circulatory and respiratory systems of whales

From: Dagmar Fertl (dfertl@geo-marine.com)
Date: Mon Nov 10 2003 - 10:26:13 EST

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    Hello
    I'm doing a project on how whales circulatory and respiratory systems
    compare to humans.
    I'm ten years old and in grade five, I live in West Vancouver Canada. Do you
    have any information you could help me with?
    Yours Truly Jessie
    ********************
    Hi Jessie,

    I recommend that you look through the WhaleNet archives to see some previous
    answers to questions like yours. If you look for information on diving
    adaptations, breathing, etc., that should also help you in the archives. One
    big difference between whales and humans is that whales are voluntary
    breathers, while humans are involuntary breathers. This means that whales
    have to actually think to themselves...I need a breath now. People breathe
    without thinking about it. So, if you go to sleep at night, you are still
    breathing. Whales have to be awake to breathe, so 1/2 the brain gets to
    sleep, while the other part stays awake and thinks about breathing.

    Good luck with your project! If you still have particular questions after
    looking through the archives, I'd be happy to help you more.

    Regards,
    Dagmar Fertl



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