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Green Sea Turtle Essay

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Respiratory and Circulatory Systems of the Green Sea Turtle



Respiratory and Circulatory Systems of the Green Sea Turtle

The Green Sea Turtles ancestors first evolved on land and then later returned to the sea to live. The first turtles appeared about 245 million years ago. Turtles are one of the few remaining species who existed with the dinosaurs.

The Green Sea turtle is a reptile and a member of the tribe Chelonini, the name does not refer to the outside color of the turtle but rather the color of the greenish fat found between its internal organs and its shell.   The green color comes from the algae or grasses that they eat. The Green Sea Turtle spends almost its entire life in the water, it returns to land only in order to lay its eggs. The majority of the time it spends in the water it is submerged. One of the amazing ways that this animal has been able to adapt to its environment is its ability to remain submerged for long periods of time. While being submerged it is either spending its time in rigorous activity or in long periods of sleep. This sea turtle can remain underwater for up to five hours on a single breath. The heart of the Green Sea turtle slows to a rate of one heart beat every nine minutes. The Green Sea Turtles respiratory system is able to support it at great depths and distances.   It has an excessive breath-hold capability that must be able to withstand long periods of time without exhalation. Then when exhalation occurs it must be able to happen very quickly.

During underwater aerobic activity the Green Turtle can stay submerged in dives lasting up to 20 minutes. The respiratory system of this animal is particularly well suited to support vital organs during these long periods between breaths. It is capable of containing higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in its blood stream than most air- breathing animals. Both the muscles and blood of this animal are able to store large quantities of oxygen to make this possible....

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