Fw: Retro-pulmonary blood vessels in deep-diving whales

From: Pete Scheifele (scheifel@uconnvm.uconn.edu)
Date: Fri Dec 01 2000 - 08:29:28 EST

        Where do whales store the oxygen needed for their brains to continue
functioning for an hour when diving to 2 km? Are they more resistant to
hypoxaemia than people are? Are the retro-pulmonary vessels a means to
by-pass the lungs and diminish nitrogen absorbtion into the bloodstream?
        I'd be grateful for any insights you can offer into these questions.
        Tim Dowson


Most of the oxygen is locked up in myoglobin short of that I'm not really
sure. You might check "Functional Anatomy of Marine Mammals" by Harrison.
The answer to question #2 in part is yes.

Peter M. Scheifele LCDR USN (Ret.)
Director of Bioacoustic Research
NURC Operations Manager
Director of Marine Education Programs
National Undersea Research Center,
North Atlantic and Great Lakes
University of Connecticut
860-405-9121/9103 (Voice)
860-445-2969 (FAX)
scheifel@uconnvm.uconn.edu / acousticp2@juno.com

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