Thousands of dead crabs wash ashore near Kent, England

A man has a dead crab stuffed in his mouth.

“Do you know where that dead crab has been?” (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/Josh McGinn/Flickr)

On the Thanet Coast near Kent, England, tens of thousands of dead crabs have washed ashore. The Huffington Post reports that scientists do not believe that there is a link between the dead crabs and other recent mass animal deaths.

Hypothermia caused dead crabs

It would be easy to assume that a toxic agent is acting as a causal link between the mass deaths of fish, crabs and the birds that feed upon them, but geography destroys that theory. Experts interviewed by LiveScience say that cold weather – leading to hypothermia – is the culprit causing the dead crabs of Thanet Coast. Tests have found no related toxin or disease.

This is the third consecutive year that velvet swimming crabs have been found dead near Kent. The ranks of dead crabs number approximately 40,000 so far this year.

Dead birds and dead fish: Fireworks and frigid water

On New Year’s Eve, thousands of dead birds fell from the skies over Beebe, Ark. Local authorities attributed the deaths to fireworks. Just a few days later, 500 more bird deaths were reported approximately 300 miles south of Beebe in Louisiana. While the two incidents have yet to be connected, power lines are believed to have played a role in the latter case. Fifty dead birds were also found in Sweden, and hundreds more fell from the sky over Kentucky last week.

About the same time that the dead birds were discovered, dead fish were popping up on a much larger scale. Two million dead fish surfaced in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, and very similar instances of mass fish deaths were uncovered in New Zealand and Brazil. Inclement weather and other environmental factors are currently believed to have produced the dead fish, but testing continues.

What about the dead bumblebees?

While this story has garnered less press than dead birds, dead fish and dead crabs, Sustainability Ninja reports that the number of bumblebees in the U.S. has declined by as much as 96 percent for some species in a phenomenon scientists are calling Colony Collapse Disorder. As all the dead animals in recent news play vital roles in their ecosystems, the deaths are all the more troubling.


Huffington Post

Sustainability Ninja

Blame it on a rapid drop in temperature

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