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