06/08/2015

Scientists keep their finger on the pulse with new killer whale heart research

Scientists keep their finger on the pulse with new killer whale heart research

New research is being conducted with a killer whale at SeaWorld San Diego to evaluate cardiac function benefiting veterinary diagnostics and the understanding of diving physiology in wild killer whales.

New research is being conducted with a killer whale at SeaWorld San Diego to evaluate cardiac function benefiting veterinary diagnostics and the understanding of diving physiology in wild killer whales.

The study, conducted by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, uses human heart rate monitor technology, yet adapted for the marine environment with GoPro suction cups, to record electrocardiograms on whales while they are in the water, document cardiac characteristics at rest and during exercise, and develop reliable suction cup attachment techniques that can ultimately be applied to large whales in the wild.