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First recording of a blue whale's heart rate


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Encased in a neon orange plastic shell, a collection of electronic sensors bobbed along the surface of the Monterey Bay, waiting to be retrieved by Stanford University researchers. A lunchbox-sized speck in the vast waters, it held cargo of outsized importance: the first-ever recording of a blue whale's heart rate.

Analysis of the data suggests that a blue whale's heart is already working at its limit, which may explain why blue whales have never evolved to be bigger. The data also suggest that some unusual features of the whale's heart might help it perform at these extremes. Studies like this add to our fundamental knowledge of biology and can also inform conservation efforts.

"Animals that are operating at physiological extremes can help us understand biological limits to size," said Goldbogen. "They may also be particularly susceptible to changes in their environment that could affect their food supply. Therefore, these studies may have important implications for the conservation and management of endangered species like blue whales."

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-11/su-rrf112219.php

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I bet the whales get anxious waiting for the next beat.

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