The ‘hidden’ ecological catastrophe is manifesting itself….
Starting yesterday night we have been seeing a large number of dead sea cucumbers floating on the surface. These animals live on the bottom of the ocean where they feed on sediment and suspended organic matter. I would estimate the number of dead sea cucumbers to be in the thousands and their cause of death is obviously related to the oil spill. Possible causes include direct contact with oil, the dispersant or oxygen depletion as a result of the spill.
Pictures of thousands of dead floating sea cucumber at the surface will make gut wrench but can be seen, along with the rest of the article, at Scientific American. This finding is part the R/V Cape Hatteras expedition to the Gulf to estimate how the methane is being removed from the water column. Hat tip to Chris M for destroying my morning.