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Home / Science / US conservationists really hope that young threatened seals cease to put eels in their nostrils / Boing Boing

US conservationists really hope that young threatened seals cease to put eels in their nostrils / Boing Boing



Hawaiian monk seals are endangered and closely monitored by NOAA scientists. They are alarmed that seals leave eels stuck deep in their nostrils.

In the past two years, most of the scientists have removed "three or four" eels from the nostrils of the young monk seals in recent months. The seals are fine. The eels died.

The scientists do not know how the eels get into the nostrils of the seals. Maybe they swam up there after being cornered in a coral reef, or the seals ate them and poked them in the nose. They are worried that the seals may not be able to keep water out of their lungs when diving – which can cause pneumonia ̵

1; or that they may end up with rotting eels in their heads.

Nevertheless, Littnan said it does not seem possible that a "long, fat eel" will end up in the nostrils of a seal and not out of the mouth. The most plausible theory, he said, is that monk seal teens are not that different from their human counterparts. Monk seals "seem to be attracted to difficult situations, of course," Littnan said.

"It almost feels like one of those youthful trends," he said. "A young seal did this very stupid thing and now the others are trying to imitate it."

Although no seals died or were seriously affected by the eels, a dead animal lying in the nose for a long time may be harmful to health, said Simeone, director of Ke Kai Ola, a monk seal hospital in Hawaii operated by the Marine Mammal Center ,

"Making better decisions": Endangered Hawaiian monk seals repeatedly fetch eels and scientists want them to stop [Allyson Chiu/Washington Post]

( via JWZ )

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Cory Doctorow

I write books. My latest ones are: a YA graphic novel called In Real Life (with Jen Wang); a textbook on art and the Internet titled "Information does not want to be free": Laws for the Internet Age (with introductions by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer) and a YA sci-fi novel entitled "Homeland" (the successor of Little Brother). I speak everywhere and I twitter and also stagger.

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