These Animals Use Their Anuses For Breathing

Animals use their anuses for more than just the one obvious reason. Some animals actually breathe... through their butts. Three such animals that use their anuses for taking in oxygen are the sea cucumber, the Fitzroy river turtle, and the dragonfly nymph. So, how does it work? In the case of the sea cucumber, it pulls in water through its anus to supply respiratory trees in its body with oxygen. The dragonfly nymph, however, uses its anus as gills. These very sensitive gills can detect pollution, which tells scientists that bodies of water with low dragonfly nymph numbers are likely polluted.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The sea cucumber has a air of respiratory trees in its body that extract oxygen from the water. 00:21

  2. Fitzroy river turtles can get about two-thirds of their air supply by pumping water in and out of their butts. 00:43

  3. The dragonfly nymph's anus acts as gills underwater. 01:05

Written by Curiosity Staff January 5, 2016

Curiosity uses cookies to improve site performance, for analytics and for advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.