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Blue Crab Blues

Blue crab larvae from Louisiana’s coastal waters are starting to turn up contaminated with oil. According to an Associated Press story earlier this week, marine biologists have been collecting larvae during the duration of the BP oil spill, and are finding large amounts containing distinctive orange oil droplets.
Blue crabs are quite prolific and are not likely to be wiped out, even with a die-off of this year’s larvae, scientists are concerned that the larvae will live long enough to be ingested by other marine life, and the oil and possible dispersants they contain will move up the food chain, effecting the Gulf of Mexico’s aquatic population for years.

Loyola University biologist Bob Thomas told the AP, “Something likely will eat those oiled larvae…and then that animal will be eaten by something bigger and so on.” Ultimately, the smaller creatures will be eaten by those at the top of the food chain, such as dolphins and tuna, which could get fatal “megadoses.”

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Photo: Associated Press