Why do dolphins and whales die when they hit land if they have to come to the surface to breathe?

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Why do dolphins and whales die when they hit land if they have to come to the surface to breathe?

In: Biology

The water helps support their weight (think how when you go swimming you feel lighter). Without the water to support them, they literally crush themselves so they can’t breathe in.

They’re so heavy that when the water isn’t supporting their weight, their lungs get crushed and they die. Basically, they’re too heavy to live on land. Which is why people work so hard to get them back in the water.

Check out the concept of a buoyant force for more information.

A few reasons. First is that they evolved in water with the water supporting their weight, and on land, that’s not happening, so the weight of their bodies actually crushes them. They also overheat because the water isn’t keeping them cool like it normally would.


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