Big Rorqual Whales Have Bungee Cords Like Nerves

Posted: May 5 2015, 8:42am CDT | by , in News | Misc

 
Big Rorqual Whales have Bungee Cords like Nerves
CREDIT: VOGL ET AL./CURRENT BIOLOGY 2015
  • Rorqual Whales have nerves of rubber says scientists

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Scientists found out that the Rorqual whales have nerves of rubber while conducting experiments on the whale’s anatomy in Iceland.

While conducting experiments to study the whale’s anatomy by studying carcasses at the commercial whaling station in Iceland. The scientist were investigating the strange phenomenon of the whales being able to retain more than their body weight in water while filtering out the prey that they intend to eat.

That is done by expelling the water through fine mesh like baleen jaws. The excess water leaves the body and the prey is left in its mouth which is further consumed by the whale, according to a press release.

What was a curious fact was how the whale is able to retain double its body size in water. Mostly humans die from flaccidity of nerves in hyper water environments. As a fellow mammal, that phenomenon should also be present in the whales.

Evolution and adaption seems to have worked its magic and where mammals are unable to maintain high water volume inside their bodies; whales have an evolved anatomy to deal with the situation.

The nerves of the rorqual waves are elastic. Yes, these mammals have rubber like nerves which stretch like bungee cords when the whale retains water inside their bodies. Once the water is expelled, these nerves go back to their original state.

Much like a human diaphragm, only the water pressure is greater and the whales are much bigger creatures. The scientists reported their findings in Currently Biology in which they also admitted that the discovery was made by accident.

They actually thought that it was an artery that was stretching when they stretched the whale body but it turned out to be a nerve. Hence the whales are not dying with nerve damage out there and another discovery about the greatness of nature has been made.

The study is published in the journal Current Biology.

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