Wednesday, May 24, 2017

How Oil Harms Animals: PART I

Photo: Oiled cormorant on a rocky, oil-covered shore.Oil can harm animals in two ways: from the oil itself and then from the cleanup process afterwards. This post is about how the oil itself harms animals.

Oil is a huge mixture of different chemicals, and what country it's made in has different effects on different outcomes. Specifically on animals, these terrible outcomes can be:

  • oils gets on fur and feathers so they no longer keep the animal insulated from nature.
  • small animals can get completely covered and suffocate,
  • oil then gets into the animal's reproductive system and the next generation has deformities.
Getting even more specific, here are some ways certain species are affected:
  • Birds
    • destroy their water poof coats.
    • cause chemical burns all the way down to the skin.
    • can no longer absorb food and nutrients due to digestive system problems.
    • also toxic to the pancreas, liver, and kidneys.
  • Marine Mammals
    • Sea otters can no longer stay warm due to the oil damaging their fur. They will try to lick themselves clean, but are now eating the oil.
    • Dolphins, whales, and manatees, can get chemical burns and oil clogging their blowholes.
  • Fish
    • weakened immune systems, enlarged livers, and fin erosion.
Sources: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/how-big-oil-harms-animals/ & http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/oil-and-chemical-spills/significant-incidents/exxon-valdez-oil-spill/how-toxic-oil.html

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