Respiratory mechanics of the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


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
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Respiratory mechanics of the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this