Title: Mutant butterflies haunt Fukushima
Source: The Australian
Author: Richard Lloyd Parry
Date: August 14, 2012
THEY have bizarre dents in their eyes, their legs are shrunken and they are marked by strange spots. Many of them are infertile and when they do conceive the offspring are even more mutated than the parents.
In the first study of its kind, Japanese scientists have revealed the devastating physical and genetic effects of last year’s meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant on a butterfly called the Pale Grass Blue.
Two months after the nuclear meltdown on March 11 last year the scientists collected Pale Grass Blues from 10 locations between 45km and 70km from the Fukushima plant [...] collected in areas where many people are still living.
Abnormalities included wings that were broken, wrinkled, undersized and irregularly spotted or coloured, and deformed legs, antennae, eyes and abdomens. “The population is deteriorating physiologically and genetically,” said the report
Joji Otaki, associate professor of biology at the University of the Ryukyus, said that scientists “just don’t know” what the genetic effect would be on humans. “I think that older people will be all right. But children and infants, that’s more serious.”
- Japan Times: Study finds 'abnormalities' in 52% of second generation offspring from butterflies collected May 2011 -- Unusually small wings, premature death
- Biologist on Mutated Butterflies: Study is overwhelming in its implications for humans -- Japan Researcher: Insects were believed to be very resistant to radiation -- Irregularly developed eyes, malformed antennae, much smaller wings (PHOTO)
- Study: Significant decrease in abundance of Fukushima birds and butterflies as radiation levels increase -NYT
Published: August 14th, 2012 at 2:59 am ET