Friday, September 28, 2007

The Animals are Going Crazy

We have all learned about how pollution is bad ever since we were little kids. Don't litter. Don't drive when you don't have to; ride a bike instead. When I was little I never thought about all the different things that are affected when you do pollute or all of the ways you can pollute. This blog is about how environmental pollution is driving wildlife literally insane. This blog will discuss the affects of chemical pollutants on specific wildlife species, egrets and gulls, snails, quails, rats and macaques, minnows, mosquito fish,falcons and frogs.

The chemicals to blame for the insanity in these animals are called endocrine disruptors and come from metals such as lead. These animals have altered their mating and parenting behaviors and also their nest building, foraging and skills in avoiding predators. Activity levels have also decreased dramatically. Male sterlings that were exposed to a certain chemical decreased their singing, flying and foraging behaviors by 50%. High levels of lead affects the balance in gulls and atrazine makes goldfish hyper. The chemcial TCDD causes agression in macaques. These are just a few of the examples of affects that certain chemicals have on animals. It is has been shown that too much of certain chemicals can be a bad thing, but not enough of certain chemicals can be a bad thing also. Low amounts of certainchemicals are causing, for example, male mice that are exposed to low doses of some pesticides increase there sense of smell. The affects of these chemicals are a very serious problem, but biologists and toxicologists are missing this.
"Not only are we failing to aknowledge the scale of the problem caused my endocrine disruptors, but toxicologists may be missing a trick: changes in animal behavior could be an early warning that certain chemicals are harmful."
We have all known for a long time that certain chemicals are harmful, but did we actually know exactly what they were doing the animals and how they are driving them crazy?

Posted by Katie Berthiaume (1).

3 Comments:

At 11:02 PM, Blogger PWH said...

Great topic/ paper. We dont really consider how much all these chemical waste from the earth affect the animals living in it. Also chemical waste from some industries get disposed in the ocean/water and kills alot of aquaatic animals, or destroy's their habitat.
Very few things have being done to properly dispose chemical waste without hurting animals, some industries have adopted putting their chemical pipe high up in the sky so the waste (mostly smoke) doesnt affect any animals even birds because they dont fly that high. But putting pipes high up in the sky and releasing smoke to the earth's atmosphere destroy's our ozone layer more and more, causing alot of damages to the earth. But I guess thats another topic.

Posted by Kofi Mbuk

 
At 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also find this a very interesting topic Ms. Berthiaume. Everybody is so interested in the topic of global warming they forget about the even larger picture of us in effect poisoning ourselves and future generations. People in todays world are worried more about their miles per gallon and gas prices they forget about the major pollution that is occuring in our factories all around the world and cui bono? People seem to live more in the moment when it comes to topics like this. How can i turn the fastest buck and how can i do it the cheapest. With a mentality like this we wonder why their are such high toxins in our air we breathe and acidic rain that causes endless ecological problems.

What i found most interesting about his article is the major effects it had on animals. I wouldn't naturally associate behavioral diviances with chemcial exposures first hand. This also leaves one with some thought provoking questions. One question that immediately enters my mind is, if these chemicals are affecting animals on such a strong basis, what are they doing to us in long term exposure rates. I mean i know first hand exposure to lead in our blood stream can cause infertility and birth defects if not ultimately death by a process of lead poisoning.

This would be a great paper topic and the more that people become aware of situations like this, the more that will be done to combat it. Now did this paper just talk about lead as a contaminant or did it go into depth on other chemicals we expell daily? and did it focus on certain industries? or was it more of a just a summary of the big picture?

Posted by Francis Rogers (1)

 
At 1:22 AM, Anonymous Dave Sokolowski said...

It is curious to see a topic such as this brought up. A while back (around the 50/60's) a chemical pesticide known as DDT was being used to kill insects threatening farmers crops. Eventually, people started noticing that the brids were not chirping like they used to, in fact they were dying. Turns out the birds were eating the insects that were eating the crops that were sprayed with DDT, and therefore getting poisoned and dying. The book Silent Spring was written about this...check it out of you're interested.

 

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