ECG for a Blue Whale

The blue whale’s scientific name is Balaenoptera musculus. It is said to be nearly 30 meters long and weighs more than 170 tons. The marine animal is the largest living thing on the planet. It’s also an endangered species and combined with it’s size and habitat, that makes it quite a challenge for scientists to study or preserve.

And yet the human mind is capable of miracles when science matches it. So researchers came up with an idea to study the heart rate of this huge animal by using an electrocardiogram machine. The researchers created a tag device which contained the ECG machine and was attached to the blue whale with suction cups. The four suction cups were able to keep the machine on the whale in a non intrusive manner.

The rather unique science project was successful in recording that the heart beat of the blue whale dipped to 2 beats a minute when it plunged under the ocean surface. The maximum heart beat was recorded at 37 beats a minute over the nine hour study which was conducted on a 72 feet long adult male. The whole data is the only information currently available on the blue whale as it swims in the open ocean.

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