The bones of beached whales show signs of decompression sickness - the "bends" suffered by deep-sea divers - which scientists believe could explain why some sea mammals are stranded en masse.
A study of the skeletons of sperm whales has found that many of them suffered from a type of bone damage normally associated with the bends, when bubbles of nitrogen form in the blood causing pain and distress.
The findings lend support to the theory that loud underwater noises produced during naval exercises using submarine sonar could startle whales and dolphins and cause them to surface more rapidly than they would normally.
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Michael Moore and Greg Early, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, found extensive damage, called osteonecrosis, to the bones of stranded sperm whales.
They suggest that this could support the idea that sea mammals in general are vulnerable to becoming stranded when they are startled into rising too soon from a deep dive.
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I can't wait until the day we realize, the way the American Indians did thousands of years ago, that we are merely stewards of this planet, instead of the owners. We have the potential to do such great things in harmony with nature, instead of shitting it up. Thanks to 12thharmonic Blog for the link.