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Deep-Diving California Sea Lions: Are They Pushing Their Physiological Limit

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Technical Report,01 Oct 2014,30 Sep 2015

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University of California San Diego La Jolla United States

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The 500-m diving capacity of the California sea lion Zalophus californianus represents a model in which a generally considered shallow-diving species is potentially approaching its physiological limit during dives greater than 300 m in depth. The physiology of these extreme dives is relevant to the development of the sea lion as a model for deep-diving physiology. In addition, the limits of a species physiological response to diving, especially during extreme dives, is key to understanding how the animal may respond to disturbances in the environment i.e., sound, temperature, prey availability. In this study we will determine the rate and magnitude of O2 store depletion during dives, and investigate its relationship to heart rate and workload, thereby improving our understanding of O2 management during diving, specifically the role of lung O2 stores and O2 delivery to tissues.

Subject Categories:

  • Biological Oceanography
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Stress Physiology

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