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The heartbeat of a blue whale is recorded for the first time

Blue Whales can survive with two beats per minute in the ocean depths and now for the first time heartbeat of a blue whale is recorded.

heartbeat of a blue whale is recorded

When a blue whale feeds, it skips several heartbeats, sometimes up to 30. this is what a team of marine biologists has discovered after being able to record the heartbeat of a blue whale, on the coast near California. To do this, a suction pulse monitor was placed on his back.

The researchers watched as the marine giant emerged and submerged again for a period of almost 9 hours, alternately filling its lungs with air and its stomach with appetizing schools of fish hundreds of meters below the surface.

During the dives, the whale’s heart has brutal ups and downs, pumping from 34 times per minute on the sea surface to only 2 per minute at the deepest depths – between 30 and 50% slower than expected to be recorded.

According to the new study published in PNAS, the simple act of opening the mouth to eat takes the heart of the cetacean to its physical limits, something that could explain why there are no creatures larger than the blue whale on the planet.

“Animals that function at physiological extremes can help us understand the biological limits of size,” said lead author Jeremy Goldbogen, an assistant professor at Stanford University in California. “In other words: if the heart of a whale is not able to pump faster during the effort required in the search for food, how could it support the heart of an older animal and provide the required energy?”

The largest animal in the world Blue Whale

Blue whales are the largest creatures that have ever inhabited the oceans (the Patagotitan mayorum dinosaur was consecrated as the largest terrestrial creature that has stepped on the planet, after its study and classification in 2014 ).

Upon reaching adulthood, the blue whale can be more than 30 meters long, more or less the length of two school buses parked one after the other. It takes a big heart to drive a beast of such size; and while this organ is not so large that a human can swim inside one of its arteries, as an urban myth says, the truth is that stranded whales have allowed hearts to recover up to 200 kilograms and the size of a golf cart .

Blue whale heart. With a weight of 200 kg, it was extracted from a specimen that found its final destination on the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, in 2014. heartbeat of a blue whale is recorded
Blue whale heart.
With a weight of 200 kg, it was extracted from a specimen that found its final destination on the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, in 2014.

Scientists already knew that the pulse of these cetaceans decreased in the aquatic environment. When mammals submerge, their bodies automatically begin to redistribute oxygen; The heart and brain are the ones that most demand oxygen, while your muscles, skin and other organs receive less. This allows animals to stay underwater for longer with a single inhalation, resulting in a lower than normal heart rate. This is so true for humans who like diving as for blue whales, however, given the enormous size of the whale and its ability to reach 300 meters below the surface, their hearts are pushed to limits beyond our own. .

Change in the heartbeat of a blue whale with change in depth

In the creature studied, its maximum immersion lasted 16.5 minutes, reaching a depth of 184 meters. On the other hand, he never spent more than 4 minutes on the surface to fill his lungs with air.

The sensor set by the scientists showed that in the deepest dives, the heart of the whale beat at an average rate of 4 to 8 times per minute, with a minimum of only 2 beats per minute. “During these beats that were so temporarily separated, the flexible aortic artery of the animal contracted to maintain a slowed movement of the oxygenated blood through the body,” the researchers write.

Back on the surface, the heart rate accelerated rapidly to 25 to 37 beats per minute, charging the bloodstream with enough oxygen to support the next dive. “At that time the heart of the whale was working near its physical limit,” the authors add. “It is unlikely that your heart can beat faster than that.”

Source: Live Science

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Planet Earth

A previously unknown species of winged dinosaur very similar to a dragon discovered in China

Artistic representation of how the Wulong bohaiensis could have been. Credit: Erick Toussaint / San Diego Natural History Museum

A new species of dinosaur, a relative of Velociraptor, has shown scientists a little more about the origins of similarities and differences between the feathers of dinosaurs and birds.

The fossil belongs to a fierce dinosaur from the Cretaceous period called the “dancing dragon” who lived 120 million years ago in what is now China.

