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diving reflex

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noun Physiology.
a reflex of humans, other mammals, reptiles, and birds, triggered by immersion in cold water, that slows the heart rate and diverts blood flow to the brain, heart, and lungs: serves to conserve oxygen until breathing resumes and to delay potential brain damage.
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Origin of diving reflex

First recorded in 1975–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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