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Mercury ‘turns birds gay’

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Reader comments

  1. Would that be Freddie Mercury they’re on about?

  2. Well it all depends where you put the thermometer! (I’ll get my coat!)

  3. Ian Bower 1 Dec 2010, 4:52pm

    Shame it’s poisenous. We could then put it in the water.

  4. Lets put it in the water anyway…. at least the water of the homophobes.

  5. what kind of sickos want to give a known poison to birds just to see what happens? This is animal cruelty and nothing to do with sexuality, if they started eating each other instead then it wouldn’t even have made pink news, clearly a slow news day

  6. David in Indy 1 Dec 2010, 11:21pm

    The answer to my prayers. The next time a see a ramdom cute straight guy I’ll slip him a mercury roofie!

    Just joking!

  7. Poisonous to humans doesn’t mean poisonous to birds, and it isn’t life threatening in low doses.

    However, a bit of triva:
    “The first emperor of unified China, Qin Shi Huang, reportedly died of ingesting mercury pills that were intended to give him eternal life”. Oops!

  8. So lack of mercury turns birds straight???

  9. It is sad that they had to feed birds a substance known to be toxic to humans, but this research has real potential to assist efforts in saving threatened species by helping to identify causes of reproductive decline. While the results may not apply to non-avian vertebrates, they could be very applicable in dealing with diminishing bird populations.

  10. What nonsense. Always looking for a cause for homosexuality. It’s not a disease or an illness, it’s completely natural. Has existed for as long as the human race. Was never a problem until religion was invented by racist, homophobic control freaks.

  11. While this is a fascinating story from the point of view of science and protecting wild bird stocks in polluted environment, its of no relevance to humans, and is a non-story on a gay site. Despite what I have seen on other sites with the christian fascists jumping on the band wagon to say all gay men are suffering form mercury poisoning – this band wagon requires a little scientific education as a prerequisite before one can stay on it.

    First, as the study goes to great pains to point out, there have been a number of long-term studies of mercury’s effects on humans, and none have found changes in sexual behaviour. Second, studies have all shown that the drivers of human sexuality appear to be more complex, so a single contaminant would be an unlikely cause. Finally, the reproductive physiology and sexual behaviour of birds and humans are very different, and physiologically birds are not a good study group for mammals due to evolutionary divergence at the age of tetrapod vertebrates (amniotes) about 340 million years ago.

    In other words, I certainly wouldn’t be giving any thought to that simplistic notion that eating a few cans of Tuna when I was a kid made me gay :)

  12. Well, well , all those mercury amalgum tooth fillings as a child actually did some good!

    Another bunch of scientists with nothing better to do though-and still no-one explains being ‘straight’,

    Sexuality in humans, and most animals, must have a very ancient start anyway-no doubt due to environmental adaptations around the Cambrian era lifeform exansion. Even them, I suspect gayness has more to do with a natural form of birth control (not too many males or females) than a bit of chemical poisoning!

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