Skip to comments.Mass sea star deaths off US west coast puzzle scientists
Posted on 02/02/2014 3:04:15 PM PST by Sir Napsalot
Washington (AFP) - Starfish have been mysteriously dying by the millions in recent months along the US west coast, worrying biologists who say the sea creatures are key to the marine ecosystem.
Scientists first started noticing the mass deaths in June 2013. Different types of starfish, also known as sea stars, were affected, from wild ones along the coast to those in captivity, according to Jonathan Sleeman, director of the US Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center.
"The two species affected most are Pisaster ochraceus (purple sea star or ochre starfish) and Pycnopodia helianthoides (sunflower sea star)," he wrote in a statement in December.
The sunflower sea star is considered among the largest starfish and can span more than a meter in diameter.
The most commonly observed symptoms are white lesions on the arms of the sea star. The lesions spread rapidly, resulting in the loss of the arm. Within days, the infection consumes the creature's entire body, and it dies.
Entire populations have been wiped out in Puget Sound off the coast of Washington state, in the Salish Sea off Canada's British Columbia as well as along the coast of California. The mortality rate is estimated at 95 percent.
Scientists who have spent decades studying the local ecosystem have yet to identify the cause. (Read more at link)
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
It is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt, Bush’s fault
I wonder if Fukushima Fallout is involved in this occurrence?
Starfish Wasting Syndrome... cause unknown...
“Global warming” has had them “puzzled” for decades. LOL! They might want to put down all of the “How to Create Computer Models for Dummies” handbooks and pick up a non-revisionist World History book. There’s more to science than just “computer models” created by political hacks with agendas.
Take it with a large bucket of salt.
Thinking the same thing.
Mass die offs happen. Every so often Alewives die in the great lakes all at once by the billions. As a child I learned that bobcat populations in Michigan rise and fall in unison with snowshoe hare populations.
Can anyone remember hearing a biologist who didn’t call the species in question “key” to the environment?
Its a sicilian message. It means luca brasi sleeps with the fishes.
I understand that in the the China Sea off japan the jellyfish are over populating the waters. Short story: all this is surely a sign we need to impose communism immediately if not sooner.
I wonder if these same scientists believe in evolution?
If they really did, wouldn't one think that they wouldn't be thrown for such a loop as nature takes its course?
Won't something new evolve to take that "niche"? Where's their faith in what they believe in?
or Evil Rethuglicans
or Fox News
or ..... (grin)
Seriously,does anyone believe this nonsense? If Star fish were key to the marine ecosystem why is where not widespread panic? That is sort of like saying possums are key to the forest ecosystem.
It would nice to find out whats going on, but lets not start acting silly.
better than the sicilian sausage eat that and ever one thinks something died
“Its a sicilian message. It means luca brasi sleeps with the fishes.”
Someone watched the Godfather trilogy last weekend.
Read the comments at the link! What a trip!
Not really much to be confused about. The smallest creatures die first, and it rolls up the food chain.
It mentions those in captivity died also. Could Fukushima Fallout affect them also I wonder?
I wonder that myself, I do know that there are ‘activists’ that are really pushing for more monitoring of the air and ocean for radioactive fallout, especially cesium I believe.
hardly a mystery to me.
Only the first two :-)
The third one sucked so I didnt watch it.
Over population could be a contributing factor but who am I to make such an observation.............
I remember those die offs in Lake Charlevoix when I was a kid growing up there.
The alewive numbers have declined drastically as have the smelt but that's due to the vast increase in game fish such as salmon, lake trout and walleye that are thriving in the lake........
The west nile virus decimated blue jay numbers around here. They used to be kind of a pest species around the feeders but these days I only see them every so often.
No, he is # 2 as Climate Change is the #1 cause of EVERY-THING.
Communism is the answer to all our problems. /s
Same here, along with the crows. But they're all back now........
As a side note, during that year, I found a dead blue jay in my bird bath............that was creepy
I saw where a hawk or something ate a woodpecker on the sidewalk the other day.
It was pretty quiet around the bird feeder for the rest of the day.
Dopes all of them I have one word FUKASHIMA!
Dopes all of them I have one word FUKASHIMA!
Yup, do you really trust the government to say that everything is A-OK concerning radiation levels and fallout from Fukishima???
Most starfish skeletons are made of Calcium material, strontium behaves the same way in the body... Strontium is very radiative from Fukishima...
All the water for the tanks of the aquariums at say Long Beach aquarium, Sea World, and other are pumped in ocean water, so basically the same water as the starfish, and other creatures in the wild, therefore the captive starfish would be subject to the some of the same dangers as those in the wild.
This is a pathogen, IMO. Virus, bacteria, or parasite. If radiation were that big a deal, every bit of sea life would already have died sometime between 1948 and 1962.
I have also wondered why the believers in evolution refuse to allow it to take place. Survival of the fittest, right? Adapt or die, right? What they really want is to be their own gods. They will decide which species to protect and which to destroy or let die off.
That is what I hear, but it hasn’t been proved. Lots of stuff on the conspiracy websites about it. Someone sends me the links. Today is the first time I’ve seen anything about the starfish on something like AFP or Yahoo or Drudge.
You’re right. The starfish which have survived and adapted will repopulate.
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