Whale's heart beat

From: Dagmar Fertl (dagmar_fertl@hotmail.com)
Date: Fri Mar 31 2000 - 10:46:37 EST

Dear ms. Fertl,

I am currently a senior biomedical engineering student at the University of
Miami. I doing some research and was interested in knowning approxiately the
heart rate of a whale. I have tried other resources but don't seem to find
my answer.

I would much appreciate your help. Thank you for your time and
promptness. Please reply to the following address:

Thank you,
M. Suarez
Hi, with some digging around, I was able to come up with some information.
To completely verify the information, I would recommend that you contact Dr.
Dan Odell at Sea World in Orlando and see that he puts you in touch with
some marine mammal physiologists who can provide you with more updated

You asked about 'whale', which, of course, is a wide category. Basically, as
you probably already know, the larger the animal, the slower it's heart
beat. Whales and dolphins, when they dive, have a decrease in their heart
rate. So, a bottlenose dolphin at the water's surface has about 110 beats
per minute, and when diving, it slows to 50 beats/minute.

As for a large whale, a good estimate (based on a bunch of calculations done
by somebody else) would be 5-8 beats/minute. For a fin whale, it was
calculated to be 8 beats/minute. Information was calculated from a stranded
fin whale; that whale had 25 beats/minute, but keep in mind, that was one
stressed out whale.

Thanks for the brain stumper! Good luck with the biomedical engineering.

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