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Title: Effects of chronic, low concentrations of dietary methylmercury on the behavior of juvenile great egrets

Abstract

The authors measured the behavioral effects of methylmercury on 16 great egret chicks (Ardea albus) in a captive dosing experiment. Birds were randomly divided into a control group and groups that received 0.5 or 5 mg methylmercury chloride per kilogram of food at between 12 and 105 d of age. They recorded activity levels, maintenance behavior, and foraging efficiency and determined that mercury affected activity and maintenance behavior. Birds dosed with 5 mg/kg became severely ataxic and were euthanized by 12 weeks of age. The authors found that, during the postfledging period, there were no differences between low-dose and placebo birds in time required to capture live fish in pools or in efficiency of capture. They did find that low-dose birds were less likely to hunt fish. Their results suggest that, at the 0.5 mg/kg concentration in food, there are significant effects of methylmercury on activity, tendency to seek shade, and motivation to hunt prey.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (US)
OSTI Identifier:
20006624
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 20006624
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 18; Journal Issue: 9; Other Information: PBD: Sep 1999; Journal ID: ISSN 0730-7268
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 56 BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, APPLIED STUDIES; WATER POLLUTION; METHYLMERCURY; BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS; FISHES; BIRDS; FOOD CHAINS; BEHAVIOR; BIOASSAY

Citation Formats

Bouton, S.N., Frederick, P.C., Spalding, M.G., and McGill, H. Effects of chronic, low concentrations of dietary methylmercury on the behavior of juvenile great egrets. United States: N. p., 1999. Web. doi:10.1897/1551-5028(1999)018<1934:EOCLCO>2.3.CO;2.
Bouton, S.N., Frederick, P.C., Spalding, M.G., & McGill, H. Effects of chronic, low concentrations of dietary methylmercury on the behavior of juvenile great egrets. United States. doi:10.1897/1551-5028(1999)018<1934:EOCLCO>2.3.CO;2.
Bouton, S.N., Frederick, P.C., Spalding, M.G., and McGill, H. Wed . "Effects of chronic, low concentrations of dietary methylmercury on the behavior of juvenile great egrets". United States. doi:10.1897/1551-5028(1999)018<1934:EOCLCO>2.3.CO;2.
@article{osti_20006624,
title = {Effects of chronic, low concentrations of dietary methylmercury on the behavior of juvenile great egrets},
author = {Bouton, S.N. and Frederick, P.C. and Spalding, M.G. and McGill, H.},
abstractNote = {The authors measured the behavioral effects of methylmercury on 16 great egret chicks (Ardea albus) in a captive dosing experiment. Birds were randomly divided into a control group and groups that received 0.5 or 5 mg methylmercury chloride per kilogram of food at between 12 and 105 d of age. They recorded activity levels, maintenance behavior, and foraging efficiency and determined that mercury affected activity and maintenance behavior. Birds dosed with 5 mg/kg became severely ataxic and were euthanized by 12 weeks of age. The authors found that, during the postfledging period, there were no differences between low-dose and placebo birds in time required to capture live fish in pools or in efficiency of capture. They did find that low-dose birds were less likely to hunt fish. Their results suggest that, at the 0.5 mg/kg concentration in food, there are significant effects of methylmercury on activity, tendency to seek shade, and motivation to hunt prey.},
doi = {10.1897/1551-5028(1999)018<1934:EOCLCO>2.3.CO;2},
journal = {Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry},
issn = {0730-7268},
number = 9,
volume = 18,
place = {United States},
year = {1999},
month = {9}
}