Blue Whale’s Heart Rate Was Recorded for the First Time in the Wild

The blue whale is a magnificent marine creature that can grow up to 30 meters in length and 175 tons in weight. Now, the scientists from the Stanford and University of California San Diego made another breakthrough as they managed to record the heart rate of a blue whale in the wild for the first time. The study on the achievements was issued in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers went to Monterey Bay and placed a recording device on a whale.

“Four suction cups had secured the sensor-packed tag near the whale’s left flipper, where it recorded the animal’s heart rate through electrodes embedded in the center of the two suction feet,” the researchers said in a press release.

“This study is significant because we have developed a technique to record the electrocardiogram and heart rate of the largest animal that has ever lived on the earth,” also said Paul Ponganis, one of the researchers who participated in the study and a physiologist at UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Scientists recorded the heart rate of a blue whale in the wild for the first time

“The heart rate data are consistent with allometric predictions based on body mass and the heart rate data confirm anatomical-biomechanical models of vascular function in such large animals,” Paul Ponganis added.

As I’ve mentioned above, blue whales are massive marine creatures. The heart of a blue whale can reach 1.5 meters in length and about 1 meter in width. It weighs about 180 kilos. The new study is essential for scientists to understand more about the lives of blue whales and their behavior.

As for the results of the research, the heart rate of the blue whale ranged between two beats per minute and 37 beats per minute. While diving, the whale preserves oxygen by lowering the heart rate. On the other hand, when the blue whale swims on the surface of the water, its heart beats at 37 times per minute.

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