Control of Ventilation in Diving Birds
Studies on diving ducks indicate that the carotid bodies affect dive duration when the birds are hypoxic before a dive but not when they are hypercapnic. When close to their critical concentrations (beyond which the ducks will not dive), both oxygen and carbon dioxide reduce dive duration but hypercapnia has a much larger influence than hypoxia on surface duration. Also, excessive removal of carbon dioxide before a dive may be as important a factor in preparing for that dive as the replacement of the oxygen used during the previous dive. This observation is compatible with a physiological model of the control of diving behaviour in the Weddell seal which emphasises the significance of the level of carbon dioxide in the blood perfusing the brain.
KeywordsCarotid Body Respiratory Exchange Ratio Oxygen Store Diving Behaviour Weddell Seal
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