Among aquatic, water-breathing animals, gills and other continuous-flow breathing methods dominate over lungs and other storage-based breathing methods as in land animals. Notably, axolotls have gill-like structures around their heads which use a high surface-area structure heavily vascularized with capillaries to breathe water.

However, it seems all air-breathing organisms use storage-based breathing, air-breathing fish included, as lungfish use their swim bladders as lungs, a clear example of storage-based breathing.

Are there any land organisms that use continuous-flow breathing methods over lungs?

  • $\begingroup$ That emphasizes that fish with only gills would have had much difficulty in adapting to land for the same reason that electric tyre pumps and manual tyre pumps are different. $\endgroup$ – aliential Apr 15 at 2:48

Terrestrial crustaceans are land animals that use gills (or gill-like structures) for gas exchange, though these gills must be kept moist for efficient respiration.

Specifically, animals like hermit crabs have a branchiostegal lung that looks like gill tissue but is better adapted for absorption of oxygen from air instead of water.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.