Rising dolphin deaths linked to Deepwater Horizon spill | Science News

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Rising dolphin deaths linked to Deepwater Horizon spill

Gulf animals suffer from lung lesions, other ill effects related to oil exposure

6:14pm, May 21, 2015
dead dolphin

DOLPHIN DEATH  Scientists have linked toxic effects of oil spilled in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster to an ongoing surge in stranded and dead dolphins, such as this one, along the Gulf of Mexico coast.

The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill helped spark a massive, ongoing die-off of dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico, a new study suggests.

Dead common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) examined in the region had lung lesions and adrenal gland damage, injuries previously linked to oil exposure, researchers report May 20 in PLOS ONE. Following the blow out at BP’s Macondo well five years ago, researchers have tracked a rising number of unusual deaths and health issues in Gulf dolphins, but have struggled to definitively pin the problems on the spill (SN: 4/18/15, p. 22).

“No feasible alternative causes remain that can reasonably explain the timing, location and nature of these distinct lesions and increase in deaths,” said Stephanie

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