Lungs, Breathing, and Blue Whales

Today in Science we constructed lungs (the blue balloon above), within chest cavities (the plastic bottle), with diaphragms underneath (plastic that can be pushed in and pulled out to inflate the balloon). Understanding the basics of how our lungs work, we measured our breathing. We counted how many breaths we breathe in a minute (many children counted in the 20s, for example 23 breaths a minute). We also counted how many seconds we could hold our breaths in a minute (quite a range from 10 to 59 seconds). We then compared our breathing with the breathing of the blue whale. (Why the blue whale? We are studying mammals right now and the blue whale is the largest mammal in existence.) We discovered the blue whale takes one to two breaths per minute and can hold its breath up to 30 minutes!