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Pygmy Sperm Whale Stranding In Galveston—Every News Story Gives You The Opportunity To Learn More And To Take Action

A Pygmy Sperm Whale washed up on the beach in Galveston early on Wednesday.

Above you see a Houston Chronicle picture of the incident.

From The Galveston County Daily News-

“A vacationer from Dallas and his 11-year-old daughter discovered a pygmy sperm whale thrashing about in the surf Wednesday morning on the West End. The Marine Mammal Stranding Network came to Shores Drive and FM 3005 shortly after 9 a.m. and placed a stretcher under the whale and lifted it into a rescue truck. The animal was breathing and its eyes were open. It was taken to a holding tank at the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network.”

Here is the link to the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

Unfortunately, the whale has since been euthanized.

Here are facts about the Pygmy Sperm Whale from The American Cetacean Society.

Here is a Houston Chronicle story about different types of whales that live in the Gulf of Mexico.

An unusual number of dolphin calves have been found dead in the Gulf of Mexico in recent months.

The article I link to above does not assert that these dolphin deaths have been caused by the BP oil disaster.  It does say though that this is possible and tests are being done to determine the facts.

More concrete is the fact that large parts of the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico are covered with oil.

From The Huffington Post–

“Oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a top scientist’s video and slides that she says demonstrate the oil isn’t degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor.That report is at odds with a recent report by the BP spill compensation czar that said nearly all will be well by 2012. At a science conference in Washington Saturday, marine scientist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia aired early results of her December submarine dives around the BP spill site. She went to places she had visited in the summer and expected the oil and residue from oil-munching microbes would be gone by then. It wasn’t.”

Here is the web page for Dr. Samantha Joye. Dr. Joye led the study about the oil at the bottom of the gulf.

Here is the Gulf Spill Restoration website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

My friend Bob Cavnar has written about the oil at the bottom of the Gulf at The Daily Hurricane.

The impact of the BP spill may not be as bad as some first feared. But it appears to be bad enough.

The government, academic researchers, the press, and groups such as Greenpeace should keep monitoring conditions in the Gulf.

(Below–A picture of the oil-covered bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. It seems that sea worms of some kind do well in oil. Here is a previous post I’ve written here about sea worms.)

Every news story offers the chance to learn more than we know at the moment. It is up to each of us to learn about the world. When we learn more, then we are more likely to take action to improve the world.

A great book on marine mammals is the National Audubon Society’s Guide To Marine Mammals of the World(Books remain the strongest source on many issues and subjects. Please consider getting off the computer and reading a book.)

From the Marine Mammal Stranding Network of Texas are facts about the 29 types of marine mammals that live in the Gulf of Mexico.

Here are some basic facts about the Gulf of Mexico. This site I link to here, Gulfbase.org, has far more than just basics if you would like to know more.

A useful book on the coast in and around Galveston is The Formation and Future of the Upper Texas Coast by John Anderson. This book, published by Texas A & M,  has scientific value while also being accessible.

I cannot stress this fact enough—It is up to the individual to learn about the world and to take action to improve the world.

You may well decide to take that action in concrt with others. But at core—You must decide yourself to be involved.

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February 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dolphin Stranding In Texas—Facts About Bottlenose Dolphin

 

Here in Texas, there has been a large stranding of Bottlenose Dolphins in Jefferson County and Galveston County beaches.

21 dolphins have been found in the last two days.

Here is a report on the stranding from the Galveston County Daily News.

Here is a report from the Houston Chronicle.

Another large stranding took place around this time last year.

This may prove to be the beginning of a large die-off of dolphins this year.

Some will claim this proves that Texas beaches are dirty.

As much I enjoy visiting Galveston, this claim may have merit.

From a leading guide to marine mammals–

Major die-offs of these dolphins along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts have been linked to viral outbreaks and acute exposure to toxins. There is speculation that heavy burdens of pollutants have weakened their immune systems.    

The Bottlenose Dolphin is a common dolphin in the world.

Here are some facts and information about these creatures.

The Guide To Marine Mammals of the World published by the National Audubon Society reports that–

“This is the archetypal dolphin, well known to the ancient Greeks and Romans because of its common seashore presence throughout the Mediterranean Sea. Today it has achieved world-wide exposure as the start of the television series Flipper and as the main attraction in many oceanariums.”

Also—

“This dolphin is a cosmopolitan species that occurs in oceans and peripheral seas and tropical and temperate latitudes. It occupies a wide variety of habitats and is regarded as perhaps the most most adaptable cetacean….

Don’t you wish some people were as flexible and as adaptable as these dolphins? 

Common Bottlenose Dolphins occur in groups that vary greatly in size…animals in bays from smaller groups ( 2 to 15..) than those offshore ( often tens or hundreds.) Composition and stability of these groups often varies. bands of related females may stay together for many years, during which time they are visited briefly and occasionally by adult males.”

“Pair bonds between adult males have been documented to last 20 years or longer.”

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“In Scotland’s Moray Firth, Bottlenose Dolphins have been seen chasing, butting, and propelling Harbor Porpoises clear out of the water. Sharks are significant natural predators of Bottlenose Dolphins and it is not unusual to see wounds or scars attributed to shark bites on the bodies of living dolphins.”

The Bottlenose Dolphin can live up to 50 years. Male Bottlenose range from 8 to 12 feet long and can weigh up to 1100 pounds. Females are 8 to 10 feet long and reach 570 pounds.

Here is more information on the Bottlenose Dolphin from the excellent webpage of the American Cetacean Society

Here is information on the Harbor Porpoise.

Please click here for other Texas Liberal posts on sea life and marine mammals.

Please click here for other Texas Liberal posts about Galveston

(Here is a photo of a Bottlenose Dolphin killing a Harbor Porpoise in Scotland. Now how cute and nice do you think they are?)

March 4, 2008 Posted by | Books, Galveston, Sea Life, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments