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Dozens of dead starfish startle residents, visitors on IOP - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Dozens of dead starfish startle residents, visitors on IOP

(Source: Live 5 News) (Source: Live 5 News)

Residents and visitors took to social media over the weekend as dozens of dead starfish were found along the beach on the Isle of Palms.

Dr. Erik Sotka, an associate professor of Biology at the College of Charleston, says there are two basic reasons that may have caused the starfish to die at the same time. He says after spawning or reproducing, which happens in cycles, starfish can die. It could be their age or that they have used a large amount of energy during the mating season.

Another reason, according to Sotka, could be low levels of oxygen in the water. He also says water temperature may play a role. Sotka says starfish live about 60 feet beneath the surface, where temperatures are much cooler.

He says the deaths are likely unrelated to human activity.

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