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10 animals at risk of extinction from the Gulf oil spill

By: Bryan Nelson on July 19, 2010, 12:35 p.m.
Sperm whales

Photo: ZUMA Press

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Sperm whales

Although sperm whales occupy most of the world's oceans, the population that resides in the Gulf is particularly vulnerable. Dead sperm whales coated in oil have been found floating or washing ashore along the Gulf Coast. In addition, miles-long underwater oil plumes threaten the deep waters where these animals feed.

If the Gulf oil spill kills a mere three individuals, the entire population could crash, according to a 2009 stock assessment report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.