Decades of industry that pollute the oceans with waste have posed a number of challenges for the indigenous inhabitants of the sea. For example, the accident at the Deepwater Horizon oil platform nine years ago led to a sharp decline in successful pregnancies in bottlenose dolphins. In a significant part of the population of these creatures, due to poisoning from the spilled oil, the ability to reproduce was significantly weakened.
To help the injured dolphins, scientists have decided to scan pregnant bottlenose dolphins using ultrasound. As a result, an innovative technique was developed that allows to identify violations and complications in the development of the fetus at all stages of gestation.
After the accident on the platform, female dolphins gave birth to live cubs only in nineteen cases out of a hundred. This means that for every living dolphin, there are four stillborn brothers. However, if you trace potential violations in the development of the fetus already in the early stages, specialists have the opportunity to save both the mother and the child.
Also, ultrasound scanning has brought scientists a lot of interesting discoveries and data on how pregnancy progresses in dolphins. For example, earlier scientists believed that the lack of movement of the fetus in the womb indicates imminent death. But it turned out that this is the norm for embryos, and most importantly, that their heart continues to beat.