‘Melting’ Starfish Along West Coast Prompts Fukushima Fears

Scientists are attempting to find out why one species of starfish is literally melting in the waters off of Washington state and Canada.

Biologists in Seattle took to the Puget Sound waters last weekend to collect sick and healthy sunflower starfish for testing. Several labs including one at Cornell University will examine and compare samples with Canadian specimens already being analyzed.

“We’ve got some sea stars that look like they’re melting on the bottom,” Seattle Aquarium biologists Jeff Christiansen said.

Whether the cause is environmental or disease related is currently unknown, but the number of melting starfish increases drastically with each passing day.

“At this time, we don’t have a good idea of what’s causing it, so we’re going to look for everything,” Christiansen said. “There are a lot of melting sea stars out there, more than even a couple days ago.”

According to Veterinarian Lesanna Lahner, the starfish specie’s condition is rapidly deteriorating, with more than half displaying the same disturbing symptoms.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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