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Mercury in our Environment

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Mercury Magnified

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Mercury in our Food

The food chain is the natural order of how living things or organisms get food. The food chain shows how some animals eat plants and other animals to survive. For example, in the San Francisco Bay, one food chain begins with a tiny organism called plankton. Plankton live in the bay and provide food for many different underwater animals like minnows which are baby fish of any kind. The minnows that eat plankton then become food for larger fish, such as perch or striped bass. These large fish are then eaten by even larger fish like sharks. If plankton get contaminated or polluted with mercury, this contamination will spread to the minnows that eat the plankton, which in turn will contaminate the larger fish. This then contaminates the shark. This process of contamination moving up the food chain is called biological magnification. By the time the toxin or poison has moved up the food chain, it has become very concentrated or magnified.

Learn more about the food chain: