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Dozens of leopard sharks have been washing up dead in California since April, and now a necropsy shows at least one of the sharks died of massive internal bleeding, such that blood was even coming out of the shark's skin, according to a Daily News report.
The necropsy, conducted by the California Department of Fish and Game, uncovered "inflammation, bleeding and lesions in the brain, and hemorrhaging from the skin near vents." According to the Daily News story, bleeding was additionally detected around the tested female's other internal organs.
The results suggest the 50 sharks that have washed up dead at Redwood Shores in Redwood City, California, since April must have died a slow and agonizing death.
Catherine Greer, a resident of the city, said she and her son tried to save some of the sharks by returning them to the water, but "they'd swim right back, thrashing their heads against the shore ... as if they were trying to commit suicide."
A key question then clearly remains: What is causing the internal bleeding?
As of now, that's still a mystery. A statement released by the Silicon Valley city mentioned, "The...pathologist is not drawing any conclusions until more examinations and all tests are performed."
A bacterial study and microspoic tissue analysis are underway. Investigators have not ruled out a human-caused spill of toxic chemicals, although no big spill has been reported in the region over the past couple of months.
Sean Van Sommeran, executive director of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation in nearby Santa Cruz, suspects "we're only seeing a tiny fraction of what's going on," meaning more sharks and other animals are likely being affected by the problem.
Van Sommeran added that leopard sharks are typically a "pretty resistant" species.
Originally posted by BanMePlz
Its probably the radiation and corexit in the water. Corexit damages the cell wall and lets all the bad stuff in.
Van Sommeran theorizes that pollution may play a role. He and Faulkner point out that agribusiness giant Cargill, which operates 9000 acres of salt evaporation ponds in the southern part of the bay, had 4 spills of bittern -- a noxious salt production waste fluid -- between 2000 and 2006. State records show the company spilled 218 000 gallons of the substance in August 2006, killing about 200 fish and resulting in a fine of USD 228 000. The salinity of bittern is about 10 times that of ocean water.
Hundreds of fish have been found dead in Ventura Harbor. This is the second large fish kill in Southern California this year. This time, hundreds of dead fish are floating in Ventura Harbor
Many of these beached whales have suffered physical trauma, including bleeding around the brain, ears and other tissues and large bubbles in their organs.
These symptoms are akin to a severe case of "the bends" -- the illness that can kill scuba divers who surface quickly from deep water. Scientists believe that the mid-frequency sonar blasts may drive certain whales to change their dive patterns in ways their bodies cannot handle, causing debilitating and even fatal injuries.
"At this point, TEPCO still finds itself in unchartered waters and is not able to carry out any plan to get the situation under control," he said.
Nearly 10,400 tonnes of water has been pumped into the reactor so far, but it is unclear where the leaked water has been going.
Originally posted by GoldenVoyager
Maybe these sharks ate too much fish or bird seed for that matter.