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Re: Breathing



>Um, because gills don't work in air?<

Um, I wish things were so simple.

>In a sense, yes, but it is unable to extract oxygen from *air*.  A gill,
for some reason, can only exchange gases effectively with water.<

Actually, gills can extract oxygen from air as long as they (the
gills)remain moist. The efficiency of that exchange, of course, changes
based on the characteristics of the fluid medium.

>The difference here is in prior anatomy.  The digestive system was a tube
with two valves at opposite ends already in the ancestral vertebrate.  The
lungs of early fish were blind sacks from the start, thus requiring two-way
flow at least at the entry/exit point,<

Arguments about prior anatomy only go so far; after all, the condition prior
to primitive lungs in vertebrates was gills.

My thought on my original post was only that birds (aka: derived theropods)
seem to be the only vertebrates that successfully re-acquired some degree of
counterflow respiratory physiology which vertebrates gave up when becoming
terrestrial.

PTNorton@msn.com
www.geocities.com/capecanaveral/galaxy/1962/