Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com
Whale strandings are, unfortunately, a very real problem. In 2002 alone, the Cape Cod Stranding Network responded to 296 strandings, including one mass stranding. So what, exactly, causes whales to become stranded on the beach?
Scientists and marine biologists have no clear-cut answers, but they have several theories. Hearing damage, confusing geography, magnetic attractions, illness and injury, toxins, and instinctual whale behavior all seem to play a part in causing whales to strand. Whales, by nature, are pod mammals, and their very reluctance to leave an injured or sick member of their pod very often leads to mass strandings. Fishing nets and the hunting of whales also seems to play a part in confusing these gentle creatures.
There are several agencies throughout the United States -- and the world -- who work diligently to rescue those stranded whales who wash up on shore alive. For those who are already dead, or who die quickly after being stranded, necropsies (autopsies on animals) are performed to determine not only the cause of death, but to help in prevention of further strandings in the future.
THE WHALE SCIENTISTS is an informative look at a widespread problem that is perfect for either a classroom library or those who are looking for an in-depth look at whale strandings.