SALLY BENSUSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SALLY BENSUSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Alligator breathing action. Artwork illustrating the internal anatomy and the breathing action of an American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis). The actions of expiration (breathing out, upper) and inspiration (breathing in, lower), depend on internal movements. The cutaway sections show the bones (yellow), muscles of the diaphragm (striped red), and the liver (dark brown), along with their movements (white arrows) during a breathing cycle. The liver compresses the lungs (not seen) during expiration, forcing air out. During inspiration, the pelvic bone rotates downwards, stretching the alligator's abdomen, letting the diaphragm muscles pull the liver backwards, expanding the lungs.
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