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Mass sea star deaths off US west coast puzzle scientists
AFP via Yahoo News ^ | 2-1-2014 | Jean-Louis Santini

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 ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: britishcolumbia; california; canada; starfish; washington
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We were told (on our Alaska cruise trip years ago, the crab cage only had a huge sunflower sea star and no crab) that the sunflower sea star was a real nuisance to local fishermen and crabbers.
1 posted on 02/02/2014 3:04:15 PM PST by Sir Napsalot
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To: Sir Napsalot

It is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt, Bush’s fault


2 posted on 02/02/2014 3:07:23 PM PST by Maine Mariner
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To: Sir Napsalot

I wonder if Fukushima Fallout is involved in this occurrence?


3 posted on 02/02/2014 3:10:18 PM PST by The Working Man
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To: Sir Napsalot

“Starfish Wasting Syndrome”... cause unknown...

http://deepseanews.com/2013/12/three-reasons-why-fukushima-radiation-has-nothing-to-do-with-starfish-wasting-syndrome/


4 posted on 02/02/2014 3:10:25 PM PST by carriage_hill (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.)
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To: Sir Napsalot
It is time to end the myth of the static earth. Scientists like to pretend that things like ecological systems, climate, etc, are in danger if they see any change. The earth is not static. Never has been. Never will be.
5 posted on 02/02/2014 3:10:26 PM PST by aimhigh
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To: Sir Napsalot

“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.


6 posted on 02/02/2014 3:14:31 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (ObamaCare. The "global warming" of healthcare plans.)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Yahoo News.

Take it with a large bucket of salt.


7 posted on 02/02/2014 3:17:24 PM PST by JT Hatter (Who is Barack Obama? And What is He Really Up To?)
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To: The Working Man

Thinking the same thing.


8 posted on 02/02/2014 3:18:16 PM PST by tennmountainman (Just Say No To Obamacare)
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To: Sir Napsalot

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?


9 posted on 02/02/2014 3:21:03 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Its a sicilian message. It means luca brasi sleeps with the fishes.


10 posted on 02/02/2014 3:21:15 PM PST by lowbridge
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To: Sir Napsalot

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.


11 posted on 02/02/2014 3:21:23 PM PST by Blue Collar Christian (Vote Democrat. Once you're OK with killing babies the rest is easy. <BCC><)
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To: aimhigh
It is time to end the myth of the static earth. Scientists like to pretend that things like ecological systems, climate, etc, are in danger if they see any change. The earth is not static. Never has been. Never will be.

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?

12 posted on 02/02/2014 3:22:19 PM PST by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: Maine Mariner

or Evil Rethuglicans

or Fox News

or ..... (grin)


13 posted on 02/02/2014 3:26:06 PM PST by Sir Napsalot (Pravda + Useful Idiots = CCCP; JournOList + Useful Idiots = DopeyChangey!)
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To: Sir Napsalot
It's all that carbon coming out of Al Gore's mansion.


14 posted on 02/02/2014 3:28:14 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Sir Napsalot
who say the sea creatures are key to the marine ecosystem.

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.

15 posted on 02/02/2014 3:38:02 PM PST by Fzob (Jesus + anything = nothing, Jesus + nothing = everything)
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To: lowbridge
Its a sicilian message.

better than the sicilian sausage eat that and ever one thinks something died

16 posted on 02/02/2014 3:38:29 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: lowbridge

“Its a sicilian message. It means luca brasi sleeps with the fishes.”

Someone watched the Godfather trilogy last weekend.


17 posted on 02/02/2014 3:39:44 PM PST by EQAndyBuzz (Insurgent Conservative)
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To: Sir Napsalot

Read the comments at the link! What a trip!


18 posted on 02/02/2014 3:40:56 PM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: The Working Man

Ya think?

Not really much to be confused about. The smallest creatures die first, and it rolls up the food chain.


19 posted on 02/02/2014 3:56:10 PM PST by Vermont Lt (If you want to keep your dignity, you can keep it. Period........ Just kidding, you can't keep it.)
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To: The Working Man

It mentions those in captivity died also. Could Fukushima Fallout affect them also I wonder?


20 posted on 02/02/2014 4:21:52 PM PST by Peace Is Coming
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