Fitzroy River Turtle
These turtles are affectionately known as ‘bum breathers’. They are the sole surviving mem-ber of a previously more widespread genus, now confined to the Fitzroy catchment. Rheodytes possess a cloacal cavity made up of bursae filled with vascularized fimbriae allowing for oxy-gen uptake from water via diffusion. This specialized structure is surrounded by muscles that contract the bursae—the ultimate bum-breathing adaptation—at 15-60 'bum breaths' per minute, allowing Rheodytes to stay submerged for days at a time.
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