Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) stranding on the coast of Israel (eastern Mediterranean). Autopsy results and trace metal concentrations

Efrat Shoham-Frider, Shlomi Amiel, Mia Roditi-Elasar, Nurit Kress

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The stranding of Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) on the Mediterranean coast of Israel is reported in this study. High concentrations of trace metals (Hg, Cd, Zn, Fe and Se) were found in the various tissues analyzed, while Cu and Mn concentrations were naturally low. The specimen was found alive, but died a day later. The cause of death was attributed to bacterial bronchopneumonia in combination with endotoxemia, resulting in disseminated intravascular coagulation. Plastic bags found in its stomach contributed to the dolphin's poor physical condition. No connection was found between the high concentrations of trace metals in the internal organs and the cause of death. It is assumed that the high concentrations were a result of the high trophic level of this species, its diet and its advanced age. Anthropogenic influence could not be assessed due to the sparse database of trace metals for this species, in particular knowledge of the natural levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-166
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 5 Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to express our appreciation to the volunteers at IMMRAC, who with their motivation show their love to marine mammals, and to Mrs Hava Hornung, who initiated the work with trace metals in marine mammals at IOLR. We are grateful for thorough comments from the reviewer. This research was partly funded by the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Israel.


  • Autopsy
  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • Grampus griseus
  • Marine mammal
  • Trace metals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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