Respiratory system in turtles

The device of the respiratory system

In mammals, including humans, when breathing is increased and the diaphragm is set air light — make it allow the movable ribs.The diaphragm that separates the internal organs from the lungs of reptiles there, when you inhale the muscles just push the organs, allowing the spongy lung tissue to fill all the space. When you exhale, the opposite occurs, the movement and pressure of the internal organs makes the lungs shrink and discard the exhaust air.

Often, the process is also actively connected to the legs and head — dragging them, the animal reduces the internal space and pushes the air from his lungs. The absence of a diaphragm prevents back-pressure in the chest, so the lung damage do not stop the breathing process. Due to this turtles can survive in the breaking of a shell.

Air kit is always carried out through the nostrils. If the turtle opens its mouth and tries to breathe through the mouth is a symptom of the disease.

The sense of smell

Due to the complicated device of the respiratory system, the turtles not only breathe, but you get data about the world through smell. The smells of these animals are the main source of information — they are essential for successful foraging, orienteering, communication with relatives. Olfactory receptors located in the nostrils and mouth of the animal, so to gain the air tortoise is actively reducing muscle floor of the mouth. Exhalation is through the nostrils, sometimes with a sharp noise. You can often see an animal yawn is also a part of the process of olfaction.

The device of the respiratory system, and the absence of the muscles of the diaphragm makes it impossible to cough. So the animal can not remove the foreign objects caught in the bronchi, and in pulmonary inflammatory processes most often dies.

How many turtles can not breathe

When swimming near the surface of the water turtles regularly emerge to take a breath. The number of breaths per minute depends on the animal species, age and size of its shell. Most species take a breath every few minutes — sea to the surface every 20 minutes. But all types of turtles can hold their breath for up to several hours.

This is possible due to the large volume of lung tissue. The red-eared terrapins have lungs occupy 14% of the body. So in one breath the animal can get oxygen for a few hours spent under water. If the turtle does not sail, but lies motionless on the bottom, oxygen is consumed more slowly, it can last almost a day.

Unlike the aquatic, tortoises are in the process of respiration more actively, making up to 5-6 breaths per minute.

Unusual ways of breathing

Besides the normal breathing through the nostrils, the majority of freshwater species are able to obtain oxygen some other way. You can hear that water turtles breathe booty — this unique method does exist, and these animals are called "bimodal breathing". Special cells located in the throat of the animal, and in the cesspool that is able to absorb oxygen directly from the water. The retraction and release of water from the cloaca creates a process that can truly be called "ass breath" — some species make a few dozen of such movements per minute. This allows reptiles to make a deep dive, not rising to the surface to 10-12 hours.

The most prominent representative, use double the respiratory system is the Fitzroy turtle that lives in the same river of Australia. This turtle breathes under water, thanks to special fabrics in the bags of the cloaca, filled with many blood vessels. It gives her the opportunity to rise to the surface up to several days. The disadvantage of this method of breathing are high demands on the purity of the water is to get oxygen from the turbid, contaminated with various impurities of the liquid animal can't.

The process of anaerobic respiration

Following the breath turtle slowly sinks, the processes of absorption of oxygen from the lungs into the blood continues for the next 10-20 minutes. Carbon dioxide accumulates without causing irritation, not requiring immediate exhalation in mammals. Simultaneously anaerobic respiration, which is in the final stages of absorption replaces the gas exchange through the lung tissue.

During anaerobic respiration used tissue located on the back part of the pharynx, in the cesspool — layering makes these pads similar to gills. To remove carbon dioxide, then re-entering the area for the ascent of the animal only took a few seconds. Most species produces a sharp exhalation into the water, before raising his head above the surface and collect the air through the nostrils.

The exceptions are sea turtles — their respiratory organs do not include the tissue in the cloaca or of the larynx, therefore, to obtain oxygen, they have to float to the surface and inhale air through the nostrils.

Breathing during hibernation

Some species of turtles spend their entire hibernation under water, sometimes in the pond, completely covered with a layer of ice. Breathing in this period is provided anaerobically through the skin, bags of cloaca and special growths in the larynx. All body processes during hibernation slow down or stop, so oxygen is only necessary to supply the heart and brain.

Respiratory system in turtles
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