Contaminated Sperm Whales

Long ago I posted on mercury contamination in beluga whales.  New research shows us the problem with toxic chemical accumulation in our apex ocean predators extends to sperm whales with habitat ranges far larger than the Arctic Ocean belugas call home.  Over a thousand whales were sampled over a five year period, revealing levels of contamination for several heavy metals – many released during manufacturing – of serious concern. As with belugas, researchers expressed concern for future generations of whales since mothers can pass contaminants to their calves during nursing as their fat-rich milk could be loaded with fat-soluble toxics.

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