The mercury comes from factory and coal plant pollution, which enter the systems of various sea organisms. Since dolphins are at the top of the food chain, they consume these animals and therefore ingest in the toxin as well.
Dolphins are a the top of the food chain and eat fatty fish such as mackerel and herring. Mercury is a heavy metal which undergoes biomagnification through the food chain and is stored in fat. This means that small animals have small amounts of mercury and as you move up the food chain each level has a larger amount of mercury or other substance.
The term is bio-accumulation or bio-magnification. Ecolizzie has the right idea. Another example of bio-accumulation that we have seen in nature was in bird populations surrounding pesticide filled farms. The pesticides would runoff and frogs living in ponds fed by agri-runoff were part of the birds diet. After the pesticides from the frogs built up in the birds systems, the birds’ eggshells became thin and would crack under the weight of nesting mother birds. Bio-accumulation is the reason it is not good to eat seafood too many times a week.
So, why doesnt the mercury levels effect the dolphin? After all, they are mammals too, right ?
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