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Posted Sun Feb 2 2014: from PBS:
Mysterious epidemic devastates starfish population off the Pacific Coast
KATIE CAMPBELL: As a diver and underwater videographer, James was equipped to do something. She decided to take her camera to a spot popular among both divers and starfish. These pilings are usually covered with a rainbow of starfish. On a recent dive, James discovered a scene from a horror film.
LAURA JAMES: There were just bodies everywhere. And they were just like splats. To me, it always looked like somebody had taken a laser gun and just zapped them and they just vaporized.
KATIE CAMPBELL: Starfish, also known as sea stars, are wasting away by the tens of thousands, not just in Puget Sound, but up and down North America's Pacific Coast. And nobody knows why....
BEN MINER: One of them was very sick, and the other two individuals started ripping themselves apart. The arms just crawl away from the particular body.
KATIE CAMPBELL: You heard that right. The arms crawl in opposite directions, until they tear away from the body and their insides spill out. And unlike most starfish, the arms donít regenerate. Stars that came in with symptoms died within 24 hours.
[Read more stories about: canary in coal mine, massive die-off, ecosystem interrelationships]
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'Doc Jim says:
Nature is tearing itself apart, and 'nobody knows why.'

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