2017 May 10

Did you know...? Turtles breathe through their bottom!

It’s probably the most unusual way to breathe in the entire animal kingdom, but it's true: some species of turtle breathe through their bottom. Or more precisely, through their cloaca. Read more.

It’s probably the most unusual way to breathe in the entire animal kingdom, but it's true: some species of turtle breathe through their bottom. Or more precisely, through their cloaca. Different species of turtle breathe through their cloaca to different degrees. Because turtles are not able to expand their chests to breathe due to their rigid shell, different species of turtle have developed different breathing techniques. Most species of turtle breathe by contracting muscles in their abdomen. But some breathe through their skin, others use their long neck like a snorkel, and some, like the little Fitzroy River turtle from Australia, breathe almost entirely through their bottom.  This species, which lives in oxygen-rich water, was not discovered until 1973. It uses its cloaca not only to expel faeces and urine and to reproduce, but it can also breathe oxygen through it. Observe a Fitzroy River turtle in still water and you will see it pumping water in and out of its anal bladder.  The dense network of blood vessels inside its body enables it to absorb the oxygen in the water it takes in. The anal bladder of the Fitzroy River turtle is therefore a very complex kind of underwater lung that provides it with 68% of the oxygen it needs. As a result, it can remain under water for very long periods at a time.  Source: kryptozoologie.net  http://bestiarium.kryptozoologie.net/artikel/rektale-unterwasseratmung-bei-schildkroten/ 

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