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The degree of interaction between mercury and cholinesterase inhibiting pesticides was determined by comparing enzyme responses to sublethal dosages of parathion or carbofuran in quail fed 0.05, 0.5, or 5.0 ppm morsodren for 18 weeks. A statistically significant interaction was defined as greater brain cholinesterase inhibition in morsodren-fed than in clean-fed birds following pesticide dosage. The tissue residues of mercury that accumulated before significant mercury-parathion interactions occurred were higher than levels that might be expected in natural populations, but significant mercury-carbofuran interactions occurred in birds that had only accumulated 1.0 ppm liver mercury. The results indicate that indiscriminate usage of cholinesterase inhibiting pesticides are dangerous, since natural populations of fish-eating birds oftentimes contain this magnitude of mercury.
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Continuously recording body temperature in terrestrial chelonians