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Earth Science

Find Along Chilean Highway Suggests Ancient Mass Stranding of Whales 63

Posted by samzenpus
from the look-at-the-bones dept.
sciencehabit writes "In 2010, workers widening a remote stretch of highway near the northwestern coast of Chile uncovered a trove of fossils, including the skeletons of at least 30 large baleen whales. The fossils—which may be up to 9 million years old—are the first definitive examples of ancient mass strandings of whales, according to a new study. The work also fingers a possible culprit."
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Find Along Chilean Highway Suggests Ancient Mass Stranding of Whales

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  • Re:Let me guess... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EvilSS (557649) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @12:05AM (#46354241)

    "The work also fingers a possible culprit" Anthropomorphic Global Warming? (not a troll, just a funny, vote me down if you will)

    Don't be stupid. It was obviously caused by US Navy sonar. Yes, our sonar is THAT powerful.

  • by djupedal (584558) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @01:06AM (#46354471)
    The article says:
    "Second, most of the baleen whale skeletons had been preserved “belly-up”—a position that suggests the creatures died at sea, rolled upside down as they decomposed, and then remained inverted when high tides or storm surges deposited them on shore. That ultimate resting position is typical of modern baleen whales that die at sea, Goldbogen says.

    Finally, ripples preserved in the rocks indicate that the carcasses ended up lying crosswise to currents that had cast them onto the beach—just as in modern mass strandings, Pyenson says."


    We've been told that modern 'strandings' are the cause of death (witness all the efforts to return the creatures to deeper waters), not the result.

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

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