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Florida ES – Respiration rates and the time they can spend underwater.

By Krista Ingram on January 21, 2016

We had the great opportunity to take the breathing rates of the dolphins. Breathing rates provide helpful information to the medical staff of a dolphin’s health status. For good reason, Dolphins try to minimize their appearance of looking sick. In the wild, a sick dolphin is easy prey. As a result husbandry can be difficult. Fortunately, respiration rates can clearly indicate whether a dolphin is suffering from illness. This assessment was paramount to the health of the dolphin. To complete this task, we took to the boardwalks, clipboard in hand with a positive attitude. Each observer pair focused on one dolphin, recording the number of respirations over a five-minute interval. The total number of respiration in a five minute period was multiplied by 0.2 to find respirations per minute. This information was given to the Dolphin research Center for analysis. The average breath rate for bottle nosed dolphins is 1.5 to 4 breaths per minute. These dolphins can hold their breath for up to 10 minutes underwater. We always think that dolphins are smart; in addition, they are also masterfully adapted to living within an aquatic environment. – Sarah, Alex, and Alex.



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