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+105 animals that breathe through lungs

To obtain the oxygen present in the atmosphere, necessary for the survival of each and every aerobic animal, it is essential to have an adequate respiratory system. This suitability will depend both on the anatomical characteristics of the animal, and on the conditions of the environment in which they live. In this way, animals from terrestrial habitats have par excellence a pulmonary respiratory system (sometimes reduced to the tracheal system in some invertebrates), while animals from aquatic ecosystems, during their biological evolution, have developed other respiratory systems such as respiration. branchial or cutaneous (through the skin).

Although, as in any other area, there are certain exceptions to these general rules of a type of respiratory system associated with one or another type of ecosystem, such as the case of aquatic mammals, lungfish, etc. Continue reading this AgroCorrn article and you will meet +105 animals that breathe through lungs and you will see images of some of them.

You may also be interested in: How fish breathe

What is lung respiration

The breathing lung is the process that allows the animals to obtain the oxygen they need to survive, using lungs. Animals of different groups (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and even some invertebrates), have lung structures in their internal anatomy to carry out the complex process of gas exchange during lung respiration. These lung animals live mainly in terrestrial habitats and ecosystems, or they frequently surface, in the case of aquatic ecosystem animals, to capture the oxygen present as gas in the atmosphere.

Once oxygen has entered the animal (through the nose or mouth), it follows an established circuit within the respiratory system, passing through the trachea, bronchi and the so-called bronchioles, which are branching structures of the lungs in the gas exchange occurs, obtaining carbon dioxide as a result of respiration, which is expelled into the environment through exhalations.

The captured oxygen, on the other hand, will be distributed throughout the animal’s body, thanks to the action of the circulatory system, which will transport the oxygen molecules dissolved in the blood to those organs that require energy and oxygen for their proper functioning.

Animals with lung respiration: mammals

All mammals have lung respiration adapted to the environment and ecosystem in which they live, thus having certain specializations and strategies when it comes to breathing, both in terrestrial and aquatic environments.

Below we offer a list of animals that breathe through the lungs and that are mammals, with common and scientific names, differentiating them into aquatic or terrestrial mammals and, in turn, into mammals of the curious groups of marsupials and monotremes.

Land mammals

  • Humans ( Homo sapiens sapiens )
  • Alpaca ( Vicugna pacos )
  • Pig or sajiro ( Sus scrofa domestica )
  • Rabbits (genus Oryctolagus)
  • Gazelles (genus Gazella)
  • Guanaco ( Lama guanicoe )
  • Siberian ibex ( Capra sibirica )
  • Jaguar ( Panthera onca )
  • Lion ( Panthera leo )
  • Snow leopard ( Panthera uncia )
  • Llama ( Lama glama )
  • Andean night monkey (Aotus miconax )
  • Polar bear ( Ursus maritimus )
  • Giant anteater ( Myrmecophaga tridactyla )
  • Bay sloth ( Bradypus variegatus )
  • Puma ( Puma concolor )
  • Vicuña ( Vicugna vicugn a)
  • Gray fox ( Pseudolopes griseus )

Learn more about the General Characteristics of Terrestrial Mammals in this other article.

Marsupial land mammals

  • Flying squirrels (genus Pteromyini)
  • Kangaroos (family Macropodidae )
  • Tasmanian Devil ( Sarcophilus harrisii )
  • Numbat ( Myrmecobius fasciatus )
  • Marsupial mouse (genus Sminthopsis)
  • Marsupial mole ( Notoryctes typhlops )
  • Rock wallaby (genus Petrogale)
  • Uombats (genus Vombatidae)
  • Possums or weasels (Order Didelphimorphia)

Here we explain what marsupial animals are and examples , so that you can get to know these lung animals better.

Monotreme land mammals

  • Short-nosed Echidna ( Tachyglossus aculeatus )
  • Eastern long- beaked echidna ( Zaglossus bartoni )
  • Platypus ( Ornithorhynchus anatinus )

These are the least known mammals, so if you want to discover them better, we recommend this other AgroCorrn article about Monotremes, their characteristics and examples .

Sea mammals

  • Humpback whale or yubarta ( Megaptera novaeangliae )
  • Common sperm whale ( Physiter macrocephalus )
  • Pilot whale ( Grampus griseus )
  • Dolphins (family Delphinidae)
  • Sea lions (genus Otaria)
  • Seals (Phocidae family)
  • Walrus ( Odobenus rosmarus )
  • Narwhal ( Monodon monoceros )
  • Orcas ( Orcinus orca )

Check out more lung animals that live in the sea and ocean in this other post about What are marine mammal animals .

Lung respiration in birds

The anatomy of birds is “designed” and oriented towards aerodynamic shapes that facilitate their flight habits (in most cases), or be adapted to running (running birds) or even swimming (flightless birds and swimmers). In this context, the lungs presented by birds also conform to said aerodynamic anatomy, counting on effective and efficient lung respiration.

