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Latest amnesic shellfish poisoning Stories

2008-08-06 00:00:20

By Cat Sieh, The Bellingham Herald, Wash. Aug. 5--A California Sea Lion that hauled itself onto a Ferndale family's boat off Clark Island Sunday, Aug. 3, is likely suffering the poisoning effects of a toxin found in algae, marine mammal rescuers say. The sea lion, a 2- or 3-year-old female, has shown unusual and erratic behavior, a red flag for domoic acid poisoning, said Amy Traxler, coordinator at the San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network in Friday Harbor. Domoic acid is a...

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2008-08-04 09:10:00

Numerous porpoise deaths in Northern California have confused researchers.  According to scientists, the month of August may see more of the dead mammals wash onto beaches. Nearly 24 dead porpoises have appeared on California beaches since May. A majority of the cases have been diagnosed as asphyxiation, trauma, pneumonia, malnutrition, and maternal separation, but eight of the deaths remain unexplained. "This is the time period every year where we do see porpoises and dolphins washed...

2008-08-02 03:00:16

By Julia Scott, San Mateo County Times, Calif. Aug. 2--A large number of dead harbor porpoises have been washing up on beaches in San Mateo County and elsewhere in the Bay Area this summer, and marine mammal experts are at a loss to explain what could be killing them. A total of 24 harbor porpoises -- 12 males, 9 females, and three still in utero -- have been discovered by beachcombers since early June, according to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. More carcasses are likely to show...

2008-07-19 12:00:28

By Shelby Martin, San Jose Mercury News, Calif. Jul. 19--San Tomas, the sea lion who was rescued from a Santa Clara aqueduct, has taken a turn for the worse and will be euthanized. "Her health is just deteriorating," Jim Oswald, spokesman for the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito said Friday. The center had thought San Tomas was doing well enough to be released into the ocean today. But following an examination by a specialist, Oswald said the sea lion will probably be euthanized in...

2008-07-19 00:00:22

By Shelby Martin, San Jose Mercury News, Calif. Jul. 18--San Tomas, the sea lion who was rescued from a Santa Clara aqueduct, has taken a turn for the worse and will be euthanized. "Her health is just deteriorating," Jim Oswald, spokesman for the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito said this afternoon. The center had thought San Tomas was doing well enough to be released into the ocean Saturday. But following an examination by a specialist, Oswald said the sea lion will probably be...

2008-07-09 21:00:15

A wayward sea lion is recovering at a California marine center after the animal spent 10 days stranded in a concrete channel near an expressway, rescuers say. The sea lion was deemed San Tomas because of the expressway near the shallow channel in Santa Clara, Calif., where she was trapped for 10 days, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reported Wednesday. The sea lion was rescued Monday and is settling in at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif., the newspaper said. Rescuers...

2008-07-09 12:00:24

By Shelby Martin, San Jose Mercury News, Calif. Jul. 9--The errant sea lion rescued from a Santa Clara aqueduct Monday is now safe and sound at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. The sea lion, dubbed "San Tomas" after the expressway near where she was found, spent more than 10 days in a shallow concrete-lined channel near a group of industrial parks on Scott Boulevard. When San Tomas arrived at her new pen, she first exchanged glances with a sea lion in a neighboring tank, and...

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2006-11-28 15:00:00

By MARCUS WOHLSEN SAN FRANCISCO - Tourists flock to Fisherman's Wharf for the seafood and the stunning views of San Francisco Bay, but for many visitors, the real stars are the dozens of playful, whiskered sea lions that lounge by the water's edge, gulping down fish. Now a series of sea-lion attacks on people in recent months has led experts to warn that the animals are not as cute and cuddly as they appear. "People should understand these animals are out there not to attack people or...

2006-06-24 19:30:55

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Four pelicans suspected of being drunk on sea algae were being tested at a Southern California wildlife center on Saturday after one of them crashed headlong into a car. Three of the California brown pelicans were found wandering dazed in the streets of Laguna Beach after another pelican struck a vehicle's windshield on a nearby coast road. It suffered internal injuries and a long gash in its pouch and was undergoing toxicology tests. Officials at the...

2005-09-06 16:28:09

Durham, N.C.  - Duke University Medical Center researchers have found that the naturally occurring marine toxin domoic acid can cause subtle but lasting cognitive damage in rats exposed to the chemical before birth. Humans can become poisoned by the potentially lethal, algal toxin after eating contaminated shellfish. The researchers saw behavioral effects of the toxin in animals after prenatal exposure to domoic acid levels below those generally deemed safe for adults, said Edward...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'