Selected trace minerals and vitamins were assayed in the liver and serum of 25 wild muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) from Victoria Island, (Nunavut, Canada) in November, 1995. Mean ± SE liver concentrations in μmol/kg wet weight were 260 ± 16 for copper; 1.04 ± 0.06 for selenium; 11.5 ± 0.7 for molybdenum and 62.8 ± 3.3 for vitamin E. Mean ± SE serum concentrations in μmol/L were 14.2 ± 0.3 for copper; 0.75 ± 0.04 for selenium, 1.53 ± 0.07 for vitamin A and 5.80 ± 0.55 for vitamin E. Comparison of liver and serum concentrations of copper, selenium and vitamin E showed that the concentration in one tissue was a relatively poor indicator of the concentration in the other. The copper-molybdenum interaction often seen in domestic species was not observed. In general, the concentrations of metals and vitamins found in musk-oxen were comparable to those in other ungulates although serum vitamin E concentrations were about one-fourth of those expected.
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Vol. 36 • No. 2