By Donald C. Jackson
Trundling alongside in primarily an identical shape for a few 220 million years, turtles have noticeable dinosaurs come and pass, mammals emerge, and humankind extend its dominion. Is it any ask yourself the continual reptile bested the hare? during this enticing publication physiologist Donald Jackson stocks a life of remark of this curious creature, permitting us a glance less than the shell of an animal instantaneously so universal and so unusual. right here we find how the turtle’s proverbial slowness is helping it live on an extended, chilly iciness below ice. How the shell not just serves as a protecting domestic but additionally affects such crucial services as buoyancy keep watch over, respiring, and surviving remarkably lengthy classes with out oxygen, and the way many different physiological beneficial properties aid outline this precise animal. Jackson deals perception into what precisely it’s wish to reside within a shell—to hold the heavy carapace on land and in water, to respire with no an expandable ribcage, to have intercourse with all that physique armor intervening. alongside the way in which we additionally study anything concerning the technique of clinical discovery—how the reply to 1 query results in new questions, how an opportunity commentary can switch the path of analysis, and notably how new examine continuously builds at the earlier paintings of others. a transparent and informative exposition of physiological options utilizing the turtle as a version organism, the publication is as attention-grabbing for what it tells us approximately medical research because it is for its deep and precise realizing of ways the long-lasting turtle “works.” (20110210)
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Additional info for Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle
Instead, I would characterize my response more as delight or even relief, because the results confirmed what I predicted would happen. , 1970) that reported the values of blood pH and blood PCO2 in a variety of coldblooded animals, including the snapping turtle, at various body temperatures. As in the earlier hypothetical example of the basking turtle, the average pH of the snapping turtles in this study fell consistently and PCO2 rose consistently when the body temperatures of the turtles were raised, stepwise, from 5°C to 35°C.
Cloacal bursae are thin-walled sacs found in some, but not all, freshwater turtles and are absent in marine turtles. Their function has been debated for many years. Suggested functions include water storage, salt uptake, and oxygen uptake from the water. Water storage may be important for female turtles during nesting. Females of all species of turtles, even the most aquatic ones, return to land to lay their eggs. Archie Carr, in his classic book on turtles (1952), cited earlier observations by Cagle on red-eared sliders nesting in Tennessee: “He [Cagle] found that the dry soil in which the turtles were nesting was moistened prior to excavation by large amounts of water from the cloacal bladder, resulting often in the wetting of an area two feet or so in diameter” (256).
Outwardly, it looks calm and its activity level has not changed, but inside of its body the higher temperature has caused the rates of chemical reactions to accelerate, causing the turtle’s overall rate of metabolism to increase. 35 LIFE IN A SHELL In addition, other important chemical changes have occurred that have profound effects on the body’s acid-base state, indicated most commonly by the pH of the blood. The chemical effects of temperature include changes in the solubilities of dissolved substances and in the equilibrium states of many chemical reactions.
Life in a Shell: A Physiologist's View of a Turtle by Donald C. Jackson