Polar Bear Genitals are Shrinking

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by tygrrr, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. tygrrr

    tygrrr New Member

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    A bit off topic, but not entirely still... - I came across this article today, and it paints a rather worrying picture for arctic wildlife. As if melting icecaps weren't bad enough, pollution poses a very real and serious threat to Polar Bears and other arctic species.

    From Live Science: http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/060823_polar_bears.html
    Study: Polar Bear Genitals are Shrinking

    The icecap may not be the only thing shrinking in the Arctic. The genitals of polar bears in east Greenland are apparently dwindling in size due to industrial pollutants.
    Scientists report this shrinkage could, in the worst case scenario, endanger polar bears there and elsewhere by spoiling their love lives and causing their numbers to peter out.
    In fact, all marine mammals could get affected by these pollutants, "especially the Arctic fox, killer whale and pilot whales," wildlife veterinarian and toxicologist Christian Sonne at the National Environmental Research Institute of Denmark in Roskilde told LiveScience. These animals bodies also carry extremely high levels of these contaminants.
    Polar bears from northernmost Norway, western Russia and east Greenland are among the most polluted animals in the Arctic, as they feast on ringed seals and bearded seals. The blubber of these seals accumulates high levels of organic pollutants loaded with halogens such as chlorine. These organohalogens can act like hormones.
    Sonne and his colleagues looked at formaldehyde-preserved genitals from 55 male and 44 female east Greenland polar bears, collected from 1999 to 2002 by about 30 polar bear subsistence hunters regulated by the Greenland government.
    (...)
    The adult polar bear testicles the researchers examined were on average roughly three inches across and 1.8 ounces in weight, although they could dramatically enlarge during the height of sexual activity from January to July. Their bacula, or penis bones, were on average nearly seven inches long.
    The scientists found the higher the level of organohalogens in polar bear, the smaller testicle and baculum size and weight likely were. Ovary size and weight decreased as organohalogen levels rose as well.
    Slow to mate
    Polar bears have among the lowest reproductive rates for terrestrial mammals. The scientists say reducing polar bear penis size would make sex less successful, upsetting naturally slow-to-grow polar bear numbers. Testicle and ovary shrinkage would upset polar bear reproduction too.
    Future research should examine the effects of low levels of organohalogen contamination, Sonne said. "How long do we have to go down in exposure levels to obtain no-effect levels? Is it possible at all?" he explained.
    Sonne and his colleagues reported their findings online Aug. 16 via the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
     
  2. jeff black

    jeff black <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    First horses, now bears.:eek:

    Hopefully, female polarbears aren't size queens... or there are gonna be some seriously sad males out there in the world.:biggrin1:
     
  3. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    I always wondered why we had no Polar Bears as members here - so now we know.
     
  4. Rikter8

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    So much for those Polar bear stories in the "Nifty Archive"
     
  5. GoneA

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  6. Lex

    Lex
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    In Your Darkest Thoughts and Dreams
    My genitals, however, continue to grow.

    Especially when JeffBlack and Muthafuckin' GoneA are around.
     
  7. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Who goes around measuring Polar Bear genitals?
     
  8. GoneA

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    Scientist in Greenland.

    In fact, I couldn't think of better people for the job.
     
  9. Hatched69

    Hatched69 Member

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    It's quite an "unbearable" task given the climate, and a "size-a-ball" undertaking at that. One must "paws" once in a while to catch his/her breath. :smile:
     
  10. jakeatolla

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    Damn, and I thought My job sucked???
     
  11. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Nice to meet you. What do you do for a living?

    I measure bear penises and seal anuses.
     
  12. Hatched69

    Hatched69 Member

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    Yes, an interesting line of work...

    Most men bare their penises and seal their anuses.
     
  13. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Speaking of Polar Bears.

    (this link is good for 30 days only)
     
  14. jakeatolla

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    OMFG, that was fantastic!!!!!!
     
  15. Nelly Gay

    Nelly Gay New Member

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    .... and crocodiles are now transsexual !
     
  16. tygrrr

    tygrrr New Member

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    Are you stating this from real practical experience with those croc's? :cool:
     
  17. Nelly Gay

    Nelly Gay New Member

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    No practical experience with crocodiles though they have real pretty eyes .
    I think the hormones in the ecosystem are affecting their genitalia and they are becoming sexually ambiguous ...
     
  18. tygrrr

    tygrrr New Member

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    Sexually ambiguous... - sounds familiar :tongue:
    As long as they don't try to hump me, that's cool. :biggrin1:

    On a serious note, it's worrying of course - most likely more of wildlife is affected in the same way even though there isn't enough research done to prove it. I guess it's with the oldest and most sensitive species that these things first become noticeable.
     
  19. Nelly Gay

    Nelly Gay New Member

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    Sadly ,they are also sterile ....
     
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