The frequency of decompression illness was high among the extinct marine “reptiles” and very low among the marine mammals. Signs of decompression illness are still found among turtles but whales and seals are unaffected. In humans, the risk of decompression illness is five times increased in individuals with Patent Foramen Ovale; this condition allows blood shunting from the venous circuit to the systemic circuit. This right-left shunt is characteristic of the “reptile” heart, and it is suggested that this could contribute to the high frequency of decompression illness in the extinct reptiles.
Naturwissenschaften – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 27, 2017
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