Re: Why deep breathers don't get decompression sickness etc

Subject: Re: Why deep breathers don't get decompression sickness etc
From: Pat Macwhirter <>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 13:33:57 +1000
Is this where birds' counter current air/blood capillary system as opposed
to human's air sacs/surfactant system comes in handy? After all this
discussion I have visions of meditating penquins with tikis in their
foreheads sitting cross-legged on top of Davy Jones' locker with a host of
confused birdos gazing on..perhaps the nitrogen narcosis is getting to me.
What do you divers really see down there???


Pat Macwhirter BVSc (Hons), MA, FACVSc
Registered Specialist in Bird Medicine
Highbury Veterinary Clinic
Ph: (03) 9808 9011 Fax: (03) 9888 7134

>Now the real question to my way of thinking is "how do these birds avoid
>Pulmonary Baratrauma of Descent"?  As a diver descends on a breath hold
>(free)dive, fluids gather in the lungs equalising the pressure inside the
>lung with the ambient pressure. My understanding is that when the diver
>reaches 40m (5 ATA)(yes people do free dive this deep and deeper) his/her
>lung tissues break down with the overload of fluid. How do penguins over
>come this???
>I hope this puts a few things into perspective.
>                                                Cheers from
>                                                 Julie Raines
>                                         (Honourable bird and fish watcher!!)
>......and, no I haven't seen any penguins on SCUBA lately.
>Julie Raines
>Australasian Ecological Services
>Snail   PO Box 312, Wanneroo, Western Australia  6065
>Tel/fax  + 61 9 306 1642      Mobile 014 081 702

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