Researchers Study Impact of Antidepressants on Shrimp and Other Aquatic Creatures

Posted on April 4, 2014

Researchers from the University of Portsmith are studying the impact of antidepressants on wildlife, such as crabs and prawns. The researchers have found that the drugs alter the behavior of some creatures, such as shrimp. Snails have been shown to drop off the sides of tanks in some studies with human antidepressants. Dr. Alex Ford says drugs humans take can end up back in the environment. The drugs are greatly diluted but they can still have an impact on aquatic life. This is why researchers are studying the impact of pharmaceuticals on crabs, shrimp and other creatures. Take a look:

Dr. Ford says in a release, "Marine invertebrates such as amphipod shrimp become more active and increase their speed of movement while freshwater snails display altered reproduction and some lose their ability to attach to surfaces. Some bivalve species, such as zebra mussels, were induced to spawn when exposed to antidepressants. In many invertebrates, serotonin controls the release of certain pigments, causing the creature to change colour and recent studies have shown that antidepressants can alter colour changes in cuttlefish. The drugs can also affect growth, feeding and metabolism."

In another video, available here, Dr. Ford says the drugs have limited the ability of some fish, such as cuttlefish, to change color. A research paper was published here in Aquatic Technology.

More from Science Space & Robots