The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

2021 Impact Factor from Clarivate for the Herpetological Journal is 1.194, an increase of 0.332 from 2020.

pdf 03. Aerial and aquatic respiration in the black rayed softshell turtle Amyda cartilaginea


Open Access


Authors: John Davenport And Tat Meng Wong

Abstract: Black-rayed softshell turtles (Amyda cartilaginea) from Malaysia were shown to be capable of extracting oxygen from water by a combination of cutaneous and buccopharyngeal respiration. Given access to air as well as water they consumed a mean 81 ml 02 g·1h-1; when submerged and respiring aquatically the uptake fell to a mean value of 21 ml 02 g·1h·1 (ratio 3.86:1 ). Behavioural data show that the turtles cannot survive indefinitely by aquatic respiration alone as they incur an oxygen debt, even when inactive. Scope for activity is substantially reduced, even when air becomes available, until the oxygen debt is repaid. Buccopharyngeal respiration is a normal feature of behaviour, and is not used solely during prolonged submergence. The turtles pump some 40-80 ml water min-' through the pharynx at 30ºC. Turtles display dilated cutaneous blood vessels when they are submerged for long periods.

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Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.