Oh, wow – it won’t be Valentine’s Day for polar bears. Apparently, chemicals polluting the Arctic region have boosted bone disease (osteoporosis) in these northern creatures. That leads to bone loss and bone re-absorption. And that’s bad news for boy polar bears.
Contrary to that slang term, a human male does not have a bone in his “boner.” Why? Well, for one important reason, the human male parts wouldn’t fit into human female parts.
But polar bears and some other mammals do have a bone in their penises called abaculum. And that is where the trouble lies. Bone disease interferes with their ability to mate.
Christian Sonne is one of the scientists at Aarhus University in Denmark who discovered this problem through research. ScienceNordic reports in its interview with Sonne, professor of marine mammal research in the school’s Department of Bioscience:
“Polar bears’ penis bones are eroded. So much that it might break during intercourse(.) […] The polar bears’ problem is that they live in the Arctic, where the concentration [of] chemicals is higher than many other places on the planet.
“The North Pole, for instance, is one of the most polluted places on earth — despite its geographical remoteness from any kind of industry,’ says Sonne.”
Scientists estimate that we only have 25,000 polar bears left in the world, so the situation is becoming dire.
Mads Frost Bertelsen, a Copenhagen Zoo veterinarian and University of Copenhagen professor, is enthusiastic about recent discoveries. He told ScienceNordic:
“This is yet more evidence that polar bears are extremely exposed to harmful chemicals.
“I haven’t heard of broken penises being a problem polar bears had to contend with. On the other hand, I do see lower bone density as a symptom of the pollution to which the polar bears are exposed — and in my view the message from this study is extremely important.”
And if you don’t care about the polar bears’ plight, remember — they aren’t the only inhabitants of the cold North. Native humans (Inuits) share the area. And share in exposure to all those pollutants, too.
Originally published on Liberal America with permission from the author.