Quirks and Quarks

Whale Sets Deep Diving Record

Cuvier's Beaked Whale sets a mammalian record and dives to nearly 3000 meters below the surface....

Cuvier's Beaked Whales are found in deep water basins of both tropical and cold water oceans all over the world. They are not well-studied because they live at great depths, far from shore. But they are known for their ability to dive very deep and remain at depth for extended periods of time. Gregory Schorr, a research biologist with the Cascadia Research Collective in Olympia, Washington, recently studied these whales, using satellite tags. The deepest dive recorded - which was limited by the depth of the ocean at that point - was nearly 3,000 metres. This is deeper than any other whale or even the elephant seal, which held the previous record. But even more amazing was that the whale stayed at that depth for 137 minutes, and needed less than two minutes to recover before diving again. The physiology that makes this possible will be the subject of future research.

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