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    Patagonia is one of the last pristine regions on the southern hemisphere. The impact of rare earth element (REEs) and trace elements (TEs) in this region have received little attention. The main goal was to assess REEs burden in feathers of adult magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus). Sampling was performed at Magdalena Island of the Chilean Patagonia during the austral summer of 2011. Multi-elemental determination of 16 REEs and 24 TEs was performed with ICP-MS. The levels of REEs, TEs, and stable isotopes (δ15N, δ13C, and δ34S) were measured to assess the factors that condition the avian exposure to environmental contaminants. The results showed an increase of the levels of REEs and TEs from the calamus to the feather's tip. In the whole feather, the highest levels corresponded to Ce, which exhibited more than two order of magnitude than Lu and Tm levels. Similar to other penguin species, magellanic penguins can be vectors of REEs and metals in remote regions. Stable isotopes revealed that trophic ecology may influence some of the element concentrations in feathers of magellanic penguins, an issue that requires deeper attention. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    José E Celis, Stefania Squadrone, Giovanna Berti, Maria Cesarina Abete, Marco Sandoval, Winfred Espejo. Burden of rare earth elements and trace elements in feathers of magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) from the southern Chilean Patagonia. Marine pollution bulletin. 2023 Sep;194(Pt A):115364

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    PMID: 37556862

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