Letter | Published:

Diving Bradycardia in the Unrestrained Hippopotamus

Naturevolume 212page408 (1966) | Download Citation



THE slowing of heart rate in animals and birds responding to the asphyxia of diving has been noted many times since the early observations of Bert in 1870 (ref. 1). More recently, the diving bradycardia has been shown to be associated with major circulatory changes in which the blood flow in viscera and skeletal muscle is reduced without change in the arterial blood pressure. Additional evidence suggests that coronary and cerebral circulation is maintained2–4.

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  1. 1

    Bert, P., Leçons sur la Physiologie Comparée de la Respiration (Paris, Bailliére, 1870).

  2. 2

    Irving, L., Amer. J. Physiol., 122, 207 (1938).

  3. 3

    Scholander, P. F., Hvalradets Skrifter (Oslo), 22 (1940).

  4. 4

    Elsner, R. W., Hornbein, T. F., and Wright, J., Fed. Proc., 23, 111 (1964).

  5. 5

    Parker, G. H., Amer. J. Physiol., 99, 577 (1932).

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  1. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego



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