Thursday, September 28, 2006

Getting Tail?

I easily sympathize with Winter, a baby dolphin, which lost its tail after becoming entangled with fishing line.

Winter, a bottlenose dolphin, was a frail, dehydrated 3-month-old when she came to Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in December. But marine scientist Steve McCulloch immediately saw this rescue was unique -- Winter not only needed a new tail but also the key joint that allows it to move in powerful up-and-down strokes.
Goes without saying ... without the joint, there wouldn't be any up-and-down strokes. One doesn't have to be a marine biologist to know that.

To correct the condition, a team of scientists is working on designing a new tail for Winter. It's expected to be an expensive prosthetic and it will have to be replaced with newer larger versions as the dolphin grows. A dolphin in Japan was fitted with an engineered tail and it cost $100,000.

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