A note on concentrations of metals in cetaceans from southern Africa
Main Article Content
Concentrations of zinc, copper, cadmium, mercury and lead were measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometry in samples of the brain, kidney , liver and muscle tissue from 178 individuals of 323 different cetacean species (4 right whales - Eubalaena australis, 2 pygmy right whales - Caperea marginara, 3 minke whales - Balaenoptera acutorostrata, 3 Bryde's whales - B. edeni, 1 humpback whale - Megaptera novaeangliae, 1 sperm whale - Physeter macrocephalus, 11 pygmy sperm whale - Kogia breviceps, 6 dwarf sperm whales - K. simus, 1 southern bottlenose whale - Hyperoodon planifrons, 1 Cuvier's beaked whale - Ziphius cavirostris, 9 Blainville's beaked whales - Mesoplodon densirostris, 5 strap-tooth whales - M. layardii, 2 True's beaked whales - M. mirus, 3 long-finned pilot whales - Globicephala me/as, 30 Risso's dolphins - Grampus griseus, 12 bottlenose dolphins - Tursiops truncatus, 5 striped dolphins - Stenella coeruleoalba, 1 pantropical spotted dolphin - S. attenuata, 1 hump-backed dolphin - Sousa chinensis, 21 dusky dolphins - Lagenorhynchus obscurus, 1 hourglass dolphin - L. cruciger, 12 Heaviside's dolphins - Cephalorhynchus heavisidii and 43 common dolphins - Delphinus delphis). All but the hourglass dolphin were strandings or animals taken incidental to fishing operations or under scientific permit in coastal waters of South Africa or Namibia. Highest concentrations of Zn, Cu and Hg were generally found in the liver and of Cd in the kidney. Comparisons of animals pre-and post puberty indicated accumulation of hepatic mercury in the pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, dusky dolphin and common dolphin. Loss of a metal (zinc) after puberty was only shown in the common dolphin. No individual analyses exceeded proposed (human) tolerance limits for hepatic mercury and hepatic or renal cadmium
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
You are free to:
- Share copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
- Adapt remix, transform, and build upon the material
- The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.
Under the following terms:
- Attribution You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- NonCommercial You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
- No additional restrictions You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.