AlbanyDive.com offers scuba diving tours to the former HMAS Perth dive wreck and Albany's spectacular reefs. AlbanyDive.com departs everyday from our well appointed jetty, located minutes away from our shop.
Why The Elephant?
You are probably wondering why we have an elephant as our logo at AlbanyDive.com. Not the most obvious image for scuba diving company, we know, but there is a method to our madness. Let us explain.
When we think of elephants it's as noble giants of the sun-baked African plains, or perhaps as hardworking servants of mahouts in the lush forests of Asia. However else we might see them, it's as firmly land-dwelling creatures that they enter our imaginations. Now think of dugongs or manatees, the gentle cow-like whales that love-strarved sailors mistook for mermaids. Notice anything familiar? Probably not, but elephants have more in common with dugongs than you might at first think.
Just like us, elephants enjoy a cooling dip in the water and are excellent swimmers. Not only are they good at the doggy paddle, they also have their own built-in snorkels-their trunks. They quite happily swim in deep water by poking the tip of their trunks above the surface and can swim long distances without once having to come up for air.
As scuba divers are well aware, water puts pressure on our bodies when we go beneath the surface. We feel this pressure especially in our lungs and breathing becomes harder work the deeper we go. In common with most other animals, we have a space around our lungs which allows them to expand and contract when we breath. The lining around this space contains many small blood vessels. Scientists discovered that elephants don't have a space around their lungs as we do. If they did, the difference in pressure between the air they breath through their trunks and in the space around their lungs would cause those little blood vessels to burst. Because we are much smaller than elephants, when we go snorkeling this pressure difference does not harm us. For elephants it could be fatal, so instead of a space they have a flexible material called connective tissue surrounding their lungs which doesn't contain any small blood vessels at all. Clever, eh?
Scientists also know that elephants are closely related biologically to the dugongs and manatees we mentioned earlier. From studying fossils they think that the ancient relatives of elephants lived in water like dugongs do now. Over millions of years they came out of the water onto the land and evolved into the masters of the savannahs and forests we know today.
Despite giving up the ocean-dwelling life for one on land, elephants still have other physical features that give away their watery past. When they are tiny fetuses, they have special structure in their kidneys only found otherwise in fish and frogs. Male elephant fetuses also have their testicles inside their bodies, like their cousins the dugongs, which would have made them streamlined in the water.
At AlbanyDive.com we like the fact that they are still water babies at heart and that's why we chose an elephant for our logo. If only we had built-in snorkels too...