FlipFact of the Day: Here’s an ability we’ve never seen from Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael. Turtles can actually take in oxygen through their butts! (And they don’t have to be ninjas to do it, to boot!)
When turtles hibernate, they “breathe” (or to be more specific, take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide) through a process called cloacal respiration. Because their oxygen needs are minimal, they don’t need to rely on their lungs during this period. They can live on stored energy and simply take oxygen from the water that runs across their most vascularized body surfaces (meaning, the ones flush with blood vessels).
It so happens that on turtles, the butt area is particularly vascularized, so…. 🐢
Today’s Science History Milestone: On August 3, 1958, the USS Nautilus (SSN571), the U.S. Navy’s first atomic-powered submarine, became the first submarine to travel under the geographic North Pole.
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Cover: Belle Co