Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 390 (1), 77-85

Metals and Selenium in the Liver and Bone of Three Dolphin Species From South Australia, 1988-2004

Affiliations

Metals and Selenium in the Liver and Bone of Three Dolphin Species From South Australia, 1988-2004

Trish J Lavery et al. Sci Total Environ.

Abstract

Metal and selenium concentrations (wet weight) were determined in the liver (Cd, Hg, Pb, Zn, Cu and Se) and bone (Pb and Cd) of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis, N=71) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, N=12, and Tursiops aduncus, N=71) stranded or by-caught in South Australia from 1988 to 2004. Differences in metal burdens existed between species, stranding location, and relative age. T. aduncus had the greatest mean tissue burdens of liver Pb (0.45 mg/kg), Cd (6.45 mg/kg), Hg (475.78 mg/kg), Se (178.85 mg/kg) and Zn (93.88 mg/kg) and bone Pb (2.78 mg/kg), probably reflecting their coastal habitat and benthic prey. Mean Cu was highest in T. truncatus (21.18 mg/kg). Bone Cd was measured only in T. aduncus and averaged 0.05 mg/kg. Stranding location impacted metal burdens. Dolphins from Spencer Gulf had higher mean levels of liver Pb (0.39 mg/kg) while Gulf St Vincent dolphins had greater liver Hg (444.64 mg/kg), liver Se (163.12 mg/kg), and bone Pb (2.85 mg/kg). This may be due to high anthropogenic inputs of Pb and Hg into Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent respectively. Liver Cd, Hg, Se and Pb increased with age in all species while Cu decreased with age, in keeping with previous studies. Se and Hg were positively correlated. The possibility that metallothioneins are driving observed correlations between Zn, Cd, Hg and Cu are discussed. Future research must investigate the toxicological consequences of the metal concentrations reported.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 7 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback