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originally posted by: rikgrimsby
What is going on ? why are they getting washed up ? i know we have some wind farms based out in the humber near there. i wounder uf they have anything to do with it all ?
"These whales have quite simply made a mistake," Thilo Maack, a marine biologist with Greenpeace, told German TV. "They didn't pass Scotland but turned off into the North Sea. That happens sometimes."
Sperm whales rely on sonar to navigate. They send out sound pulses, which bounce back off distant surfaces, helping them to form a clear picture of their underwater world. This doesn't work on a shallow sandy seabed, like Britain's, and whales quickly become disorientated. "The pod probably followed a shoal of squid into the North Sea around the New Year and then got stuck," says Peter Evans, director of The SeaWatch Foundation. "As they head south the water becomes shallower. Once they end up on a sand bank it's all over for the whale. It causes cardiovascular collapse and their organs start failing."
A key factor in many of these cases appears to be the strong social cohesion of toothed whales. If one gets into trouble, its distress calls may prompt the rest of the pod to follow and beach themselves alongside.