In Oregon, sand dollars mysterious massive “die off”

In Oregon, sand dollars mysterious massive “die off”

Thousands of dollars are pouring into an Oregon beach. Unfortunately, it’s not in the form of U.S. currency, but rather concerns thousands of “sand dollars” washing up on its shores.

On Seaside Beach in northern Oregon, news outlets are reporting that thousands of sand dollars are mysteriously washing up from the Pacific Ocean and experiencing a “massive die off” – an uncommon event that has conservationists puzzled.

A local aquarium posted pictures on Facebook and gave the following comment to the online website Live Science:

“‘At this time, we do not know what has caused this, and these types of incidents usually have several contributing factors,’ aquarium representatives wrote. ‘It is hard to convey how many sand dollars [are] washing in.’

The sand dollars were alive when they washed in during high tides and became stranded, but they ‘are unable to make it back to the water once the tide recedes,’ aquarium representatives said. ‘This is resulting in them drying up and dying.’”

Sand dollars can often be packed up to 600 in number covering just one square foot of sea floor bottom. Categorized as sea urchins, they are covered with tiny gray or purple spines that make the animals look fuzzy. When they die and wash up on shore, their white exoskeletons are a favorite collected by beachgoers.

Live Science reports that “The reason for the mass die-off in Oregon is still unknown, but the phenomena may be related to currents unearthing the sand dollars and bringing them ashore.”

To read the full story in Live Science, click here.

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August 31, 2021 at 04:01AM

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