PSL480H1F - Diving Physiology of Marine Mammals

Friday - 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Coordinator:  Dr. C. Wittnich

Description:  This specialized course will compare and contrast the physiologic and anatomical adaptations experienced by the different species of marine mammals in contrast to humans. In order to accomplish this the following areas will be explored in depth: physiologic and anatomic adaptations of the skeleton/musculature that facilitates swimming, overview of diving and its effects in humans; diving and marine mammals - what makes them so special; overview of human vs. marine mammal cardiac and vascular physiology; their structural adaptations to facilitate diving; comparative lung physiology adapted to diving; blood and tissue oxygen carrying capacity; comparative deep diving systemic effects. Where relevant, the application of this knowledge to human health issues will also be discussed.

Prerequisites:  (BIO270H1, BIO271H1)/PSL 201Y1/(PSL300H1, PSL301H1)/PSL302Y1, PSL280H1


term test 1 - 30%
term test 2 - 40%
final essay - 20%
weekly assignments - 10%

Additional Notes:  Suitability for Inclusion in Programs: This half-course would be included as an option in the Physiology programs. It would also be suitable for the Human Biology Major, the Biology programs, and the Comparative Animal Physiology program.