Gas Exchange in the Fish Swimbladder

  • Peter Scheid
  • Bernd Pelster
  • Hirosuke Kobayashi
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 277)


Neutral buoyancy is of great advantage to any object in water, a submarine like an animal, since it will help to save energy to avoid sinking or rising. Depending on their composition, fish are usually somewhat denser than the surrounding water, largely because of the skeletal and protein masses (densities around 2–3 and 1.3 g/cm3, respectively) which override the “floating” mass of fat (density 0.9). Thus their overall density is some 5% larger than that of water, and this results in a sinking force of about 5% of their weight, which to overcome in water can be shown to be a formidable energy expenditure (Denton, 1961). There are several ways in which animals have solved this problem to become neutrally buoyant (Denton, 1961), and the swimbladder is one such floating device.


Neutral Buoyancy Bohr Effect Root Effect Arterial Capillary Arterial Rete 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Scheid
    • 1
  • Bernd Pelster
    • 1
  • Hirosuke Kobayashi
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für PhysiologieRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany

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