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A penguin swims under sea ice.
Date Taken:
November 3, 2004
Photograph By:
Emily Stone, NSF

An Emperor penguin dives through a hole into the water below the McMurdo Sound sea ice. Dr. Paul Ponganis, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and his team study the penguins' diving behavior. Emperors routinely dive to depths of 500 meters. Ponganis examines their pressure tolerance, management of oxygen stores, end-organ tolerance of diving hypoxemia/ischemia, and deep-dive foraging behavior. This information provides insight into human diving physiology and has medical applications for patients whose organs or tissues have been deprived of oxygen due to heart attack, stroke, transplant, or other complications. 

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