headermask image

header image

The Mammalian Diving Reflex

From Wikipedia:

“The mammalian diving reflex optimizes respiration which allows mammals to stay underwater for a long time. It is exhibited strongly in aquatic mammals (seals, otters, dolphins, etc.), but exists in a weaker version in other mammals, including humans. Diving birds, such as penguins, have a similar diving reflex. Every animal’s diving reflex is triggered specifically by cold water contacting the face – water that is warmer than 21 °C (70 °F) does not cause the reflex, and neither does submersion of body parts other than the face. Also, the reflex is always exhibited more dramatically, and thus can grant longer survival, in young individuals.”

Interesting graph of bradycardia in a diving seal.

Something to think about next time you splash some cold water on your face!

If you liked my post, feel free to subscribe to my rss feeds

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *