A new Swedish study by some Swedes in Swedeland exposed perch to the kind of drug residues they would experience in rivers. And didn't they love it?! However, it did cause changes in their patterns of behaviour that could have unexpected evolutionary consequences. On the other hand they might just be a bit stoned.
Umea University's Tomas Brodin (no relation to portly Swedish footballer Tomas Brolin) found strong behavioural modifications. The fish on drugs ate faster, were less social and talked more existential claptrap than the fish that hadn't been dosed. You probably remember similar experiences at university.
Really, when you think of the cocktail of drugs humans take on board whose residues eventually end up in our waterways, fish are having a much better time than we previously thought. Some of them are so happy they're changing gender, like some kind of scaly drag act. We've tended to look down on the aquatic creatures but if this new study is anything to go by, they're having a hell of a party down there.
The problem is that as the perch get the munchies, they eat more zooplankton, who would normally eat the algae if they hadn't been eaten already. So nature's balance is disturbed. However, if the perch eat so much they can't get off the sofa, the pike will eat them, so the zooplankton go free and the algae gets it. Either way it's quite exciting, but still proof that drugs are bad, m'kay.
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