facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Beached whales killed by ingesting plastic

Dec. 18, 2009 at 11:01 AM   |   Comments

FOGGIA, Italy, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Seven sperm whales that beached at Foggia, Italy, died from ingesting plastic in the ocean, a scientist at Tusica University said Friday.

"They must have mistaken the objects for squid, one of their favorite foods," said Giuseppe Nascetti, who teaches marine ecology at Tuscia University.

The plastic "strangled" the whales' stomachs, which also contained pieces of rope, tin cans and other containers, Nascetti told the Italian news agency ANSA in a story published Friday.

The whales, which weighed more than 13 tons each and were 30 to 45 feet long, came ashore a week ago in a rare beaching. All of them were dead by Sunday night.

The whales likely were to be buried at a place nearby where the water table was deep enough not to be contaminated by the decomposing bodies, Province spokesman Stefano Pecorella said.

The whales were to be buried, rather than cremated, so museums and research institutions could have access to their skeletons at the end of the decomposition process, estimated to take about a year.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
SpaceX Dragon returns safely from ISS, splashes into Pacfic Ocean SpaceX Dragon returns safely from ISS, splashes into Pacfic Ocean
2
Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space
3
Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time
4
Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes
5
Coal-rich Poland wants concessions in EU climate deal Coal-rich Poland wants concessions in EU climate deal
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback