Bronchograms and Tracheograms of Seals under Pressure

Science  03 Jul 1970:
Vol. 169, Issue 3940, pp. 82-84
DOI: 10.1126/science.169.3940.82


Radiograms of the upper portion of the respiratory system were obtained at pressures up to 31.6 atmospheres absolute in the Weddell seal, Leptonychotes weddelli, and the northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris. The trachea was considerably compressed but not fully collapsed at the highest pressures. No measurable change in the size of the bronchioles and smaller bronchi was observed. Measurements of total lung volume obtained simultaneously showed that the seals consistently dived with a small volume.