The Chinese softshell turtles urinate by mouth
October 11, 2012
The Chinese softshell turtles are adapted to aquatic life, and very happily are located at the bottom of the swamp, and stick their heads in the water from time to time to breathe.
Scientists at the National University of Singapore noted that: ‘They have a very unusual behavior as they head dipped in muddy puddles when their homes are dry and as dependent on their lungs to breathe as it is unlikely to breathe in the water, urine through the mouth’.
Besides turtles, some fish also expel urea through the gills.
According to the researchers: ‘To check whether Chinese turtles (Pelodiscus sinensis) did something similar, purchased several in the local market of China Town and immersed in water for six days.
The team measured the amount of urea that passed into the turtles’ urine and found that only 6% of the total urea that the animals produced was excreted through the kidneys. Removing the turtles from the water and providing them with a puddle to dip their heads into, the researchers noticed that the turtles submerged their heads occasionally and could remain underwater for periods lasting up to 100 min.
According to the team, Chinese soft-shelled turtles excrete urea through their mouths when most other creatures do it through their kidneys because they have something to do with their salty environment.