John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Unique pattern of molt leads to low intra‐individual variation in feather mercury concentrations in penguins

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We hypothesized that the catastrophic annual molt of penguins (Sphenisciformes) would lead to reduced intra‐individual variation of mercury concentrations in body feathers. While mean mercury concentrations varied significantly among 8 penguin species, intra‐individual variability did not differ among species and was three times lower than values observed in other seabirds. Our findings suggest a single body feather collected at random per individual can be adequate to estimate mercury exposure at the population level in penguins. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2013 SETAC

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