Researchers at Ano Nuevo found the mercury level in the water during the molting season 17 times higher than what it is at other times of the year. That led them to look at where the mercury was coming from: the seals themselves. The molted skin takes with it some of the mercury that the seals have accumulated from the prey they eat in the ocean. Their blood and muscles have higher concentrations of mercury than would damage the nervous system of a human.
Northern Elephant Seal
Also seen in Journal Plus, March 2015 Story and Photos by Charmaine Coimbra The wild waves of winter have calmed. The northern elephant seal adults have returned to the Pacific Ocean to feed after a long winter of females birthing… Read More ›
Editor’s Note: Another unusual rash of marine mammals have beached themselves requiring rescue operations along the Pacific coastline. Along the north coast of California, the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, reports 429 pinniped rescues as of early May 2014,… Read More ›
MOSS LANDING, Calif.—California marine scientists are collecting samples from sea mammals around the state to in an effort to create a map of toxic hot spots. Marine Mammal Center researchers plan to use 10 years of data collected from the… Read More ›
Editor’s note: Northern Elephant Seals lack genetic diversity due to the near extinction hunt of the species during the late 1800’s for their oil–which was used for lighting, women’s makeup and leather pulleys and tooling. From UC Davis May… Read More ›
By Sue Arnold CEO, California Gray Whale Coalition Photos by Charmaine Coimbra One of the most important outcomes of the PG&E HESS – whichever way it goes – is the raising of awareness on the issue of underwater noise… Read More ›