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Posted by nathana on April 10, 2003 at 07:13:39:
In Reply to: Re: It's the hibernation thing - how do they do it? posted by checker on April 09, 2003 at 20:04:35:
They do breath... sort of.
There are some species that can freeze completely solid and totally shut down, but these are in the northern extremes.
For the rest, their metabolism slows to NEAR nothing. They will take water into their throats and rectums and absorb oxygen from the water in this way. This is one reason you don't want a small pond to freeze over and prevent air exchange with the surface. A larger pond would probably hold all the oxygen it needed for the turtle. In a fridge, you are not sealing them in, because you open the door and check on them. I used a dorm fridge for hibernating boxies when I couldn't put them outdoors one year. I hooked up an air pump to feed in fresh humid air. They don't need much when hibernating.