Studying dolphin physiology

Sascha Kate Hooker, Andreas Fahlman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


How do mammals manage to live underwater? To us their environment presents many challenges: it is often cold, conductive, viscous, murky, saline, high pressured, and most critically—devoid of air. Aquatic mammals therefore need various physiological adaptations to cope with these environmental conditions. This book examines the state of knowledge of dolphin and whale organs and organ system functions. Of these species, the bottlenose dolphin features prominently largely due to its cosmopolitan and nearshore distribution which has enabled long-term field studies around the world. However, much of our knowledge, particularly of their physiology, has required in-depth analyses that could only be achieved from hands-on research. Here, we present a brief overview of how data are acquired—from studies of beach-cast cadavers, studies of animals in managed care, field studies catching and releasing wild animals, to studies applying instrumentation to monitor behavior of animals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe physiology of dolphins
EditorsAndreas Fahlman, Sascha K. Hooker
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAcademic Press/Elsevier
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780323905176
ISBN (Print)9780323905169
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2023


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