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Title: Deadly diving? Physiological and behavioural management of decompression stress in diving mammals
Authors: Hooker, Sascha K.
Fahlman, Andreas
Moore, Michael John
Aguilar de Soto, Natacha
Bernaldo De Quirós Miranda, Yara 
Brubakk, Alf Ottar
Costa, Daniel P.
Costidis, Alexander M.
Dennison, Sophie E.
Falke, Konrad J.
Fernández Rodríguez, Antonio Jesús 
Ferrigno, Massimo
Fitz-Clarke, John R.
Garner, Michael M.
Houser, Dorian S.
Jepson, Paul D.
Ketten, Darlene R.
Kvadsheim, Petter Helgevold
Madsen, Peter Teglberg T.
Pollock, Neal W.
Rotstein, David S.
Rowles, Teresa K.
Simmons, Samantha E.
van Bonn, William G.
Weathersby, Paul K.
Weise, Michael J.
Williams, Terrie M.
Tyack, Peter L.
UNESCO Clasification: 240111 Patología animal
310907 Patología
Keywords: Dolphins Tursiops-Truncatus
Gas-Bubble Lesions
Foraging Behavior
Heart-Rates, et al
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: 0962-8452
Journal: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 
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.
ISSN: 0962-8452
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2011.2088
Source: Proceedings of The Royal Society B-Biological Sciences [ISSN 0962-8452], v. 279 (1731), p. 1041-1050
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