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dolphin graveyard keys dolphin survival

North Carolina Research May Hold Key to Improved Maritime Environment

The tragic death of Moe the Dolphin because of human carelessness may help researchers find ways to reduce marine life deaths because of human negligence. Rashmi Shivni and Teresa Carey writing for PBS NewsHour tell the story.

Moe the Dolphin's skeleton being reconstructed. Photo PBS NewsHour.

Moe the Dolphin’s skeleton being reconstructed. Photo PBS NewsHour.

“Keith Rittmaster walked out of his trailer, arms filled with shovels, buckets and brushes. It was the day of the big dig, and Rittmaster led a group of 14 volunteers through a “Secret Garden”-style forest entryway into what he calls the “dolphin graveyard.”

It’s difficult to study the behavior and anatomy of dolphins and other marine mammals who dwell deep in the ocean. Rittmaster, a natural science curator at the North Carolina Maritime Museum, has studied dolphin populations for decades. He has also designed several whale and dolphin “graves,” which allow flesh to slowly decompose and leave clean, dry bones for further examination.”


Hoping to reduce injuries and deaths caused by human actions, scientists are studying the skeletons of dolphins. PBS NewsHour has the story.

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