Toxic Element Concentrations in the Bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus), Striped (Stenella coeruleoalba) and Risso’s (Grampus griseus) Dolphins Stranded in Eastern Adriatic Sea

  • Nina BilandžićEmail author
  • Marija Sedak
  • Maja Đokić
  • Martina Đuras Gomerčić
  • Tomislav Gomerčić
  • Manuela Zadravec
  • Miroslav Benić
  • Andrea Prevendar Crnić


Concentrations of cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) were measured in muscle, liver and kidney of three cetacean species, the bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus), striped (Stenella coeruleoalba) and Risso’s (Grampus griseus) dolphins from the Croatian waters of the Adriatic Sea. In all three dolphin species Cd levels decreased in tissues in the order: kidney > liver > muscle, while As and Pb decreased in the order: liver > kidney > muscle for striped and Risso’s dolphins, but with the order reversed for liver and kidney in the bottlenose dolphin for Pb. Levels of Hg consistently followed the order: liver > muscle > kidney, with mean concentrations in the liver being 11–34 times higher than in the other tissues. The highest mean concentrations of trace elements were measured in Risso’s dolphins at 14.9 μg/g wet weight, for Cd in the kidney, and concentrations in the liver of 2.41, 1,115 and 0.63 μg/g for As, Hg and Pb, respectively. Statistically significant differences between the three dolphin species were determined for Cd, Hg and Pb in liver tissues, for As in muscle and for Cd in kidney. Significant correlations of metals between tissues were determined in all three species. The results presented give an indication of the environmental condition with regard to the content of toxic metals along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea.


Bottlenose dolphin Striped dolphin Risso’s dolphins Toxic elements Liver Kidney Muscle 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nina Bilandžić
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marija Sedak
    • 1
  • Maja Đokić
    • 1
  • Martina Đuras Gomerčić
    • 2
  • Tomislav Gomerčić
    • 3
  • Manuela Zadravec
    • 4
  • Miroslav Benić
    • 5
  • Andrea Prevendar Crnić
    • 6
  1. 1.Laboratory for Residue Control, Department of Veterinary Public HealthCroatian Veterinary InstituteZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Department of Biology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  4. 4.Laboratory for Animal Feed Microbiology, Department for Veterinary Public HealthCroatian Veterinary InstituteZagrebCroatia
  5. 5.Laboratory for Mastitis and Raw Milk Quality, Department for Bacteriology and ParasitCroatian Veterinary InstituteZagrebCroatia
  6. 6.Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia

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