Shellfish in the Gulf of Mexico grow with drops of petroleum inside them, coyotes eat oil-soaked birds, and sharks suffocate when the oil coats their gills.
Oil droplets have been found beneath the shells of tiny post-larval blue crabs drifting into Mississippi coastal marshes from offshore waters, says Harriet Perry, director of the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.
Many kinds of fish and shore birds feed on those young crabs. And this is just one of the many examples of how the crude oil that began to spill Apr. 20 from British Petroleum's (PB) Deepwater Horizon well has already taken its toll on the Gulf's food chain.
Jonathan Henderson, with the Gulf Restoration Network, explained to this reporter that oil-soaked birds are being eaten by coyotes, which are then later eaten by alligators further inland.