‘The Blue Whale’s Heart Beats at Extremes’

Ed Yong for The Atlantic:

For the first time, scientists recorded a cardiogram from the largest animal that has ever lived.

The heart of a blue whale, diving off the coast of California, has just contracted. The beat took about two seconds to finish, and pushed dozens of gallons of blood through the arteries of the largest animal that lives or has ever lived. According to Jeremy Goldbogen of Stanford University, the first person to attach a heart monitor to a blue whale at sea, the creature’s organ constantly swings between extremes of speed. During a dive, it can conserve oxygen by slowing down to just two beats a minute. If you’re reading this piece at an average speed, that’s roughly one beat at the end of every paragraph. (Ba-bum.)

That (Ba-bum) is a beautiful way to connect with the natural world through writing. I love this.