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Pollution from tar sands is giving otters Dick Dakur

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The game of otters is weakening and the toxic products of oil waste are to blame, according toa new study in Chemosphere magazine. By dick game, I mean their current penis bones, which are becoming more and more fragile. That may sound like his just weird click, which, yes. But its science also current and really sad.

Researchers from McMaster University examined the population of river otters living near Alberta crude oil, which is the world’s largest industrial project. There, fuels are made from tar sands the muddy mixture of sand, clay, water and black bitumen that lies beneath the boreal forests of the regions.

Since they knew that exposure to compounds found in crude oil can reduce the reproductive success of some animals, the scientists decided to examine the local otters for the bones of the curved twigs, called the baculum. To do this, they recruited professional curlers to collect three dozen creatures. The team then scanned them using computed tomography (better known as CT scans) to look inside them.

When comparing those oss phallus bones with those of otters from other, less contaminated regions, they found that the control groups were stronger and denser. This was associated, the researchers determined, with a lack of exposure to hydrocarbons.

The scientists also took baculum from corpses taken from wool traders inside and outside the area and performed tests to determine how much load the bones could carry before breaking (shredding). Again, they found that the bones of some of the otters near the tar sand also did not adhere to destructive or non-destructive tests.

The authors say the weak bones of the penis in Alberta can be confused with their ability to reproduce, which can have impacts throughout and down the food chain. According to research, river otters are a watchdog species, meaning they are often affected by exposure to pollutants before other species record those changes. To make matters worse, they fear that contamination by tar sands could have an effect on human reproductive systems as well.

This is not the first study to discover that contamination is, uh, disrupting the function of otter penile. A 2013 study found that in England, exposure to persistent organic pollutants in rivers was associated with a reduction in otter penis sizes, potentially due to the ability of toxins to disrupt hormonal function. The same toxins can have the same effect on people’s penises, too.

Surprisingly, although toxins from crude Alberta made otters bones weaker, the scientists also found that exposure to certain pollutants, including strontium, iron, and retina, was actually associated with the stronger baculum. Talk about toxic masculinity.

The study provides even more evidence that fossil fuels are absolutely harmful and that they can have all sorts of horrific effects that we do not even realize yet. It’s time to get away from them right away for the sake of ourselves, as well as because of the otters’ ability to come down as well.

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