Report

Contribution of Gular Pumping to Lung Ventilation in Monitor Lizards

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  04 Jun 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5420, pp. 1661-1663
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5420.1661

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Abstract

A controversial hypothesis has proposed that lizards are subject to a speed-dependent axial constraint that prevents effective lung ventilation during moderate- and high-speed locomotion. This hypothesis has been challenged by results demonstrating that monitor lizards (genus Varanus) experience no axial constraint. Evidence presented here shows that, during locomotion, varanids use a positive pressure gular pump to assist lung ventilation. Disabling the gular pump reveals that the axial constraint is present in varanids but it is masked by gular pumping under normal conditions. These findings support the prediction that the axial constraint may be found in other tetrapods that breathe by costal aspiration and locomote with a lateral undulatory gait.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: towerkow{at}oeb.harvard.edu

View Full Text

Related Content