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The implications of lung-regulated buoyancy control for dive depth and duration

Hays, Graeme C., Metcalfe, Julian D. and Walne, Anthony W. 2004, The implications of lung-regulated buoyancy control for dive depth and duration, Ecology, vol. 85, no. 4, pp. 1137-1145, doi: 10.1890/03-0251.

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Title The implications of lung-regulated buoyancy control for dive depth and duration
Author(s) Hays, Graeme C.ORCID iD for Hays, Graeme C. orcid.org/0000-0002-3314-8189
Metcalfe, Julian D.
Walne, Anthony W.
Journal name Ecology
Volume number 85
Issue number 4
Start page 1137
End page 1145
Total pages 9
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Place of publication Ithaca, N.Y.
Publication date 2004-04
ISSN 0012-9658
1939-9170
Keyword(s) Ascension Island
bird
buoyancy control
Chelonia mydas
depth selection
diving
green turtle
mammal
penguin
pinniped
seal
Summary Among air-breathing divers, control of buoyancy through lung volume regulation may be most highly developed in marine turtles. In short, the turtle lung may serve a dual role as both an oxygen store and in buoyancy control. A simple model is developed to show that, for turtles diving up to the maximum depth at which they can still use their lungs to attain neutral buoyancy, the total oxygen store will increase greatly with dive depth, and hence a corresponding increase in dive duration is predicted. Time–depth recorders attached to free-living green turtles (Chelonia mydas) at Ascension Island confirmed a marked increase in dive duration with depth, with the gradient of this relationship being >10 times that seen in diving birds and mammals. Consistent with the prediction that the lungs serve a dual role, we found that, when lead weights were added to some turtles to increase their specific gravity, the mean depth of dives decreased, but for dives to the same depth, weighted animals dived for longer. The depth distribution of green turtles seems to be generally constrained by the maximum depth at which they can still attain close to neutral buoyancy.
Language eng
DOI 10.1890/03-0251
Field of Research 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, Ecological Society of America
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30058219

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.