Monday, 25 February 2013

Chemicals linked to problems with otters' penis bones

Otters' reproductive organs may be affected by chemicals in our waterways, according to scientists.
Experts studying the reproductive health of the mammals in England and Wales were concerned to find a decrease in the weight of otters' penis bones.
Other health problems in males included an increase in undescended testicles and cysts on sperm-carrying tubes.
Experts suggest that, based on previous research, the changes could be linked to hormone-disrupting chemicals.
The study, funded by the Environment Agency, was co-authored by the Chemicals, Health and Environment (CHEM) Trust and the Cardiff University Otter Project, and features on BBC One series Countryfile.
"We were surprised to see the reduction in the baculum weight," said co-author Dr Elizabeth Chadwick, project manager at the Cardiff University Otter Project, referring to the bone found in males' penises.
"[It's] certainly something that needs further investigation."

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