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Old November 3rd, 2021 #167
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The curious case of the ancient whale bones

A trove of fossils in the Atacama Desert may hold lessons about the plight of modern whales.

Nov 3, 2021

Every year, thousands of whales strand meaning that they wind up trapped on beaches or in shallow waters and its really hard to figure out why.

Its not for lack of trying. Teams of forensic researchers investigate stranded whales, studying organs, analyzing body parts with CT scanners, digging through stomach contents, and checking skin for scarring. But these meticulous whale detectives still often dont find any answers.

We can only about 50 percent of the time, if that much, give you a solid answer of why that animal died and why its stranded, says Darlene Ketten, a marine biologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who refers to her work as CSI: The Beach.