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A Study of Pathological Conditions in Wild Rodents in Radioative Areas
H. E. Childs, Jr. and G. E. Cosgrove
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 76, No. 2 (Oct., 1966), pp. 309-324
Published by: The University of Notre Dame
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2423088
Page Count: 16
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Comparisons were made using wild Peromyscus leucopus, Sigmodon hispidus, and Oryzomys palustris from radiocontaminated and uncontaminated sites. The studies included length measurement, body weight, spleen and adrenal weights, gross and microscopic necropsy examination, determination of packed red cell volume and differential leukocyte count, and collection of parasites. No significant differences attributable to exposure to radiation were seen. Many lesions were encountered at necropsy of the animals, but they were usually incidental findings not seriously threatening the health of the host. There was a wide range in hematologic values probably due in part to differing incidental disease and parasite burdens. The presence of Cuterebra bot larvae in P. leucopus led to significant reduction in the hematocrit. There was a high incidence of parasitism in all three species, but associated pathologic changes were not serious in most instances. It appears that diseased animals are rapidly removed from wild populations and are not ordinarily recovered in a study of this nature. The levels of radiation exposure are probably too low to result in somatic effects in exposed animals during their short life in the wild.
The American Midland Naturalist © 1966 The University of Notre Dame