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A review of cetacean lung morphology and mechanics

Authors

  • Marina A. Piscitelli,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    • Correspondence to: Marina A. Piscitelli, Department of Zoology, The University of British Columbia, 6270 University Blvd. Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4. E-mail: piscitellim@gmail.com

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  • Stephen A. Raverty,

    1. Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    2. Division of Plant and Animal Health, British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
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  • Margo A. Lillie,

    1. Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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  • Robert E. Shadwick

    1. Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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ABSTRACT

Cetaceans possess diverse adaptations in respiratory structure and mechanics that are highly specialized for an array of surfacing and diving behaviors. Some of these adaptations and air management strategies are still not completely understood despite over a century of study. We have compiled the historical and contemporary knowledge of cetacean lung anatomy and mechanics in regards to normal lung function during ventilation and air management while diving. New techniques are emerging utilizing pulmonary mechanics to measure lung function in live cetaceans. Given the diversity of respiratory adaptations in cetaceans, interpretations of these results should consider species-specific anatomy, mechanics, and behavior. J. Morphol. 274:1425–1440, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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