In fact, this study is the first time that bacula have been used to discern ancient behavior in any fossil species, Abella said. Pollution may shrink polar bear penises The Local. A male polar bear survives a treacherous open-water crossing to hit land, exhausted but elated to be alive. Pollutants are linked to lower penis bone density EDCs — including polychlorinated biphenyls PCBs — are chemical pollutants that result from industrial processes. In extreme cases it can have an impact on the density of the penile bone — also known as baculum — which could prevent successful mating.
PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were once used in everything from transformers to paint and are notorious for their ability to hitch a ride. This is called biomagnification. Ancient bear penises offer the first hard evidence of how an extinct species of bear lived and mated, a new study says. Blaine Schubert , a vertebrate paleontologist at East Tennessee State University who has studied prehistoric bears, noted by email that scientists rarely study bacula. PCBs, used for decades in hundreds of industrial applications such as paint, rubber production and electrical transformers, have been banned by a United Nations treaty since
Scientists have warned that a quarter of Canadian polar bears pictured could be wiped out by the end of the century because of shrinking ice caps. With nearly all their muscle mass deteriorated and at a dangerously low body weight, these determined fellas continue to move frantically over their home range looking for females to engage in hours-long mating sessions. Defying the Laws of Physics? News all Most Read Most Recent. Though PCBs are not a pollutant related to climate change, the challenges brought by a warming world can exacerbate the damage they cause.
A bit like Fargo meets Northern Exposure…with polar bears. Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice. Kinja is in read-only mode. Heard the one about the polar bear penis? Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. PCBs were used industrially for several decades from the late s onwards. Persistent organic pollutants POPs are long-range transported to the Arctic via atmospheric and oceanic currents, where they biomagnify to high concentrations in the tissues of apex predators such as polar bears Ursus maritimus.