, Volume 138, Issue 4, pp 335-346

Aerobic and anaerobic metabolism during voluntary diving in Weddell seals: Evidence of preferred pathways from blood chemsitry and behavior

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Summary

The salient features of this study in the order of significance as we perceive them are:

  1. Post-dive arterial lactic acid concentrations were at no time different from resting levels unless the previous dive exceeded 20 to 25 min (Fig. 5).

  2. Peak lactate concentration was correlated to dive durations (Fig. 6).

  3. Only 2.7% of the dives of free-ranging seals exceed 26 min (Table 3 and Fig. 7).

  4. There was a notable drop in body temperature during prolonged dives to as low as 34.9°C (Table 2).

  5. Arterial hemoglobin concentrations immediately after dives (22.7%) were significantly higher than concentrations in resting animals (17.4g%) (Fig. 3).

  6. Blood glucose after dives always rose aboce resting levels.

  7. pH was in the normal mammalian range except after very long dives; in these cases the pH fell as low as 6.8 (Fig. 4).

  8. Blood gases were in the normal mammalian range, but based upon resting apneic values \(P{\text{a}}_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} } \) may drop to remarkably low levels during prolonged dives.