do turtles breathe through their butts

Do Turtles Breathe Through Their Butts?

Turtles, as an ancient species, have been around for millions of years. Seeing them so mysterious and different, it is only natural to have some questions, like do they breathe through their butts?

What Breathing Method do Turtles Use?

Turtles have complete sets of lungs like humans, which is why they definitely do not breathe through their butts! However, unlike humans, turtles have the advantage of being able to take in air through their skin and may additionally use their cloaca (butt) for obtaining some extra oxygen.

How do Turtles Breathe?

Turtles will normally breathe using their lungs, like most other animals. This is because they have been specially adapted to efficiently absorb oxygen through their lungs. Turtles will gulp in air through their mouths and then exhale it out of the side of their mouth or the top of their neck.

When turtles are underwater, they typically take a large gulp of air and then use the oxygen stored in their lungs to survive for long periods. Turtles have adapted to being able to hold their breath up to five times longer than humans.

Can Turtles Take Oxygen From The Water?

Yes, turtles can also absorb oxygen from the water, as well as from their lungs. Turtles have a special organ, the cloaca, which helps them to do this. This organ has several tiny openings that absorb oxygen from the water and deliver it to their body.

The cloaca also has a practical purpose for the turtle – it is an exit for their feces and an entrance for their reproductive organs. However, the oxygen intake from the cloaca is still minor, and ought not to be confused with the main breathing method used by turtles.


Depending on the species of turtle and the atmosphere they live in, they might be able to absorb some extra oxygen through their cloaca. But, turtles never breathe through their butts, and the majority of their oxygen intake is achieved by taking air into their lungs and exiting it through their mouths or the top of their neck.

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