Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Bartlett D. Whelton

First Committee Member

James A. Blake

Second Committee Member

Edmund H. Smith


The present study has attempted to investigate some of the more basic questions concerning the toxicity and accumulation of mercury in the purple shore crab, Hemigrapsus nudus. This rocky intertidal denizen is found in abundance along the entire Pacific coast of the United States from Sitka, Alaska, to the Gulf of California where it dominates the mid-tide pool region. Local specimens were collected just north of the Pacific Marine Stations, Dillon Beach, Marin County, California. The animal is hearty and can be kept in a state of good health for long periods of time in the laboratory with minimum care and negligible mortality. Most importantly, as a middle intertidal inhabitant, H. nudus would be among the first groups of organisms to feel the stress of environmental contamination from an industrial source located on the open coast. This, coupled with its wide distribution, indicates its possible use as an environmental monitor.





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