Beware the Deranged Sea Lions

By Amos Zeeberg (Discover Web Editor) | November 28, 2006 6:00 pm

This recent AP morsel might appear to be your average tale of dog bites man, except with the twist that “dog” is replaced with “sea lion.” And that part alone is a good enough story: sea lions gone wild, nibbling on Alaska fishermen, chomping on Southern California beach bums, horrifying Midwestern tourists in San Francisco, etc.

But what makes this story especially good—we’re talking DiscoBlog good—is the theory that these sea lions might be acting out because they’re brain damaged. Scientists at the Marine Mammal Center say these sea lions might have eaten fish that might have eaten toxic algae that might have bloomed because of agricultural fertilizers that might have run off into the ocean. This may sounds a wee bit speculative, but apparently the center treated 200 sea lions who were poisoned by domoic acid from toxic algae last year.

And the fear of renegade sea lions could make perhaps the strangest argument ever for eating organic produce.


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