Monitor Lizards' Breathing May Have Evolved Before Dinosaurs

December 11, 2013 6:00 PM

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Monitor Lizards' Breathing May Have Evolved Before Dinosaurs

Monitor lizards breathe by taking in air that flows through their lungs in a one-way loop — a pattern of breathing that may have originated 270 million years ago in the ancestral group that gave rise to dinosaurs, and eventually alligators and birds, a new study finds.

Researchers at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, and Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass., studied unidirectional breathing in monitor lizards, which can be found throughout Africa, China, India and other parts of Southeast Asia. Their findings suggest one-way airflow breathing may have ...

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