Mercury accumulation and loss in mallard eggs

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
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Female mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were fed diets containing 5, 10, or 20 ppm mercury as methylmercury chloride. One egg was collected from each bird before the start of the mercury diets and 15 eggs were collected from each bird while it was being fed mercury. The mercury diets were then replaced by uncontaminated diets, and each female was allowed to lay 29 more eggs. Mercury levels in eggs rose to about 7,18, and 35 ppm wet-weight in females fed 5,10, or 20 ppm mercury, respectively. Mercury levels fell to about 0.16,0.80, and 1.7 ppm in the last egg laid by birds that had earlier been fed 5, 10, or 20 ppm mercury, respectively. Higher concentrations of mercury were found in egg albumen than in yolk, and between 95 and 100% of the mercury in the eggs was in the form of methylmercury.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Mercury accumulation and loss in mallard eggs
Series title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume 23
Issue 1
Year Published 2004
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 222-224
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
First page 222
Last page 224
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