Re: do cetaceans exhale before diving

From: Cathy Schaeff (schaeff@american.edu)
Date: Wed Sep 10 2003 - 11:31:30 EDT

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    Hi Paul,

    This is outside of my area of expertise but I believe that most scientists think that the deepest diving cetaceans may actually exhale before diving so that they have less air in their lungs to be dissolved under pressure.

    Cathy
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Paul Jones
      To: schaeff@american.edu ; pita@whale.wheelock.edu
      Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2003 11:36 AM
      Subject: do cetaceans exhale before diving

      Hello: a fellow naturalist friend of mine called yesterday to get my opinion on whether or not cetaceans exhale before diving. On first thought, I answered yes, as field experience with a wide variety of species led me to observe that they surface, exhale, and then inhale before diving. But that contrasts with studies that typically relate the compression of the lung cavity, the oblique diaphram, etc., with suggestions that they exhale before diving. As I said, field experience suggests that the blow/inhalation sequence is just that, not blow out, then in, and then out again before diving. Can you provide some insight or clarification into this? Thanks, much.
      Paul



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