[MARMAM] New publication on more evidences of decompression sickness in cetaceans

Yara Bernaldo de Quirós Miranda yarabdq at gmail.com
Thu Oct 19 03:43:07 PDT 2017

Dear Colleagues,

We are glad to announce a new publication on acute severe DECOMPRESSION
SICKNESS in a marine mammal (*Grampus griseus*), but this time linked to a
natural cause: a stressful interaction with a squid during hunting

The article is freely available from:



Diving air-breathing vertebrates have long been considered protected
against decompression sickness (DCS) through anatomical, physiological, and
behavioural adaptations. However, an acute systemic gas and fat embolic
syndrome similar to DCS in human divers was described in beaked whales that
stranded in temporal and spatial association with military exercises
involving high-powered sonar. More recently, DCS has been diagnosed in
bycaught sea turtles. Both cases were linked to human activities. Two
Risso´s dolphin (*Grampus griseus*) out of 493 necropsied cetaceans
stranded in the Canary Islands in a 16-year period (2000-2015), had a
severe acute decompression sickness supported by pathological findings and
gas analysis. Deadly systemic, inflammatory, infectious, or neoplastic
diseases, ship collision, military sonar, fisheries interaction or other
type of lethal inducing associated trauma were ruled out. Struggling with a
squid during hunting is discussed as the most likely cause of DCS.


Prof. Antonio Fernández

PhD Yara Bernaldo de Quirós
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