As divers, we spend a lot of time thinking about depth. How deep before the oxygen in our dive cylinder becomes toxic? But several remarkable marine species have adapted to reach much greater depths with comparatively little effort. Here are the top five deepest diving animals, all air-breathing birds or mammals, for whom extreme diving is a way of life. The deepest diving of all seabirds, the emperor penguin feeds primarily on fish.
No light reaches the murky depths, and no human could survive the crushing pressure from the water above. It is easier for a person to exist in space than it is to explore the ocean floor at such depths. Despite the extreme conditions, these whales manage to hunt two kilometres deep, surviving on a single breath for near to an hour, many times each day. Marine mammals as a group are accomplished divers. Elephant seals have been recorded diving for hours at depths of more than 1, metres. The deepest recorded dive was 2, metres and the longest lasted minutes, breaking the record for diving mammals. Experts have suggested that this was an unusually deep dive for this species, and a more normal depth is 2, metres.
For years, sperm whales and elephant seals were thought to hold world records for holding their breath under water. But those animals have nothing on beaked whales. Both sites boast gaping undersea canyons that plunge more than 6, feet 2, meters below the ocean surface. The information has also shined light on the dark and mysterious world of beaked whales.
A total of 27 ADB tags were deployed on sperm whales in the central Gulf of California, Mexico, during spring and , of which 10 were recovered for data download. Tracking durations of all tags ranged from 0 to Recovered tags recorded a median of