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A pacific-white sided dolphin

Can Dolphins Get the Bends?

Researchers think dolphins may be particularly good at avoiding something humans are susceptible to: the bends. Evidence suggests dolphins get bubbles in their veins when they swim up from the deep, but it appears they’re better at avoiding decompression sickness than some of their human counterparts. In most cases, dolphins decompress just fine—as many human divers do, but stressors like acoustic devices could affect dolphins' ability manage the bends, sometimes leading them to strand. (Photo by Lance Wills, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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