Oil Spills

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Najah Salmen Dr. Brett 11/3/01 How has the spilling of industrial oil affected marine wildlife? Because of the oil spills of large oceanic tankers the question of the effects upon the environment and marine biology has one again arisen. Oil is both toxic and carcinogenic and strongly affects both humans and wildlife. To further the severity of oil spills on the oceans surrounding the United States the oil that is being transferred is usually refined. The refined oils are found to be more toxic and harmful to life forms then that of crude or more naturally formed oil. In humans oil burns eyes, skin, and causes irritation in the mouth. The hydrocarbons in the refined oil may also cause pneumonia. On the other hand, the affects on oceanic wildlife are far greater in magnitude.

Oil spills result in the damaging hazards to sea birds, marine mammals, Cetaceans, fish and turtles.

From the research collected in the aftermath of numerous oil spill is appears as though sea birds are the most damaged by the accidental spilling. Whereas some animals are less affect by crude oil and more affected by refined oil and vice versa. Sea birds are strongly affected by both to equal extent. Sense oceanic bird spend so much time near the ocean surface they are at higher risk than most other ocean wildlife to be affected by oil. These affects range from hypothermia and dehydration to drowning and dehydration. As the oils cover the feathers of the birds the insulation properties of their feathers change and hamper their ability to fly. This may be the most damaging affect to any bird, the lose and inability to use their feathers and wings.

Marine mammals are those animals that have vertebra and other defining characters. Such as bear young, are warms...