Respiratory mechanics of the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta

M. E. Lutcavage, P. L. Lutz, H. Baier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Respiratory mechanics were evaluated in excised lungs and in spontaneously breathing loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Respiratory compliance curves reflect the pressure volume characteristics of the body wall. Compliance values are comparable to those of reptiles having simpler lung structure. Maximum flow rates in excised lungs (18-25 ml·sec-1·kg-1) were only slightly below the range reported for marine mammals. During spontaneous tidal breathing expiratory flow rates (11.8 ml·sec-1·kg-1) were lower than maximum values. In the sea turtle, respiratory adaptations including reduced airway resistance and muscular contribution to breathing are similar to marine mammals. These mechanical specializations shorten breathing time, which contributes to diving performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
JournalRespiration Physiology
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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