Skip to comments.Savannah monitor lizards have a unique airflow pattern that is a hybrid of bird and mammal flow patterns
Posted on 12/14/2019 3:57:31 PM PST by BenLurkin
Birds and mammals are on extreme ends of the airflow spectrum. Mammals inhale oxygen-rich air that funnels into smaller branches, ending in tiny sacs where oxygen enters and carbon dioxide leaves the bloodstream. When mammals exhale, the depleted air follows the same route out of the body, exhibiting a so-called tidal flow pattern.
In contrast, bird breath travels tidally through part of the respiratory system, but in a one-way loop throughout most of the lung. Thanks to a unique design with aerodynamic valves, air always moves toward the head through many tiny tubes in birdsduring both inhalation and exhalation. Scientists thought this pattern of flow is hyper efficient and evolved to support flight until University of Utah biologist Colleen Farmer's research group discovered that alligators and iguanas also have a unidirectional air flow pattern.
In their latest study, U biologists have discovered that Savannah monitor lizards have lung structures that are a kind of a hybrid system of bird and mammal lungs. The researchers took CT scans of the entire lung labyrinth and used two different supercomputers to simulate airflow patterns at the highest resolution. The software used computational fluid dynamics similar to those used to forecast weather, calculating millions of equations every tenth of a second. The findings show that vertebrate lung evolution is complicated and we have yet to understand the full picture.
(Excerpt) Read more at phys.org ...
The relative of the famous Komodo Dragon. Think a snake with legs and a forked flickering tongue and you have your monitor lizard.
Instead of spends millions of $ on a CRAY Computer type simulations, why not have the lizard breath traceable smoke that can be see by CAT scans or MRI? In real time.
At first I thought this article might be about animal aerodynamics. Note to self: don’t go see “Ford v Ferrari” again.
Fascinating. My sons will be very interested.
When two divergent animal species utilize the same innovative design. There must be one common denominator, the designer.
An associated article discusses how this sort of unidirectional may well go back 270 million years, with the question being “why?”. Birds need it for the efficiency it provides. But an early lizard crawling around arguably does not.
Unless.... What was the atmospheric O2 density at ground level 270 million years ago???
Related question: Would an air-breather that spends a lot of time underwater benefit from more efficient lung flow? That is, would such a design help make the most of brief times to acquire fresh air?
“unidirectional airflow”, I meant...
For a sec there, I thought this was about the Commie bitch on “The Today Show.”
But the climate of the planet is simple and it's settled science. It's understood completely.
They also have pretty nasty attitudes dont they?
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