Dead dolphin washes ashore in Harrison County, Institute for Marine Mammal Studies to investigate cause of death
HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. — WXXV reporter Kristen Anzuini discovered a dead dolphin that washed ashore Monday morning.
The deceased dolphin was located along the shoreline on the beach in Harrison County. The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) has been notified and say they will respond to retrieve the remains.
IMMS says they can retrieve an enormous amount of information from the animal’s remains.
By studying the geographic location of the stranded animal, the size and condition of the remains, tissue analysis, teeth, and other such important data, researchers can extract information about possible causes of death, trends in dolphin strandings, the estimated geographic origin of the animal, and the overall health of the dolphin populations that inhabit these waters.
According to IMMS, dolphins are at the top of the food chain in their marine environment, which makes them a great indicator species of the overall health of their ecosystem (the ocean waters they inhabit).
If they can identify an environmental problem through studying the dolphins, humans could be affected by this same problem as we live on some of the same fish and other creatures found in these waters.