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Ann Acad Med Stetin, 2004; 50, Suppl. 1, 94-99

WIESŁAW SALICKI, ELŻBIETA KALISIŃSKA

FLUORINE AND CALCIUM IN BONES OF THE WOODPIGEON
(COLUMBA PALUMBUS)

Katedra Zoologii Akademii Rolniczej w Szczecinie
ul. Doktora Judyma 20, 71-466 Szczecin
Kierownik: prof. dr hab. n. biol. Elżbieta Kalisińska

Summary
A total of 90 woodpigeons shot in August and September 2002 in an area west of Szczecin were obtained from hunters. Based on their age and sex, the birds were divided into the following 4 groups: young males, young females, adult males, and adult females. Content of dry matter, ash, calcium, and fluorine were determined in the tarsometatarsus of each bird. No inter-group differences in per cent dry weight and ash contents were found. There was no correlation between fluorine and calcium contents with either dry weight or ash of the bones. However, significant differences in fluorine and calcium contents of bone ash were revealed between young and adult birds, regardless of sex, the two elements being more abundant in adult birds. Moreover, adult females differed from adult males, demonstrating higher fluorine content per bone dry weight. Adult birds regardless of sex showed higher fluorine content than young birds. A significant fluorine vs. calcium correlation was found in adult birds only. Correlation between per cent calcium and ash contents in bone dry weight was highly significant (r = 0.95; p < 0.0001). The present study corroborates observations of other authors regarding age-related increase in the fluorine content in birds and a general lack of a clearcut relationship between the bone fluorine content and sex outside of breeding season. As shown by this study and the available literature, bones of herbivorous birds, including pigeons and geese are more representative for assessment of environmental fluorine pollution than bones of birds feeding on a mixed diet, carnivores, and scavengers. In view of the large variability in birds, comparisons should be made by studying analogous bones.

K e y w o r d s: fluorine – calcium – bones – birds – woodpigeon.

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