photo by Christian Ostrosky (Ostrosky Photos on Flickr Creative Commons)

Over a period of only 10 days, more than 500 dead penguins have washed ashore on Brazilian beaches. The penguins’ bodies exhibit signs of death by starvation.

During the past few years Magellanic Penguins have been discovered on of the beaches of Rio de Janeiro state with increasing frequency. For some reason – perhaps due to pollution and/or overfishing – they sometimes become lost while migrating north from Antarctica and Patagonia in search of food. But those penguins – a few hundred per year – are normally alive.

From a BBC report:

Thiago do Nascimento of the Peruibe Aquarium says the cooler than usual temperatures off the coast could have driven away the fish and squid the penguins feed on.

Scientists are researching into why this unfortunate curiosity of penguins on Brazil’s beaches has taken such a grisly turn.

For more on the story see the following CNN report:

Hundreds of penguins wash up on Brazilian coast

Additional resources:

Associated Press – Hundreds of dead penguins dot Brazil’s beaches

Penguins land on Brazil’s beaches