Monday, January 18, 2010

Birds breathe like alligators

Alligators and birds share a breathing mechanism which may have helped their ancestors dominate Earth more than 200 million years ago, scientists say.

Research published in the journal Science found that like birds, in alligator’s air flows in one direction.

Birds' lung structure allows them to breathe when flying in low oxygen, or hypoxic, conditions.

This breathing may have helped a common ancestor of birds and alligators thrive in the hypoxic period of the Triassic.

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