Connect with us

Planet Earth

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

Comments

Planet Earth

Alvin Toffler: Rural bioconverters as an alternative to urbanism

The great American futurologist Alvin Toffler gives a chance to the countryside. His prediction is that the countryside will be covered by a network of “bioconverters” where biomass waste is converted into food, feed, fiber, bioplastics and other goods.

The US domestic bioeconomy will be able to meet 90% of the country’s need for organic chemical fertilizers and 50% – the need for liquid fuel. Every million liters of bioethanol produced creates 38 direct jobs. Therefore, jobs are formed not “at the oil pipe”, but in agricultural regions.

American philosopher and futurologist Alvin Toffler and his wife Heidi Toffler published the book “Revolutionary Wealth” in 2006. There was no Internet power yet, the heyday of alternative energy and robots, but Toffler was already looking beyond the horizon of our time. For example, he not only draws attention to the fact that “time has become denser” (the same processes a hundred years ago and today are proceeding at different speeds), but that traditional institutions – family and education, bureaucracy and political parties – are increasingly lagging behind the growth rate production, from new values, communications and from the process of globalization. And in this discrepancy between the old institutions and processes of the new time lies the source of the impending crisis.

In the preface to the Toffler’s book, he writes:

“Wealth does not arise only in fields, factories, and offices. Revolutionary wealth is associated not only with money. Currently, even the most stupid observers cannot help but see that the economy of the United States and several other countries is transforming, turning into an intelligent economy controlled by the mind. The full impact of this transformation on the fate of an individual, as well as on the fate of all countries and even continents, has yet to be felt. The past half century has been only a prologue to this transformation.”

Nevertheless, Tofflers in their book also pay attention to the transformation of old institutions – for example, rural production, assuming that, having transformed, it will give people an alternative way of life from the city. We provide an excerpt from the book “Revolutionary wealth” about the new life of the countryside.

“In a stunning document that was not given due attention, the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the University of Washington National Defense paints a picture of the world where” agricultural fields will have the same meaning as oil fields.”

Even oil company managers have spoken about the “last days of the oil century.” Dr. Robert Armstrong, author of a report by the University of National Defense, develops this idea by claiming that we are moving towards a biology-based economy, where “gas will be replaced by genes” as a key source of not only various raw materials, but also energy.

At the beginning of the XXI century, American farmers produced 280 million tons of unnecessary leaves, stems and other plant waste per year. Some of this material is already being used, turning into chemicals, electricity, lubricants, plastic, adhesives and, most importantly, into fuel. This, however, is only the beginning. Armstrong anticipates that the countryside will be covered by a network of “bioconverters,” where biomass waste is converted into food, feed, fiber, bioplastics, and other products. He quotes from the 1999 report of the National Research Committee, which states that the US domestic bio-economy “will be able to satisfy 90% of the country’s need for organic chemical fertilizers and 50% of the need for liquid fuel.”

And this applies not only to America. In such an economy, Armstrong continues, “genes will be the basic raw materials, and they can be found everywhere, unlike oil.” Thus, he predicts a gigantic geopolitical shift in power from desert oil powers to tropical regions characterized by a rich and diverse biosphere.

“In the world of biotechnology,” Armstrong writes, “our relationship with Ecuador (a representative country) will become more significant than our relationship with Saudi Arabia.” Reason: Ecuador has a much greater diversity of the biosphere, and therefore – a variety of genes that have potential value for the whole world. If this is true in the case of Ecuador, what about Brazil? Or Central Africa?

The Eden project in Cornwall, England, launched by Tim Smith, is the largest greenhouse in the world. Smith believes that “we are on the eve of the greatest revolution. From plant materials we can produce composite materials that are more durable than steel and Kevlar. The possibilities for its use are phenomenal. Every country in the world can possess modern materials derived from its own plants.”

Eden Project in Cornwall

Moreover, Smith continues, “bioconverters should be built close to sources of raw materials. It is likely that regional agricultural crops will be actively developed, and special crops will be grown in certain regions to supply local bioconverters. The result of this process will be the creation of non-agricultural jobs in agricultural areas.”

Armstrong concludes:

“An economy based on biotechnology can ultimately stop the process of urbanization.”

