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Breathing Movements of Whales


WHALES, when breathing, usually keep on the move ; the purpose of this letter is to explain why. All aquatic air-breathing creatures have to contend with the risk of water entering their lungs. Although the blow-holes of whales are valvular and situated on the highest part of the head, these animals, usually, can only breathe with safety when their blow-holes are at some height above the surface of the sea.

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  1. "The Spouting and Movements of Whales", Annual Report of Smithsonian Institution, 1903.

  2. "Journal of a Voyage", p. 287.

  3. "Voyage of the Lady Franklin and Sophia", 2, 324 ; 1850–51.

  4. "Arctic Regions", 1, 494.

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GRAY, R. Breathing Movements of Whales. Nature 133, 797–798 (1934).

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