METALS IN TISSUES OF DIAMONDBACK TERRAPIN

METALS IN TISSUES OF DIAMONDBACK TERRAPIN, updated 1/26/16, 9:51 PM

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METALS IN TISSUES OF DIAMONDBACK TERRAPIN FROMNEW JERSEY

JOANNA BURGER, Division of Life Sciences, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Nelson Hall, Piscataway, New Jersey, U.S.A. (e-mail: burger@biology.rutgers.edu) (Received 30 January 2001; accepted 11 September 2001) 

Abstract:  Relatively little is known about contaminants in reptiles, particularly turtles. The distribution of metals in eggs, liver and muscle of diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) was examined from Barnegat Bay, New Jersey as part of an aquatic study to understand movement of contaminants in the bay. Lead and cadmium were relatively low in all tissues. There were significant differences among tissues for all metals, except lead. Where there were significant differences, levelswere highest in the liver, except for chromium. Levels of mercury were 6.6 times higher in the liver than muscle, and manganese levels were 4 times as high. The levels of metals in muscle of diamondback terrapin are below those that might cause effects in consumers, including humans who eat them in stews. However, the level of mercury in liver is sufficiently high to be problematic for consumers and scavengers that eat liver. 

Keywords: Barnegat Bay, biomonitoring, consumers, metals, turtles

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