Tag Archives: turtle breathing; butt breathing; cloacal bursae; how do turtles breathe?

Turtles Breathe Through Their Butts

flicker Brent Myers

Red Eared Slider (Photo: Brent Myers, Flicker Sharing)

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.

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