|SREL Reprint #0397|
Some Aspects of Radiocesium Retention in Naturally
Contaminated Captive Snakes
A. Staton, I. Lehr Brisbin, Jr., and Richard A. Geiger
Thirty-two captive snakes from contaminated natural
habitats showed single-phase radiocesium (mainly 237Cs)
bioelimination curves suggesting that, in the wild state, they were near
equilibrium with respect to this radionuclide at the time of capture.
Radiocesium biological half-lives in the snakes averaged 131.3 +
15.7 (SE) days with extreme values of 430.0 and 23.7 days.
There was no correlation between radiocesium loss rate and initial body
burden. Radiocesium loss rate
showed a positive linear correlation with caloric intake and a negative
exponential correlation with body weight. Less
than 1% of radiocesium excretion could be accounted for in shed skins, the
remainder being lost mainly through the feces.
Two females which laid eggs in captivity transferred 6.37 and 6.43% of
their total body burden to their eggs. Radiocesium
showed a greater concentration in skeletal muscle than in kidney or liver, while
fat bodies contained the lowest concentrations. Radiocesium concentrations of feces and stomach contents were
generally low and were not correlated with total body burdens.
SREL Reprint #0397
Staton, M.A., I.L. Brisbin Jr., and R.A. Geiger. 1974.
Some aspects of radiocesium retention in naturally contaminated
captive snakes. Herpetologica 30:204-211.