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Posted Sat Sep 25 2010: from National Geographic:
Whale Sharks Killed, Displaced by Gulf Oil?
The Gulf oil spill fouled a vital stretch of feeding habitat for whale sharks, possibly killing some of the world's largest fish, new research suggests. An estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil (one barrel equals 42 gallons, or 159 liters) flowed into an area south of the Mississippi River Delta, where of one-third of all northern Gulf of Mexico (map) whale shark sightings have occurred in recent years, scientists say.... Sightings confirmed that the animals were unable to avoid the slick at the surface, where the giant fish may feed for seven to eight hours a day. The oil may have clogged the fish's gills, suffocating them, or it might have contaminated their prey--though no dead whale sharks have been found, Hoffmayer noted.... "At the end of the day, if these animals were feeding in an area where there was surface oil, and if they ingested oil, there is a good possibility that they died and sank to the bottom. At this point we have no idea how many animals have been impacted."
[Read more stories about: endangered list, oil issues]

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'Doc Jim says:
At what point do man-made species murders become genocides?

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