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BOSTON (Reuters) - Animal welfare advocates are perplexed by dozens of dolphins swimming onto land along the scenic Cape Cod shores south of Boston beginning late last week, one of the largest cases of dolphins stranding themselves in years.
About 60 animals have been stranded along 25 miles of Cape Cod coastline since Thursday, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
So far, 19 dolphins have been rescued and released, with some of the 27 dolphins stranded alive unable to survive, said Katie Moore, manager for the group's marine mammal rescue and research. She estimated another 32 washed ashore already dead.
She said the pattern this year is unlike past years, when just one dolphin or a group would be found on a single beach.
"It feels like stranding after stranding after stranding," she said. "It's definitely out of the ordinary."
They find their way by sending out high-pitched sounds (at a level too high for humans to hear). The dolphins then listen for the returning echoes as they bounce off objects. This is called "echolocation", and it lets dolphins know what is around them.
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•one of the pod got into trouble and was followed by the others
•that they were chasing a shoal of fish and then couldn't get back into deeper water
•or perhaps that they were being chased themselves
As dolphins are known for being a very social species, it's often thought that a distress signal sent out by one, brings others nearby flocking to help. "They're like humans, in that if your house and family were under threat, you'd go and help them, rather than run the other way," says Ms Dolman.
Since they are mammals, the dolphins have ears that are sensitive to large changes in pressure underwater, he said.
"If their eardrums are damaged they become disorientated and they float up to the surface," Mr Sarmiento said.
EASTHAM, Mass. (AP) - An animal welfare organization says 13 dolphins have been found stranded on a Cape Cod beach but only 11 of them survived.
Kerry Branon of the International Fund for Animal Welfare says the common dolphins were found on First Encounter Beach in Eastham on Wednesday afternoon.
She tells the Cape Cod Times the surviving dolphins were given blood tests and evaluated to determine their health. They were tagged, and released late Wednesday night at Herring Cove in Provincetown.
The dolphins were a mix of ages and sexes and weighed between 175 and 250 pounds.
The cause of the beaching could not be determined
Dolphins have the best sense of hearing among animals. They are able to hear 14 times better than humans.
Animals hear more sounds than humans.
An earache is caused by too much fluid putting pressure on your eardrum. Earaches are often the result of an infection, allergies or a virus.