Gallery: New Study Links Water Pollution to Smaller Penis Size in Otter...


A new study in Wales has uncovered a disturbing connection between pollution and shrinking penis size in otters. The report, from the Cardiff University Otter Project and Chemicals Health and Environment Department, found that chemicals present in both the environment and the food chain could be altering the hormones of the water mammal, causing a smaller penis bone. Aside from affecting the future spawn of otters, the scientists also worry that these ever-present chemicals could have serious effects on other mammals.

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  1. Garnier February 23, 2015 at 4:18 am

    Cool article, It was practical.

  2. Bob Jensen March 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    The phenomenon has already been seen in humans. Klinefelter Syndrome is the fastest growing genetic syndrome and occurs in 1 in 500 – 1,000 newborn males.

    ‘Affected individuals typically have small testes that do not produce as much testosterone as usual. Testosterone is the hormone that directs male sexual development before birth and during puberty. A shortage of testosterone can lead to delayed or incomplete puberty, breast enlargement (gynecomastia), reduced facial and body hair, and an inability to have biological children (infertility). Some affected individuals also have genital differences including undescended testes (cryptorchidism), the opening of the urethra on the underside of the penis (hypospadias), or an unusually small penis (micropenis)’.

    Klinefelter syndrome is not inherited and always caused by an extra X chromosome. About half the cases are caused by an XY sperm mutation and half the cases are caused by an XX egg mutation producing the XXY genotype.

    McCauliffe et al found that increasing levels of PCB congeners as measured in blood produced increased frequency of XY sperm in males recruited from a fertility clinic:

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