Mammal Olympiad: Diving: Sperm Whale (Physeter catodon)
Good evening, mammals, and welcome back to the Mammal Olympiad! While the humans are deciding who the best human athletes are, we’re looking at some other mammals that are even better athletes than we humans. Today’s event is diving. While human divers are judged on the technical perfection of the dive itself, we’re picking our mammalian champ on depth and and time, and the winner in both categories is the sperm whale, who can dive as deep as 2,000 meters (about one and a quarter miles!) and stay under as long as two hours. Scientific American has a good article about the many adaptations sperm whales have evolved to help them withstand the incredible pressure changes that come with such deep dives.