April 2nd, 2014. Yesterday afternoon, while the U.S. and other navies played war games somewhere offshore, Cuvier’s beaked whales began stranding along the southern coast of Crete. Those on the scene knew right away what they were dealing with, for yesterday’s strandings were only the most recent in a line of similar calamities in the region, going back two decades. And in this case, as in the previous ones, all signs point navy.
Cuvier’s beaked whales are a remarkable species. They have the deepest recorded dives of all marine mammals, some descending an astonishing 3000 meters below the water’s surface before coming up for air. Favoring deep water, they don’t strand nearly as often as coastal species, and they don’t strand in number, and they don’t strand alive.
Yet that is exactly what happened yesterday. Beginning around noon, three Cuvier’s beaked whales came ashore in one spot along…
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