Trace metals in tissues of gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) carcasses from the Northern Pacific Mexican Coast

J. Tomás, R. Guitart, R. Mateo, J. A. Raga

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22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Samples of liver, lung, heart, muscle, and blubber tissue from the carcasses of juvenile gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) found stranded on the coast off the Sea of Cortez, México were analyzed for a range of trace metals (Cu, Fe, Zn, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Cd). The highest concentrations of copper, iron, zinc, and manganese were found in liver; nickel and lead in heart, and cadmium in kidney. In all tissues analyzed, iron, zinc and copper were present in the highest concentrations; however, some whales also showed high levels of cadmium in the kidney which could be related to their diet. Elevated concentrations of copper were found only in the liver of one whale. In general, where low levels of iron were found in the liver, they were associated with poor nutrition. Lead, nickel, manganese and zinc levels in liver were within the normal range, indicating that these whales had not been exposed to high levels of these metals. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-221
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2002

Keywords

  • Eschrichtius robustus
  • Gray whale
  • Gulf of California
  • Heavy metals
  • Pollution
  • Whale carcasses

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