She’s got Testicles!

In the Gulf of Mexico, a zone called the “Dead-Zone” have been producing some weird fish. “Between 2006 and 2007, nearly a quarter of female Atlantic croaker fish caught in the northern Gulf’s dead zone had developed deformed, testes-like organs instead of ovaries.” This happens because of the waste runoff from the Mississippi River spark blooms of algae and these algaes deplete the ocean of its oxygen. They say it is unclear about how long the fish were living in  low oxygen waters before the fish began developing the sexual defects. Their lab experiments also showed that ten weeks of exposure is all that’s needed.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/05/110531-female-fish-sex-testes-gulf-dead-zone-freshwater-environment/

Why do you think the low oxygen levels are effecting these fish?

Do you think they will adapt to these oxygen levels?

2 thoughts on “She’s got Testicles!

  1. This is very interesting. It is horrible how this is happening down in the Gulf, and I think that these kinds of things are going to get worse because of the huge oil spill that happened. People and factories need to figure out how to get rid of their waste in some other way than letting it run into the ocean. I also found in this article
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/05/110531-female-fish-sex-testes-gulf-dead-zone-freshwater-environment/
    Scientist’s think that this might effect other fish that are related to this Croaker fish, which are more targeted for commercial fishing. I think that there is a possibility that these fish will adapt to the low oxygen levels. Great job on this blog!

  2. Wow, I think this is an interesting article. I think they will adapt to the low oxygen levels because they have been around it for a long period of time. I think that the scarcity of oxygen in the climate could be effecting the reproduction and growth of the cells of the fish which causes the fish to develop funny. I read the article and it said that the low oxygen decreases the chemical aromatase in the brain. The chemical regulates the production of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen is very necessary in order to develop ovaries. Also on the link there is another link to an article http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/01/070122-sex-change.html that shows a male fish with eggs. The eggs were premature though. And they didn’t find any females that could produce sperm. The study shows that there are chemicals in the pollutants that change the sex of the fish.

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