Seal deaths may be fatal attraction
Scientists believe they may have partly explained the mystery of the growing number of dead seals being washed up on UK shores exhibiting horrific "corkscrew" injuries.
Experts at the Sea Mammal Research Unit at St Andrews University suspect that female harbour seals are being attracted by the low-frequency hum of ships' propellers that mirror the mating call of a breeding male.
Acoustic tests appear to confirm the fatal attraction theory resulting in the mammals being sucked through the ducted blades of working boats.
Dr David Thompson, the researcher leading the investigation, said it was necessary to determine what types of propellers were causing the injuries before measures could be put in place with the marine industry to prevent them.
"What we have found is that in the summer the deaths are almost exclusively adult female harbour seals and in the winter mostly juvenile grey seals," he said.
About 90 corkscrew deaths have been recorded, over a growing range.
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
Elephants, rhinos and hippos facing extinction, experts warn
Iberian lynx cubs born in the wild bring hope for the world's most endangered feline species
Amazon tribal chief’s SOS: the white man is destroying everything
Animal Extinction - the greatest threat to mankind
- 1 Katie Hopkins gives rare glimpse of sensitive side with heartfelt open letter to her children penned in case she dies from epilepsy
- 2 Rihanna's Met Gala dress took one Chinese woman 2 years to make, was reduced to omelette meme in 2 seconds
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...