Mystery deaths of 500 penguins

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The Independent Online

More than 500 dead penguins have been washed up on beaches in southern Brazil over the past week.

Marine biologists and veterinarians reported yesterday that the birds had no visible injuries or oil stains and appeared to be well fed. The Centre of Coastal and Marine Studies said it expected to receive the results of autopsies on some of the birds within the next month.

The 512 Magellanic penguins were found on beaches of the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul and had been migrating north from Argentina in search of food in warmer waters.