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Mercury in canadian seals


The mercury concentration was determined in ringed and bearded seal claws, tissues from a harbour seal, tissues obtained from 6 gray seals of different sizes and ages, tissues from ten female harp seals and their pups, and a female gray seal and her fetus. It was suggested that the mercury concentration of the fur and claws of seals could be used as indicators of the degree of the seals' mercury contamination. Preliminary results indicate that mercury contamination in these species, from the same location, increases with size.

The methylmercury concentration of seal pups was lower than that of their mothers. The fetus of the seal did not show a preference for mercury over that of the mother's tissues. It was suggested that seals may possess enzyme systems that demethylate methylmercury.

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Freeman, H.C., Horne, D.A. Mercury in canadian seals. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 10, 172–180 (1973).

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  • Mercury
  • Mercury Concentration
  • Total Mercury
  • Dorsal Muscle
  • Harbour Seal