Headlines – News – Articles
4th June, 2011

Algal neurotoxins found in Hawaiian monk seals

Media Watch, Scientific American, 2 June 2011

More than 30 years after 50 critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandi) died of suspected algal toxic poisoning, the presence of ciguatoxins in living seals has finally been confirmed through a new, noninvasive test.

Ciguatoxins are produced by dinoflagellates, which live near coral and seaweed. The dinoflagellates are eaten by small fish, which are fed on by larger fish that are in turn consumed by predators such as seals and humans. Ingesting ciguatoxins produces an illness known as ciguatera, which produces gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms. [Continues]

Source: Algal neurotoxins found in endangered Hawaiian monk seals by John Platt, Scientific American 2 June 2011

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