The Beaked Whale’s Long Dive of Almost 4 Hours Set a New Record.
The old record was broken by the same whale species in 2014 at around 2 hours. The marine mammal Cuvier Beaked whale broke the longest dive record with a timing of three hours and 42 minutes. The previous champion, recorded in 2014, had spent more than two hours underwater.
To break the record for the longest diving like a marine mammal, take a deep breath and jump into the water, then stay off for almost four hours.
The Cuvier Beaked whales are expert divers. These creatures not only hold the record for the deepest diving, measuring up to 3000 meters but also maintain their record as the longest diving creatures.
In 2014, scientists observed a record dive of 137.5 minutes over two hours, according to researchers in the Journal of Experimental Biology on September 23, another Cuvier beaked whale broke the record with 222 minutes, or three hours and 42 minutes, without going up to the air.
To stay underwater for long periods, mammals rely on their large oxygen capacity and slow metabolism. When the oxygen runs out, the animals can use the lactic acid accumulated in their muscles by anaerobic respiration, which can generate energy without relying on oxygen.
“These creatures are above our expectations,” says Nicola Quick, an animal watcher at Duke University’s Sea Lab in N.C Beaufort.
Calculations based on seals’ oxygen capacity and their capacity during diving time show that whales can only last half an hour before their oxygen runs out.
Seals can exceed this limit in a 5 percent time frame. Quick’s team observed 3680 dives on 23 whales. Many dives took up to an hour. And 5 percent exceeded the time by up to 78 minutes. They took twice as long as expected to transition to anaerobic respiration, according to the recommendation.
The researchers expected the whales to spend more time on the surface to recover after long dives, but they couldn’t quite observe this. “We know very little about whales,” said Quick, “as interesting as it is annoying.”