Whale Carcasses Found at Both Ends of State

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Researchers have determined two gray whale found dead at both ends of the California coast died of malnutrition.

    One washed ashore on Angel Island on Wednesday might.  The other is off Dana Point near Long Beach.
         
    Early this morning, San Francisco researchers collected blubber and waste samples from the Bay Area whale.  They will be sent out for more testing, according to spokesman Jim Oswald. Preliminary indications suggest malnutrition might have contributed  to the whale's death, he said.
         
    During this time of year, gray whales migrate from Baja California in Mexico, Oswald said. They typically don't feed during the migration, so it's common for researchers to see malnourished whales.
         
    "It's sad to see, but it's not usual," Oswald said.
         
    On April 20, a juvenile male gray whale was found dead between  Fort Mason and Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay.

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    NBC's Rob Mayeda talks about an interesting new study by the Australian Antarctic Division that links whale poo to beneficial blooms of phytoplankton in the South Atlantic. Phytoplankton not only serves as the root source of the marine food chain, by using sunlight and carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) phytoplankton grow and release oxygen back into the atmosphere. Phytoplankton help regulate the ocean's ability to act as a 'carbon sink'. Whale poo is said to be 10 million times more efficient in yielding high iron content as opposed to natural sea water - making it a perfect phytoplankton producing element, and some could say a natural way to fight global warming - by keeping whale populations growing and... well fed. (Published Monday, Apr 26, 2010)

    The other whale died in Southern California despite the efforts of a Sea World disentanglement team.

    Sources told the Orange County Register that the body of the whale washed up on Doheny State Beach at about 4 p.m. Friday.

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    A big whale carcass is floating awfully close the Ferry Terminal. (Published Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010)

    "Whether it gets a necropsy or not or disposed (buried on the beach or towed out to sea) won't happen until tomorrow," wildlife biologist Joe Cordaro told the Register.

    Lily drew crowds of onlookers this week. On Wednesday, the Sea World team spent hours removing two ropes and more than 100 pounds of fishing net and other gear, the Associated Press reported.

    By Thursday, Lily was still spotted in the area and biologists warned that the emaciated animal may have used up too much energy to migrate to feeding grounds in Alaska.

    Bay City News contributed to this report.