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Methylmercury: Reproductive and behavioral effects on three generations of mallard ducks

Journal of Wildlife Management

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Abstract

Three generations of mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) were fed either a control diet or a diet containing 0.5 ppm mercury in the form of methylmercury. The levels of mercury in adult tissues and eggs remained about the same over 3 generations. The methylmercury diet had no effect on adult weights or weight changes during the reproductive season. Females fed a diet containing 0.5 ppm mercury laid a greater percentage of their eggs outside their nestboxes than did controls, and also laid fewer eggs and produced fewer ducklings. Methylmercury in the diet appeared to result in a small amount of eggshell thinning. Ducklings from parents fed methylmercury were less responsive than, controls to tape-recorded maternal calls, but were hyper-responsive to a frightening stimulus in avoidance tests; there were no significant differences in locomotor activity in an open-field test.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Methylmercury: Reproductive and behavioral effects on three generations of mallard ducks
Series title:
Journal of Wildlife Management
Volume
43
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1979
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
394-401
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Wildlife Management
First page:
394
Last page:
401