Believe it or not, but yes, breathing from the butt while hibernating is a real thing for turtles!
Turtles are able to breathe using three main ways. While their main source of respiration is through the lungs when they come up for air, the other two are absorption methods. Some species of aquatic turtles can absorb oxygen through their nose and mouth while underwater, and sometimes on land too. They can breathe not only through their lungs, but also via the surface inside of their mouth and throat system.
How do turtles breathe through their booty?
Well, in winters, when water bodies start to get covered in ice, aquatic turtles go into hibernation mode. They hibernate underwater! So, to prepare for this (as the temperature outside drops) they drop their body temperature too and their metabolism rate slows down by 95 percent. And since their respiratory needs during this period are quite low, they try to diffuse oxygen from the water around. Because they cannot come up to the surface for air, their main source of oxygen becomes tushy.
This process is called cloacal respiration. Turtles have a cloaca, which is the only one hole they use to pee, poop, mate and lay eggs.
This cloaca tissue has numerous blood vessels which are able to absorb oxygen directly from the water!
The Australian White-throated snapping turtle , also called the “bum-breathing turtle”, is one example of tushy-time-turtle.
There are several other species of reptiles and amphibians that can breathe through their butts, including frogs and salamanders.
Okay, now that you know this, are you going to try it out? You know, on a human-scale?
We recommend closed doors and a pinched nose.