Organochlorine contaminants in complete clutches of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) eggs from Belize

Ted H. Wu, Jaclyn E. Cañas, Thomas R. Rainwater, Steven G. Platt, Scott T. McMurry, Todd A. Anderson

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Seven complete clutches of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) eggs were collected in northern Belize and examined for organochlorine (OC) pesticide residues. The primary OC detected, p,p-DDE, was found in every egg analyzed (n = 175). Other OCs detected included p,p-DDT, p,p-DDD, methoxychlor, aldrin, and endosulfan I. Concentrations of individual OCs ranged from 4 ppb (ng chemical/g egg wet weight) to greater than 500 ppb. A statistical evaluation of p,p-DDE levels in three complete clutches was used to derive the minimum number of eggs needed from a clutch to precisely determine the mean p,p-DDE concentration representative of that clutch. Sample sizes of 8 (80% confidence level) and 11 (90% confidence level) were determined to yield an accurate estimate of contaminant levels in a full clutch of eggs. The statistically recommended sample size of 11 eggs (at 90% confidence level) was successfully tested on the four additional clutches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006



  • Complete clutches
  • Crocodilian
  • Eggs
  • Organochlorine contaminants

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