Alligators breathe like birds

Tricky measurements of flow reveal air moves through animal in one direction

By Lisa Grossman, 15:27 PM January 14, 2010

Alligators have a one-way path for breathing that is similar to birds’, new research shows. The findings, published in the Jan. 15 Science, could explain how  dinosaurs’ ancestors rose to prominence.

“It’s absolutely transformational,” comments Adam Summers of the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories. “It really makes us think hard about our interpretations of anatomy.”

Unlike a mammal’s breath, which exits the lungs from the same dead-end chambers it enters, a bird’s brea...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/alligators-breathe-birds