Some examples of the best known birds worldwide, all of them with lung respiration , are:

  • Eastern imperial eagle ( Aquila heliaca )
  • Snowy Owl ( Bubo scandiacus )
  • Cockatoos (Family Cacatuidae)
  • Canary ( Serinus canaria domestica )
  • Cassowary (genus Casuarius )
  • Asian tern ( Sterna paradisaea )
  •  White stork ( Ciconia ciconia)
  •  Andean condor ( Vultur gryphus)
  • Guanay Cormorant ( Leucocarbo bougainvillii )
  • Common Cuckoo ( Cuculus canorus )
  • Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae )
  • Snowy Egret ( Egretta thula )
  • Arctic gull ( Sterna paradisaea )
  • Swallows ( Hirundo rustica )
  • House sparrows ( Passer domesticus )
  • Peregrine Falcon ( Falco peregrinus )
  • Goldfinch ( Carduelis carduelis )
  • Pacific Koel ( Eudynamys orientalis )
  • Barn owl ( Tyto alba )
  • Common blackbird ( Turdus merula )
  • Black Oystercatcher ( Egretta thula )
  • Scrub turkey ( Alectura lathami )
  • Peruvian Pelican ( Pelecanus thagus )
  • European Robin ( Erithacus rubecula )
  • Humboldt penguin ( Spheniscus humboldti )
  • Nightingale ( Luscinia megarhynchos )
  • Magpie ( Pica pica )
  • Song thrush ( Turdus philomelos )

Meet more lung animals with this list of 112 birds of prey or raptors: types, names and photos .

Reptiles and amphibians that breathe through lungs

Reptiles have an efficient lung respiration mechanism to survive in each of the different habitats and environments in which they exist, having highly developed thorax muscles for correct dilation of the rib cage and, consequently, the entry of air. with each inspiration, and the consequent exit of air when exhaling. Reptile lungs are spongy in texture, with two lungs sometimes appearing in some organisms and only one lung in others.

Some examples of lung-breathing reptiles are:

  • Alligators (family Alligatoridae)
  • Nile crocodile ( Crocodylus porosus )
  • Australian freshwater crocodile ( C. johnsoni )
  • Mexican crocodile ( C. moreletii )
  • Orinoco crocodile ( C. intermedius )
  • Dwarf crocodile ( Osteolaemus tetraspis )
  • Komodo Dragon ( Varanus komodoensis )
  • Lizards (family Lacertidae)
  • Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko ( Uroplatus phantasticus )
  • Lizard (family Lacertidae)
  • Chameleons (Family Chamaeleonidae)
  • Coral snake (family Elapidae)
  • Marine iguana ( Amblyrhynchus cristatus )
  • Green turtles ( Chelonia mydas )
  • Leatherback turtle ( Dermochelys coriacea )
  • Hawksbill Turtle ( Eretmochelys imbricata )
  • Loggerhead turtles ( Caretta caretta )

Get to know this group of animals better with this other article about the Characteristics of reptiles .

Amphibian respiration follows different processes depending on their own stage of development and the characteristics of the environment in which they are found, as well as their energy and respiratory needs. In this way, they are able to combine pulmonary respiration with cutaneous respiration (through the skin) and gill respiration (through the gills).


Specifically, lung respiration in amphibians takes place during the organisms’ adulthood, then presenting well-developed lungs. These are characterized by great elasticity and by having air chambers (called alveoli). Pulmonary respiration gives amphibians the ability to pump oxygen that enters both through their mouth and through their nostrils, until it is subsequently expelled as carbon dioxide.

Some examples of amphibians that breathe through lungs during their developmental stage as adults are:

  • Common toad ( Bufo bufo )
  • Giant marine toad ( Rhinella marina )
  • Newt ( Charonia tritonis )
  • Common salamander ( Salamandra salamandra )
  • Gallipato ( Pleurodeles waltl )
  • San Antonio frog ( Hyla arborea )
  • Poison Arrow Frog ( Phyllobates terribilis )
  • Strawberry Dart Frog ( Oophaga granulifera )
  • New Zealand “tailed” frogs (genus Ascaphus )
  • Axolotl ( Ambistoma mexicanum )
  • Cecilias (Gymnophiona family)

If you want to learn more about this curious group of animals that live both in water and on land, we recommend these other two articles on What animals are amphibians and where they are and How amphibians breathe , since they don’t only use their lungs.

Invertebrate animals with lung respiration

The lungs that exist within the numerous and diverse group of invertebrates consist of diffusion lungs, in which an active ventilation mechanism does not intervene, but simply have pulmonary chambers lined with numerous internal folds in which the gas exchange.

These lungs are called pneumostoma and are exclusively presented by certain organisms of the groups of terrestrial mollusks and arachnids, in which they are also known as book , laminar or philotrachea lungs. Here are some examples of invertebrate animals that breathe through lungs :

Examples of land mollusks with lung respiration

  • Systelomatophoric slugs (Systellommatophora group)
  • Common land snail or garden snail ( Helix aspersa )
  • Roman snail ( Helix pomatia )
  • Giant African snail ( Achatina fulica)
  • Moor snail ( Cepaea nemoralis )
  • Cabrillas ( Otala punctata )
  • Vaquetas or Serranas ( Iberus gualtieranus alonensis )

Arachnids with lung respiration

  • Brown recluse spider ( Loxosceles reclusa )
  • Black cork oak spider ( Macrothele calpeiana )
  • Giant Forest Scorpions (Genus Heterometrus)
  • African black scorpion (Genus Pandinus)
  • Salmon Pink Tarantula ( Lasiodora Parahybana )
  • Black widow ( Latrodectus mactans )
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