Diving and Asphyxia

Abstract

A harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) exhales and submerges. As water contacts its nostrils, there is a rapid increase in firing of the cardiac vagus nerve and the heart rate drops from 100 to 10 beats per minute. Simultaneously, an alpha-adrenergic peripheral vasoconstriction results in a central shift in oxygen-rich blood volume. The inferior vena cava enlarges… (More)

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