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How The Marine Iguana Purges Excess Salt While Feasting

The Marine Iguana | A Perfect Planet | BBC Earth

How The Marine Iguana Purges Excess Salt While Feasting

The Marine Iguana | A Perfect Planet | Bbc Earth

Keywords searched by users: How does the marine iguana clean its blood of the extra salt it ingests while eating swimming lizards

How Do Marine Iguanas Sneeze Salt?

How do marine iguanas manage to eliminate excess salt from their bodies? Marine iguanas possess specialized salt-excreting glands that effectively remove salt from their bloodstream. This excess salt is then forcefully expelled through their nasal passages, a process that resembles snorting or sneezing in humans. Unfortunately for marine iguanas, they don’t have access to Kleenex or similar technology, resulting in the amusing yet practical consequence of being occasionally hit by their own salt excretions (often referred to colloquially as “snot rockets”). This unique adaptation aids them in maintaining their salt balance, a crucial aspect of their survival in their marine habitats. [Date: January 23, 2020]

How Do The Salt Glands Of The Marine Iguana Function In Osmoregulation?

The salt glands in marine iguanas play a crucial role in their ability to regulate salt and water levels within their bodies while they spend extended periods underwater. These glands operate in tandem with their kidneys to maintain internal fluid balance, a process known as osmoregulation.

When marine iguanas are submerged for extended periods, they face the challenge of accumulating excess salts and ions from the seawater they ingest. To combat this, they have specialized nasal glands that work to excrete these surplus salts and ions from their body fluids. This mechanism helps the iguanas maintain a constant equilibrium of salt and water levels within their bodies.

In addition to the salt glands, the kidneys of marine iguanas also play a crucial role in osmoregulation. They work in harmony with the salt glands to ensure that the iguana’s internal fluids remain in a state of homeostasis, allowing them to thrive in their unique marine environment. Overall, the combination of these mechanisms enables marine iguanas to efficiently regulate their internal salt and water levels, ensuring their survival in the challenging underwater world they inhabit.

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The Marine Iguana | A Perfect Planet | BBC Earth
The Marine Iguana | A Perfect Planet | BBC Earth

Marine iguanas are also known for their very efficient salt glands, where they “sneeze” out salt. Because they feed underwater, they ingest a large amount of saltwater. In order to prevent dehydration, they must expel salt without expelling water, so they have specialized glands that remove salt from their blood.Marine iguanas have glands which remove the salt from their blood. They expel the collected salt in forceful nose excretions which look to us humans like snorting or sneezing. Lacking Kleenex technology, marine iguanas often get hit with their own snot rockets.Marine iguanas eliminate excess salts and ions from the body fluids when they spend long periods underwater through a nasal gland. The salt glands of Marine iguana facilitate the retention of water as it possesses a constant equilibrium, and the kidney helps in homeostasis for its internal fluids.

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