Saturday, October 30, 2010

Star Fish Wash Up on Oregon Beaches

Hundreds of star fish -- "sea stars," more correctly --  have washed up on an Oregon beach and scientists don't know why.  Heceta Beach, well known to myself, since I live roughly fifty miles from there and visit that area frequently, witnessed the mysterious die off of sea stars this past Thursday. So far, no other Oregon beaches have reported mass beachings of sea stars; just Heceta Beach:

“We found it very curious,” said Justin Ainsworth, shellfish biologist with the wildlife agency. “We haven’t had any calls like this in my time here. We contacted past biologists from this office and they couldn’t recall anything like it in the past 30 years.”
Even more curious was the fact that, after they made calls to the coastal wildlife offices in Astoria and Coos Bay, they realized that Heceta Beach seemed to be the only place where the phenomenon occurred.
Theories include the recent storms in the area as a cause for the sea star deaths, but the article points out that  other scientists disagree with that idea since the storms affected other areas, which didn't report any incidents of washed up animals. See Die-off of sea stars at Florence unexplained:Heceta Beach appears to be the only spot along the Oregon Coast where the creatures washed up.

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