Breathing Patterns and the Effects of Carbon Dioxide on the Respiration of Alligators

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biology, breathing patterns, carbon dioxide, respiration, alligators, oxygen


Animal Sciences | Biology | Circulatory and Respiratory Physiology | Life Sciences


Much work has been done on respiration through the examination of the ability of certain animals to remain under water for periods of time as long as 30 minutes. This ability to temporarily live without air, hence oxygen, is common both to many diving animals such as whales, seals, and turtles, as well as to the alligators which have been studied over the years by Robert Woolacott, Joe Hull, and others at the University of Redlands, under the direction of Dr. Charles D. Howell. In order to understand this diving behavior, it is essential that the mechanisms which initiate and regulate breathing be understood. Due to the erratic and variable breathing patterns of alligators, their ferocity, and their changeable metabolism, very little is definitely known about their response to the artificial stimuli customarily used in respiration studies of higher animals and man. Moreover, the lack of a sensitive dependable apparatus to record each breath has seriously hampered most previous experiments.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status


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