Sea lion facts

Sea lions can hold their breath for up to 20 minutes. Unlike dolphins, sea lions exhale before diving. Their nostrils have special muscles to open them in order to breathe.

Sea lions can dive to depths over 250m, these animals have a high tolerance for carbon dioxide.The oxygen in their body concentrates in their heart and central nervous system rather than in non-vital organs. Their relative, the elephant seal, can hold its breath for 62 minutes and dive to depths over 1200m

Starfish communication

Scientists have “cracked the code” of crown-of-thorns starfish communication.

For the first time, we are able to better understand the critical importance of the chemical communication that drives crown-of-thorns behaviour, providing excellent leads in the development of biocontrol technologies.

The paper ‘The crown-of-thorns starfish genome as a guide for biocontrol of this coral reef pest’ appeared online last month in the journal Nature. Click here to learn more:

Freediving in Iceland

This icy water is around 2°C and flows within a crack between the North American and Eurasian continents, which drift 2cm further apart each year.

In a process that can take up to 100 years, ice from nearby Langjökull Glacier melts and travels into an ancient lava field, filtering underground through 50km of porous volcanic rock.

Due to its unique geological conditions, as well as its historical and cultural significance, the Thingvellir National Park, Iceland has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.