In Brief

Dead Dolphins Wash Ashore Amid UK's Stormy Winter

striped dolphins in the ocean
Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) are named for the characteristic blue and white stripes running along their flanks. They are among some of the most widespread and abundant dolphins in the world. (Image credit: © Jaime Brum | )

Unusually stormy weather in Britain this winter has apparently taken a toll on dolphins and porpoises.

Carcasses of the marine mammals have been washing up on beaches in West Sussex, Dorset and Cornwall, The Daily Express reports.

According to the paper, the creatures' food sources, such as sand eels and sprats, are being pushed farther out to sea by the storms.

"This winter, marine biologists have seen scores of unusual creatures washed up along the county's shoreline including dolphins, porpoises, turtles, lobsters, goose barnacles, long-spined sea scorpions, puffins, starfish and whelk eggs," a coastguard spokesman told The Daily Express.

Dead dolphins represent just one weird effect of the series storms that have plagued the United Kingdom in the past few months. Sinkholes are becoming five to 10 times more common in the region because of all the rain during this past winter, which was Britain's wettest on record since the mid-18th century. The storms have also revealed unexploded World War II bombs on beaches and the remains of 10,000-year-old forests.

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Megan Gannon
Live Science Contributor
Megan has been writing for Live Science and since 2012. Her interests range from archaeology to space exploration, and she has a bachelor's degree in English and art history from New York University. Megan spent two years as a reporter on the national desk at NewsCore. She has watched dinosaur auctions, witnessed rocket launches, licked ancient pottery sherds in Cyprus and flown in zero gravity. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.