Record number of humpback whales have been found dead on Brazilian coast in 2010
SAO PAULO — Marine scientists say a record number of humpback whales have been found dead on the Brazilian coast this year.
Milton Marcondes of the Humpback Whale Institute says at least 75 have died in 2010. The previous high was 41 in 2007.
Marcondes says most died at sea and their carcasses washed ashore. Some beached while still alive and perished.
Marcondes said Wednesday that the deaths reflect a higher mortality rate.
Scientists are investigating whether disease may be a factor, or if warming oceans may be diminishing the supply of krill that whales eat.
Humpbacks travel from Antarctica to warmer Brazilian waters to reproduce between July and November.
Seven non-humpback whales have also been found dead this year.
-- Associated Press
Photo: A humpback whale (not one of those that died in Brazil) dives off the shores of Provincetown, Mass. Credit: Don Emmert / AFP/Getty Images