Do Turtles really breathe through their butts ? If yes, how ?


Olaf from Frozen II mentions this in the movie.

In: Biology

Turtles get oxygen from a variety of sources.

Their main source is through breathing air through their nose and mouth into lungs, like mamals. Turtle lungs are not as efficient as mamal lungs but turtles don’t need as much oxygen.

The rectum water-breathing thing is a secondary source of oxygen and doesn’t supply enough to be their only source.

Edit: I just remembered, also some turtles can extract oxygen from their own tissues, to the detriment of said tissues (much like digesting their own muscles). I’d imagine there’s a strong evolutionary advantage to only doing this in rare circumstance though.

(I appreciate this isn’t a whole answer, but it might help somewhat on your journey).

It’s actually not all turtles. Just a select few that have that capability. One of them being the Australian white throated snapping turtle.