Correlations between melanin pigmentation and element concentration in feathers of White-tailed Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla)

Citation
M. Niecke et al., Correlations between melanin pigmentation and element concentration in feathers of White-tailed Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla), J ORNITHOL, 140(3), 1999, pp. 355-362
Citations number
47
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences
Journal title
JOURNAL FUR ORNITHOLOGIE
ISSN journal
0021-8375 → ACNP
Volume
140
Issue
3
Year of publication
1999
Pages
355 - 362
Database
ISI
SICI code
0021-8375(199907)140:3<355:CBMPAE>2.0.ZU;2-T
Abstract
The element concentration of moult feathers of White-tailed Eagles was inve stigated. Using the 2- MeV Hamburg proton microprobe we tried to differenti ate between elements incorporated into the feather via the food chain and t hose which are deposited externally onto the feather vane. Regarding incorp orated elements, special attention has been given to a possible correlation between element concentration and feather pigmentation. Concerning the ele ments detected in this work (S, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Hg, Pb), calcium , manganese and zinc show a considerable enhancement within the pigmented f eather as compared with pigment-free feather sections. On the other hand, n o differences were found in concentrations for sulfur, titanium, iron, copp er, mercury and lead. Our findings therefore imply a special enrichment of Ca, Mn and Zn within melanin, the source of the feather's pigmentation. The possible role of these elements with regard to melanin formation is discus sed.