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Animals

Does turtles breathe through their butts?


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The turtle is perhaps most notable for its ability to breathe via its anus. The process, known as cloacal respiration (or more colloquially as “bum breathing”), allows the turtles to extract oxygen directly from the water.

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Some species (not all) of aquatic turtles can breathe through their butts. In these species there are structures called cloacal bursae, which are essentially highly vascularized tissues which allow oxygen to be absorbed across them, and expel carbon dioxide, specially during hibernation.

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