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Comparison of Maternal and Embryonic Trace Element Concentrations in Common Thresher Shark (Alopias vulpinus) Muscle Tissue

Abstract

This study compared the concentration of essential (Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Se, Zn) and nonessential (Ag, As, Cd, Hg, Pb) trace elements in the muscle tissue of a pregnant common thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus) to the concentration in the three embryos. With the exception of Ag, Cd, Cr, and Ni which were below the detection limit, all other elements accumulated in the embryo muscle tissue. The Se:Hg molar ratios in the embryos averaged 9.8, indicating that Se may have a protective role against Hg toxicity during this early life stage. Maternal transfer as a source of trace elements in sharks should not be overlooked and future studies need to focus on how reproductive strategy influences this process.

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Acknowledgements

We thank B. Jackson for the ICP-MS analysis and two anonymous reviewers whose thoughtful comments improved this manuscript. This study was funded by the Adelphi University Frederick Bettelheim Research Award to J. Dutton.

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Correspondence to Jessica Dutton.

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Dutton, J., Venuti, V.M. Comparison of Maternal and Embryonic Trace Element Concentrations in Common Thresher Shark (Alopias vulpinus) Muscle Tissue. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 103, 380–384 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-019-02667-1

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Keywords

  • Reproduction
  • Embryos
  • Shark
  • Mercury
  • Selenium:Mercury molar ratios