Women's Stockings Used to Measure Whales' Sex Drive

By Brett Israel | October 28, 2009 12:49 pm

whale-webTo see if a whale’s libido is going full-throttle, grab a pair of nylons and head to the ocean, reports the New Scientist:

For the first time, testosterone and progesterone—two key hormones that signal whether whales are pregnant, lactating or in the mood to mate—have been extracted from whales’ lung mucus, captured in nylon stockings dangled from a pole over their blowholes as they surface to breathe.

This method could allow scientists to study whales without having to slaughter them, and could be used to simply give them a pregnancy test to try to learn why some species aren’t breeding, say the authors of the study.

Related Content:
Discoblog: Japanese Whaling Redux: American Scientists Say Slaughter Was Unnecessary
Discoblog: Is Bleaching Next? Whales Look at Teeth When Picking Mates
Discoblog: Detectors Catch Whales Swimming Near New York City

Image: flickr / percita

MORE ABOUT: whales
  • Haruspex

    I dislike exaggerated or not-quite-on-target-but-off-just-a-bit-to-snag-the-reader titles. (Somewhere out there someone is disliking my silly run-on word.) The stockings are not being used to measure the sex drive. They are being used to collect samples. The samples are being used to measure the sex drive. I want to be able to judge whether I should read an article from the title, but alas news media makes that nearly impossible.


  • Christina Viering

    I agree with haruspex. It is annoying to snagged into the article.

  • Woody Tanaka

    The slaughter of whales by the Japanese had nothing to do with research. That is merely a cover story (and a gross misuse of science which legitimate science should be up in arms about more than it is) to continue the slaughter of these magnificent intelligent animals as a food source.

  • http://nylonjunky.thumblogger.com nylonjunky

    Hi, i must say fantastic site you have, i stumbled across it in Yahoo. Does you get much traffic? If yes could you give us a hint how to achieve it!?


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