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DDE thins Eggshells of Captive American Kestrels


EGGSHELL thinning in several species of raptorial and fish-eating birds, whose populations and/or reproductive success have declined dramatically in recent years, has been correlated with residues of DDE [1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl) ethylene] in their eggs1–3. DDE, a common metabolite of DDT [1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethane] and a nearly universal contaminant in the food of these birds, has been considered to be the major chemical responsible for eggshell thinning.

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WIEMEYER, S., PORTER, R. DDE thins Eggshells of Captive American Kestrels. Nature 227, 737–738 (1970).

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