Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Molting elephant seals add mercury to coastal seawater

Researchers traces elevated mercury levels in coastal seawater near Año Nuevo State Reserve to hair shed by elephant seals in annual molt

Date:  September 7, 2015

Source:  University of California - Santa Cruz

Summary:  As fish-eating predators at the top of the marine food chain, elephant seals accumulate high concentrations of mercury in their bodies. A new study shows that elephant seals shed significant amounts of mercury during molting, resulting in elevated concentrations of the toxic metal in coastal waters near the elephant seal rookery at Año Nuevo State Reserve.

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