Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Deadly diving? Physiological and behavioural management of decompression stress in diving mammals

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Author(s)

Sascha Kate Hooker, A. Fahlman, M. J. Moore, N. Aguilar de Soto, Y. Bernaldo de Quiros, A. O. Brubakk, D. P. Costa, A. M. Costidis, S. Dennison, K. J. Falke, A. Fernandez, M. Ferrigno, J. R. Fitz-Clarke, M. M. Garner, D. S. Houser, P. D. Jepson, D. R. Ketten, P. H. Kvadsheim, P. T. Madsen, N. W. Pollock & 8 more D. S. Rotstein, T. K. Rowles, S. E. Simmons, W. Van Bonn, P. K. Weathersby, M. J. Weise, T. M. Williams, Peter Lloyd Tyack

School/Research organisations

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.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1050
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume279
Issue number1731
Early online date21 Dec 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2012

    Research areas

  • Diving physiology, Marine mammals, Gas bubbles, Embolism, Decompression sickness

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Whales: their past, present and future

    Hammond, P. S., Heinrich, S., Hooker, S. K. & Tyack, P. L., 14 Jul 2017, London: Natural History Museum, London. 192 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  2. From physiology to policy: a review of physiological noise effects on marine fauna with implications for mitigation

    Aguilar De Soto, N., Gkikopoulou, K., Hooker, S., Isojunno, S., Johnson, M., Miller, P., Tyack, P., Wensveen, P., Donovan, C., Harris, C. M., Harris, D., Marshall, L., Oedekoven, C., Prieto, R. & Thomas, L., Dec 2016, In: Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics. 27, 1, 14 p., 040008.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  3. First indications that northern bottlenose whales are sensitive to behavioural disturbance from anthropogenic noise

    Miller, P., Kvadsheim, P. H., Lam, F. P. A., Tyack, P. L., Curé, C., De Ruiter, S. L., Kleivane, L., Sivle, L. D., van IJsselmuide, S. P., Visser, F., Wensveen, P. J., von Benda-Beckmann, A. M., Martin Lopez, L. M., Narazaki, T. & Hooker, S. K., 1 Jun 2015, In: Royal Society Open Science. 2, 6, 11 p., 140484.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Sperm whales exhibit variation in echolocation tactics with depth and sea state but not naval sonar exposures

    Isojunno, S., von Benda-Beckmann, A., Wensveen, P., Kvadsheim, P., Lam, F-P., Gkikopoulou, K. C., Pöyhönen, V., Tyack, P. L., Benti, B., Foskolos, I., Bort, J., Neves, M., Biassoni, N. & Miller, P. J., 6 Dec 2021, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Marine Mammal Science. Early View, 23 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. Echolocating toothed whales use ultra-fast echo-kinetic responses to track evasive prey

    Vance, H., Madsen, P. T., Aguilar de Soto, N., Wisniewska, D. M., Ladegaard, M., Hooker, S. & Johnson, M., 26 Oct 2021, In: eLife. 10, 17 p., e68825.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Speciation in the deep: genomics and morphology reveal a new species of beaked whale Mesoplodon eueu

    Carroll, E. L., McGowen, M. R., McCarthy, M. L., Marx, F. G., Aguilar, N., Dalebout, M. L., Dreyer, S., Gaggiotti, O. E., Hansen, S. S., van Helden, A., Onoufriou, A. B., Baird, R. W., Baker, C. S., Berrow, S., Cholewiak, D., Claridge, D., Constantine, R., Davison, N. J., Eira, C., Fordyce, R. E. & 13 others, Gatesy, J., Hofmeyr, G. J. G., Martín, V., Mead, J. G., Mignucci-Giannoni, A. A., Morin, P. A., Reyes, C., Rogan, E., Rosso, M., Silva, M. A., Springer, M. S., Steel, D. & Olsen, M. T., 27 Oct 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1961, 20211213.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Emerging themes in population consequences of disturbance models

    Keen, K. A., Beltran, R. S., Pirotta, E. & Costa, D. P., 25 Aug 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1957, 13 p., 20210325.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. What happened? Do preschool children and capuchin monkeys spontaneously use visual traces to locate a reward?

    Civelek, Z., Völter, C. J. & Seed, A. M., 11 Aug 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1956, 10 p., 20211101.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Food talk: 40-Hz fin whale calls are associated with prey biomass

    Romagosa, M., Pérez-Jorge, S., Cascão, I., Mouriño, H., Lehodey, P., Pereira, A., Marques, T. A., Matias, L. & Silva, M. A., 14 Jul 2021, In: Proceedings. Biological sciences. 288, 1954, 9 p., 20211156.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  5. A deepening understanding of animal culture suggests lessons for conservation

    Brakes, P., Carroll, E. L., Dall, S., Keith, S., McGregor, P., Mesnick, S., Noad, M., Rendell, L., Robbins, M., Rutz, C., Thorton, A., Whiten, A., Whiting, M., Aplin, L., Bearhop, S., Ciucci, P., Fishlock, V., Ford, J., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Simmonds, M. & 5 others, Spina, F., Wade, P., Whithead, H., Williams, J. & Garland, E. C., 28 Apr 2021, In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 288, 1949, 10 p., 20202718.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Oscar Eduardo Gaggiotti (Member of editorial board)

    1 Jan 2013 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Kate Arnold (Reviewer)

    2012 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Michael Gordon Ritchie (Editor)

    20102011

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Susan Denise Healy (Member of editorial board)

    2009 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Journal)

    Iain McCombe Matthews (Editor)

    2008 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

ID: 17580734

Top