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Gina Miller (nanogirl@halcyon.com)
Wed, 9 Jun 1999 13:39:26 -0700

Curious isn't it?

Deformed dragonflies discovered in northern Minnesota

Copyright 1999 Reuters News Service

MINNEAPOLIS (June 9, 1999 3:01 p.m. EDT http://www.nandotimes.com) - Researchers said Wednesday they have found dozens of dragonflies in northern Minnesota with misshapen mouths, abdomens and antennae, but do not know the cause of the deformities.

Zoologists with the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources studied dragonfly populations at 90 sites on 23 bodies of water in northern Minnesota between May and September 1998. Abnormalities were found in specimens from 11 of the 90 sites.

The percentage of malformed dragonflies ranged from 4 to 38 percent, depending upon the species and the site, the researchers said.

The highest percentage of deformities was measured at sites along the Rainy River between International Falls and Baudette in northern Minnesota. Deformed dragonflies were also found at two sites along the northern Mississippi River.

Rich Baker, zoologist and animal research coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said it was too soon to say what caused the deformities, but pollution was one possibility. The Rainy River area is home to many industrial businesses, and the river has had problems before with industrial discharge, he said.

"We got some unexpected results from a research project and we're going to
have to give it a closer look," Baker said.

"The research project was designed to give us information on the
distribution of rare dragonflies in Minnesota," Baker said. "In the course of looking at and identifying over 8,600 specimens, the (researchers) found abnormalities in 121."

The researchers analyzed dragonfly exuviae, the skins that dragonflies shed as they change from bugs that live in the water to adult flies that live on land.

The researchers said there did not appear to be any correlation between the dragonflies and deformed frogs that have been found in Minnesota in recent years. Biologists in April said tiny parasitic flatworms called trematodes, and not chemicals or other forms of pollution, could be causing the deformities in the frogs.

Gina "Nanogirl" Miller
Nanotechnology Industries
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