Coverage: Gulf Coast Oil Spill
NEW ORLEANS — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the number of dead dolphins found since Jan. 1 in the area affected by last year's oil spill is now 67, with 35 of them premature or newborn calves.
NOAA regional spokeswoman Kim Amendola says five dead calves were reported Friday in Mississippi or Alabama.
Scientists are looking into whether any unusual deaths in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill area may be related to toxins from oil or dispersants. However, they're also investigating whether it could be related to the cold weather or a disease.
Megan Broadway, spokeswoman for the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Miss., says diseases are among known causes of so-called "abortion storms" in dolphins, when numerous females give birth prematurely.