How Tuna Stay Warm with Cold Hearts

Press/Media: Research


Dr Holly Shiels at the university’s Faculty of Life Sciences says: “When tunas dive down to cold depths their body temperature stays warm but their heart temperature can fall by 15°C within minutes. The heart is chilled because it receives blood directly from the gills which mirrors water temperature. This clearly imposes stress upon the heart but it keeps beating, despite the temperature change. In most other animals the heart would stop.”  The mis-match between oxygen demands of the tunas’ warm swimming muscles and the cardiac system that operates at water temperature is a puzzle the team has long been trying to solve. 

Period6 Feb 2015

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleHow Tuna Stay Warm with Cold Hearts
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletManchester News
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionScientists at The University of Manchester, working with colleagues at Stanford University in America, have discovered how prized bluefin tuna keep their hearts pumping during temperature changes that would stop a human heart.
    Producer/AuthorMorwenna Grills
    PersonsHolly Shiels