Turtles Breathe Through Their Butts
Vent Breathing Through Cloacal Bursae
In a previous post I talked about the difference between hibernation and brumation in turtles. Essentially turtles don't sleep all winter, they have punctuated periods of activity. However, turtles do not brumate under water, they usually dig burrows or bury themselves in leaf litter or mud to overwinter. One of the questions I'm asked frequently is, "How do turtles breathe while they are buried?" A similar question was, "How can that turtle breathe while napping under water?" (This was usually aimed at a local terrapin that lived in a tank in the education center). The answers are similar.