Skip to comments.Study: Polar Bear Genitals are Shrinking
Posted on 08/24/2006 8:20:22 AM PDT by llevrok
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 researchers experienced harrowing times on their expeditions with dog sleds into the wilds of Greenland to study polar bears.
"One evening a bear came just next to us in the night when we were doing the toilette," Sonne recalled. "They shot and it ran." Another time, "we almost had to eat the dogs as we ran out of food and seals. It was cold sleeping in -50 degrees C [-58 Fahrenheit] in five weeks with no heater."
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.
I JUST GOT OUT OF THE POOL!!! Tell 'em about the shrinkage, Jerry!
This may be of interest, guys
What do you do?
I measure polar bear genitals.
Wrong species, wrong genitilia.
I think the original study was done by "Need L. Dick"
Ping. Thought this was one of yours at first, but it is from Yahoo!
"The genitals of polar bears in east Greenland are apparently dwindling in size due to industrial pollutants."
Now THERE'S a career for John Kerry, one in which he'll be able to make a greater 'contribution' to society than his current Sentorial scam.
Stay out of Greenland,Bob!
draw straws to see who gets to measure
Maybe it's the cold water.
Freezing temps will do that.
This could get Grizzly!
So are mine.
They were tipped off (so to speak) when a bunch of fetish-seeking polar bears turned up on a kinky singles website.
I wouldn't know about that, we don't have polar bears or kinky singles in Oz...what's a fetish?
So, Polar Bears are ACLU members who oppose the war against terrorism.....
I'll see yer shrinking polar bear genitalia, and raise ya (if you'll pardon the expression):
Scientists: Bison in Illinois earlier (aren't you relieved?)
South Carolina homepage (thestate.com) | Tue, Aug. 30, 2005 | Associated Press
Posted on 09/03/2005 10:17:31 AM EDT by SunkenCiv
Common decency prevents me from rebutting that claim here in the public pages of FreeRepublic. ;')
You mean this sort of goings on at the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras?
It's a filthy rumour the Greens started. Anyone can see they are nothing more than friendly Vikings!
so let me see....we can't blame the dead, white european male on this one.....hmmmm. who might have moved the buffs west? Satin?!!
You're from Moldova and you drink gin?
Formerly part of Romania, Moldova was incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although independent from the USSR since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Dniester River supporting the Slavic majority population, mostly Ukrainians and Russians, who have proclaimed a "Transnistria" republic. The poorest nation in Europe, Moldova became the first former Soviet state to elect a Communist as its president in 2001.
I saw a documentary about the Transnistria republic recently, it was described as a dictatorship by a very furtive and embarrassed local resident. Apparently the area covered by the doco was the site of huge arms dumps - arms that were being traded ilegally and finding their way to terrorists.
What is your viewpoint/understanding of this subject, may I ask?
I'm ambidextrous. What can I say.