how do deep diving marine mammals adjust to depth?


I understand that obviously their bodies have evoluted to withstand such pressures, but how does it work? I can’t imagine a sperm whale getting the bends.

In: 135


The bends, aka decompression sickness, is caused by ascending too quickly while breathing compressed gas. Animals aren’t breathing compressed gas.

Put very simply (because helpfully I can’t remember the details and would have to Google it, which defeats the point), of this subreddit) – special lungs and self-regulation of diving patterns. But there are some which have shown symptoms of it so they aren’t completely immune.

If you want a decent intro to decompression sickness, I recommend [the This Podcast Will Kill you episode on it]( While it is mostly on the human experience, they do cover animals getting the bends, including a little on marine animals towards the end. There is a transcript if you’d prefer to read rather than listen.

Warning: there’s some pretty graphic descriptions of some animals who were subjected to decompression during scientific experimentation.