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WHALES LUNGS

2014

 

 

By Amelia Meyer

 

Whales are mammoth creatures and are mammals; both factors that may make the assumption that they have enormous lungs seem to be quite reasonable. However, this is not actually the case. In fact, the lungs of the whales are quite small in proportion to their bodies. Due to the depths to which whales dive and the accumulation of potentially harmful gases, it would actually be dangerous for whales to have large lungs.

As a whale breathes air in through the blowhole at the top of its head, the air enters the lungs, oxygenates the blood and travels through the body to feed all of the tissues. The gases in the air dissolve in the fluids of the body. These gases include nitrogen. As the whale descends deeper and deeper into the ocean, the air has to become more and more compressed. This will force more of the gases to be dissolved into the tissues. If the lungs were really large, more nitrogen (for example) would be able to be contained and then absorbed, which would create toxicity in the body. If the whale ascended too quickly with all that gas absorbed in the tissues and not enough in the lungs, it would lead to the Bends (or decompression sickness).

Therefore, the lungs are fairly small and the animal has adapted so that it can retain as much oxygen as possible while diving down to impressive depths.

The very flexible ribcage can expand and, more importantly, cave in with pressure, which prevents the collapse of the lungs. Air leaves the lungs as they experience increased pressure, being pushed into air passages, eventually ending up in the bronchioles so that even the alveolar sacs may collapse. In the bronchioles, no gas exchange takes place, protecting the tissues from being subjected to concentrated amounts of nitrogen.

Whales do not need to store oxygen in their lungs to survive. They can actually store large percentages of their oxygen in circulation around their body. Human beings have to store about 36% of the oxygen that they inhale in the lungs. Whales, though, can store about 75% of their oxygen in their circulatory system.

On average, a whale can hold its breath for between 10 and 60 minutes, depending on the species. The enormous Blue Whale has a lung capacity of approximately 5 000 liters.

Understanding the role of the lungs in whales reveals a little more about their incredible adaptation and the mechanisms that they use to adjust to their marine environment; making these animals just a little less mysterious to human beings.

  • How big is a whale’s lung?

The average whale’s lung can hold about 90% of the whale’s total body weight in air. That means that a blue whale’s lung could theoretically hold about 100 tons of air! However, a whale’s lungs are not actually filled with air.

 

  • What is unique about whale lungs?

One of the most unique things about whale lungs is the way they are structured. Whale lungs are made up of a series of air sacs that are connected to each other. This allows whales to take in a large amount of air and then exhale it very slowly. This helps them to stay underwater for long periods of time without coming up for air.

Another unique thing about whale lungs is that they are very efficient at extracting oxygen from the water. This is because their air sacs are full of blood vessels that help to absorb oxygen from the water. This allows whales to stay underwater for long periods of time without running out of oxygen.

Like most mammals, whales can lower their heart rate when they dive. They are also more efficient at gas exchange than us. They exhale first when they reach the surface – getting rid off any stale air. All the bad air before they inhale a fresh, clean air, they must first inhale the fresh, clean air into their lungs.

Do whales have 2 lungs?

No, whales do not have two lungs. Instead, they have a series of air sacs that are connected to each other. This allows them to take in a large amount of air and then exhale it very slowly. This helps them to stay underwater for long periods of time without coming up for air.

  • Do whales have big lungs?

Yes, whales have very large lungs. The average whale’s lung can hold about 90% of the whale’s total body weight in air. That means that a blue whale’s lung could theoretically hold about 100 tons of air! However, a whale’s lungs are not actually filled with air. Instead, they are filled with a spongy. Whales have strong sphincter muscles around their blowholes that prevent water from going into their lung.

  • How many lungs does a whale have?

Whales have a series of air sacs that are connected to each other. This allows them to take in a large amount of air and then exhale it very slowly. This helps them to stay underwater for long periods of time without coming up for air.

 

  • How long can whales hold their breath:

Some whales can hold their breath for up to two hours. however, the average whale can only hold its breath for about 20 minutes. This is why they must come up for air every few minutes.

Whales are mammals and must breathe air just like we do. They have lungs and blowholes (nostrils) on the top of their head. When they come up for air, they exhale a burst of air and water vapor called a spout or blow. You can often tell how big a whale is by the size of its spout!

The longest recorded dive by a whale was over two hours long! This was by a Cuvier’s beaked whale. Cuvier’s beaked whales are the deepest diving mammals in the world and can reach depths of over 9,800 feet (3,000 meters).

So there you have it! Whales can hold their breath for a pretty long time, but they still need to come up for air every now and then.

 

  • Do whales ever drown?

No, whales cannot drown. This is because they have a series of air sacs that are connected to each other. This allows them to take in a large amount of air and then exhale it very slowly. This helps them to stay underwater for long periods of time without coming up for air.

How deep can a whale dive?

Most whales can dive to depths of around 1,000 meters (3,280 feet). However, some whales, such as the sperm whale, can dive to depths of 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) or more. Sperm whales are able to do this because they have a unique respiratory system that allows them to store oxygen in their lungs for long periods of time.

 

  • How do whales sleep without drowning?

Whales sleep by floating at the surface of the water with their mouths open. This allows them to continue to breathe while they are asleep. whales can also sleep by lying on their sides at the bottom of the ocean. This is because their respiratory system is designed to allow them to take in small amounts of oxygen even when they are not moving.

Millions of krill are consumed each day to provide their large bodies with sufficient nutrients to thrive in the ocean. Blue whales are mammals and require large quantities of oxygen in order to breathe. Unlike fish,  Blue whales They cannot remove oxygen from water because they don’t have gills. Blue whales You breathe by swimming to the surface of the water and inhaling fresh oxygen through your blowhole. This is located at the top of the whale’s head. The blue whale is a baleen whale species that has two blowholes, unlike toothed whales with one.

when it comes to blue whales exchange, they have between 80-90% oxygen in their lungs every time they breathe, in a single breath, so to speak, as opposed to only 10-15% for humans.

What is the size of a blue whale’s tongue:

Blue Whales are approximately 8,000 lbs (3600 kg) in size. It may weigh up to one female Asian elephant. The elephant is approximately 120,000-14,000 pounds/5400-6350 kilograms smaller than an African elephant. Although it is heavier than elephants, not all of them are.

 

  • What is Megalodon’s size compared to a Blue Whale?

Although it was only 58 feet (18 m) long, many people claim that it reached 85 feet. The longest whale is approximately 300 feet in length. It measures approximately 70-90 feet (222.7 m) in length, and its height is between 75-90 feet (228-226 m).

Ischemia and Whales:

Ischemia happens when Blood vessels are obstructed or blocked to certain tissues, which are less important for the animal, during dives. For example, the stomach. However, others maintain a steady flow of blood. Blood flow – like the brain. This can cause harm to animals if it is prolonged, which highlights the importance of rest periods

All these facts are true for, blue whales, baleen whales, humpback whales, and all other whales. They all store so much oxygen very efficient respiratory systems. Even though some of us on whales watch don’t like to call them killer whales, they are some of the most intriguing creatures in the animal kingdom.

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