A sea elephant rarely deceives
It is the story of a large seal, the unwitting witness to the carelessness of human beings. This is because Mirounga angustirostris (the northern elephant seal) is a cruel reminder of the old adage: “after us the deluge”. The pollutants that we dump into the environment find their way into the marine food chain, and they contaminate all levels of this pyramid with the risk that they may find their way onto the plate of a super predator: mankind itself. The northern elephant seal is therefore this “great witness” which is observed by two researchers from Liège, Sarah Habran and Krishna Das, of the Oceanology Laboratory of the University of Liège, in an article published by the international journal Environmental Pollution (1). This article, which is a prelude to the doctoral thesis of Sarah Habran, is in line with an extensive Belgian and international study on the effect of pollutants on marine mammals (2).
(1) Sarah Habran, Cathy Debier, Daniel E. Crocker, Dorian S. Houser, Krishna Das, Blood dynamics of mercury and selenium in northern elephant seals during the lactation period, in Environmental Pollution 159 (2011) 2523-2529, éd. Elsevier