Video Demonstration Of A Lizard Using An Air Bubble As A 'Scuba Tank' To Remain Underwater For Up To 16 Minutes

January 3, 2019

This is a video captured by Binghamton University research professor Dr Lindsey Swierk of a water anole (Anolis aquaticus) in Coto Brus, Costa Rica using an air bubble trapped on the top of its head and snout to continue breathing underwater, where the animals can remain submerged for up to 16-minutes to avoid land-based predators. Previously it was believed the lizards just held their breath that long. Fascinating. Um, but isn't it just rebreathing the same air over and over again? Because I did that once with a bag and I started to get real lightheaded. "But you didn't stop." Well I didn't say I started to get real lightheaded and I hated it.

Keep going for the whole video.

Thanks to Margita, who agrees the real key to breathing underwater is being at least a quarter mer-person.

  • GeneralDisorder

    My anole can also breathe under water.

  • Brian

    It isn't rebreathing it's own air. There is a thin layer of air clinging to the lizard's head and neck that it breaths from. It's more like an old-school diving bell than a scuba tank, where it can stay under so long as the co2 levels in the bubble are below a certain percentage.

  • Jenness

    Who else wants to try this and see if they can pass out at the bottom of the ocean breathing in their own air? lol

  • Is that a euphemism?

  • Eric Ord

    Don't threaten me with a good time!

  • Doog

    The rebreathing air part is what doesn't make sense to me.

  • The_Wretched

    Lungs, especially non-birds & non-mammals, aren't 100% efficient.

  • Bling Nye

    It's breathing from a volume of air larger than its lung capacity, so as Brian said, it's similar to using an old school diving bell. Also, depending on the animal's metabolic rate and gas exchange, the exhaled air will still contain a percentage of oxygen. Air by volume is 21% oxygen and humans for example exhale about 16% oxygen.

  • Tigerh8r

    My daughter does that when she has a cold...

  • WhiteEagle2

    She goes underwater for 16 minutes and re-breathes her air?

  • Tigerh8r

    We're into alternative medicine.

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