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Science

Do turtles breathe from their butts?


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Turtles Breathe Out of Their Butt. Technically the term is cloacal respiration, and it's not so much breathing as just diffusing oxygen in and carbon dioxide out, but the fact remains: when turtles hibernate, their main source of oxygen is through their butt.

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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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Yes, some species of aquatic turtles can breathe through their butts. In some species of aquatic turtle there are structures called cloacal bursae, which are tissues filled with blood vessels that allow oxygen to be absorbed across them.

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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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Yes, turtles breathe out of their butt. Technically, the term is cloacal respiration, and it's not so much breathing as just diffusing oxygen in and carbon dioxide out.

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