Thermoregulation in Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) and Killer (Orcinus orca) Whales

  title={Thermoregulation in Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) and Killer (Orcinus orca) Whales},
  author={Norman W. Kasting and Shelley A. L. Adderley and Tammy Safford and K. Gilbey Hewlett},
  journal={Physiological Zoology},
  pages={687 - 701}
Thermoregulatory variables were measured in captive beluga and killer whales to confirm earlier work on smaller cetaceans. Whales had body temperatures within mammalian range and maintained a skin-water temperature difference of about 2° C. Heat-loss coefficients were less than that reported for humans. Thermal conductance may be greater than or equal to small cetaceans and humans. The larger killer whales had smaller surface-area-to-volume ratios than the belugas, as expected. However, the… 

The diving physiology of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). III. Thermoregulation at depth.

It is indicated that heat dissipation by dolphins is attenuated during diving, rather than challenge the diving response, heat transfer is delayed until post-dive periods when the need for oxygen conservation is reduced.

Metabolic rates of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) in cold water.

Estimates of oxygen consumption based on records of f and Ve, and data on oxygen extraction from other cetaceans, yielded a range of metabolic rates which compared nicely with the calculated HL values.

Field energetics and lung function in wild bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in Sarasota Bay Florida

These measurements provide novel data for resting energy use and respiratory physiology in wild cetaceans, which may have significant value for conservation efforts and for understanding the bioenergetic requirements of this species.

Seasonal Resting Metabolic Rate and Food Intake of Captive Pacific White-Sided Dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens)

Estimates of resting metabolic rates and relative changes in total energy intake can be used to parameterize bioenergetic models needed to estimate the ecological impacts and energetic requirements of Pacific white-sided dolphins in the wild, which will have conservation implications.

Energy requirements of Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) as predicted by a bioenergetic model

These high energetic requirements of Pacific white-sided dolphins may indicate a reliance of dolphins on energy-rich prey, which has implications for fisheries management and conservation of marine mammals.

Broad thermal capacity facilitates the primarily pelagic existence of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus)

Comparing this broad thermal neutral zone to the average sea surface temperatures potentially encountered during annual migrations indicates wild fur seals can likely exploit a large geographic area without added thermal metabolic costs.

Blubber Deposition During Ontogeny in Free-Ranging Bottlenose Dolphins: Balancing Disparate Roles of Insulation and Locomotion

Balancing energetic demands of thermoregulation and locomotion may limit the flexibility of yearlings to adjust blubber deposition in response to fluctuating water temperatures.

Comparative Respiratory Physiology in Cetaceans

Breath-by-breath respirometry data provide enhanced understanding of the respiratory physiology of cetaceans and are useful to provide proxies of lung function to better understand lung health or physiological limitations.

Scaling of insulation in seals and whales

Scaling of morphological variables that influence total insulation in eight species of marine mammals ranging in average size from 35 to 30000 kg are described and total heat loss and the partitioning of heat loss through the body surface and appendages are calculated.

Gas exchange and heart rate in the harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena

The peak end-tidal O2 values were related to the length of the previous breath-hold, demonstrating the increased oxygen uptake from the lung for the longer dives, and an aerobic dive limit of 5.4 min predicted.



Metabolic rates of seals and whales

A critical review of metabolic rate determinations for pinnipeds and cetaceans does not support the widely accepted generalization that they have higher metabolic rates than terrestrial mammals of similar size, forcing a rethinking of the thermoregulatory adaptations of these marine mammals for an aquatic existence.

Temperature regulation of marine mammals.

  • J. Hokkanen
  • Environmental Science
    Journal of theoretical biology
  • 1990


There is evidence for a powerful control of thermoregulatory mechanisms by the anterior hypothalamic/preoptic region of the brain in two species and Thermoregulation in marine mammals during exercise remains paradoxical.

Body heat dissipation and conservation in two species of dolphins.

Skinfolds and resting heat loss in cold air and water: temperature equivalence.

Between limits of 100-250% of resting heat loss the following relationships between MSF and equivalent water-air temperatures were found (see article).

Energy exchanges of swimming man.

Three male swimmers underwent 10-min resting and 20-min swimming (breaststroke) exposures in a swimming flume and internal body temperature changes after 20 min of swimming were related to water temperature, swimming intensity, and body composition.

The Fire of Life

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