Can penguin breath under water?

A very detailed scientific study shows that penguins cannot breathe aerobically underwater and have adapted themselves to use oxygen effectively inside water. They are birds and possess lungs as respiratory organs. Gills are absent in them, so they do depend on air for gaseous exchange.

Like humans, penguins also cannot breathe underwater. Penguins cannot breathe underwater because they do not have gills. When they are in the ocean in search of prey they have to hold their breath.

The density of the water strains their lungs and air sacs. The airways can provide merely vital oxygen for the penguins to stay under water. Seals can stay longer underwater due to their comparatively big lungs and air sacs.

How far can a penguin go underwater?

The bigger size penguins can smoothly go 1700 ft. under the water with the hold of their breath for around 18 minutes quickly. Similarly, the small size penguins can only go about 200 ft. under the water, and it is not possible for them to hold their breath for more than one minute.

However, the Emperor Penguin feeds on squid, fish or krill that reside deep under water, so this species of penguin can hold its breath for up to 20 minutes. Emperor penguins are also known to dive up to 1,800 feet to find their prey. Underwater compression affects the penguins’ lungs and air sacs.

Most of the species of penguins stay in upper water level. Their dive lasts approximately up to 6 minutes. Species like emperor penguins have to dive deeper into the ocean to find its prey such as squid, krill (shrimp-like crustacean) and tiny fishes. Emperor penguins can swim under the ocean for up to approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

What do penguins need to survive?

The Need to Dive, the Need to Breathe. However, penguins need oxygen to breathe under water. For most species of penguins, the average underwater dive lasts 6 minutes, since most of their prey resides in the upper water levels. However, the Emperor Penguin feeds on squid, fish or krill that reside deep under water,.

The penguins undergo anaerobic respiration as well. Additional oxygen is stored in the muscle tissues of the penguins by using large amounts of a blood protein called myoglobin. Anaerobic respiration is also observed in penguins.