Originally Posted by BlackBob
I recently read this article about Alligators in Florida and Louisiana getting messed up by steroids. Farmers are feeding their animals food that contains steroids and stormwater has caused the roids to leak into the swamp.
What is interesting is that now the female gators are growing faster than the males. Birth defects are increasing etc.
The gators are suffering from the exact same un-natural problems that humans are.
What makes this scary is that this is happening to animal that has survived for thousands of years because it is so tough. An animal that is incapable of contracting cancer or the HIV virus. An animal that heals open wounds normally in the nasty swamp but steroids are screwing them up.
We should be very concerned about this. The steroids in food are not good guys...
I think you're a little confused bud. Alligators aren't getting messed up by steroids. There is some indication that other pollutants are affecting the internal sexual steroid production of male alligators. It's not causing females to grow larger, it's reducing the growth of males in some certain ways. Basically, they've found a lower plasma sex steroid level (that's naturally occurring steroids produced by the alligator's body) in males, and smaller alligator dicks from the ones in known contaminated lakes. And the contaminants are not steroids leaked in the water. They're organochlorine contaminants. Usually DDT pesticides, or some variant. The contaminants block the production of the naturally produced steroids in the alligator's body, which controls dick size.
It's not at all from steroids in our food. I'm afraid that has nothing at all to do with the situation. The only thing to get worked up about is the overuse of DDT and other organochlorines in the environment.
This 3-year study was designed to examine variation in plasma sex steroids, phallus size, and the standard error (S.E.) associated with these endpoints in juvenile alligators collected from 3 sites within the Kissimmee-Everglades drainage (Florida, USA) with varying concentrations of sediment organochlorine contaminants. We hypothesized that decreased plasma sex steroid concentrations and phallus size would be observed in the higher contaminant site when compared to the intermediate and lower contaminant sites. Furthermore, we hypothesized that greater S.E. associated with these endpoints would be observed for the populations from more contaminated sites. We found that differences existed with females from the higher contaminant site exhibiting lower plasma estradiol-17beta (E2) and testosterone (T) concentrations. Males from the higher contaminant site exhibited smaller phallus sizes than males from the intermediate and lower contaminant sites. Smaller phallus size in this case differed from that reported in Lake Apopka male alligators [Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 116 (1999) 356] in that a significant positive relationship between body size and phallus size existed. No difference among sites was observed in plasma T for males. Lower S.E. was associated with E2 and T concentrations in females from the higher contaminant site and in phallus size in males from the higher contaminant site.