As it turn out there is evidence that dolphins as well as other marine mammas use a special technique to avoid decompression sickness (DCS) – “the bends”.
Yes, recent research has discovered that the ability of marine mammals to control their heart rate is a key factor in preventing them from experiencing the bends.
When preparing to dive, dolphins have the ability to consciously slow down their heart rates. Additionally, they can adjust their heart rates as needed based on the length of their dives.
This unique ability allows them to control their oxygen consumption and adjust their bodies to changing pressure as they dive. Amazing 🙂
An article on firepaw.org goes on to correlate the importance of these findings as they relate to exposing these marine mammals to sudden noises. These noises can interfere with the animal’s heart rate mechanisms and result in DCS. I can see sonar and other sources of sudden underwater noises as being problematic.