The reason that pressure can kill other mammals if they go too deep is that there is more inward force from the water than outward force exerted by the air in their lungs. Whales have evolved slightly more flexible ribcages bound by cartilage so they can collapse a little bit without the bones completely snapping. Whales’ lungs can also collapse more safely under pressure; when this happens, the air is compressed so that it can exert the same pressure outwards that the water is exerting inwards. This allows the whales to dive to depths that other mammals cannot.
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