Rare earth elements upon assessment of reasons of the geophagy in Sikhote-Alin region (Russian Federation), Africa and other world regions

Environ Geochem Health. 2016 Dec;38(6):1255-1270. doi: 10.1007/s10653-015-9788-7. Epub 2015 Dec 23.


Rocks eaten by wild animals on the Bolshoy Shanduyskiy kudur in the Sikhote-Alin region (Russian Federation) are zeolite-clay mineral complexes-products of weathering of zeolitized vitric tuffs of rhyolite composition, deposited in aqueous medium within the volcanic caldera of about 55 million years ago. By composition of rock-forming oxides, the tuffs refer to high-potassium calc-alkaline series. In trace elements of most favorite kudurites of the Bolshoy Shanduyskiy kudur, there are significantly increased contents of most of rare earth elements (2-5 times in comparison with surrounding rocks). The results of our analysis of geological and geochemical data on kudurs and kudurites in another part of the Sikhote-Alin, as well as on other regions of the world (particularly, in Africa and Indonesia), taking into account new data on the prevalence of rare earth elements in living matter and their medical and biological properties, enable us to consider the version of causal connection of the geophagy with rare earth elements.

Keywords: Geophagy; Kudur; Lanthanides; Mineral lick; Rare earth elements; Sikhote-Alin.

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Animals
  • Metals, Rare Earth*
  • Minerals / analysis*
  • Pica*
  • Russia
  • Trace Elements / analysis


  • Metals, Rare Earth
  • Minerals
  • Trace Elements