cloacal respiration

Cloacal Respiration

Fine, Butt Breathing Ever wonder what happens to turtles during the winter time? Staying above ground would mean freezing to death. The only place that is warm enough is at the bottom of ponds and lakes. While this fixes the freezing-to-death problem, it creates another one: the drowning problem. Turtles breathe air into their lungs to obtain oxygen, but underwater, this is impossible. Luckily, evolution is wiser and more wily than we can imagine. Enter: cloacal respiration. What’s a cloaca? Cloacas are universal openings that allow for the release of solid waste (poop), urine, and reproductive fluids (semen). A turtle’s…