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Title: Deadly diving? Physiological and behavioural management of decompression stress in diving mammals
Authors: Hooker, Sascha Kate
Fahlman, A.
Moore, M. J.
Aguilar de Soto, N.
Bernaldo de Quiros, Y.
Brubakk, A. O.
Costa, D. P.
Costidis, A. M.
Dennison, S.
Falke, K. J.
Fernandez, A.
Ferrigno, M.
Fitz-Clarke, J. R.
Garner, M. M.
Houser, D. S.
Jepson, P. D.
Ketten, D. R.
Kvadsheim, P. H.
Madsen, P. T.
Pollock, N. W.
Rotstein, D. S.
Rowles, T. K.
Simmons, S. E.
Van Bonn, W.
Weathersby, P. K.
Weise, M. J.
Williams, T. M.
Tyack, Peter Lloyd
Keywords: Diving physiology
Marine mammals
Gas bubbles
Embolism
Decompression sickness
QL Zoology
Issue Date: 22-Mar-2012
Citation: Hooker , S K , Fahlman , A , Moore , M J , Aguilar de Soto , N , Bernaldo de Quiros , Y , Brubakk , A O , Costa , D P , Costidis , A M , Dennison , S , Falke , K J , Fernandez , A , Ferrigno , M , Fitz-Clarke , J R , Garner , M M , Houser , D S , Jepson , P D , Ketten , D R , Kvadsheim , P H , Madsen , P T , Pollock , N W , Rotstein , D S , Rowles , T K , Simmons , S E , Van Bonn , W , Weathersby , P K , Weise , M J , Williams , T M & Tyack , P L 2012 , ' Deadly diving? Physiological and behavioural management of decompression stress in diving mammals ' Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , vol 279 , no. 1731 , pp. 1041-1050 .
Abstract: Decompression sickness (DCS; 'the bends') is a disease associated with gas uptake at pressure. The basic pathology and cause are relatively well known to human divers. Breath-hold diving marine mammals were thought to be relatively immune to DCS owing to multiple anatomical, physiological and behavioural adaptations that reduce nitrogen gas (N-2) loading during dives. However, recent observations have shown that gas bubbles may form and tissue injury may occur in marine mammals under certain circumstances. Gas kinetic models based on measured time-depth profiles further suggest the potential occurrence of high blood and tissue N-2 tensions. We review evidence for gas-bubble incidence in marine mammal tissues and discuss the theory behind gas loading and bubble formation. We suggest that diving mammals vary their physiological responses according to multiple stressors, and that the perspective on marine mammal diving physiology should change from simply minimizing N-2 loading to management of the N-2 load. This suggests several avenues for further study, ranging from the effects of gas bubbles at molecular, cellular and organ function levels, to comparative studies relating the presence/absence of gas bubbles to diving behaviour. Technological advances in imaging and remote instrumentation are likely to advance this field in coming years.
Version: Publisher PDF
Status: Peer reviewed
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/2475
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2011.2088
ISSN: 0962-8452
Type: Journal item
Rights: © 2011 The Royal Society This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Appears in Collections:NERC Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) Research
University of St Andrews Research
Biology Research
Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciences Research
St Andrews Sustainablity Institute Research
Scottish Oceans Institute Research



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