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Smithsonian Team To Investigate Rise In Dolphin Deaths In Virginia

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Dolphins are a common sight all along the East Coast. No cause has so far been found for an increase in their mortality rate.
Chuck Allen: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7475921@N05/2723537458/
Dolphins are a common sight all along the East Coast. No cause has so far been found for an increase in their mortality rate.

More than 100 dead dolphins have washed up on the shores of Virginia this year, and the Smithsonian is lending a hand in the investigation to figure out why.

Charley Potter is a scientist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He and his team are in Virginia Beach to help out the Stranding Response Team, which will look into why a higher-than-usual number of dolphins have been washing up on the beach this summer.

"We're coming in just to lend a hand and provide a little bit of relief," he says.

Potter says it's still too early to tell exactly what's killing the animals. "We're still collecting tissues and reading observations and it will be a matter of weeks if not months before we get the results back on the analyses."

Potter was instrumental in investigating the massive Mid-Atlantic dolphin die-off in 1987, when nearly 750 dolphin deaths were recorded over the course of a year.


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