Young Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) were administered NaF for 16 d either in their diet or by esophageal intubation. Based on the total fluoride ion (Emg F-) intake over the l6-d experimental period, fluoride administered by intubation was at least six times more toxic than that fed in the diet. Dietary concentrations of 1,000 ppm F- (Emg F- for 16 d = approx. 144) produced no mortality, whereas intubated doses produced 73% or greater mortality in all groups administered 54 mg F- /kg/d or more (Emg F- for 16 d _ approx. 23 mg). GraphIc companson of the regression of log F- ppm in femurs/mg F- intake showed that fluoride levels in the femurs of quail administered fluoride by intubation were higher than in those administered fluoride in the diet.