Cardio-respiratory Physiology: How can seals dive so deep for so long? Virtual Lab

Monitor three dives of a Weddell seal in Antarctica and discover how long it can dive with the oxygen available in its stores.

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About This Simulation

How Weddell seals can dive up to 600 meters and for over 30 minutes is a bit of a mystery. In this simulation, you will learn about oxygen stores, aerobic dive limit, aerobic and partially anaerobic ATP generation, and special cardio-respiratory adaptations that allow seals to perform deep, long dives that would be impossible for humans without scuba diving equipment.

Monitor seal dives in Antarctica

Welcome to the Labster research station in Antarctica! Here, you will join our team and help monitor Weddell seal dives to study what cardio-respiratory adaptations seals possess to be able to dive so deep and for such a long amount of time. Humans and seals have different amounts of oxygen available to them, and they also store it at different proportions in lungs, blood and muscle. Do seals and humans have the same factorial increase in oxygen consumption? Monitor three dives and collect data on consumed oxygen and blood lactate to find out.

Get a puzzle piece for each calculation you get right

You will equip a Weddell seal with a camera, instruments pack and catheter for blood collection, and watch it dive and come back up to the surface of the hole in the ice in the research hut. Through fun mini-games, you will calculate available oxygen, aerobic dive limit and ATPs generated during aerobic and partially anaerobic dives. For each correct result, you will get a piece of the puzzle!

Swim with a seal

At the end, when you have all your puzzle pieces, your reward will be an interactive dive with the seal. You will be able to see a summary of its main cardio-respiratory adaptations to diving.

Will you be able to guess them before you click the different parts?

Explore Cardio-respiratory Physiology: How can seals dive so deep for so long? Virtual Lab Simulation

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