Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Coffee break: Neurotoxins and sea lions

Here's one Northwest coast sea lion who, essentially, got drunk on domoic acid, and just look at the results.
Such unusual behavior is a red flag for domoic acid poisoning, said Amy Traxler, coordinator at the San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network in Friday Harbor.

Domoic acid is a neurotoxin that occurs naturally in algae. Marine mammals affected by the toxin can display erratic, aggressive behavior and often become disoriented, said Mieke Eerkens, spokeswoman for Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif.
Well, another use for a wildlife recovery program. Now back to work.

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