North America plans to plant empty fields with Miscanthus, a giant elephant grass. Studies show that from one hectare it is possible to obtain by burning such an amount of fuel that is enough to replace 40 barrels of oil.

An example of Russia

In Russia, it is technically possible now every year to use about 800 million tons of wood biomass, which is not currently used in timber harvesting, and about 400 million tons of dry matter of organic waste, and 250 million tons of them of agricultural origin , 70 million tons of forestry and woodworking industry, 10 million tons of wood and hardwood waste (collected annually in cities), 60 million tons of municipal solid waste (mainly pulp and paper products and plastics) and 10 million tons other waste (for example, precipitation of municipal drains, etc.). Their processing potentially allows you to get 350-400 million tons of oil equivalent per year and open up to 500 thousand new jobs.

US example

Every million liters of bioethanol produced creates 38 direct jobs. Therefore, jobs are formed not “at the oil pipe”, but in agricultural regions. The raw materials for most bioeconomic products are sugar (glucose), starch (sugarcane) or cellulose (straw, sawdust). One of the most modern bio plants is the Dupont plant, which produces 100 thousand tons of corn bioplastics per year. This bioplastics surpasses nylon in cost price and consumer qualities.

Continue Reading

Planet Earth

Silvery clouds alerted scientists

In summer, in the night sky, you can see something truly magical, namely silver clouds or mesospheric clouds. This rare phenomenon got its name because of the flickering effect in the twilight sky. However, despite its beauty ,these clouds can be a wake-up call.

Silvery clouds form in the mesosphere – a rarefied upper atmosphere with a small amount of moisture and low temperatures at an average height of 82 kilometers. The nature of this phenomenon has not been fully studied, however, scientists suggest that clouds form due to scarce water vapor, which freezes, creating crystals. Since the mesosphere is the coldest in summer, such clouds are observed precisely in this season.

The reason this phenomenon is not well understood is that the history of these clouds is relatively young. For the first time they were reported in 1885, and immediately scientists began to talk about the fact that they could appear due to climatic changes.

Now experts are again considering this possible reason, since for many years these clouds were mainly found only in the polar regions. But lately they have been laid much further, and look much brighter. So, on June 21, residents of the UK watched this beautiful phenomenon, although it is quite unusual for these places.

Most of the moisture needed to form clouds comes from methane – a greenhouse gas – that produces water vapor when it is destroyed in the upper atmosphere. And as methane pollution increased, silvery clouds became brighter, and most importantly, noticeable in new places.

Silvery clouds are studied by scientists, both from the Earth and from space, since they are quite high. However, to understand the true cause of the phenomenon, specialists still have a lot of work to do.

Continue Reading

Planet Earth

A clear comparison of all the plastic in the world with New York

A modern person has a huge number of reasons for constant concern. And one of the most pressing concerns is plastic, which is about to evict us from our home planet.

Graphic craftsmen from the MetaBallStudios Youtube channel, specializing in visual comparisons of various things, decided to team up with the anti-plastic organization BeyondPlastic.net and create not just entertaining video, but entertaining and informative. It turned out, in our opinion, a real mini-horror movie.

Here’s what it took to create a horror movie: count all the volumes of plastic, put them together in black bags and compare with the city of New York. The video shares the following information with us:

  • on average, every inhabitant of Europe and America spends 100 kg of plastic annually (if you remember that plastic weighs almost nothing, it becomes uncomfortable);
  • daily in New York (substitute any city with a population of 9 million people) spent 2,300 tons of plastic;
  • 30 thousand tons of disposable coffee cups are thrown around the world every day;
  • 840 thousand tons of plastic are thrown out in New York annually;
  • in 1950, the global consumption of plastic was 1.5 million tons;
  • and today, up to 8 million tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean;
  • 58 million tons of plastic bottles are produced worldwide annually;
  • and plastic bags altogether 100 million tons;

Perhaps, we will stop at this terrible figure – watch the video and understand everything yourself. We urge you to be responsible for nature.

Try to go to the store with a reusable bag, start with a reusable mug if you buy take-away coffee and generally think about the planet. Alas, we have nothing for life better than the Earth. This is proven.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

DO NOT MISS

Trending