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Monitor Lizards Breathe More Efficiently Than Humans

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A monitor lizard's lungs have special sacs that allow  them to absorb oxygen while inhaling and exhaling. (Getty Images)

A monitor lizard’s lungs have special sacs that allow them to absorb oxygen while inhaling and exhaling. (Getty Images)

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SALT LAKE CITY (CBS Las Vegas) – Will lizards inherit the Earth?

Researchers have recently discovered that monitor lizards possess a trait that improves on the way humans and other mammals breathe, reports the journal Nature.

Their lungs can absorb oxygen both from breathing out and breathing in.

It’s been known that birds have the same ability, but it’s the first time lizards have been shown to benefit from what is called “unidirectional breathing.”

Scientists have long believed birds developed the adaptation to cope with the enormous amount of energy needed to fly.

A team led by Colleen Farmer at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City made the lizard discovery.

Previously she had found that alligators and crocodile-like animals breathe the same way.

The research could offer insight into how dinosaurs breathed.

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