[MARMAM] Diving porpoises conserve more oxygen when they can’t see

Peter Teglberg Madsen peter.madsen at bio.au.dk
Sat Mar 25 04:53:49 PDT 2023

Dear All,
In a recent paper we show that porpoises conserve more oxygen when they can’t see.
The dive response of marine mammals allow them to undertake long breath-hold dives to access rich marine prey resources. It consists of a mixture of peripheral vasoconstriction and a lowering of heart rate, leading to lower metabolic rates in un-perfused tissues.
The dive response has been shown to vary with breath-hold duration, depth, exercise, and expectations during the dive. However, it is unknown to what extent sensory deprivation influences the dive response and oxygen management.
We show that acoustic masking causes very little change in heart rate of a trained harbor porpoise tasked with discriminating between two targets, whereas visual deprivation reduces heart rate by half of control values, suggesting a much larger importance of vision from these previously considered obligate echolocators. This indicates that such strong oxygen regulation in response to a change in sensory information could be a potential anti-predator response.

Check the paper out here: https://www.cell.com/.../fulltext/S2589-0042(23)00281-X...<https://www.cell.com/iscience/fulltext/S2589-0042(23)00281-X?fbclid=IwAR07fBH7txJKFTwB-Tws1_ZMY3hgdmj5Uk4vz6Xf4o9rycKziA1qvO0_gk0#%20>

On behalf of the authors,

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