[MARMAM] Respiratory function in dolphins on land

Andreas Fahlman afahlman at whoi.edu
Tue Apr 6 12:55:21 PDT 2021

Dear MarMamers
We would like to share our new publication investigating the respiratory effects of beaching in healthy bottlenose dolphins. The citation and abstract are pasted below. For pdf requests, please send an email to: afahlman at whoi.ed

Andreas and co-authors

Citation: Fahlman, A., Brodsky, M., Rocho-Levine, J., Garcia-Parraga, D., Ivančić, M., Camarena, C., Ibarra, L., and Rocabert, J. (2021). Respiratory changes in stranded bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 52, 49-56, 48.https://doi.org/10.1638/2020-0033

Abstract: Lung function (breath duration, respiratory flow [], and tidal volume [VT]), and end-expiratory O2 were measured in 19 adult bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.) while at rest in water or beached for up to 10 min. The results show that inspiratory VT, expiratory VT, or inspiratory did not differ on land or in water. The average expiratory for all dolphins on land decreased by 16%, and the expiratory and total breath durations increased by 5% and 4%, respectively, compared with in water. There were temporal changes observed during beaching, where expired and inspired VT and inspired decreased by 13%, 16%, and 9%, respectively, after 10 min on land. These data suggest that dolphins compensate for the effect of gravity by adjusting respiration to maintain alveolar ventilation and gas exchange, but during extended durations, the increased work of breathing may impede ventilation and gas exchange. Continuous monitoring of lung function and gas exchange may help prevent long-term damage during out-of-water medical procedures, optimize animal transport conditions, and improve survival during stranding events.

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