Whales Continue to Beach Themselves

Why do Whales beach themselves? The theory is that some coastal regions are shallow so sonar does not bounce back to the animals to tell them to keep away. This is only a theory. There seems to be no way of stopping the mammals from laying themselves on the sand to die a painful death. Dragging them out to sea is an attempt to save them, but they continue toward the beach again within hours.

A few days ago killer whales beached themselves on sandbars near Fraser Island. Three of them died. Fishermen have been told to keep their boats well away from the animals. They are trying to find deeper water. The hope is that open sea will attract them and they will move away from the shallow sand.

Apparently when a whale beaches, the whole pod panics. The presence of boats, particularly motorized ones, stresses them more. One would have thought that evolution would have "bred" out the beaching trait. The numbers who die each year on beaches is obviously not high enough to affect the breeding population so those with the trait pass it on to the next generation.

It is feared by many people that beaching could lead to extinction of species. There is no possibility of this as the number who swim safely along the coasts remains very large. It is good for people to try to save them. Unfortunately, humans cannot change nature.

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Australian Blog