Mammals Deep Diving Record
Cuvier's (Ziphius cavirostris) and Blainville's beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) hold the new deep-diving records for non-fish vertebrates. This was discovered by biologists working with Peter Tyack from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution using measuring probes that they attached to the animals.
Accordingly, Cuvier's beaked whales hunting for prey, which were observed off the Ligurian coast, dived down to 1900 meters and sometimes spent up to 85 minutes under water without taking a breath in between. Blainville's beaked whales studied off the Azores descended to 1250 meters and did not need to breathe for a maximum of 57 minutes. This means that they stay longer and at greater depths under water than the sperm whales, which have been better studied to date, which can also swim down to 1200 meters and spend three quarters of an hour down there.
These deep dives may also make the animals particularly sensitive to the extreme noise levels generated by new sonar wave generating devices during military exercises. To escape this noise, the whales could quickly emerge from the deep sea, causing them to develop deadly symptoms of what is known as diver's sickness. Gas bubbles form in the blood and tissue of those affected, which can cause serious damage to he alth and death. Multiple strandings of beaked whales, which showed signs of such injuries, occurred after maneuvers by naval units.