Haematology, red cell enzymes, and red cell metabolic intermediates of 20 wild southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) from Macquarie Island

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Abstract

Blood was collected for haematological, red cell enzyme and red cell metabolic intermediate studies from 20 Southern elephant seals Mirounga leonina. Mean haematological values were: haemoglobin (Hb) 22.4 ± 1.4 g/dl, packed cell volume (PCV) 54.2 ± 3.8%, mean cell volume (MCV) 213.0 ± 5.0 fl and red cell count (RCC) 2.5 × 1012/l. Red cell morphology was unremarkable. Most of the red cell enzymes showed low activity in comparison with human red cells. Haemoglobin electrophoresis showed a typical pinniped pattern, i.e. two major components. Total leucocyte counts, platelet counts, and coagulation studies were within expected mammalian limits. Eosinophil counts varied from 0.5 × 109/l to 7.7 × 109/l(5%–49%), and there was a very wide variation in erythrocyte sedimentation rates, from 3 to 60 mm/h.