Tag Archives: PCBs

East Greenland polar bears – said to be the most polluted but appear to be doing just fine

I’ve not written much about this subpopulation before but with the flurry of interest over “weakened” penis bones and toxic chemicals, I thought it was time to remedy the situation.

East Greenland Scorsby Sound March 2011 on Kap Tobin, Rune Dietz (press photo) Rune Dietz

East Greenland Scorsby Sound March 2011 on Kap Tobin, Rune Dietz, press photo

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Polar bear penises not breaking due to PCBs – new paper full of “coulds” and “maybes”

This is a short discussion about research on polar bear penis bones, regarding a new paper that sent several of the Internet’s most juvenile science headline writers off the deep end.1

Marine mammal penis bones_not labeled_PolarBearScience_2015_sm

Short quiz first. Above are the penis bones (each called a baculum, plural bacula) of three marine mammals – one is from a bearded seal, one from a polar bear and another from a Steller sea lion. Which one do you think is the polar bear? Answer below.
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