Washington: Starfish have been mysteriously dying by the millions in recent months along the US west coast, worrying biologists who say the sea creatures are key to the marine ecosystem.
Scientists first started noticing the mass deaths in June 2013. Different types of starfish, also known as sea stars, were affected, from wild ones along the coast to those in captivity, according to Jonathan Sleeman, director of the US Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center.
The contaminated water that has been leaking from Fukishima for years is just now reaching the west coast, but they do say there are also deaths on the east coast. According to one site, “Marine invertebrates, such as bottom-dwelling starfish and sea urchins, are particularly proficient at absorbing a wide range of ingested radioisotopes”