How do whales withstand pressure?
How do they survive the pressure encountered on a dive as deep as 9,000ft? Like many marine mammals, sperm whales have adapted to tolerate the effects of increased pressure when they dive in search of food. Sperm whales have a flexible rib cage to allow their lungs to collapse at depth and expand again at the surface.
Why do whales go so deep?
Spermaceti and Diving Capabilities
One common theory is that the fluid—which hardens to wax when cold—helps the whale alter its buoyancy so it can dive deep and rise again. Sperm whales are known to dive as deep as 3,280 feet in search of squid to eat.
What can cause stress in whales causing them to dive too deep?
When divers ascend to the surface too quickly, the dissolved nitrogen comes out of solution, forming gas bubbles in the blood and body tissues, and causes local damage. Divers frequently experience this as joint or muscle pain when nitrogen bubbles form in these parts of the body.
How do whales avoid decompression sickness?
When air-breathing mammals dive to high-pressure depths, their lungs compress. … Marine mammals’ chest structure allows their lungs to compress. Scientists have assumed that this passive compression was marine mammals’ main adaptation to avoid taking up excessive nitrogen at depth and getting the bends.
How deep can a whale go?
The deepest recorded dive was 2,992 metres, breaking the record for diving mammals. Experts have suggested that this dive was unusually deep for this species. A more normal depth would be 2,000 metres. Sperm whales also regularly dive 1,000 to 2,000 metres deep.
What animal can swim the deepest?
At more than 8,000 meters depth, the new fish lives nearly seven times deeper than its more famous deep-sea colleague, the blobfish. Like the blobfish, the new fish packs specialized adaptations to help it survive in the crushing conditions in the ocean’s depths.
What is a deep dive of a whale called?
Fluking: when a whale or dolphin begins a deep dive, it lifts its tail into the air to help it thrust its body into a more steeply angled descent to deeper waters. Foraging: feeding or searching for food. Hydrophone: an underwater microphone used to listen to and record whale vocalizations.
How long can a sperm whale dive?
Other whales can also hold their breath for a very long time. A sperm whale can spend around 90 minutes hunting underwater before it has to come back to the surface to breathe. In 1969, a male sperm whale was killed off the coast of South Africa after surfacing from a dive lasting 117 minutes.
Why do sperm whales not get the bends?
“The only stressor known to cause this kind of bone damage is the bends,” he says. This implies that the whales stave off the effects of the bends not through some in-built physiological mechanism, but rather by carefully managing their diving patterns much as scuba-divers do.
Why do divers get the bends?
Decompression sickness: Often called “the bends,” decompression sickness happens when a scuba diver ascends too quickly. Divers breathe compressed air that contains nitrogen. At higher pressure under water, the nitrogen gas goes into the body’s tissues.