Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

What’s up with those lung valves?

Comparative Mastehead 2018


Image of a red-eared slider by Greg Hume – via Wikimedia Commons 

The Plenary Lecture at this year’s Comparative Physiology meeting was given by Dr. Colleen Farmer at Trinity College in Dublin who spoke about the diversity of vertebrate respiratory systems including aerodynamic valves that are found in birds and various species of reptiles. These aerodynamic valves allow air to flow in one direction during both inspiration and expiration as opposed to bidirectional flow in mammals. Examination of red-eared sliders (shown above) indicates that the aerodynamic valve acts similar to a Tesla valve that was patented by Nikola Tesla in 1920:

Categories: Comparative Physiology, Physiology on the Road

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