Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Can Whale Strandings Help Predict Earthquakes?

Photo via The Guardian
Earthquakes, like the one that struck in Christchurch, New Zealand yesterday, rank among the most devastating natural disasters, capable of leveling cities and causing extensive loss of life -- largely because they are so unpredictable. On Sunday, however, less than 48 hours before the quake, 107 pilot whales beached themselves and died along the nation's shores, a phenomenon that biologists have yet to fully understand. treehugger.com

Big Quake Coming In Atlantic/Caribbean? 22 Pilot Whales Beached Themselves In South Florida 9/1/12
Monday, September 3, 2012 7:52

I have written about this many times. When whales have beached themselves in the Pacific at various Islands, including New Zealand there will be a very large quake within a week afterwards somewhere around that area of the world.

Today, a very unusual beaching occurred in South Florida. This happens quite often in the Pacific, but not on the U.S. Atlantic side.
If you think about it…. Whales are very sensitive with their sonar regarding sounds. Think about how tectonic plates will grind, imagine that sound amplified through the water.

MIAMI (Reuters) – Twenty-two short-finned pilot whales beached themselves along Florida’s Atlantic coast on Saturday, and 17 died despite a day-long effort to save them, authorities said.
Five calves and juveniles were rescued and taken to a nearby rehabilitation center, according to Carli Segelson of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
She said the others, males and females, died of natural causes or were euthanized.
The creatures, which are the biggest in the dolphin family after killer whales, came ashore near Fort Pierce, on Florida‘s south-central Atlantic coast.
The U.S. National Park Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration participated in the rescue effort.
Segelson said pilot whales, which are considered highly intelligent, are a species that commonly strand themselves on beaches around the globe.
Such incidents often have been blamed on infestations of parasites that affect the whales’ brains and their ability to stay on course. They normally stick to deep waters, where they feed on a diet that includes squid and octopus.
The cause of Saturday’s beaching was not immediately clear. Allison Garrett of NOAA said necropsies might help explain what drove the mammals ashore.

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