Sat, Jan 08, 2011 - Page 5 News List

Mass bird and fish deaths stoking curiosity

END ISN’T NIGH:Despite the conclusions many may be jumping to, wildlife experts say the recent spate of mass animal die-offs aren’t unusual, merely well publicized

AFP, WASHINGTON

But in today’s Internet Age, when hardly anything remains secret, word of mass bird deaths has spread with unparalleled speed.

“In 1960, if a bunch of birds started falling from the sky it may have been noticed by some people. It may have gotten reported in the local paper, but it may never have gotten any further than that,” said Robert Thompson, professor of pop culture at Syracuse University.

“Now some of these kinds of stories, because they get out there on the Internet, if they are compelling enough they can immediately make this jump to national news,” he said. “Let’s face it, big quantities of birds falling from the sky or fish going belly-up is a pretty compelling story.”

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