Two-year study by SIU researchers finds PCBs make minnows into bad dads

Read the full story from Southern Illinois University.

A mother’s nurturing of her offspring is a well-known story in the natural world. But when it comes to fish, it’s dad who is often tasked with the care of young ones.

One legacy of a once popular industrial chemical, however, appears to include a negative effect on this instinct in a certain fish species, according to a meticulous and time-consuming study by researchers at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Their findings, recently published in the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science & Technology journal, found that lifelong exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) led to decreased nurturing behavior by male fathead minnows and lower survival rates of their offspring.

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