Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Great Anchovy Mystery

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 10:49 AM

For some reason, anchovies have suddenly disappeared in the waters near the Farallon Islands, thereby contributing to a rapid die off of birds that normally feed on them, the Chron reports. In fact, colonies of anchovy-eating cormorants, seagulls, and murres failed to breed this year on the Farallones, apparently because of a lack of food. The birds have been unable to transition to a new food source, like Humpback whales, which had been feeding on anchovies, but are now eating krill, which remain plentiful in the area. The sudden disappearance of anchovies could be related to the coming El Niño weather event, but scientists are unsure.

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