JAN 25, 2017 08:01 AM PST

Dozens of Dolphins Strand Themselves in Florida, NOAA Says

Scientists are confused as to why at least 95 confirmed false killer whales have stranded themselves on a coast of Florida’s Everglades National Park. The number that died from the event has reached 82, and is rising little by little each day.

A bird's eye view of dolphins stranding themselves off the coast of Florida.

Image Credit: NOAA/Twitter

False killer whales, despite their misleading name, are not a type of whale at all; they’re actually a type of dolphin. They get their name because of how closely they resemble killer whales in shape, despite having different colors.

While the animals in the region aren’t considered an endangered species, there is reportedly a population of these creatures near Hawaii that are.

The findings were first shared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in a Tweet, and it’s not highly understood why the species partakes in this kind of sad behavior. Nevertheless, it’s concerning marine biologists.

"This is the largest mass stranding ever for this species in the United States," NOAA Marine Biologist Erin Fougères said in a statement, "And one of the largest mass strandings we've ever had in the southeast."

Attempts were made to help herd the creatures back into the wild waters, but success proved to be minimal at best.

At this point in time, scientists are using all available resources to try and explain why the creatures are stranding themselves. They’ve been taking samples from the bodies of the deceased, looking for any clues they can find.

For what it’s worth, many of these of marine life species are known to strand themselves in large groups, rather than singularly. This fact alone seems to represent a mentally-aware aspect in the mystery, suggesting they choose to do this together in a bout of suicidal tendencies.

“They live in kind of a constant social group, so when one or two individuals become sick, it's thought that when they head towards shore the rest of the group will follow because they are so closely knit. We don't know that that's what happened in this particular situation but it is one of the common theories that is considered when there is a mass stranding of animals,” Fougères continued.

Perhaps the creatures are unhappy, perhaps the changing environment is decreasing their quality of life, perhaps the creatures are trying to grow a pair of legs and evolve to become land mammals. We may never really know the true answer to these mysteries, but we must find out before this becomes so common that the populations of these species hit dangerously-low numbers.

Source: NOAA via National Geographic

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 17, 2018
Plants & Animals
JUL 17, 2018
A Whale's Blowhole Spray Can Say a Lot About it
Whales of all varieties are some of the most frequently-studied marine mammals in the ocean today; and now, animal scientists with the Anderson Cabot Cente...
JUL 18, 2018
Cannabis Sciences
JUL 18, 2018
Light controls variants of active ingredient in cannabis
Chemists have synthesized several variants of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. The ability to alter its structure with light has led to a new tool f...
JUL 27, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
JUL 27, 2018
Getting Water From an Internal Source
When snakes were deprived of water they turned to muscle to fill their needs....
AUG 20, 2018
Plants & Animals
AUG 20, 2018
Researchers Observe Unexplained Bird Decline in Northern New Mexico
Researchers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory have been left stumped after perusing through several years’ worth of archived data associated wi...
SEP 03, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 03, 2018
38,000 Pigs Culled in China Amid Severe Swine Fever Outbreak
In response to a severe African swine fever outbreak in China, the country’s agriculture ministry elected to cull more than 38,000 pigs spanning five...
SEP 03, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 03, 2018
Two Newly-Discovered Dinosaurs May Explain a 70 Million-Year Evolutionary Gap
Dinosaur evolution is a hot topic in the scientific community because it can help us understand how and why modern animals came to be. Unfortunately, it&rs...
Loading Comments...