January 10, 2006 - Due to pollution and contamination by Polychlorinated Biphenyl and Polybrominated Diphenyl, 1 in 50 female Polar Bears in the Svalbard Islands of Norway also have male sex organs. These hermaphrodite bears occur because of chemical compounds in plastic working their way up the food chain in greater concentrations, a process known as Biomagnification. The average Polar Bear in Svardland has 70 times as much PCB and PBDE in their system as the seals they feed upon.
Game and Story Use
- Most hermaphrodites are sterile, but the article specifically refers to the polar bear hermaphrodites as being female. If they are fertile, and the plastic altered their DNA (instead of just messing up their horomone levels), then this could be the mutation that saves the endangered Polar Bear.
- See the Polychlorinated Biphenyl page for more ideas.