Pathology of Common Murres and Cassin's Auklets exposed to oil

D. Michael Fry, Linda J Lowenstine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The histopathology of diving seabirds exposed to oil is described. Cassins Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) were experimentally exposed to weathered Santa Barbara Channel (CA) crude oil by external application to the breast plumage or wings. Beached Common Murres (Uria aalge) were recovered from an accidental oil spill of bunker C fuel oil. Exposed birds exhibited hepatocellular dissociation and hemosiderosis, renal tubular necrosis, and hemolytic anemia. Both unexposed and exposed birds exhibited numerous gastrointestinal lesions and parasites making interpretation of oil damage effects to the gastrointestinal system difficult. Burrow nesting auklets had a high incidence of pneumoconiosis while cliff nesting murres had no particulate inclusions on lungs. The results describe the extent of pathology to be expected in wild, free living seabirds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-737
Number of pages13
JournalArchives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Pathology of Common Murres and Cassin's Auklets exposed to oil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this