Anaerobic Brain Function: Effects of Stagnant and Anoxic Anoxia on Persistence of Breathing in Reptiles

Science  29 Nov 1968:
Vol. 162, Issue 3857, pp. 1017-1018
DOI: 10.1126/science.162.3857.1017


Turtles tolerate anoxic anoxia about 14 times longer than stagnant anoxia. In snakes and crocodiles this difference is much less marked. Apparently, the remarkable anaerobic viability of turtles is dependent on blood circulation, Analyses of plasma indicate that loss of brain function in anoxic crocodiles is not caused by systemic acidosis or hypoglycemia. It is suggested that the ability of the central nervous system of the turtle to function without oxygen is due to a comparatively high rate of anaerobic uptake or metabolism of glucose.