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Resting respiratory behavior in minimally instrumented toads - effects of very long apneas on blood gases and pH

Author(s): Coelho F. C. | Smatresk N. J.

Journal: Brazilian Journal of Biology
ISSN 1519-6984

Volume: 63;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 35;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: amphibian | Bufo marinus | respiratory physiology | apnea | episodic breathing

Resting respiratory behavior of Bufo marinus in minimally instrumented toads is described for a period of 24 hours in which the animals are left undisturbed. Torpor-related long apneas are described and their implications for blood gas levels are investigated. Results show that the resting ventilation rate of Bufo marinus is much lower than that reported so far. Levels of arterial oxygen, carbon dioxide, and pH are monitored during artificial long apneas induced by anesthesia. The toads showed an unexpected ability to unload carbon dioxide by non-respiratory means, even while being kept on dry plastic box with no access to water. Oxygen arterial partial pressure dropped to very low levels after one hour of apnea. This suggests that these animals may endure very well severe hypoxia for long periods of time while in torpor.
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