back to article Viral epidemic strikes Spain's Mediterranean dolphins

Spain's Mediterranean striped dolphin population is under threat from a virus epidemic which could see off up to two-thirds of the estimated 118,000 population, El Mundo reports. Biologists have identified the first victims of the Morbillivirus - a member of the measels and rinderpest family - which they say was responsible for …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm glad to see they've got the population counted to the nearest thousandth of a dolphin ("118.000 population"). Can we assume the virus will only kill off whole dolphins? Or will there be a few with tails missing etc.?

    ps. before anyone lambasts me, i realise our hispanic friends use "." instead of "," to separate out the 1,000s. Just thought it was amusing.

  2. Matt W


    I like the sound of a nano-cetacean. Tricky counting the little swines at that size though.

  3. JP

    Slightly counter-productive

    "The Chinese will now dispatch a team to the area to probe the matter, with a view to capturing any wild animals for breeding."

    But... The only captive one "popped its fins" ages back... So what is the new capture to reproduce with? And won't the capture and hold reduce the chances of natural reproduction in the wild, when there's only 13 left?!?


  4. Thorin


    @ AnonymousCoward above. I'm not sure where u got 180.000 (perhaps it has since been corrected) however you should note that many localizations switch the decimal and comma.

    As for this article. It's nice to know that our scientists notice this type of thing and track it but I hope they don't try to stop it. It's nature in action, if 1000s of Dolphins die there's a reason for it, we may not see it but it's balancing something else out.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    @Thorin who obviously can't read, probably linked to a superiority complex

    The previous Anonymous hero said

    "ps. before anyone lambasts me, i realise our hispanic friends use "." instead of "," to separate out the 1,000s. Just thought it was amusing."

    So congratualtion Thorin you get the 'tard of the day reward.

    On to the article, mmm no I can't really think of anything amusing to say, other then big whoop, nature kills things - I'm in a state of shock

    Signed -

    Internet Superhero

  6. A. Merkin

    Evil-Illusion in Action

    Only God can make a Virus. This is obviously the first step in His divine plan... An evolutionary forced-march toward SUPER CETACEANS (TM) to take man's place as the new stewards of Creation.

    Hopefully the SCs will develop in time to protects us from the ROTM(TM) spearheaded by the Lizard Army. Look out for the black submarines!

    I for one welcome our new Dolpin masters.

    (Unless, of course this turns out to be an East-West dolphin conflict fought by proxy using sophisticated bioweapons developed by the cetacean military-industrial complex).

  7. Dax Farrer


    Not really counter-intuitive, unless your thick.

    As they have only seen 1 dolphin, (they saw 13 back in 1997) then there is not much they can do.

    The obvious hope is that they capture one, then another and start a captive breeding program which has been successful for many other species. Thompson Gazelles springs to mind.

    Though there will be issues with genetic diversity, I cant see this species surviving myself, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't give it a go. Leaving them there is obviously a crap idea, there population has crashed and they are dying out.


    I think you will find those sophisticated bioweapons will be humans under mind control by our cetacean overlords.

  8. A. Merkin

    Cetacean Mind Control

    Hmmmm... maybe that's what whale song is all about. Their brains are 7x the size of ours...

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