Lingual rete precools blood: gray whale
Lingual retes of gray whales precool blood in the tongue to avoid heat loss via counter-current heat exchange.
|Biomimetic Application Ideas|
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The presence of very long, small diameter arterial and venous vessels in close proximity with low flow is key to the efficient recapture of heat and maintenance of a cool tongue surface.
Such an approach could be used in human engineered systems to keep building ventilation systems from losing heat to cold climates or to help keep some areas within a structure cooler or warmer than others even with shared ventilation systems or water-circulated heating system.
Eschrichtius robustus (Lilljeborg, 1861)
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern
Habitat(s): Marine Neritic
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist
Application Ideas: Large scale heat exchange for airplanes, buildings, hospital beds, or energy transfer devices like solar thermal. Increase flow, yet prevent heat loss. Counter-current heat exchange can be used for cooling computers and other electronics.
Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Construction, manufacturing, aerospace, medical, energy
John E. Heyning
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County