‘Dancing dragon’

Fossil of the Wulong bohaiensis. Credit: Erick Toussaint / San Diego Natural History Museum

Called Wulong Bohaiensis, It was a two-legged carnivore, a little bigger than a raven, that resided in an environment next to lakes. He had a scaly face, a mouth full of pointed teeth, a particularly dangerous toenail, and probably hunted small mammals, lizards, birds and fish.

He was gound in the Chinese province of Rehe, in northeastern China and his name translates as ‘dancing dragon’, as it refers to the articulated position in which his skeleton is.

Conserved in its entirety, the skeleton included soft tissues such as feathers, which appear together on its arms and legs, very similar to those of birds now. In addition to its four long limbs and two long feathers at the end of the tail, his body was covered by spongy filaments.

At the end of its long bone tail, fused in a rigid rod, there were 2 very long feathers.

«The Wulong specimen is a magnificent fossil. With the feathers and claws, I think it would have been beautiful and a little scary. I would love to see one alive, ”said leading research paleontologist Ashley Poust of the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Plumage differences between birds and feathered dinosaurs

A thorough examination of the bones showed that this Wulong individual was approximately one year old, that is, he was a young male still growing.

A new species of feathered dinosaur in China

This characteristic puzzled the experts, since usually the feathers appear in the adult stage. “Either the young dinosaurs needed these tail feathers for some function we don’t know, or they were cultivating their feathers very differently than most current birds”, Poust explained

Birds evolved from small feathered dinosaurs approximately 150 million years ago. But there were many feathered dinosaurs that didn’t fly, like Wulong.

Young Wulong seemed to have the plumage of an adult.

«It has long and isolated feathers that extend from its long tail. This is quite different from live birds and tells us that these decorative feathers preceded adulthood in dinosaurs. Of course, they may be using these feathers in a very different way from live birds too, ”said the expert.

Paleontologists are eager to understand many more plumage differences between birds and these feathered dinosaurs.

The finding was described in the scientific journal. The Anatomical Record.

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Australia Firefighters Save the Only Wild Prehistoric Wollemi Pines on Earth

Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch
Waking Times

It looks as if firefighters in Australia have succeeded in saving a secret grove of prehistoric trees belonging to a species that dates back to the time of the dinosaurs.

The Wollemi pines once grew widely across Australia from more than 100 to 60 million years ago, The Washington Post reported. But now less than 200 remain in the wild, in a national park 125 miles northwest of Sydney.

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“Huge anomalies” at the edge of the earth’s core

At the edge of the Earth’s core lie two gigantic blobs of ultrahot rock — and that’s about the extent to which geologists agree about them.

NASA PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY. DISTRIBUTED ACTIVE ARCHIVE CENTER

The mysterious blobs are on opposite sides of the planet, one hidden beneath Africa, the other in the middle of the Pacific Ocean – the Quanta Magazine compared the ‘massive anomalies’ to Princess Leia’s iconic hairstyle (Star Wars).

Scientists discovered the blobs decades ago by mapping the interior of the planet, but have not learned much since.

Some ideas

There are two main schools of thought regarding the blobs, according to Quanta. The first camp holds that they’re merely massive clusters of hot plumes.

The other argues that the blobs — so big that they would drown the planet’s surface in a lava ocean over 60 miles deep — are their own distinct entity and not just a particularly warm region of the core.

Recent evidence supports the second camp: Quanta reports that scientists found traces of unique, ancient rocks and isotopes in magma that’s flowed upward from the blobs — materials nearly as old as the Earth itself and not found elsewhere on the planet.

Persistent Mystery

Still, great mystery still surrounds the deeply-buried hotspots. One theory is that they could be fragments of a Mars-sized object that crashed into the Earth.

University of Maryland seismologist Vedran Lekić told Quanta

It would be like having an object in the sky, and asking, ‘Is that the moon?’ And people are like, no. ‘Is that the sun?’ No. ‘What is it?’ We don’t know.

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