Respiration and Deep Diving in the Bottlenose Porpoise

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  26 Dec 1969:
Vol. 166, Issue 3913, pp. 1651-1654
DOI: 10.1126/science.166.3913.1651


A bottlenose porpoise was trained to dive untethered in the open ocean and to exhale into an underwater collecting funnel before surfacing from prescribed depths down to 300 meters. The animal was also taught to hold its breath for periods up to 4 minutes at the surface and then blow in the funnel. Alveolar collapse is probably complete at around 100 meters, and little pulmonary respiratory exchange occurs below that depth. Thoracic collapse was observ visually at 10 to 50 meters and by underwater television to 300 meters.

Stay Connected to Science